Looking to have fun with your grandchildren while exposing them to some of the Charlotte area’s best local artists? Look no further than Festival in the Park. This free, annual outdoor arts and crafts festival brings together hundreds of artists and entertainers in a family-friendly atmosphere for three days in late September. Held at Charlotte’s Freedom Park, this year’s 53rd Annual Festival in the Park will take place Friday, September 22 through Sunday, September 24. From thrilling magic acts to exciting rides, Festival in the Park provides the perfect setting for spending time with your grandchildren. Here are the festival’s must-do activities for children and adults alike.
Explore Local Artists and Craftspeople
Festival in the Park’s main draw is its almost 200 craftspeople, traditional, and fine artists. Split into two sections – the Lake Walk for traditional arts and crafts and the Artist’s Walk for fine arts and crafts – the festival’s array of artists and exhibits offer something interesting for spectators of all ages. Older grandchildren may enjoy meeting the artists and discussing their techniques and methods, while younger visitors are often drawn to the caricature artists. Want to take home a souvenir? All the artists and craftspeople have their work for sale.
Visit the Festival’s Family Fun Zone and Take a Spin on an Amusement Ride
Even if your grandchildren are too young to appreciate the artistic side of Festival in the Park, this gathering still has plenty to entertain the littlest visitors. The Family Fun Zone is always a huge hit with the youngest festival-goers. A wide variety of carnival-style rides are available, including an old-fashioned merry-go-round and thrilling Ferris wheel. Older children have the options to race each other through an inflatable obstacle course, challenge one another to climb the miniature Mt. Everest, or slide together down the festival’s tall dual slide. Cap off your visit to the Family Fun Zone with a ride on the Freedom Park Locomotive, and be sure to take a turn ringing the bell!
Enjoy the Festival’s Many Live Entertainment Options
The festival’s live entertainment acts are almost as plentiful as its artists. The festival’s Main Stage hosts musical acts in genres ranging from blues and jazz to Americana and zydeco. The Caroline Calouche & Co.’s Dance & Cirque Stage is also likely to thrill, showcasing the aerial artistry of Charlotte’s only aerial dance company. Young children will be delighted by the shows on the Clown Stage; besides highlighting clown hijinks and magic acts, this stage will offer fun games and face painting for the crowd. Youngsters particularly entranced by magic will want to check out the Magician Stage, home to a special magical artist throughout the festival weekend. Lastly, be sure to stop by the Youth Variety Stage with your grandchildren and take in the varied talents of some of the Charlotte area’s talented youth dance groups and musical youngsters.
Let Your Grandchild Tap Into Their Own Creative Side
If viewing the festival’s many artist displays has inspired your grandchildren, take them to the Children’s Art Area, located near the festival’s Clown Stage. An array of wooden easels will be set up, complete with large sheets of artist paper and thick crayons; even the smallest artists will have the chance to create a masterpiece of their own to take home (or send home with you!). In addition, the Master’s Academy Classical Club (MACC) is hosting a project aimed at teaching children about ancient art methods. This year, young festival attendees will have the opportunity to craft a mosaic bookmark using paper tesserae. Best of all: all activities in the Children’s Art Area are completely free.
Savor a Yummy Treat
With all of the festival’s many activities and entertainment options, you and your grandchildren are certain to work up an appetite. Luckily, the list of the festival’s food vendors is almost as long as it is enticing. The treats offered by past year concessionaires have included Auntie Ruth’s famous fresh-made doughnuts, Sugar n’ Spice’s funnel cakes, Formerly McFudge’s range of homemade fudge, and Dippin’ Dots unique ice cream treats. If you’re in the mood for something slightly less sugary, don’t worry; vendors will be on hand offering everything from pizza, chicken wings, and hot dogs to gyros, egg rolls, and crab cakes.
The Cypress of Charlotte
Staying active during one’s golden years is the goal of many retirees. At the Cypress of Charlotte, we aim to foster a fun, country club lifestyle for our residents to allow them to enjoy all that these years have to offer. To learn more about our NC continuing care retirement community or to schedule a tour, please contact us today.