Houston Rodeo on the Cheap: Value Wednesdays, Parking Tips, & Texas Junk Co.

houston rodeoThe much anticipated day is here! Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo kicks off today, March 3-March 22. This event is huge in our city, which outsiders may not understand! Last year’s rodeo attracted nearly 2.5 million folks for all activities on the rodeo grounds. Wow! Here are a few tips on how to “do” the Houston Rodeo without spending a heap of cash:

1) Wednesdays are the magic day for saving money at the rodeo. March 4 is the first Value Wednesday of this year’s rodeo season. If you’re heading to NRG just for AGventure and Kid Country fun, it’s $5 Value Pricing on Wednesdays for adults and FREE for kids and seniors. Count on $2 rides, $2 games, and $2 food bites from 11 am – 4 pm in Kids Country Carnival. For day and night Wednesday fun, a $10 bill can get you in the livestock show, rodeo, and musical performance in the upper level of NRG. This year’s Value Wednesday performers feature Hunter Hayes (March 4), Brantley Gilbert (March 11), and Florida Georgia Line (March 18).

2) Parking options. Save money and take the Rodeo Express or METRO Park & Ride shuttle from 1 of 9 locations. Round trip rides range from $4 to $10 — or a flat $15-$20 fee to park in some spots. If you have more than a couple people, it might make sense to park onsite but obviously traffic is crazy! Miller Lite Public Parking lots are $15 cash, with an entrance off Kirby and W. Bellfort.

Houston WaveHouston Wave shuttle service is once again offering rodeo goers a stress-less trip to the rodeo. Folks can park at 1801 Binz and pay just $20 for a round trip Rodeo Wave transportation. Park for free in a three-story garage and take advantage of food and drink specials before your ride at nearby Museum Park Cafe or Bosta Wine & Coffee (1801 Binz).

Schedule $20 Wave ride for Houston Rodeo nights here. Choose 5:30 pm or 7 pm departures for evening shows.

Downtown GreenStreet is offering complimentary parking validation in the GreenStreet garage (1301 Main), which provides easy access to METRORail route on Main Street right to NRG. Tickets will be validated with any restaurant or retail purchase on the same day and a Houston Rodeo ticket. Several of the GreenStreet restaurants are offering food and drink specials during rodeo season, including McCormick & Schmicks, III Forks Steakhouse, Crossroads at House of Blues, and Mia Bella Trattoria.

texas junk co 3) Be thrifty. Don’t pay full price for your rodeo fashion! Hit some local consignment shops to search for the best bargains in jeans, denim jackets, shirts and boots. They are a great place to find kid’s boots, too, which are often rarely worn since kids outgrow them quickly.

Texas Junk Co. (215 Welch) is a local favorite with hundreds of boots that are broken in and ready to wear! Check out my feature on Texas Junk Co. Cash/check only though. Open Fridays and Saturdays only, 11 am – 6 pm.

Free Museums & Zoo for Bank of America Cardholders March 7-8

Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonIt’s early March, which means free admission for Bank of America & Merrill Lynch cardholders this weekend, March 7-8. Bank of America’s national program, “Museums on Us,” provides free admission the first full weekend of every month to 150 participating museums and venues.

In Houston area, that free admission includes the Houston Zoo, Children’s Museum of Houston and the The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Free admission is limited to Bank of America & Merrill Lynch credit/debit card holders only and not their children. Check museum links for hours and location.

Don't Miss a Deal!
Get all the best Houston deals delivered directly to your inbox each day for Free!

Texas Junk Co.: Houston Classic for Vintage, Bargain Cowboy Boots

004Since 1979, Texas Junk Company is the destination for Houston folk looking to score a deal on cowboy boots and other random oddities. It’s definitely a go-to spot before and during rodeo season! Owner Robert Novotney stocks the store with boots he finds at Goodwill, flea markets, consignment stores and the like. It’s truly his passion. For example, he often drives to San Antonio, spends the night in his car, hits the San Antonio flea market at dawn and finishes up by 9 am, with plenty of good finds.

Just like other thrift stores, it’s definitely hit-or-miss — which adds to the element of fun. Sometimes you can find top-brand Lucchese boots, which retail in stores for $300-$1,200. I went one Saturday with mytexas junk co collage girls looking for boots. The women’s department was picked over in our size, but we remained focused and found our treasures. My boots were $50, my daughter’s Justin Ropers were $45, and a pair of Dan Post stove tops were $60. Best part: they are already worn in and ready for the rodeo!

I have never been at 11 am, but wonder if there is a line to get in! Novotney remarked that he had done a day’s worth of sales Saturday by noon — just an hour after opening! In addition to boots, you can score old albums, wooden picture frames, jean jackets, vintage sleeping bags, crutches, and other random things!

032Novotney opens his store Fridays and Saturdays only, 11 am – 6 pm. Cash or check only. If you’re not prepared with cash, he directs you 8 blocks down to an ATM. The store is located in the Montrose/Fourth Ward area at 215 Welch.

Follow his Texas Junk Co. Facebook page where he shares his travel adventures and store finds. Or listen to the recorded message at 713-524-6257.  photos © vicki powers

texas junk co

 

 

 

 

 

What to Do for Spring Break in Houston: Free & Cheap

It’s hard to believe Spring Break is around the corner! Houston is so big the school districts divide up into two weeks of spring break. Here is my list of free and cheap fun for Houston Spring Break March 9-22, 2015.

Houston spring break: free and cheap

March 9-13 Week

The Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonFREE: Kids 12 and under are always free at MFAH. This Houston museum is offering special family activities for spring break March 9-22 such as Sketching in the Galleries, investigating works of art, family films, and family packs. Don’t miss Free Family Thursday all day March 12 and March 19. Admission is $15 for adults, $7.50 for youth age 13-18, and kids 12 and under are free. Located at 5601 Main Street.

Houston Livestock Show & RodeoValue Wednesday is the day to save money on Houston Rodeo fun (March 11 and March 18 during spring break). Select seats are just $10 to the rodeo and concert with Brantley Gilbert March 11 and Florida Georgia Line March 18. Check out the livestock show, AGventure, carnival and shopping at Reliant Park for just $5 for adults. Kids and seniors are free! Don’t miss the $2 games and $2 food bites from 11 am – 4 pm in Kids’ Country Carnival. Purchase tickets online.

Childrens Museum of HoustonThe Children’s Museum of Houston — The Children’s Museum of Houston does it up big for spring break every year. This year’s theme, Amazingly Immature Spring Break, is set for March 7 – 22. It’s dubbed the “ultimate family destination” with hands-on activities, bungee trampolines, and loads of entertainment featuring pirates, dancers, dogs, jugglers, magicians and more. Don’t miss the annual Shaving Cream Pi(e) Fight March 14 for Pi Day! Plus two free movies each day: Big Hero 6 and Despicable Me (except March 14 and March 18). First 100 at the door get a free giveaway. Go free on Thursdays March 12 and March 19 for Free Family Night from 5 pm – 8 pm. Admission is $9 per person with hours 10 am – 6 pm. Located at 1500 Binz.

Main Street Theater — Main Street Theater is offering 1:30 pm matinees during Spring Break: March 9, 10, 13 and March 16-20. Kids will love seeing a beloved book character come to life at The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley. {Goldstar has a limited number of half-price tickets available at $7.50 rather than $15. Buy them online.} During MST renovations, this show is at Talento Bilingue de Houston, 333 S. Jensen.

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center — Spring Breakout returns to this wonderful park in Humble March 9-13 with free daily classes. Limited spots are available with reservations. Call to reserve a spot: (281) 446-8588.

Monday, March 9: Fangs (10 am)
Tuesday, March 10: Wildflower Seed Balls (10 am) and Kites (1 pm)
Wednesday, March 11: Texas Bound (9 am – 2 pm) for ages 7-12
Thursday, March 12: Jr. Angler (9 am – 2 pm) for ages 8+
Friday, March 13: Jr. Canoe Training (9 am – 2 pm) for ages 10-15

Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens — FREE: Kids 18 and under are free during Spring Break. Spring break activities are March 9-20 with garden tours, scavenger hunt, arts and crafts, historic games and toys, open house tours, and more. Adult admission is $10. Located at 6003 Memorial.

RienziFREE: Kids 12 and under are always free at Rienzi. The MFAH house museum offers several kid-friendly options during Spring Break including Storytime Tours and Sketching in the Galleries. Adult admission is $8, youth 13-18 $5, and kids 12 and under free. Located at 1406 Kirby.

Alamo Drafthouse — Head to Alamo Drafthouse for free Kid’s Camp movie, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, weekdays March 9-12. Free tickets are available first-come, first-served. Or buy a reserved seat online with a $5 concession food and beverage voucher. Movie times each day are 10:30 am at Mason Park and 11:30 am at Vintage Park.

Studio Movie Grill — Enjoy a Special Presentation movie, Maya the Bee, Sunday, March 8, 3 pm, for just $3. This screening is only at Studio Movie Grill CityCentre. The Family Rewind movie in March is The Wizard of Oz, March 18, 7 pm, for just $3 at both Copperfield and CityCentre locations.

The Health Museum — Families can participate in Health & Wellness Week 2015 March 9-21. {Save money with this special coupon for Buy One Admission Get One Half Off}. Each day features different activities including science shows, organ dissections, hands-on activities, arts and crafts, health screenings, CPR, nutrition info, healthy snacks, and games. Lots of fun with Houston organizations including Houston Rockets and Houston Ballet. Don’t miss Free Family Thursday from 2 pm – 5 pm with free admission March 12 and March 19, plus the annual UT Brain Night, March 19, 6 pm – 8 pm. Families can see a real brain and ask questions to doctors. One current museum exhibit is Beyond the X-Ray through May 3. The DeBakey Cell Lab is the museum’s first new permanent exhibit in five years and opens March 27.  $9/adults and $7/children. 1515 Hermann Drive.

Houston Museum District – 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

George Ranch Historical Park — The park is offering learning and fun over Spring Break with its “Farm to Table” Spring Break Celebration Tuesdays – Saturdays, March 7, March 10-14 and March 17-21. Explore the history of food over 100 years. Kids can get a chance to plow, explore a 1860s Chuckwagon, learn about food preservation in 1890s Sharecropper Farm, learn basics of ranching, and 1930s cattle production. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 5-15. Hours are 9 am – 5 pm Tuesday – Saturday.

Discount: Enjoy a special Chuckwagon Lunch served daily at 12:30 pm during Spring Break. Houston on the Cheap readers can Buy One Historic Meal ticket and get another 50% off. Valid March 7, 10-14 and March 17-21. Adult meal is $14 and kids meal is $11. Children 4 and under are $4. Limit one per customer. Guests need to call to purchase meal tickets Tuesday – Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm at 281-343-0218. Reservations highly recommended at least one day in advance. George Ranch Historical Park is located at 10215 FM 762 in Richmond.

Blessington FarmsBlessington Farms — Kids will enjoy outdoor fun at Blessington Farms such as playing on Sand Mountain, hay rides, giant slide, and encounters with heritage chickens. Participate in Blessington Pick your Own Strawberries for just $5 per pound (no admission free required). Blessington Farms is located in Simonton about 40 miles west of downtown Houston. Spring break hours are 10 am – 3:30 pm Monday – Saturday. Admission is $10 for Farm Funland or $8 for Farmland Lite. photo: Blessington Farms

Houston Zoo — College students in these local schools get FREE admission any day with a valid ID: University of Houston, Rice University, St. Thomas University, and Texas Southern University. Students at these colleges save $2 off admission with ID: Houston Community College, Houston Baptist University and South Texas College of Law. There is not special programming during spring break at the zoo, but this college deal is too good not to share! Admission: $16 adults, $12 kids age 2 – 11.

March 16-20 Week

Discovery Green — Houston’s downtown park, Discovery Green, is always the site of free family fun. Spring break is no different with Discovery STEM: Spring Break Week March 16-20, 10 am – 4 pm. This year families can enjoy an array of free activities powered by Girl Start — Empowering Girls in Math, Science and Technology. Check out the busy schedule:

March 16: Mechanical Engineering fun + Houston Rockets & Dynamo street team
March 17: Slime, Chemical Reactions, Instasnow & Foam Party
March 18: Things That Fly & more
March 19: Plastic Rescue Activities, HGO to Go First Songs and Storybook Opera
March 20: Astronomy, HGO to Go First Songs and Storybook Opera

Discovery Green is located downtown at 1500 McKinney. 

Houston Livestock Show & RodeoValue Wednesday is the day to save money on Houston Rodeo fun (March 11 and March 18 during spring break). Select seats are just $10 to the rodeo and concert with Brantley Gilbert March 11 and Florida Georgia Line March 18. Check out the livestock show, AGventure, carnival and shopping at Reliant Park for just $5 for adults. Kids and seniors are free! Don’t miss the $2 games and $2 food bites from 11 am – 4 pm in Kids’ Country Carnival. Purchase tickets online.

Main Street Theater — Main Street Theater is offering 1:30 pm matinees during Spring Break: March 9, 10, 13 and March 16-20. Kids will love seeing a beloved book character come to life at The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley. {Goldstar has a limited number of half-price tickets available at $7.50 rather than $15. Buy them online.} During MST renovations, this production will be held at Talento Bilingue de Houston, 333 S. Jensen.

Studio Movie Grill — Enjoy a Special Presentation movie, Maya the Bee, Sunday, March 8, 3 pm, for just $3. This screening is only at Studio Movie Grill CityCentre. The Family Rewind movie in March is The Wizard of Oz, March 18, 7 pm, for just $3 at both Copperfield and City Centre locations.

The Children’s Museum of Houston — The Children’s Museum of Houston does it up big for spring break every year. This year’s theme, Amazingly Immature Spring Break, is set for March 7 – 22. Its dubbed the “ultimate family destination” with hands-on activities, bungee trampolines, and loads of entertainment featuring pirates, dancers, dogs, jugglers, magicians and more. Don’t miss the annual Shaving Cream Pi(e) Fight March 14 for Pi Day! Plus two free movies each day: Big Hero 6 and Despicable Me (except March 14 and March 18). First 100 at the door get a free giveaway. Go free on Thursdays March 11 and March 18 for Free Family Night from 5 pm – 8 pm. Admission is $9 per person with hours 10 am – 6 pm. Located at 1500 Binz.

IKEA Houston — Writers in the Schools (WITS) is offering a free Children’s Creative Workshop Tuesday, March 17, 6 pm – 7 pm. It’s also a Kids Eat Free day! Located at 7810 Katy Freeway.

Houston Museum District – 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

George Ranch Historical Park — The park is offering learning and fun over Spring Break with its “Farm to Table” Spring Break Celebration Tuesdays – Saturdays, March 7, March 10-14 and March 17-21. Explore the history of food over 100 years. Kids can get a chance to plow, explore a 1860s Chuckwagon, learn about food preservation in 1890s Sharecropper Farm, learn basics of ranching, and 1930s cattle production. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 5-15. Hours are 9 am – 5 pm Tuesday – Saturday.

Discount: Enjoy a special Chuckwagon Lunch served daily at 12:30 pm during Spring Break. Houston on the Cheap readers can Buy One Historic Meal ticket and get another 50% off. Valid March 7, 10-14 and March 17-21. Adult meal is $14 and kids meal is $11. Children 4 and under are $4. Limit one per customer. Guests need to call to purchase meal tickets Tuesday – Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm at 281-343-0218. Reservations highly recommended at least one day in advance. George Ranch Historical Park is located at 10215 FM 762 in Richmond.

Houston Zoo — College students in these local schools get FREE admission any day with a valid ID: University of Houston, Rice University, St. Thomas University, and Texas Southern University. Students at these colleges save $2 off admission with ID: Houston Community College, Houston Baptist University, and South Texas College of Law. There is not special programming during spring break at the zoo, but this college student freebie is too good not to share! Admission: $16 adults, $12 kids age 2 – 11.

Space Center Houston {not cheap, but special Spring Break programming}— Lots of fun is planned this year for Spring Break at Space Center Houston, March 14-22. Enjoy Pi Day, Space Scavenger Hunt, Meet the Meteorite Hunters, Curiosity Expo, and a special premiere of Journey to Space March 14. Take a NASA Tram Tour for a behind-the-scenes journey. Buy tickets online and save $3 here. Or visit one of Space Center Houston’s promotional partners for a half-price admission coupon. Online admission is $20.95/adults and $15.95/kids 4-11. Space Center Houston is located south of downtown Houston near Webster, 1601 NASA Parkway.

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

7 Free Things to Do in Houston March 2-6

There’s never a dull moment in Houston. Here are 7 options for free fun in Houston March 2-6 before planning your free and cheap weekend!

We Love Houston sign

Monday (3/2) —  Sam Houston Park celebrates Texas Independence Day March 2, 10 am, in downtown Houston. Activities will be held at The Old Place log cabin, 1000 Bagby, featuring The Texas Army Official 1836 Ceremonial and Reenactment Group.

Monday (3/2) — Celebrate Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ birthday today! The Heights Public Library is hosting a Seuss-A-Thon from noon – 7:30 pm Monday with folks reading Dr. Seuss stories aloud. Or watch a Dr. Seuss movie in the Heights’ meeting room: 1:30 pm (The Cat in the Hat), 3:30 pm (The Lorax), and 5:30 pm (The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T). Check out all the HPL Read Across America activities here.

Tuesday (3/3) — Visit Houston Zoo free the first Tuesday afternoon each month. The time has been changed to begin at NOON! Last entry is at 5 pm.  Free tickets are now required to enter for free afternoon day. Get them in advance online or at the gate. The Houston Zoo is located at 6200 Hermann Park Drive. This is a great way to save since adult admission is $16 and kids 2-11 are $12.

Tuesday (3/3) — Celebrate National Pancake Day with a free short stack of pancakes at IHOP Tuesday. Guests are encouraged to make a donation, given to a local charity. Its goal is $3.5 million.

Tuesday (3/3) — Circus Arts returns to Discovery Green for free outdoor spring/summer fun. The weekly class is a combination of ground arts and ground acrobatics. For ages 13 and up. Bring your own yoga mat if you can. No pre-registration required. Located at 1500 McKinney.

Wednesday (3/4) — A Little Day Music returns for its free monthly noon concert presented by Da Camera. The music this Wednesday features all Brahms’ pieces on piano and violin by Da Camera Young Artists. Guests are encouraged to bring a lunch. Located in Grand Foyer of Wortham Theater Center.

Thursday (3/5) — 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

March 3: Free Houston Zoo (12pm-6pm) + LEGO Build

GiraffeFree Houston Zoo afternoon is a great way to spend your afternoon for free! Tuesday, March 3, NOON to close, is the next first Tuesday with free admission. They’ve added two extra hours to this free day — so that’s great! Last entry is at 5 pm. Free tickets are now required. Get them in advance online or at the gate. This is monthly through May.  photo: © Vicki Powers

On the same day, kids can create a free LEGO robot 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.

10 Free Things to Do in Houston in March

March will be a busy month, so get these dates on your calendar for free Houston fun!
Don’t miss these 10 Free Things to Do in Houston March 2015:

Bayou Jamboree & Gumbo Showdown
POSTPONED @ Market Square Park
(Re-scheduled to May 9)

Enjoy live music and free gumbo tasting at this free outdoor event sponsored by Downtown District and Saint Arnold.

gumbo cookoffphoto: Flickr/jcwinkler

NatureFest
March 7 @ Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center (9 am – 3:30 pm)

Celebrate the outdoors at NatureFest, a family day of education and fun. Enjoy nature tours, live animals, pontoon boat tours, games, and folk performance.

jones park naturefestphoto: Jesse H Jones Park

FUNomenal Family Festival
March 7 @ Discovery Green (11 am – 6 pm)

Be a kid again at this fun outdoor festival! Plenty of free fun including live music, Baby Olympics, family Zumba, kid DJs, and more.

FUNonemal Family Festivalphoto: Katya Horner

The Spencer Davis Group
March 20 @ Miller Outdoor Theatre (8 pm)

It’s Opening Day of spring season at Miller Outdoor Theatre! The first concert features British rock legend The Spencer Davis Group from the 1960s. The group earned more than 20 Top 10 hits.

spencer davis groupphoto: Miller Outdoor Theatre

Bach Marathon
March 21 @ Christ the King Lutheran Church (1 pm – 9 pm)

Celebrate Bach’s 330th birthday at this special all-day concert, sponsored by Bach Society Houston. This is a free event, but a free-will offering will be collected for Houston Food Bank.

Children’s Festival
March 21 @ Willow Fork Drainage District’s Central Green Park (noon – 3 pm)

It’s a big day in Katy at the 2nd annual Children’s Festival. The day features a magic show, live music, arts and crafts, fun jumps and more.

central green park CFphoto: Central Green Park

Chipotle Music & Movie series
March 21 @ Discovery Green

This new series presents live music at 7 pm and free movie at 8 pm. Grand Old Grizzly performs before the feature, Fed Up, a documentary by Katie Couric that reveals more about obesity in the U.S. and the role sugar plays in the process.

Free outdoor movies in Houston

Texas Wildlife & Woodland Expo
March 28 @ Lone Star College–Montgomery (10 am – 4 pm)

Learn about the land and outdoors at this annual expo! Featured fun includes Dock Dog competition, hands-on clinics and live demonstrations, Family Adventure Zone and more. Get a photo made with Smokey the Bear!

woodlands expophoto: Texas Wildlife & Woodland Expo

Bank of America Screen on the Green
March 28 @ Discovery Green (8:15 pm)

The free outdoor movie features Guardians of the Galaxy. Grab a blanket or lawn chair for hillside seating downtown.

guardians of the galaxy

Curt Miller Magic & Comedy Show
March 28 @ Willow Fork Drainage District’s Central Green Park

Be amazed and entertained with this Vegas-Style magic, comedy and illusion show — that’s family friendly!

BONUS:

Hermann Park Kite Festival
March 29 @ Hermann Park (10 am – 5 pm)

The free family festival features kite making, kite flying, and talented performers throughout the park.

 

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

Texas Independence Day Events 2015 in Houston Area

Texas Independence DayFolks are proud in Texas, which makes it no surprise that we celebrate Texas Independence Day on March 2 each year. March 2, 1836, is when Texas declared its independence from Mexico and adopted the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Here are a few Texas Independence Day activities, events, and food deals this weekend and beyond in the Houston area:

February 27, 28, March 1

* Texas Birthday Bash celebrates Texas’ birthday in Navasota, February 27-28. The free two-day event  features free concert performances Friday night (5:30 pm – 11 pm) and a family festival Saturday beginning at noon. Don’t miss the petting zoo, pony rides, Western Shoot Out, Wild West Playland, and free screenings of The Alamo (1 pm, 4 pm) at Miller’s Theatre. Six artists perform Saturday till midnight including Josh Ward, Kyle Park, Aaron Watson, Kevin Fowler, and more. Free parking and free shuttles are available from Navasota High School parking lot at Hwy 6 and 90.

*washington on the brazos Washington-On-The Brazos, the original historic site, celebrates with a free two-day festival February 28-March 1 featuring music, historic demonstrations of skills and crafts of the period, historical encampments, book signings, re-enactments, and tours of Independence Hall. Its dubbed the Birthplace of Texas. Check out the complete schedule online of ongoing activities between 10 am – 5 pm. Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick will speak at 1 pm, Sunday, March 1. All fees are waived during the weekend with free admission and parking. Washington-on-the-Brazos is located between Navasota and Brenham off Hwy 105 on FM1155.

* george ranch historical parkGeorge Ranch Historical Park honors Texas heritage with its annual Tales of Texas celebration February 28. “Texas Legends, Rogues, and Renegades” Saturday features Texas men and women who played by their own rules and changed the state. Make a reservation for the historical lunch (extra fee). The Historical Park is a living history museum that tracks more than four generations of one family over 100 years of Texas history. It’s located in Richmond. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 5-15. Free for four and under.

* The Heritage Society celebrates Texas Independence Day at its free Heritage Family Day Sunday, 1 pm – 4 pm. The afternoon features interactive entertainment and time to create Texas crafts. Folks also can view “Financing the Republic of Texas” exhibit and see counterfeit money. Refreshments will be served.

March 2

* Sam Houston Park celebrates Texas Independence Day March 2, 10 am, in downtown Houston. Activities will be held at The Old Place log cabin, 1000 Bagby, featuring The Texas Army Official 1836 Ceremonial and Reenactment Group.

* The Sam Houston Memorial Museum celebrates Sam Houston’s birthday and Texas Independence Day each March 2. Activities in Huntsville this year, (9 am – 3 pm), include coffee reception, ceremony at Sam Houston’s grave, and a Toast to Texas plus birthday cake at 2 pm at the Sam Houston Statue and Visitor’s Center. The Sam Houston Memorial Museum is located in Huntsville at 1402 19th Street.

* Vertskebap is celebrating Texas Independence Day March 2 with free small French fry or falafel with purchase of any regular size “Texan” style entree + half-price Texas beer all day.

* Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q is celebrating Texas Independence Day with free Lone Star beer March 2. Plus Houston-area locations will sell $1 bottles of Lone Star beer to guests of legal drinking age, 21 and older, for the whole month of March.

March 3

* The Woodlands Children’s Museum is celebrating Texas’ Independence Tuesday, March 3, beginning at 10 am. The Tall Texan cowboy will entertain with rope tricks while balancing on stilts, and kids can have a photo with him. Then at noon, families can celebrate Dr. Seuss’ 111th birthday with a special Storybook Theater presentation. Museum admission is $5. Located at 4775 W. Panther Creek in The Woodlands.

National Pancake Day: Free IHOP Pancakes March 3

IHOP pancakesMarch 3 is a big day if you love pancakes! Get your appetite ready for IHOP’s National Pancake Day: customers will receive a free short stack of IHOP buttermilk pancakes. One short stack per person for dine-in only.

The 10th annual event is also a partnership to raise money for local charities. In return for free pancakes, IHOP asks folks to consider making a donation, with hopes of raising $3.5 million for Children’s Miracle Network and other local charities. Since 2006, IHOP has raised nearly $16 million since it started National Pancake Day. Find Houston-area IHOP locations here.

Free Weekend Fun in Houston February 27-March 1

Houston is full of free fun every weekend!  Check out the latest collection of Free Things to Do in Houston February 27 – March 1.

Discovery Green

FRIDAY

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), a fast-paced comedy show with a guest monologist. Located at 1230 Houston Ave.

Celebrate Texas’ Birthday — Head to Navasota for the 2015 Texas Birthday Bash Friday and Saturday. Free concerts Friday night, beginning at 5:30 pm. The free family festival is Saturday. Free parking and free shuttles are available from Navasota High School parking lot at Hwy 6 and 90. Navasota is about an hour NW of Houston.

SATURDAY

Houston Rodeo Parade Watch the rodeo parade — It’s a tradition in Houston! Head downtown early for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Downtown Rodeo Parade Saturday, February 28, 10 am. The annual parade winds through the streets of downtown with incredible floats, bands, horses and more! The parade begins with Steve Patterson (UT Men’s Athletic Director) as the parade Grand Marshal at Bagby and Walker.  The best places to view the parade are around Walker, Travis, Bell and Louisiana. Find the parade route online. photo: flickr/ed uthman

Listen to accordion showcase — Texas Folklife is searching at the Big Squeeze Accordion Showcase for the best age 21 and under accordion players in Texas. The emphasis for this showcase is on Conjunto, but any young accordionist in any style is encouraged to register for the contest. Special musical guest Los Hermanos Cortez will perform after the Contest. This event is free and open the public. Located at MECA, 1900 Kane.

Celebrate Year of the Goat — It’s the final Lunar New Year celebration in Houston at the Tet Festival, 1 pm – 10 pm Saturday and Sunday. The free fun includes Lion Dances, traditional dance, martial art, live music, cultural ceremonies and more. Located at 11205 Bellaire Blvd.

longhornRelive 19th century settler life — Washington-On-The Brazos, the original historic site, celebrates Texas Independence with a free two-day festival February 28-March 1 featuring music, historic demonstrations of skills and crafts of the period, historical encampments, book signings, re-enactments, and tours of Independence Hall. Its dubbed the Birthplace of Texas. Check out the complete schedule online of activities between 10 am – 5 pm. All fees are waived during the weekend with free admission and parking. Washington-on-the-Brazos is located between Navasota and Brenham off Hwy 105 on FM1155.

Celebrate Texas’ Birthday — The Texas Birthday Bash continues Saturday with a family festival beginning at noon. Don’t miss the petting zoo, pony rides, Western Shoot Out, Wild West Playland, and free screenings of The Alamo (1 pm, 4 pm) at Miller’s Theatre. Six artists perform Saturday till midnight including Josh Ward, Kyle Park, Aaron Watson, Kevin Fowler, and more. Free parking and free shuttles are available from Navasota High School parking lot at Hwy 6 and 90.

Party with a princess — Join Anna, Elsa, Bekke, Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White, and Princess Tiana at Princess Picnic with Pointe of Grace Dance Studio for games, dancing, pictures, and more. Pointe of Grace Dance Studio also performs. This is located at Willow Fork Drainage District’s Central Green Park, 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. in Katy.

Get healthy — The 10th annual WATCH your Wellness Health Fair returns Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm. Families will enjoy fun activities, giveaways, information on staying healthy, and an expanded KidsZone. Located at Sugar Land Town Square.

SUNDAY

Celebrate TexasThe Heritage Society celebrates Texas Independence Day at its free Heritage Family Day Sunday, 1 pm – 4 pm. The afternoon features interactive entertainment and time to create Texas crafts. Folks also can view “Financing the Republic of Texas” exhibit and see counterfeit money. Refreshments will be served. Located at 1100 Bagby.

discovery green orbitaWatch international gymnasts — The National Danish Performance Team travels to Houston to present Orbita Sunday, noon – 1:30 pm at Discovery Green. The performance features a bit of everything in 90 minutes: rhythmic gymnastics, dance, cheer, artistic vaulting, tumbling and high-energy acrobatics. Located at 1500 McKinney. photo: Discovery Green

Relive 19th century settler life — Washington-On-The Brazos, the original historic site, celebrates Texas Independence with a free two-day festival February 28-March 1 featuring music, historic demonstrations of skills and crafts of the period, historical encampments, book signings, re-enactments, and tours of Independence Hall. Its dubbed the Birthplace of Texas. Check out the complete schedule online of activities between 10 am – 5 pm. Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick will speak at 1 pm, Sunday, March 1. All fees are waived during the weekend with free admission and parking. Washington-on-the-Brazos is located between Navasota and Brenham off Hwy 105 on FM1155.

Honor and remember loved ones — Head downtown for the 4th annual PurpleLight at City Hall, which pays tribute to survivors and loved ones lost to pancreatic cancer. Names will be read of survivors and those who lost the fight. Names can still be submitted online. City Hall will glow purple in honor of the event. Registration begins at 5:30 pm with the event beginning at 6:30 pm.