Posted by: Lisa | August 11, 2010

Dan Nicholas Park = Great Family Day

One Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago Jon & I planned to take Jacob to the YMCA outdoor waterpark.  Mother Nature had other ideas & decided that day would be the only day in 3 months to dip to near-freezing temps.  Ok, so maybe 75 isn’t freezing, but it felt like it after the summer we’ve had.  Anyway, as we tried to think of something fun to do I remembered a former colleague telling me about a park where her students went for a field trip.  Knowing my former principal, I knew this must be some park if she was willing to let the kids miss a full day of classroom academics & ride a bus for two hours to go play on a playground.  I did a last-minute search for the park online, browsed the website, grabbed my camera, & informed my family of our amended plans for the day.

For those of you in the Charlotte vicinity, this park is the Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury, NC.  It took over an hour to get there from south Charlotte & I won’t be making this a weekly occurrence, but it was well worth the drive for an occasional excursion.  It’s a regular park, as in, lots of trees, grass, & picnic tables.  But it also has a big lake where you can fish & ride paddle boats, including some shaped like animals, & a carousel complete with a variety of animals, lights, & music.  There’s a petting barn (Jacob enjoyed the pig, who was sleeping/dreaming/snorting all at the same time) & a train you can ride through the woods for a few minutes.  There’s a splashground, although it was closed for maintenance the day we visited.  There’s a gem mine & a mini golf course (we skipped those, though, because of Jacob’s age).  To top it off this park had the biggest playground I’ve ever seen – dozens and dozens of pieces of play equipment.  At the end of our day we enjoyed some Dippin’ Dots ice cream & a brief stroll along a nature trail.

Our grand total for a train ride, visit to the petting barn, two rides on the carousel, a paddle boat ride, & ice cream?  $18.50.   We spent $2 per person, per hour, for great family memories.

Dan Nicholas Park
www.dannicholas.net or www.dannicholaspark.org

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