Ready, Set, Weekend

9 Fun Free Things to Do in Charlotte this Weekend

With Bean having plans to see the Lego Movie 2: The Second Part with friends tomorrow, Avon and I are making our own plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day a little early. Since I already have an evening at home planned for Valentine’s Day (we’ve decided to alternate who takes charge of making Valentine’s Day plans every year and this year, it’s my turn), I’d like to get us off of the couch and out of the house for a date. That part should be easy enough. But spending little to no money while we’re out? Not so easy.

Or so I thought!

If you caught my latest post, you’ll know that my personal finance goals, namely budgeting and curbing my careless spending habits, currently have my full attention. But my other goals, including doing at least 25 of the activities on Charlotte’s Got A Lot’s list of 101 Fun Things to Do in Charlotte, are also on my mind. While many advise staying at home as the safest way to avoid spending money, that’s simply not something I’m willing to do all the time. And after reviewing the full list, I realized that I don’t have to!

Here are nine fun and free things to do in Charlotte this weekend:

Retrace Charlotte native and Christian evangelist Billy Graham’s dynamic journey from a North Carolina dairy farm to stadiums across the globe at The Billy Graham Library. Admission is free.

Follow Uptown’s Charlotte Liberty Walk, a series of bronze plaques and monuments that detail the city’s vital importance during the American Revolution, or the Trail of History on Little Sugar Creek Greenway, which highlights the key people who’ve contributed to the area’s growth.

Stroll through the tranquil grounds at UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. Admission to the Botanical Gardens and Greenhouse is always free, but donations are welcome.

Explore Charlotte’s urban parks—The Green, Romare Bearden Park or First Ward Park.

Roam the Charlotte Rail Trail. Along the way, cafés, bars, galleries, artists at work, impromptu concerts and more bring the streetscape to life.

Glimpse the Charlotte skyline from the top of Crowders Mountain State Park. This is something we’ve enjoyed before! Read about our hiking trip here.

Snap a picture in front of the phoenix-like Firebird, designed by French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle, on the plaza at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art (cost of admission to the museum is just $9 for adults).

Download the Arts & Science Council’s Public Art Walking Tour to explore the unique public art in the Queen City, including several frescoes painted by North Carolina native Ben Long.

Stroll through Charlotte’s art districts on a gallery crawl. The McColl Center for Art + Innovation hosts Open Studio Saturday, so you can meet the artists in residence. South End and the historic NoDa Arts District each host a gallery crawl the first Friday of each month.

I’m going to let Avon choose an activity from this list because if I had my way, I would try to do everything in one day! Charlotte friends, what are some of your favorite free and inexpensive activities to do in the Queen City? Friends, how are you saving money this weekend?

Whatever your plans are, have a great weekend everyone!

Photo by Charlotte’s Got A Lot

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