Got a kid who loves cars and looking for activities to do around North and South Carolina? Because we’re located in an area where there are many car lovers, there are plenty of things to do and see. From museums to events to drag ways and speedways, your little car enthusiast will have so much oohing and aahing over classic cars, concept cars, race cars, and so much more. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the best things to do across the Carolinas for the kid who loves cars.
The BMW Zentrum Museum in Greer is a one-of-a-kind experience for any car enthusiast. Visitors get to experience BMW from its beginnings in aviation and motorsports to where it is now on a global scale. You’ll see BMW’s milestones, rare vehicles from the past such as the famous Isetta “Bubblecar”, and restored classics. You’ll also be able to explore current BMW vehicles through modern-day exhibits and displays. For safety purposes, vehicle doors remain locked in the museum. The museum itself is self-guided, but you can book guided tours of the plant and factory if you prefer that.
BMW Zentrum Museum Visit Details:
- Hours: Monday – Friday from 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
- Museum, Plant, and Factory close during major holidays. Please refer to the BMW Zentrum website for details.
- Cost: Free
- Groups in the same family are limited to 10 or less people.
- Social Distancing and limited guest capacity are enforced.
- Masks are optional.
- The Isetta Café is open and operating at full-service.
1400 Highway 101 S, Greer
Cars and Coffee Greenville
Cars and Coffee is an Upstate SC gathering for car enthusiasts that takes place on the 4th Saturday of each month. Visitors have the opportunity to see sports cars, exotic cars, classic cars, and more. The gathering takes place in a Michelin parking lot, so the Michelin cafeteria is open for visitors to grab a coffee and various pastries.
Cars and Coffee Details:
- When: Every 4th Saturday of the month
- Hours: 8:00 am – 11:00 am
- Cost: Free
298 North America Way, Greenville
Read our review of Cars and Coffee.
Things to See at Cars & Coffee
More Car Shows
Local car groups and organizations frequently organize car shows at local venues. They are often free and sometimes include other fun things to do like trunk or treats at Halloween or benefit charities, like toy drives around Christmas.
To find car shows near you, check online and on Facebook. In Upstate, SC, you’ll find a list of some of the upcoming car shows at Upstate Car Shows.
The Greer Dragway, established in 1957, features a 1/8th mile concrete and asphalt strip and has Grudge Racing every Thursday and Bracket Racing every Saturday. There’s a weather radar, a concession stand, and clean restrooms on the premises.
1792 Dragway Road, Greer
Located in Easley, the Greenville-Pickens Speedway features a half-mile of asphalt to give your entire family an experience they won’t forget. The track hosts weekly NASCAR-sanctioned races, which is bound to give any car enthusiast starry-eyes. In addition to racing, the Speedway offers events throughout the year, including the Upstate Holiday Lights Show.
Greenville-Pickens Speedway Visit Details:
- Cost: Visit The Greenville-Pickens Speedway website for upcoming races and tickets.
800 Calhoun Memorial Hwy, Easley
The Charlotte Motor Speedway, located in Concord, NC, is a motorsport complex featuring a 1.5 mile quad oval track that hosts NASCAR racing. Events include the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend, The Bank of America Roval 400 in October, and more. Ticket prices range from event to event, so it’s best to see the Charlotte Motor Speedway website for ticket details.
5555 Concord Pkwy S, Concord
There’s more to explore in Cabarrus County.
Affectionately known as “The Bellagio of Race Tracks,” the zMAX Dragway in Concord, NC is a venue at Charlotte Motor Speedway featuring the world’s first 4-lane drag strip for NHRA races and other events. Ticket prices range from event to event, so it’s best to see the Charlotte Motor Speedway website for ticket details.
Here’s our review of zMAX Dragway.
6570 Bruton Smith Blvd, Concord, NC
AutoBarn Classic Cars is a 60,000-square-foot indoor showroom located at the Gibson Mill community gathering spot in Concord. It’s just a 10-minute drive away from Charlotte Motor Speedway and is a great place to browse classic and concept cars. And for an added bonus, race cars and classic memorabilia are up for sale.
325 McGill Ave NW, Concord, NC
Morrison Motor Car Musem is full of sports and muscle cars. There are more than 50 cars featured in this exhibit, all from the past century. There’s also a gift shop and opportunities to buy a collector car such as a Mustang or Camaro on the property’s lot.
Morrison Motor Car Museum Details:
- Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:30 am – 4 pm // Saturday 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
- Ticket Cost: General Admission $8 // Seniors and Children under age 5 $6
4545 Concord Parkway South, Concord, NC
This showroom carries an impressive collection of street classics. Guests can view street rods, muscle cars, vintage cars, and more. The 70,000-square-foot showroom has over 300 classic cars that are up for sale.
Streetside Classics Visit Details:
- Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9 am – 6 pm // Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
800 Derita Road Suite A, Concord, NC
The perfect place for Mustang lovers! Mustangs grace the museum’s displays, with various modified vehicles displayed throughout the year. The museum also hosts car shows and cruise events like the “Best of the Best Car Show’ and the “Mustang Chili & Cornbread Cook-Off.”
Mustang Owner’s Museum Visit Details:
- Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm // Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm *Closed major holidays
- Ticket Cost: Adults $10 // Children 12 & under Free
4005 Dearborn Place NW, Concord, NC
Dale Earnhardt’s No. 2 car can be seen at Curb Motorsports Museum! The Curb Museum features a collection of NASCAR and Indy cars. The museum also holds cars that wrote pages in the motorsport history book including the car that Dale Earnhardt drove when he won his first Winston Cup Championship.
600 Dale Earnhardt Boulevard, Kannapolis, NC
There more to explore in Kannapolis, NC.
The NC Transportation Museum, located in the former Southern Railway’s Spencer Shops, is a transportation lover’s dream. The museum features history about all types of transportation: railroads, automotives, aviation, and more. Visitors will see the Barber Junction Depot (a train station built in 1898), the Bob Julian Roundhouse (the largest remaining roundhouse in North America featuring locomotives, passenger railcars, and a replica of the Wright Flyer), and so much more. The museum offers several seasonal and holiday events, including The Polar Express Train Ride.
NC Transportation Museum Details:
- Museum Hours:
- Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
- Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm
- Beginning November 11, museum hours change to accommodate The Polar Express Train Rides. Please refer to the museum’s website for details.
- Train Hours:
- Regular museum train rides do not operate November 7 – December 26 for The Polar Express Train Rides..
- Please refer to the museum’s website for details.
- Museum Visit Tickets: Adults: $6 // Seniors and Military: $5 // Children 3-12: $4 // Members and Children Under 3: FREE
- Museum Visit + Train Ride Tickets: Adults: $12 // Seniors and Military: $10 // Children 3-12: $8 // Members and Children Under 3: FREE
1 Samuel Spencer Drive, Spencer, NC
Did we miss any other car-related activities to do around the Carolinas? Tell us below.