The annual Carolina Alpaca Celebration in Concord, NC is the perfect thing to do with kids from Charlotte!
It only took one pat and our entire family was googling what it takes to start an alpaca farm!
Have you ever pet a real live alpaca?? I would never have imagined how plush and velvety soft these adorable creatures are!
We spent the morning at the annual Carolina Alpaca Celebration in Concord, NC where we all completely fell in love with alpacas.
Alpaca farmers from all over the south gather to show their alpacas and alpaca fiber products in a shopping gallery. It is free and open to the public and was quite possibly one of our all-time favorite things we've done locally with the kids.
Check out the video of my girls feeding the live alpacas here:
Planning a day at the Carolina Alpaca Celebration with kids:
The 2020 alpaca show runs from February 15 - 16th, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The Cabarrus Arena and Events Center
4751 US Highway 49 North
Concord, NC 28025
This was about a 40-minute drive from South Charlotte but absolutely worth the trip.
The alpaca celebration is FREE and open to the public.
What to know before you bring the kids:
There are large alpaca etiquette signs posted at the entrance of the celebration. Take a minute to stop before going in and read the signs with your kids.
The most important things to know before your kids touch the alpacas are:
- ASK the handlers first!: Before you try to touch an alpaca, be sure to ask the handler. Some of the animals will be walking the halls on their way to the show ring. There will be plenty of chances to pet an alpaca, don't rush the first one you see.
- Check out the Touch Zone chart: Alpacas do not like to be pet on their heads or rumps. The necks and backs are the right place to gently pat.
- Do alpacas bite?: They actually can't bite! They only have teeth on the bottoms of their jaws. Your kids can safely feed the alpacas but only with food the handlers provide and supervise.
What to bring when you visit the alpacas with kids:
- Your camera!: Some of the alpaca handlers will allow you to take selfies with alpacas at their pens.
- Strollers: The event isn't too large for kids to handle, but if your little one needs a stroller it is very accessible.
- Food & Drink: There is a concession stand inside the event if you need food or beverages. We stayed about 2 hours total and just got lunch at a restaurant after.
- Hand wipes or sanitizer: The alpacas will take food right from your fingers and give you kisses. You may want to wipe down the kids' hands before you can get to a bathroom to wash up.
Why is this event so fun for your family?
Um, does it actually have to be said?? THE ALPACAS. omg. They are just the cutest. With the crazy alpaca / llama trend going on, exposing your kids to the actual live creatures is a total thrill!
Today as a family, we learned:
- Alpacas are super sweet and have different personalities just like people do.
- Alpacas only grow to around 150 pounds while llamas can grow to 400 pounds!
- Alpaca fur is one of the softest things you'll ever touch. We were shocked to discover how fluffy and plush they are.
- Alpacas have the best names, be sure to ask each handler to introduce you. Our favorite buddy was named Levi and the girls wanted to go back to see him again before leaving.
- Alpaca babies like to hide behind bigger animals and poke their heads up from the crowd.
- Alpacas are sustainable creatures -- they only graze on grass, not rip it up by the roots like goats do.
- Alpaca farmers are super passionate about their animals. You and the kids will have so much fun asking questions about how old the alpacas are, what their personalities are like, how long they've been farming, and where they came from. Be prepared to do a lot of chatting.
The only part that wasn't fun for us was leaving the alpacas there and not bundling up a few of them for the ride home! Ha!