parksplaygroundOn Friday, Shannon shared some her family’s favorite parks in South Charlotte; today, I will share some of our favorite parks in central Charlotte. There’s nothing better than spending a morning or afternoon at a fun park, especially when we plan to meet up with friends. Socializing, being outside, and running around equals a win for all of us!

In no particular order, these are our favorite parks nearby:

 

Colonial Park
219 Providence RoadColonial Park

This park is a great little gem. Tucked between Providence and Randolph Roads near Presbyterian Hospital, it would be easy to miss if you didn’t know it was there. It’s small, at only 2.4 acres, but there is a large grassy area for impromptu tag or soccer games and picnics, a basketball court, tennis courts, and a playground area with two play structures – one for preschoolers and one for bigger kids – and six swings.  There’s good tree cover over the playground area, while the field receives a good bit of sun.

The drawbacks to this park are the parking (on-street/neighborhood parking) and the fact that it can get crowded quickly during peak times. Oh, and there are no nearby bathrooms.

Midwood ParkMidwood Park
2100 Wilhelmina Avenue

This quiet neighborhood park is situated on six acres in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood neighborhood. There are tennis courts and a full court basketball court, along with a multi-purpose field and two playground units with swings. There’s a shelter with grill (which can be reserved for parties), a community garden and an outdoor amphitheater. And there are bathrooms! The park is shaded most of the day.

The most noticeable con for Midwood Park is that there are only four swings.

Latta Park

Latta Park
601 East Park Avenue

Latta Park is a 32-acre park located in the heart of Dilworth. It is easy to access from East Boulevard, South Boulevard and Morehead Street. There are basketball, tennis and volleyball courts in addition to two soccer fields, two multi-purpose fields, and a playground. There is a large reservable picnic shelter with electricity and restrooms. But perhaps the most popular feature of the park is the sprayground.

This park, particularly the sprayground during summer months, is often crowded. The sprayground is not shaded, although the playground does have a good amount of tree cover.

 

Veterans ParkVeterans Park
2136 Central Avenue

This 19-acre park can be found on Central Avenue only a few minutes from uptown. The playground is great for smaller children. There is a basketball court, a baseball field and six tennis courts. There are two outdoor shelters, one indoor shelter and restrooms. While the park is often busy with organized and impromptu games and playdates, the large covered sprayground is definitely the highlight of the park for children of all ages.

With so many nearby parks with open green space, we do wish Veterans Park had more grassy areas. Also, while there is a large parking lot, when the park is crowded, there isn’t a good spot for overflow parking.

Independence Park
300 Hawthorne LaneIndependence Park

Independence Park feels much larger than its 19-acres, thanks to its sprawling design that straddles Hawthorne Lane. There are well-marked walking paths, many green spaces, and several shelters. In the late spring, be sure to visit the rose garden! There is a large playground area, basketball courts, tennis courts, a volleyball court and a baseball field which is often used for youth leagues.

The playground serves Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School, so it can be quite crowded on school days, making it hard to find a parking place and a swing.

Freedom ParkFreedom Park
1900 East Boulevard

No list of Charlotte parks would be complete with Freedom Park. I grew up going to Freedom Park and I love to take my daughter here. It is a large park, covering 98-acres between East Boulevard and Princeton Avenue in Charlotte’s Dilworth and Meyers Park neighborhoods. There are baseball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts and volleyball courts. There is a large playground on the East Boulevard side with a sandbox, many swings and an old train engine to explore. There is also a lot of green space for lounging and picnics. There is a fenced playground with a parking lot on the Princeton Avenue side of the park that is great for younger children. There are bathrooms on both sides of the park. The highlight of Freedom Park, however, is the 7-acre lake. On any given day, you will find many people, adults and children alike, walking, biking, roller skating and scooter-ing around the lake.

Freedom Park connects to the Little Sugar Creek Greenway, making it a great walkable park from many parts of the city.

This size of the park and the fact that there is so much open space can make it tough for a mama to keep up with children who want to do different things.