15 free things to do for a no-spend week in Charlotte

Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride. Courtesy of CLT Spokes People

We’ve said it before: Finding free things to do in Charlotte can be tough. But we’ve proven that a no-spend weekend here can indeed happen (see our list of options here).

And our research indicates that, yes, a no-spend week in the Queen City is an option as well. Wallets, you can rest easy. Here are 15 free things to do on a budget in Charlotte, Monday through Friday:


Heist Brewery Run Club
Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at Heist Brewery, ​2909 N Davidson St., #200

Select a 1-, 3-, or 5-mile route in NoDa. (Option to: Become a Heist Run Club member for $25 a year to enjoy 10 percent off all food items, a 20-oz. beer each time you visit, and more.)

Pizza Peel Yoga
Mondays at 6 p.m. at Pizza Peel, 1600 Central Ave.

Stretch and strengthen, rain or shine, on the Pizza Peel lawn. (Option to: Come back for the pizza, with specialties ranging from buffalo chicken to roasted veggie.)


Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride (PMTNR):
Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. at Common Market, 2007 Commonwealth Ave.

Cruise along for a 15-mile ride starting and ending at Common Market, rain or shine. (Option to: Splurge slightly on a kombucha when you return.)

Free Tuesdays at the Schiele Museum of Natural History
Second Tuesday of each month in 2018, from 4-8 p.m. at Schiele Museum, 1500 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia

Indulge in free general admission on these days and explore science, nature and history at the museum. (Option to: Access planetarium programs for $5 at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Free Tuesdays.)


Free “Skip For Your Beer” dog walks with Skipper
The first Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. at different breweries

Walk or run your pup with a free and guided, group route. (Up next: Skip For Your Beer at Sycamore Brewing on July 4.)

Sugar Creek Brewing Taproom Fitness
Wednesdays at 6 p.m. at Sugar Creek Brewing Company, 215 Southside Dr. 

Join a free class led by CrossFit Mecklenburg. The workout is killer, with a bootcamp-style approach. (Option to: Stick around for a beer at Sugar Creek after. Try the Raspberry White Ale.)

NoDa Run Club
Wednesdays at 
6:30 p.m. at NoDa Brewing, ​2921 N. Tryon St.

Move along a 1-, 3- or 5-mile route to get your sweat on. (Option to: Stay for a snack from the TIN Kitchen food truck if you’ve worked up a proper appetite.)

Party in the Park
Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m. at Romare Bearden Park, 300 S. Church St.

Through Aug. 29, you can listen to different genres of music like jazz, blues and rock, performed by tribute bands and more. Consider bringing a picnic and chairs. (Option to: Get items from food and beverage vendors onsite.)

Explore the Mint Museum
Wednesdays, 5-9 p.m. at the Mint Uptown (500 S. Tryon St.) and Randolph (2730 Randolph Road)

Enjoy free admission Uptown (with the Mint’s Craft + Design collection, plus collections of European contemporary and American art) as well as at the Randolph Road location (with the Mint’s collection of art of the ancient Americas, not to mention ceramics and decorative arts, and European and African art.)


Yoga at Free Range Brewing
Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at Free Range, 2320 N. Davidson St.

Instructors rotate on a weekly basis, but you can typically expect an all-levels vinyasa flow led by Allison Brewster, Kristen Witkowski or Erica Kiely. (Option to: Stay for a beer, cold-brew or shrub — one of those delectable and healthy alternatives to beer.)

The Unknown Brewing Company Bootcamp
Thursdays at 6 p.m. at Unknown, ​1327 S Mint St.

Get a free class coached by Matt S. and Sydney K. from Charlotte Fit Fam. It gets intense. (Option to: order a brew and snag a seat on the brewery’s new rooftop after class)

Alive After Five
Thursdays at 5 p.m. at the EpiCentre

Through Sept. 13, catch this after-work party that has been going on for 18 years. Two bands will perform live music each week, paired with a craft beer lineup including drinks by Southern Tier and Sugar Creek Brewing Company. The entertainment is free.

The last Thursday of each month from 6-9 p.m. at a different brewery

The socializing is free, and intended to bring together people who might just know each other through social media, in real life. (But you should also probably buy a beer to sip on.) Next up: The event’s four-year anniversary on June 28 at NoDa Brewing Company, 2921 N. Tryon St. Get there early to take advantage of one of the 150 complimentary pints!


Wander the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
Technically any day of the week, but we pick Fridays. UNCC Botanical Gardens, 9090 Craver Road

Stroll the outdoor gardens every day during daylight hours, and take in the McMillan Greenhouse Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 pm. and Sunday 1-4 p.m. The Greenhouse carries desert succulents, carnivorous and bog plants, a dinosaur garden and more. The outdoor gardens feature a winter trail, Asian garden and more.

Walk through the McGill Rose Garden
Technically Tuesday through Saturday, but we pick Fridays. McGill Rose Garden, 940 N Davidson St.

Slow down with a few minutes in the rose garden, which offers free admission and free parking Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Mid-May tends to be peak time for visitors, but blooming season stretches from late April through early November. It’s not too late to see it!

For more free Friday events, check out our list of weekend freebies.

Compiled by Katie Toussaint and Alicia Thomas


  1. Someone must have a drinking problem that wrote this??? These are all terrible things to do, only two days out of the week that don’t involve booze. Since you expanded the list of places outside of Charlotte by throwing the Schiele Museum in, there are hundreds of things to do for free that don’t require hanging with the hipsters drinking at a brewery.


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