Skip to main content

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 for rainy days, too!).

Editor’s note: This guide was last updated in June 2022.

1. Do indoor putt-putt

Head to one of Charlotte’s new indoor putt-putt spots like The Puttery in the South End or Stroke in Plaza Midwood for a round of golf and cocktails.

  • The Puttery offers two courses, each with a signature drink menu.
  • Stroke is a bit more intimate with a putt-putt course and a mid-century modern lounge.

Go further: 7 takeaways from my first time at Puttery, Charlotte’s cool new mini-golf bar

Stroke on the Plaza. Photo: Webber Symphony/Axios

2. Become a kid again

Super Abari is a nearly 5,000 square foot space with 35 pinball machines, 60 arcade games, and an enormous Nintendo Game Boy, as well as a bar and “lounge” lounge.

  • Arcade games are $0.25 and Pinball games are $0.50.

Go further: Opening of a long-awaited bar-cade in Belmont

Super Abari Belmont

Archives Axios

3. Go bowling

Duckpin bowling has been all the rage in recent years and Pins Mechanical Co., Slingshot and Pinhouse are all great places to play with friends.

Pins Mechanical Co. South End

Archives Axios

For $12/hour, you can hang out in a room with a group of adoptable cats.

  • They also have a small coffee corner (totally separated from the cat room for hygiene rules) where you can have pastries, coffee or kombucha. If you like cats, tabby mac is a wonderland.
mac tabby cat café noda

Archives Axios

5. The Great Escape

Here are some nearby escape rooms to check out:

Ballantyne Timed Escape Room

Archives Axios

6. Bringing the House to a Karaoke Lounge

Invite your friends and hire one Seoul Food Meat Co.’s private karaoke rooms. Of course, if your goal is to not remember going on stage at all, Jeff’s Bucket Shop’s basement karaoke operation in Montford is the place to be.

With three variations of race courses to navigate, Victory Lanes Karting is fun for the whole family. The facility also offers a bunch of other activities like ax throwing, an arcade, a virtual reality space, and bowling.

Go-kart price:

  • One race – $24/person
  • Two races – $48/person
  • Three races – $55/person
  • Four races – $64/person

*Each race lasts 8 minutes.

The 11,500 square foot arena features various courses with bars, boxes and platforms that will be frequently rearranged by staff to keep guests on their toes. You can race against friends on two-lane courses or on the warped wall.

Go further: An indoor obstacle course arena called Ninja Nation is now open in Huntersville

Ninja Nation Huntersville

Archives Axios

It is 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 are having difficulty, throw with both hands above your head.

Here are some ax throwing spots in the area:

bad ax throw

Archives Axios

11. Take an arts and crafts class for adults

Check Wine + Design on East Boulevard for a guided painting experience. Or check out our roundup of 25 places adults can take arts and crafts classes in the Charlotte area, 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 because it requires two people and serves as a way to build trust.

  • Unless you already have a subscription, start with one. day passes for $20, harnesses and shoes are an additional $5 each.

Pro tip: Members can bring a first-time climber for free on Fridays!


Archives Axios

13. Attend a stand-up show

Expect a wide array of comedians at The Comedy Zone – from national tours, big names to local comedians you’ve probably never heard of before. If you can, sit close to the stage so they laugh at you. Tickets usually cost between $15 and $30.

14. Become a scientist for a day

Head to Discovery Place Science, an interactive downtown museum. And watch an IMAX® movie, too.

Discovery Place Science

Archives Axios

15. Ancient Treasure Hunt

Check out Sleepy Poet for unique finds.

Go further: Beloved antiques destination Sleepy Poet opens new location, investing $5 million

sleeping poet

Archives Axios

16. Fly through the air

The Big Air Trampoline Park has it all: ninja warrior course, trampoline basketball, interactive dodgeball courts, massive foam pit and individual 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. You will find plenty of indoor entertainment like bowling alleys, pool tables, ping pong, board games, arcade games, darts and more. They also have full-service kitchens and bars.


Archives Axios

18. Lose yourself in a book at

Check out a branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Reserve a book online in advance or simply explore the shelves of the library system’s 20 locations in neighborhoods and suburbs around Charlotte.

19. Cool off on the ice

Head to Extreme Ice Center at Indian Trail and figure skate during their public skating times for $11 admission and $5 skate rental.

20. Test your archery skills at

Stop at Barefoot Archery for eight USA Archery-approved, well-lit 20-meter lanes. It will cost you $25/hour for trail time and equipment rental.

21. Develop your child’s imagination and creativity

ImaginOn, a 102,000 square foot facility located in Uptown is visited by over 300,000 people each year.

22. Go crazy inside a huge amusement park of 8 hectares

The 84,000 square foot indoor part of Frankie’s features 24 bowling lanes, a restaurant, a bar, a laser tag, a three-story playground, a 30-foot ride down, LED-lit bumper cars and a huge arcade (you can redeem arcade points for physical prizes).


Archives Axios

23. Watch games and eat wings at a sports bar

Here’s our guide to the 12 best sports bars in Charlotte. Want wings? Top wing spots in our city include Moosehead Grill, Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill, Wing King Cafe, dd Peckers, and Seoul Food Meat Company.

24. Explore a museum

Here are the big ones:

This 27-lane indoor shooting range is open 7 days a week. The walk-in price is $29/hour.

26. Spoil yourself with brunch

Charlotte does not joke when it comes to brunch. From classics like 300 East to brews like Suffolk Punch to chic spots like La Belle Helene – here are the 23 best brunches in our city, right now.

27. Drink beer at a brewery

Here’s a comprehensive list and map of Charlotte’s 30+ local breweries, along with the most popular beer of each. Our favorite rainy day breweries with cool, spacious indoor facilities 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 container, select a scent, then measure, mix and pour to create your own candle.

Go further: $40 Candle Making Workshop The Candle Bar is now open in the new South End space

Candle-bar-things to do inside

Archives Axios

29. Let the Games Begin

Play a classic like Monopoly or try a new game at Luck Factory Games at Gibson Mill Market. It is the largest board game cafe in the state with a library of over 1,000 games.

Go further: Board game cafe opens at Gibson Mill Market

Luck Factory Games Concord Gibson Windmill

Luck Factory Games at Gibson Mill in Concord. Photo: Webber Symphony/Axios

Chef Alyssa’s Course cover everything from basic knife skills to specific cuisines like the Mediterranean or France.

31. Test your golf game at Topgolf

The course is outdoors, but the chic air-conditioned bays are heated to keep things comfortable year-round. If you’re looking for a more relaxed (and cheaper) indoor driving range, head to Leatherman Golf on South Blvd.

32. Do some creative work in a cafe

Here’s our guide to Charlotte’s best coffee shops for working remotely. You could use a break from your home or office.

33. Eat, sip and shop at one of Charlotte’s food halls

  • Optimist Hall has more than 25 tenants, including local favorite Dumpling Lady and adorable paper mill Archer Paper.
  • The Market at 7th Street is a non-profit food hall located in Uptown. The tourist magnet is also great for locals with 10 vendors including Not Just Coffee, Viva Raw and CLT Find.

This 40,000 square foot library will give you a glimpse into the life of Billy Graham, “America’s Pastor.” Free entry.

35. Enjoy a cocktail while sipping an old fashioned in a speakeasy

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

Go further: 8 Best Cocktail Bars in Charlotte

stefan huebner dot dot dot

Co-owner and bartender Stefan Huebner. Archives Axios

36. Go to the theater

Whether it’s ‘Charlotte Squawks’ or Disney’s ‘Frozen’, they certainly have the air conditioning turned on in the theater and the shows are entertaining as well.

Go further: The economic impact of Broadway’s return to Charlotte

Photo: Courtesy of Blumenthal Performing Arts/Joan Marcus

Read next story

New Willow Wood Coffee Brings a Fresh Taste to Cornelius