Whether you live in the Queen City or you’re just visiting for the weekend, finding free things to do in Charlotte can be tough.
Thankfully, after some thorough research, we were able to scrounge up some complimentary activities for you to enjoy on a no-spend weekend in Charlotte. Read on to start planning your weekend on a budget now.
Friday Nights at Camp North End
Every Friday through Oct. 26, 5 – 9 p.m. Camp North End, 1830 Statesville Ave.
Head to the Boileryard at Camp North End for this Friday night celebration every week from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. You can enjoy live music from one or more bands, as well as “unexpected arts and cultural elements beyond the staples of food and music.” Food and drink are available for purchase, or you can just enjoy the free performance under the twinkling lights in this unique urban space. More details here.
Sounds on the Square
Every Friday through Aug. 31, 7 p.m. Spirit Square, 345 N. College St.
Looking for a cultural event to kick off your weekend? Grab your lawn chair (seriously, bring your own chair or blanket) and make your way to Spirit Square every Friday at 7 p.m. for “Sounds on the Square,” a series of artistic performances ranging from showtunes to Latin fusion and beyond. Find out more here.
bloc. free community sweat
Every Friday through Nov. 16, 12 – 1 p.m. bloc., 2400 Park Rd., Suite A.
Make bloc. your Friday lunch date. Stop by their “free community bloc party” weekly at noon on Fridays for a one-hour workout led by a different local fitness trainer each week at the studio’s space in Dilworth. Find out more here.
First Friday of every month, 8:30 – 10 a.m. The Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St.
Creative Mornings is a free monthly breakfast lecture series designed for creative communities. Originally founded in Brooklyn, NY, Creative Mornings made its Charlotte debut in November 2015. Since then, dozens of inspiring speakers have taken the stage to inspire members of the Queen City’s creative community. The event itself incluldes free breakfast and coffee, live music, a quiz show and the lecture itself. More details here.
South End Gallery Crawl
First Friday of every month, 5 – 9 p.m. South End art galleries (and their addresses) below.
Explore a variety of local galleries at this free signature neighborhood event the first Friday of each month from 5 to 9 p.m. Galleries will stay open late to show off their latest exhibitions, often also offering music, food, drink and the opportunity to meet the artists behind the pieces you’re viewing. Find out more here.
Bechtler By Night
Third Friday of every month, 5 – 9 p.m. Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, 420 S. Tryon St.
Grab your artsy friends and make your way to The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art the third Friday of each month. The museum will open all four gallery floors to the public, free of charge, from 5 – 9 p.m. for the chance to view the extensive Bechtler collection. Sometimes there will also be additional entertainment options as well, like a “paint n’ sip.” More details here.
Sycamore Brewing Run Club
Every Saturday at 12 p.m. Sycamore Brewing, 2161 Hawkins St.
Every Saturday at noon (and every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.), lace up your sneakers and make your way to Sycamore Brewing for a one, three or five mile run along the Charlotte Rail Trail in South End with a few dozen other local runners. The run club itself is free, and once you get back to the brewery, there will be plenty of cold water to cool you down, and there’s often live music playing as well. Details here.
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
Every Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (and Sundays, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.) UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, 9090 Craver Rd.
The UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens is home to three different garden sites featuring 16 total collections. Wander through the flora in the McMillan Greenhouse, the Susie Harwood Garden and the Van Landingham Glen. More details here.
Technically, admission to the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens is free every day of the week. However, parking is free in any space that isn’t specifically marked “reserved” on the weekends (whereas you have to park in the visitor decks or obtain a temporary parking permit to visit during the week).
Unknown Brewing Bike & Brew
Every Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The Unknown Brewing Company, 1327 Mint St.
Not only is this weekly bike ride totally free, but Unknown Brewing also donates $1 to charity for each person who participates (including organizations like the National MS Society, 24 Hours of Booty, The Alzheimer’s Association, Camp Luck and more). Choose from a 15, 25 or 35 mile marked route to challenge yourself, meet new people and have fun, all for a good cause. More details here.
Summer Concert Series at The Music Yard
Every Saturday, 7 p.m. The Music Yard, 2433 South Blvd.
Check out Charlotte’s newest live music venue, The Music Yard, located between SouthBound and Mac’s Speed Shop in South End. The SoCal-inspired outdoor space boasts beachy vibes and offers plenty of room for you and all your friends to sway to the sounds of local and regional artists every week at 7 p.m., rain or shine. Find the full performance schedule here.
Sunday Funday Free Lunch
Every Sunday, 12 p.m. NoDa Company Store, 3221 Yadkin Ave.
You know what they say: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” …Except at NoDa Company Store. Every Sunday, the store’s owners Joey Hewell and Scott Lindsley make a totally free home-cooked meal for the community, with the menu ranging from burgers to tacos to chili and beyond each week. Free lunch starts around noon, and ends whenever they run out of food. Keep an eye on their Instagram, where they’ll announce what’s cooking each week.
Free Yoga at the Park with King of Pops
Every Sunday through Oct. 28, 1 – 2 p.m. Independence Park, 300 Hawthorne Ln.
Whether you’re a total beginner or you’ve been doing yoga for years, you’ll love this all-levels class held weekly at the southeast end of Independence Park in front of King’s College, led by Rebekah Coggins of Okra Charlotte. Bring a mat or a towel, some water to stay hydrated and a friend to join in on the fun. Find out more here.
Picnic in the Park: Summer Concert Series
Every Sunday through Aug. 26, 4 – 6 p.m. Fourth Ward Park, 301 N. Poplar St.
Grab your lawn chair or blankets, pack up your picnic basket and spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon enjoying live music with a gorgeous view of Uptown at the Picnic in the Park summer concert series. You can look forward to performances from artists ranging from Jason Atkins to Jeremy Davis and more. Full schedule can be found here.
Please note that CharlotteFive will update this list each season to make sure it’s as up-to-date as possible.
Did we miss your favorite free weekend event? Let us know in the comments.