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10+ fun and free activities in Asheville

Make the most of summer without pulling out your wallet.

Pecan tree in Magnolia Park

Spend the day exploring the Asheville Edibles Map.

Photo via the City of Asheville

If your summer bucket list looks like it’s going to break the bank, it’s time to draw up a new draft. To help you out, we’ve gathered 10+ free activities for maximizing fun and minimizing spending. Let’s dive in.

Explore the great outdoors

As you can imagine, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities here in the Land of the Sky. Pack a picnic and set off to a scenic spot, hit a local hiking trail, or play a round of disc golf at a nearby park. If you’re looking for something a bit more out-of-the-box, you can go on a hunt for berries, nuts, and fruits using the Asheville Edibles Map.

Take a tour

Lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement to learn more about our city’s history. The Asheville Urban Trail, Asheville Architecture Trail, and Asheville Black Cultural Heritage Trail are all self-guided tours, but if you want a guide to lead the way, embark on a excursion with Citizen Vinyl or Asheville Free Walking Tours.

Grab a ZOOM Pass

Use your library card to reserve one of these handy passes, earning you free admission for a variety of local attractions and activities — from SIM racing at The Track AVL to paddle boating on Lake Julian. There’s more where that came from, because your library card is the ticket to lots of free resources, like board games and seed packets.

Geocaching

See what awaits when you find a cache.

Photo via Groundspeak Inc. (dba Geocaching)

Geocaching

Join the world’s largest treasure hunt, and see Asheville in a whole new way. Participants use GPS coordinates to locate caches — think: hidden containers filled with small, tradeable knick-knacks that can be found in outdoor public spaces. Learn how to get started.

Visit a museum

Learn something new at the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum, Folk Art Center, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, or Asheville Radio Museum, which all offer free admission. Bonus: Community Days at the Asheville Art Museum have free admission and a variety of engaging activities. The next one is Saturday, June 29, highlighting the “Shifting Perceptions” exhibition with games, a film screening, portrait sessions, and live music.

Volunteer with a local organization

Whether you’re an animal lover, an artsy type, a natural mentor, or a healthcare enthusiast — there’s a nearby volunteer opportunity for you. It’s free to get involved, and the giving spirit is in year-round.

Immerse yourself in the arts

Hop on the free ArtsAVL trolley to explore artist galleries in the RAD and downtown every Second Saturday. If theater arts are more your scene, admission is free for the Montford Park Players’ summer season, performing all nine plays in Shakespeare’s War of the Roses every weekend. And of course,if you want to get in tune with the local music scene, artists are always lighting up the stage — check out Live Music Asheville for a comprehensive list of shows.

Join a club

From book clubs to astronomy clubs, there are plenty of groups you can join to hone in on a hobby and connect with new friends.

People gathered around tables playing trivia at French Broad River Brewery

Nothing like a round of brews + trivia with the crew.

Put niche knowledge to work

Whether your specialty is pop culture or sports stats, there’s a trivia night nearly every night of the week, where you can gather your friends and compete for prizes.

Tap into Parks and Recreation programming

Asheville Parks and Recreation hosts a plethora of events at community centers and sites across the city. From Movies in the Park and Skate Jams to open mics and dance lessons. Search the program guide for this summer’s happenings.

Pro tip: There are always plenty of unique, fun, and (best of all) free, events posted on our events calendar.

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