Tired of the heat and looking for cool indoor activities?
Here’s a list of the 36 best indoor activities in Charlotte to escape the heat (save this for rainy days, too!).
Editor’s note: This guide was last updated in June 2022.
1. Do indoor putt-putt
- The Puttery offers two courses, each with a signature drink menu.
- Stroke is a little more intimate with one putt-putt course and a mid-century modern lounge.
2. Be a kid again
Super Abari is nearly 5,000-square-foot space with 35 pinball machines, 60 arcade games and a massive Nintendo Game Boy, plus a bar and a “living room” lounge area.
- Arcade games are $0.25 and pinball games are $0.50.
3. Go duckpin bowling
4. Pet cats at Mac Tabby Cat Cafe
For $12/hour, you can hang out in a room with a bunch of adoptable cats.
- They also have 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.
5. The great escape
Here are a few nearby escape rooms to check out:
- No-Da Escapes – 2017 North Davidson St.
- Escape Tactic Escape Room – 130 Southside Drive.
- Timed Out Escape – 2239 North Community House Rd.
- Exit Strategy (North) – 9539 Pinnacle Drive, Suite 300.
- The Box Escape Room – 6604 East W.T. Harris Blvd. Ste. E.
6. Bring the house down at a karaoke lounge
Invite your friends and rent one of Seoul Food Meat Co.‘s private karaoke rooms. Of course, if your goal is to not remember ever hitting the stage at all, Jeff’s Bucket Shop’s basement karaoke operation on Montford is the place for you.
7. Race a go-kart at Victory Lanes Karting
With three race track route variations to zip around, Victory Lanes Karting is fun for the whole family. The facility also has a bunch of other activities like axe throwing, an arcade, a virtual reality space and bowling.
- One race – $24/person
- Two races – $48/person
- Three races – $55/person
- Four races – $64/person
*Each race is 8 minutes long.
8. Embrace your inner American ninja warrior at Ninja Nation Huntersville
The 11,500-square-foot arena has various courses complete with bars, boxes and platforms that will frequently be re-arranged by the staff to keep guests on their toes. You can race against friends on two-lane courses or on the warped wall.
9. Go shopping at SouthPark Mall
It’s the largest mall in the Carolinas with a footprint of over 1,750,000 square feet.
10. Unleash your inner lumberjack
Try ax throwing to escape the heat.
Pro Tip: If you’re struggling, use throw with both hands from over your head.
Here are a few axe throwing spots in the area:
- BATL Axe Throwing (Plaza Midwood) – 933 Louise Ave., Ste. #108
- BATL Axe Throwing (LoSo) – 4128 South Blvd., Unit C
- Bad Axe Throwing (Uptown) – 350 East 6th St., Unit 1
11. Take an adult arts & crafts class
Check out Wine + Design on East Boulevard for a guided painting experience. Or check out our round-up of 25 places adults can take arts and crafts classes in the Charlotte area, featuring everything from sewing classes to jewelry making classes.
12. Reach new heights
Head to Inner Peaks, an indoor climbing center. It’s a perfect date activity since it requires two people and serves as a way of building trust.
- Unless you already have a membership, start with a day pass for $20, harnesses and shoes are an additional $5 each.
Pro tip: Members can bring a first-time climber for free on Fridays!
13. Catch a stand-up show
Expect a wide range of comedians at The Comedy Zone — from nationally touring, big name folks to local comedians you probably haven’t heard of before. If you can, sit close to the stage so there’s a chance they make fun of you. Tickets are usually about $15-$30.
14. Become a scientist for a day
Head to Discovery Place Science, a hands-on Uptown museum. And catch an IMAX® movie too.
15. Hunt for antique treasures
Check out Sleepy Poet for unique finds.
16. Fly through the air
Big Air Trampoline Park has it all — Ninja-warrior course, trampoline basketball, interactive dodgeball courts, massive foam pit and one-on-one jousting.
17. Play all day at a local social house
Queen Park Social and Piedmont Social House are adult playgrounds without the hokeyness of a place like Dave & Buster’s. You’ll find lots of indoor entertainment like bowling lanes, pool tables, ping pong, board games, arcade games, darts and more. They’ve also got full-service kitchens and bars.
18. Get lost in a book at
Check a Charlotte Mecklenburg Library branch. Reserve a book online in advance or just explore the racks at the library system’s 20 locations in neighborhoods and suburbs around Charlotte.
19. Cool off on the ice
Head to Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail and figure skate during their public-skate periods for $11 admission and $5 skate rentals.
20. Test your archery skills at
Stop by Barefoot Archery for eight, 20-yard USA Archery approved lanes that are well lit. It’ll run you $25/hr for range time and equipment rental.
21. Expand your child’s imagination and creativity
ImaginOn, a 102,000-square-foot facility located in Uptown is visited by over 300,000 each year.
22. Go nuts inside a massive 20-acre amusement park
The 84,000-square-foot indoor portion of Frankie’s has 24 bowling lanes, a restaurant, bar, laser tag, three-story playground, ride that drops 30 feet, LED-illuminated bumper cars and a massive arcade (you can redeem arcade points for physical prizes).
23. Watch games and eat wings at a sports bar
Here’s our guide to the 12 best sports bars in Charlotte. Hungry for wings? Our city’s best wing spots include Moosehead Grill, Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill, Wing King Cafe, d.d. Peckers, and Seoul Food Meat Company.
24. Explore a museum
Here are the big ones:
- Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
- Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
- The Mint Museum (two locations in Uptown and on Randolph)
25. Shoot your shot at Blackstone Shooting Sports
This 27-lane indoor range is open 7 days a week. Walk-in pricing is $29/hr.
26. Stuff yourself with brunch
Charlotte doesn’t mess around when it comes to brunch. From classics like 300 East to breweries like Suffolk Punch to fancy spots like La Belle Helene — here are the 23 best brunch spots in our city, right now.
27. Drink beer at a brewery
Here’s a complete list and map of Charlotte’s 30+ local breweries, plus the most popular beer at each. Our favorite rainy day breweries with cool, spacious indoor setups include OMB, Brewers at 4001 Yancey, Resident Culture and Wooden Robot.
28. Pour your own candles
The $40 Paddywax Candle Bar experience is simple — choose a vessel, select a fragrance and then measure, mix and pour to create your own candle.
29. Let the games begin
Play a classic like Monopoly or try a new game at Luck Factory Games at Gibson Mill Market. It’s the state’s largest board game café with a library of more than 1,000 games.
Go deeper: Board game cafe opens in Gibson Mill Market
30. Become a chef at Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen
Chef Alyssa’s classes cover anything from basic knife skills to specific cuisines like Mediterranean or French.
31. Test your golf game at Topgolf
The course is outside but the swanky climate-controlled bays are heated so things stay comfortable year-round. If you’re looking for a more relaxed (and less expensive) covered driving range, check out Leatherman Golf on South Blvd.
32. Get creative work done at a coffee shop
Here’s our guide on the best coffee shops in Charlotte to work remotely. You could use a break from your house or your office.
33. Eat, sip and shop inside one of Charlotte’s food halls
- Optimist Hall has over 25 tenants, including local favorite Dumpling Lady and the adorable stationary shop, Archer Paper.
- The Market at 7th Street is a non-profit food hall in Uptown. The tourist magnet is great for locals too with 10 vendors, including Not Just Coffee, Viva Raw and CLT Find.
34. Reflect on your faith at The Billy Graham Library
This 40,000-square-foot library will allow you a look into the life of Billy Graham, “America’s Pastor.” Admission is free.
35. Enjoy a cocktail sipping an old fashioned at a speakeasy
Go deeper: 8 best cocktail bars in Charlotte