Where to Find Fun, Free Things to Do in Raleigh

downtown raleigh at sunsetSpring Break brings the interesting stories, the Instagram-worthy pictures, dozens of Facebook photos, and the countdowns until longer summer adventures. But traveling to fun and exciting places often means spending a lot of money… right?

Actually, you can have plenty of exciting memories and photos to share just by being a tourist in Raleigh. And what makes Raleigh (and NC State University) such a great place to live is its proximity to both the beach and the mountain and everything in between.

Inexpensive Events to Visit in Raleigh

It often seems like saving money in college prevents you from enjoying the college experience. But there are plenty of inexpensive and even free things to do in Raleigh that you can enjoy while you’re attending NC State.

First Fridays

Dates: Every first Friday | Time: 6pm – 9pm

Location: Downtown Raleigh

Admission: Free

Every first Friday of the month, Downtown Raleigh’s most popular art venues, museums, and businesses extend their normal hours to let people take self-guided tours of local hot spots. Attending First Fridays is free, and many restaurants offer specials.

Midtown Beach Music

Dates: Thursdays,  4/21 – 8/11 | Time: 6pm – 9pm

Location: North Hills

Admission: Free

Sticking around NC State for the summer? Dance along to live music with your best friends at North Hills’s Midtown Beach Music series. The local dance of choice is Shag dancing (North Carolina’s official state dance), which was started in North Myrtle Beach in the mid-1940s and is similar to swing dancing.

Check out this video from a few years ago:

Video credit: North Hills on Youtube

Raleigh’s World Beer Festival

Date: Saturday, 4/2 | Time: 12pm – 4pm & 6pm – 10pm

Location: NC State Fairgrounds

Admission: $45 in advance & $55 day of

The Wold Beer Festival is coming up! While admission is pricey, you get your money’s worth with unlimited craft beer tastings. This year, the festival will be held at the NC State Fairgrounds and features more than 20 ciders in its new Cider Garden.

Nearby Places Just Right for Adventures

The Raleigh area has its share of woods, lakes, trails, and hills, and nearby are plenty of places perfect for exploring. Popular options near NC State are Falls Lake, Umstead State Park, and Lake Johnson.

Check out the interactive map below for points of interest close by.

You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Fun to Save Money

Saving money doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite things to do. There is plenty to explore in Raleigh and around NC State; keep up with the latest events around the area by following @ncsu_commuters on Twitter, NC State Commuters on Facebook, and the new ncstatecommuters on Instagram.

So what is your favorite fun thing to do in the Raleigh area?


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