Tired of the heat and looking for cool indoor activities?
Here’s a list of the 34 best indoor activities in Charlotte to escape this rain.
Editor’s note: This guide was last updated in August 2021.
(1) Go duckpin bowling.
(3) Pet 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.
(4) Figure your way out of an escape room.
Here are a few nearby locations 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.
(5) 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.
(6) 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 – $22/person
- Two races – $44/person
- Three races – $53/person
- Four races – $60/person
*Each race is 8 minutes long.
(7) 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.
(8) Go shopping at SouthPark Mall
It’s the largest mall in the Carolinas with a footprint of over 1,750,000 square feet.
(9) Unleash your inner lumberjack and go axe throwing.
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
(10) 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.
(11) Reach new heights at Inner Peaks.
This indoor climbing center is 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!
(12) Catch a stand-up show at The Comedy Zone.
Every time I go to Comedy Zone I tell myself I need to come more often. Even when I’m not sure who the performer is, I have a good time. If you can, sit close to the stage so there’s a chance they make fun of you. Tickets are usually about $15-$30.
(13) Take the family to Discovery Place Science.
Become a scientist at this hands-on Uptown museum. And catch an IMAX® movie too.
(14) Hunt for antique treasures at Sleepy Poet.
Sleepy Poet is relocating to a new location on South Boulevard, but until then, shop on.
(15) Fly through the air at Big Air Trampoline Park
It’s got it all — Ninja-warrior course, trampoline basketball, interactive dodgeball courts, massive foam pit and one-on-one jousting.
(16) 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.
(17) Get lost in a book at a Charlotte Mecklenburg Library branch
My favorite branch is the newly remodeled Morrison Regional.
(18) Nerd out on airplanes at Carolinas Aviation Museum
Tickets are $12 for adults. Check out the award-winning “Miracle on the Hudson” exhibition featuring the famed passenger jet that crash-landed safely in New York’s Hudson River in 2009 and take a selfie inside of a fighter jet cockpit.
(19) Test your bow and arrow skills at Barefoot Archery
Eight, 20-yard USA Archery approved lanes that are well lit. It’ll run you $25/hr for range time and equipment rental.
(20) Expand your child’s imagination and creativity at ImaginOn
This 102,000-square-foot facility located in Uptown is visited by over 300,000 each year.
(21) Go nuts inside Frankie’s, 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).
(22) Watch games and eat wings at a sports bar
Here’s the Agenda 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.
(23) Explore a museum
Here are the big ones:
- Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
- Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
- Levine Museum of the New South
- The Mint Museum (two locations in Uptown and on Randolph)
(24) Shoot guns at Blackstone Shooting Sports
This 27-lane indoor range is open 7 days a week. Walk-in pricing is $25/hr.
(25) 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 The Stanley — here are the 12 best brunch spots in our city, right now.
(26) Drink beer at a brewery
Here’s a complete list and map of Charlotte’s 20+ local breweries, plus the most popular beer at each. My favorite rainy day breweries with cool, spacious indoor setups include OMB, Brewers at 4001 Yancey, Resident Culture and Wooden Robot.
(27) Pour-your-own candles at The Candle Bar
The $35 Candle Bar experience is simple — choose a vessel, select a fragrance and then measure, mix and pour to create your own candle.
(28) Recharge with some yoga
Here’s a list of 42 top yoga studios in Charlotte.
(29) 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. They just moved into a brand new facility in South End next door to Brewers at 4001 Yancey.
(30) Score with 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.
(31) Get creative work done at a coffee shop
Here’s an Agenda guide on the 5 best new places to get create work in Charlotte that aren’t your house or your office.
(32) Eat, sip and shop inside 7th Street Public Market
Vendors include at this Uptown indoor market: Local Loaf, La Piccola Gabbi, Pure Pizza, Orrman’s Cheese Shop, Zia Pia Imports + Italian Kitchen, Hazelnuts Creperie, Bonsai Fusion (home of Charlotte’s first sushi burrito), Rico’s Acai, CLT FInd, Assorted Table, Viva Raz, Not Just Coffee and Tank’s Tap.
(33) 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.