Things to do

The Best Virtual Things to Do in Charlotte

With the following Charlotte-area online classes and other virtual things to do, you can learn to cook, sew and exercise all from the privacy of your own home.

While we stay at home and practice keeping our distance, we know all of us are looking for something interesting to do.

The good news is we live in a digital world, so social distancing doesn’t have to be dismal. Time to get creative, not only about what we learn, but how we learn it.

With the following Charlotte-area online classes and other virtual things to do, you can learn to cook, sew and exercise all from the privacy of your own home.

We’ll update and add to this listing of classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. And, if you know of something fun or interesting going on or are teaching an online class, please share. You can send your updates and links to your favorite online classes directly to HeidiBillotto@gmail.com.

Get Inspired in the Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Chef Alyssa's Kitchen

Chef Alyssa's Kitchen

There's no better time than now to sharpen up your skills in the kitchen. Learn from one of the most influential chefs in Charlotte: Chef Alyssa Wilen. She'll be hosting live classes from her home kitchen for just $15. Make reservations here. Participants will receive recipes via email after registration is confirmed.

Here’s what’s coming up on the menu for Chef Alyssa’s virtual cooking classes:

April 7, 4-5 p.m. - Breads

April 9, 4-5 p.m. - Dumplings

Chef Jim Noble

Chef Jim Noble of Noble Pursuits, Rooster's Wood-Fired Kitchen, Noble Smoke and Bossy Beulah's is starting a cooking series on YouTube. His first episode includes how to cook herb-roasted chicken with seasonal vegetables. We know what we're having for dinner now.

Sweet Spot Studio

Chef Jossie Lukacik has a trio of online classes for you to try with more in the works. Each class is prerecorded so you can watch when and as your time allows. And, if you have questions, Chef Jossie will be available to help with the answers and offer guidance via text, calls, FaceTime and Facebook Messenger.

Chef Lukacik is also offering cookie kits for adults and kids. Included in the April Cookie Kit is cookie dough, four cookie cutters, royal icing outline and flood, a scribe and video decorating tutorials. There is also an Easter Cookie Kit available.

New class videos are expected to be available each week. For more info or to register for a class, visit the Sweet Spot Studio website.

Salud! Cooking School

Mara Norris, director and chef instructor at Whole Foods’ Salud! Cooking School in Charlotte, is posting daily recipe videos on her Instagram Story. Tune in to cook fun and delicious recipes while you’re finding new ways to keep yourself busy at home. Follow her on Instagram at @ChefMaraNorris.

You can also check out addition video classes from the team at Salud for the following free instructional videos: How to Make Pasta Dough; How to Make Marinara Sauce; How to Make A Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette and How to Make An Olive Oil Cake.

Flour Power

Check out live videos from all three locations of Flour Power in Charlotte. Recipes require minimal ingredients and will include ideas for substitutes.

Each studio has different classes lined up to air online at different times. Live demos from the Rea Farms studio will air at 3 p.m. and include a new theme and recipe each day. Videos will remain in the feed so you and your kids can refer to them at any time. Follow the Rea Farms location on Facebook.

Time to Make a Quaran-tini

Unpretentious Palate

Each week, learn how to craft a cocktail, or cook something tasty, with a different guest mixologist or chef. Kristin Wile and the team at Unpretentious Palate are well known for hosting events that promote local restaurants and bars. For now, they are taking these experiences online.

On Tuesday, April 7 at 6 p.m., Amanda Britton, the force behind the bar at Bardo, will center this virtual happy hour around tequila. Learn to make a stellar margarita, get to know different agave spirits and leave with the knowledge of making creative tequila cocktails on your own. Want to follow along? Reserve your spot here. Tickets are $10.

Subscribe to Unpretentious Palate to be among the first to get all the info on future events.

Wine Down

Feast Food Tours Presents: Assorted Table Wine Shoppe and Orrman’s Cheese Shop

On Wednesday, April 8 at 6 p.m., gather around the virtual table in an exclusive workshop with Birk O’Halloran, winemaker and owner of Iconic Wine, Josh Villapando, owner of Assorted Table Wine Shoppe, and Rachel Klebaur, owner of Orrman's Cheese Shop.

This $80 workshop package includes: Two bottles of wine from Iconic Wine’s Sidekick Collection, two prepared cheese plates curated to pair with your wines, a live-stream tasting experience, and access to a recording of your tasting workshop.

Contact-less curbside package pickup of the wine and cheese is available the week of your workshop, Monday through Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. at 7th Street Public Market. For more.

NoDa Company Store

Join the Quarantined Wine Club brought to you by NoDa Company Store every Monday at noon via Facebook Live. Each week wine connoisseur Sean Nowak introduces three new wines for your tasting pleasure. To prep for the event, plan to pick up the trio of featured wines along with a charcuterie board for $50 at the NoDa store.

Further Your Career at Home

CreativeMornings/ Charlotte

On April 17 at 8:30 a.m., get ready for CreativeMornings' first-ever virtual event: Purpose. More details will be coming but for now, mark your calendar to be one of the first to sign up on April 13 at 9 a.m. The event is free.

Music Soothes the Soul

Music Everywhere CLT

Music Everywhere CLT is a long-term initiative from Charlotte Center City Partners designed to support Charlotte’s multi-faceted music scene. Looking for a listing of all the musical talent in the Queen City? Start here. Then plan some time to sit back, relax and listen to virtual concerts happening around the city. Check out the Concert Calendar here.

By the Book

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Although all branches of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library are closed for now, you and your family can still get an online library card, which feature free digital opportunities, daily story-time events, archived story-time videos and access to e-books, magazines and music.

Peanut Blossom Book Club

Charlotte blogger Tiffany Dahle hosts a great online book club for moms. In addition to her fun and informative blog with recipes for kids, she also has tips for families to celebrate each season and lots of ways to help moms incorporate more rest into their busy lives.

The book club was launched six years ago. The Peanut Blossom Book Club now has a staggering 4,700+ members in the group.

Together, they read one fun and light-hearted book each month and chat about it in a private Facebook group. Members are encouraging, supportive and overwhelmingly positive. Need a new book recommendation? Just ask these awesome ladies for their favorite picks and you’ll be bombarded with options. Join the group here and learn more.

Find Your Inner Artist

Evelyn Henson

Local artist Evelyn Henson has created downloadable coloring books and a great family-friendly confetti hearts scavenger hunt for families. All the details and downloads are here.

Crowned Sparrow Craft Co.

From string and metal art to needlepoint workshops, take an online class with Crowned Sparrow Craft Co. Virtual classes take place every Thursday evening in April from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Health, Exercise and Self Care

YMCA 360

Exercise with the entire family with YMCA 360: ON-DEMAND VIDEOS. YMCA 360 is platform that is open and accessible to all. Enjoy group exercise classes, youth sports classes, well-being classes and more to serve you wherever you are.

SweatNET

Follow along with your favorite local trainers as they livestream a wide range of different workout classes. Get access to their entire platform, including their livestream classes and their entire video library, for free for an entire month.

Virtual Museum Tours

Levine Museum of the New South

Known for its exhibits that highlight the history, culture and celebration of the South, the museum is now helping parents teach their children the stories of current and past exhibits through online activities and lesson plans — from Nuevolution: Latinos and the New South to Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers.

With Side and With Shoulder by Summer Wheat

The Mint Museum

Charlotte’s well-known Mint Museum believes that art is for everyone. While the museum is temporarily closed, you and your family can still enjoy all that it has to offer with a virtual tour of art and exhibits. Enjoy regularly updated content including curators' picks and the stories behind the art from the artist’s perspectives. Or, check out the Uptown location's current exhibit, Constellation CLT, created to connect the public with the universe of talent in the Charlotte community.

For updates, subscribe to the Mint's email list at the bottom of their website homepage here.

Talk to the Animals

Photo courtesy of Patrick Schneider

Carolina Raptor Center

It’s all for the birds at the Carolina Raptor Center, a wonderful Charlotte-area resource teaching adults and children alike about birds of prey and their importance to our ecosystem. Located in Huntersville, NC, at Latta Nature Preserve, The Raptor Trail is now closed to the public until further notice. But, for a fun Avian Home Adventure, tune in to the center’s Facebook page at 11 a.m. each morning. This nose-to-beak look at Raptor Center residents will be an adventure to brighten your day.

And if you should find an injured bird of prey, call the center at 704.875.6521 for directions on what to do. The hospital continues to accept patients.

Science for Kids

Discovery Place Science

Since we can’t go in person, experience everything this hands-on children’s science museum offers in videos online via the museum’s Facebook page. You can also learn how to create your own table-top foosball game and understand how surface tension works with a penny. Check out the museum’s blog for more.

WCNC's Weather School

WCNC Charlotte's First Warn Storm Team, including meteorologists Brad Panovich and Larry Sprinkle, is helping parents, students and teachers learn about atmospheric science lessons from home. Classes can be viewed on WCNC's streaming platforms at 1 p.m. each day.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Renfrow Hardware

Let the team at Renfrow Hardware in Matthews help you with all of your springtime gardening needs. They’ve totally restructured the way they will be doing business over the next several months, but you will still be able to buy plants, seeds, potting soil and chicken feed. Learn more here, and subscribe to their email newsletter for gardening tips throughout the year.

Make Your Voice Heard

#CharlotteDigitalStrike

There’s no doubt you’ve heard about the Friday afternoon climate change protests that take place at the Government Center. Made popular here by a group of conscientious Charlotte high schoolers who wanted their voices to be heard, they even got the attention of internationally known youth activist Greta Thunberg. Thunberg connected with the teens via social media feeds and came to Charlotte to join the local group in solidarity last fall.

Now, families can join activists of all ages who care about the effects of climate change in a virtual protest and make your voice heard. Here’s how to get started: make a sign about saving or helping the earth or the environment, and take a selfie with your sign. Post it in your Instagram feed and or Instagram Story on Friday afternoons starting at 3 p.m. Use the hashtags #CharlotteDigitalStrike #ClimateStrikeOnline #FridaysForFuture #SchoolStrike4Climate and help make a difference.

This post was last updated on April 3, 2020.