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Free and Cheap Date Ideas in South End

Ballin' on a Budget. 

Dinner and drinks can be fun until the tab starts to add up. Whether you’ve been together for years or both just swiped right, switch up your go-to date spots with these South End events that are not only cheap but also fun. Check out these free and cheap date night ideas in the neighborhood:


1. First Friday Gallery Crawl

Take in the local art scene at  First Friday Gallery Crawl--an evening when galleries and shops offer extended hours, special receptions, live painting and music every first Friday of the month. Visit one gallery or stop by a few, each month’s crawl is self-guided and completely free.

Learn more about South End Interactive

2. South End Interactive

Discover South End Interactive, where viewers can scan a QR code with their cell-phone camera and watch a video of the artist, generate site-specific face filters, and explore a 3-D model of the piece.
Currently, you can interact with 10 South End murals and learn the stories hidden behind the artwork, told by the artists themselves. South End Interactive is self-guided and free. 

3. ArtWalks CLT

Art Walks CLT curates free, self-guided art tours in different neighborhoods around Charlotte. Learn more about neighborhood art by taking an Art Walk in Upper South EndLower South EndGold District, and Tremont area.

4. Take a Rail Trail Adventure

Calling all urban adventurers! Where else can you find porch swings, a giant seesaw, an interactive chalk board, loads of public art, and photo ops galore? Spend a day strolling or biking along the Rail Trail with your date and see what you can find along the way. 

5. Front Porch Sundays

Front Porch Sundays bring a whole new meaning to Sunday Funday. Shop from over 70 local vendors offering everything from dog toys to handmade jewelry to fresh spices, grab food from surrounding restaurants and food trucks, and listen to live music all along the Rail Trail at Atherton Mill. Front Porch Sundays is free to attend and happens on the first Sunday of every month.

6. Nebel's Alley Night Market

As the sun sets on the work week, enjoy a free, sophisticated evening of open-air shopping, tasting, and entertainment at Nebel's Alley Night Market. There is magic around every corner every third Saturday of the month as 32 local vendors gather under the iconic Design Center water tower.

7. Free Lane Games at Slingshot

Get your game on at Slingshot! Play duckpin bowling, skee-ball, and more at the game-centered bar and lounge. Don't forget to grab your dancing shoes and head to their dance floor in between games! The best part? Their lane games are free from 5-7pm on Tuesday-Friday!

8. $6 Cheese & Charcuterie at Craft Tasting Room and Growler Shop

We'll have some cheese with that wine! Head to Craft every Wednesday for $6 cheese or charcuterie plates full of artisanal and regional options, paired best with their selection of wines and craft beers. Hangout in their casual indoor space or relax on the outdoor patio, made complete with a fire pit for chilly nights.

9. Test Your Pinball Skills at Paranoia Pinball

Bring out your competitive side with a visit to Paranoia Pinball. You’ll find dozens of pinball machines that cost 50 cents per play. If you bet your pinball skills on a round of beer and win, the date costs even less for you. 

10. Live Music in the Neighborhood

The strum of a bass, the beat of a drum, a cheering crowd – nothing quite compares to a live musical performance. With multiple hosts for live music, you don’t have to look far to find a free show in South End. You may find yourself at a busy bar, at picnic table outside of a brewery, in a low-key coffee shop or sitting on a hay bale at a pop-up venue. See the guide to live music in South End.

11. Music Bingo and Trivia

Test your knowledge at weekly trivia and music bingo nights throughout the neighborhood! Check out trivia at Triple C on Mondays, trivia at Skiptown, Common Market, and at Wooden Robot on Tuesdays, music bingo at Resident Culture and Tyber Creek and trivia at The Union on Wednesdays, and music bingo at Rhino Market and trivia at HopFly on Thursdays.

12. Pool and Cornhole Tournaments

There are plenty of places to get competitive in South End. Some spots even host pool and cornhole tournaments throughout the week. Stop at Small Bar for pool on Mondays, and at Triple C for corn hole on Tuesdays!

13. Beer Pong at The Union

Winner buys the next round! Play beer pong anytime at The Union. Head to the back of their space to find the tables, and cool off after your game on the outdoor patio. 

Wilmore Centennial Park, video by Holiday Inn Express South End

14. Picnic at Wilmore Centennial Park

Grab takeout from your favorite spot and hangout at the Wilmore Centennial Park


Dinner date ready! Check out all of the bites and brews in the neighborhood.

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Learn more about other date ideas in the neighborhood!