Here's a family-friendly, 1.5-mile, 8-stop activity tour of uptown Charlotte that is sure to satisfy everyone in your crowd.
Print this map of Center City Charlotte to help you navigate.
1) Take the trolley
2) Walk the rail trail
Taking a right will lead you to Imaginon and First Ward Park. Take a left for a 0.3 mile stroll past the Epicenter and toward the Charlotte Convention Center. The trail ends at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
3) Play on The GreenThe Green, a whimsical green space tucked between College St. and Tryon St.
4) A stagecoach and a disco chickenStrolling from one end of The Green to the other puts you on S. Tryon St., directly across the road from the famous-in-Charlotte “Firebird” statue, sometimes affectionately referred to as the "disco chicken." You’ll want to get a photo here.
Before you cross Tryon St., though, duck into the Wells Fargo History Museum (401 S. Tryon St.) on your right to see some interesting relics from the history of banking and gold mining in North Carolina. You can also climb aboard a replica of the signature Wells Fargo coach. The museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
5) Get creative at The MintMint Museum Uptown (500 South Tryon St.). This is a perfect place to take an indoor break. Yes, even – and especially – for the youngest members of your party.
6) Eat, play and shop at the Christmas VillageLeaving the Mint Museum Uptown, take Levine Avenue of the Arts toward S. Church St. Take a right on Church and go one block to arrive at Romare Bearden Park (0.15 mi.), where you’ll find the Charlotte Christmas Village, a European-style holiday market with vendors offering homemade goods, food and drinks as well as live performances and special events, including Santa appearances.
The Christmas Village opens November 23 after the Thanksgiving Day Parade and opens daily at 11 a.m. Tuesday-Sunday through Christmas Eve. It closes at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday.
Mellow Mushroom across the street and picnic at a table in the park.
7) Carol with the bearsFounders Hall, the impressive atrium beneath the flagship Bank of America tower.
From Monday, November 27-Thursday, December 28, the Leonard Bearstein Orchestra (animatronic singing bears) performs all your holiday favorites. This is sure to be a hit with younger children, but is also a festive time for the rest of the family.
The show generally runs on the hour every hour from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. for 45 minutes, but there are some exceptions. Check the performance schedule before you go.
8) Call it a day
As you ride home, I hope you find yourself feeling less stuffed, not-so-squirrelly, and all the more lucky to call Charlotte home.