Category: Entertainment

Family Fun for Free (or almost free)

Looking for ideas for keeping your kids entertained this summer without busting your bank account? Check out my feature for WNC Parent: “Asheville’s free family summer fun.”

Asheville Tourists Freebies and Deals

June 1, 2, and 3, the Asheville Tourists are playing at home at McCormick Field as they face off against the August Green Jackets.

June 1 – Dollar Hotdog Night. Game time: 7:05 p.m.

June 2 – First 1,000 people into the ballpark receive a FREE replica Tourists’ jersey. Game time: 6:05 p.m.

June 3 – Kids run the bases and get autographs. Game time: 2:05 p.m.

FREE Admission at the Cradle of Forestry

The Cradle of Forestry, located in Pisgah National Forest on Highway 276 near Brevard, N.C., offers FREE admission for EVERYONE on TUESDAYS!  It’s also FREE for EVERYONE on National Get Outdoors Day and National Public Lands Day.  KIDS ages 15 and younger are FREE EVERYDAY, except during special events (kids $3.00 / adults $6.00). Check the website for their calendar of events.

Regular admission rates for visitors 16 and older are $5.00 per person (adults $6.00 for special events). It’s a great place to explore!

Asheville Tourists Make Fun AFFORDABLE!

New policy at Asheville Tourists games in 2011. Kids five and under are now admitted FREE of charge. The previous policy was to allow free entrance to kids two and under.

ALSO: The Tourists will continue to offer its Family Four Packs once again in which purchasers receive four general admission tickets, four hot dogs, four Pepsi products and two popcorns to Sunday through Wednesday games, with the exception of July 4 and 5, for only $29. The lone requirement is buyers must purchase their tickets 24 hours in advance of the game.

Some other tickets are going DOWN IN PRICE!

Both the Bojangles Dugout Suite and the Clubhouse Suite have been restructured, resulting in lower ticket prices. The Bojangles Dugout Suite tickets will be $30 per seat instead of the previous $45. The $30 ticket includes first-row, on-field seating, a meal from Bojangles Chicken & Biscuits, and unlimited ballpark snacks and Pepsi products with seat service. The Clubhouse Suite tickets also will be $30, down from $40, and include a full meal from an Asheville Independent Restaurants (AIR) member, hot dogs, snacks and Pepsi products.

Otherwise, the Tourists’ ticket prices for box seats and general admission will remain the same as last year. Advance ticket prices will be $10 for box seats and $7 for general admission-a price that has remained the same since 2007-while game day prices will be one dollar more, respectively. Prices for senior citizens, military personnel and children age 6-12 are $8 for advance box seats and $6 for advance general admission, with day of game prices one dollar more.

Single-game tickets go on sale at the McCormick Field ticket office on Saturday, March 19, at 10 a.m. Every contest for the Tourists’ 2011 home season will be available, with the exception of the Fireworks Extravaganzas, slated for Monday, July 4, and Tuesday, July 5. Those tickets will go on sale Saturday, April 23, starting at 10 a.m.

In addition to the Fireworks Extravaganzas, there are three other big firework shows, on June 3, July 22 and August 5, and those tickets will be available on March 19.

The Tourists will also offer food nights, two-for-one ticket nights thanks to Kraft Singles, kids run the bases and 11 giveaway dates.

The Tourists open their home schedule on Friday, April 15th against the Lexington Legends. Season ticket packages are still available at the McCormick Field box office. For more information, contact the Tourists front office at (828) 258-0428.

Spring Clean Coat Drive

Donate your gently used winter coats and get some free tickets for movies at Carolina Cinemas in South Asheville.

News 13, Carolina Cinemas and Eblen Charities are sponsoring the Spring Clean Coat Drive on March 25, 2011. Drop off coats anytime between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. While supplies last, Carolina Cinemas will hand out a free movie ticket for every coat donated. There’s a limit of four tickets per family and these can be used to watch movies MONDAY – THURSDAY at Carolina Cinemas.

UNCA Cancels Concert on the Quad Series

It was one of my favorite free activities in the summer. I would pack a picnic basket and the kids and I, and often my dad, would carry chairs into the quad area at UNCA on Monday nights in summer to hear some great free music.

Today, UNCA has canceled the 28-year event due to budget cuts. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the event cost the University $12,000 – $15,000 each year.

FREE Concerts of the Quad at UNCA

This is my favorite time of year — time when you can spread a blanket out on the grass at UNCA and listen to great music on Monday evenings for several weeks in the summer.

The concerts take place at 7 p.m.  Signs point to the area for chairs and the other area to spread out blankets. All performances are free, with the exception of the Folkmoot ticketed performances.

This year’s Concert on the Quad series kicks off Monday, June 14, 2010 with Cool John Ferguson (blues, gospel and funk).

June 21: ELM. Collective—World music, jazz and fusion
June 28: Pan Jive—Energetic, genre-defying steel drums
July 5: April Verch—Traditional roots, fiddle and step-dancing
July 12: One Leg Up—Gypsy jazz
July 24–25—The 27th annual Folkmoot USA festival, the only ticketed event of the series, will feature folk dance and music from around the world. Folkmoot tickets range from $10-$25 and are available online at or by phone at 877/FOLKUSA.

Free Sledding Hill at Beech Mountain

Sledding conditions are great at Beech Mountain (elevation 5,506 feet) in the N.C. High Country. The best news: Kids 12  and under can sled FREE daily at the Beech sledding hill, located next to the Chamber of Commerce. Parents may ride with smaller children.

Plastic sleds are required. Folks are encouraged to bring their own sleds, or they may be purchased at stores on the mountain.

The sledding hill is operated by the Beech Mountain Parks and Recreation Department. It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (weather permitting) with safety
personnel on duty. A loud speaker plays music and hot chocolate is available at nearby restaurants.

Parking and restrooms are provided by the chamber. People are encouraged to call the chamber at (800) 468-5506 to receive live updates on sledding conditions.

Additional info on the Beech Mountain sledding hill is available at:

Biltmore Estate Discounts

Big savings are available to those visiting Biltmore Estate from January 4 to March 18, 2010. Adult admission is only $35 IF you purchase the tickets online. But the savings don’t stop there. Kids ages 16 and younger are admitted FREE with a paying adult!

Buy online tickets HERE

Heritage Weekend at the Folk Art Center 9/19 – 9/20

Enjoy a full schedule of free traditional music, storytelling, dancing, and other entertainment at the 29th annual Heritage Weekend at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A highlight is the world whimmy diddle championship. If you’re not familiar with whimmy diddles, they are a pair of sticks, one with notches and a propeller. Rubbing the other stick against the notches causes the first stick to spin around. Also at the festival will be beekeepers, a blacksmith, basketweavers, and much more.

The entertainment runs from 11AM to 3PM on Saturday, September 19th, and from 12:30 to 3:30 on Sunday, September 20th.

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