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Fun At the Lazy 5 Ranch |Family Things To Do In Charlotte

September 6th, 2008 Listed Under: Things To Do Charlotte

Bring your camera, but leave the zoom lens at home!

If your kids would like hand feeding a giraffe and would laugh hysterically at the site of a zebra leaning its back end against the front end of your car, then you should road trip to Lazy 5 Ranch, located near Mooresville in Rowan County. This is one of the local attractions that you have to visit at least once because: (1) Many people in and out of the area know about it, and (2) It’s so unique.


First some historical background: Lazy 5 is a private ranch, owned and operated by the Hampton family. Mr. Henry Hampton is known across the country for his handling of exotic animals. He’s had a passion for exotics for over 35 years, and his ranch is now home to over 750 exotic creatures representing 6 continents. No where else in the southeast region of the country will you see giraffes, zebras, camels, rhinos, deer, emus, and more in one 3 1/2 mile safari ride.


“So what’s so special about a zoo in Rowan County?” you ask. Nothing. But this isn’t a zoo. Bring your camera, but leave the zoom lens at home. Because whether you choose to remain in your vehicle for the safari ride or purchase a ticket for the horse-drawn wagon ride, you’re going to get up close and personal with these animals. You’ll have the opportunity to purchase buckets of food for the animals, and believe me, the furry and feathered residents will be anticipating some grub.


Because the wagon ride was sold out, the kids and I took to the road in our car, feed buckets in hand. I still recall my son’s wide-eyed grin when an emu strolled right up to his side of the car, looking for handouts. Recall the rear end view of a zebra I talked about earlier? Yes, that was us. Fyi, zebras don’t respond in a hurry to a car horn. In fact, they don’t respond at all, but rather just look at you kind of funny.


Okay, so to enjoy Lazy 5 it obviously helps if you like animals. But if your kids want to see unique animals, and you don’t want to drive to Asheboro, NC (North Carolina Zoo) or Columbia, SC (Riverbanks Zoo), Lazy 5 Ranch is a close drive and a fun experience for all. Pack a lunch and check out the black smith shop, playground, horse barn, and more.


Helpful hints before you go:

Hours: Monday – Saturday 9 am until one hour before sunset; Sunday 1 pm until one hour before sunset

Admission: Adults ($8.50, add $5.00 for wagon ride); Children ages 2-11 and senior adults ($5.50, add $3.00 for wagon ride)

*no debit/credit cards*


It is a strong buyers market here in the greater Charlotte area, in the Palisades as well, for new homes and re-sales. Custom homes start in the Palisades from the 700’s and there are a couple of great values in the mid 1.5M range. Thinking about buying a home in Lake Wylie? Lake Norman? Or Charlotte? You can quickly compare area prices with the links below, or just give me, Terry, a call at 704-351-1519. I am a Charlotte broker specializing in relocations and 2nd homes–and will represent only to the palisades from uptown charlotte

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Terry McDonald
I'm the owner/team leader of The McDonald Group at Wilkinson and Associates ERA Powered real estate brokers here in Charlotte NC. A transplanted Washinghtonian, my family and I came from the NYC area in 1993.
Terry McDonald
Terry McDonald

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  1. Karrie Suddath

    Cool report and very good page layout just tweeted it Thanks for sharing

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