45 of the Hottest Things to Do This Summer
We are midway through 2022 and some summer fun is long overdue. Whether it's you, your date or your whole crew, there’s plenty of ways to keep busy in Charlotte all season. From beating the heat to enjoying the great outdoors, check out our guide to enjoying the Queen City.
by Jamie Killian Jun 14, 2022
Camp North End
Discover Camp North End, where the mix of activity is what makes it amazing.
1. Camp North End will be buzzing all summer long. On Tuesday, meet up with the Mad Miles Run Club for a workout and on Wednesday evenings, the North End Farmers Market will be offering live music and fresh produce. Bring your own lawn chairs on Thursdays and head over for a movie under the stars. Grab food and drink from over a dozen businesses for the full dinner-and-show experience. Fridays at Camp North End will feature music as part of the Live from the Boileryard series.
2. Check out the latest way to unleash your creativity at Crayola Idea Works. This immersive experience has photo ops, hands-on arts activities, coloring and drawing tables, and more.
When: Through July 19
3. Grab a blanket and watch a movie outside this summer. Promenade on Providence will play Space Jam on June 17 at 6:30. Wilmore Park in South End will also host several movies in the park this summer, including Moana on June 18. If mornings are more your thing, try Cartoons and Coffee at Rea Farms.
5. June is officially Pride month and while Charlotte Pride’s annual celebration
kicks off in August, check out Pride pancakes at Snooze A.M. Eatery throughout the month of June, with all proceeds going to the Trevor Project. Not a morning person? Register for the 5th Annual Pride Bar Crawl which kicks off June 18 and will also donate to the Trevor Project. Support area LBTQ+ business owners all June long (and throughout the rest of the year).
When: June 18
6. Celebrate Juneteenth at the Durag Festival at Camp North End on June 18 with a vendor market, food court and art exhibit. Patrons can gain access to an outdoor bar and concert with the purchase of a $30 ticket. Extend your celebration by attending events all weekend at the Juneteenth Festival in Plaza Midwood. Events include a drum circle, kids camp and Gospel festival. Keep the celebration going with shopping over 40 black-owned businesses at the North Carolina Juneteenth Festival at the Cabarrus County Arena.
When: June 18
7. The Hippie Dippie Festival will be at Blue Blaze Brewing with shopping, flower crowns, energy readings and more to help bring out your inner flower child.
When: June 18
8. Grab a cold one at Untappd Fest at American Legion Stadium. Enjoy unlimited beer samples from over 100 breweries, live music and the chance to network with other beer enthusiasts.
When: June 18
9. Celebrate the father figure in your life with Jekyll and Hyde’s 5th Annual Father’s Day Cruise for a Cause. The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is also serving a special Father’s Day brunch on June 18 and 19, complete with drink specials, live music and games.
When: June 18, 19
10. Get groovy at the Lavender Bloom Festival in Dallas, N.C. Just a short drive from Charlotte, this annual festival features ‘60s and ‘70s music, flower crowns, glass blowing, kids activities and more.
When: June 25-26
11. Exercise those green thumbs at PlantHouse’s Kids Adventure Terrarium Workshop. The event will take place at the Park Road location and allows kids ages six and up to create unique terrariums with themes from dinosaurs and sea creatures to butterflies. Registration is required.
When: June 26
12. Enjoy a multicultural experience at SummerStock Charlotte. In partnership with the N.C. Arts Council, this event seeks to celebrate Charlotte through the arts with live mural paintings, music, food trucks and other performances.
When: June 26
14. Kick off your Independence Day celebrations with fireworks at Carowinds on July 2. Continue the fun at the U.S. National Whitewater Center with live music, yoga and races on July 3 and 4. Indian Trail will host their annual parade the morning of July 4 and you can end the night at Romare Bearden park taking in the SkyShow.
17. iCan Bike Camp works to help children with autism and other disabilities learn to ride bikes. Check out this exciting bike camp in North Charlotte.
When: August 8-12
18. The 26th annual Festival of India will feature performances, exhibits, a kid’s art pavilion and shopping. You can also catch a yoga demonstration, learn to tie a saree or get a henna tattoo.
When: August 26
19. 2nd Friday Street Festival in Cornelius runs monthly throughout the summer at Oak Street Mill. The event will feature live music, activities and inflatables for kids, food trucks and local breweries.
When: May - August
20. Black Food Truck Fridays feature a variety of food trucks that give diners a chance to sample everything from seafood to soul food to desserts while supporting members of the Black Business Owners of Charlotte. The weekly event is set up on Trade Street at the West Complex.
Things to Do
21. Pack a picnic, grab a blanket and a soccer ball to pass, and enjoy the day at one of Charlotte’s parks. If the kids are in tow, plan your visit around the coolest playgrounds.
22. Need a new view for the day? Check out one of the local day trips that can get you out of town to catch your breath but home for dinner.
23. Everything tastes better when it’s in season. Grab your summer produce from one of Charlotte's many local farmer’s markets.
24. When the heat gets too much, find some water to splash around in. Charlotte has tons of water activities, from splash pads and public pools to lake access and water parks.
25. There is no better time to grab a cold beer and Charlotte has plenty of breweries to make that happen. D9 Brewing offers live music on Saturdays if you’re looking for some tunes with your brews. Ready to try something new? NoDa Brewing has four upcoming releases this summer, including a refreshing Watermelon Goose. Petty Thieves has a great outdoor space for enjoying the sunshine with plenty of unique styles to curb the summer heat.
26. For city views and great brews, head to Devil’s Logic or the Trolley Barn. Both offer food and a great first stop before heading out to a show or city event. Save even more time and money with the Charlotte Brew Badge. Instantly unlock a $10 voucher for participating breweries, plus discounts at select locations.
27. Blumenthal Performing Arts has tons of exciting stuff on their summer lineup. Frozen is sure to be a hit with the kids, while Blue Man Group and To Kill a Mockingbird offer something for the grown-ups.
28. If you’re looking for dinner and a show, NarroWay Theatre offers mystery theater, kid’s shows and musicals.
29. Take a mural tour of Charlotte and complete your art experience with a visit to The Artisan’s Palate, a restaurant, bar and art gallery in NoDa. Enjoy coffee, cocktails and a curated menu as you support local artists. Don’t forget to check the calendar for drag brunches throughout the summer.
30. Have a meal on the water and enjoy the beautiful views of local lakes. Head south to Drift on Lake Wylie which features a menu of seasonal dishes with ingredients sourced from North and South Carolina. Up north, you can sit waterside at Hello, Sailor as you sip artisanal cocktails.
31. The Presidents Cup comes to Charlotte in September and you can brush up on your skills at Puttery or Top Golf in the meantime. Looking to play a full eighteen? Check out Birkdale Golf Club, The Tradition Golf Club or Sunset Hills.
32. What’s better than brunch on a patio? Goodyear House offers their Sunday Funday menu alongside mimosas and bloody mary’s making for the perfect outdoor dining experience. Keep your patio dining going all summer long at one of Charlotte’s many outdoor dining experiences.
33. Plan a hike along The Carolina Thread Trail. There are over 300 miles of trail and with six trailheads in the Charlotte area or try one of these great hikes around the area.
34. Set up a blanket and grab some snacks and settle in from some tunes at one of this summer’s Outdoor Concert series. The U.S. Whitewater Center hosts their weekly River Jam sessions on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Anne Springs Close Greenway has live music on Thursday evenings and the Charlotte Symphony hosts their summer concert series at Symphony Park.
35. Find your zen with some outdoor yoga. Counterculture Club hosts sessions on Sundays at Camp North End. Yoga & Mimosas is hosted at Ballantyne’s Backyard on Saturday mornings. You can also join Unbound Yoga for yoga at Freedom Park.
36. Cheer on your favorite team this summer with tickets to a Charlotte Football Club game, the Charlotte Knights or the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. Fun fact: the Atrium Ballpark has an onsite splash pad which is perfect for keeping littles cool during long innings.
37. Make your way around town, learn a little history and have some laughs with one of several tours around Charlotte. The Funny Bus offers PG-13 or R-rated versions of their raucous romp through Charlotte history. Segway Park Tours offers a more interactive experience through uptown where you will maneuver your own segway while you learn.
39. If you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, enjoy one of the many gardens around town. Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens is located on 380 acres near Lake Wylie and features an orchid conservatory. Open Wednesday through Saturday, Wing Haven Gardens is a respite in the heart of Myers Park.
40. Check out Discovery Place Science’s latest exhibit, Unseen Oceans, a refreshing escape from the summer heat. Organized by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the exhibit gives viewers a chance to see into the depths of the ocean far beyond what has previously been explored.
41. Dreaming of far away destinations? Head over to Airport Overlook and use your phone to track where the nearly 800 flights that come in and out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport have been. With some camping chairs and snacks, it's a fun and free way to get your travel thrill.
42. Nothing says summer like a frozen treat. Jeni’s Ice Cream offers a rewards program which makes indulging in their hand crafted scoops even better. Popbar has two locations — NoDa and Camp North End — making it even easier to grab something delicious. Looking for something different? Try Snow Your Roll which features shaved ice and — yes — egg rolls. The unique pairing offers something savory and sweet, sure to satisfy everyone in your crew.
43. Test your smarts and enjoy a night out at one of Charlotte’s many trivia nights. NoDa Brewing, Crafty Beer Guys, Divine Barrel Brewing, Rosie’s Coffee and Wine Garden and the Fairwood 226 offer weekly trivia throughout the summer.
44. Sometimes you just need a cool, dark room and a good movie to keep the kids entertained. Enter: free or cheap movie programs. Cinergy, a dine-in cinema, has $1.50 movies for kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Regal Summer Movie Express features $2 tickets for kid’s movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The film choice varies by location. Summer Movie Clubhouse by Cinemark features $1.50 movies and $1 off concessions.
45. Visit a local sunflower field for a fresh bouquet and a gorgeous photo op. Oddies Sunflower Field and Carrigan Farms offer u-pick services. The Draper Wildlife Management Area also has spectacular blooms but they’re only for viewing. If sunflowers aren’t your thing, Howard Family Farm has u-pick wildflowers this summer.