Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour: May 1-10, 2015

Starbucks half price Frappuccino Happy Hour May 1-10, 2014My favorite Starbucks’ sale is back! If you love Frappuccinos, don’t miss the Frappuccino Half-Price Happy Hour May 1-10, 2015, 3 – 5 pm.

Get half off any Frappuccino at participating Starbucks’ locations. Don’t miss its newest flavor, S’mores Frappuccino, and returning favorite Caramel Ribbon Crunch.

This deal is available at participating locations in the United States. Licensed locations, like grocery stores, are not included in the promotion.

According to a Starbucks spokesperson, My Starbucks Rewards members get an extra hour of savings from 5 pm – 6 pm.

Free Weekend Fun in Houston May 1-3

Get ready for a weekend of free fun! What are your plans? Here is a snapshot of 18 Free Things to Do in Houston May 1-3:

Houston free fun

FRIDAY

Enjoy live music outdoors — Get ready for local favorite The Tontons Friday, 7:30 pm, at Market Square Park. The live outdoor concert is rescheduled from a previous date due to weather. Located at 301 Milam.

SATURDAY

Love a parade — Head downtown for the LULAC District VIII Cinco de Mayo Parade Saturday, 10 am. The free event features more than 100 entries including bands, floats, horses and more. The parade begins on Texas at Hamilton and proceeds west on Texas.

Be with natureNature Fest is a huge, free outdoor festival in Cypress’ Bridgeland 10 am – 5 pm! Don’t miss nationally recognized animal advocate Jack Hanna in one of three performances. Plus live music, exotic petting zoo, armadillo races, educational reptile and bird shows, arts and crafts, family-friendly activities, food trucks, and more!

Craft family fun — Create clay bowls at the next Hands-On Houston May 2, 11 am – 3 pm, at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Families can make and decorate Swirly Pinch Bowls in anticipation of Empty Bowls Houston May 16. Participants can view bowls on display in the galleries while their clay is baked around 20 minutes. Free monthly crafts are held the first Saturday of each month at 4848 Main Street.

Walk the bridge — Celebrate the new White Oak Bayou Greenway bridge and trails at Bridge Bash 10 am – noon with a dedication ceremony with city officials. The afternoon includes food trucks, face painting, music and more family fun. Limited parking is available at 707 N. Shepherd Drive.

Celebrate Asian heritage — 15th annual Houston Dragon Boat Festival kicks off Saturday at 8:30 am. Enjoy the thrill of dragon boat racing with more than 25 teams competing throughout the day. Don’t miss the cultural performances, Asian cuisine, educational booths, and kid-friendly fun. The festival, sponsored by Buffalo Bayou Partnership, is located at 901 North York Street.

See WWII planes — Tour the WWII Museum and visit the Hangar of the Houston Wing of the Commemorative Air Force 10 am – 3 pm. It’s a great chance to get up close to the Wing’s five flyable WWII military aircraft: climb into a cockpit of a WWII trainer or go inside a WWII Paratroop aircraft. Located at West Houston Airport, 2 miles north of I-10 east off Barker Cypress on Groschke Rd.

Attend Paws in the Park — Head to the City of Katy Dog Park for its annual Paws in the Park Saturday, 9 am – noon. Pet registration and photography will be available. The event is free, but they ask attendees to donate a can or bag of dog food for a local shelter. Located at 5414 Franz Rd.

Support local artists – The First Saturday Arts Market returns Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm. This monthly outdoor market in the Heights features original art, music, and fun. Located at 548 W. 19th on the Wind Water Gallery parking lot.

Play outside –Don’t miss the Spring Festival Saturday at Boys and Girls Country in Hockley, 10 am – 4 pm. Families can enjoy activities and games, pony rides, family fun, crafts, and more. This Christian home has supported families in crisis for more than 40 years when parents are unable to care for kids. Admission is free! Lunch, game and raffle tickets are available for a fee.

Celebrate May DayFamily May Faire is an old-fashioned outdoor celebration at the Great Oak School 10 am – 2 pm with a puppet show, roaming musicians, crafts, vendors, and food and drink. Visitors are welcome to come early to watch the Great Oak students dance under the May pole at 9 am. Located at 715 Carrel St. in Tomball.

Enjoy an expoEnjoy an afternoon of music, arts and crafts, fun stations, performances, demonstrations, shopping, food, and more at Katy Richmond Family Expo Saturday, 2 pm – 5 pm. Located at 6201 Westheimer Lakes N Drive in Richmond.

Mingle at free museums and zoo — It’s Bank of America’s free admission forMuseums on Us” program May 2-3 with free admission to the Houston Zoo, Children’s Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. This is for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders only, not their children.

Enjoy music outdoorsLive at Night at Waterway Square continues this weekend Saturday, 6 pm – 8 pm. Enjoy the progressive country sounds of Sawdust Road at this event in The Woodlands. Located between Timberloch Place and Lake Robbins Drive. Prices vary for parking in the area.

SUNDAY

Get relaxed — Join Breakfast Yoga Club Houston Sunday, 9 am – 11 am, at Asia Society Texas for free yoga for children and adults. Kids can enjoy their own yoga at the same time as mom or dad! The monthly yoga rotates through various venues in Houston. Located at 1370 Southmore.

Explore natureTake advantage of free admission with Sunday in Nature at Armand Bayou Nature Center the first and third Sunday. Each month focuses on a different topic. Free admission between noon – 4 pm. Gates lock at 5 pm.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo — This free outdoor concert Cinco de Mayo at Miller features Grammy-Award winning group, Los Lobos, who have entertained crowds more than 30 years. Fans love their signature blend of Latin soul grooves, Mexican folk, traditional Spanish, blues, and R&B. The show begins at 8 pm at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive.

Mingle at free museums and zoo — It’s Bank of America’s free admission for Museums on Us” program May 2-3 with free admission to the Houston Zoo, Children’s Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. This is for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders only, not their children.

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Top 10 Free Things to Do in Houston in May

Don’t miss these Top 10 Free Things to Do in Houston May 2015:

Bridge Bash
May 2 @ White Oak Bayou Greenway Bridge (10 am – noon)

Celebrate the new White Oak Bayou Greenway bridge and trails with a dedication ceremony. The afternoon includes food trucks, face painting, music and more family fun. Limited parking is available at 707 N. Shepherd Drive.

White Oak Bayou Greenway Bridge . Tom Compson -

photo: Tom Compson

Nature Fest
May 2 @ Bridgeland (10 am – 5 pm)

It’s a huge, free family outdoor festival in Cypress’ Bridgeland! Don’t miss one of three performances featuring nationally recognized animal advocate Jack Hanna! Plus live music, exotic petting zoo, armadillo races, educational reptile and bird shows, arts and crafts, family-friendly activities, food trucks, and more!

Nature Fest Bridgeland

photo: Bridgeland

Cinco de Mayo at Miller featuring Los Lobos
May 3 @ Miller Outdoor Theatre (8 pm)

This free outdoor concert features Grammy-Award winning group, Los Lobos, who have entertained crowds more than 30 years. Fans love their signature blend of Latin soul grooves, Mexican folk, traditional Spanish, blues, and R&B.

Los_Lobos

photo courtesy Miller Outdoor Theatre

WFDD 2nd Birthday Bash
May 9 @ WFDD Central Green Park (6 pm – 10 pm)

Enjoy this birthday bash featuring free country dance lessons, Curt Miller magic, bounce house, giant slide, face painting, and live music from Cooper Wade. Located in Katy at Central Green Park, 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

central green slide

photo courtesy Central Green Park

Houston Ballet’s Giselle
May 15-17 @ Miller Outdoor Theatre (8 pm)

Be captivated with Houston Ballet’s Giselle, one of the most famous and widely performed works of the Romantic era. Attend one of three free performances outdoors at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Free covered reserved seats are available performance day at Miller Box Office, 10:30 am – 1pm.

Giselle at miller

photo courtesy Miller Outdoor Theatre

AsiaFest
May 16-17 @ Asia Society Texas (11 am – 4 pm)

This two-day celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month features Asian movement and fitness demonstrations, creativity zones, community performances, visual art displays and food trucks.

Books Alive Children’s Book Celebration
May 16 @ Houston Public Library (12:15 pm – 3:30 pm)

Kids will love the book talk and author signing with Jon Sciezska, author of The Stinky Cheese Man and more. Don’t miss the interactive activities and musical guests outside on the plaza. Come dressed as your favorite Jon Sciezska-inspired book character! Prizes will be awarded for best costumes!

Books Alive

photo courtesy Houston Public Library

Bank of America Screen on the Green
May 16 @ Discovery Green (8:45 pm – 11:45 pm)

It’s a marathon of NBC’s Parks and Recreation on the big screen at Discovery Green. Fans can vote for their favorite episodes to be aired at Discovery Green’s Facebook page. Arrive an hour early for activities and fun contests.

Free outdoor movies in Houston

photo: Katya Horner

Houston Grand Opera’s The Magic Flute
May 22-23 @ Miller Outdoor Theatre (8 pm)

The Magic Flute, a family-friendly adventure for the eyes and ears, is Mozart’s last opera. The performance is filled with magical flutes, evil queens, and dancing bears. Free covered reserved seats are available performance day at Miller Box Office, 10:30 am – 1pm.

HGO The_Magic_Flute

photo courtesy Miller Outdoor Theatre

Friday Night Flicks: Jurassic Park
May 22 @ GreenStreet (8 pm – 9:30 pm)

Celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Jurassic Park at this month’s Friday Night Flicks at GreenStreet downtown. Free popcorn, beverages, and snacks will be provided by ZipCar.

BONUS:

Memorial Day Weekend Concert series: 5 Bands in 5 Nights
May 21-25 @ CityCentre (hours vary each night)

The Summer Tribute Concert series features a new band each night:

  • Thursday, May 21, 6-9 pm: Legendary Rhythm Bandits (Classic Rock from the 60s & 70s)
  • Friday, May 22, 7-10 pm: Rubber Biscuits (Texas Blues Brothers Tribute)
  • Saturday, May 23, 7-10 pm: Already Gone (Eagles Tribute Band)
  • Sunday,  May 24, 7-10 pm: The Spicolis (80’s Music Tribute Band)
  • Monday, May 25, 4-7 pm: The Fab 5

Stay up-to-date on all things free and cheap in Houston! Sign up for free email updates here.

Free Comic Book Day in Houston May 2

ComicBooksDay2If you love comic books — or want to introduce them to your kids — don’t miss this annual event. Enjoy Free Comic Book Day Saturday, May 2, and get a free comic book at participating independent comic book stores.

A few Houston-area comic book shops are participating in Free Comic Book Day including 8th Dimension Comics, Odyssey Comics, Third Planet, Bedrock City Comics, Pop Culture Co., R and R Comics, Fat Ogre Games and Comics, Space Cadets Collection, and Watchtower Comics. Search online for a location near you.

Here are a couple of special events:

Space Cadets Collection
27326 Robinson Rd. (77385)

Enjoy Jedi Academy, Pop Culture Trivia Smackdown, Cosplay Costume Contest, and panel discussion with Tim Yates and Jen King (4 pm).

Third Planet
2718 Southwest Freeway (77098)

The day features a variety of creator appearances and Cosplayers.

R and R Comics
13420 Hollypark Drive (77015)

Free hot dogs, contest giveaway and more.

More than 2,000 comic book stores around the world will give away millions of comic books produced just for the May 2 event.

May 5: Free Houston Zoo (12pm-7pm) + LEGO Build

GiraffeFree Houston Zoo afternoon is a great way to spend your afternoon for free! Tuesday, May 5, noon to close, is the next first Tuesday with free admission. They’ve added two extra hours to this free day! Last entry is 6 pm with closing at 7 pm. Free tickets are now required. Get them in advance online or at the gate. This will be the last free afternoon at the Zoo until September.  photo: © Vicki Powers

 

LEGO koalaOn the same day, kids can create a free LEGO koala at LEGO stores, at the next mini model build beginning at 5 pm. This event is for children ages 6-14 only, while supplies last. There are usually about 250 available at each store. Lines do start early outside the store. In Houston area, LEGO Stores are located at Galleria Mall, Baybrook Mall, and The Woodlands Mall. This event is held the first Tuesday of each month.

Houston on the Cheap — with Rockets’ Chef Rey

Welcome to Discovering Houston on the Cheap with ideas for cheap dates,
cheap meals, & more from
local chefs, media personalities, and folks in local business.

Chef ReyChef Reynold Darthard, executive team chef, Houston Rockets
{Chef Rey serves as executive team chef for the Houston Rockets. Before this role he worked as personal executive chef to former Houston Rocket NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady, executive team chef for the Houston Astros, and owned a restaurant and catering business.

His life is a testimony to following your dreams.  Chef Rey graduated from the Culinary Program at the Art Institute of Houston after working 15 years in the oil and gas industry. He spends his free time contributing to his nonprofit mission, Standing in the Gap.}

1) Favorite spot for a cheap meal — McDonald’s & Los Tios

Honestly, I have to say I love McDonald’s, even if it’s a quick breakfast or Big Mac. But, for a local restaurant I love Los Tios Mexican Restaurant because their crispy tacos are the best.

2) Favorite spot for a cheap date —

As a Chef, of course I’d cook myself, but first we’d visit a local farmer’s market and then head back to my kitchen to cook a delicious meal and end with my famous signature cheesecake.

3) Houston’s Best Kept Secret — Benji’s

Benji’s, especially for happy hour. It seems to be the place I always take my out of town guests.

4) Best Place to Save Money in Houston —

When you just need a quick snack I suggest stopping by the Whole Foods on Post Oak and sample your way through all the aisles.

5) Favorite Houston Festival or Event — Texas Renaissance

I’ve always had fun at the Texas Renaissance, especially for the turkey legs and people watching.

6) My perfect day in Houston would be:

Driving in my convertible, enjoying ice cream and of course a Rockets win!

7 Free Things to Do in Houston April 27-May 1

There’s never a dull moment in Houston. Here are 7 options for free fun in Houston April 27-May 1 before planning your free and cheap weekend!

We Love Houston sign

Monday (4/27) — Immerse yourself in River City with a free movie screening of The Music Man, Monday, 7 pm, at Sundance Cinemas, 510 Texas Avenue downtown. This is to prep for TUTS’ theater production at Hobby Center in May.

Monday (4/27) — Take advantage of free admission to Czech Center Museum Houston, offered the last Monday each month. The Museum includes antique furniture from European castles, folk art toys and dolls, Bohemian crystal, Czech porcelain, pottery, and costumes. Genealogy research is another aspect of the Center as well a chapel. Located at 4902 San Jacinto. Open noon – 4 pm.

Tuesday (4/28) — Enjoy Cirque La Vie at Discovery Green Tuesdays, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. The free weekly class includes ground arts and acrobatics for age 13 and up including Low Tight Wire, Juggling, and Hand Balancing. Located at 1500 McKinney.

Wednesday (4/29) — Attend a free weekly Boot Camp class Wednesdays at GreenStreet, 6:30 am – 7 am. Swim suit season is around the corner! Located at 1201 Fannin.

Wednesday (4/29) — Get out with nature for a free bird walk at Houston Audubon’s Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary. These walks last 1-2 hours and are weekly through May 6. Birders can arrive and leave as needed based on their schedules. Meet at 8:30 am at the ELM cabin. Park at Memorial Methodist Church lot, 12995 Memorial. Novices are welcome.

Thursday (4/30) — Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month in April at Da Camera JAM with Da Camera and Discovery Green.  This week’s free outdoor concert features Jason Moran and the jazz department at HSPVA. Located at 1500 McKinney.

Thursday (4/30) — Enjoy seven museums for free each Thursday in Houston’s Museum District. {The Weather Museum is relocating and temporarily closed, but is usually an 8th free museum on Thursdays.}

  • Houston Museum of Natural Science: 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Children’s Museum of Houston: 5 pm – 8 pm
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: 10 am – 9 pm
  • The Health Museum: 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Holocaust Museum Houston: 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Houston Museum of African American Culture: 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Buffalo Soldiers National Museum: 1 pm – 5 pm

Free Weekend Fun in Houston April 24-26

Get ready for a weekend of free fun! What are your plans? Here is a snapshot of 14 Free Things to Do in Houston April 24-26:

Discovery Green in Houstonphoto: Katya Horner

FRIDAY

Watch a movie under the moonGreenStreet: Friday Flicks on the Lawn returns to GreenStreet Friday! This week’s movie is Pitch Perfect beginning at 8 pm. GreenStreet is located at 1201 Fannin.  Whole Foods Market: Don’t miss free outdoor movies at Whole Foods Market. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory kicks off at 7:30 pm at the Champions store, 10133 Louetta.

Learn improvTake a free Improv class, thanks to Station Theater’s Intro to Improv every Friday, 7:30 pm. All Intro students are then invited to stay to watch Supernova Armando show for free ($6 value) at 8:30 pm, a fast-paced comedy show with a guest monologist. Register for a free ticket online. Located at 1230 Houston Ave.

 Jam to the tunes — Head to Sugar Land Town Square Friday for PJ and the Flyers, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm. The band, entertaining Houston crowds since 1983, plays a wide variety of rock and roll, Top 40, and 60s and 70s music. WFDD Central Green Park: Or hit the road to Katy for Sheila Marshall, a local country singer, who made it to the top 10 of Nashville Star. Located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

SATURDAY

Explore the outdoors — Exploration Green, a local nonprofit, is hosting Kites and Bikes! Earth Day fun. Enjoy outdoor games, geocaching, kite flying, bike riding, tree info, and more. Located in Clear Lake near its newest park. Vehicles can be parked near the Clear Lake City Rec Center at 16205 Diana.

Play at the YMCAHealthy Kids Day is a free community event at all YMCA Houston locations Saturday. This free event features games, sports, health screenings, and more. Activities begin at 10 am and vary by location. New members will pay no joining fee on Healthy Kids Day, a $100 value. Search for the Y location online near you for specific hours and activities.

Engage with scienceNanoDays is a free science education event sponsored by National Science Foundation each year. From 1 pm – 4 pm, enjoy family-friendly activities, interactive games, and demonstration experiments about nanoscience. This event, geared to 4-12 year olds, is located at Houston Methodist Research Institute, 6670 Bertner Ave. NanoDays is free to attend, but registration is required.

willow waterholeParty to the music — If you love music, Willow Waterhole Music Festival is the place with 11 hours of fun! It’s a free day of music plus food trucks and performances by area schools. Rock & Shop Craft Fair is open from 11-6pm. Willow Waterhole Conservation Reserve is located in SW Houston at 5304 Gasmer Dr.

Celebrate education — Cypress-Fairbanks ISD is celebrating 75 years Saturday at its 75th Anniversary Festival. Beginning at 5 pm, the community can enjoy food trucks, activity booths, amusements, games, student performances and more. The stadium show begins at 7:40 pm followed by a fireworks display. This is located at Berry Center, 8877 Barker Cypress.

Love on pooches Tails and Trails is a free event sponsored by Montgomery County Animal Shelter (MCAS). The day from 11 am – 5 pm features agility dog demonstrations, educational booths, activities for kids, dogs for adoption, vendors and a silent auction and raffle. Located at Rob Fleming Park in The Woodlands.

Celebrate kids — Don’t miss Conroe Kidzfest Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm, with tons of free family fun. The day includes water activities, game booths, live entertainment on three stages, climbing walls, inflatables, and activity villages. A free movie screening of Maleficent begins at 8 pm. Located at downtown Conroe.

 Free outdoor movies in HoustonWatch a screen on the green — It’s another weekend of Bank of America Screen on the Green Saturday night. Head downtown for The LEGO Movie at 8:30 pm. Arrive an hour early for games and giveaways.

Dance, dance, dance — Enjoy the latest choreography from China at East Meets West XIII Saturday, 8:15 p.m. Several dance companies plus the Houston Ballet will present an evening of mesmerizing dance moves including contemporary and modern dance. East Meets West will be held at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. Free reserved covered seats are available on performance day at the Miller Box Office, 10:30 am – 1 pm.

SUNDAY

Walk the streets — It’s another Sunday of walkable streets thanks to Cigna Sunday Streets HTX. This month’s open roadway to pedestrians will be W. 19th from Heights to Shepherd in the Heights. Closed to vehicles, folks can walk, bike, dance and socialize their way down the road.  The next monthly event is May 17 on Navigation.

Enjoy a kids’ book signing — Kids ages 8-12 are the target audience for Cool Brains! Inprint Readings for Young People Sunday, 3 pm – 5 pm. The afternoon features bestselling children’s author Chris Grabenstein with his latest YA novel, The Island of Dr. Libris, followed by a book signing. This is located at Johnson Middle School, 10410 Manhattan Dr.

Houston Discounts: The Music Man, Idena Menzel, Sugar Land Skeeters {Free}, BrewFest & more

the music manDon’t miss these discounts to Houston area fun. Here are a few that caught my eye:

TUTS’ The Music Man$24 – $54 for TUTS’ The Music Man at Hobby Center ($37-$88.50 value)

Idena Menzel$30 for Idina Menzel at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion ($71.44 value)

Houston Press BrewFest$21 for Houston Press BrewFest at Silver Street ($35 value)

Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing — $7.50 for Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing by Main Street Theater ($15 value)

Winnie the Pooh — $4 for Winnie the Pooh at Pearland Community Center ($8 value)

Sugar Land SkeetersFREE tickets to Sugar Land Skeeters + $3.50 fee ($8 value) Choose dates through June.

Jesus Christ Superstar$20 for Jesus Christ Superstar at The Kaleidoscope($40 value)

To Kill a Mockingbird$9 for ticket to To Kill a Mockingbird at Lambert Hall ($18 value)

Mo’nique and Friends$33.75 for Mo’nique and Friends at Arena Theatre ($67.50 value)

Studio Movie GrillOne, Two, or Four Movie Groupons, Each Good for One Movie Ticket at Studio Movie Grill (Up to 50% Off).

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Museum Experience Zone 2: April 25

The Museum Experience is a quarterly series in Houston’s vibrant Museum District in its third year. It essentially divides the district’s 19 museums into four zones and highlights those museums each quarter to inform and educate Houstonians.

This cultural block party will be held the last Saturday of April, July and September!

Zone 2 museums April 25 include Holocaust Museum Houston, Asia Society Texas Center, Czech Center Museum Houston, Lawndale Art Center, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, and DiverseWorks.

The day features special programming and food trucks. Zone 2 schedule of events include exploring ancestry through fun family trees and themed art projects, craft demonstrations by local art guilds, live reenactment of the “Buffalo Soldier Story,” Design Fair 2015, dance workshops with area choreographers, Holocaust survivors sharing their stories, and more.  Some museums are free while others offer discount pricing for Zone 2 visitors.

Watch for future Museum Experience dates: April 25, July 25, and September 26.