Free Weekend Fun in Houston October 9-11

It’s another weekend in Houston with plenty of free fun! Check out these 21 Free Things to Do in Houston October 9-11:

Houston outdoor movies

photo: Katya Horner


Celebrate Italy — Houston Italian Festival kicks off the weekend with free admission Friday, 11 am – 4 pm. After 4 pm Friday and all weekend, admission is $8 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. The Italian Festival is located on The University of St. Thomas campus, 3800 Montrose Blvd. with $5 parking.

Scare up some funBoo on the Boardwalk officially kicks off Friday for Halloween-themed fun through October 31. Enjoy trick or treating at retail stores 4 pm – 8 pm Fridays – Sundays, outdoor movie each Friday night, kids’ activities and more. This Friday’s movie and music is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Boogie Man Band. Lots of free fun but haunted houses have a fee. Located in Kemah.

Watch movies under the moon — It’s a big weekend for outdoor movies! 1) Central Green Park: Hercules, 7 pm. 2) Discovery Green: Enjoy Chipotle Music & Movie Series featuring Hanna Ranch, 8 pm, plus BLSHS puts a southern twist on 80s pop. Free chips and guacamole courtesy Chipotle. 3) Whole Foods Market Montrose: Chef, 8 pm.


Learn about the settlers — This month’s Second Saturday Settlers Series Saturday, 1 pm – 3 pm, focuses on Lye Soap. Watch demonstrations and learn about activities of the early Texans. Located at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center.

Cy Fair Fire FestEnjoy family fun and fire safety — 1) Cy Fair Fire Fest returns Saturday, October 10, 10 am – 2 pm, to the Cy Fair Volunteer Fire Department Station 11. Kids can get up close to the fire trucks, put out a simulated fire, watch demonstrations and the apparatus showcase, get photos with firefighters, and and see a Life Flight landing. Lone Star College-Cy Fair is located near Barker Cypress and West Road off Hwy 290. 2) Katy is hosting its own fire station Open House Saturday, 1 pm – 4 pm at Willowfork Fire Department Open House. Visitors can tour the station, meet local firefighters, and see the fire equipment and apparatus. Located at Station #1 (24655 Westheimer Parkway) and Station #2 (26950 Cinco Ranch Blvd.).

Make family fun — Families can engage in Family Day at Contemporary Arts Museum Saturday noon – 4 pm. This month features a hands-on workshop with Travis Boyer, a New York-based artist, with embellished denim. Bring a pair of jeans, jacket or other fabric. The Community Cloth also will be sharing their unique process. Plus “The Queen of the Accordion” Eva Ybarra will perform in the museum galleries. Admission is free. Located at 5216 Montrose.

Build for fun — Park Place Elementary is sponsoring a free community event Saturday, Park Place Cardboard Challenge, 1 pm – 4 pm. Folks of all ages are invited to build inventions, games, costumes and more using recycled materials such as cardboard and plastic. High school volunteers will be onsite to help cut and paste materials for the kids’ projects. All materials will be provided. Located at 8235 Park Place Blvd.

Listen to a concert — Da Camera presents a free concert, Stop, Look and Listen featuring Ernesto Vega Quartet. This music begins at 3 pm at The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross.

Watch glamour dogs — Don’t miss Glamour Dogs “Rip the Runway, a dog clothing fashion show, by Bill Klein, star of TLC’s The Little Couple and owner of Rocky & Maggie’s Pet Boutique & Salon. The event is Saturday, 5 pm – 7 pm. Dog walkers will be wearing designs by Chloe Dao, Houston native. Adopt from local dog rescues or snap a photo in the photo booth with your dog! Free event. (or $7 for a swag bag with proceeds benefiting local dog rescues.) Located at Discovery Green.

Make Halloween fun in Tomball 2nd Saturday at the Depot is dubbed Zomball in Tomball this weekend! Families will enjoy “trunk or treat” themed activities and games, live music, games, food, and a screening of E.T. on the giant inflatable screen. Don’t forget to wear your costume! The fun kicks off at 5 pm. Located at 201 S. Elm in Tomball.

Watch a movie under the stars — Saturday brings another three free outdoor movies! 1) Discovery Green — It’s the return of Bank of America Screen on the Green featuring The Goonies, 7:45 pm. 2) Sugar Land Town Square — Watch Hotel Transylvania, 6 pm in Sugar Land. 3) Tomball: E.T. is the outdoor feature at Zomball in Tomball this year. Located at 201 S. Elm.

Engage in Latin American-inspired music — The Houston Symphony and the Mexican Institute of Greater Houston present Lunada, a free concert to celebrate the wide variety of influences from Spain and Latin America. Free reserved covered seats are available on performance day at the Miller box office from 10:30 am – 1 pm. Located at Miller Outdoor Theatre.

Scare up some funBoo on the Boardwalk features Halloween-themed fun through October 31. Enjoy trick or treating at retail stores 4 pm – 8 pm Fridays – Sundays. This week’s Saturday fun includes kids’ corner activities, Monster Magic Show, pumpkin decorating, and Boogie Man Band. Lots of free fun but haunted houses have a fee. Located in Kemah.


Carve a pumpkin Concert in the Park continues Sunday, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm in The Woodlands. This week’s music is provided by Gary Michael Dahl Band. Families also can compete in the 2nd Annual Jack-O-Lantern Challenge, with carving beginning at 5:30 pm. Located at 2505 Lake Woodlands Drive.

Celebrate Frank Sinatra —  The Houston Chamber Choir honors Frank Sinatra, who would turn 100 this year. The Choir will sing a variety of Sinatra favorites including Strangers in the Night, Come Fly with Me, and My Way, staples of his Las Vegas nightclub act. Located at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Tickets for free reserved seats are available on performance day at the Miller Box Office, 10:30 am – 1 pm.

Scare up some funBoo on the Boardwalk features Halloween-themed fun through October 31. Enjoy trick or treating at retail stores 4 pm – 8 pm Fridays – Sundays. This week’s Sunday fun includes kids’ corner activities, pumpkin decorating, and Epic Blaze. Lots of free fun but haunted houses have a fee. Located in Kemah.

Discount Texas Renaissance Festival Tickets

Red Knight RenFestReady for some 16th-century fun at the nation’s largest Renaissance festival in the country? Tis the season for the 41st  Texas Renaissance Festival kicking off Saturday, October 10, for eight consecutive weekends. Good news is discount tickets are available for the festival.

Located about 50 miles northwest of Houston, Texas Renaissance Festival features the sites, sounds, and smells of a 16th-century village. With jousting matches, 200 daily performances, international cuisine, thousands of costumed characters, elephant/camel rides, human-powered rides and games of skill — there is truly something for everyone!

Discount tickets are available online and at Walgreens. Best of all, kids are free every Sunday!

Online prices are $26 for adults ($24 + $2 fee) and $14 for kids ($12 + $2 fee). Gate prices are $29 for adults and $14 for kids. Folks who plan to attend more than one day can benefit from a $39 Weekend Pass: admission one “any day” and one Sunday during the season, though it doesn’t have to be consecutive days. Purchase the discount tickets online here.

Find all the schedules, maps and more online for Texas Renaissance Festival in Plantersville.

photo: Texas Renaissance Festival

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Bayou City Art Festival October 10-11: Kids Free Sunday + HOUcheap Discount

Bayou City Art Festival

photo: Bayou City Art Festival

Bayou City Art Festival hits downtown October 10-11 with something for everyone. This classic Houston outdoor art festival — in its 44th year — sponsors a downtown show in the fall and one at Memorial Park in spring. Here is the scoop:

  • Fabulous art 300 artists representing 18 media formats. This year’s featured artist is Harold Siefert, who creates with cast bronze.
  • Kids’ Creative Zone — Hands-on kids’ art activities by local nonprofits.  Projects include from printmaking, ceramic tile painting, face painting, and more.
SAVE with HOUCheap Code & Kids-Free Sunday

Thanks to a partnership with the festival, Houston on the Cheap readers can save a few bucks off admission. Pay $12 with the online discount. Save $3 and buy discount tickets here. You’ll save $5 off prices at the gate!

Best of all, kids age 5-12 are free Sunday!

Hours are 10 am – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday, October 10-11. Admission is $17 at the gate, $5 for kids (age 3-12) Saturday. Parking is available on the street, downtown garages, or theater district lots for a fee.

Bayou City Art Festival weekends are certainly a Houston favorite, but the best part is the festivals have raised more than $35 million for local nonprofit organizations through the years.

9 Halloween Events New Houstonians Need to Know

Houston Halloween eventsLocals have no shortage of Houston Halloween events this month, whether it’s spooky, family or pet-friendly fun.

Check out my latest piece for CubeSmart, 9 Houston Halloween Events New Houstonians Need to Know, as part of their online Newcomer’s Guide to Houston. I look forward to sharing new Houston-related articles there each month!

I am proud to be CubeSmart’s City Guide Expert for its online Houston Moving Guide. I will be sharing monthly insight for folks moving to Houston looking for local perspective.

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with CubeSmart as their local expert. Articles are written by me and my own opinion.

CubeSmart city guide

Houston Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes and more

houston pumpkin patch

photo credit: flickr/Frank Boston

Cooler weather signals outdoor fun in a Houston pumpkin patch or farm! Check out this list of venues in the Greater Houston-area offering pumpkin patches, corn mazes, farm animals, and lots of fun. The list is divided by Church Pumpkin Patches and Outdoor Farm Fun.

Church Pumpkin Patches

Houston-area churches are a great source of pumpkins and pumpkin patch photo opps. Pumpkin sales generally benefit an important mission or group in the church. Many churches source their pumpkins from Navajo Indians in New Mexico, which provide critical employment and stability for their families.


Lakewood United Methodist Church (NW Houston) — 11330 Louetta, Houston. Open October 10-October 31, Monday through Saturday 10 am – 8 pm, Sunday 11:30 am – 8 pm

Memorial Drive United Methodist Church (Houston) – 12955 Memorial Dr., Houston. Open October 3-31, Monday – Saturday 9 am – 7 pm, Sunday 10:30 am – 7 pm

St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church (Houston) — 1656 Blalock, Houston. Open October 10-31, 10 am – 7 pm daily

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (Houston) — 3471 Westheimer, Houston. Open October 2-October 31, weekdays 11 am – 7 pm, Saturday 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 9 am – 6 pm

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church (Houston) — 600 Pecore, Houston. Open October 17-31 daily


Clear Lake United Methodist Church (Clear Lake) – 16335 El Camino Real. Open October 5-31, Monday – Friday 9:30 am – noon, Saturday, 3 pm -8 pm and Sunday 9:30 am – 8 pm.

Cypress United Methodist Church (Cypress)– 13403 Cypress N. Houston, Cypress. Open October 9-31, 10 am – 7 pm

Deer Park United Methodist Church (Deer Park) — 1300 E. 13th Street, Deer Park. Open through October 31, Sunday through Thursday noon – 7 pm, Friday and Saturday 9 am – 7 pm.

Faith United Methodist Church (Spring) — 2403 Rayford Sawdust, Spring. Open September 28-October 31, 9:30 am – 7:30 pm (or dark).

First United Methodist Church (Pasadena) — 1062 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena. Open October 5 – October 31, Sunday – Friday, 2 pm – dark, Saturday 10 am – dark.

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church (Kingwood) — 2929 Woodland Hills Dr., Kingwood. Open October 12-31, 9 am – 7 pm (closes at 4 pm October 31)

Grace Episcopal Church (Alvin) — 200 W. Lang St., Alvin. Open October 3-30, weekdays 3 pm – dusk, Saturday and Sunday 10 am – dusk

Holy Cross Episcopal Church (Sugar Land) — 5653 W. Riverpark Dr., Sugar Land. Open October 9-31, Friday (noon – dark), Saturday (9 am – dark), Sunday (noon – dark)

Shepherd of the Heart United Methodist Church (Pearland) — 12005 CR 59, Pearland. Open October 1-31, 10 am – 6 pm Monday through Saturday, noon – 6 pm Sunday

St. Andrews Episcopal Church (Pearland) — 2535 E. Broadway, Pearland. Open September 26-October 31, 10 am – 8 pm

St. Peters United Methodist Church (Katy) — 20775 Kingsland Drive, Katy. Open October 1-31, Monday – Saturday 9 am – 7 pm, Sunday noon – 7 pm


Outdoor Farm Fall Fun

7 Acre Wood, Conroe
Things to do: Pumpkin patch through October 31! Also petting zoo, play fort, rope slide, mini golf, Western play town, gigantic sandbox, horseshoes and more. Pony rides on the weekends! Extra fee for pony rides, barrel car train rides, paintball, and hay rides.
Price: $6 (18 months and younger free), $5 seniors age 65+ and military, $5 special needs child (including one adult chaperone). Its Facebook page shares October specials.
Hours: MondaySaturday 9-5 and Sunday 12-5
Location: 4401 N. Frazier, Conroe; (936) 890-2326

Berryland Farms of Texas, Anahuac
Things to do: Pumpkin patch, corn maze, 75 ft. hill slide, 20 ft. culvert swing, Giant Hay Stack, Pumpkin Bowling, Kiddie Corral (under age 3), Candy Corn Hill, petting zoo ($2), pumpkin chunker ($4) and more!
Price: $9 ($8 for seniors and military)
Hours: Saturdays & Sundays in October, 10 am – dark
Location: 2877 FM 1941, Anahuac

Blessington Farms, Simonton
Things to do: Pick your own blueberries, strawberries and thornless blackberries, Pumpkin Patch & Fall Harvest Festival,  and Farm Funland including hay rides, giant slides, hay maze, barrel train ride, pedal cars, sand mountain, nature play area, steer roping, pony hops, and animal encounters (including chickens, miniature goats, camels, mini-donkeys and zebu). Bring a sack lunch and enjoy the day under the shaded picnic areas! Fishing also is available for $10 per pole.
Price: $10, Free: 18 months and younger free
Hours: Blessington Farms Pumpkin Patch and Fall Festival occurs every Saturday, October 3 – October 31 from 10 am – 5 pm. Open Columbus Day (October 12), 10 am – 5 pm and select weekdays from 9:30 am -3:30 pm.
Location: 510 Chisolm Trail, Simonton; (832) 444-8717

Dewberry Farm, Brookshire
Things to do: 8 acres of corn maze and 8 acres of pumpkins to pick.  More than 500 lighted pumpkins in Punkin Hollar.  Ride the mile-long DewVille Express Railroad to Christmas Tree Forest.  Climb 26-feet up to the top of Sliiide Mountain.  Dewberry Farm has attractions, activities, food and fun — something for folks from age 2 to 92, as we say. It’s a South Texas family tradition to visit Dewberry Farm each fall for pumpkin picking and to explore the giant cornfield maze.
Price: $12 + tax (ages 3-54), $9 + tax (seniors age 55+), $10 + tax (military)
Hours: Open weekends ONLY  through November 8. Saturday 10 am – dusk and Sunday noon – dusk. Closed on Columbus Day, October 12.
Location: FM 362 & Morrison Road, Hockley; (281) 934-3276

Froberg’s Farm, Alvin
Things to do:
 Corn maze and fun activities for the kids starting the last weekend in September until the first weekend in November.  Activities include:  Duck races, bean bag toss, planting booth, pony hops, face painting, basketball hoops, flower picking, hayride and football toss.  
Price: $10
(adults), $8 (kids 3-12), $8 (seniors), 2 and under free. Wristbands include corn maze with hayride.
9 am – 6 pm 7 days a week
3601 West Hwy 6, Alvin

Halter Inc., Houston
Things to do: Lots of fun activities (for a fee) at this annual fundraiser for Halter Inc., which works with special needs kids through miniature horse therapy — pony rides, miniature horse cart ride, miniature horse obstacle course, trackless train, face painting,haunted trail, stockyard maze, duck races, petting zoo, stick horse rodeo. Food trucks also will be onsite this year for food purchase.
Price: $5 per child (2-16). Adults are free. Parking $5 per car. Activities and pumpkins additional fee.
Hours: 9 am – 5 pm Saturdays, noon – 5 pm Sundays in October
Location: 17410 Clay Road, Houston

The Jersey Barnyard, La Grange
Things to do: The pumpkin patch is open now! The guided educational tour includes feeding/petting barnyard animals, taking a tractor-drawn hayride to the dairy, and seeing a working Jersey dairy. The Jersey calves love attention! You even get a chance to milk a cow! The farm store stocks free-range chicken eggs, cheese, and local artisan products.
Price: Guided tour: $8 adults, $6.50 (kids 2-12); Self-guided tour: $3 available during store hours 10 am – 6 pm weekdays and 9 am – 6 pm Saturday and 1 pm – 6 pm Sunday
Hours: Guided tours: Monday – Saturday 10:30 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm and Sunday 2 pm, 4 pm
Location: 3117 St. Hwy 159, La Grange

Oil Ranch, Hockley
Things to do: 50 acres of fun! Scarecrow Festival and Pumpkin Patch.  Just added the Kid Hopper a 2800 sq. ft. jumping pillow, new human hamster races and Charlotte’s Web a giant web to climb on.  Open 7 days a week starting October 1 – October 31, 2015. Also hay ride, train ride, pony ride, dairy farm, stockyard maze, animal farm, petting zoo, Indian Village. Free pumpkin for every child with paid admission.
Price: $14.95 (plus tax) age 2 and up
Hours: Open daily in October. 10 am – 3 pm (M-F) and 10 am – 5 pm Saturday, noon – 5 pm Sunday.
Location: 23501 Macedonia Road, Hockley; (281) 859-1616

Old MacDonald’s Farm, Humble
Things to do: Petting zoo, train rides, playground, pumpkin patch, hay barn, sand mountain, pony rides, Indian Village.
Price: $10 each, babies under 18 months free
Hours: Open daily through November 30. 10 am – 5 pm (M-F) and 10 am – 6 pm (weekends) through October 31 Open weekends only December – January.
Location: 3203 FM 1960 East, Humble; (281) 446-4001

Old Time Christmas Tree Farm, Spring
Things to do: Take photos in the pumpkin patch and pick your perfect pumpkin for purchase. Rides include train ride, hay ride, giant slide, obstacle course, moon bounce and a NEW jump pad — for an additional fee.
Price: $5 (ages 2 and up). $2 fee each to enjoy other activities such as hay ride, train ride, moon bounce and obstacle course. 15 ride tickets for $27.
Hours: Open 10 am – 7 pm Saturdays and Sundays ONLY in October.
Location: 7632 Spring Cypress Rd, Spring; (281) 370-9141

P-6 Farms, Montgomery
Things to do: Pumpkin patch, corn maze, tractor-led hay ride, in-ground trampoline, pig races, cow train ride, playground and more. Pumpkins available for purchase about $4 – $7 each depending on size.
Price: $10.50 (age 4 and up),  age 3 and under free
Hours: Open weekends September 26 – November 14. October Hours: Saturdays 10 am – 8 pm, Sundays 12 noon – 5 pm November Hours:  Saturdays 10 am – 7 pm, Sundays 12 noon – 5 pm
Location: 9963 Poole’s Road, Montgomery; (936) 597-6062

8 Free Things to Do in Houston October 5-9

Don’t miss these 7 options for free fun in Houston October 5-9 before planning your free and cheap weekend!

We Love Houston sign

Tuesday (10/6) — Enjoy weekly story time and activities at Toddler Tuesday, 10:30 am, at Discovery Green. This week features Andy Roo reading Color Your World. Located at 1500 McKinney.

Tuesday (10/6) — Free Houston Zoo afternoon is a great way to spend your afternoon for free! Tuesday, October 6, noon to close, is the next first Tuesday with free admission. Free tickets are available online before you arrive. They’ve added two extra hours to this free day! Last entry is 6 pm with closing at 7 pm. Located at 6200 Hermann Park Dr.

Tuesday (10/6) — Get ready for a  free Chicken Fajita Taco at Taco Cabana Tuesday, 5 pm – 8 pm for National Taco Day. No coupon or purchase required to get the free taco. While supplies last.

Wednesday (10/7) — Take advantage of a free GreenStreet Boot Camp each Wednesday, 6:30 am – 7:30 am, at GreenStreet. You can’t beat free and no equipment is needed! This is geared to all skill levels. Located at 1201 Fannin.

Wednesday (10/7) — Enjoy a free noontime concert downtown at Da Camera’s fall kickoff, A Little Day Music. Audience members are invited to enjoy their lunch during the concert. This month features Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and more. Located in the Grand Foyer of Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave.

Wednesday (10/7) — Folks of all ages and dance levels are encouraged to join a free dance class at Houston Public Library‘s Central Location downtown. SonKiss’d Dance Company will be teaching dance movements the first Wednesday each month at 7 pm.

Thursday (10/8) — 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 — free Thursday 3 pm – 6 pm
  • Children’s Museum of Houston — free Thursday 5 pm – 8 pm
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston — free Thursday 10 am – 9 pm
  • The Health Museum — free Thursday 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Houston Museum of African American Culture — 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Buffalo Soldiers National Museum — 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Holocaust Museum Houston — 2 pm – 5 pm

{Don’t forget Houston’s 10 museums that are free every day.}

Thursday (10/8) — Head to Montrose for free admission to Houston Italian Festival Thursday, 5 pm – 10 pm. The annual event includes live music, amazing food, cultural performances, eating contests and more. Admission also is free Friday 11 am – 4 pm. The event runs through Sunday with $8 for adults, free for kids 12 and under. Located at University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose.

Taco Cabana: Free Fajita Taco October 6 (5pm -8pm)

National Taco DayGet a free Chicken Fajita Taco at Taco Cabana, October 6, 5 pm – 8 pm, and celebrate National Taco Day. No purchase necessary or coupon required!

While you’re there, consider buying $1 coupon books, good for five free bean and cheese taco coupons — with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Warrior and Family Support Center in San Antonio. The Center helps those returning from duty reconnect with their families and restart their lives. This October fundraiser is dubbed Taco Treat!

No purchase necessary for the free taco, while supplies last. One free taco per person.

Houston Discounts: Houston Museum of Natural Science, Peter Pan 360, TUTS’ Matilda, Tacolandia Festival & more

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

One Man, Two Guvnors$21 for One Man, Two Guvnors at Alley Theatre ($34 value)

dinosaur HMNSHouston Museum of Natural Science$9 for Houston Museum of Natural Science general admission ($20 value)

Halloween Weekend 3-Day Pub CrawlFREE to $5 for Houston Halloween Weekend 3-Day Pub Crawl  ($20 value)

TUTS’ Matilda the Musical$44.25 for TUTS’ Matilda The Musical ($57.50 value)

Tacolandia Festival 2015$20 admission to Tacolandia Festival for tacos and live music at Buffalo Bayou Park ($30 value)

Autumn in New York $13.50 for Autumn in New York at Music Box Theatre ($27 value)

peter pan 360Peter Pan 360 —  $32.50 to see Peter Pan 360, an immersive high-flying hit at Threesixty Theater ($50 value)

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown$17.50 for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at The Kaleidoscope downtown ($35 value)


Adventures of Peter Rabbit and Friends$4 for The Adventures of Peter Rabbit and Friends ($8 value)

Charlie Daniels Band — $31 for The Charlie Daniels Band & The Marshall Tucker Band at Arena Theatre ($62 value)

Guns N’ Roses Tribute — FREE ticket to Guns N’ Roses Tribute Appetite for Destruction + $6 service fee at House of Blues ($12 value)

Disclosure: Affiliate links included. Thanks for supporting my site when you purchase and save.

Houston Italian Festival: Free & Discount Tickets

Houston Italian FestThe Houston Italian Festival returns to Montrose Thursday through Sunday, October 8-11. In its 37th year, the annual Houston Italian Festival is one of the largest festivals in town. Enjoy authentic Italian food and wine, live musical performances including Michael Barimo and The Fuse, grape stomping, pasta-eating contests, Bocce competition, sidewalk art contest, Tarentella dancers, Marionette Puppet shows, Classic Car Show, and more. The Cultural Movie Theater will show Italian movies and regional travel films.

The festival kicks off with free admission Thursday, October 8, 5pm – 10pm, and Friday, 11 am – 4 pm. After 4 pm Friday and all weekend, admission is $8 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. The Italian Festival is located on The University of St. Thomas campus, 3800 Montrose Blvd. with parking $5 at Moran Center Parking Garage.

Save $2 each by buying online! Purchase advance tickets for just $6 through October 6. There is no extra online fee.

photos: flickr/Festa Italiana Houston

Free Weekend Fun in Houston October 2-4

It’s another weekend in Houston with plenty of free fun! Check out these 21 Free Things to Do in Houston October 2-4:

Discovery Green in Houston

photo: Katya Horner


Celebrate Chicano music — Don’t miss the Festival Chicano Friday, 7 pm, which celebrates the Chicano culture and music. New artists perform each night, October 1-3. Free reserved seats under cover are available on performance day at the Miller box office, 10:30 am – 1 pm. Located at 6000 Hermann Park Drive.

Enjoy a movie under the stars — Catch a free outdoor movie downtown at Discovery Green at H-Town Cinema Celebration. Houstonians voted to see The Grand Budapest Hotel in the park’s local voting. Activities begin at 6:45 pm and the movie starts at 7:45 pm. Blankets and lawn chairs welcome! Located at 1500 McKinney.


Play at a fall festival — Check out the annual Fall Harvest Festival at Cornelius Nursery Saturday, October 3, 9 am – 7 pm. Lots of fun activities including nature crafts, pumpkin decorating, pumpkin patch photos, gardening clinic, and more. Located at 2233 S. Voss Road.

HCCC bookCreate a book — Kids will make a paper book at this month’s Hands-On Houston Saturday, 11 am – 3 pm at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Kids will learn to fold and glue a mini accordion book and hide it inside a box. Located at 4848 Main Street.  photo: HCCC

Learn a language — Kids can learn a new language thanks to a weekly program at Discovery Green. Toddlers to 9-year-olds can learn Spanish, thanks to Ms. Mariana Charvet Aular. Classes are independent of each other so you don’t need to attend each week. Weekly through November 14.

Explore art in the Heights — The First Saturday Arts Market returns Saturday with its fall hours from 11 am – 6 pm. This monthly outdoor market features original art, music, and fun. Located at 548 W. 19th.

Explore booksHouston LibroFEST is a free event celebrating Latino literature and culture in Houston Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm. Browse books, enjoy kids’ crafts, hear bilingual storytime, live music, poetry slam and more. It also features Remembering World War II: Houston’s Latino Veterans Exhibit & Lecture Series. Located at Central Library downtown, 500 McKinney.

Celebrate Buffalo Bayou Park — The public celebration at Buffalo Bayou Park includes walking tours, lectures, children’s crafts, recreational opportunities, food, live music, and programming that showcases Houston’s diverse arts community. It concludes in an illuminated evening procession. Located at 105 Sabine Street.

WWII hangarSee 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.

Get crafty Pearland Art & Crafts on the Pavilion, a free 2-day event, features a collection of 40+ area artists, live music, a kid’s Interactive station, and culinary treats including a Food Truck Court on Sunday!  10 am to 5 pm at the Pearland Town Center.

Mingle at free museums and zoo — It’s Bank of America’s free admission for “Museums on Us” program October 3-4 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.

Love Ghostbusters — Catch a free outdoor movie screening of Ghostbusters at Dow Park in Deer Park. The movie kicks off at dusk.

Watch Harry Potter under the starsMovie Night on the Strand in Galveston returns October 3 with the Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone, shortly after dusk, at Saengerfest Park, 2300 Strand. Grab your chairs, blankets and enjoy a family-friendly movie outdoors! This is held the first Saturday of each month.

Celebrate Chicano music — Don’t miss the Festival Chicano Saturday, 7 pm, which celebrates the Chicano culture and music. New artists perform each night, October 1-3. Free reserved seats under cover are available on performance day at the Miller box office, 10:30 am – 1 pm. Located at 6000 Hermann Park Drive.


Celebrate Family day — Families can participate in hands-on activities Sunday, at Heritage Family Day, sponsored by The Heritage Society. It’s also a chance to celebrate the diversity of Asian cultures with the new exhibit Asian-Americans in Houston: A Kaleidoscope of Cultures. Don’t miss the Japanese drummers and Chinese dancing! Hours are 1 pm – 4 pm at 1100 Bagby.

Bless your pets — Bring your favorite pet to the Blessing of the Pets, 4 pm Sunday. Afternoon fun includes a pet photographer, a vet to answer your questions, animals for adoption and more. Bring pet food donations for animals in need. Located at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 345 Piney Point Rd.

Explore nature — Admission is free Sunday at Armand Bayou Nature Center noon – 4 pm, for Free Sunday in Nature. Hike trails with naturalist interpreter, view live reptiles, relive 1895 history and more. Located in Pasadena, 8500 Bay Area Blvd.

Mingle at free museums and zoo — It’s Bank of America’s free admission for “Museums on Us” program October 3-4 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.

Get crafty Pearland Art & Crafts on the Pavilion, a free 2-day event, features a collection of 40+ area artists, live music, a kid’s Interactive station, and culinary treats including a Food Truck Court on Sunday!  10 am to 5 pm at the Pearland Town Center.

Honor 1,000 lights — As the grand finale to Mahatma Gandhi Week, 1000 Lights for Peace features a multi-cultural, international dance and music show by children. Located at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.