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I regularly get emails from people looking to move to the Charlotte area or that already live in town and are looking for fun things to do. Though I’m far from an official tour guide, I’ve done my fair share of bouncing around parks and playgrounds on the north side of Charlotte’s Lake Norman area, which is comprised of several towns including Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville, Denver and Troutman. Still, when I met up with my friend, Amy, for a play date yesterday I was introduced to yet another awesome little park that was completely new to me.
What made The Tot Lot in Davidson such a great place to meet, play and picnic?
Well, let’s start with the fact that it is completely fenced in. You wouldn’t believe how rare (but wonderful) that is. It features two large (fairly clean) sandboxes that are shaded and full of toys.
Speaking of toys, there is a trike track that goes around the really adorable hill in the center of the lot and multiple ride-on toys, big wheels, push carts, etc call the park home and are available for anyone to use.
Plus, there is a good mix of shade and sun, clean picnic tables and an adorable tunnel through the center hill.
I felt prepared with my cooler packed full of fruits, cheese, veggies and cottage cheese, but go figure, I forgot crackers. Luckily there is a CVS just down the street and through my partnership with them I’ve learned more about their healthy Gold Emblem Abound products they carry, which is perfect for a quick jump in/jump out stop to complete our picnic.
I even could grab plasticware, which was helpful since someone prefers to eat her hummus like soup.
I was relieved that I remembered wipes and extra plastic bags (no small feat when you are packing the car for a full day away from home), which made the picnic a fairly organized affair.
Still, a fantastic morning of playing and picnicking.
Since I often get asked for local recommendations, I wanted to share a few of my favorite parks and playgrounds (that are completely free to visit and play!) in the area in case you too are looking for a fun park picnic before school gets back in full swing!
Jetton Park (Cornelius)
large, shaded play area for kids and a shaded trail that goes by the lake, bathrooms
Robbins Park (Cornelius)
plastic mulch playground in the shape of a giant tree, trails, bathrooms
Cornelius Road Park (Mooresville)
tons of room to run, multiple fields, two well-equipped playgrounds, bathrooms
Roosevelt Wilson Park (Davidson)
path around a small lake, bathrooms, good play equipment
Dan Nicholas Park (Salisbury)
lake, trails, park with carousel, mini golf and more (some small fees apply)
Energy Explorium and Nature Trail (Huntersville)
nature trails round the lake, hands on exhibits about energy
Lake Norman State Park (Troutman)
multiple trails, kid-centered scavenger hunt lists, swim area
Mazeppa Road Park (Mooresville)
shaded play equipment, multiple fields, bathrooms
Birkdale Fountains (Huntersville)
fenced in, shaded benches, stores/food nearby
Ramsey Creek (Cornelius)
nature trails by lake, shaded playground, bathooms
Locals- do you have any favorite parks not listed that I need to check out?
Parents, what makes for a great park in your opinion?
My favorite features for a park to have include clean bathrooms, fenced in playground, nature trails, shade, swings and they get a big ‘ol bonus if there is a little coffee shop nearby- ha! Love Summit Coffee near the farmers market in Davidson.
Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy for the Back to School Healthy Essentials campaign. I am being sponsored by CVS/pharmacy for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.