Have you visited Cabarrus County in North Carolina? Just a short two-hour drive from the Upstate, Cabarrus County offers tons of fun for kids from a historic gold mine you can tour, to a famous NASCAR speedway and NHRA dragway. In this article, we’ll share more than 10 places you can take your kids near Concord plus all the tips you need to make it a family memory you will never forget.
Thank you to Explore Cabarrus for providing lodging and some of these experiences.
Have you visited Village Park in Kannapolis, NC? Not only does this park have two amazing playgrounds and multiple picnic shelters, but you’ll also find North Carolina’s only double-decker carousel lit with 1800 lights! As if that weren’t enough, the park also has a real miniature train that families can ride around the park. Tickets for the carousel and train are very inexpensive. Topping all that off is a free holiday light display and seasonal events. We loved our visit to Village Park in Kannapolis and we have all the information for you!
Village Park Carousel
Manufactured in Italy, this carousel is the only double-decker carousel in North Carolina. It features over 1,800 lights, hand-painted murals, and traditional carousel music. The classic carousel is set beside a green space as you enter the park in its own covered shelter, making this park feel whimsical and inviting.
Tickets to ride the carousel at Village Park are $1.50.
Village Park Train
The train shed at Village Park is located across from the carousel. From there, families can hop on board and ride around the park, past the splash pad, both playgrounds and across the paved and shaded walking paths.
Tickets to ride the trail at Village Park are $1.50.
Purchase tickets for both the train and the carousel at the exterior window of the main building at the park’s entrance.
Village Park Playgrounds
Climb high, bounce, swing, and slide at both of Village Park’s playgrounds. Located side by side, one playground is intended for the 5 and under crowd, while the other is meant for older kids. We loved the climbing options and long slides at this park!
Paved Walking Trails
Taking a walk or a run? The paved walking trails at Village Park and connected to other trails in the area could be just the right place for you. You can take the 2-mile loop between Village Park and Bakers Creek Park on the 8th Street Greenway and the Bakers Creek Greenway.
Free and Cheap Holiday Fun at Village Park in Kannapolis
We love FREE and low-cost holiday fun, and Villiage Park is packed with it. They have a totally free holiday light display with thousands of lights! Walk through the displays at your own pace for a magical holiday experience, or, if you want to turn it up a notch, book tickets for the park’s holiday train, the Winterland Express! Ride the train through the park’s lights and see them in a whole new way. End your evening with a ride on the two-story carousel for just $2 per person.
Celebration of Lights
This free holiday light display in Village Park is on daily from November 19th through December 30th, 2022. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 6 pm to 9 pm and Friday and Saturday 6 pm to 10 pm. The display will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
In addition to the lights, Santa will be on-site to visit with the kids every evening! Plus enjoy live holiday music, entertainment, crafts, and a miniature train display.
Are you looking for a great place for breakfast or lunch in Cabarrus County? If you’ve never visited Sunflour Baking Company you are missing out. The flakiest most delicious breakfast pastries, sandwiches, cookies, and cupcakes are waiting for you at one of Sunflour’s four locations near Charlotte, NC and we think you’ll want to pop in and enjoy their delicious offerings. We spent a weekend in Cabarrus County and we so enjoyed our breakfast that we stopped in for lunch the next day.
Our breakfast was courtesy of Explore Cabarrus County, our lunch was not. Thank you to Explore Cabarrus County for introducing us to what might be our new family favorite restaurant!
Thinking about a visit to ZMAX Dragway in Charlotte, NC? When is the last time you stood up to watch something go 300 mph? Been a long time or maybe never? Then you should plan a trip to the ZMAX Dragway for an NHRA National Event. We got a chance to visit in September for the NHRA Carolina Nationals and couldn’t believe all the things we got to experience. And the best part? Kids are FREE. So your 300 mph family adventure just got a lot more budget-friendly. Here’s everything you need to know.
Thank you to Explore Cabarrus County for providing tickets so we could bring our readers this review!
Are you looking to explore some hiking and biking trails in Cabarrus County, NC? Cabarrus is home to dozens of trail systems, and explorers are rewarded any time of year with the naturally beautiful landscapes the trails carve their way through. From family-friendly hiking and mountain biking to leisurely strolls and water recreation, Cabarrus County has a nature trail for you to fall in love with!
Located just Northeast of Charlotte, Cabarrus County may be synonymous to some as the hub for NASCAR enthusiasts. However, the natural beauty of the rolling countryside throughout the county balances out nicely against the backdrop of major cities like Concord and Harrisburg. Many of the trail systems listed below highlight the ability of nature and civilization to combine positively, in a way that is beneficial to the natural system while keeping the growth and expansion of nearby cities in mind. So, lace up those boots and check out some of the top trail systems to hike or bike throughout Cabarrus County in the list below!
Natural Trails to Hike and Bike in Cabarrus County
Length: 12.6 miles of completed land trails in Cabarrus County 105.1 miles planned for construction Difficulty: Easy to strenuous Offers: Running, walking, mountain biking, and hiking
The Thread is a multi-county, regional trail system that offers 11 segments in Cabarrus County alone! There are over 300 miles of land trails to explore and 170 miles of water trails, with stunning views. The public can access launch points throughout the system to kayak, canoe, and participate in other watersports that connect to other land trails across North and South Carolina. The Carolina Thread Trail is expanding, with a master plan to eventually join the current 11 segments in Cabarrus for a total of 105.1 miles of trail in Cabarrus County.
Length: 2.1 miles one way Difficulty: Moderate Offers: Hiking, walking, mountain biking, running
The Buffalo Creek Preserve Trail is one of The Thread’s featured trails. The trailhead is particularly interesting due to conservation efforts by the Catawba Lands Conservatory, being made up of a restored Piedmont Oak Savannah. The trail continues past streams and wetlands, through working farmland, into serene habitats, and finally through young forests. The trail is also part of the Butterfly Highway, a conservation initiative to create networks of pollinator-supportive plants and habitats.
Length: 4.25 trail miles Difficulty: All skill levels Offers: Mountain Biking
Located just a few miles from Downtown Concord, NC, the Brown Mill Mountain Bike Trail has something for all skill levels to enjoy. There are multiple dips, flow sections, jumps, switchbacks, rock features, and a gravity cavity that make it a premier spot for mountain biking. The trail is suitable for most riders and is perfect for biking multiple laps to hone your skills.
Length: 3.5 trail miles total Difficulty: All skill levels Offers: Mountain biking, walking trails, playground, picnics, fishing
Rob Wallace Park is located in Midland and offers a skills area for beginner to expert mountain bikers to perfect their skills along with balance features and berms. Within the park is the Powder House Trail, a one-mile-long riding trail, as well as the 0.7-mile Quarry Loop.
Length: 5.7 miles total Difficulty: Easy Offers: Walking, hiking, biking
The Hector Henry Greenway runs along the Rocky River and connects three segments, The Mills at Rocky River, Riverwalk, and Moss Creek. The trails are primarily paved and are considered easy for biking and walking. The Greenway is part of The Thread trail system and offers wildlife viewings, boardwalks, educational displays, and gorgeous views of the surrounding wetlands.
Length: Multiple paved trails throughout the 16-acre park Difficulty: Easy Offers: Paved walking paths throughout the park
Located in Kannapolis, Village Park offers over 16 acres to explore. There are paved walking paths throughout the park through green space, perfect for picnics and outdoor recreation. The park also offers a splash pad and a ride-on train, the Rotary Express Train, which is a g-24 scale replica. The cost for the train is $1.50 per person and it is open on weekends from April until September. In addition, there are picnic shelters, a carousel, music concert series, and special events at this park to enjoy during your walk or bike trip.
Length: 2.5 miles of trails for hiking and biking Difficulty: Easy, Moderate, and Difficult trail offerings Offers: Hiking, biking, playground, amphitheater, splash pad (summer)
Harrisburg Park has over 2.5 miles of both paved and natural trails to explore for both hiking and biking. The Ball Field Loop is considered easy and is approximately 0.5 miles long, perfect for strolling or letting your kids join you on your walk. If you’re looking for something more difficult, the Harrisburg Extension Loop offers 1.5 miles of trails with some moderate to difficult hills to climb as you venture through the forest and across three creek crossings. In addition, the park offers a large playground, a splash pad in summer, and special events at the amphitheater.
Are you ready to explore the outdoors in Cabarrus County?
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Have you heard about Reed Gold Mine in Midland, NC? The very first gold ever discovered in the United States was at Little Meadow Creek and what would soon become the Reed Gold Mine. Visit Little Meadow Creek, tour the underground gold mine, and try your hand at panning for gold. Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site is an amazing place to visit. Admission is totally free. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your own visit to Reed Gold Mine.