Words by: Samantha Husted, Briana Anderson, & Erika Nesto
It’s been a strange March and April for us all, and while outdoor things have always been our go-to as soon as the temperatures climb and flowers bloom, this year, we collected instead our favorite indoor spring activities in Charlotte for you… with a healthy dose of enjoying your own yard, too, of course.
From eating fresh local produce to planting flowers to enjoying a farm-to-table meal, we hope that you’ll find new ways to celebrate springtime in the Carolinas.
Eat Fresh & Support Local
There are many upsides to shopping within your community this season. Locally grown food tastes better, supports sustainability and the environment and, by taking your business to regional food producers, you are helping build the community by helping your neighborhood’s farmers both provide for your family as well as their own.
Know Your Farms CSA
Support local at Know Your Farms; a multi-farm CSA that delivers regional food throughout Charlotte all year long. Get farm fresh fruits and veggies brought to their sites or even your home. Unlike many other CSA services, there is no commitment with KYF after your first purchase. Online ordering is available.
Charlotte Regional Farmers Market
Bring freshness into your home with locally grown produce, meats, and cheeses from area farmers. Charlotte Regional Farmers Market has increased spacing to promote social distancing and is still bringing pork, goat milk cheese, grass fed beef, jams and jellies, baked goods, goat milk soap, and lovely flowers and plants to the community. Get some fresh air in your lungs, goodies in your hands, and fresh ingredients in your fridge.
Spruce up your recipes with high quality poultry. Prestige Farms has been in the business over 60 years and is headquartered here in Charlotte. Order online for home delivery to simplify your shopping experience and get what you need right to your door. One of their current featured products is boneless, skin-on “Airline” chicken breast.
Kings Drive Farmers Market
Be a part of the community in a safe way at Kings Drive Farmers Market. After postponing their opening, the team has now installed fiberglass shields and sinks for hand-washing. The Simpson family has sold vegetables to our community on Kings and Morehead since 1941.
Atherton Farmers Market
Grab some ingredients to cook a meal with your family and remind each other of the importance of local food. Relocated to the corner of South Blvd and Tremont Avenue, you can check out what farmers, crafters, and food artisans will have to offer on Saturday’s from 8 am – 1 pm.
Get in the Garden
With spring in full bloom, it’s time to liven up your living spaces. Add indoor plants to your home to brighten, rejuvenate, and spruce up dull areas. Plants, besides increasing the aesthetic and style of your home, also have intrinsic value. They help purify the air, reduce stress, and studies have proven they can even elevate your mood and boost creativity. So whether you’re a novice plant owner or an experienced gardner, these local Charlotte businesses have something for everyone!
Malone’s Nursery, located just a few miles outside the city, is a hidden gem for plant lovers. The nursery specializes in the ever trendy, aesthetically pleasing succulents—an easy to care for plant that requires little water. As you walk through the aisles of the lush nursery, you’ll also find cacti, sedum, air plants, tropical plants, carnivorous plants, bonsai, as well as a plethora of plants suitable for apartment living.
Campbell’s Greenhouses and Nursery
Looking to add a bit of color to your home? Try incorporating orchids—a stylish and elegant plant that comes in a variety of unique colors. Campbell’s Greenhouses and Nursery, a Charlotte staple, specializes in the flowering plant. You can buy one of their beautiful, custom-made orchid arrangements put together by one of their professionals. Besides orchids, the greenhouse has a ton of indoor and outdoor plants available to spruce up any home.
The ladies behind Verde Tribe love all things green. The small, Charlotte-owned business offers a wide variety of plant-related services including what they like to call “plant therapy.” If you’re having issues with a particular plant, or are a beginner when it comes to gardening, a plant therapist will come to your house and help you with your potted friends. They also sell stylish homemade planters, unique house plants, and offer free hand delivery if you live within 20 miles of their location.
Charlotte Collective is a new store that was put together by a team of awesome ladies. Located in Plaza Midwood, their storefront is an alternative retail spot that includes products from a variety of small business owners. On their website they list all of their brands they support. Browse through the small businesses in order to find houseplants, homemade planters, as well as other items to spruce up your home.
Serendipity Flowers is a small business that specializes in unique floral bouquets made with locally grown flowers. Fresh flowers bring life and great smells to your home. Buy online or visit their Instagram where they hold flash sales. Fun Fact: If you need something to look forward to after the quarantine, Serendipity Flowers has a weekly Petal Cart sale. Each week, the store brings out the cart and holds a pop up that allows customers to build their own customizable floral arrangements. The Petal Cart’s location changes every week. Stop by the cart and make your own customized bouquet, guaranteed to bring some life to your home! serendipityflowers.co
Spruce up your Space
Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal, and rejuvenation. This is the perfect time to try having your interior represent the same thing. After months of dark and dreary weather, we all feel the urge to clean house, put away the heavy fabrics for lighter ones, and add some crisp neutrals and brighter colors. If you’re eager for an update, to spruce up your home and embrace the energy that comes with the new season, check out these local home decor shops’ websites and get help you to achieve your new look.
Abode’s mission is to grant locals the opportunity to browse, shop and explore new design possibilities within a stylish and welcoming retail showroom, in hopes of providing inspirational ideas to make your home a reflection of your life and values. Owner and expert interior designer, Mary T. Miller Design, has created Abode Home Design as a blend of the latest in design with traditional classics to create inviting, friendly, livable interior spaces. The store is a reflection of Mary’s well-developed eye featuring various furnishings, lamps, art and accessories.
Nadeau – Furniture with a Soul
Nadeau was founded on the idea that great furniture should be attainable by everyone. They offer a selection of handmade wood furniture from India and Vietnam, built to last and versatile enough to adapt to various décor styles, bringing quality design into your home at affordable prices. At Nadeau, you will find an ever changing collection of distinctive pieces and an assortment of styles including industrial, farmhouse, contemporary, traditional, and more.
Cotswold Marketplace is a collection of merchants, artists, and custom design services. Everything from furniture and lighting to wallpaper and bedding, the marketplace has a wonderful plethora of home decor. The staff is a great mix of retail experts, designers, and artists that are available to help guide you in the right direction to select the best product or service you need.
Theory Design Studio
Located in the South End district of Charlotte, Theory Design Studio is an award winning interior design firm recognized for delivering the highest level of service to their clients and the community. The boutique offers a great selection of home decor, lamps, pillows, art, and furniture pieces. They also proudly carry many local lines including The Piper Collection pillows, Evelyn Henson prints and gifts, The Blush Label pillows and Ella B candles. The balance in aesthetics, function, and budgets both the boutique and design experts provide exemplifies their provisions in delivering exceptional design solutions.
District 5 Interiors
Since 2008, District 5 Interiors has been specializing in providing affordable home goods and home décor to the people of Charlotte. Their wide variety of top-quality products are guaranteed to help add style and creativity to any home. From understated decorative accents to bold furnishings, they’ve got it all making it easy to personalize your space at unbeatable prices. Doesn’t matter if you’re starting from scratch or completing a look, you’ll find what you need at District 5 Interiors.
The “Try Something” Stuff
Virtual Arts Experiences
Just because you can’t physically go to some of your favorite local museums and libraries doesn’t mean their dedication to bringing you great content has changed. Check into your favorite local spots online because many of them are offering virtual experiences daily. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has story times and guided relaxation and meditations. Local museums, like Charlotte Museum of History, Levine Museum of the New South, and Bechtler Museum of Modern Art are bringing history, art, and music right to your home.
Try New Recipes
Keep yourself moving and mind sharp by exploring your kitchen in a new way. Many of your favorite local restaurants are keeping their social media pages updated with new recipes to try from home. Completing simple tasks reduces stress, and we can’t think of a more rewarding way to do so than trying to cook something new.
Virtual Cooking Class
Building off our last suggestion, if you’re wanting to take your cooking experiences to the next level look no further than Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen. Chef Alyssa has taken her talent to online cooking classes. Classes are offered at five different ability levels, centered around seasonal ingredients, and Charlotte-based so you’ll be supporting your community.
There are numerous local gyms that are rising to the occasion through online fitness classes. From free classes with the option to donate to paying for a couple months ahead of time to hold yourself accountable, there are many to choose from. Shane Lucas, Chelsea Cox, and Erica Penunuri Rossi are Barry’s Bootcamp instructors you can check out on Instagram for live work outs. CorePower Yoga, Yoga One, and Be Yoga are other options.
Cathy Pickens, Local True Crime Author
If you’re looking to exercise your true crime addiction, we suggest you do so with a local author. “Charlotte’s True Crime Stories” is available now and if you really want to go on a deep dive, Cathy Pickens has many other titles and even podcast appearances.
Eat Spring Food at Home
Don’t let the COVID-19 closures get you down. Just because your favorite restaurants are closed doesn’t mean you can’t have chef prepared meals at home. Spring has sprung and now is the time to try seasonal and flavorful ingredients from some of Charlotte’s local restaurants. Use this time as the perfect excuse to order fresh, artisanal creations made by local chefs that can be enjoyed at home.
Welcome spring with this farm-to-table restaurant. The Heirloom Restaurant uniquely prepares cuisine created from local and seasonal North Carolina sourced products. Their chefs’ culinary expertise of creating exceptionally succulent and beautiful dishes are worth the trip to the restaurant. Call the restaurant or order online to bring a one-of-a-kind culinary experience to your home!
Designed to focus on plant-based and southern cuisine to create delicious seasonal dishes, Fern is elevating the vegetarian and vegan dining standards for Charlotte. They source their ingredients from the best farms in the area, and have gained both local and national recognition. Fern meals are chef prepared and hand crafted with an emphasis on excellence. Order for pickup or delivery of your meal to bring the delicious comforts of vegan and vegetarian cuisine into your home.
Barcelona Wine Bar
Focused on clean flavors and seasonal ingredients, Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant constantly works on how to bring the very best to their customers. At this time, take home meals any way you can imagine; the warm rustic small plates created by the chef will take care of your at-home needs. Order a meal, bottle of wine and enjoy the tastes of Spain and the Mediterranean from home.
Looking to satisfy your craving for authentic Italian cuisine? Well look no further, say hello to Zinicola. Whether it’s pasta, risotto, pizza, or just rich Italian flavors you miss, all meals are chef prepared, made from scratch and reflect the flavors of each season. Zinicola is here to treat you like family and aims to feed the soul. Let them serve you and take care of dinner tonight. Call ahead for curbside or delivery.
The Cellar at Duckworth’s
The Cellar at Duckworth’s is a combination of chef specialties and gastro pub fare while also offering rare beers and signature cocktails hand crafted to order by their mixologists. The menu items feature farm sourced ingredients, so whether you’re in the mood for their famous waffle cones or a hand crafted artisanal meal you are guaranteed an enjoyable, local, and chef prepared gastro pub meal. From spectacular culinary creations to signature cocktails, bring the unparalleled dining experience to your home. Order online or by phone.
Explore Your (Literal) Backyard
As of late, the Queen City has been providing its citizens with warm sunny days and cool, breezy nights. Spring is, without a doubt, in the air. However, with many of us cooped up inside, it’s been difficult to appreciate the beautiful weather. Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to enjoy your backyard space. We’re encouraging our readers to get creative and to get outside. Whether you’re looking to start a garden, relax around a fire, or make some good old fashioned s’mores—it’s time you rediscover your backyard.
Plant an Herb Garden
Spring is the perfect time to plant an herb garden. Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry! Herbs are generally pretty easy plants to take care of and require little maintenance. Grab some basil, parsley, oregano, and thyme (from a local Charlotte nursery) and you’ve got yourself the perfect seasonings for a delicious, homemade tomato sauce.
Light up that firepit and roast s’mores. All you need is graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. Don’t have a fire pit? Buy a portable, easy-to-move campfire online. Just remember to exercise fire safety.
Have Dinner Outside
Enjoy these beautiful spring evenings by eating your dinner outdoors. Make a homemade meal, grill, or pick up food from your favorite Charlotte restaurant. Pair your dinner with a nice bottle of wine or try a new cocktail recipe.
Follow a Bob Ross Tutorial
Whip out that easel and embrace your inner artist by following along with beloved painter, Bob Ross. A ton of his vintage videos are available for free on YouTube. Don’t feel like following a tutorial? Paint your own masterpiece en plein air.
Have a Picnic
Some of the parks may be closed, but who says you can’t picnic in your own yard? Lay out an old sheet, make or order a custom charcuterie board, and relax with a good book and some music. Picnics are not only fun, but they are an excellent way to get that much needed Vitamin D.