Going out in Charlotte doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, to prove that statement, we've compiled a list of cheap - $10 or less - things to do in the Q.C. this weekend. These events may vary, but they're all entertaining and they won't break your bank (piggy banks excluded).
Science on the Rocks: Fan Fest at Discovery Place: This adults-only night at the museum features fan favorites from the Charlotte 49ers, Charlotte Knights, Charlotte Checkers, Charlotte Hounds and other Carolina sports teams; a ropes course, Wii sports games on a big screen, corn hole and more. The Community Café will be open, serving beer, wine and a special menu. $8-$10. Sept. 19, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 301 N. Tryon St. 704-372-6261. www.discoveryplace.org.
Spiked Punch at Dupp&Swat: This artsy alternative event, presented by Rhymes X Designs, features an art showcase by Georgie and Dammit Wesley, music by DJ Daz, and food by FoodByFrancois. Free with RSVP. Sept. 19, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dupp&Swat, 2424 N. Davidson St., Suite 112B. www.spikedpunch.splashthat.com.
Oktoberfest Bar Olympics at Strike City: These bar olympics come with a Bavarian twist — hence some game name changes to fit the Oktoberfest theme. There will be “Das Flip Cup,” a “Stein Race,” “Bobbing for Apfel,” and more. Teams of four compete in the games for prizes. Registration starts at 9 p.m. and the games begin at 10 p.m. Free admission. Sept. 19, 9 p.m. Strike City, 210 E. Trade St. 704-716-9300. www.strikecitycharlotte.com.
Festival in the Park at Freedom Park:This annual fest favorite has been around for more than 50 years. It’s a merry event with artists, live entertainment on multiple stages, crafts, food and more. Free admission. Sept. 19, 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sept. 20, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sept. 21, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Freedom Park, 1900 East Blvd. www.festivalinthepark.org.
Tawba Fest at Riverwalk: Presented by Creative Loafing (gotta love shameless self-promotion) and Riverwalk, this new event offers a combination of playing and partying. During the day, there will plenty of fitness-related activities — yoga, kayaking, cycling demos and more — but you can also check out the arts and crafts vendors, a craft beer garden, food trucks and more. Wind down by relaxing and listening to music in the evening, alongside the Catawba River. Held at Riverwalk, Dunkins Ferry Road, Rock Hill. Free admission. Sept. 20, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. www.tawbafest.com.
International Festival at UNC-Charlotte: Apart from graduation day, UNC Charlotte's International Festival is arguably the university's most celebrated event. Now in its 39th year, the festival packs a smorgasbord of cultural attractions into a day filled with food and drink, song and dance, and even an international game zone where festival goers can get schooled on games played round the world. Free admission. Sept. 20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. UNC-Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd. http://ifest.uncc.edu/.
Heaven and Hell Party at Solstice Tavern: This party will feature all the normal grub and brews, along with some extras to fit the theme (think veggies with angel hair pasta and/or Cajun chicken with extra spices). There’s also a hot chicken wing eating contest for cash prizes, music, and drink specials. Free admission. Sept. 20, 8 p.m. Solstice Tavern, 3221 N. Davidson St. www.solsticetavern.com.
Matrimony at U.S. National Whitewater Center: Ever since the release of Charlotte folk-rock outfit Matrimony’s Columbia Records debut, the band has been on the road building a national fan base. All that on-stage time has worked to create a tighter-knit presentation. Hard to believe when you’re (mostly) dealing with family members, but there’s ever-growing strength via all the road-tested hours they’ve put in. Free admission ($5 for parking). Sept. 20, 7 p.m. U.S. National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway. 704-391-3900. www.usnwc.org.
Anniversary Party with Mike Epps at Vanity: The club is celebrating a year in the biz with this party, hosted by comedian/actor, Mike Epps. Drink specials and DJs throughout the night. Free admission before midnight. Sept. 20, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Vanity Charlotte, 500 W. 5th St. www.vanitycharlotte.com.