There are 92 days of summer, and we want to make sure you use them wisely. 

Whether you’re satisfying your sweet tooth (you’ll sweat out those extra calories, anyways), hitting the water, or watching the big game (soccer, that is), this list is sure to keep you—and the little ones—busy all summer long. 

Grab a Local Cone

If summer had a flavor, it would surely be the creamy vanilla of ice cream, licked drippingly from cone and wrist. Craving a local cone? Try one of these hometown destinations:

  • Craft ice cream makers and native Carolinians Liz and Alex Hannah scoop up all-natural confections in South End and Southpark at Golden Cow Creamery. For a taste of summer, try one of their seasonal creations like Berry Crumble, Peach Cobbler, Ginger Peach, Key Lime Pie, and fresh fruit sorbets.
  • With three locations created by three best friends, you’d think they’d call it Three Scoops—but Two Scoops it remains. The family recipes behind Two Scoops’ ice cream may be a secret, but it’s no secret that they’re delicious—especially their summer specials.

Hit the Water

The U.S. National Whitewater Center harbors a host of superlatives (like the world’s largest man-made whitewater river) and enough activities to match, including live music, yoga, water sports, races, and more. Here’s this month’s lineup:

  • River Jam: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings
    The large outdoor stage hosts acts in roots rock, Americana, bluegrass, folk, and funk all summer long.

  • Yoga
    There are more than 270 practices throughout the year, including nine per week during the summer and early fall.

  • Fourth of July Celebration: July 3 & 4
    Why limit your celebration to one day? Enjoy two of ’em at the USNWC with lots of live music, yoga, fireworks and adventure. 

  • XTERRA Whitewater Triathlon: July 7
    The 9th annual XTERRA Whitewater Triathlon returns with swimming, mountain biking, and trail running.

  • Amphibious Duathlon: July 28
    This one’s unique: run, paddle, and run again in this quirky kayaking race.

Bring the Kids

It’s officially beer-drinking season, but that can seem tricky with kids in tow. Here are some of our favorite local kid-friendly breweries. 

  • Free Range Brewing has a kid space with toys, games and a chalkboard to keep them occupied. Visit on July 14th from 12 to 11 pm for their third anniversary, or on Sundays for free live music!
  • NoDa Brewing has plenty of patio space for kids to roam, plus free juice boxes! If you get hungry, the daily Tin Kitchen food truck has fare for all ages.
  • Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is known for its expansive outdoor seating, which is perfect for kiddos, and their kid’s menu is a crowd-pleaser.
  • Legion Brewing Company is a great pick for rainy days, thanks to their supply of kid’s games like Candy Land and fun food from Roots like hot dogs and pretzels.

Strike a Goal

Move over, baseball—summer has a new sport. Check out the Charlotte Independence, our own local soccer league! July’s home games will take place July 11th (against Nashville SC), and July 28th (against Penn FC) at the Sportsplex at Matthews. Games continue through October, including special programs like Local Family Network Night (with a carnival!) on September 22nd and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department vs Charlotte Fire Department charity Soccer Game on September 29th.

If you want even more football, the Charlotte Independence’s new Jack’s House Soccer Bar and Retail Store will show all the World Cup games. And on July 22nd, the International Champions Cup comes to Charlotte; two of the world’s biggest clubs will duke it out at Bank of America Stadium.