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Uptown Charlotte is the heart of the Queen City, a place where we are better together and life is continually at its fullest. Plan your Uptown adventure at uptowncharlotte.com.

As gas prices rise, a short trip to Uptown can be the perfect way to end your kids’ summer break. Uptown Charlotte has an eclectic mix of art, culture, education and technology — all within close proximity. My daughter and I did it all, and here’s our list to see what’s neat, what’s new and what’s happening in Uptown.

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Explore and shop small at the Uptown Farmers Market

The Uptown Farmers Market was created in spring of 2020 to bring residents and local vendors together. All the vendors hand-make or grow their products, according to volunteer director Sandra-Watson Corby. From bakers to beekeepers, farmers, coffee baristas, juice makers, planters, florists, body-care and candle makers — there are a variety of goods for visitors to choose from, all while listening to live local music.

The Uptown Farmers Market is open 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays at 300 Davidson Street.

Learn while having fun at Discovery Place Science

Discovery Place Science is a sensory playground, with activities for all age groups, like the Kid Science play area, an indoor rainforest and a talking global ecosystem. We stopped at the upper level to work the Tennis Ball Launcher and sit on a bed of nails.

The Unseen Oceans exhibit is at Discovery Place through Sept. 18th. It’s a fascinating sea adventure that uses lights and moving pictures to allow visitors to learn what lies beneath the deep blue sea. You can imagine plankton life forms in action and walk alongside whales. Observe schools of fish bouncing from one side of the seafloor to the next. Play make-believe in the Triton submersible while on a voyage researching sea life forms. Ticket for adults start at $23 and kids at $18, but you can save $5 if you buy online.

Cool off at Day & Night Cereal Bar

Located in Brevard Court, Day & Night Cereal Bar is for the ’80s & ’90s babies who reminisce eating cereal before school (and sometimes after too). The Black-owned cereal bar makes cereal bowls and shakes. There are endless combinations, but these are my recommendations

  • Homer Simpson — Honey Nut Cheerios, Hershey Kisses cereal with chocolate donut sprinkle
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air — Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes
  • Strawberry Shortcake — cold stone strawberry blonde cereal, hostess honey bun cereal with graham cracker crust and strawberry drizzle.

Expand your horizons at ImaginOn

photo via ImaginOn website

Find the best selections of books for children and teens at the ImaginOn children’s library. Every day there is story time for younger children as well as other activities around the center. Upstairs is the teen floor that houses YA adult fiction, graphic novels, magazines and novels in verse. After finding your summer read, take a ride on the 7th Street light rail to other parts of the city.

Eat good (and Black-owned) at The Market at 7th Street

Stop for coffee, juice, popcorn or a full meal from one of the stalls in The Market at 7th Street. Our favorite was Mad Dash Kitchen, one of the newest vendors. This Black-owned restaurant offers craft sandwiches like the crispy chicken sandwich, wings, tacos and other comfort favorites.

Take a stroll through Romare Bearden Park

Smack in the center of Uptown, this urban oasis offers lush green areas with paved walking areas, trees that provide shade, artistic sculptures and benches great for enjoying the cityscape. What a great way to end your day in Uptown. There’s a spray garden and a multi-level fountain perfect for hot days. Don’t miss nighttime fireworks displays from Truist Field after Friday night Charlotte Knights baseball games.

Uptown is the perfect place for a family-friendly adventure year-round. Find inspiring arts and culture, sweet treats, and activities for kids and kids-at-heart anytime at uptowncharlotte.com.

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