Your 5-minute guide to the best things to do in Charlotte | July 12 to July 18


▪ The Bonsai Society of the Carolinas celebrates the ancient Japanese art form with its second annual Bonsai Show and Sale. Bonsai artists exhibit newly grown plants and miniature trees that are over 100 years old. You can purchase one from vendors or delve deeper with an instructional workshop. You can even create your own bonsai plant on the spot. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Free to members, and children under 2, and included with regular admission. Children age 2 to 12 $7.95; adults $12.95-$14.95.

▪ Human bodies meet celestial bodies in renowned Charlotte artist Arthur Brouthers’ internationally recognized work. In his latest mixed media show, Out of Body, his layered figural and abstract pieces explore the idea of meditation. During Friday’s opening, Brouthers will also unveil the “Out of Body Experience Simulator,” a collaborative project that attempts to create a setting through sound, body and visuals. From 9 to 10 p.m., psychedelic rock group the Wormholes will play. 7 p.m. C3 Lab, 2519 Distribution St. Free.

Arthur Brouthers’ pieces explore the idea of meditation. Mark Now

▪ Queen City queens Robyn O’Ladies & Charlotte Douglas’ present Yes, God! – a revamped version of the popular drag church service they originated at Petra’s that speaks to the experience of growing up in church in the South. Contemporary yet steeped in Bible Belt culture, the high camp show is packed with original songs and relatable commentary. 8 p.m. Visulite 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $15.


▪ If plain old glazed sounds boring or you haven’t tried Charlotte’s many specialty donut shops, Not Just Coffee corrals four of the area’s finest in one spot for Doughnut Fest at its new Wesley Heights location. SouthEnd’s Pepperbox Doughnuts, Move That Dough vegan baking company, Ballantyne’s Sugar Donuts and Matthews’ Your Mom’s Donuts will be dishing up gourmet dough all morning. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1026 Jay St.

Bourbon glazed with grilled peach doughnuts. Courtesy of Pepperbox Doughnuts

▪ Grab your Hawaiian shirt and dust off your tiki torches because Sugar Creek Brewing’s 3rd Annual Island Luau brings the beach to the brews. Sip the Creek’s craft brew or an adult slushie while grooving to live music on the patio, complete with sand fresh from the beach. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 215 Southside Drive. Free.

▪ Free Range Brewing celebrates its fourth anniversary with Four Years, Folks! – a day of craft beer, live music, friends and food. They’ll be bringing back some older recipes, as well as introducing new specialty beers brewed for the occasion and highlighting Salud Cerveceria, FullSteam, Burial and Euriska’s beers. Farmhouse BBQ will be on site for lunch, while Bleu Barn Bistro serves up dinner. Charlotte art rock vets It’s Snakes concludes a full day of music, which begins at 3 p.m. Noon to 11 p.m. 2320 N. Davidson St., #D. Free.

▪ Before he was an NPR-recommended author and writer in residence at the University of South Alabama, Frye Galliard made his name as the Charlotte Observer’s Southern editor, covering the landmark school desegregation case and the fall of televangelist Jim Bakker. He returns with Nashville songwriter Ann E. DeChant for With Music and Justice For All, a night of stories and songs. Galliard will read from “A Hard Rain,” his 2018 chronicle of America’s tumultuous ’60s, which gives DeChant’s songs historical context. The show follows a community potluck dinner at 6 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church, 234 N. Sharon Amity Rd. $15.

The Chuckleheads return to Dilworth Neighborhood Grille for Planet Improv’s Summer 2019 Comedy Improv Musical Variety Extravaganza. That’s a mouthful, but with music, improvisation, games and audience participation, the resident comedy troupe has a lot of fun to cover. Food and drinks are available before, after and during the show. Doors at 6 p.m. Show at 7 p.m. 911 E. Morehead St. $10-$15.


▪ France is known for its rich food, wine, fashion and film, but Francophiles can dive deeper into their appreciation for all things French at the Charlotte French Festival. Now in its third year, the gathering includes specialty vendors selling things as varied as cheeses, lavender, books, pottery and French manicures. There will be culinary and dance demonstrations, live music, D-day reenactors and historians, members of the local French speaking Congolese community, a K-9 costume contest, kids activities like French story time and face painting, and plenty of photo ops. 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nevin Community Park, 6000 Statesville Road. $5. Children under 3 free.


▪ Reserve a spot for Yoga with Cats at Mac Tabby Cat Café. Get your flow on for an hour as the kitties mingle around, then finish up with a half hour of cuddle time. If you make a furry friend that you just can’t live without, you’re in luck — all the cats are up for adoption. Ages 14 and up. 7:30-9 p.m. 3204 N. Davidson St. $20.


▪ Learn about how the science of snoozing and figure out how to step away from distractions and devices to get a better night’s sleep at Think & Drink, hosted by Discovery Place Science and Camp North End. Tara Youngblood, co-counder and chief science officer at Kryo Inc., will share what she’s learned from thousands of hours of studying sleep at this adults-only event. 6-8 p.m. Camp North End, 1824 Statesville Ave. Free, but reservations recommended.


▪ In its three-decade history, Cirque du Soliel has taken its visually stunning circus inside the big top and swimming through water; curated shows to the music of the Beatles and Michael Jackson; and interpreted Mexican and Indian culture in its own whimsical way. But with Cirque du Soliel Crystal, it takes the high flying acrobats and daring stunt performers onto the ice at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday; 12:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20; and 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, July 21. Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade St. $59-$135.


▪ The three-day Cineodyssey Festival kicks off its third year with a screening of Jennifer Sharp’s “Una Great Movie” — a film about the comedic trials of a black female screenwriter trying to get a film made that’s representative of her experiences and features a diverse cast. But her ideas are upended by white people who want to dumb down and white-up her script. Followed by a handful of short films, Sharp’s film introduces a festival that aims to shift the focus onto filmmakers of color. 7 p.m. Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon St. $30 for screening and opening night reception. $75 for three-day pass.

▪ Are you a geek for gumshoes? Have a mind for true crime? Or maybe you just enjoy adult libations and dark humor? Childhood friends-turned-podcast cohosts Kenyon, Amanda and Lucy check all those boxes and more as they discuss some of the deadliest, most demented and sometimes just plain dumb cases. Join in the fun during a live taping of their Wine and Crime Podcast during the trio’s national tour. 8 p.m. Comedy Zone 900 NC Music Factory Blvd., $25/$45 VIP.