• Reed's Gold Mine
When: April to October hours are Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.
Where: 9621 Reed Mine Road, Stanfield. For more info, call 704-721-4653.
Check out: Get your hands dirty playing with pretty rocks at this historic site 28 miles east of Charlotte.
• Lazy 5 Ranch
When: Monday through Sunday from 9am to one hour before sunset; Sunday from 1pm to one hour before sunset.
Where: 15100 Hwy 150 East in Mooresville. For more info, call 704-663-5100 or go to www.lazy5ranch.com.
Check out: Want to see zebras, giraffes and hippos but don't want to drive all the way to the NC Zoo in Asheboro? This drive-through zoo features a 3.5-mile safari. Yeah, it's kind o' weird, but you touch the animals, by gosh.