When the days grow longer and the sun shines brighter, summer fun heats up in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. Consider this guide to local seasonal events and activities the start of your ultimate summer bucket list.
Catch a Show
Spend a summer evening watching movies under starry skies. Village Park in Kannapolis hosts their own summer Movies in the Park series. Grab a blanket and some popcorn and enjoy the show.
Along with Harrisburg Park this venue also offers an exciting lineup of free musical performances throughout the season. Catch the popular Summer Concert Series featuring a mix of big-name performers and regional musicians in Kannapolis. In Harrisburg, experience live music along with a beer garden and food trucks during the town’s annual “Rockin’ the Burg” series.
Grab a Bite or a Beer
Opportunities for al fresco dining abound. 44 Mills Kitchen + Tap, Café Lentz and The Smoke Pit are just a few of the local restaurants that offer outdoor seating (and great food!). Soak up some sunshine while sipping a fresh, local beer at spots like Southern Strain, Old Armor, Buzzed Viking and more. Several of Cabarrus County’s craft breweries offer food onsite or welcome deliveries from neighboring places to eat. Or pick up provisions and venture out for a picnic at outdoor gems like Frank Liske Park.
Beat the Heat
For a one-of-a-kind way to cool off, visit Reed Gold Mine in Midland. The site of America’s first documented discovery of gold welcomes visitors to tour the underground mine tunnels where the temperature stays about 60 degrees year-round. Around the corner at neighboring Rocky River Vineyards, fruity wine slushies are a seasonal favorite.
Splash pads make the perfect playgrounds on sweltering summer days and are another great way to cool off in Cabarrus County. You can find them around the area at public parks including Atrium Health Ballpark.
Enjoy a Frozen Treat
After some splishing-and-splashing, indulge in a frosty dessert. In Kannapolis, My Sister’s Place serves up a delicious duo of ice cream and fudge. Harrisburg’s Frozen Kups has 24 flavors of yogurt, gelato, custard, sorbet or Italian Ice, plus 30 different toppings to choose from. Or head to downtown Concord for a float or scoop from Cabarrus Creamery. The chalkboard menu at this 1950s ice cream parlor features fun flavor illustrations of favorites like Moon Pie, sliced lemon and butter pecan.
Take a Hike
Parks and greenways across the area are the ideal way to explore the outdoors. The Carolina Thread Trail winds through Cabarrus County. It’s part of a regional network of trails spanning 15 counties and offers picturesque spots to hike, bike and paddle. Try the Pharr Family Preserve Trail, a 1.7-mile out-and-back trail that follows the Rocky River.
Great Wolf Lodge is the ultimate summer destination. The resort boasts games, 3D movies, a Build-a-Bear Workshop, miniature golf, a ropes course, ShadowQuest and more — but the highlight is the 84-degree indoor water park complete with waterslides and a wave pool for children of all ages. In the summer, Racoon Lagoon offers an outdoor water play area. Book a room and spend even more time enjoying the amenities.
See Future Stars
The Summer Shootout series at Charlotte Motor Speedway is one of the hottest summer events in North Carolina. Watch up-and-coming drivers battle it out in Legend cars and Bandoleros. This family-friendly seasonal event has been running for almost three decades; it’s the place where NASCAR superstars like Bubba Wallace, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, William Byron and Daniel Hemric raced their way into fans’ hearts.
After the Summer Shootout champions are crowned, the action continues at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the metal-mashing Circle K Monster Truck Bash!
Celebrate the Nation
For a little red, white and boom on the 4th of July, check out the festivities in Concord, Kannapolis, Midland, Mt. Pleasant and Harrisburg. Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atrium Health Ballpark are known for their Independence Day fireworks displays, and Cabarrus County’s small towns celebrate with parades, live music and even more dazzling fireworks! The Town of Mt. Pleasant’s Independence Day Celebration and Small Business Saturday takes place on the last Saturday of June, and the iconic 4th of July celebration in Harrisburg includes a two-day festival complete with amusements, live entertainment and more.
Root for the Home Team
The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers are minor-league sensations. Catch a game at Atrium Health Ballpark as the Low-A affiliate team of the Chicago White Sox takes the field and team mascot Boomer works the crowd. The crack of the bat and cheers from the crowd serve as the soundtrack for the perfect summer evening.
Across from the ballpark, visitors can enjoy a drink from local establishments like Tipsy Hare Ciderworks while strolling through the social district and relaxing in the linear park along West Avenue.
Book Your Summer Vacay
Don’t miss out on all the summer fun Cabarrus County has to offer. Use our list of places to stay and book your summer getaway now!