Beat the Heat in these 50+ Indoor Play Areas Around Charlotte

Updated July 2019

By this point in the Charlotte Summer, let’s be honest, there is but only so much of the pool we can take. Our shoulders are burnt, our nerves are frazzled, and it’s time to switch up the routine and rock the kid’s socks off with some indoor play around Charlotte. Let’s do this Mamas, let’s own summer 2019.

GETTING THERE IS HALF THE FUN

Light Rail (Uptown)

While the light rail may not be a destination, it can add a little excitement to your trip.  If you’ve never taken your littles on the light rail, you’ll be surprised at just how much they’ll love it! The other awesome news is since the expansion you can go from one end of Charlotte to the other.  Make this a sweet addition to any Uptown activity.

EXTREME PLAY

Inner Peaks (Uptown and Crown Point)

Inner Peaks Facebook

Our kids are already bouncing off the walls, why not let them climb them too.  A fun challenge to the mundane of summer play your kids will love giving indoor climbing a try.

Hours:

Monday through Friday: 10am—10pm
Saturday: 10am—7pm
Sunday: 12pm—7pm
Be sure to check hours based on location.

Admission:

Day passes are $16. Equipment rentals and lessons also available.

Laser Quest (Pineville)

Laser tag and a little bit more. Set out on a mission to discover truths and finish on top.

Hours:

Monday to Thursday: 1 pm- 9 pm
Friday: 1pm to 11pm
Saturday: 11am to 11pm
Sunday: 1pm to 7pm

Admission:

$9.50 per person for regular games

The Pit Indoor Racing (LKN)

Indoor Go- Karting will give you the thrill ride of the summer. Add on laser tag, mini golf, bumper cars, rock climbing and more- there is nothing you can’t do here this summer.

Hours:

Monday-Wednesday: 3pm-1opm
Thursday: 11am- 10pm
Friday and Saturday: 11 am-Midnight
Sunday:  1pm- 8pm

Admission:

Pricing varies per activity.

Kinetic Heights 

Here you will find high ropes course, ninja warrior courses, zip lines, and more. 

Hours: 

Monday – Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday: 12-5 p.m.

Admission:

Prices vary per activity check the website for more information. 

Frankie’s Fun Park (Huntersville)

Frankie’s Fun Park, located in Huntersville, offers almost every activity you can think of. Bumper cars, fun house, bowling, virtual reality, and so much more. 

Hours: 

Monday – Thursday: 10 am-Midnight

Friday & Saturday: 10 am – 1 am

Sunday: 11 am-Midnight

Admissions:

Admission varies per activity check out prices here

JUMPING AROUND

Bounce U Facebook

Indoor bounce houses and trampoline parks offer hours of endless fun (and exhaustion).  Get ready for naptime after all that bouncing.

Bounce U (Huntersville and Matthews)

Check out the Calendar of Events to find times of open bounce times for Huntersville and Matthews locations.

Admission:

Prices also vary depending on activity, learn more here.

Monkey Joes (University, Pineville, Gastonia)

Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 10AM-7PM
Friday & Saturday: 10AM-8:30PM
Sunday: 12PM-7PM

Admission:

Walk-Ins: $8.99 Weekdays and $9.99 Weekends, 2 and under $5.99

Defy Gravity (University)

Defy Gravity Facebook

Hours:

Monday-Thursday (Summer): KidJump (6 & under only): 9am – 10am  Open Jump (all ages): 10am – 10pm
Friday (Summer): KidJump (6 & under only): 9am – 10am  Open Jump (all ages): 10am – 10pm, ClubLite (ages 7+): 9pm – 11pm
Saturday (Summer) Open Jump (all ages): 9am – 9pm, ClubGravity (ages 15+): 9pm – 11pm
Sunday (Summer): Open Jump (all ages): 11am – 7pm

Admission:

Prices vary depending on age, time, and day check here.

W8less (Lake Norman)

Hours:

Monday- Thursday: 3pm-8pm
Friday: 3pm- 9pm
Saturday: 10am-9pm
Sunday: 12pm- 8pm
Summer hours can found here.

Admission:

Monday- Thursday: 1 hour: $10
Weekends: 1 hour: $12
If staying longer check out pricing here.

Sky Zone (Pineville)

Sky Zone Facebook

Hours:

Monday- Thursday: 11am- 9pm
Friday: 11am -11pm
Saturday: 10am- 11pm
Sunday: 12pm- 9pm

Admission:

Pricing varies based on time spent, check here.

Sky High Sports (Pineville)

Hours:

Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m..
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission:

Prices vary from $14 for a one hour pass to $29 for an all-day pass. Check the website for more info.

Urban Air (Mint Hill)

Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission:

Check website for pricing.

KNOCK ‘EM DOWN

Bowling is an American pastime, what has changed about bowling alleys of the past is that now they are clean, NOT smokey, and family friendly.  What better way to spend a couple of hours than knocking down some pins. Before going register your child the Kids Bowl Free Program allowing them to receive two free games of bowling at participating locations.

Spare Time (Lake Norman)

Virtual reality laser tag, gaming, and bowling.

Hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 10am-Midnight
Friday and Saturday: 10am- 2am

Admission:

Open Bowling: $5.99 per game
Shoe Rental: $4.50
For weekend and other activity, prices check here.

George Pappas Lanes (Lake Norman)

Pricing varies based on time and day, check here.

10 Park Lanes (Charlotte)

Pricing varies based on time and day, check here.

GREAT ADVENTURES

Great Wolf Lodge (University)

A full indoor water park, arcade, and magical scavenger hunt, Great Wolf Lodge is the ultimate in summer adventures. Have you heard that Great Wolf Lodge now offers day passes? Get more information here.

Hours:

Sunday – Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday- Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Admission:

Prices a dependent upon room rate, check the website for deals and promos.

Adventure Landing (Gastonia)

Another Indoor/Outdoor retreat in the Charlotte area, Adventure Landing has many fun things to offer.  Your family will find endless entertainment with minigolf, batting cages, and arcade.

Hours:

Monday – Thursday – 9 am – 11 pm
Friday & Saturday – 9am – 12am
Sunday – 10 am – 11 pm

Admission:

Prices vary per activity and time frame, check here.

Barefoot Archery (Pineville)

Barefoot Archery Facebook

Archery, for most, is something entirely new and different.  But don’t worry all levels are welcome at Barefoot Archery, and bow rental is available.

Hours:

Sunday and Monday: Closed
Tuesday and Thursday: 10am-8pm
Wednesday and Friday: 10am-6pm
Saturday: 10am- 4pm

Admission:

$10 per hour if you own your equipment
$25 hour for rental of equipment of lane

Funtastiks (Pineville)

Indoor-outdoor fun: arcades, bumper boats, minigolf, and more! You will love spending your day exploring all they have to offer.

Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 10 am – 9 pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 11pm
Sunday: 11am – 9pm
Check for individual park hours.

Admission:

Check website for pricing.

Chuck E Cheese (Various locations)

This is one mouse that needs no explanation.  Pizza, games, and fun- always a crowd pleaser.

Hours:

*may vary pending your location
Sun-Thur 11am-9pm
Fri 11am-10pm
Sat 10am-10pm

Admission:

Prices vary based on the number of tokens and food ordered. Look for coupons and special event pricing.

Ray’s Splash Planet (Uptown)

Ray’s Splash Planet is an awesome year-round indoor water park, there are slides, whirlpools, water basketball, and tons of fun! 

Check the website for hours and pricing.

ROUND & ROUND

Skating rinks can bring you right back to your childhood.  The lights, laughter, and great tunes.  Here are some of our favorites around town.

Extreme Ice Center (Indian Trail)

Hours:

Hours vary based on season, be sure to check their calendar.

Admission:

Monday-Friday: $7
Friday Evening- Sunday: $10
Skate Rental: $4

Kate’s Skating Rink (Various locations)

Hours and Admission:

Vary based on season and location, check here.

Pineville Ice House (Pineville)

Hours:

Hours vary, check here for public skate times.

Admission:

$8.00 and skate rental is $4.00

SPORTASTIC

Charlotte Indoor Tennis Club

Here they have six indoor courts for year-round play provide numerous opportunities for competitive and social play for players of all abilities.

Hours:

Check the website for times.

Admission:

They offer a variety of memberships, to fit your individual needs.

TopGolf  (South)

TopGolf Facebook

Getting your golf game on at Top Golf is perfect for all ages.  Sign up for their KidZone program to stay up to date on all the summer happenings.

Hours:

Monday- Thursday 9:00am – 12:00am
Friday: 9:00am – 2:00am
Saturday: 8:00am – 2:00am
Sunday: 9:00am – 12:00am

Admission:

Prices vary based on time and activity.

Sports Connection (Northlake and Ballantyne)

Sports Connection offers many great activities for kids of all ages.  Bowling, jump n’ play, arcades, rock climbing- almost any activity you can think you will find at Sports Connection.

Hours:

Sunday – Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission:

Prices vary based on activity and time, check the corresponding website.

Zenith Gymnastics (Charlotte)

Zenith Gymnastics Facebook

Open Gym is an excellent time to work on gymnastic skills or just to play around and have some fun.

Hours and Admission:

Open gym hours vary, check the website.

TODDLER FUN

My Gym (Various)

My Gym offers a fun physically engaging activity.  Have fun jumping, swinging, and climbing in a fun, safe, and interactive environment for kiddos.

Hours and Admission:

Check website for various classes and open play.

Davidson Playhouse (LKN)

A community-centered play area that offers kiddos an area to use their imagination and explore their surroundings.  And let’s be honest: an area to make a mess that is not in our house.

Hours:

Monday- Friday: 9-1 Open Play

Admission:

Open play: $8 per child and $5 per sibling

Romp N’ Roll (University and LKN)

Gym, art and music classes all rolled into one fun play place.

Hours:

Check out their schedule to find open play and other happenings.

Admission:

Prices vary pending activity.

Mallard Creek Recreation Center (University)

Featuring a full-sized gym, indoor playroom, computer lab and more there is much to offer at the Rec Center.

Hours:

Vary pending on if the facility is rented out, it is recommended to call ahead.

Admission:

Free

Ray’s Playhouse

The Playhouse is full of toys, games, activities, and even kid-friendly computers! Recommended for ages 1-6.

Hours:

Hours vary; call the Berewick Rec Center for times.

Admission:

Free

ChicFila (Various Locations)

Lunch of fries and the best chicken nugs around what more can a child ask for? Well, a play area of course.  With various options around Charlotte, you will be sure to find something to fill that lunch hour.

GET YOUR PLAY ON

NorthLake Mall Play Area (Lake Norman)

A looney toon themed play area, parked in the middle of all that shopping. Tire the kids out and then hit a few shops before you go.

Hours:

Monday – Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Wednesday – Saturday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission:

Free

Carolina Place Mall Play Area (Pineville)

Explore tunnels, slides, and crawl spaces.  Designed for kiddos 48″ and under.

Hours:

Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission:

Free

Superior Play Systems (Charlotte)

No more too hot slides or sweltering while your kids get some energy out; beat the heat indoors and enjoying playground equipment at Superior Play Systems. 

Hours: 

Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Pricing: 

$6 for all day play Monday-Friday, and $8 during the weekend and on school holidays

All Around the Board (Huntersville)

All Around the Board is game-cafe. Pick your favorite game, grab a snack, and have some fun! 

Summer Hours: 

Wednesday  1pm-6pm
Thursday  1pm-6pm
Friday  4:30pm-11pm
Saturday 3pm-11pm
Sunday 3pm-9pm
We are closed on Monday and Tuesday

(No admittance 1 hour prior to closing time.)

Pricing: 

Our regular cover charge is $6 per person.  
(Children 3 and under are free)
1 Month Game Pass:  $30

Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries- Summer Series 

Libraries are found all over Charlotte offering a wide variety of fun activities for all ages including storytimes, volunteer opportunities for teens, science days and much more.  They also offer a Summer Reading Series incentive with cool prizes. Check that out here. 

Check your local library for hours and what is offered. 

SUMMER MOVIES

While not a “play area” , a movie always a great bet for out-of-school fun. The summer movie deals at several local theaters offer cool, clean fun for almost free. While REGAL CINEMAS is the consortium with most locations, there are some specific neighborhood options to consider as well.

Regal Movies Summer Express

Admission to the Summer Movie Express is only $1 ~ Tuesdays and Wednesdays day time shows all summer. Tickets available for purchase at the box office and all movies in most locations start at 10:00 am. Check with your theatre for exact showtimes. Each week both movies play on both days. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse

Ten Weeks of Fun Films for Kids $1 per person, per movie, at the theatre box office on the day of movie OR See all 10 for $5! Get a ten-week series punch card at the theatre box office, while supplies last, at participating theatres. (The only participating theaters in the Charlotte Area are Cinemark Movies 10 in Matthews and Cinemark Tinseltown USA in Salisbury)

Ayrsley Grand Cinemas Summer Kids Shows

Kids movies every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 10 a.m. through August 9, 2018 ~ tickets are $3.70 + tax each and include a Kids’ Combo Pack.

GEM Theatre (Kannapolis)

The GEM Theatre is just as the name describes a  hidden gem located in the heart of historic Kannapolis.  They offer a variety of children’s movies at unbeatable prices with in an old timey theatre.  Popcorn, drinks, and candy are also reasonably priced. 

Showtimes vary check here.

Admission:

Adults $5.00   | Kids 2–12 $4.00  | Seniors 55+ $4.00
Shows Before 6:00 – All Ages $4.00

CHILDREN’S MUSEUMS

ImaginOn (Uptown)

ImaginOn is a one of a kind kid central.  More than just a library offering sprawling play places, interactive story times, and awesome shows. This summer catch A Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites (June 9- September 9).

Hours:

Monday to Thursday 9:00am – 8:00pm
Friday to Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Museum Admission: 

Free

Schiele Museum of Natural History (Gastonia)

The Schiele Museum of Natural History Facebook

Located just south of Charlotte the Schiele Museum does not disappoint.  Science, nature, and history come to life in this unique experience.  Exhibits range from prehistoric adventures, nature trails, and exploring the night sky.

Hours:

Monday – Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Admission:

Adults: $7, Children: $6, Children 3 and under: Free
Planetarium: $5 extra per person

Discovery Place Science (Uptown)

DPS is a favorite Charlotte attraction ~ an interactive Science museum made for hours of endless exploration.

Hours:

Monday- Friday: 9am- 4pm
Saturday:  9am- 5pm
Sunday: 12pm-5pm

Museum Admission: 

Adults: $17. Children: (2-13) $13. Seniors: $15. Members: FREE
IMAX:
Adults: $10. Children (2-13): $9. Seniors: $9 Members: $5
Bundled (Museum + IMAX):
Adults: $22. Children (2-13): $18. Seniors: $20 Members: $5

Discovery Place Nature (Myers Park)

Discovery Place Nature is an indoor-outdoor exhibit with much to offer. Experience a live animal visit from Charlotte critters or check out a live alligator feeding.  Explore the moon, stars, and more in their daily planetarium shows.  Kick back and play around in many of their play places both inside and out.

Hours:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 9-8pm
Wednesday- Saturday: 9-5pm
Sunday: 12-5pm

Museum Admission: 

Adults and Children: $8

Discovery Place Kids (Lake Norman)

DPK Facebook

All Discovery Place locations have their own special twist.  DPK is full of imaginary interact fun.  All the exhibits are meant to be touched and explored. Take a diver under the sea, build your own Lego tower, or explore a farm- you and your child won’t be disappointed.

Hours:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 9-8pm
Wednesday- Saturday: 9-5pm
Sunday: 12-5pm

Museum Admission: 

Adults and Children over 1: $10

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Explore the world of the Arts at The Bechtler check the website for Family Fun Days. 

Hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10am-5pm
Saturday: 12pm- 5pm
Tuesday: Closed

Admission: 

Adult: $9
Senior $7
Youth 11-18 $5
Children up to 10: Free

Carolinas Aviation Museum

Let your imagination take flight at Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, NC, where history and STEM education soar. Home of Flight 1549 – “The Miracle on the Hudson.” 

SCOOP TIP: check the website as they are moving locations in early July. 

Charlotte Museum of History 

Bring history to life while visiting the Charlotte Museum of History- there are scavenger hunts and daily activities geared towards kids. 

Hours:

Tuesday- Saturday

11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Admission:

Adults: $10 
Children (6-17): $7 
Children under 6: Free

The Harvey B. Gantt Center 

Celebrate African American culture, history, and arts as you explore The Harvey B. Gantt Center 


Check the calendar for special events geared towards kiddos. 

The Mint Museum (Uptown and Randolph)

Kids experience a hands-on experience for the Arts at the Mint Museum.  Sundays are dedicated to families and have different themes each month. The Randolph location has bi-lingual programming once a month. 

Check the website for specific events. Free on Wednesday evenings.

Levine Museum of the New South 

The museum focuses on post Civil War Southern history – there are monthly youth programs and 50% off on Sunday’s admission.

Hours: 

Monday – Friday:  10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
Sunday:  12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Admission:

Adults $10.00
Seniors (62+): $8.00

Students, Educators and Active Military: $8.00  (with current, valid ID)
Active military and families receive free admission from Memorial Day through Labor Day
Children (6-18): $6.00
Ages 5 and under: FREE
Access History: $2 (with current EBT card or WIC voucher). $10 maximum

Families: $30 maximum (up to 9 people)

NASCAR Hall of Fame 

What could be more fun than spending the day amongst the greats of NASCAR?  Kids will love exploring the history and behind the scenes of NASCAR. 

Hours: 

Monday-Sunday: 10am- 6pm 

Admission:

Prices vary pending on what activities you select. Check the website

Wells Fargo Museum

This is a free and fun family museum. Board the stagecoach, check out gold nuggets, and send a telegraph as you learn about life during the gold rush.

Hours: 

Tuesday through Saturday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed on bank holidays

Sea Life (Concord)

Bring the Sea to Life right here in Charlotte with 5,000 creatures including sharks, rays, seahorses and more. 

Hours: 

Monday-Friday: 10am- 6pm
Saturday: 10am-8pm
Sunday: 12-6pm 

Admission: 

Check out ticket pricing here

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Ashley W
Ashley is a freelance writer and mom extraordinaire.  She lives in the LKN area with her husband and two children.  \

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