Jun 13, 2023 - Things to Do

16 BFF date ideas to get you out of your brunch funk

puttery bar

The Puttery in South End. Photo: Axios archives

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Presented by the Charlotte Knights. Whether you're hanging with your BFF or the whole crew, a Knights game is the move. Cheers to skyline views, local brews and home runs.

Dates are not exclusively for significant others. They can be for your friends, too!

  • Here are 16 things you can do in Charlotte with your best friends.
  • Of note: These activities are listed in no particular order; this is not a ranking.

Set up a puppy play date at Skiptown

This is for all the friends who can’t separate from their pet companion or may even prefer dogs over humans occasionally. There are indoor and outdoor spaces for your dog to run around while you chat with friends over a drink from the bar.  

Photo: Courtesy of Laura Barrero

Catch up with friends over a cocktail 

Sometimes a drink (or two) can get the conversation going. Luckily, our city has a brewery or cocktail bar offering a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options in almost every neighborhood.

  • If your friend is a cocktail connoisseur, maybe they’ll appreciate learning how to make a cocktail from The Cocktailery instead.

Go deeper: 50 best bars in Charlotte, ranked

Axios archives

Play with interactive exhibits at the Museum of Illusions

The city’s newest museum can alter your perspective with holograms, optical illusions and unusual rooms that’ll challenge the minds of curious individuals. This hands-on museum is a fun friend date activity for adults, but it can also be a great activity for your kids and their friends.  

Cost: Tickets are $20 for children, $24 for adults and $22 for seniors.

Go deeper: 5 takeaways from my visit to Charlotte’s Museum of Illusions

Museum of illusions
You can see on the ground a designated photo spot. The person taking the photo is also standing on another marker so the deconstructed chair in the room looks like a large chair. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Party at a new nightclub

Whether your friend group is filled with night owls or you simply love to dance, there are plenty of nightlife spots around the city to check out. 

Go deeper: 5 hot new nightclubs in Charlotte

Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

Run with Mad Miles Run Club

If exercising isn’t your forte but you’re working toward developing a healthier lifestyle, Mad Miles is a good place to start. You’ll run, walk or jog a two-mile route before celebrating the workout with music from a live DJ and dancing. Since the run club meets every week, regardless of the weather, it makes scheduling easy — and more possible to hold your friends accountable.

  • They meet Mondays at Social Status in Plaza Midwood, Tuesdays at YVY Training in Camp North End and Saturdays in Elizabeth Park.

Go deeper: I hate running but I’ll exercise with Mad Miles Run Club

Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

Cheer on one of the local sports teams

Attend a soccer, baseball, basketball or football game if you and your BFF bond over sports. Watching a game caters to everyone’s idea of fun — even if you don’t love sports, you can enjoy food and drinks from local vendors.

Axios archives

Hike around the city

Take advantage of the natural views by taking a stroll through the city’s greenways and trails. This a great activity for friends of all ages, and there are several locations to choose from.

Go deeper: Definitive hiking guide: The 16 best hikes around Charlotte

Irwin Creek Greenway
Irwin Creek Greenway. Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios

Link up at a coffee shop

If you’re meeting in a hurry or you’re a multi-tasking friend who likes to work and chat, meet up at a local coffee shop. If you and your bestie work remotely, you can pretend you all work together for a moment. You can also take a break from the “work day” and grab lunch.

Go deeper: The 25 best coffee shops for working remotely in Charlotte

Provided coffee
Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

Ride a roller coaster at Carowinds

Get your adrenaline pumping with a friend from riding on a roller coaster. There are 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.

  • There are plenty of kid- and family-friendly rides, including the Flying Ace Balloon Race and the Kiddy Hawk coaster if your children want to tag along on your friend date.

Cost: Day passes cost $40. You can also opt for a season pass, which includes unlimited visits.

Fast Lane pass: For $80, you can spare yourself the time spent standing in line for all the major rides. 

carowinds rollercoaster
Axios archives

Compete at Victory Lanes

If you enjoy a little competition then this is the place for you. Challenge your friends with go-karts, bowling, ax throwing, virtual reality and arcade games. After a few intense games, head over to the bar for cocktails or a tasty bite.

  • Axios tip: One free race is available if you’re celebrating a birthday with an annual race license.

Light up your friendship at Paddywax Candle Bar

Book a workshop to make a candle to take home. Candles are also available to purchase upon request. Plant potting workshops are available, too.

  • Axios tip: At-home candle kits are available to purchase online and in-store.
Axios archives

Get nostalgic at Home of the 90s Museum CLT

If you ever find yourself reminiscing over shows or movies that you enjoyed as a child, this place makes for more than just a conversation starter. Take a picture for Instagram in front of local artwork.

  • Axios tip: Groups of 10 or more can receive a special discount when you book in advance.
  • Heads up: You’re going to have to drive out of the city for this experience — it’s in Concord.

Picnic in style with Styled by Saint Fort

Owner Toanna Gelin will create an aesthetically pleasing picnic with a rug, pillows, a low table, and games. After you’re done, she’ll handle the clean-up.

  • Axios tip: This is an Instagram-worthy outing.
picnic styled by saintfort
Photo courtesy of Toanna Gelin.

Get active at The U.S. National Whitewater Center

This is for all the friends who enjoy going out and getting physical. Spend an entire day outside on the water and check out activities like whitewater rafting, kayaking or rock climbing over deep water. Challenge the group to face their fears in the air through zip-lining, hawk jumps, obstacle courses on the ropes or bouldering. Land activities include seasonal ice skating, biking, yoga and hiking.

Go deeper: 13 ways to spend a day at the Whitewater Center

Whitewater Center Rafting
Axios archives

Create matching succulents at Plant House

Get your hands dirty by creating a terrarium with your bestie through a workshop class. A few decor items include everything from nautical to dried florals. Reservations are recommended for workshop classes with a group.

  • Axios tip: Receive 10% off workshops if you sign up with your email. Also view the calendar for events with themed classes.
Axios archives

Take a swing at Puttery

Enjoy a modern take on putt-putt with high-tech gameplay and unique golf courses. Enhance the experience with a crafted cocktail.

  • Axios tip: Make reservations to lock in a 90-minute tee time slot. The weekends can be busy.
Puttery
Puttery’s house margarita. Photo: Symphony Webber

Axios Charlotte thanks our partners for supporting our content. Sponsorship has no influence on editorial content.

Editor’s note: We originally published this story in May 2022 and updated it in June 2023.

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