Your 5-minute guide to the best things to do in Charlotte | Sept. 30-Oct. 6


See Bees and Bloom! on the final weekend of the Charlotte International Arts Festival, which has made location adjustments from outdoor spaces to SouthPark Mall’s Center Court due to Hurricane Ian. Bees performances are scheduled for 10:45 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 2:15 p.m. on Friday, plus 12:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m., and 4:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. You can see Bloom on Friday at 10:30 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday at noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Free. 4400 Sharon Road.

Learn to make a cocktail or mocktail at the Cocktail Connections class at Picture Perfect CLT. Experts from QC Bartenders will walk you through the techniques and ingredients needed to make a signature drink, then experience the selfie museum. $65. 6-8 p.m. 5648 E. Independence Blvd.

Dance your way through the weekend at Breakaway Music Festival, a two-day, multigenre event featuring more than 20 live performances from world-renowned artists including headliners Illenium and Tiësto, a silent disco, local food trucks, shopping and more. 4-11 p.m. Purchase tickets online; general admission starts at $114. zMax Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway, 6570 Bruton Smith Blvd.

STAY INSIDE: 11 fun indoor activities to do in Charlotte on a rainy day


Join over 100,000 film enthusiasts simultaneously screening Oscar-nominated short films at venues worldwide for the last day of the 25th Annual MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival. Following the screenings, you’ll have the opportunity to cast your ballot for Best Film and Best Actor. 2 p.m. Tickets: $5-10. Northwest School of the Arts Auditorium, 1415 Beatties Ford Road.

Immerse yourself in German culture, cuisine and beer at Gilde Brewery’s inaugural Oktoberfest event, happening all weekend long. You can expect plenty of authentic German beer on tap, including the limited-edition Gilde Oktoberfest Märzen, as well as German traditions, archery, stein-holding contests, food, live music, family-friendly games, activities and more. Sept. 30-Oct. 2 from 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Free, but RSVP on Facebook. 3530 Dewitt Lane.

Experience Oktoberfest at Gilde, where Carla Garrison-Mattos created the murals outside.
Experience Oktoberfest at Gilde, where Carla Garrison-Mattos created the murals outside.


Travel back to 16th century Europe for a full day of feasting, shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts from over 140 vendors, watching knights joust on horseback and more at The Carolina Renaissance Festival. Grab your tickets online before you go, as they are date-specific this year and limited in supply. Purchase tickets online; tickets will be available at the box office only if they are not sold out in advance. Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Oct. 1-Nov. 20. $32 for adults; $20 for kids (5-12); free for kids 4 and under. 16445 Poplar Tent Road.

One of the activities RenFest jousters will find at the festival are jousting matches between knights.
One of the activities RenFest jousters will find at the festival are jousting matches between knights.

Check out an independent film or spend the whole day at the 14th Charlotte Film Festival. For the first time ever, all screenings will take place at a new venue, The Independent Picture House, allowing you to easily move from one screening to the next. 12-7 p.m. Purchase tickets online; single tickets: $12; five-ticket pack: $45; 10-ticket pack: $75. 4237 Raleigh St.


Explore your artistic side at a community mural painting event led by experienced artists, DeNeer Davis, Makayla Binter and Elle Walsh. The event is part of South End Blooms, a series of free neighborhood happenings hosted by Charlotte is Creative and Lowe’s. All are welcome, and no art background is required. 11 a.m. Free. 100 W. Worthington Ave.

Play a round of mini golf on Stroke’s Halloween-themed course and enjoy a fall cocktail such as the Recovery (Ilegal Mezcal, pineapple-carrot juice, lemon and ginger beer) or a non-alcoholic option such as the Beauregarde (Amethyst non-alcoholic botanical spirit, bergamot syrup, lemon, lime, orange and egg whites). 4-11 p.m. $15 per person. Stroke, 1318 Pecan Ave., Suite 101.


Take the family out for a night of singing, dancing and figuring out Blues Clues with Blue and her friends at “Blues Clues & You! Live on Stage,” a new 60-minute show featuring Broadway-style songs and dance. 6 p.m. Tickets: $32-72. Purchase online. Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E Independence Blvd.


Enjoy a five-course, al-fresco dining experience at “Dine on a Mat,” an interactive adults-only dinner series coming to North Carolina for the first time. It’s hosted by internationally acclaimed chef Fatmata Binta in partnership with Afro in CLT. In addition to flavorful cuisine, Binta will share stories about her Fulani heritage and demonstrate her traditional cooking techniques. Space is limited. Purchase tickets online: $125 per person. 6-8 p.m. Johnson & Wales University Courtyard, 801 W. Trade St.


See American rapper Kevin Gates perform live at Bojangles Coliseum as part of his Big Lyfe Tour. Purchase tickets online, starting at $39.50. 7:30 p.m. Bojangles Coliseum, 2700 E Independence Blvd.

Mark your calendar

Catch “Evil Dead the Musical,” the last show of Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte’s 26-year-history before it permanently closes. Be sure to leave the younger kids at home and bring your own chairs as the spooky musical based on Sam Raimi’s ‘80s cult classic films takes place outdoors and is recommended for ages 16 and up. Now opening Wednesday, Oct. 5 because of Hurricane Ian, then every Thursday through Sunday through Oct. 30. 8 p.m. Purchase tickets online; general admission starts at $36.66. The Barn at MoRA, 8300 Monroe Road.

Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte’s last production will be Evil Dead the Musical.
Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte’s last production will be Evil Dead the Musical.

Toast to Sycamore Brewing’s original taproom before it moves to its new space at the brewery’s moving party, happening all weekend long. The three-day event will not only be the last at Sycamore’s original location, but is also anticipated to be the brewery’s biggest party ever with nonstop live music on two stages, food trucks, special beer releases and more. This event was rescheduled to Oct. 7-8 due to Hurricane Ian. Free. RSVP on Facebook. Sycamore Brewing, 2161 Hawkins St.

Party with your pup at Dogtoberfest at Rescue Ranch. The family-friendly event will include fun for you, your kids and your pet with live music, a beer garden, food trucks, a doggy treat truck, dog costume contest, an agility course, adoptable animals, pumpkin painting and more. The dog-friendly event requests that all dogs are kept on leashes, are well-mannered and fully vaccinated. Oct. 7 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets: $5 per person. Children under one: free. Rescue Ranch, 1424 Turnersburg Hwy., Statesville.

Get ready to party like it’s 1999 at Goodyear Arts’ Y2K immersive fundraiser. Dress up in your favorite late ‘90s trends, dance to your favorite tunes, enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks, and finish off the night with a countdown to the year 2000. Oct. 7, 8 p.m.-midnight. Purchase tickets online: $50. 8 p.m.-midnight.