Last year, I merrily wrote a blog with things to do in 2020 for under $20. Five of the 10 things on the list were significantly different or impossible for most of the year. Half. Lol, 2020. You got us! 😕 BUT! We did manage to complete the census with greater participation than in 2010. 🎉 

Without making any grand plans for 2021, here’s a new, pandemic-proof 🤞🏾 list of budget-friendly activities this year. (I do not intend to jinx us but also apologize in advance if I accidentally do.) 

  1. Park It 

Our parks were more popular than ever in 2020 with plenty of people taking advantage of less commuting and more working from home to get better acquainted with the great outdoors. We love that! Now try a park or nature preserve you’ve never been to before. With more than 210 parks and facilities (and more coming!), why not try five new Park and Rec resources in 2021? We also have more than 50 miles of trails. Feeling ambitious? Hit every single mile of those trails! 

gif of Captain Jack statue in Charlotte
  1. Time Travel  

Catch a twofer with this one. You can go back into history by seeing historic sites first hand. Some are also managed by Park and Rec. Explore a historic landmark in your part of the County or find a new landmark in a new-to-you location. Then post your very own TIL (today I learned) on Instagram and tag us!  

  1. Get Fed  

Support local farmers and artisans at one of more than a dozen farmer’s markets in and around the County. If you use SNAP/EBT double bucks, you can also double your money there up to $20!  

  1. Be a Quitter  
animation of a person drawing in the towns and city in Mecklenburg County and a no smoking sign

Okay, okay! This is definitely pandemic-proof! Not only can we help you stop your tobacco habit for free, you’ll save an incredible amount of money when you quit. You can double or triple your chances for success if you combine quit counseling with quit medications. Wow! 

  1. Check it Out  
2020 Charlotte Mecklenburg Library logo

I’m sure you know the library is not just books you hold in your hand. Our library also has a breathtaking number of online resources that are absolutely free to use as long as you have a library card. Research your family history. (I found my great-great grandfather on the 1880 census!) Listen to music or check out an e-book or audiobook. You can even stream movies thanks to your library card.