7 Free Things to Do in Houston July 21-25

We Love Houston sign There’s never a dull moment in Houston. Here are 7 options for free fun this week (July 21-25) before planning your free and cheap weekend!

Monday (7/21) — Free movies continue this week at Alamo Drafthouse with Frankenweenie Monday at 11:10 am (Vintage Park) and 11:30 am (Mason Park). Frankenweenie is free each day through Thursday. Times vary each day. Don’t miss the $1 and $2 movies all summer, too, at Studio Movie Grill, Cinemark, and Regal plus free at Santikos Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Tuesday (7/22) — The 2014 Children’s Hilltop Festival kicks off Tuesday with Mulan: The Warrior Princess, 11 am. Different kids’ performances continue all week at 11 am, thanks to Express Children’s Theatre. Located at Miller Outdoor Theatre.

Tuesday (7/22) — Get ready to jam Tuesday night at NGEN radio’s BOOMIN concert downtown at Discovery Green, 7 pm. For two consecutive Tuesdays, folks can enjoy a free concert, dancing, games, and prizes. The concert features Christian hip hop/rock artists Rapture Ruckus and Canon. Pre-party starts at 6:15 pm with the concert at 7 pm. NGEN is the sister station of KSBJ 89.3.

Wednesday (7/23) — It’s the last week of Storytime Tour at Rienzi, part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. This free event, 10 am – 10:45 am, introduces children to the magic of literature and art. This event is geared to ages 3 and up. Rienzi is located at 1406 Kirby.

Wednesday (7/23) — Enjoy an evening outdoors watching Dance Theater of Harlem, Wednesday, 8:30 pm, Miller Outdoor Theatre. America’s foremost African-American ballet company uses classical ballet to change lives. Free reserved seats are available performance day at Miller Box office, 10:30 am – 1 pm.

Thursday (7/24) — Build a free terrarium at Hip Craft Workshops sponsored by Pop Shop Houston Tuesday, 1 pm. The free class is at Flores Library, 110 North Milby. RSVP directly with the library. Pop Shop America specializes in indie design, events and local workshops.

Thursday (7/24) — Don’t miss “Open Mic Comedy Night” Thursday, 6 pm – 8:45 pm, at downtown Houston Public Library! The free evening welcomes local comedians, puppeteers, ventriloquists, and impressionists to share their clean comedy. It also features a local version of Whose Line Is It Anyway with audience help. Seating is limited. Comedy Night is held Fourth Thursday each month, 500 McKinney.

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

Free Tea Day at McAlister’s July 24 {Free Sweet Tea}

sweet tea dayThe 6th annual Free Tea Day is around the corner! Get your sweet tea fix for free July 24 at McAlister’s Deli Free Tea Day. Limit one free tea per person at participating locations.

If you’re a sweet tea freak, join more than 414,800 McAlister’s Deli Tea Freaks on Facebook. Plus enter to win a $25 McAlister’s Deli gift card given daily — or the $250 grand prize!

There are six Houston-area McAlister’s Deli locations: 7502 FM1960 W., 4810 Calhoun plus locations in Cypress, The Woodlands, Rosenberg, Webster, and Galveston.

Free Children’s Hilltop Festival July 22-25

mulan at millerIt’s a bonanza week next week for free children’s fun at Miller Outdoor Theatre! The annual Children’s Hilltop Festival kicks off July 22 with four different children’s theater performances each morning Tuesday through Friday. Performances begin at 11 am each day. Here’s a run-down of the schedule:

July 22 — Mulan: The Warrior Princess
July 23 — Jack & the Beanstalk
July 24 — Three Little Pigs
July 25 — Little Red

This theater festival is produced by Express Children’s Theater. Miller Outdoor Theater is located at 6000 Hermann Park Drive in Hermann Park.

Free Weekend Fun in Houston July 18-20

The weekend is almost here! What are your plans? Here is a snapshot of 21 Free Things to Do in Houston this Weekend (July 18-20) with your family and friends.

Houston skyline

FRIDAY

Engage with art — The amazing #SummerSeries Art Exhibit kicks off with its first opening Friday, 6 pm – 9 pm, sponsored by Winter Street and Summer Street Studios. The free event features work from more than 100 artists plus summer cocktails and light bites from Beavers. Located at 2101 Winter Street. The next date in the series is August 22, 6 pm.

Catch Frankenweenie on the big screen — Don’t miss the free Kids’ Camp movie all summer at Alamo Drafthouse’s Vintage Park and Mason Park locations. July 18-24 catch Frankenweenie produced by Tim Burton. Seats are first-come, first-served. Get a reserved seat by pre-purchasing a $5 food and beverage voucher online. Located at 114 Vintage Park Blvd. and 531 S. Mason Road.

Love a musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is TUTS’ free summer musical on stage at Miller Outdoor Theatre  through Sunday, July 20, nightly at 8:15 pm. Free tickets for covered reserved seats are available at the box office on performance day from 10:30 am – 1 pm. Or just grab a blanket and enjoy seating on the big hill. Miller Outdoor Theatre is located at 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Watch a movie under the moon — Enjoy a free outdoor screening of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Friday as part of Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow. The free movie will be at Whole Foods Champions, 10133 Louetta. Outdoor games begin at 7:30 pm with the movie at dusk.

Watch the batsFamily Bat Chat returns Friday at the platform at Waugh Drive and Allen Parkway. Arrive 30 minutes before sunset to hear a brief presentation on Waugh Bridge Bat Colony. Free public parking at Spotts Park, 401 S. Heights Blvd. at Memorial. This is held the 1st and 3rd Fridays.

Enjoy family fun — Don’t miss Third Friday Family Fun Night in Kingwood Friday, 7 pm – 10 pm at Kings Harbor. Enjoy live music, family fun, and Heaven’s Army interactive booth. Located at 1660 West Lake Houston Parkway in Kingwood.

Learn to salsa dance — Enjoy free salsa dance lessons at Latin Beats every Friday night at the Downtown Aquarium. From 7 pm – 10 pm you can learn salsa dancing from professional dance instructors. The Aquarium is located at 410 Bagby at Memorial.

 SATURDAY

Hempstead Watermelon FestivalEnjoy a small-town festival — It’s all things watermelon at the 25th annual Hempstead Watermelon Festival Saturday with day long free fun! This annual favorite features a car parade, Watermelon Festival parade, carnival, live entertainment, arts and crafts fair, quilt show and more. New this year: a watermelon eating contest and seed-spitting contest. The car parade begins at 8:30 am with the big festival parade at 9 am. Activities at the Hempstead Gazebo Park and Depot Park.

Catch Frankenweenie on the big screen — Don’t miss the free Kids’ Camp movie all summer at Alamo Drafthouse’s Vintage Park and Mason Park locations. July 18-24 catch Frankenweenie produced by Tim Burton. Seats are first-come, first-served. Get a reserved seat by pre-purchasing a $5 food and beverage voucher online. Located at 114 Vintage Park Blvd. and 531 S. Mason Road.

See some reptiles — It’s all things reptiles at the HPL Summer Reading Express weekend fun Saturday at Discovery Green. The event kicks off at 12:30 pm with a hands-on reptile program featuring snakes, crocodiles, turtles, alligators and more. Located at 1500 McKinney.

Learn about vegan — Don’t miss VegFest Houston Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm, the premier vegan community festival in Texas! The free day features vegan cuisine, activities for kids, yoga and fitness demonstrations, food demos and prizes. The list of speakers includes authors, doctors, experts and more. VegFest Houston is held at Pershing Middle School in West University.

Catch The LEGO Movie outdoors — Families will love watching The LEGO Movie outdoors Saturday night at Central Green Park in Katy. The evening kicks off with live music by Living Stone Church before the movie, which begins at dusk. Located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

train ride dayRide the train — It’s a Free Public Run Day at Zube Park, Saturday, 9 am – 1 pm, thanks to Houston Area Live Steamers. Families can enjoy riding model trains large enough to ride the 3rd Saturday each month, March – November. Portions of US 290 may be closed so check web site for detours. Zube Park is located at 17802 Roberts Rd. near Hockley.  photo: Rick White

Celebrate the arts — The 4th annual Julydoscope returns July 19 at downtown Discovery Green for an evening of art, dance and film. Dance company performances kick off the evening at 7 pm. Don’t miss the screening of the 2013 Oscar award-winning documentary, Twenty Feet From Stardom, at 8:45 pm. This event is sponsored by Houston Cinema Arts Society. Located at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney, along with Flea by Night.

Browse  Flea by Night — Houston’s outdoor flea market, Discovery Green Flea, hits the evening hours during the summer as Discovery Green Flea by Night, July 19, 6 pm – 10 pm. Browse artful kitsch, vintage items, mid-century modern furniture, recycled and repurposed items and collectibles. Food trucks will be on site! Live music by Lainey Balagia performing with Brant Croucher and her band, Texas Music Award nominee. Located at 1500 McKinney.

Get healthy — Get informed about your health at the free Health Awareness Fair sponsored by Fort Bend Corrective Health Center. Take advantage of scoliosis screenings, blood pressure check, chair massages, DJ, raffles, face painting and more. Located at Sugar Land Town Square, 2711 Town Center Blvd.

Support a community — Head to the Third Ward for its Community Night Market and Talent Showcase Saturday, 6 pm – 10 pm, sponsored by Project Row Houses. The free monthly event features community performances, live music, craft activities, unique arts and crafts, and food. Project Row Houses is a community-based arts and culture nonprofit. The free event is located at 2521 Holman.

Love a musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is TUTS’ free summer musical on stage at Miller Outdoor Theatre  through Sunday, July 20, nightly at 8:15 pm. Free tickets for covered reserved seats are available at the box office on performance day from 10:30 am – 1 pm. Or just grab a blanket and enjoy seating on the big hill. Miller Outdoor Theatre is located at 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Watch Hook under the moon — Folks in Sugar Land can enjoy a free outdoor movie Saturday, July 19, at Sugar Land Town Square. This month features Hook, sponsored by First Colony Church of Christ. The movie begins about 10 minutes after sunset. Sugar Land Town Square is located at 2711 Town Center Blvd.

SUNDAY

Enjoy nature outdoors — Admission is free at Armand Bayou Nature Center the third Sunday of each month thanks to Dow Chemical Co. This Sunday, July 20, visit for free from noon to 4 pm. Hike trails with naturalist interpreter, view live reptiles, relive 1895 cultural history of area. 8500 Bay Area Blvd. in Pasadena.

Catch Frankenweenie on the big screen — Don’t miss the free Kids’ Camp movie all summer at Alamo Drafthouse’s Vintage Park and Mason Park locations. July 18-24 catch Frankenweenie produced by Tim Burton. Seats are first-come, first-served. Get a reserved seat by pre-purchasing a $5 food and beverage voucher online. Located at 114 Vintage Park Blvd. and 531 S. Mason Road.

Love a musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is TUTS’ free summer musical on stage at Miller Outdoor Theatre  through Sunday, July 20, nightly at 8:15 pm. Free tickets for covered reserved seats are available at the box office on performance day from 10:30 am – 1 pm. Or just grab a blanket and enjoy seating on the big hill. Miller Outdoor Theatre is located at 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

photo: VanHart

Free Charlotte’s Web Screening July 21 for HOUcheap Readers {Studio Movie Grill}

Studio Movie Grill Charlotte's WebUPDATE: All free passes are gone as of 11:38 am.

Houston on the Cheap is hosting an EXCLUSIVE free screening to Charlotte’s Web Monday, July 21, thanks to a partnership with Studio Movie Grill. I’m so excited to invite my readers to enjoy this classic for free!

Monday, July 21, 11 am
Studio Movie Grill Copperfield
8580 Highway 6, Houston (77095)

The theater has 250 seats — so it’s lots of space. But unfortunately, not enough for everyone! I’m trying to avoid disappointment for folks who can’t get in, but I’m afraid it will still happen despite advance planning. Please be understanding if this happens to you!

Please RSVP on the form below to attend the free movie July 21, 11 am. I’m sure it will fill up fast, so I will monitor the form and close it when it’s full.

This screening is not for day care groups or those larger than 10 people. If you can’t get into this screening, Studio Movie Grill is showing Charlotte’s Web for $2 the rest of the week (July 22-25) at 11 am.

It will be a fun morning — and I would love to meet you! There will be giveaways, too, including Charlotte’s Web books for the first 25 families!

7 Free Things to Do in Houston July 14-18

We Love Houston sign There’s never a dull moment in Houston. Here are 7 options for free fun this week (July 14-18) before planning your free and cheap weekend!

Monday (7/14) — Free movies continue this week at Alamo Drafthouse with Kung Fu Panda Monday at 11:35 am (Vintage Park) and 11:25 am (Mason Park). Kung Fu Panda is free each day through Thursday. Times vary each day. Don’t miss the $1 and $2 movies all summer, too, at Studio Movie Grill, Cinemark, and Regal plus  Catfree at Santikos Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Tuesday (7/15) — TUTS’ annual free summer musical kicks off Tuesday night at Miller Outdoor Theatre. This year’s performance features The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a successful Broadway show and movie. The show begins at 8:15 pm. Reserved seats under the covered area are available performance day at Miller Box office, 10:30 am – 1 pm with 4 tickets per person.

Wednesday (7/16) — If you love dogs, don’t miss free admission day to Houston World Series of Dogs Wednesday, 9 am – 3 pm. Plus free parking, to boot. The dog show is through Saturday. Admission is normally $15 for adults + $10 parking, so this saves a bundle!

Wednesday (7/16) — Enjoy a free outdoor movie night + healthy potluck thanks to Lonestar Fitness. The movie, Hungry for a Change, exposes the secrets the diet industry, food industry and weight loss industry don’t want you to know. Bring a favorite healthy snack to eat and share. The event is located at Lonestar Fitness, 6218 S. Rice.

Wednesday (7/16) — Not free but cheap! Wednesday features Family Rewind night for $2 tickets at Studio Movie Grill. This month features Annie. Family Rewind is held the 3rd Wednesday each month. Located at Copperfield and CityCentre locations.

Thursday (7/17) — Head to The Woodlands for Artist Expo 2014, a three-day exhibition open to the public for free. Classes are available in all art media for a fee. Browse more than 65 exhibits at the annual art extravaganza. Located at Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Expo hours are 9 am – 5 pm.

Thursday (7/17) — Thursday is the magic day in the Houston Museum District to visit many museums for free. Seven museums are free each Thursday, while a number are free every day.

  • Houston Museum of Natural Science — free Thursday 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Children’s Museum — free Thursday 5 pm – 8 pm
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston — free Thursday 10 am – 9 pm
  • The Health Museum — free Thursday 2 pm – 5 pm
  • The John C. Freeman Weather Museum — free Thursday 12 pm – 4 pm
  • Buffalo Soldiers National Museum — free Thursday 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Holocaust Museum Houston — free Thursday 2 pm – 5 pm

Houston Dog Show 2014: Half Price & Free Admission

houston dog showThis is a must-see event in my family every July!  The Houston World Series of Dog Shows returns this week, July 16-20. It’s a canine extravaganza for dog lovers featuring Best in Breed, performance events, demonstrations, agility contests, judging, seminars, canine musical freestyle — and of course shopping. Check out the overview schedule online here.

Get half-price tickets, for a limited time, thanks to Groupon: $15 for two tickets to the Houston World Series of Dog Shows ($30 value). Plus, save an extra 15% on any local Groupon deal with code LOCAL15, through July 15.

Wednesday will offer free admission and free parking from 9 am – 3 pm. At other times, adults are $15, seniors are $10, and kids 12 and under are free. Parking is $10, cash only. The event is held at NRG Center, 8400 Kirby Drive.

photo: Houston World Series of Dog Shows

Free Weekend Fun in Houston July 11-13

It’s another weekend in Houston with plenty of free fun! Check out these 14 Free Things to Do in Houston July 11-13:

free weekend fun in Houston

FRIDAY

Watch a movie under the moon — Catch a free screening of The Princess Bride Friday downtown at Market Square Park. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy this classic movie, thanks to Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow. Dogs are welcome! Movie begins at 8:30 pm at 301 Milam.

Head to the green — It’s another night of Chipotle Green Film series featuring A Place at the Table, on the jumbo outdoor screen at Discovery Green 8 pm. This educational movie shares how hunger affects people. Don’t miss free Chipotle and samples from Saint Arnold and Barefoot Wine. Bring nonperishable food items to help Houston Food Bank collect 1,000 pounds.

Engage with Houston art — Celebrate Houston’s finest art galleries at ArtHouston2014 Friday and Saturday. The annual event includes more than 30 local galleries hosting events throughout the city in and around Montrose. There is a concentration of 11 galleries on Colquitt near Kirby. Find the gallery map here. Event times vary by participating gallery.

Jam to the tunes — The Summer Concert series returns Friday at Missouri City’s Buffalo Run Park. The free event, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, features City Nights. This new park event is held the second weekend all summer. Located at 1122 Buffalo Run Blvd.

SATURDAY

Learn about primitive weapons — This month’s Second Saturday Settlers Series is all about Primitive Weapons + a Hawk Throw Contest, 1 pm – 3 pm at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center. Families can learn about tomahawks, black powder weapons and more. Located at 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble.

Enjoy Houston’s diverse music — The Houston Symphony’s Free Day of Music returns Saturday, noon – 10 pm in and around Jones Hall. The full day features 25 musical performances on six stages + kid-friendly fun, Instrument Petting Zoo, free salsa lessons, Harmonica clinics, food trucks and more.

Participate in the Harvest Festival — Don’t miss the annual Wine Harvest Festival at Haak Vineyards July 12. The family-friendly event is a great way to see the whole process from start to finish. The vineyard will be full so help pick grapes beginning at 9 am. In past years, the harvest is complete in 2 hours. Complimentary light breakfast for harvesters. Music kicks off at 11 am with a DJ. No reservations required for this free event. Haak Vineyard is located 35 miles south of Houston in Santa Fe, Texas, between Alvin and Galveston.

Engage with Houston art — Celebrate Houston’s finest art galleries at ArtHouston2014 Friday and Saturday. The annual event includes more than 30 local galleries hosting events throughout the city in and around Montrose. There is a concentration of 11 galleries on Colquitt near Kirby. Find the gallery map here. Event times vary by participating gallery.

Enjoy outdoor fun — It’s another weekend of free family fun thanks to 2nd Saturday at The Depot. The monthly event in Tomball features themed activities and games, concessions, music and Disney’s Teen Beach Movie on the giant inflatable screen. Event from 6:30 – 10 pm with the movie beginning at dark. Located at 201 S. Elm.

Play at summer campFamily Summer Camp at Bass Pro Shops offers free activities for kids Saturdays and Sundays  plus family workshops and more. It’s the last weekend of Family Summer Camp, which lasts noon to 5 pm. Engage in activities such as casting challenge, BB shooting range, weekly crafts, shooting arcade, free workshops, catch and release pond, and homemade ice cream Saturdays at 5 pm. Bass Pro Shops has two Houston-area locations in Katy (5000 Katy Mills Circle) and Pearland (1000 Basspro Drive).

Watch and dress like a pirate — It’s all things pirate at Central Green’s free outdoor movie night Saturday featuring Pirates of the Caribbean. Dress in your best pirate best for the costume contest and fun kicking off at 6 pm. Note: the venue shares that some scenes may not be appropriate for kids under 13. Located at Central Green Park at La Centerra, 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Love outdoor musicMusic Night on the Strand returns Saturday, 6 pm, with Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears playing R&B and Funk. The free performance is held at Saengerfest Park, 2302 Strand.

Listen to talent in actionSugar Land Superstar returns for its 9th season this summer. It kicks off July 12 from 7 pm – 9:30 pm. This American Idol-like competition features talented folks who compete through August 9. Located at Sugar Land Town Square at 2711 Town Center Blvd.

SUNDAY

Play some music — Enjoy a free concert by the Second Sunday Pickers Sunday at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center. Bring your own musical instrument to join in! Perfect for all ages, 2 pm – 4 pm. The group has been performing more than 25 years. Located at 20634 Kenswick in Humble.

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day: Dress as Cow July 11 for Free Food

Chick-fil-A cow dayDid you know Cow Appreciation Day is around the corner — Friday, July 11?

Folks who visit one of Chick-fil-A’s 1,700+ locations July 11 in a fully-dressed cow costume (“head to hoof”) will get a free combo meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner). Kids will get a free kid’s meal when fully dressed. Folks in “partial cow attire,” such as vest, hat or purse, will receive a free entree, so that’s still a good deal! For those who need a little help, download printable cow spots and masks online.

Be sure to share your cow costumes on social media with #CowAppreciationDay!