Stuff to do in Charlotte NC
Things to do in Charlotte, NC
Things to do in Charlotte, NC
If you're like me, you are sitting on the computer browsing around because you're tired of doing the same things week after week. You're probably hoping that something will jump out at you, and that you'll instantly find an idea to help you break away from your normal patterns. Well, whether you're visiting Charlotte, NC or just looking for stuff to do around Charlotte, I'm here to help. Some of the ideas I have I'm sure you've already thought of. Others may require you go for a little drive, but everything on this site is intended to help you break out of your routine and experience new fun things to do in Charlotte, NC.
1) The Lazy 5 Ranch -This is a wonderful little place just a short drive away from Charlotte, NC that is anything but ordinary. My husband and I found The Lazy 5 Ranch in one of our coupon books, and really enjoyed it. The Lazy 5 ranch is basically a drive through petting zoo. It's around 5 or 10 dollars per car, then you buy food by the bucket. I'm pretty sure the buckets are 3.00 each, and I recommend you get more than one bucket. I wouldn't drive the convertible either, we literally had a huge animal try to stick it's head in our car. Here's a link to the website where you can find some additional information. http://www.lazy5ranch.com/ After you try it out, write a comment letting me know how you enjoyed it.
2) Bowling - There are several bowling allies around Charlotte, NC. If you're looking for something to do with a large group of people, this can be a ton of fun. The most popular and probably the most fun is Carolina Lanes in Matthews, NC. It's also the most crowded. Sometimes my friends and I will choose to go to Park Lanes instead, just to avoid the crowd and make sure we're home at a decent hour. This is not a really cheap adventure. Make sure you plan to spend money on each game you bowl, food, drinks if you're into that, and a shoe rental. They don't usually take reservations, but they have something called extreme bowling on the weekend nights. It's a pretty nice atmosphere and you can pay a lump sum for a few hours of unlimited bowling. George Pappas' Park Lanes didn't have a website that I could find, but the address is 1700 Montford Dr Charlotte, NC 28209 and the phone number is (704) 523-7633. The EpiCentre also has an awesome bowling ally. Parking can be crazy, but it is the best young adult bowling in town.
3) Get Outside -There are about 100 parks in Charlotte, NC, and there's usually plenty of sunshine. Play Frisbee, play outdoor volleyball, play tennis, play capture the flag, play softball. http://www.charlottedgc.com/ is the official site for Frisbee golf in Charlotte. I'll let you go to that site if you're into that. I haven't done much Frisbee golf since college. I like to go to William Davie Park to play sand volleyball, but there's a list on http://charmeck.org/MECKLENBURG/COUNTY/PARKANDREC/PARKS/Pages/default.aspx of all of the parks in our area. Check it out, and get some sunshine.
4) Volunteer - I recommend the Habitat for Humanity in Charlotte, NC.They have always been one of my favorite volunteer organizations because of the hands on experience they provide for both the volunteers and new home owners. You can find a group or build a group, and there's always a project going on to work on. Another great way to volunteer your time is serving breakfast at the homeless shelter. A group meets at Calvary Church every Saturday, http://www.calvarychurch.com/site/30_158_0.cfm?do=detail&id=55. If that's how you want to volunteer, you'll have to wake up early! You can also volunteer at the Levine Children's Hospital (after filling out lots of paperwork and going to training) or give the salvation army a call.
5) Watch a sports game. Okay, so if you're looking for things to do in Charlotte, NC I'm sure you've at least thought of going to a sports game. Good call. We have at least 5 sports to choose from:
The Carolina Panthers: http://www.panthers.com/home/ So we're all familiar with these football-playing cats. It's a great place to go if you've got a little extra money to spend. Good tickets aren't really cheap, but it's a great time. There is a lot of energy in the stands when we're winning, and this is the all-American way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Make sure you get there a little early, and bring money for snacks.
The Bobcats: http://www.nba.com/bobcats/ I have a friend who gets me great seats to these basketball games. I recommend calling to order tickets or picking out your seats online. The automatic best seat finder doesn't know what you're going to consider the best seat. (Just trust me.) You can get nosebleed seats for like 20.00 and have a ton of fun.
The Knights: http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp?sid=t494 So this is probably one of my personal favorites, then again I'm a huge baseball fan. You can find coupons to get buy one get one free tickets all of the time. The best seats in the house are like 10.00 without a coupon. I ordered 10 tickets online for July 4, and we went last year. They have a fireworks presentation after the game... it's pretty sweet. I wasn't blown away last year because we waited too long to get our tickets and had to sit in the grass. This year, I decided to grab a few tickets in advance. We were about 2 rows back right behind home plate, and had the best most American 4th of July ever. If you missed out on buying the good seats, you can always just wait until you get there and find someone selling a real seat with a chair. (That could just be my personal preference... tons of people probably love sitting in the grass.)
The Charlotte Checkers - http://www.gocheckers.com I have a blast at these hockey games. If you're looking for things to do around Charlotte, consider catching at least one of these games. The tickets cost a little more than they used to because they're playing at the Bobcat's Arena or Time Warner Arena or whatever it's called right now, but it's still a great time. I think prices are between 10 and 25 dollars but they're never full and always running promos. Check a game out sometime.
The Charlotte Eagles- http://www.charlotteeagles.com/ It's our own soccer team. This is a very family friendly outing, but don't get me wrong... it makes a great date night or group event too. Believe it or not, even though our soccer team doesn't get a lot of publicity they have a great record. There are always discounts available, but tickets aren't too expensive without them. I think it's between 5 and 10 per person. We'll call it 7 for now, and you'll have to check out the website to verify.
NASCAR - I actually forgot about one of the biggest sports in our area NASCAR. I've only been to two races in my life. The first race I went to was when I was about 8 years old, and it's when my dad worked with the big man at City Chevrolet. We got there early, and had BBQ and hot dogs with some of the racers before they started racing around the track experiencing 600 pounds of pressure around every turn. The second time I went, I was a little older and had a few friends with me. My dad let me bring his earmuffs with radio. I listened to the race on the radio as I was watching it live. Make sure you bring sun-block. Someone who goes to races more often than me probably has better advice than that, but from the armature race fan, bring a hat and bring sun block. http://www.lowesmotorspeedway.com/
Charlotte Roller Girls - We have a Roller Derby in Charlotte, NC That's right! I updated my blog to include one of my new favorite sports to watch. The Charlotte Roller Girls are fierce competitors rolling around and smashing into each other. How awesome! http://charlotterollergirls.com/bouts/schedule/
MMA & Cage Fighting- One or two nights each month (Seasonally) Coyote Joe's and the EpiCentre have cage fighting tournaments. Watch for FREE! I must have an obsession with controlled violence, because this gets my blood pumping and the primal woman inside of me amped up. http://fightlabpros.com/fight-lab-promotions-upcoming-events/
6) Sunset Trail Ride - Best (And Smoothest) Date Idea in Charlotte - You're going to be the smoothest date planner in the Charlotte area (by my standards) if you sign up for this date. Now, it's pretty expensive... around 75.00 per person... but is really an incredible experience. The link I'm giving you will link you up with a group that will let you horseback ride for about 2 hours... you finish up watching the sunset on the horses back then have a real cowboy dinner with steak, chicken and lots of southern sides. Enjoy an evening you won't forget. If you're interested in taking a larger group, they have promos for parties of 10 or more. http://www.excitations.com/charlotte/animal_kingdom/?u=JmU9ODQmODU%3D There's another way to book that seems a little less expensive (60.00 per person) but I'm not sure if it's the same place. It's the same scenario though... horseback riding and a country dinner. http://www.lattaequestriancenter.com/ actually seems to have more to offer, not just couple oriented... birthday parties hayrides and carriage rides (Sunset rides is a link on the left, and it has more info about the Best Date Idea in Charlotte, NC I was talking about earlier.)
7) The Comedy Zone - This is not a family friendly location... meaning, don't take your kids here. The comedy zone is a really cool thing to do in Charlotte, NC or Matthews, NC area. They usually have 2 acts. Sometimes the first act is only all right, but the second performance never fails to knock me on the floor laughing. I don't know how a place so small finds such funny stand up guys, but they do. Get on the mailing list that's on the website and they'll send you free tickets all of the time. Make sure you bring money for snacks, drinks, and don't forget to tip your server. Charlotte Comedy Zone is the website link.
8) THE BEST LITTLE RESTAURANTS AROUND CHARLOTTE, NC - Blu Moon Cafe (232 E. Franklin St. Monroe, NC 28112 (704) 288-1766) It's a great place with a small town feel, and great food. Blu Moon had music on the night we went. It's a great way to impress your special someone with an unadvertised amazing find. I also enjoy Sushi 101 - 5355 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy, Charlotte, NC - (704) 844-0001 or Red Bowl (also sushi) in the same shopping center (especially on summer days when there's music out in the Promenade). You may also enjoy 7800 JoJo's China Bistro Rea Rd Charlotte, NC 28277 (704) 541-6488 or P.F. Changs at 6809-F Phillips Place Court Charlotte, NC 28210 Phone: (704) 552-6644. If you're in the mood for dinner and window shopping, I love Cheesecake Factory and Maggianos at Southpark Mall. We ate at Capital Grille during Charlotte Restaurant week and it was ultra fancy and delicious, but even when we went at a discount we spent around a hundred dollars on one dinner. Capital Grille, and The Melting Pot are special occasion only restaurants for us. I like the BBQ at Elliot's BBQ 9949 East Independence Boulevard, Matthews (704) 847-6000 and at Mint Hill Rock Store BBQ 7032 Brighton Park Drive, Mint Hill, NC - (704) 545-1227. We always have coupons to Brixx brick oven pizza and love it. Hickory Tavern, Stool Pigeons, and the Fox and Hound all have adequate Plasma TV action for game day. I vote best burgers in Charlotte at Ted's 8625 Monroe Rd # G (704) 568-6624 but some of my good friends argue that Fudruckers can't be beat. Teds, though, is a little family owned restaurant and they have those quarter tube tv's to complete the feel. My new favorite restaurant is a Creperie in Matthews, NC called Royal Cafe and Creperie at 131 Matthews Station St, Suite E, Matthews NC.
9) Go Whitewater Rafting - Yes, you can go whitewater rafting in Charlotte, NC. When I went, it was around 32.00 per person. They offer group rates for large parties, so call them to get details if you've got a huge group looking for out of the ordinary excitement in Charlotte, NC. Call 704-391-3900 for details. http://www.usnwc.org/ If you're in love with the outdoors, but you're looking for something free to do in Charlotte, just bring a picnic basket with some sandwiches and watch as other people try their luck on the man made rapids. There are hiking trails and dirt bike trails on site that don't cost a thing.
10) Inner Peaks Indoor Climbing Center - This is an indoor climbing range that is a lot of fun the first 6 times you go. It's like 25 dollars per person, but they usually have coupons online and in the local coupon books. It's a nice adventure, and one of my favorite ways to spend a rainy weekend afternoon in Charlotte, NC. http://www.innerpeaks.com/ gives you a lot more detail. Check them out!
11) Live Jazz - www.bluerestaurantandbar.com This place rocked! I've only been once, but now that I'm thinking about it I'm going to go again. When I went about a month ago they had a killer Jazz band. This is a very upscale restaurant, but at night, it comes alive. There is a band playing right by the bar. There aren't tons of chairs around where the band plays but everyone just grabs a drink and stands around. Make sure you're going on a night that has live music. You can see who's playing when you want to go on their website. It's usually Wednesday through Saturday.
12) Live Music Free -If you're like me... you're probably relieved that there's something cheap and fun to do in Charlotte, NC. There are at least two places you can go for free live music on Saturdays. The Providence Promenade is at 10822 Providence Rd Charlotte, NC 28277 which is near the Providence Road Exit off of the 485. The other is The Stonecrest Shopping Center right off of the Rea Rd. exit off of the 485. Both locations have coffee and ice cream available, but you don't have to do any shopping to enjoy the music. NOTE: This is not a year round option. This is more of a spring/summer thing to do.
13) Pick your own fruits and veggies - Make sure you bring a camera if you decide to enjoy this option. Even though it seems like a very spring thing to do, you can go pick either fruits or veggies almost all year long. I have been strawberry picking, pumpkin picking, and peach picking. I think I might have actually gone out to South Carolina to pick peaches, but it's not a long drive either way. http://www.pickyourown.org/NCpiedmont.htm Is a link to a website that has all of the local farms that let pick your own fruit around Charlotte, NC.
14) Watch a drive-in movie - If you're looking for something fun to do in Charlotte, NC the drive in movie theater is a great option. This is actually a pretty family friendly option. You'll have to drive about 45 min's or so to get there, but once you've paid for the gas It's not expensive at all. You get to watch 2 films for one entry fee. The drive-in we went to was only like 5-10 dollars for the whole car. (Update... this theater is now charging 5.00 - 7.00 per person also!) I packed my car full of friends, and we loaded lawn chairs in the trunk. We were going to split the price, but the price was right and I figured I'd treat. They have a sign up that says not to bring in your own food, but it's not strictly enforced. They have a snack bar on-site, and I think that's how they make most of their money back. The first flick is usually G or PG rated, and something you wouldn't mind the kids watching. The second film is usually a little better, and something adults would typically prefer. I drive a small SUV, and it started raining ½ way through the first movie. We tried to open the back door, but I've got one of those SUV's where the door opens toward the sky, and we couldn't see the movie when we did that. Even with the rain, we had an absolute blast. This is definitely something you're going to want to put on your list of things to do in Charlotte NC. http://www.drive-ins.com/srchdest.htm?name=&city=&code=nc&status_op=open&search.x=12&search.y=4 This website has a list of all of the drive-ins in the area. The drive in we tried was the Badin Road location, and it was really a lot of fun. http://www.badinroaddrivein.com/ Looking for something to do when it rains in Charlotte, NC? Drive in movie theaters are even open on rainy nights, and because you put the speaker in your window (then roll up your window) it can be a great way to spend a stormy evening! Have a blast!
15) Go to a Rodeo - Let me tell y'all, I'm not much of a country girl, but there ain't nothing like putting on a big belt buckle and some boots and letting the South take you in. I love going to the Rodeo. If you're looking for stuff to do around Charlotte, NC, and you don't mind driving a little, go to the Rodeo! I've been to about 5 Rodeo's around Charlotte, NC and had a great time every time. They have bull riding, and a lot of other neat events. At most Rodeo's they'll have little games to involve the crowd during event transitions. Last time we went one of my girlfriends went out in the middle of the ring with about 30 other crazy ladies and started chasing a baby calf around trying to grab a bow off of it's tail. She won... I was admittedly jealous. I rode a mechanical bull (sorry no pictures), and had a few beers. After the Rodeo they'll usually have some type of country dancing. Make sure you bring a Designated Driver with you, because you're not going to want to pay Taxi fare for the 45 min ride home. If you're the DD, bring a camera. You don't want to miss any of the memories you'll make at the Rodeo. Most of the time, I hear about a rodeo just driving by a ranch with a sign up in Peachland or Polkton. The busy season is May-July. There are two sites that have very limited information on rodeo's in our area http://www.eastofmesquite.com/schedule.htm is the best one, but I also found http://www.srarodeo.com/ and http://baseportal.com/baseportal/sebra/results. When you're looking at these sites, ignore the prices you see. They're entry fees for Rodeo contestants, and you may want to practice on the mechanical bull a few times before you try out as an amateur. It's usually about 10.00 per person, but I would call and check on prices before you go.
16) Tent Camping - I'm not fancy enough yet to have an RV, but I'm a girl who loves the outdoors! My husband proposed to me on Kings mountain, and that's been a popular camping spot for us since then. Still, sometimes I feel that something's lost when you're surrounded by lots of other people, RV's, showers, etc. Well, it's not easy to find a campground with out all of the amenities. I did the research for you, and in about a 2 hour drive you can get to Catawba River Campground. You can fish, canoe, kayak, or tube. They also have a 15 foot deep water hole, and plenty of fish down the mile long river front. It's perfect if you want to make sure you're fishing where the fish are, or if you want a nice getaway from all of the Charlotte busyness.
17) Watch a Play - I have to admit, the last performance I went to I didn't love. I saw CATS, and though the acting was great, the costumes were awesome, and the singing was brilliant, I didn't like the play. Please don't hate me for that, my husband loved it. I will tell you, RENT played there last year and that was an AWESOME show! If you're a person who loves watching plays, spend the money and get yourself a good seat. If you've never been, start out with the cheap seats and feel it out. Sitting a little further back the first few performances will give you something to look forward to, and keep your wallet a little more stable. I called them the cheap seats, but I really shouldn't do that. The least expensive tickets run between 20.00 and 30.00 depending on the performance. I had my husband give me tickets to several plays for Christmas last year, and we've really enjoyed the experiences. http://www.blumenthalcenter.org/ If you're interested in a smaller performance and a lower price, try out Matthews Playhouse. They have a lot of shows with kids from the area, and they do a really great job. http://www.matthewsplayhouse.com/
18) Reed's gold mine. It's a cute little set up with a historic feel. If you've got kids, or just love to have new experiences you can go to Reed's gold mine to hunt for gold like the 49ers did. If you find anything while you're panning they'll let you take it home with you as part of the experience. http://www.nchistoricsites.org/Reed/main.htm
19) Dinner Comedy- http://www.pinevilledinnertheater.com/ So I blogged about the Pineville dinner theater a while ago, and told you I was going to try it and let you know. Well, it's awesome. It was nothing like what I expected, but I'm going to say it was better. Travis and I went to order tickets to the show and found out that if you didn't want to pay the 50.00 per ticket with meal, you have other options. Since I'm usually a cheap date, I was happy to grab some Chinese food and hop over to the dinner theater after that. Guess what, it's not a play... it's a comedy act. It's a lot like the comedy zone actually. Tickets are 12.00 a piece, and the 3rd act is the best so plan on sticking around. I think you'll really enjoy this as an alternative to the comedy zone if you find yourself on the Pineville side of town.
20) EpiCentre Charlotte | Epicenter Charlotte - There is plenty to do in the uptown Charlotte Area, but the new great thing to do is visit the EpiCentre. You can go bowling in the Epicentre at Strike City Bowling Alley www.strikecitycharlotte.com. If you're more the movie type, www.epicentretheaters.com has a great feel! If you're planning to visit a club in the Epicentre... dress in a way that supports being outside for a while. Almost everywhere has a line after 10:30. SUITE (704.999.7934) is one of the best clubs uptown from what I'm told. My favorite is Whiskey River. They have a mechanical bull and great music. The bar is big and set up well. Though it's not in EpiCentre, The Breakfast Club (704.374.1982) is a great alternative for people who want to dance to 80's music and flash back in time. Thursday nights are bumping in the EpiCentre now... with the rooftop of the EpiCentre after 5 concert series on Thursday evenings at the Pavilion. Additions: You can probably tell by my lack of club knowledge that I'm now too old to be considered cool, and I don't get out much. It isn't my fault, my husband can't dance and whenever we go it is just embarrassing for everyone involved. If you're over the age of 35, you have to go to the Breakfast Club... don't hate, that's just the rule. Forum is also an acceptable club for people who like to go dancing, but aren't in college anymore. I hear the really happening clubs right now are "Butter" and "Wet Willies," but as I'm sure you can tell by my use of the word "happening"... I am not really an authority on this topic. Bar Charlotte is a pretty good club for college age people, and for that one creepy old man who always hangs out at the college club.
21) Laser Quest - I just went to a friends birthday party at Laser Quest and my inner child emerged. If you're not familiar with Laser Tag, let me enlighten you. It is like jumping into a science fiction movie, and you're the main character. You dress up in dark colors, and if you're anything like me you're walking around convincing yourself you have what it takes to join the CIA. I put on jeans and a black shirt, and walked into the debriefing station which is where I realized my first and only mistake... not making a second run with the lint roller. You're blasted with black light, and though I remembered to whiten my teeth my black shirt was glowing with fuzz (so embarrassing)! Then you arm up your laser gun and run into this maze that reminds me somehow of a McDonalds play place, but doesn't make you feel so claustrophobic. It's basically a 2 story series of ramps and walls made of plywood and painted black with splashes of 80's colors that glow in the black light. Each game is 20 mins long (I'm almost positive) and our group was combined with a few others for a total of 20 players. I am awesome at this game! I am a 27 year old female, but exceptionally competitive. I finished in 2nd place in this form of Charlotte entertainment behind a 12 year old laser tag Jedi of some sort. It was a great night! The price is 8.00 per person (per game). I think they run specials on Friday and Saturday nights where you can get 2 games (40 mins) for 12.00 per person. So worth it! Laser Quest - (704) 567-6707 at 5323 East Independence Boulevard
22) Cheap Movie - This post is in response to a comment asking for an inexpensive option! If you're looking for something cheap to do in Charlotte, NC, you're in luck. The Movie's 10 Cinemark at 9508 Northeast Court, Matthews is a great option for something to do in Charlotte when it is raining out, and it is a great option if you're looking for something cheap to do. Tickets are always 2.00 or less per person. You'll find that sodas and popcorn are about the same price as at other theaters, but the movies are much less. You won't be able to watch a new release at this Charlotte movie theater, but that's okay for us. I hate watching movies. I don't just hate paying 10.00 per movie, I actually don't like watching movies. I blame my short attention span, and the fact that everyone wants you to be quiet for over an hour while sitting in the dark. Still, if I can spend a few dollars and get a date out of it, I guess it works. Thursday, Friday, Saturday the movies are 2.00 per person. The rest of the days its between .50 and 1.50. They were running a promo for a while where if you bought 3 tickets on a Monday they were .50 each. If you bought 2 tickets, they were a buck fifty each. We always went and asked for 3 tickets. This isn't the nicest theater in town. You'll randomly go in a theater that is missing a few seats and caution tape is up around it or something crazy like that, but for 2.00 I still say WORTH IT! Charlotte also has a unique movie theater called Theatres at Ballantyne Village (which is not the cheap one) that serves wine, coffee and dessert instead of popcorn and Milkduds. We also have a few movie theaters that only show independent films, and lots in shopping centers with plenty of before and after movie date things to do.
23) Take a Vineyard Tour - My favorite little place to do this is Treehouse Vineyards. They have wonderful weekend tours and during the spring and summer they usually have live music and a bonfire going. If you're looking for a romantic evening in the city, reserve the date night treehouse for a picnic overlooking the grapes. The even have an overnight treehouse for a full evening. 301 Bay St, Monroe NC 704-283-4208.
Other stuff to do around Charlotte, NC - There are only so many recommendations I can give before my fingers fall off, and I think I'm about there. If you're looking for things to do in Charlotte, NC you can also consider going to Celebration Station, the Driving Range, Putt-Putt, Carowinds, NoDa, Discovery Place, Dave and Busters, or just take a ride around town on either the light rail or the bus. We like having picnics at the Airport Overlook, and enjoy the monthly events in the Downtown Matthews square.
HAVE FUN! Enjoy Charlotte! I've been like many other locals around Charlotte, NC and decided that there's just nothing to do. I've spent much to much time bored and watching T.V. Take some adventures with me, see Charlotte in a new light and try new things. Happy experiencing!
Heather Aycoth Zboch
Things to do in Charlotte, NC
Things to do in Charlotte, NC in the Fall
If you're looking for things to do in Charlotte, NC in the Fall, you should plan a day to visit one of the Charlotte Area Corn Mazes. This was one of the most enjoyable seasonal things I did in Charlotte last year, and I know if you're not a fun hater you'll enjoy it too! The Amazing Maize Maze is located at 4431 Neck Road in Huntersville, NC and the office number is 704-875-3113 if you would like more information. This year's maze is 7,700 feet long, has 466 individual turns, 125 intersections, and is only open for a month (September 4th - November 7th 2010). Stanly County also has a nearby corn Maze that is open for a month (Semptember - October Saturdays 11-8 and Sundays 1-6) and is 6.00 per person. The Get Lost Corn Maze is located at 20935 Highway 73 West, Albemarle NC 28001 and is 7.5 acres this year. This corn maze has lots of games to play before or after you navigate through the maze like a sling shot game, corn hole and a pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin to take home.The Get Lost Corn Maze also features a "Maze of Terror" (Friday and Saturday nights from 7:00pm-10:00pm October 8th - October 31st) and is a guided walk on a "haunted" trail for 12.00 per person regardless of age.
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Things to do in New York, NY - If you're looking for things to do in NYC, you're not alone. It is amazing that a city as big as NYC can leave people wondering what to do, but it happens. Well don't fear, this list of things to do in NYC is your cure!
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