Summer doesn’t officially start until June 21, but this recent streak of warm weather has given us a head start.
Here are 21 fun activities to add to your summer bucket list.
(1) Go to at least one River Jam Concert at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.
Details: The USNWC puts on outdoor concerts every Thursday through Saturday from 7-10pm all summer long. They bring in a variety of artists from all different genres, including roots rock, Americana, bluegrass, folk and funk. There’s food, craft beer, and yoga sessions at 6:30pm.
Cost: Free, $6 parking.
(2) Take the kids to Crayola’s IDEAworks at Camp North End.
Details: Navigate through three creative zones and track your progress with a provided wristband.
Cost: Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on Crayola’s website. Get yours here. Admission is free for children 3 and under.
Related guide: 5 takeaways from the new Crayola IDEAworks exhibit in Camp North End
(3) Watch a movie under the stars at Brewers at 4001 Yancey.
Details: Head to the beer garden on select Friday nights to enjoy family-friendly movies starting at 7:30pm. Guests can order food from the taproom but there will be free popcorn available.
(4) Enjoy a meal on a patio.
Details: You can find a good patio in just about every one of Charlotte’s neighborhoods. Here are a few to check out:
- NoDa Company Store – NoDa
- The Royal Tot (temporarily closed) – Belmont
- Dilworth Tasting Room – Dilworth/South End
- Reid’s – SouthPark
- Sister – Plaza Midwood
- Noble Smoke – Wesley Heights
Go deeper: The 21 best patios in Charlotte, right now
(5) Honor Black History during Juneteenth.
Details: There are several events set to take place in the days leading up to Juneteenth and on the holiday itself. Here are a few that stood out to us:
- Durag Fest – This day-long block party will have food trucks, DJs, a fashion show, and, of course, “wave checks.” June 18, 1-10pm at Camp North End.
- Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas – Expect festivities like a youth day camp, a drum circle and performers from around the world. June 16-19 at the House of Africa, 1215 Thomas Avenue, in Plaza Midwood.
- Juneteenth at Gantt Center – Join the Center for After Dark, a celebration of creativity and expression featuring workshops, theater performances and more. June 17, 6-10pm at the Gantt Center.
- Juneteenth Parade – Celebrate Black Excellence with local Black professionals from a variety of industries. June 20, 10am at CPCC
(6) Go to the final Camden Commons pop-up.
What: Camden Road will once again close off to street traffic and transform into a pop-up outdoor living space where folks can hang out, play games, listen to music and eat tasty food from South End restaurants.
Date: June 26 from 11am to 5pm.
(7) Participate in an outdoor yoga class.
Details: There are a handful of outdoor yoga classes to try out around the city. Here are a few that happen regularly:
- Camp North End – Counter Culture Club hosts a 1-hour yoga class every Sunday at 10am under the water tower at Camp North End. It’s free for members and $10 for non-members.
- Free Range Brewing – Dancing Lotus Yoga offers a class at the North Davidson Street brewery every Sunday at 10:30am. It’s free to attend.
- Freedom Park – Habitual Roots offers three yoga classes a week: Monday at 6:30pm, Wednesday at 6:30pm and Saturday at 9am. Classes are donation-based.
- Gantt Center – Meet on the rooftop every Sunday at 12:30pm. Free for members, $10 for non-members.
- Whitewater Center – Classes take place daily at 6:30pm and flow varieties include open level flow, slow flow and fun flow.
Go deeper: 21 places to do yoga outside in Charlotte
(8) Catch a Knights game at Truist Field.
Details: Baseball season is in full swing so head to the ballpark to cheer on our Knights.
Charlotte Symphony: The Orchestra will celebrate America in an evening full of anthems and marches. The night will end with a fireworks finale. June 22. Get tickets here.
Dates: The season will run through September.
(9) Go to Americrawl hosted by Rich + Bennett’s.
Details: Take to the streets in Uptown for Charlotte’s most patriotic bar crawl. Wear your favorite red, white and blue get-up for a chance to win prizes for the best-dressed individual, duo and group.
Cost: Tickets start at $10 and increase up until the event date. Cost includes drink specials, cover charges, commemorative koozie, and giveaways. A portion of the proceeds will directly benefit local military charity Veterans Bridge Home.
Date: June 25
(10) Plan a lake day at Lake Norman or Lake Wylie
Where to go:
- Lake Norman State Park has a 125-yard sand beach equipped with a concession stand, bathhouse, restrooms and lockers. $4-$6/per person. The main park is free to access.
- Ebenezer Park has a public beach, campsites and outdoor sports courts on the edge of Lake Wylie. Day passes are $3 for York country residents and $5 for non-York county residents.
- Ramsey Creek Beach is a 43-acre lakeside park with a half-acre sandy beach. Parking is $10 for county residents and $15 for non-county residents.
Related guide: Guide to Rock Hill’s lakefront beach with outdoor movies and beach volleyball
(11) Swim in the rock quarry at Carrigan Farms.
About the quarry: It’s a natural spring-fed body of water that was discovered in the 1960s when mining for granite stone. Now, it’s become a popular local destination to spend hot days. The best part? It has a mini beach with sand.
Swimming details: It’s $25/per person to swim at The Quarry (cash only). You must pass a swim test to be in the water without a life jacket.
Address: 1213 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy, Mooresville
(12) Go to a concert.
Details: Live music concerts are back in earnest and nothing says ‘summer’ like a photo on the lawn of the PNC Music Pavillion. Here are just a few of the many artists making their way through Charlotte this summer.
- Jesse McCartney – June 1 at the Fillmore
- Barenaked Ladies – June 5 at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
- The Doobie Brothers – June 8 at PNC Music Pavillion
- Garth Brooks – July 15 at Bank of America Stadium
- Luke Bryan – July 22 at PNC Music Pavillion
- Shawn Mendes – July 22 at the Spectrum Center
- Kendrick Lamar – August 2 at the Spectrum Center
- Alicia Keys – August 2 at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
(13) Lounge on a rooftop.
Details: In our eyes, there’s no such thing as a bad rooftop. Here are a few suggestions for your next rooftop outing depending on the vibe you’re going for.
- Classic rooftop – Fahrenheit (222 S Caldwell St., 21st Floor)
- New rooftop – Aura (124 E Stonewall St.)
- Neighborhood rooftop – Soul Gastrolounge/Sister (1500 B Central Ave.)
- Casual rooftop – Charlotte Beer Garden (1300 S Tryon St.)
Related guide: 13 best rooftop bars in Charlotte
(14) Watch a fireworks show on the 4th of July.
Details: Depending on where you’re viewing from, sometimes you can see a couple of fireworks shows at once. Here are some of the 4th of July celebrations with fireworks that are on our radar:
- Skyshow at Truist Field
- Celebrate America Fireworks Show at Carowinds
(15) Get your rear in gear during 24 Hours of Booty.
What: Every year, hundreds of walkers and more than 1,000 bikers commit to walking and cycling for 24 hours (or as much as they’d like in that 24-hour period) around the famous Booty Loop in Myers Park.
- Levine Cancer Institute, Levine Children’s Hospital, The LIVESTRONG Foundation and Queens University of Charlotte are the main beneficiaries of the event, but 10-20 other cancer-related nonprofits will receive support too.
- If you don’t plan to walk/bike, you can cheer on the participants from the sidelines or hang out in the food/expo area.
When: July 29-30, 2022
(16) Hike to the top of Crowder’s Mountain and take in the views.
Trails: Take Crowder’s Trail for a more moderate climb. Go with Rocktop Trail for a more strenuous hike and views along the way. If you want a shorter climb to the summit, hit up Backside Trail. It’s steep but it’ll get you to the top quicker.
Keep in mind: Trails are accessible from 8am to 8pm during March and April and from 8 am to 9 pm from May to September. The trails are always less crowded earlier in the day.
Après hike: Veronét Vineyards is a 12-minute drive from Crowder’s, so go for a post-hike drink and snack.
Related guide: Top 16 places to hike near Charlotte, plus a guide to their best trails
(17) Gather your friends to ride a pedal pub.
Details: This two-hour tour lets you and up to 14 people pedal around town while making stops at local bars and breweries.
- Expect 2-3 stops along the way.
Routes: The pedal pub does excursions through South End and Uptown.
Cost: If you’re booking as an individual, the cost comes out to about $41. If you book with a group, it’s roughly $30 a person.
(18) Have the time of your life at a drag show.
Details: Drag shows make a great outing for birthdays, bachelorettes or just because.
Pro Tip: Bring dollar bills to tip the dolls (it costs money to look as good as the queens, y’all).
- Sinners Brunch at Devil’s Logic Brewing – May 29
- Slay Sunday Pride Month Drag Brunch with the Vanity House – June 5
- Buff Faye’s Dragtoberfest at Gilde Brewery – June 11
- Main Dish Brunch at Legion Brewing Plaza Midwood – July 17
Go deeper: 17 Drag shows in Charlotte this June
(19) Take part in Charlotte Pride.
Details: Pride festivities will make a full, in-person return to Uptown this year after scaling back and even canceling events the past two years.
Mark your calendars:
- Charlotte Pride Week – August 12-19, 2022
- Charlotte Pride Festival – August 20-21, 2022
- Charlotte Pride Parade – Aug. 21, 2022
(20) Dine at a lakefront restaurant.
Details: Lake Norman and Lake Wylie are located about 30-minutes away from Uptown – each with a handful of lakefront restaurants. Here are two to check out:
- Hello, Sailor – Lake Norman (20210 Henderson Rd.)
- Drift – Lake Wylie (315-M Lanyard Ln.)
Related story: 2-story waterfront restaurant in Lake Wylie opening May 9
(21) Ride all the rides at Carowinds.
The rides: Carowinds has more than 50 rides at varying thrill levels. Scan Carowinds’ full list of rides here and sort by attraction type, thrill level, minimum height and fast lane accommodations.
- Kid-friendly: There are a number of kid- and family-friendly rides, including the Flying Ace Balloon Race and the Kiddy Hawk coaster.
- The coasters: Carowinds is home to 14 roller coasters, including the world’s top-rated steel coaster, Fury 325. Copperhead Strike is the park’s newest coaster.
Cost: Day passes cost $47. You can also opt for a season pass, which costs $130 for a Gold Pass and $215 for a Platinum Pass and includes unlimited visits.
- Fast Lane pass: For an additional $75, you can spare yourself the time spent standing in line for all the major rides.