34 best indoor activities when it’s rainy in Charlotte

34 best indoor activities when it’s rainy in Charlotte
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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.

Duckpin bowling has proven to be all the rage in recent years and Pins Mechanical Co., Slingshot, and Pinhouse are all great spots for a game with friends.

Pins Mechanical Co. South End


(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.

mac tabby cat cafe noda

(4) Figure your way out of an escape room.

Here are a few nearby locations to check out:

Timed Out Escape Room Ballantyne

(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.

Go-kart pricing:

  • 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.

[Related story: Indoor obstacle course arena called Ninja Nation now open in Huntersville]

Ninja Nation Huntersville

(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:

Bad Axe Throwing

(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.

Discovery Place Science

(14) Hunt for antique treasures at Sleepy Poet.

Sleepy Poet is relocating to a new location on South Boulevard, but until then, shop on.

[Related story: Beloved antiques destination Sleepy Poet moving to new location, investing $5M]

Sleepy Poet

(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:

(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.

(34) Enjoy a cocktail sipping an old fashioned at a speakeasy

Check out Dot Dot Dot, Cellar at Duckworth’s and Backstage Lounge. None of these spots have windows.

stefan huebner dot dot dot

Co-owner and bartender Stefan Huebner. Related story: 8 best cocktail bars in Charlotte

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