Why is it that when we think of gifts to treat Moms on Mother’s Day, it’s a lovely dressed up brunch or a spa treatment, but when we plan out dad’s day, it’s all about the activities and the outdoors? BBQ and burgers. Beer. Ballgames. Or is that just us? We scoped out 12 ideas on how to celebrate Father’s Day in Charlotte this year, and frankly, there’s not a spa day in the bunch.

1. If you thought you’d go to Top Golf, you’re too late my friend.

This is kind of a gimme, if you have a golfing dad and you’re not going to the club, then a family outing to Top Golf is the obvious choice. Sadly others got there ahead of you, it’s sold out for the weekend. BUT you can always try Walk In OR you can give him a Top Golf gift card with a special bonus promo right now, OR you can gift him some lessons or a family outing for another weekend. Top Golf really is that fun and worth the hype. Just click thru here.

2. Go Indoor Go-Kart Racing at The Pit in Mooresville Instead.

Capable of speeds over 45MPH, these karts are not your typical slowed down amusement karts, so not for the very young. To race the youth karts at The Pit, you must be between the ages of 8 – 15 and at least 48 inches tall. For the adult karts you must be age 16 or older and have proof of age (driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, etc). There are lots of other things to do at The Pit, including Bumper Cars and something called Cannonball Air Blaster (text me when you’re done, I’ll be at a spa).

3. Spend the day at Hero Con Charlotte.

Sunday is the last day of this 3 day event at the Charlotte Convention Center, your one day ticket is $20. Brought to you by the long time comic store owner of Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find in Elizabeth, Sunday features a Cosplay Costume Contest plus a Quickdraw contest and of course, comics, comic-related merch and displays from hundreds of artists and vendors. The list of guests making appearances is here.

4. Chill at Father’s Day Fest at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery.

Enjoy fresh beer, delicious food from the Brauhaus – including specials just for dad (OMB will post updates about specials to Facebook) in Charlotte’s summer weather in OMB’s award-winning Biergarten. Live music will also be playing both Saturday and Sunday and there are special activities both days. More here.

5. Hit the Latta Plantation Dad’s Day Out Scavenger Hunt.

This is good if yours are little ~ there’s the scavenger hunt, and also Bird Bingo and a Healthy Hike for ages 1 to 99 🙂

6. Enjoy a free concert with a BYO picnic at the Fourth Ward Picnic in the Park.

Swing by the brand spanking new Whole Foods Uptown to pick up your picnic items if you want to be truly au courant.

7. Test his cycling cred by renting a Charlotte Cycleboat for a Party Boat Cruise on LKN

Fun + a workout. These cycleboats on Lake Norman look like a blast and the perfect way to enjoy Father’s Day, if the weather cooperates. Your group of 15 will be $525 for a 2 hour rental (10 pedalers and 5 guests). Seriously, let’s put all those hours he spends on the bike to good use.

8.  Recover from a HUGE day Saturday at the USNWC.

Saturday is a GINORMOUS activity day at the Whitewater Center, so take all that in and then just relax and recover on Sunday, maybe with the GINORMOUS Father’s Day Brunch at Upstream detailed below. You will make an entire day of it at the USNWC on June 16th (Sat) starting at at 6:30 am with the new CATAWBA RIVER RACES, followed closely by the BREW DASH 6K at 8:00 am, SOL FEST starting at 1 pm, BLAZING PADDLES BOATERCROSS from 1:30-3:30 finally, finish off with RIVER JAM at 7 pm. Your gonna need to drive an RV to accommodate the outfit changes alone.

9. Get y’alls Star Wars fix in (and your Jurassic, ET, and Superman). 

Perfect timing, no accident, the Charlotte Symphony Summer Pops concert on Father’s Day presentsthe sounds of our favorite John Williams movie scores, including Jurassic Park, E.T., Superman, Star Wars and more at 8:15 p.m. at Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall. If you don’t know just how prolific this composer is, check out this wiki listing of compositions.  You could even combo it with a trip to see SOLO at the movie theatre, then the pops that evening. Tickets here.

10. Get a First Look at the upcoming NASCAR exhibit at the Hall of Fame in their Father’s Day Brunch.

In addition to brunch, general admission and a family photo, your ticket includes an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Hall of Fame’s next exhibit set to open in July, “1948: Proving Grounds”—a fitting Father’s Day tribute to the fathers of modern racing. Brunch includes beef tenderloin carving station, scrambled eggs, sausage, roasted potatoes, fresh-cut fruit, and a selection of pastries and muffins and dessert, of course. Prices for this year’s Father’s Day Brunch are: $45 adults / $35 ages 3-12 / free for 2 & under and tickets are here.

11. Upgrade your Backyard Barbecue & Beer Experience.

Even though he is Master of the Grill, treat him instead to a bbq in the backyard at the Ballantyne Hotel, featuring favorites such as an elevated buffet with chicken, brats, hot dogs and signature sides, local brews, snow cones and more, plus live music, cornhole, live ice sculpturing and great giveaways for dad. All-you-can-eat pricing is $15 in advance and $25 on-site. Kids under 10 are free. Beverages are à la carte. TICKETS HERE.

12. Do One of the Many Things You’ve Been Meaning to Do with Friends, but Go with your First and Best Friend Ever. On our list are:

Inner Peaks, LumberJaxe, Exit Strategy, Paintball, LaserQuest, ExtremeIce, StandUPPaddleBoarding and Day Hiking Nearby. Or, you could just….

13. Treat Him to a Deluxe Brunch at UPSTREAM in Phillips Place.

There are other Father’s Day Brunches and Lunch specials around town, but this one from the new team at Upstream just sounds right. Everyone wears their stretchy pants.

Sunday, June 17 Brunch | 10am-2:30pm
$39.95 adults | $14.95 children 12 and under

Raw Bar
Stone Crab Claws
James River Oysters
Old Bay Shrimp
Steamed Mussels

Antipasti Station
Smoked Salmon Station with capers, egg, onion, chive
Beef Tartar Station Horseradish, truffle, roasted garlic, shallot, parsley
Grilled Corn Salad roasted peppers, Vidalia onion, cilantro, cider vin
Grilled Peach Salad ginger, honey, rosemary
Tomato Salad basil, mint, mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil
Classic Coleslaw bibb-watermelon radish salad berries with yogurt
Omelet Station

Meats, Lamb and Seafood
Roasted Suckling Pig
Grilled Wagyu Skirt Steak
Roast Leg of Lamb
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Chimichurri Crusted Scottish Salmon
Upstream Cheeseburger Sliders

Sushi Bar
Eel and Avocado Roll
Spicy Salmon Roll
Vegetable Roll Tempura
Shrimp Roll Spicy Tuna Roll

Sides Station
Grilled Vegetables Skewers zucchini, squash, peppers, eggplant, basil, mushroom
Green Beans with Vidalia onions and bacon
Baked Spinach Casserole
Yukon Gold “Baked Potatoes” with bacon bits, scallion, garlic bread crumbs and crème fraiche
Mac ‘n Cheese

Dessert Station
Pineapple Fosters
Peach Cobbler
Macerated Fruit/Cheese/Honeycomb Station
Lemon Bars



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