• Best places to beat the heat

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    When the temperature rises, you don’t have to stay cooped up at home to hide from the heat and humidity. Here are 10 awesome places where you can beat the heat and have fun in Charlotte:  

    Victory Lane Karting – There's more than meets the eye here. Not only can you satisfy your need for speed on the go-kart track but there’s also a bowling alley and restaurant. 2330 Tipton Drive. website

    >> WATCH: Racing into Victory Lane

    10 Park Lanes – Sure, you can show off your bowling skills, but you can also enjoy gourmet food at this joint, which also has arcade games. 1700 Montford Drive. website

    Ray’s Splash Planet – This “planet” is really out of this world! It has waterslides, including one that’s three stories tall, a lazy river and all sorts of fun things that'll help get you soaked. 215 N. Sycamore St. website      

    Discovery Place Science – Catch an IMAX movie, stroll through an exotic rainforest on a swinging bridge or chill out with the resident physicist at the “Sub-Zero” live show. 301 North Tryon St. website

    Sky High Sports – What could be more fun than trampoline dodge ball? In addition to trampolines, there’s a ropes course, laser tag and a foam pit, plus a craft beer and wine bar that's open on weekends. 601 N. Polk St., Pineville. website

    >> Where to find weekend fun in the Queen City

    Sea Life Aquarium – Dive under the sea and come nose to nose with thousands of creatures, including sharks, stingrays and sea turtles. There’s also an interactive touch pool if you feel like touching a sea star, crab or urchin. Concord Mills Mall, 8111 Concord Mills Blvd., Entrance 7. website

    The Mint Museum – No matter which location you visit, you’ll be inspired by the collections and exhibits on display. 500 South Tryon St. and 2730 Randolph Road. website   

    Inner Peaks – No matter what your experience level is or what the weather outside is doing, you can go rock climbing at your choice of two locations. 9535 Monroe Road or 2220 S. Tryon St. website

    >> WATCH: Soaring to new heights at Inner Peaks

    NASCAR Hall of Fame – This may be the only museum that requires a seat belt! Test your driving skills on a racing simulator or see how fast you can perform a pit stop. This high-tech hall is designed to entertain and educate race fans and nonfans alike. 400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. website

    Frankie’s Fun Park – Check out Frankie’s newest location in Huntersville, where you can romp around the Fun House that’s part obstacle course and part playground, ride bumper cars, play laser tag and take a plunge on the Drop Zone. There are also 24 bowling lanes and a huge arcade. 10621 Bryton Corporate Center Drive. website

    Now, if you want to brave the outdoors, here are a few places where you can keep cool:

    Carolina Harbor Waterpark at Carowinds – This massive waterpark features everything from giant water slides and wave pools to large play structures and a 3-acre kids’ area. website

    Ramsey Creek Beach – This public beach covers over 40 acres on Lake Norman. Additional features include a fishing pier, picnic shelters, volleyball court, playground, dog park and 1.5 miles of walking/nature trails. website

    The Quarry at Carrigan Farms – You won’t believe the blue water, white sandy beach and gray granite cliffs at this natural, spring-fed oasis in Mooresville. The farm hosts open swim dates throughout the summer. website     

    Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Spraygrounds – Escape the heat by cooling off at one of the county’s spraygrounds, which can be found at several parks, including Romare Bearden and First Ward in uptown. website     

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