45 of the Hottest Things to Do This Spring
From parks to new art exhibits to live music, spring brings much to experience in the Queen City.
by Jamie Killian Mar 01, 2023
Camp North End
This article is brought to you by Camp North End.
Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and the city is coming alive with plenty to explore all around the Queen City. Check out some of the 23 things to do in 2023 for the spring months and tap into these fun ideas to enjoy as the days get brighter and Charlotte starts heating up.
1. Spend the day enjoying the outdoors at Camp North End. Explore 12 food and drink spots, 11 shops and art collectives, and 50+ murals during peak patio season. Enjoy weekly programming starting with the Tuesday meet up at YVY for the Mad Miles Run Club and on Wednesdays peruse the North End Farmers Market featuring fresh produce and artisanal goods. Then, kick off the weekend with Friday night live music, showcasing local and touring musicians, and spend Saturday mornings with the whole family for kids’ arts and craft workshops, kid’s music time, cultural festivals, and more across all 76 acres.
2. Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds is a special exhibit featured at the Mint Museum through May 21. This ticketed event includes 40 works spanning Picasso’s career and will coincide with the 50th anniversary of his death on April 8.
3. Taste your way around the city with SAVOR Charlotte, a culinary experience featuring classes, cocktails and dinner events at some of the Queen City’s favorite purveyors. When: March 8-22.
4. Celebrate the holidays of the season. In celebration of Purim, Chabad of Charlotte will host a Megillah reading, activities for kids and a dinner on March 17. On April 1, Wing Haven will host a naturalist egg hunt for kids to create binoculars to search for bird eggs and Indian Trail Parks and Rec will host a traditional Easter Egg Hunt.
5. Head to Hot Glass Alley to see artists create incredible glass pieces during open demos on March 17 or April 21.
7. See a film on the big screen. Stop in Visart Video for cult classics or indie screenings at The Independent Picture House. Get nostalgic at Camp North End with their Friday night Be Kind, Rewind: 90s movies series. Bring your own chair or blanket and settle in for a blast to the past during this free indoor movie series, running through the end of March. Catch sensory-friendly movies at AMC 22 the second and fourth Saturday and Wednesday.
8. The flowers won’t be the only pink in Uptown this Spring. Legally Blonde: The Musical will also be splashing the hue at Ovens Auditorium during performances March 24-26. If you’re looking for something a little darker, grab tickets for Beetlejuice, running March 28-April 2 at Belk Theater.
9. Test your wits with Mindless Minutia Trivia, host to various trivia events each night of the week, all across the city. Think you’ve got what it takes to take home the crown? HopFly Brewing Company hosts the championship trivia event. When: March 26.
10. Celebrate art all over the city by attending various events as part of Charlotte SHOUT! from March 31-April 16. The festival focuses on art, music, food and ideas. Exhibitions and performances are centered in Uptown with events found throughout the city.
11. Have a ball at a Charlotte Knights game. Kicking off March 31, the Uptown views at a springtime baseball game can’t be beat. Get tickets for the Thirsty Thursday games to enjoy drink specials, like $1 sodas, $3 domestics and $5 craft beers. Cheer Charlotte FC (MLS) during the second season of Charlotte’s newest major league team from Bank of America Stadium or one of the many hosts of Mint City Collective.
13. Get sneaky at Discovery Place via their latest exhibit, Top Secret: License to Spy, which runs through April 16. Looking for something after-hours? Head to Science on the Rocks, a monthly, adults-only event that allows patrons to explore the museum kid-free – and with cocktails.
15. Celebrate Mother Earth at Charlotte’s Earth Day Celebration on April 15 at First Ward Park. Events will include a drum circle, sing-a-longs, keynote speakers, kid’s activities and food trucks. Keep the party going at Anne Springs Close Greenway’s annual Earth Day Celebration April 21-23 with kayaking, guided hikes and more.
16. Get your fill of barbecue, music and beer at the 2023 Moo, Brew & Que Festival held at the Avidxchange Music Factory festival grounds April 16-17. This two-day event will feature more than 25 breweries and will be headlined by country music star Chris Lane. Looking for more ‘que? Head to the Carolina BBQ Festival on May 7 at Camp North End or to Ballantyne’s Backyard for Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ on May 20. For lovers of fine wine, celebrate Charlotte’s culinary scene with the 35th annual Charlotte Wine & Food Week April 18-23 with events like the walk-around Grand Tasting featuring 100+ curated wines paired with tastings from Charlotte-area restaurants.
17. Bask in the great outdoors at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Grab a day pass to enjoy rafting, flat water activities, biking and climbing or sign up to race as a part of Tuck Fest, the annual three-day festival of outdoor competitions, music and demos. When: April 21-23.
20. Get in a good laugh at a comedy show. Miranda Sings, Jo Koy, Sarah Silverman and John Crist will all appear at Ovens Auditorium, and the Straight Jokes! No Chaser Tour comes to Spectrum Arena on April 21.
21. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo throughout the Queen City. Noda Company Canteen will host a Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Camp North End on May 5 for live music, traditional food, Mariachi bands and dancing at the Boileryard. Crawl your way through South End at the Official Cinco de Mayo Bar Crawl on the evening of May 5 or take the kids to Cool Kids Clubhouse in Huntersville for food and family fun.
23. Rev up your engines for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on May 28. Get the festivities going with a pre-race concert performed by The Doobie Brothers and stop in the NASCAR Hall of Fame to celebrate NASCAR’s 75th Anniversary with artifacts and interactive exhibits.
24. The Charlotte culinary scene is exploding and this Spring is the perfect time to try some new flavors. Tour the flavors of Charlotte’s James Beard semifinalists: Leah & Louise, Salud Cerveceria and Counter-. At Counter- Chef Sam Hart is launching a new menu this March featuring a tribute to food from six international cities.
26. Take advantage of the awesome outdoor spaces at Charlotte’s breweries and don't forget to take along your Brew Badge. Choose from 1- or 3-day passes with access to up to nine breweries, and enjoy discounts and perks at each stop.
27. Choose your own adventure with the Explore CLT pass. You can opt for a 1- or 2-day pass granting discounted access to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Carolina Raptor Center, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden and more.
28. Find your center at Lenny Boy Brewing with yoga on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. Entry includes the class and a kombucha after. Or, make a day of it at the second annual ONEfest on May 20 with more than 45 workshops and vendors.
29. Spend the day following the Charlotte Trail Guide. Choose a trail, lace up your walking shoes and discover new spots around the Queen City.
30. Catch a guided tour with Issa Vibe Adventures. Get on the trails with guided hikes, kayaking experiences or water play days right in and around the Queen City.
31. Roam through spring blooms at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. Spend an afternoon taking in the various gardens and trails, as well shopping at their garden store.
32. Take in the sites around town on a Funny Bus comedy tour. Get to know the Queen City on this unique tour combined with plenty of laughs for this entertaining ride through town. It’s a BYOB situation, so come prepared.
34. Expand your musical taste with live music. Charlotte will welcome a variety of artists this spring, from Janet Jackson to Paramore. View our Spring Concert Guide for the line-up of can't-miss acts.
36. Have a cocktail on a rooftop and take in panoramic views. Choose your new favorite spot from our roundup of rooftop restaurants and bars around the city.
38. Grab some friends and take a swing at Topgolf. This social club and driving range now has two locations, University and Southwest Charlotte, and makes a great date night or family outing. For outdoor play, get a tee time at area golf courses. If spectating is more your thing, the Wells Fargo Championship comes to Charlotte May 1-7.
39. Freshen up your plants for the season. When searching for all things green, head out to your favorite nursery, like Oakdale Greenhouse, or plant shop, like Grow: A Plant Shop, for something new. For a full list of nearby shops and nurseries, read our article here.
40. Escape and sip at area wineries. Veronét Vineyards & Winery boasts sweeping views at the foot of Crowder’s Mountain while Monroe’s Treehouse Vineyards offers unique overnight accommodations in the trees among the vines.
41. Looking for a simple day out? Take a leisurely bike ride around your favorite neighborhood. BYOBike or rent from Joy Rides and enjoy a cruise around Freedom Park, Camp North End or the Rail Trail. For more ideas, consult our list of free and cheap things to do in Charlotte.
42. Get some retail therapy at outdoor shopping retailers. Birkdale Village in Huntersville has green spaces for roaming or eating a picnic lunch between retail stops. Charlotte Premium Outlets provides the chance to take a stroll outdoors in between shopping at Nike, Michael Kors and Coach. In SouthPark, Phillips Place has outdoor dining and high end retailers like Brooks Brother and Eileen Fisher.
43. Shop for fresh and produce at local farmers markets. Vendors are selling weekly at Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, North End Farmers Market, Davidson Farmers Market, Matthews Community Farmers’ Market and more.
44. Catch a show at The Children’s Theater of Charlotte. This spring the theater will feature Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, suitable for the youngest attendees, and The Gathering, a play focused on diversity for older children, with sensory-friendly experiences available.
45. Plan a visit to the Carolina Raptor Center along Mountain Island Lake for up-close animal encounters. When you’re finished, head to Quest at Latta Nature Preserve for an interactive exhibit hall and aquarium before exploring the 1,460 acres of nature preserve.
Planning a trip to the Queen City? Book your hotel here.