Everything You Need to Do in Charlotte This Winter

Updated On 01/05/2018 at 05:17PM EST Updated On 01/05/2018 at 05:17PM EST
Chef Alyssa's Kitchen
Chef Alyssa's Kitchen | Justin Driscoll
The Mint Museum
The Mint Museum | The Mint Museum
Friday - Thursday
Jan 5-Mar 1
Crowders Mountain
Winter is the perfect time to hike Crowders Mountain, located about 40 minutes from Charlotte. Crowds have died down and the temperature is manageable. Work up a sweat hiking the trails that range from easy, moderate, to strenuous. Either way, you’ll want to take some pictures at the top, so be sure to pack a camera or phone.
Cost: Totally free
Friday - Thursday
Jan 5-Mar 1
Palmetto Hills Paintball
It may not be in your typical rotation of weekend activities, but paintball is the perfect adrenaline rush necessary to beat winter boredom and blues. Palmetto Hills Paintball has plenty of fields and courses to try, plus you can rent the gear there. They also have a low impact paintball option, perfect for youngsters and/or workgroups.
Cost: Tix start at $20 for everything you need to play
Friday - Sunday
Jan 5-Feb 25
Studio Cellar
Now is the perfect time to unleash your inner creative at Studio Cellar. Pick the painting you’d like to replicate, and let a professional artist show you exactly how to make it come to life on the canvas in front of you. You’ll leave with something you’re actually proud to display. They supply the art materials, plus a full-service bar to get shake off any pre brush-to-canvas nerves. Feel free to bring your own snacks as well. If you’d rather work on your own idea, you can “freestyle” at their paint bar. Create anything you’d like, but use their team of artists if you get stuck.
Cost: Tickets start at $26
Saturday - Thursday
Jan 6-Mar 1
AvidXchange Music Factory
Located at the AvidXchange Music Factory, The Comedy Zone lands a variety of nationally known jokesters worth checking out. Later this month, Jay Mohr comes to town. You know him from his stints on SNL and his podcast Mohr Stories. Get to the Music Factory early for a drink or a bite at the variety of bars and restaurants located right on-site.
Cost: Tix start at $15
Friday - Wednesday
Jan 5-31
Mint Museum
Charlotte is home to a plethora of museums, but when you reside here, it’s easy to get lazy and fail to fully take advantage of them. This winter, make it a point to break out of your usual bubble and add a trip to a museum to your list. On Wednesday evenings, the Mint Museum in uptown offers free admission to its galleries from 5-9pm.
Cost: $15, free Wednesday evenings from 5-9pm
Friday - Saturday
Jan 5-Mar 31
Various locations
You’ve already done a significant amount of chowing down this holiday season, so why not let the indulging continue? FEAST Food Tours lets you sample your way through a variety of your favorite Queen City neighborhoods. Tours include Dishes & Delights of Dilworth, Unwind & Dine in South End, and Local Flavors of Historic NoDa. Not only will you try some of the city’s greatest culinary masterpieces, you’ll also meet the people who helped bring these dishes to life.
Cost: $60 per person
Friday - Tuesday
Jan 5-Mar 6
Atherton Market
When your weeknight menu options are uninspired, a cooking class at Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen is exactly what you need to break free from dinnertime monotony. Learn to create delicious Thai dishes, the perfect feast for your Super Bowl party, or simply master some culinary basics. Get comfortable in the kitchen this winter, and by the time summer rolls back around you’ll be ready dinner party ready.
Coat: Tickets start at $65
Saturday - Saturday
Jan 6-Mar 31
Midland, North Carolina
While California gets all the credit for the gold rush, Reed Gold Mine in Midland, North Carolina is actually the site of the first gold discovery in the US. It’s free to tour the mine, and in warmer months you can try your luck at panning for gold. The mine also regularly hosts events and educational opportunities. Basket weaving class, anyone? Maybe?
Cost: Free
Thursday - Saturday
Jan 11-Mar 3
Dale F. Halton Arena
Root, root, root for the home team without spending a ton of cash as you cheer on the UNC-Charlotte 49ers basketball team. The games are perfect when you want your sports fix, plus the affordable tickets won’t put even more of a strain on your bank account after all that holiday spending.
Cost: Tickets start at 10 bucks
Friday - Thursday
Jan 12-Mar 15
South Tryon
If you’re looking for an engaging challenge, gather a group and head to Exit Strategy. You’ll use creative thinking to unlock clues that set you free from a variety of themed escape rooms. Work together to solve an Oceans 11-style bank heist, break free from a cabin in the woods, or untangle an old-fashioned whodunnit murder mystery.
Cost: $25 per person
Jan 19
Discovery Place Science
Still waiting for your Hogwarts acceptance letter? Us too. While you wait, head to Discovery Place’s Science on the Rocks. Their January 19 edition of the series -- which is an adults-only experience that allows you to drink inside the museum-- is Harry Potter-themed. You’ll get to play quidditch ping-pong, sip butterbeer slushies, and show what a true Potterhead you are during trivia.
Cost: $10 in advance, $12 at the door
Monday - Monday
Jan 22-Mar 26
Regardless of whether you’re hitting the links every weekend or have never swung a golf club in your life, you’ll love trying your hand at Topgolf. Grab food and drinks to enjoy in a private bay, then hit microchipped golf balls into massive targets. Even if your aim is a little (or a lot) off, you can still feel semi-skilled. It’s golf without the frustration that seasoned players will gladly complain about for as long as you let them.
Cost: $35 per hour
Jan 25
An overdose of Netflix during the winter may have your brain feeling just a little foggy. That means it’s time to put your mind to work again at Final Draught. It’s a quarterly discussion series featuring a panel of notable Charlotteans. This month, they’re talking about turning a side hustle into a main gig. If you’ve got a million-dollar idea you’d like to turn into a reality, get your ticket now.
Cost: $10 in advance, $15 at the door
U.S. National Whitewater Center
U.S. National Whitewater Center | U.S. National Whitewater Center
Thursday - Saturday
Feb 1-Mar 31
Wander around Uptown and you’ll notice a series of bronze plaques scattered throughout the streets. These are part of the Liberty Walk, and they all indicate spots that played an important role in Charlotte (and the country’s) history. Snag a Liberty Walk brochure at the Charlotte Visitors’ Bureau. It details exactly where you can find each of the plaques, as well as the meaning behind the various sites.
Cost: Free
Thursday - Saturday
Feb 1-Mar 31
5000 Whitewater Center Parkway
The rafting portion is closed until March 2018, but you can still visit the US National Whitewater Center when you’re starting to feel a little stir crazy. They’ve got plenty of other activities operating as normal, including mountain biking, obstacle courses, and climbing. Check their daily schedule for a full rundown.
Cost: $59 per person
Feb 3
The Fillmore
Charlotte is known for its booming beer scene. The Queen City Brewers Festival is the perfect place to enjoy your tried and true favorites while also discovering your next favorite pour. A ticket lets you sample offerings from 36 different breweries, plus food from a carefully curated selection of restaurants. The event benefits ACEing Autism-Charlotte.
Cost: Tickets are $45, plus fees.
Friday - Sunday
Feb 23-Mar 4
The Park Expo and Conference Center
Get some inspiration for all the home improvement projects you’ll want to tackle in time for spring at the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show. You’ll come away with tons of ideas about how to spruce up your yard, jazz up your kitchen, and make your bathroom Pinterest-worthy.
Cost: Tickets are $10 online or $12 at the box office
Feb 24
The Belk Theater
The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah comes to the Belk Theater right as he releases his ninth comedy special Afraid of the Dark to Netflix. Get ready for plenty of laughs from the Emmy Award-winning comedian.
Cost: Tickets begin at $25
The Fillmore Charlotte
The Fillmore | The Fillmore Charlotte
Friday - Saturday
Mar 16-17
South Charlotte
This self-guided tour will make you feel stupid for getting so excited about the KitchenAid mixer you got for Christmas. You’ll peep mind-blowing kitchen design, plus sample tastings from the area’s most renowned chefs, and catch a performance from local youth musicians. The event benefits the Charlotte Symphony.
Cost: Tickets are $25-$30
Mar 27
The Fillmore
You’re not quite as angsty as you were back when you were sitting in homeroom in the morning, but you know you’ve still got that emo kid somewhere inside you waiting to belt out lyrics about hair being everywhere and whatnot. Unleash the perfect dose of nostalgia when Dashboard Confessional comes to the Fillmore.
Cost: Tickets are $33, plus fees