Top 10 things you MUST do in January

Photo by Melissa Oyler
2016 Charlotte Women's March

A new year invites new experiences. Have you posed with Chubby at a Checkers hockey game? Sang along with a musical at Belk Theater? Awakened your inner nerd at Discovery Place Science?

Skip the afternoon spent poring over your new planner and get inspired by visiting new places around Charlotte instead.

(1) View fantastic bugs and sip butterbeer at Discovery Place Science.

Friday, Jan. 18, 5-9 p.m. $10 advance, $12 at the door, add Bug Lab for $3. 301 N. Tryon Street.


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This is the year to face your fears (assuming you, too, are petrified of creepy crawlies). An evening of magic and wonder awaits at Discovery Place Science for Science on the Rocks: Wizarding World of Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them. Sample liquid nitrogen butterbeer, craft your own wand and search for fantastic bugs with magical defenses in the Bug Lab. Get tickets here.

(2) Stand alongside thousands of women at the Charlotte Women United March.

Saturday, Jan. 26, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. First Ward Park.

Join thousands of Charlotteans as they stand together for equality, civic engagement, women’s health and science and engagement at the Women United March. The event will include speakers, music and vendors. Check out additional information here.

(3) Catch a wave of ‘90s and 2000s nostalgia at local concerts.


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Sing your heart out to hits that inspire memories of your teenage years. Here are a few of January’s must-see concerts:

  • Bring sexy back with Justin Timberlake at Spectrum Center: Tuesday, Jan. 8. 7:30 p.m. $91+. 333 E. Trade Street. Get tickets here.
  • Sing about your beautiful soul with Jesse McCartney at The Fillmore Charlotte: Thursday, Jan. 17. 8 p.m. $27+. 820 Hamilton Street. Get tickets here.
  • Write sins, not tragedies with Panic! At the Disco at Spectrum Center: Tuesday, Jan. 22. 7 p.m. $30+. 333 E. Trade Street. Tickets here.

(4) Cheer on Charlotte’s sports teams and pose with the mascots.


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Get sporty — or eat snacks and take pictures with the mascots — at a hockey or basketball game. The Charlotte Checkers take to the ice against the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins, Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Toronto Marlies at Bojangles Coliseum this month. Check out the schedule and get tickets here ($18.50+).


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Or catch the Charlotte Hornets play the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks at Spectrum Center. View the schedule here and purchase tickets here ($15+).

Food tip: Grab a hot dog from JJ’s Red Hots at Spectrum Center and a hot pretzel with cheese at Bojangles Coliseum.

(5) Conquer The Whole Enchilada at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

Saturday, Jan. 12. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. $40 for The Half Enchilada, $50 for The Whole Enchilada. 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway.


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Brave the mountain bike trails at the U.S. National Whitewater Center for The Whole Enchilada, featuring over 40 miles of trails. Mountain bikers will conquer Todas las Millas (all the miles) in the USNWC trail system. They’ll also host the Half Enchilada, which runs a shorter distance. Register here.

Not into biking? Head over to the WWC and walk the trails or enjoy lunch at River’s Edge while watching the zip liners.

(6) Find a new piece of art at the South End Gallery Crawl.

Friday, Jan. 4. 5 – 10 p.m.


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Switch up your space for the new year with a piece of locally curated art from the South End Gallery Crawl. Participating locations include Coffey and Thompson Gallery, Dilworth Artisan Station and Magnolia Emporium. Make it a date — nearby restaurants and breweries complete the cultural excursion.

(7) Enjoy a fancy meal at the Queen’s Feast during Charlotte Restaurant Week.

Jan. 18 – 27. $30 – $35. Locations through Charlotte and surrounding areas.


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Dine like royalty — at peasant prices — during Charlotte’s restaurant week. Prix fixe specials featuring three-course meals will be available from January 18 – 27 at 125+ restaurants. Make reservations for your favorite places early, as spots fill up quickly. Check out participating locations here.

(8) Catch an enthralling performance of Carmen by Opera Carolina.

Jan. 19-24. $22+. 130 N. Tryon Street

Photo by Louise Leblanc
Carmen/Opera de Quebec

Feminist hero Carmen meets her tragic demise when she chooses Escamillo over Don Jose, she but would rather live life to the fullest than play it safe. Watch Opera Carolina’s captivating performance at Belk Theater later this month. Purchase tickets here.

(9) Find your inner superhero at Marvel Universe LIVE!

Sunday, Jan. 27. 5 p.m. $15+. 333 E. Trade Street.


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Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor and more will perform at the action-packed live arena show, Marvel Universe Live: Age of Heroes at Spectrum Center. Cutting-edge special effects and aerial stunts will bring the performance to life, igniting the inner hero in children and adults alike. Purchase tickets here.

(10) Start the New Year with a show at Charlotte’s theaters.


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Childhood nostalgia comes to life this month during performances of Disney classics, Cinderella and Shrek. Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella will offer a thrilling twist to the classic fairy tale from January 6 – 12 at Belk Theater. Tickets start at $25. Get them here. Or, head to the Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square January 11-12 for Shrek the Musical featuring beloved characters and new songs. Tickets begin at $15. Purchase them here.



  1. In your article, Top 10 Things You Must Do In January, the last item says “Start the New Year with Disney magic at Charlotte’s theaters.” It then talks about Shrek and Cinderella. Shrek is not a Disney property-never has been, probably never will be. Shrek is a Dreamworks property. Also, the Cinderella that is being performed at the Blumenthal is not based on the Disney version. It is a vastly different story, being set in London during World War II. Thanks!


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