Every two weeks, we’ll feature an audience question and have all four of our editorial team members provide their answer. Want to submit a question? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“What’s your favorite indoor activity on a cold or rainy day that isn’t just drinking?” – D
Thanks for the question. The best guide we’ve produced on this comes from Katie, Here are 15 things to do in Charlotte when it’s cold and miserable outside.
OK, here are answers from our Agenda editorial team.
#3 Recharge at Y2 Yoga – Clearly not trying to impress anyone with how fun and social I am, but truly what I want to do when it’s gross outside is go to yoga — and Y2 Yoga is my studio of choice. You can make a day of it by booking a massage at their upstairs spa or grabbing a meal at their on-site restaurant Namaste Cafe.
#2 Take a cooking class – It’s a fun, interactive activity that kills two birds with one stone — entertainment + dinner. Chef Alyssa’s classes cover anything from basic knife skills to specific cuisines like Mediterranean or French. My husband and I took a pasta making class at Whole Foods and had a blast. It’s a great way to try out new techniques before having to invest in new equipment at home.
#1 Play with cats at Mac Tabby Cat Cafe – For $12/hour you can hang out in a room with a bunch of adoptable cats. They’ve also got a small cafe area (totally separate from the cat room for sanitation regulations) where you can grab baked goods, coffee or kombucha. If you love cats, Mac Tabby is a wonderland. I’m a pretty expressionless person and I was overjoyed for 60 minutes straight.
#3 Get a latte and SCB at Amélie’s and settle in with a good book. Like Katie, I’m not trying to convince you I’m fun or social, either. There’s nothing like spending an afternoon alone, which is why this is one of my favorite things to do in Charlotte, ever, but it just feels cozier when it’s cold or rainy.
If this question didn’t specifically say “isn’t just drinking,” I’d tell you to get a glass of champagne instead, but here we are.
#2 Scale a wall at Inner Peaks. I did this for the first time in years a few weeks ago, and while I’m not good at it and my muscles screamed for days before the screams eased into quiet groans, I am hooked and have already gone back since. Nothing beats the feeling of reaching the top after you struggled through a track you thought would win (not to mention how BA you feel when you get to the top of the bouldering wall).
#1 Go to an escape room. They’re not cheap, but the price tag will still come in below what your bar tab would’ve been and you’ll have just as much – if not more – fun. Check out the best ones in this Agenda guide.
#3 Throw an axe at Lumberjaxe. It’ll run you $20 per person/hour. Not to brag, but I nailed the bullseye on the third axe throw of my life. It’s similar to bowling in that your group will have a specific lane. Pro Tip: If you’re struggling, use throw with both hands from over your head. Lumberjaxe is located next to Catawba Brewing, so if you need a White Zombie afterwards, it’s an easy walk.
#2 Spa day at The Ballantyne. The Ritz Spa and The Spa at Ballantyne are comparable in my opinion. Both have great pools and a hot tub for lounging afterwards. The Ritz’s hot tub and pool are on the 18th floor, which is cool. I rode the elevator in my towel at the Ritz one time with Bank of America CEO Brian Brian Moynihan. Awkward. I probably prefer The Ballantyne because the hotel massive and I love people watching in the lobby afterwards.
#1 Bowl at 10 Park Lanes. Queen Park Social and Piedmont Social are both cool, but have far less lanes if you’re actually bowling. 10 Park Lanes is also packed with other arcade games, TVs and more — you get it. Expect sneaky good food, I’m almost impressed, especially since you don’t expect good food at a bowling alley.
Bonus: My 3-year-old and I love Discovery Place Science. It’s amazing. Huge asset for the city. They’ve also got an iMax theater too.
#3 Gymboree Play & Music. Now that I’m a boring old dad, my cold and rainy days generally involve trying to keep kids occupied. This Gymboree near Ballantyne is not the clothing store you’ve seen at the mall. It’s a drop-in, electronics-free play area for ages 0-5 where kids can run, jump, climb and explore. Every 15 minutes, the staff leads the kids in a different activity or brings out new toys. There’s no way for your kids to get bored.
#2 Inner Peaks. Charlotte’s pre-eminent climbing gym is a solid choice for beginners and pros. A day pass and climbing harness will run you about $25 and you can climb, boulder or rappel to your heart’s content. They now have two locations — the original on Monroe Road and the new one in South End.
#1 Julia’s Cafe & Books. Coffee and books — what else could be better when it’s nasty outside? Julia’s has some excellent joe and the money they earn goes to support Habitat for Humanity. Used bookstores also are great options for a treasure hunt: Book Buyers in Plaza Midwood, The Book Rack near Pineville and The Last Word in University City are all excellent cold day activities.