9 Totally Free Things To Do in Chattanooga

Posted by Nathan Torgerson on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 at 12:58pm.

There’s no question that Chattanooga is full of things to do—but where can you find fun things to do for free? We’ve got you covered with our list of Chattanooga’s 9 best free activities, most of which are perfect for all ages.

1. Go watch a free movie

Gather your blankets, lawn chairs and snacks—every year First Things First, in partnership with the City of Chattanooga, hosts this free summertime series during which families gather on the grass in Coolidge Park to watch a film on a giant inflatable screen. The movies, which are shown on Saturdays around 8:30 p.m. or after the sun goes down, are current family favorites perfect for kids or kids at heart. For more information, visit firstthings.org/fm/events/detail/id/438.

2.Go for a walk on the Walnut Street Bridge

The crown jewel of North Chattanooga, known as the "North Shore," is the Walnut Street Bridge, the world's longest pedestrian bridge at 2,376 feet in length. The bridge, erected in 1891, fell into disrepair in the late '70s and was closed for a decade before being restored to its former glory. Now the bridge, which connects the North Shore to Downtown, has become a favorite destination for tourists and locals alike. On any given day you’ll see many people—runners, cyclists, families strolling the bridge with Clumpies ice cream in hand—enjoying what the bridge has to offer. Be sure to bring your camera for photo opps along the way!

3. Go explore the Chattanooga Market

Each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 .m., the Tennessee Pavilion fills with local farmers and craftsman bringing their produce and handmade wares. Although you’ll want to have some cash on hand in case you want to buy groceries, gifts or a snack, you can just as easily walk around and take it all in without spending a penny. At the Tennessee Pavilion, there is a stage where bands, dance teams and theatre troupes perform. Just check in on the Chattanooga Market Facebook page at facebook.com/chattamarket or the website at chattanoogamarket.com to see the schedule of events.


4. Go dancing on Frazier Avenue

Bring your dancing shoes and follow the inlaid brass feet along Frazier Avenue for a toe-tapping adventure. The best part? It’s all free. Learn dance steps like the the waltz, the twist, the mambo and even the hokey pokey by (literally) following the step-by-step instructions.

5. Go listen to some tunes at Nightfall

Celebrating its 27th season, the Nightfall Concert Series is a beloved Chattanooga tradition where national and international artists come to Miller Plaza downtown to perform. The concerts are held each Friday night from May 1 through September 4—rain or shine—and are free and open to the public. Food and alcohol are available for purchase at the concerts if you’d like to bring cash just in case, but otherwise you can bring a lawn chair (or stand and dance!) and enjoy the free fun.

6. Go peruse the art at the Hunter Museum

The Hunter Museum of American Art is a Chattanooga favorite, with a large collection featuring artists from the Colonial period to the present day. Although there is normally a cost associated with visiting the Hunter Museum, admission to their permanent collection is free on the first Sunday of every month. There is also free admission for active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from now through Labor Day, September 7, 2015. The hours are noon to 5 p.m., with the last admission at 4 p.m. Bonus—if you can’t make it on the first Sunday, you can take a free cell phone tour of the sculpture art parked in front of the museum. Just follow the instructions on the signs underneath the sculptures.

7. Go enjoy some fun in the sun at Chester Frost Park

Boating, fishing, swimming—Chester Frost Park in Hixson has it all when it comes to lakefront summer fun. This 280-acre park on the shores of Chickamauga Lake offers a boat launch, boat docks and ramps, a swimming beach, fishing piers, group picnic facilities and an indoor pavilion.

8. Go splash or play in the grass at Coolidge Park

Coolidge Park, featuring 13 acres of public land nestled underneath the Walnut Street Bridge next to the beautiful Tennessee River, is a Chattanooga favorite for weekend fun. The park includes a restored carousel, a canoe-kayak launch, an interactive water feature and plenty of green space for frisbee, running or playing catch. The interactive water feature is a great option for kids, with seating all around for parents to watch from a distance. Coolidge Park is also a gathering place for many free activities like yoga classes and public running groups who meet up from there to run along the Tennessee Riverwalk, a 15-mile long greenway that runs along the Tennessee River and connects with the park.

9. Go on a Chattanooga’s public art stroll

Chattanooga is chock full of public art from murals to larger-than-life sculptures. No matter where you are in town, there is bound to be a piece of local art to enjoy. In Bluff View, take a self-guided walking tour of the River Gallery Sculpture Garden featuring a permanent collection as well as rotating exhibits or just wander past the shops and restaurants to see the sculpture art integrated throughout the area. On McCallie Avenue in downtown Chattanooga, go for a driving tour through what is known as the “world’s first drive through art gallery” with murals created by a host of talented artists. For a more comprehensive list of public art and a map of where to find it, check out this guide from the Chattanooga Visitor’s Bureau at www.chattanoogafun.com/media/pac-brochure.pdf.

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1 Response to "9 Totally Free Things To Do in Chattanooga"

Rachel Russell wrote: I would like to learn more about your area Posted on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 at 11:15am.

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