Things to Do

45 of the Coolest Things to Do This Fall

Don’t wait for it to feel like fall (we see you, second Summer) to take in all that Charlotte has to offer this season. From shows to experiences, the whole city will be abuzz with exciting things to get you out and about this autumn.

Camp North End

This post is brought to you in partnership with Camp North End, Charlotte's hub for creativity and innovation.

1. Spend a fall day at Camp North End. On Tuesdays, meet up at YVY for the Mad Miles Run Club and on Wednesdays the North End Farmers Market offers fresh produce and artisanal goods. Bring your own lawn chairs on Thursdays and enjoy a free 80s & 90s classic movie under the stars. Kick off the weekend with Fridays at Camp North End, showcasing local and touring musicians. Saturday mornings have something for the whole family: kid's music time, arts and craft workshops, cultural festivals and more. Enjoy 12 food and drink spots, 11 shops and art collectives, and 50+ murals, all connected by 76 acres of cozy outdoor space to explore.

2. The Charlotte International Arts Festival will celebrate imaginative and performing arts. Throughout the Uptown and Ballantyne, there will be various art installations as well as live performances.
When: September 16-October 2

3. Enjoy a cold beer at one of Charlotte’s beer festivals. Kicking off the season is Charlotte’s Oktoberfest which takes place in Symphony Park on September 16. MecktoberFest, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s annual celebration, takes place over two weekends: September 16-18 and 24-26. Keep the party going over three weekends with Gilde’s Oktoberfest which runs September 23-25, September 30- October 1, and October 7-9.

4. Get spooked at Carowinds’ annual Halloween event, Scarowinds. The park will transform at night into a world filled with monsters, goblins and zombies. In addition to the standard attractions, there will be haunted mazes, scare zones and live entertainment.
When: September 16-October 30

5. Grab a cup of joe and head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for their monthly Cars and Coffee cruise-in featuring classic cars, custom and hot rods.
When: September 17, October 15, November 19

6. Travel back in time at the Duke Mansion. Their Cocktails in the Garden series includes a free historical tour of the property.
When: September 19 and 26

7. Get groovy at the Middle C Jazz Series. A variety of Cabaret performers and productions will take place at the Middle C, a live jazz venue in Uptown.
When: September 20

8. Soak in a perfect autumn sunset on Anne Springs Close Greenway’s sunset kayak tour. All equipment and basic instruction is provided.
When: September 23

9. Max out the cute quotient at the Alpaca Fiesta. Get up close and personal with these cuddly animals while learning more about them and buying handmade goods crafted from their fibers.
When: September 24

10. Watch some of golf’s finest tee off at the Presidents Cup, a five day golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club.
When: September 20-25

11. Celebrate all things local with an evening at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden at their Farm to Fork Picnic where thirty local chefs and farmers will partner for this unique culinary experience.
When: September 25

12. No Filter Coffee Fest will bring nearly 30 unique coffee brewers and tea makers to Camp North End. Enjoy live panels, educational experiences and live music at this buzzin’ event.
When: September 25

13. Charlotte Ballet will host a free performance at the Sugar Creek Recreation Center. The world-class ballerinas will be on an hour-long performance.
When: September 28

14. Wednesday mornings at Birkdale is for the kids! Birkdale Buds will include storytelling, crafts, music and games for preschoolers. On September 28, they will feature a dinosaur encounter.

15. Make some lasting memories at the Sycamore’s original taproom before they transition to their new space. They will host a three day “moving party” that will include two stages of live music, food trucks and exclusive offerings.
September 30-October 1

16. Rock out at the Breakaway Festival at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The three-day celebration will feature 18 pop, rock and electronic artists.
When: September 30-October 1

17. Head over to Truist Field for Food Lion’s Taste of Charlotte, an annual food festival featuring local restaurants, vendors, games and more. Be sure to register for Saturday’s Pink Cupcake Walk, a charity walk benefiting breast cancer research.
When: September 30-October 1

18. October is NC Craft Beer month which is the perfect reason to make your way around the city and test out the brewery scene. Don’t forget your Charlotte Brew Badge which offers discounted beer and other specials at participating breweries.

19. Enjoy some vino at Wine & Food Festival – Charlotte. Sample over 100 varieties of wine, sip local beers and fill up on fare from food trucks and area restaurants.
When: October 1

20. Get up close and personal with fire trucks, helicopters, police vehicles and enjoy a variety of kid-friendly fun at the Kannapolis Fire Truck Parade and Festival.
When: October 1

21. Travel back in time to the Carolina Renaissance Festival, running Saturdays and Sundays this fall with their annual BrewFest, featuring select microbrews, taking place October 15 and 16.
October 1-November 20

22. Keep the kiddos entertained this fall at shows like Disney on Ice presents Frozen and Encanto on October 2 and Paw Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure on November 5.

23. Head over the NASCAR Hall of Fame to watch a different kind of thrill seeking during the fourth annual Over the Edge fundraiser. Thrillseekers will rappel 10 stories down the Embassy Suites Hotel and into the NASCAR Hall of Fame courtyard – all in the name of raising money for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Foundation which provides educational opportunities to financially disadvantaged children.
When: October 5

24. Charlotte Symphony Orchestra opens its classical season with featured conductor Andrew Grams and a performance of Aus Italien.
When: October 7-8

25. Celebrate Asian culture at the annual Charlotte Dragon Boat Festival. The event includes food, music, dancing and other vendors. Be sure to catch the dragon boat races, too.
When: October 8

26. Fulfill your need for speed at the 5th annual Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Tickets include musical performances by Nelly, Three Doors Down and Bret Michaels.
When: October 9

27. The 47th annual Carolina Balloon Fest lifts off in Statesville with food, music and hot air balloon rides, as well as 5k and a Fun Run.
When: October 12-16

28. Charlotte Ballet opens their new season with Fall Works, a series of works never seen before in Charlotte, including Helen Pickett’s IN Cognito, Under the Lights and A Picture of You Falling.
When: October 13-15

29. The Charlotte Checkers will take to the ice on October 14 for their home opener against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Check their team schedule for chances to watch the action on the ice through April.

30. Uptown’s Hola Charlotte celebrates Hispanic heritage with Latin food and music during this culturally immersive festival.
When: October 15

31. Test your building skills or just come to watch and cheer on the participants in the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s Build Your Own Boat Competition. Competitors craft boats from a variety of materials, often with outlandish themes, and test them down the rapids.
When: October 15

32. Head into the holidays feeling great by checking out some teas, oils and supplements at the Wellness on Main event in Mount Holly. There will be a tea party, chair massages, and other wellness tools.
When: October 15

33. Celebrate the Black culinary scene at the second annual BayHaven Food & Wine Festival at Camp North End. Hosted by three-time James Beard nominee, Chef Gregory Collier and his wife, Subrina Collier, the festival aims to increase the presence of black-owned culinary experiences in Charlotte.
When: October 19-23

34. The Hornets will once again bring the buzz to Uptown. Join them for their home opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on October 21 or check out their schedule for a full list of games, running through April.

35. Get a jumpstart on holiday preparations with The Official Southern Christmas Show at The Park Expo and Conference Center. This annual tradition is the largest Christmas show in North America, featuring hundreds of retailers and vendors.
When: November 10-20

36. Make your way to Bojangles Coliseum for some laughs. Taylor Tomlinson will perform November 11 and Lewis Black takes the stage November 12.

37. Check out the Fall Horse Show at the Anne Springs Close Greenway where horses and their owners will participate in several events and showcases.
When: November 12

38. Don’t miss the big musical acts making their way to the Queen City this fall including Lizzo, Zac Brown Band and Demi Lovato. View our entire fall concert guide here.

39. Keep pounding with the Panthers this season as Baker Mayfield makes his debut as starting quarterback. Whether you catch a game in the stands or stick to tailgating, the home team is in for an exciting season.

40. Find some seasonal produce and shop locally at the Uptown Farmer’s Market which is open daily from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. through December.

41. Call your smartest friends and join team trivia at VBGB Beer Hall and Garden on Thursday evenings. Enjoy their selection of beers on the expansive patio during the cool fall evenings.

42. See the city in a new season! Several tours make their way around Charlotte each day. Funny Bus Charlotte offers irreverent humor alongside its historical bus tour. If you’re looking for a spookier take, try the Carolina History & Haunt Tour. Looking to take your own wheels? Charlotte Segway Tours offers a variety of routes catered to specific interests, like historical neighborhoods or parks.

43. Spend the day sampling food and sipping cocktails at Optimist Hall. With over 20 different food stalls and several shops, it's the perfect place to meet friends for a drink, try a new cuisine or watch the sunset on the courtyard.

44. Take in the harvests of Fall. Pick your own apples and enjoy some cider at Windy Hill Orchard. Check their calendar for select live music performances, as well. Carrigan Farms offers you-pick experiences for apples and pumpkins, in addition to hayrides and a petting zoo.

45. Spend an Autumn day in downtown Belmont. Have breakfast at Honeycomb Cafe, hang in Stowe Park with sweets from The Cotton Candy Factory. Round out your day with dinner at Heirloom for a farm-to-table dining experience and seasonal cocktails.

For more seasonal Queen City happenings, visit our fall in Charlotte page.