25 ideas for FUN Family Activities in Charlotte, NC

Updated: Jul 17



Does the thought of your next family photo session give you heart palpitations? I get it. It's a lot. Coordinating outfits, getting everyone dressed and ready on time, worrying whether the kids will behave, worrying whether your hubby will behave...


If family photo sessions seem like a huge chore and one that you dread every year, I encourage you to make a mind shift. It's a small, but significant one. Here it is:


Instead of scheduling a photo session, schedule a fun family activity that a photographer just happens to be present for!


Personally for me, as a photographer, my goal in every session is to capture real, candid, and natural interactions among family members. Often times, this can be hard for families. Having a camera pointed at your face and being on the spot is a lot of pressure for most people... Where should you stand? Should you smile or not smile? Where do you put your hands? Are you walking funny? Why did you suddenly forget how to walk normally?


BUT if you are engaged in an activity that is fun for the whole family, suddenly the pressure is off. Your family is just doing their thing and a photographer happens to be there capturing all those candid, interactive moments that are happening while you are having fun.


For this reason, I've created a list of activity ideas you could include in your next family photo session to help avoid all the pressure and stress! Some of them are generic, some are home-based, and some are specific to Charlotte, NC. Here they go...


  1. make pizzas together

  2. go strawberry picking

  3. explore the botanical gardens at UNCC

  4. ride the light rail to NODA and explore the murals

  5. take a walk around Plaza Midwood and eat some pizza

  6. get ice cream at Jeni's Ice Cream

  7. walk the Rail Trail

  8. go to Carowinds

  9. pick flowers at Gold Hill Flower Co

  10. have a picnic on the grounds of the Mint Museum

  11. visit Old Meck Brewery

  12. shop for plants and flowers at a local green house and plant them in pots

  13. walk/ride the Greenway

  14. play a family game of basketball or soccer

  15. play outdoor games (corn hole, bocce ball)

  16. have a board game night

  17. bake cookies

  18. make pancakes

  19. go swimming at you neighborhood pool

  20. weed/pick vegetables from your garden

  21. jump on the bed and have a pillow fight

  22. play on the beachside lake and walk the trails at Jetton Park

  23. play on a slip and slide and/or run through a sprinkler

  24. play piano/guitar and sing together

  25. make ice cream sundaes

Ok, so obviously not everything on this list is going to work for everyone and some are seasonal dependent or dependent on the ages of your children. But the key is to find an activity that your family enjoys and that brings out the best in everyone. Once you've done that, the pictures are super easy, fun, and turn out amazing!





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Charlotte, NC      |     anna@annamesenphotography.com