From road races and mountain hikes to beer and BBQ festivals, there’s no shortage of things to keep you busy around Charlotte in the coming months.
Here are 24 must-do spring events and activities to add to your 2023 calendar.
Go to a Charlotte FC game or watch at a local restaurant/bar.
Details: If you didn’t watch a game during their first historic season, don’t worry – there will be plenty of opportunities to see our Major League Soccer team play on home turf this season.
Upcoming home games:
- March 11 – v. Atlanta United
- March 25 – v. New York Red Bulls
- April 15 – v. Colorado Rapids
- April 22 – v. Columbus Crew
- May 6 – v. New York City
Related story: Where to watch Charlotte FC
Support women-owned businesses at the Girl Tribe Pop-Ups.
Details: Shop for a few new spring pieces, find gifts for friends and family, and take some fun pictures.
Dates: March 12, April 8 and May 7
Cost: $4 general admission, $15 VIP.
Learn a new skill on SkillPop.
Details: The start of a new season is a great time to try something new. SkillPop offers a bunch of fun classes on a variety of topics ranging from cookie decorating basics to starting a business. Here are a few upcoming classes that caught our eye:
- Watercolor Landscapes – March 15 from 6:30-8pm
- Spring Patio Farming – March 16 from 6:30-8:30pm
- Introduction to the Enneagram – March 30 from 6:30-8:30pm
Ride all the coasters 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 rollercoaster.
Cost: Day passes cost $40 (or $37 if you enter after 3pm). You can also opt for a season pass, which includes unlimited visits.
- Fast Lane pass: Season Fast Lane passes are sold out, but you can add one onto a day trip for $59 to spare yourself the time spent standing in line for every ride.
Dates: Open for the season
Check out the outdoor activities at the Whitewater Center.
Details: This season, the Whitewater Center is hosting The Whole (and Half) Enchilada MTB Race, The New South Half & Full Marathon, Tuck Fest and Whitewater Triathalon.
Dates: Event dates are March 25, April 1, April 21-23, April 29 and May 6.
Do yoga with the alpacas at Good Karma Ranch.
Details: You’ve heard of the downward-facing dog pose but during this outdoor yoga flow you’ll learn the downward-facing alpaca pose alongside a group of alpacas.
Dates: March 11, 25-26; April 1-2 and 29
Run in a local race.
Details: Whether you’re an avid runner, trying to get in shape, or looking to try something new, the spring has serval races open to all running levels.
- Craft Beer Half Marathon & 5 Miler – April 1
- New South Marathon – April 1
- Charlotte RaceFest Half Marathon – April 15
- Teal Diva 5K – May 6
- PurpleStride Charlotte – April 29
Sit out 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 – Belmont
- Canopy Cocktails – South End
- Dilworth Tasting Room – Dilworth/South End
- Noble Smoke – Wesley Heights
Related guide: The 25 best patios in Charlotte, right now
Interact with fun art installations and check out the activities at Charlotte SHOUT!
What: Uptown will soon be brimming with interactive art installations like a miniature golf course and giant see-saws.
- Expect restaurant specials, yoga classes, comedy specials and live music.
Dates: The festival runs March 31-April 16. Find the full schedule here.
Cost: Free (some events offer VIP tickets for an elevated experience).
Bring your pup out for Paws in the Park.
Details: This family-friendly festival is one of the largest dog events in the area with more than 150 vendors, 20 dog rescue groups and shelters onsite, plus food trucks and entertainment.
Date: April 1
Catch a Knights game at Truist Field.
Details: The home opener is March 31 and there will be fireworks following the game.
Dates: The season runs through September. Get tickets here.
Celebrate our local food scene at the annual Charlotte StrEATs Festival.
Details: Day one of the festival will kick off with a family night featuring a cook-off, dessert and food trucks plus kid activities. On day two, participants can walk through a mini-map of the city and taste their way through Charlotte’s most iconic neighborhoods. There will also be live music, multiple cooking demonstrations and a pop-up market featuring local vendors.
Dates: April 15-16
Cost: Free to attend on both days; $85-$140 for a tasting ticket. Get tickets here.
Hang out at Camden Commons.
What: Camden Road will 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.
Dates: April 16, May 21 and June 18 from 11am to 5pm.
Immerse yourself in the arts at BOOM Charlotte.
What: This fringe art festival showcases the works of artists in a variety of disciplines including theater, dance, music, spoken word, comedy, film, visual art and public art installations.
Dates: April 21-23
Celebrate Charlotte Earth Day at First Ward Park.
Details: Expect performances, children’s activities and educational activities for all ages.
Dates: April 15
Moo Brew and ‘Que
The event: The two-day festival will have craft beer, food and music from 25+ local, regional and national breweries serving over 75 carefully curated beers. Expect local restaurants and food trucks to compete for burger and barbecue bragging rights.
Date: April 15-16 at AvidXchange Music Factory Grounds
Cost: Tickets range from $35-$100.
Try delicious food and wine pairings during Charlotte Wine + Food Week.
Details: Throughout the week, there will be a series of tasting dinners, each featuring wines from different wineries to pair with each multi-course meal. Event proceeds benefit four local children’s charities; A Child’s Place – a program of Thompson Child & Family Focus, Augustine Literacy Project, GenOne and The Learning Collaborative.
Dates: April 18-April 23
Cost: Tickets range from $195 to $750 depending on the event.
Put on your finest derby attire the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase.
Details: In addition to the main horse racing event, the day will also include festivities like a hat contest, pony rides for the kiddos, a series of corgi races and a tailgating contest.
Date: April 29
Price: $75 general admission, $175 for tailgating and $395 for lawn boxes.
Climb to the summit of Crowders Mountain and take in the scenic views.
Trails: Take Crowders Trail for a more moderate climb. Go with Rocktop Trail for a more challenging 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-8pm during March and April and from 8am-9pm from May to September. The trails are always less crowded earlier in the day.
Après hike: Veronét Vineyards is a 12-minute drive from Crowders, so go for a post-hike drink and snack.
Related guide: Top 6 places to hike near Charlotte, plus a guide to their best trails
Celebrate 106 years of Cheerwine at the Cheerwine Festival in Salisbury.
Details: Try Cheerwine-inspired BBQ, desserts and drinks and enjoy entertainment from local, regional and national musical acts, plus kid-friendly activities.
Dates: May 20
Get a plate with all the fixins at the Carolina BBQ Festival at Camp North End.
Details: Pit masters from across the Carolinas are coming together to showcase the three regions that make up Carolina BBQ. The experience includes whole-hog BBQ tasting plates from three tents. Plates come with two sides and a 10oz beer pairing. There will also be live music, vendors, plus wine, beer and cocktails.
Date: May 7
Cost: $75 general admission, $150 VIP admission. Get your tickets here.
Start your engines for a weekend of racing at the Coca-Cola 600.
The event: Expect all the big names in NASCAR, a salute to military heroes, beer and 600 miles of loud, heart-pumping racing.
Date: May 28 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Buy tickets.
Cost: Tickets range in price from $49-$119.
Sip on mimosas at Charlotte Brunch Festival
The event: Expect live entertainment, brunch cocktails and a brunch menu from local chefs.
Date: May 20 at Pleasant Grove Farm
Cost: Check their social media platforms for tickets updates.
Get a hands-on culinary experience at Savor Charlotte
The event: It’ll have a mix of hands-on classes and demonstrations, exclusive menus plus special offers from local chefs, mixologists, restaurateurs and bakers.
- Take a cooking class at Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen or Taco Molino.
- Learn how to make a cocktail at Billy Sunday or The Cocktailery.
Date: March 8-22
Cost: Prices vary at participating restaurants. View the full list here.
Editor’s note: We published this guide in 2022 and updated it with 2023 events on March 9, 2023.