Things To Do In Houston This Summer *Free or Cheap*
In The Woodlands with Houston Symphony: Free mezzanine and lawn seating at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.
Matilda in Concert, June 9, 8 pm (world premiere of movie with concert)
Houston Symphony with The Suffers, June 17, 8 pm
Star-Spangled Salute, July 3, 8 pm
Symphonic Sights & Sounds, July 8, 8 pm
Houston Symphony: The Composer is Dead, July 19, 8 pm (text by Lemony Snicket)
ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights, Houston Symphony: Enjoy classical music outdoors! Miller Outdoor — June 23-24, June 30, July 4 @ 8:30 pm
Summer Solstice at Rothko Chapel: June 21, All day. Free. A guided labyrinth walkbegins at 6:20 am on the grounds of the chapel. It offers a pathway to prayer and meditation. The solstice celebration ends at sunset, 8:25 pm, with Japanese drumming ensemble, Kaminari Taiko. Located at 3900 Yupon.
Summer Sounds on the Plaza at Rothko Chapel: July 6, 7 pm. $10 suggested donation. Enjoy Boomtown Brass Band, featuring high energy hot jazz of 1920s New Orleans. Located at 3900 Yupon.
Texas Music Festival Orchestra: June 23, 8 pm. Free. More than 100 musicians from around the world are showcased in this free performance as part of the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival. Located at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.
Free Musical: Once On This Island, June 7-9, 11 am (one-hour junior version) and Once On This Island, June 9-10 , 8:15 pm. Presented by TUTS’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre. Located at Miller Outdoor Theatre.
Free Children’s Hilltop Festival: Kid’s daytime theater. July 18, Freedom Train; July 19,Sinbad the Sailor (bilingual); July 20, Let’s Make a Play Today; July 21, The Adventures of Santa Claus Christmas in July. Located at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 11 am.
Free TUTS’ Summer Musical: July 11-16, Pippin, 8:15 pm. Located at Miller Outdoor Theater.
Houston Shakespeare Festival: Free Shakespeare in the park! July 29, August 2, 4, 6,Twelfth Night; July 28, 30, August 1, 3, 5, Richard III. Performance begin at 8:15 pm at Miller Outdoor Theatre.
Summer Kid’s Musical @ Lone Star College-Cy Fair: July 10-13. Lone Star College Cy-Fair presents Tilly the Trickster based on the book by Molly Shannon. Located at 9191 Barker Cypress Road. Purchase tickets online for $5 each. Shows begin at 10 am each day plus the annual family night July 13, 7 pm.
Free & Cheap Summer Movie Series:
- Cinemark: Movies are just $1 weekday mornings. Or get 10 movies for only $5 paid in advance. Show days are usually Tuesday, Wednesday or both beginning week of June 5.
- Studio Movie Grill: Tickets are just $1 at Studio Movie Grill’s Children’s Summer Series. Catch the 10 am show Monday through Friday at Copperfield, CityCentre and Pearland locations.
- Regal: $1 movies every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 am beginning June 6 for nine weeks. Both movies play BOTH days. Participating location is Edwards West Oaks Mall Stadium 14.
- Alamo Drafthouse Katy: Catch a cheap movie 7 days a week all summer. Choose your own ticket price ($1 $3, $5) and purchase online to reserve your spot. 100% of the ticket sales benefit Make-A-Wish Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana (Houston chapter). This is for Alamo Drafthouse Katy @ Mason Park.
- Premiere Cinemas: Enjoy free movies at Premiere Renaissance Theater at Greenspoint Mall Wednesdays, 10 am. June 14 – July 12. Premiere Cinemas Pearland Wednesdays, 10 am. May 31 – August 9; free movies at Premiere Cinemas Tomball Tuesdays and Wednesdays, beginning June 6 – August 9, 10 am.
- Showbiz Cinemas: Enjoy 50¢ movies at ShowBiz Cinemas Tuesday mornings, 9:30 am. The 8-week series kicks off June 13. Located at 350 Northpark Drive in Kingwood.
Free Outdoor Movies at Miller Outdoor Theatre: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (August 8) 8:30 pm. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (August 9) 8:30 pm. Singin’ in the Rain (August 15) 8:30 pm. La La Land (August 16), 8:30 pm. Located at 6000 Hermann Park Drive,
Free Outdoor Movies at Discovery Green: The Secret Life of Pets (June 3), 8:45 pm. Trolls (July 8), 8:30 pm. Finding Dory (August 12), 8:30 pm. Located at 1500 McKinney.
Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow at Market Square Park: Dirty Dancing (June 21), Almost Famous (July 12) at 8:30 pm. Located at 301 Milam.
Moonlight Movies for Kids, CityCentre: Cars (June 14), Tangled (July 12), Sing (August 12). 8 pm fun & 9 pm movie. Located at 800 Town and Country Blvd.
Friday Night Flicks, GreenStreet: Spider Man (June 16), Jurassic World (July 21), and The Internship (August 18). Located at 1201 Fannin downtown.
Free Movie Nights, WFDD Central Green Park: 10 free movies this summer at Central Green Park in Katy! Get the schedule here. Blankets and lawn chairs welcome. South end of LaCenterra, 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
Movies Under the Moon, Sugar Land Town Square: Moana (June 10), Pete’s Dragon (July 8), The LEGO Batman Movie (August 12), 7 pm – 9 pm.
2nd Saturday at The Depot Movies, Tomball: The Wild Life (June 10), How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Christmas in July (July 8), The Good Dinosaur (August 12), 8 pm. Located at 201 S. Elm.
Free Outdoor Movies, Deer Park: Monster Truck (June 3), The LEGO Batman Movie (July 1), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (August 5), dusk.
Free Movie Nights, Pearland Town Square: Moana (June 3), The Secret Life of Pets(June 17), Kubo and the Two Strings (July 1), The LEGO Batman Movie (July 15), Finding Dory (July 29), The Jungle Book (August 12). Movies begin at dusk. Located at Pearland Town Square.
50 Free Outdoor Movies in Houston — Big list of free outdoor movies — same as above but listed by date.
The Showboat Drive-In Theater: Enjoy a double feature outdoors under the stars. Adults are $8 and kids $6. Located in Hockley off 2920.
Free Museum Days in Houston Museum District:
- Buffalo Soldiers National Museum – Thursday 1 pm – 5 pm
- Houston Museum of Natural Science – Thursday 2 pm – 5 pm
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston — Thursday 10 am – 9 pm — Kids 12 & under free every day
- Children’s Museum of Houston — Thursday 5 pm – 8 pm
- The Health Museum — Thursday 2 pm – 7 pm
- Holocaust Museum Houston – Thursday 2 pm – 5 pm
- Houston Museum of African-American Culture — Thursday 6 pm – 8 pm
- Czech Center Museum Houston – Last Monday each month, noon -4 pm
10 Museums are Always Free: Don’t miss these great cultural experiences and learning opportunities in Houston’s Museum District that are always-free: Asia Society Texas, Houston Center for Photography, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Rothko Chapel, Lawndale Art Center and more.
Children’s Museum of Houston: Who could be more focused on kid fun this summer than this museum? Children’s Museum is open seven days a week for a “Sci-Fi Summer” with weekly themes, action-packed activities, performances, character appearances, and extraordinary events like Superman Day, Villains and their Minions, Wonder Woman Whirl, National Ice Cream Day, Kidpendence Day fun and more. Admission is $12 for adults and children (age 1+), $11 seniors. Kids under 1 are free.
Houston Museum of Natural Science: Take advantage of a discount to Houston Museum of Natural Science with $10 admission ($25 value), thanks to Goldstar. This admission allows you to explore many permanent exhibits including the McGovern Hall of the Americas, Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals, Wiess Energy Hall and the Hall of Paleontology. Buy online here. Or enjoy the combo admission pass for the Cockerell Butterfly Center + HMNS exhibits — $17 ($34 value). Buy combo ticket here. Affiliate links included. This helps support my site at no additional cost to you, and you save money!
Detective Days at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens: Kids 6 and up can explore mysteries at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. Kids will learn about horticulture, art, design, and American history as they solve seasonal riddles. Each detective receives a clipboard and magnifying glass. Hunts in the garden: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm, Sundays 1 pm – 4 pm. Hunts in the house: 1 pm – 4 pm, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Kids 18 and under free. Adults, $10. Recommend 6-12 years.
Celebrate the quirky: The Beer Can House and Art Car Museum are some fun cultural institutions with a twist! Beer Can House is $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. It’s open Saturday and Sunday, noon – 5 pm. Art Car Museum has 3-4 art cars that rotate quarterly along with new art in the gallery. Admission is free. It’s open Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am – 6 pm.
Family Nature Nights at Nature Discovery Center: June 14, Texas Turtles; July 12,Back to the Bone: Vertebrate Animals; August 9, Texas Snakes; 6:30 pm with talk beginning at 7 pm. Family-friendly talks, nature walks, live animals, crafts & snacks. Russ Pittman Park in Bellaire, 7112 Newcastle in Bellaire. $10/family.
Unplugged Adventure: Photographing Insects with Your Smartphone at Katy Prairie Conservancy: June 17, 8:30 am – 10:30 am. $10 per person (includes Smartphone lens kit). Register your spot online. Located in Waller at Indiangrass Preserve, 31950 Hebert Rd., Waller.
Summer Science Night: The Untouchables at Katy Prairie Conservancy: June 14, July 12, 6 pm – 8 pm. $8 per child. Geared to children age 5-8. Register online for June 14. Register online for July 12. Located in Waller at Indiangrass Preserve, 31950 Hebert Rd., Waller.
Summer Science Night: Wild Water at Katy Prairie Conservancy: June 22, July 26, 6 pm – 8 pm. $8 per child. Geared to children age 5-8. Register online for June 22. Register online for July 26. Located in Waller at Indiangrass Preserve, 31950 Hebert Rd., Waller.
Summer Science Night: Grasses That Changed the World at Katy Prairie Conservancy: July 19, 6 pm – 8 pm. $8 per child. Geared to children age 5-8. Register online for this event. Located in Waller at Indiangrass Preserve, 31950 Hebert Rd., Waller.
Fun and learning at Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center: There are so many activities and events planned at this park in Humble. From learning about dragonflies, flags of Texas, junior canoe training, and more. Check out the full calendar. Some require advance registration.
Texas Bound (One-Day Camp) at Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center: July 6, 9 am – 2 pm for kids 7-12. Kids will create a homestead and see if they have what it takes to survive their journey to Texas — through props, games and hands-on activities. Registration begins Wednesday, June 28. Free.
Reptile Open House at Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center: August 19-20, 1 pm – 4 pm. The Reptile Center is filled with live reptiles and amphibians from around the world. Learn about them and their natural history. Located at 20634 Kenswick in Humble.
Kidtastic on The Square at Memorial City: Don’t miss free fun each Wednesday in June from 10 am – 11:30 am. New theme each week such as Mad Science, Jurassic Extreme walking dinosaurs, Dino Discovery with Houston Museum of Natural Science and Gymboree Play & Music.
Latin Beats at Downtown Aquarium: Enjoy free salsa dance lessons every Friday night May 26 through August, 7 pm – 11 pm. Lessons are taught by Texas Salsa Congress’ professional dancers. A live band will perform the last Friday each month. Located at 410 Bagby at Memorial.
Sugar Land Skeeters Tickets: Get discount tickets to Field Box seats at select Skeeters’ games: $8.50 ($14 value) thanks to Goldstar. Affiliate links included. This helps support my site at no additional cost to you, and you save money!
Houston Family Magazine Summer Fun Fest: Free admission to Summer Fun Fest June 4, noon – 4 pm, at LaCenterra, 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd in Katy and June 11, noon – 4 pm, at The Woodlands Mall. It features live performances, rock wall, inflatables, fun activities, face painting and more!
North Houston Skate Park in Spring: It’s the largest Skate Park in North America at 78,000 sq. ft. Admission is free! The skate park is open 8 am – 10 pm all summer Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 10 am – 9 pm Sunday. Closed Tuesdays.
Free Skateboarding Classes: Several Houston skateparks offer free classes beginning June 14.
Bat Chats on 1st and 3rd Fridays year round: Arrive 30 minutes before sunset to hear a brief presentation on Waugh Bridge Bat Colony. Watch bats emerge under the Waugh Bridge. Meet on the platform at Waugh Drive and Allen Parkway. Free public parking at Spotts Park, 401 S. Heights Blvd at Memorial.
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center: Free to explore 5 miles of trails in the 155-acre urban nature preserve. Open 7 am – 7 pm. Enjoy interactive exhibits and activities in the Discovery Room. Located near Memorial Park and Loop 610.
Noah’s Ark Pool at First United Methodist Church’s Quillian Center in Westchasecelebrates 21 years this summer. Noah’s Ark Pool is an amazing destination! The area also includes a full-size swimming pool with two slides and two diving boards. Open May 26 – August 25, Monday-Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm. $7.50 each (under age 1 free). Twilight Tuesday swim night is $5 admission from 6:30 pm – 9 pm. Noah’s Ark pool only August 28-September 1 (10 am – 2 pm). 10570 Westpark. Playground and basketball pavilion also on site.
Sam Houston Boat Tour by Port of Houston Authority: Enjoy a free 90-minute cruisealong the Houston Ship Channel. Tours are available Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am and 2:30 pm run time plus 2:30 pm Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday. The M/V Sam Houston has been operating as a public vessel since 1958. Reservations are first-come, first-served and must be at least 24 hours in advance. Spots are full until August. Reserve a tour spot online or call 713-670-2416. Located at 7300 Clinton Drive.
Free Houston Splashpads by Houston Parks and Recreation Department: More than 20 free splashpads throughout the city.
Free Public Run Days at Zube Park: June 17, July 15, August 19 from 9 am – 1 pm. The Houston Area Live Steamers offer free rides to the public on the Zube Park Track on the 3rd Saturday March – November. Located in Hockley at 17802 Roberts Road.
First and Third Sundays at Armand Bayou Nature Center: noon – 5 pm. Sundays in Nature. Admission is free, thanks to Dow Chemical Co. Last entrance will be 4 pm. Hike trails with naturalist interpreter, view live reptiles, relive 1895 history. 8500 Bay Area Blvd., Pasadena. Each month has a different theme.
Back to School Splash Bash at Sugar Land Town Square: August 5, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm. Back to School Splash Bash features water slides, hula hoop contest, fun activities, live music with DJ. Bring a backpack and school supplies to donate to Fort Bend Rainbow Room.
Galveston: Take a day trip to Galveston and enjoy walking along the Seawall, building sandcastles, playing in the water, or shopping on the Strand. Parking is $8/day or $1/hour along the Seawall if you can find it! Or head to Stewart Beach ($10-$12 per vehicle), which is known as Galveston’s family beach. Plenty to do with the pavilion, beach volleyball courts, concessions, and the beach! Lifeguards are on site at Stewart Beach. Located at 201 Seawall Blvd. Take a free ride on the Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry, with up to 5 ferries operating in the summer.
HPD Mounted Patrol Barn: Visit the Houston Police Department stables and feed the horses. Visit Monday – Friday, noon – 2 pm for unscheduled visits. Bring apples, carrots, and peppermints for the horses (limit 2 each). There are close to 40 horses and a couple donkeys! Saturdays and Sundays, visits must be scheduled ahead of time by calling 832-394-0394. Located at 5005 Little York Rd.
Houston World Series of Dog Shows: Get free admission and free parking the first day of this annual Houston favorite, Wednesday, July 19, 9 am – 3 pm. Or save $5 all day Thursday with $10 admission with kids 12 and under free. Located at NRG. The dog show runs July 19-23.
Downtown Aquarium — 2 for Tuesday returns this summer at Downtown Aquarium. Buy One All-Day Adventure Pass for $20.99 and get one free. About $11 per person. This is valid June through August with the coupon. A new coupon will be published each month. Get the coupon here.
Summer Play Days at Disney Store: Participate in fun Disney-themed activities at 3 pm each day June 10 – August 9 and get a new embroidered patch each week! June 10 kicks off with a Cars 3 event.
Free LEGO Mini Model Build at LEGO Stores: First Tuesday and Wednesday each month, 3 pm – 7 pm with reservations required. June 6-7, July 5, August 3-4 at LEGO stores (Galleria, The Woodlands Mall, and Baybrook Mall). Register online here. Sign up at the store or sign up online as a VIP member — free registration.
Rosenberg Railroad Museum: This museum in Rosenberg offers tours for all ages. Learn everything about trains from the science, safety to the history of the railroad. Adults, $7.50; seniors, $6, and kids 2-14, $5. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Located at 1921 Avenue F in Rosenberg, 35 miles SW of Houston.
Free bowling all summer for kids at Copperfield Bowl, Emerald Bowl, Times Square Entertainment (Katy), 300 Bowl (Conroe), and Tomball Bowl. Kids can bowl two free games every day all summer.
Pottery Fridays at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens: Free pottery classes August 4, 11, and 18. Registration for 2017 Pottery Fridays will be available 10 am on Friday, June 30. Located at 6003 Memorial.
Free Apple Camp: Kids can attend the free 3-day Apple Camp at Apple Store. Three different tracks will be available for 90 minutes each day. Summer 2017 dates have not been announced online. Registration begins online at apple.com once announced.
Kegg’s Candies Factory Tours: See the entire chocolate-making process from raw ingredients to cooking, packaging and gift shop in a 30-minute tour at Kegg’s Candies. Reservations required seven days in advance. Small groups or individuals can view as a self-guided tour with no fee 10 am – 3 pm. $8.50 for age 3+ including a special treat in retail store. Schedule your tour date online. Earlier is better! Located at 8168 Westpark. Kegg’s Candies is a tradition since 1946.