Your 5-minute guide to the best things to do in Charlotte

Editor’s note: CharlotteFive has limited coverage of in-person events to help prevent community spread of COVID-19. As of May 14, capacity limits have been lifted, and masks are not required either indoors or outdoors in most places. Exceptions include public transportation, schools, camps, child care centers and some health care settings.


Make vibrant cakes during a Pride Cake Decorating class with Sweet Spot Studio. Cakes will be made to emulate the different colors of the Pride flag, and Pillar Celebrations will make custom cake toppers to complete the dessert. $10 from each ticket will be donated to Time Out Youth. June 11. 6:30 p.m. $85. 4418 Monroe Road, Suite C.

Listen to stories centered on home and belonging at “Stories of Home” from the Intersections Program. This unique “Intersections” event — an Arts+ community collaborative project — will showcase Charlotte youth and adult leaders (including some elected officials) sharing personal stories to leave the audience with a greater understanding of who they are. The program was first launched in 2020 to bring together high school students and Studio 345 alumni to engage and share personal narratives. Past participants have included District Court Judge Louis A. Trosch Jr., Mecklenburg County Commissioners Susan Rodriguez-McDowell and Laura Meier and District Court Judge C. Renee Little. June 11. 7 p.m. Free, but registration is recommended, as space is limited. The Square at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St.


Hear from local artists and co-founders of the It Takes a Village: Charlotte Artist Collectives exhibition. Designed to celebrate the works by local artists from Goodyear Arts, BlkMrktClt and Brand the Moth, this new exhibition at the Mint Museum Randolph features works by artists of diverse backgrounds with materials ranging from woven fabric to oil paint, collages and ceramics. Throughout the launch day, visitors can hear from the collective co-founders. There will also be food trucks, a cash bar, complimentary admission to the museum and live music by DJ Fannie Mae. June 12. Noon-5 p.m. Free. 2730 Randolph Road.

Celebrate National Falafel Day at Yafo Kitchen. This is your first chance to try the new falafel baguette, which will debut with tomato-cucumber salad, lettuce and sumac onions. Or enjoy the gluten-free, vegan falafel in a build-your-own bowl, wrap or salad. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. $11.99 for the baguette. 720 Gov. Morrison St., 1331 Central Ave., 1231A East Blvd.

Shop local at the Cotswold Farmers Market. After a closure due to COVID-19, the Cotswold Farmers Market will welcome visitors once again. In addition to fresh produce, you’ll also find handmade goods from local vendors. 8 a.m. to noon. Free. 309 S. Sharon Amity Road.


Attend a free photo workshop in uptown to celebrate International Albinism Awareness Day, hosted by Charlotte photographer and Paid in Exposure podcast founder Gavin Boulware. The Photo Walk is one of Boulware’s summer events, which also include special mentorship opportunities and a Paid in Exposure podcast episode, where he will discuss his experiences coping with discrimination and bullying as an albino photographer. The photo workshop and podcast will encourage others to embrace their individuality and use it to enhance their craft. June 13. 5-7 p.m. Free. Meet at 5 p.m. uptown at 1623 N. Tryon St. to start the walking photoshoot.

Join local photographer and podcast host Gavin Boulware for a photo workshop celebrating Albinism Awareness Day. Mural by Nick Napoletano.

Listen to live music at Arts at Queens Outdoors. This week, catch Damn Tall Buildings, a Brooklyn-based bluegrass band, as it plays on the Queens campus in Myers Park. It’s recommended to bring lawn chairs, picnics and blankets. You may also BYOB. There’s space for up to 200 people in “pods” chalked onto the grass, which can each accommodate up to four adults. June 13. 2 p.m. $20 (free for Arts at Queens members). 1900 Selwyn Ave.

Get tickets for Concert in the Gardens at Duke Mansion. The Bechtler Ensemble will play music from across the globe at the Duke Mansion gardens, including works by Russian composer Alexander Scriabin and American composer Alan Hovhaness. Tickets are limited, and it’s recommended that you bring your own chair. Seating will be socially distanced. 6-7 p.m. $35. 400 Hermitage Road.

Listen to live music by the Bechtler Ensemble during Concert in the Gardens at the Duke Mansion.

Listen to live music by the Bechtler Ensemble during Concert in the Gardens at the Duke Mansion.

Enjoy free lunch at NoDa Company Store. Sunday Funday free lunch is back, where you can enjoy Carolina-style hotdogs fresh from the grill. Vegetarian options are available, as well. 11-1 p.m. Free. 3221 Yadkin Ave.


Visit the new Three Amigos location. From the team behind Sabor Latin Street Grill and La Caseta, the second Three Amigos location is now open for dinner, featuring the full menu with cocktails coming soon. Expect favorites such as the Enchiladas Mixtas or Tacos De Carne Asada. 4-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 4-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 7741 Colony Road.

Visit the new Three Amigos location in South Charlotte for enchiladas and tacos.

Visit the new Three Amigos location in South Charlotte for enchiladas and tacos.

Make the perfect simple tostones. As part of The Skillet series, Chef Ken Aponte of Alchemy at C3 Lab shares his recipe for tostones, as well as tips for cooking plantains. Learn about his story, explore the history of plantains across cultures and try your hand at Aponte’s recipe in your own kitchen.

Try your hand at Chef Ken Aponte’s tostones.

Try your hand at Chef Ken Aponte’s tostones.


Start the week with a shake. The team behind What the Fries is now serving handspun milkshakes prepared with a high-quality ice cream base. Each shake is served in a 16 oz. cup and garnished with a flavored rim and toppings. There will be a featured milkshake flavor each week, and flagship flavors include Chocolate Marshmallow Oreo, Purple Yam, Birthday Cake, Golden Milk, Vanilla Cookies and Cream. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. $8. 10707 Park Road.

Take a photo with crocheted “Wonder Wings” at Edna’s Porch. This public art installation is part of South End Blooms, a month-long collaboration between local musicians, painters, fiber artists and dancers designed to draw visitors to South End. Designed by Ashley Jane and Kelly Rose, these wings offer the perfect photo opportunity for a vibrant backdrop. Free. 213 E. Palmer St.


Get an ice cream at the new Golden Cow Creamery location. In addition to popular flavors such as Salted Oreo, visitors can also expect sweet Belgian Liege waffles from Golden Waffles, a partnership between Golden Cow and Cast Iron Waffles. 601 S. Tryon St.

Order an ice cream cone from the new Golden Cow Creamery location in uptown.

Order an ice cream cone from the new Golden Cow Creamery location in uptown.

Plan ahead for Father’s Day. This year, Father’s Day falls on June 20, and CharlotteFive created a guide to inspire special gifts and meals, from craft beer tours to “dad hats” and plenty of bacon.


Listen to Thursdays Live by Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. This free monthly concert series is a partnership with the Monroe Road Advocates to bring music to Charlotte communities and make live orchestral music more accessible to diverse audiences. The June 17 concert with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra brass quintet will feature works by Mozart, Scott Joplin and Brahms. Food and drink from Edge City Brewery, Wingstop and Hawthorne’s New York Pizza will be available for purchase. 6 p.m. Free. Embrace Sculpture at the intersection of Monroe Road and Conference Drive.

Become one with Vincent Van Gogh’s works, such as Sunflowers and The Starry Night, during the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit at Camp North End. The Lighthouse Immersive exhibit, designed by artistic director Massimiliano Siccardi, lets you step into the world of Van Gogh’s flowers, still life and landscapes in over 500,000 cubic feet of space. Tickets are available at or by phone at 704-372-1000. June 17 through Sept. 12. $39.99+

Step into famous works of art at the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit.

Step into famous works of art at the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit.

Mark your calendar

Celebrate Juneteenth during the 2021 Queen City Juneteenth Festival. Themed “Educating, Empowering, Entertaining,” this event will bring communities and families together to spread awareness of African American culture and give back to less-fortunate communities. There will be 50 Black-owned businesses in attendance, as well as dance performances, music and giveaways. Expect a pie-eating contest, limbo, kids’ games and face painting. June 19. Noon to 6 p.m. Free. Fran’s Kids Boys & Girls Center, 2600 W. Trade St.

Participate in the fourth annual Durag Fest. The festival will celebrate Black culture and community through music, fashion and art. Events include a “Deep Wave Day Party” and Black vendor marketplace, “Durag Hall of Fame” with portraits of Charlotteans and music/dance performances, and “Adult Swim” with local performers and artists, as well as a fashion show. The event is free, but requires an RSVP. COVID-19 safety guidelines will be in place. Unvaccinated attendees are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing. June 19. Noon to midnight. Free. Victoria Yards (408 N. Tryon St.), NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza (400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.) and Camp North End (1824 Statesville Road).

Attend the Juneteenth celebration in Clover, SC. The event will kick off at 9 a.m. with the second annual Freedom Walk at Clover Chapel UMC, where participants will walk around town on a designated route commemorating Juneteenth, complete with a reading of the Town of Clover Proclamation. Later that day, head to Roosevelt Community Park at 5:30 p.m. for food trucks, a youth basketball tournament, cornhole tournament, live cultural dancing and a live DJ at the Celebration in the Park. June 19. $15 for the Freedom Walk. 405 Kings Mountain St., for the Freedom Walk; 312 Mobley St., for Celebration in the Park.

Explore Juneteenth Jam, presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts. This two-day event will span uptown Charlotte, from Victoria Yards to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza to The Square. Expect live music, interactive dance sessions and an installation of the Durag Fest. Begins 4 p.m. June 18 and 11 a.m. June 19. Free. Multiple locations in uptown.

Join the fun on Make Music Day. This worldwide celebration first began in France in 1982, and has since grown to 1,000+ cities in 120 countries. To celebrate the event, attend the Tosco Music Singalong/Playalong, where you can try your hand during a beginner guitar and ukulele class, join a pop and country singalong/playalong, participate in an open mic hour or engage in a Beatles sinaglong/playalong. June 21. 4-7 p.m. Free. Victoria Yards, North Tryon and &th St.

Catch the “Celebrate America” concert. Presented by Charlotte Symphony, in partnership with the Charlotte Knights, the concert will take place on Truist Field and feature fireworks and a tribute to essential workers who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. There will also be marches and an appearance by Homer the Dragon. June 25. 8:30 p.m. $25. 324 S. Mint St.

Hop on a City Brew Tour. New to Charlotte, City Brew Tours offers craft brewery tours and experiences. The Original Charlotte Tour stops at four breweries with a meal pairing at Noble Smoke and the Sip of Charlotte Tour stops at three breweries with a local snack. Current participating breweries include Armored Cow Brewing, Ass Clown Brewing Company, Lower Left Brewing Company and Suffolk Punch. The 14-passenger van picks guests up outside The Westin Charlotte. Starts June 26. $70+. 601 S. College St.

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