Family Field Trip: Plaza Midwood

Plaza Midwood has a funky urban feel that kids and parents will love.
Plaza Midwood has a funky urban feel that kids and parents will love.

I was recently asked about our city by someone consider moving to Charlotte. And although I had tons to tell her about my own neighborhood in the Queen City, I was stumped when she asked about other parts of town. Charlotte is a great place to live, but if you’re anything like me, you have a 5-mile loop that has basically everything you need.

But guess what? Charlotte’s a BIG place with lots of cool little areas for moms, dads and kids. This summer we want you to bust out of your loop and explore other parts of our city (see our recent Family Bucket List) so we’re giving you a weekly guide to a new part of town with all the details on where to go, what to do, and how to spend a summer day getting to know Charlotte.

This week: Plaza Midwood

Not knowing anything about this neighborhood just one mile northeast of Uptown, I did what any mom would do...I called another mom. Emily Zarbatany was happy to share the details on her part of the Queen City and was enthusiastic about it, letting me know, “As one of Charlotte’s 4 historic neighborhoods, the old homes, giant oak trees and cracked pavements make it an interesting place to explore.” In addition to being family-friendly, it’s also very walkable. Here are the spots Zarbatany recommended that we check out:

Park: Midwood Park (2100 Wilhelmina Avenue - Click here for park map)

A great play structure for bigger kids is surrounded by lots of trees for shade and adjacent to the equally fun 2 & under playset.

Tucked in a neighborhood, this park features a basketball court, tennis courts, walking trails, picnic tables and shelter, bathrooms and 2 great play structures - one for little kids and one for big kids. Added bonus, one of Charlotte’s Little Free Library is housed in the park - bring a book, take a book, enjoy!

Kid-Friendly Restaurant: Pizza Peel (1600 Central Avenue -

In addition to delicious pizza, Pizza Peel offers a fun lawn for disc golf and running around.

Pizza and just can’t go wrong! Even better is the location with outdoor seating and a turf area with disc golf, perfect for kids to play while waiting for grown ups to finish eating. The menu isn’t limited to pizza - lots of options (salads, tacos, sandwiches, and pastas) including a kids’ menu. And the brownie was so good we had to get 2!

Sweet Treat: Dairy Queen (1431 Central Avenue)

This old school Dairy Queen has a walk-up window for ordering.

The DQ on the corner of Central and Pecan reminded me of childhood summer walk up to the window to order your Blizzard and then have the perfect spot to people watch and enjoy the buzz of the area.

What to Do: My kids are so accustomed to “doing” that they really just enjoyed walking around and absorbing the energy of the neighborhood. Plaza Midwood has a very walkable commercial area around Commonwealth, Pecan, Thomas, and The Plaza, and fun funky shopping. There were lots of people out walking dogs, pushing strollers and wandering about so people-watching was a lot of fun.

Special Notes: Yes, Plaza Midwood is a fun place to take the kids, but it’s also a great place to head for a date night. You can catch the sun setting over Uptown from the Peculiar Rabbit rooftop, enjoy an intimate dinner at Sole or Bistro La Bon, then cap it off at the Workman's Friend Irish pub, the Whiskey Warehouse rooftop, or the Common Market wine bar.

The Peculiar Rabbit is just one of the many great date-night spots you’ll find in Plaza Midwood.