10 Free Things to Do in Houston in March

March is around the corner, so get these dates on your calendar for free Houston fun!
Here are 10 Free Things to Do in Houston March 2015:

Bayou Jamboree & Gumbo Showdown
March 7 @ Market Square Park (2 pm – 6 pm)

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

FUNonemal 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 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!

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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 a little differently this year. No 32¢ BBQ! All 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.

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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 paradeWatch 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.

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.

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.

City Hall Farmers Market Returns February 25

city hall farmers marketCity Hall Farmers Market makes its spring return February 25 after a short winter hiatus. This downtown market, run by Urban Harvest in partnership with the City of Houston, features more than 30 local vendors each Wednesday through June 24, 11 am – 1:30 pm, along City Hall’s reflection pool at 901 Bagby.

The variety ranges from farmers, food trucks, to top local chefs performing a special demo. This week, Recipe for Success Foundation will be launching its VegOut Challenge at the market — encouraging Houstonians to eat 30 different veggies for 30 days in March. There are prizes, so sign up online!

The Market continually provides the best local lunch downtown with farmers’ fresh produce, cheeses, coffee, made-to-order and pre-made meal offerings, desserts, and a number of vegan and vegetarian options. On a pretty day, it’s perfect to eat lunch outdoors!

If you’re coming from outside downtown, street parking is limited. Park underground at nearby Tranquility Park garage (400 Rusk) for $3 up to one hour or $6 for 1-2 hours or just $2/hour at the Hobby Center garage (800 Bagby).

photo courtesy Mayor’s Office of Special Events

7 Free Things to Do in Houston February 23-27

There’s never a dull moment in Houston. Here are 7 options for free fun in Houston February 23-27 before planning your free and cheap weekend!

We Love Houston sign

Monday (2/23) — Participate in a free local community art project, 360 Degrees Vanishing Beading Project, Monday 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm, at Central Library downtown. Houston and South African beaders will make decorative tapestries complete with 350,000 beads. These beautiful works of art will hang in Art League Houston’s main building.

Tuesday (2/24) — Kick off the Houston Rodeo this year downtown at Rodeo Roundup! The free annual event features free lunch, live music, the opportunity to learn from Rodeo committees, and a photo on a live longhorn. 11 am – 1 pm at City Hall, 901 Bagby.

Tuesday (2/24) — Learn the ins and outs of your fitness technology with this free class at REI Galleria, Training with Fitness Technology: Garmi Vivofit and Fitbit Flex. Instructors will share features through hands-on instruction. The group also will learn practical aspects outdoors, so bring your device. From 7 pm – 8:30 pm. Register online. Located at 7538 Westheimer.

Wednesday (2/25) — Lunch with the Birds returns Wednesday through mid-May. The free weekly event with Nature Discovery Center, noon – 1:15 pm, features free guided walks through Russ Pitman Park during migration season. You just might see warblers, vireos, thrushes, flycatchers, orioles and buntings. Located at 7112 Newcastle.

Wednesday (2/25) — The next weekly LIFE Workshop (Learning, Inspiration, Fellowship, Enrichment) in Cypress is a Chocolate Lover’s Dream. The group for adults and senior adults will learn the history of chocolate and taste plenty! From 10 am – 11 am at Lone Star College–Cy Fair, 9191 Barker Cypress.

Thursday (2/26) — Catch Musiqa Loft Concert free Thursday, 6:30 pm, at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. The program, inspired by the current exhibition, Double Life, includes four works including a world premiere by an intern. Located at 5216 Montrose.

Friday (2/27) — Celebrate Go Texan Day Friday! The annual citywide event encourages folks to don their Rodeo garb all day. Frost Bank is celebrating by providing its annual Frost Bank Chuckwagon Lunch complete with brisket sliders, sides, cobbler and drinks, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm. Located at its neighborhood centers in Westchase, Sugar Land, Pearland, and Rice Village.

Houston Rodeo Roundup Kicks Off 2015 Houston Rodeo

Houston Rodeo RoundupGrab a partner and two-step down to City Hall steps tomorrow for Houston’s Rodeo Roundup 2015 February 24. Enjoy a free lunch and drink outdoors at City of Houston’s annual rodeo kick-off party. The festivities feature live music, food, games and free admission 11 am – 1 pm in front of City Hall. Pose for a photo on a Texas Longhorn steer if you dare, like I did! Meet and mingle with volunteers from more than 100 rodeo committees. Mayor Annise Parker will be on hand to proclaim the city’s Go Texan Day.

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo fun continues with citywide Go Texan Day February 27 and Downtown Rodeo Parade February 28. Official rodeo and entertainment kick off March 3 with Eric Church.

Follow Houston on the Cheap for ways to save at the Houston Rodeo this year!

Free Weekend Fun in Houston February 20-22

Houston is full of free fun every weekend!  Check out the latest collection of Free Things to Do in Houston February 20-22.

downtown houston

FRIDAY

Watch a Lion Dance — Houston Premium Outlets celebrates “Year of the Green Sheep” February 20, 4:30 pm, with traditional Lion Dance performances. The Lion Dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune in the coming year. VIP Shoppers also can take advantage of special offers in celebration of Spring Festival. The Outlets are located at 29300 Hempstead Road (Hwy 290 near Fairfield) in Cypress.

SATURDAY

Love a book — Book lovers will gather at the Montgomery County Book Festival Saturday. The free annual event includes panels and keynote sessions with a variety of authors. Keynote speakers feature Andrew Smith and Ellen Hopkins. Informative panels focus on topics such as mystery genre, writing children’s literature, graphic novels, censorship, fantasy and magic, romance, contemporary, paranormal, and more. Located at 3200 College Park Dr.

Celebrate “Year of the Goat” — Lunar New Year Houston near Chinatown lasts two days, February 21-22. The weekend features food, fun, Lion and Dragon dances, music, martial arts, 1 million lucky red firecrackers and more. Admission is free, located at Viet Hoa Center 8388 W. Sam Houston Parkway at Beltway Plaza. Hours are 11 am to 7 pm both days.

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.

field of lightExplore Field of Light — It’s the last weekend to enjoy the special art installation at Discovery Green, Bruce Munro’s Field of Light. Hit the park after dusk to enjoy the 4,500 glass spheres connected by fiber optic cable. The exhibit is lit 3 pm – 11 pm nightly through February 22.

Get kids writing — Families can take advantage of a free Young Writers Workshop each Saturday, 10:30 am at Discovery Green. This special opportunity is a joint partnership between Writers in the Schools, Discovery Green, and HPL Express. Located at 1500 McKinney.

See a Monster truck — A monster is heading to Cypress this weekend! The Raminator (Ram monster truck) will be onsite at the Berry Center in Cypress, courtesy of Northwest Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. Folks can take a photo and grab an autograph with the driver as well as get up close to the huge truck. Test drives will be available with the Ram 1500. The dealer will give a donation for each test drive to Cy Fair Education Foundation. Hours are 7 am – 7 pm Saturday and 10 am – 6 pm Sunday. Located at 8877 Barker Cypress Road in Cypress.

Watch a Lion Dance — Houston Premium Outlets celebrates “Year of the Green Sheep” February 21 (noon) with traditional Lion Dance performances. The Lion Dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune in the coming year. VIP Shoppers also can take advantage of special offers in celebration of Spring Festival. The Outlets are located at 29300 Hempstead Road (Hwy 290 near Fairfield) in Cypress.

Touch a truck — Kids love the Touch a Truck events to get up close to all kinds of big trucks. This event returns to The Woodlands Saturday morning at Rob Fleming Park. A sensory-friendly version begins at 9 am and the regular Touch a Truck is 10 am to noon. Don’t miss the giant sandbox and the Construction Zone. Located at 6535 Creekside Forest Drive in The Woodlands.

Enjoy family time — Experience Mel Chin Rematch exhibit with your family at Family Day, Contemporary Arts Museum Saturday, noon – 4 pm. Located at 5216 Montrose.

Browse for summer fun — The 19th annual Camp Fair & Summer Vacation Expo continues this weekend Saturday at First Colony Mall (10 am – 4 pm). The event features 60 different organizations representing overnight, day camps, sports camps and more for Houston-area kids. Head online to Houston Family Magazine for a complete list of exhibiting camps.

SUNDAY

raminator truckSee a Monster truck — A monster is heading to Cypress this weekend! The Raminator (Ram monster truck) will be onsite at the Berry Center in Cypress, courtesy of Northwest Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. Folks can take a photo and grab an autograph with the driver as well as get up close to the huge truck. Test drives will be available with the Ram 1500. The dealer will give a donation for each test drive to Cy Fair Education Foundation. Hours are 7 am – 7 pm Saturday and 10 am – 6 pm Sunday. Located at 8877 Barker Cypress Road in Cypress.

Celebrate “Year of the Goat” — Lunar New Year Houston near Chinatown continues February 22. The day features food, fun, Lion and Dragon dances, music, martial arts, 1 million lucky red firecrackers and more. Admission is free, located at Viet Hoa Center 8388 W. Sam Houston Parkway at Beltway Plaza. Hours are 11 am to 7 pm.

Lunar New Year Festivals in Houston 2015

lion dance Tet Fest 600The official Chinese New Year is February 19, but celebrations kick off this weekend and beyond. Here are 2015 Chinese New Year festivals in Houston:

February 14

2015 Lunar New Year Festival (Southwest Houston)– Celebrate the Year of the Goat at the annual Lunar New Year celebration Saturday, February 14, at the Chinese Community Center. The free fun features traditional Dragon and Lion dances, cultural performances, exhibitions, arts and crafts, carnival games, food and free parking. The festivities are 10 am – 4 pm at 9800 Town Park.  *FREE*

February 20, 21 or 22

“Year of the Green Sheep” (Cypress) — Houston Premium Outlets celebrates “Year of the Green SheepFebruary 20 (4:30 pm) and February 21 (noon) with traditional Lion Dance performances. The Lion Dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune in the coming year. VIP Shoppers also can take advantage of special offers in celebration of Spring Festival. The Outlets are located at 29300 Hempstead Road (Hwy 290 near Fairfield) in Cypress.  *FREE*

Lunar New Year Houston (near Chinatown) — The celebration lasts two days, February 21-22, at the Lunar New Year Houston. The weekend features food, fun, Lion and Dragon dances, music, martial arts, 1 million lucky red firecrackers and more. Admission is free, located at Viet Hoa Center 8388 W. Sam Houston Parkway at Beltway Plaza. Hours are 11 am to 7 pm both days.  *FREE*

Texas Lunar Festival (downtown)– The Texas Lunar Festival is moving from Alief to downtown Discovery Green this year for its annual celebration, February 21, 10 am – 5 pm. This annual festival features food, entertainment, acrobats, lion dancers, martial arts demonstrations, children’s games, and more. Admission is $8/adults and free for children 12 and under. This event is a fundraiser for International Trade Center.  *NOT FREE*

February 28

Chinese New Year Festival (Bellaire) — The Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School PTO is sponsoring its 3rd annual Chinese New Year Festival February 28, 10 am – 3 pm. The free festival features cultural performances from the student body, Dragon Dance, cultural crafts and activities, Chinese performances, bounce house and more. Games and food are additional fees. Located in Bellaire at 6300 Avenue B at Bissonnet.  *FREE*

photo: Tet Festival