We know the price of life is on the rise, but we don’t want that to stop you from creating original family fun. From cheap to free, from parks to attractions, Rowan County can help you plan affordable fun for your family! Check out our list of 6 cheap and free things to do.
Dan Nicholas Park
Play original at Dan Nicholas Park, a 425-acre located in Rowan County. Dan Nicholas welcomes 600,000 - 700,000 visitors per year with unique attractions and events for families. The park offers a 10-acre lake for paddle boating and fishing, Rowan Wildlife Adventures nature center, tennis courts, picnic shelters, the Hurley Family Water Plaza, playgrounds, volleyball, horseshoes, ball fields, miniature golf, a carousel, gem mining, a fresh water aquarium, animal habitats, a miniature train ride for children and more. Attractions vary by season. There is no admission to enter the park, and no parking fees. Most activities are free of charge, while some charge a small fee (ranging from 50 cents to $4, excluding the gem mine). You can make an entire day of fun at Dan Nicholas Park without breaking the bank.
Bell Tower Green Park
Bell Tower Green Park is one of Rowan County’s newest attractions. Located in the heart of Downtown Salisbury, Bell Tower Green is 1 full city block located across from First Presbyterian Church. The park is complete with a state-of-the-art play area, plenty of open space to run and play, multiple gardens, a water wall and splash pad, various areas to sit and relax or enjoy a meal. The park is in easy walking distance from downtown shops and restaurants. Visiting the park is completely free, as is parking! Also, be sure to check with Salisbury Parks & Recreation for free concert and movie nights in the park.
Salisbury Sculpture Show
The Salisbury Sculpture Show happens every year as sculptures by artists from across the Eastern United States make temporary homes in Downtown Salisbury, at local colleges and throughout the entirety of the Rowan County community. Each sculpture is placed to best complement the piece and its setting. On your way in or out of town, take note of “Salisbury Foursome” at I-85 Exit 76, the permanent colorful 4-piece sculpture installed at each quadrant of the interchange. The tour of the Salisbury Sculpture Show is self-guided, and can be done at any time. You can find the guide online or download the app to your phone, by clicking here. The tour is completely free, and you can find free parking throughout the county. When you need a break, sure to stop in at our local shops and restaurants.
Plenty of affordable options await at Village Park. Enjoy a leisurely ride on the Rotary Express Train, a g-24 scale replica CP Huntington engine and three coaches. The Rotary Express is $1.50 per person, per ride. Once you’ve gotten your fill of the train, head over the Village Park Carousel which was manufactured in Italy and features 1,800 lights. The Brazilian oak decking and hand-painted venetian murals make this carousel unlike any you’ve ever seen. Plus, it is the only double decker carousel in the state of North Carolina! Rides are $1.50 per person, per ride. The fun doesn’t stop there! Village Park also has a splash pad that is open seasonally, filled with water cannons, geysers and jets. Tickets are $1.50 per person. Village Park also has an award-winning concert and movie series that is offered for free. To check park and attraction hours, or the summer concert and movie series line up, please visit the City of Kannapolis’ website.
Waterworks Visual Arts Center
Waterworks Visual Arts Center is a non-profit art museum. Providing a unique blend of education, inspiration, creativity, and fun, Waterworks serves as the anchor organization for Salisbury's East Square Cultural Arts District and is the only teaching museum within a forty-mile radius of Salisbury. Waterworks strives to be a leader and innovator in the exhibition of art and in museum education. Creative and expressive artwork from established and emerging regional and local artists are featured in three rotation exhibitions annually. Tours of the gallery are completely free, and there is free parking available throughout Downtown Salisbury.
Atrium Health Ballpark
Bring your friends and family out to Atrium Health Ballpark and enjoy a unique, lasting experience. Atrium Health Ballpark is open on non-game days the community. Kids can play on the playground and splash pad, while other members of the community can walk the Atrium Health walking trail around the concourse. After working up an appetite, head to Boomer's Bistro or the Outfield Bar to enjoy some ballpark favorites. Entry to the ballpark is free on non-game days. Free parking is available throughout downtown.
These are 7 of the many free or cheap experiences available to you when you visit Rowan County. Be sure to tag us in your photos when you're in town with #VisitRowanCountyNC