If you’re considering a move to Charlotte or just looking to visit, you can expect to be overwhelmed with tons of awesome activities to try out – all for free!
The city offers a wide range of free attractions, including museums, parks, recreational areas, and historical sites. Charlotte is never dull! So, before packing up, you should know the free things to do in Charlotte
Although we compiled a list of 25 free things to do in Charlotte, the city offers countless other amazing activities. However, let’s start with these first:
1. Bone Snugs-N-Harmony
Why not cut the Sunday night blues and connect with your inner rock star at the notorious Snug Harbor’s karaoke party? Every 6 pm on Sundays, Bryan Pierce hosts a party at Plaza Midwood, an awesome music venue where you can pick any tunes you want and hit the stage.
There are more than enough hiking locations for the entire Charlotte population and her neighbors. An hour and a half north of the city lies the Stone Mountain that offers a fascinating 600-foot granite face. We also have Craggy Gardens, which is two and a half hours away. These are the two closest, but there are a lot more.
3. Gantt After Dark
This is one of the best free things to do in Charlotte, a stunning art gallery which admission is free! It is hosted in the evening on every third Thursday of the month at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture.
4. Mint Museum
The city has two Mint Museums: one on Randolph Road and one in Uptown. You can pay a visit to the Romare Bearden Gallery at the Uptown museum to know more about the native artist whose art was inspired by early jazz. While at Randolph, learn more about Native American cultures via textiles, ceramics, spanning masks, and baskets, from over the past few centuries.
5. Free the Mic
Be inspired by the Guerilla Poets at this popular open mic reading at Mugs Coffee every second Wednesday of the month. The group invites other poetry stages around town with the mission of proving poetry is for all.
6. Nature Centers
For some nature therapy, Charlotte is one of the best destinations. This isn’t only one of the freethings to do in Charlotte; it is also one reason people move to Charlotte – the natural peace. There are the Latta Plantation, McDowell, and the Reedy Creek nature centers to try out before hitting the trails.
7. South End Gallery Crawl
Every first Friday of the month is devoted to a night to appreciate art in South End, whether you prefer pastels, paint, mosaics, or jewelry. Enjoy free admissions at places like the Lark & Kay Gallery, Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art, and the Dilworth Artisan Station.
8. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Storytimes
This isn’t one of the traditional stuffy and quiet libraries. Take your kids for memorable storytimes at library branches that welcome kids of all ages. They engage kids through movement activities and songs. Visit cmlibrary.org for dates, times, and locations.
9. Crown City Comedy
Enjoy a packed event calendar with brews at Crown Station Coffeehouse & Pub. Every Wednesday is slotted for Crown City Comedy night. This is an open mic event with comedian Mimi Benfield as the host. Well, her dog is also a co-host. It is a night full of laughter and one of the best free things to do in Charlotte.
Multiple murals continue to appear in town, making poetry and art out of walls, bike trails, and underpasses. To make your own mural crawl, visit NoDa and look up your choice.
11. Visit The Greenways
Grab your scooter, bike, or running shoes, and get ready! Mecklenburg offers over 37 miles of greenways for you to cycle till exhaustion. Also, McAlpine Creek Greenway is another great location where you can find a rare purple wildflower or a river otter.
12. Charlotte Douglas International Airport Overlook
The Charlotte Douglas International Airport Overlook is more than fascinating. Perhaps there should be a charge for such a stunning view; a few benches, a grassy area. But it is one of the free things to do in Charlotte, and that front seat row to watch planes take off is what takes people there.
13. The Light Factory
Appreciate film and photography from both established and emerging artists at the popular Light Factory in Plaza Midwood. The items in the gallery are usually changed to rotate exhibits and introduce new works.
14.Camp North End
Back in the 1920s, these buildings were used for the production of Model T Fords. Then in the1950s, it guided missiles for the army. This day, Camp North End is a 75-acre hub for entrepreneurial, cultural, and educational groups.
This is a library for kids with activities that encourage children of all ages to learn and explore, whether they aspire to be a novelist or a scientist. Kids are even provided with studio access to create music, videos, and costumes.
16. James K. Polk Historic Site
This historic site in Pineville was the home of the 11th president of the united states. On this former property of the Polk family, a tour guide in 19th-century attire takes you around buildings similar to the ones that were there in the 1800s.
17. The Billy Graham Library
Through 2018, the Billy Graham library features special exhibits of memorabilia and photos from Graham’s life, including examinations of his wide international reach, legacy, and embrace of technology.
Charlotte is notorious for parades, and they have tons of reasons to. Some of the city’s notable parades include the St. Patrick’s, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Come to Uptown, line the streets for celebration.
19. Abari Game Bar
Enjoy a reminisce of the 8-bit days of childhood with classic video games at Abari. You can choose to hit the arcade, grab a Sega Genesis controller, or play classic pinball.
20. Trivia Nights
Join the trivia nights at almost any weeknight at a brewery or restaurant to show your knowledge of miscellany without Google. Trivia nights is one of the most exciting free things you to do in Charlotte, and you can hit Lebowski’s for a first try.
During summertime, Mecklenburg Park and Rec provide free spraygrounds all around town, including First Ward Park, Cordelia Park, The Green, Latta Park, among many. They do this for days when it’s great to be indoors but too hot to remain dry.
22. Movie Screenings
As a movie fan, you can tell it is more thrilling to see a movie on a big screen amidst an audience. Enjoy free outdoor movies at Outdoor Cinema Series in Cornelius, Craft Growler Shop and Tasting Room, Movies on the Green at Promenade on Providence, or Movies in the Park in Huntersville.
23. Front Porch Sunday in South End
A pop festival is a usual event on the first Sunday of the month, starting from April to November. It is exciting and remains one of the best free things to do in Charlotte. Navigate the local vendors’ tables, make a pick of food trucks and enjoy it with live music.
24. Charlotte Jazz Fest
Every spring, you can enjoy enough free entertainment during the Charlotte Jazz Fest, whether you want to take your jazz al fresco at Romare Bearden or fill your Uptown lunch break with music.
25. Sounds on the Square
Every Friday from May to August, Blumenthal Performing Arts offers free outdoor concerts to the Square located at Spirit Square. Acts as diverse as Gina Robinson, Temperance League, and Biscuit Miller take turns on the stage.