25 Great Ways to Spend Sunday with Dad in Charlotte

Whatever you call your father – Dad, Pops, Bob – he’s “your guy.” On Fathers’ Day – this Sunday, June 19th – make sure you make your guy feel special with a day just for him. Check out Scoop’s picks for the best places to spend time with your dad – and if you’re the mom, this list works for the other fave “your guy” and your fam to celebrate his day.

Get wet at the US National Whitewater Center – head out for a day of whitewater, flat water, and land activities and play where Olympic athletes train.

Visit Landsford Canal – walk, bike, or canoe along the Catawba river at this historic park. The park also has a playground, museum, fishing, and canoe/kayak access to the river.

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Brunch so hard – breakfast food is arguably the best food variety. Keep you Mexican. Keep your delectable desserts. If you have breakfast foods, you have everything you could ever want or need. I am not being dramatic. Savory? You got it! Sweet? Take your pick: waffles, pancakes, crepes, etc. In the words of the great Ron Swanson of Parks and Rec:

Go for a bike ride – whether your dad is a road cyclist, mountain biker, or a casual cruiser, there are plenty of options for spending time biking outdoors. Try the Booty Loop or Airport Loop for road cycling, check out this post for some of our favorite bike trails, or take a spin around your neighborhood on your own bike or one of the B-Cycles available for rent in and around uptown.

Relax at Ballantyne Resort – the resort boasts an onsite spa for another option for spoiling pops. If he’s a golfer, The Golf Club at Ballantyne is a public PGA course where he can perfect his swing. He’ll also get 50% off the daily rate with one round at the daily rate.


Get a tan on the lake – with both Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, and Lake Tillery close by, you have plenty of options for living #LakeLife.

Take a hike – my favorite local hike is at Morrow Mountain. For a view of the Charlotte skyline in the distance at the summit, you can’t beat Crowders Mountain.

Sip some suds at one of our local breweries – Olde Mecklenburg, Sycamore, NoDa, and Birdsong are my top picks. Jalapeno Pale Ale at Birdsong and OMB’s Copper will forever be my favorites and are some of their most popular sellers.


Take it all in at Common Market – if the brewery scene isn’t for you, Common Market offers a great patio in hip neighborhoods (South End and Plaza Midwood) where you can get freshly-prepared sandwiches right under the same roof as a great wine and beer selection. There are even some tempting sake varieties if you’re feeling adventurous.


Explore Charlotte’s history on the Liberty Walk – take a self-guided tour through Charlotte’s history on a stroll through Uptown. This is such a unique experience where you can stand on the sites of some of Charlotte’s defining moments.

Step back in time at The Cellar at Duckworth’s – this speakeasy-style bar and restaurant offers amazing tapas, an unrivaled rare and vintage beer selection, and imaginative cocktails (now being served in nifty, prohibition-style flasks too).

Get macho munchies – dine at Mac’s Speed Shop, Pinky’s Westside Grill, or The Diamond for some of the best barbeque, burgers, and banana pudding you’ll ever have.


Sip libations at the Whiskey Room at RiRa – 40 varieties of Whiskey are available upstairs at RiRa’s newly renovated Whiskey Room. Surrounded by rich wood panels and warm lighting, you feel transported to Don Draper’s time.


Stay classy at Pops in the Park – bring a blanket, something to snack on, and a little wine for a lovely evening under the stars at Symphony Park in South Park.


Satisfy dad’s need for speed at the NASCAR Hall of Fame – NASCAR fan or not, this is a crowd-pleaser.

Scream your face off at Carowinds – with plenty of rides and a brand new waterpark, your daredevil daddy can get his adrenaline fix at the Carolinas’ favorite amusement park.

Take a walk in the park – check out this post for some of the best Charlotte Parks.



Explore Riverwalk – whether you want to dine, shop, walk, bike, or boat, there are so many options at this new development just over the NC/SC border.

Chow down off the beaten path – take a visit to Heritage Food & Drink in Waxhaw or Fork in Cornelius for a fresh dining experience just beyond the view of the Charlotte skyline.

Get an education – there are several local museums that can leave you feeling smarter than when you arrived at their doors: Aviation Museum, Levine Museum of the New South, and Discovery Place are my favorites.

Embrace dad’s artsy side – visit the Mint Museum, Bechtler Museum, McColl Center, or Foundation for the Carolinas for a dose of art and culture.



Make some memories at a Father Daughter Dance – benefitting the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte’s meal sponsorship program, this event will take place at The Red Diamond.

Cheer on the Charlotte Knights – get to the park early for a round of pre-game catch on the field before our Knights take on the Indianapolis Indians.


Spend a day at the movies – go ahead and splurge on the jumbo popcorn too- this is his day after all! Finding Dory and Central Intelligence are two dad-approved options.

Pamper pops at Emerson Joseph – from haircuts, to pedicures and massages, to shoe shines and clothier services, Emerson Joseph has your dad covered for a day of (manly) pampering. Closed Sundays, BUT a gift card will do!



Keep the Fathers’ Day spirit going all year long. Fitting all of our picks into one day is impossible, so why not schedule some time with your guy for a regular hang if you’re lucky enough to have him close? Be sure to snap a photo on your outing with your dad and tag #scoopCLT!


Nicole Brantley
Nicole is a native Charlottean that loves the Queen City almost as much as running, writing, and type-A organization.