Studio Movie Grill: $2 Summer Refresher Series

smg summer refresher seriesA new series kicks off at Studio Movie Grill next week, the $2 Summer Refresher series. Here is your chance to see some of your old movie favorites on the big screen for just $2 before their sequel arrives in theaters. Here is the schedule:

July 21-24

Jurassic Park
Hunger Games
Magic Mike

July 28-31

Mrs. Doubtfire
Despicable Me
Pitch Perfect
Dumb & Dumber

In addition to $2 movies, take advantage of $5 Sangria special. There is no online booking fee to buy tickets online. Studio Movie Grill CityCentre and Copperfield are both participating locations.

Support Stay Family at Chick-fil-A July 15

More than 40 participating Chick-fil-A locations in the Houston area are donating 20% of sales July 15, 10:30 am – 8 pm, to help support Cassidy Stay, whose parents and four siblings were mass murdered by an ex-uncle last week.

Consider supporting directly through the Official fundraiser and it’s Go Fund Me page, if you aren’t a fan of Chick-fil-A. Prayers are another way to offer support as the family deals with this tragic situation.

chick fil a fundraiser

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Houston Aquarium: Two for Tuesdays in July

downtown aquarium HoustonTake advantage of half-price Downtown Aquarium tickets Tuesdays in July. The 2-for-1 All-Day Adventure Pass includes unlimited access to Shark Voyage, Aquarium Adventure Exhibit, Ferris Wheel, Carousel and Lighthouse Dive.

The Adventure Pass retails for $18.99, so the deal makes it about $9.50 per person. Print the online coupon here to get this deal. The coupon is valid for up to four people.

Houstonians can enjoy many of the Aquarium’s activities this summer including Shark Weekend (August 16-17) and free Salsa dance lessons each Friday, 7 pm – 11 pm. Find the Downtown Aquarium at 410 Bagby at Memorial.

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

Summer Fun Discounts: Dog Show, Circus, Lady Gaga, Houston Roller Derby, Sugar Land Skeeters, HMNS

SAVE EXTRA 15% on local Groupon deals through July 15 with LOCAL15.

Follow Houston on the Cheap’s Daily Deals tab to save 50% on Houston restaurants, services, events, and more! It’s right on the home page navigation bar. Here are a few deals that caught my eye today:

circusRingling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Built To Amaze July 16 -19, 23-24 at NRG Stadium (average savings 10%)

Houston Dog Show$15 for two tickets to Houston World Series of Dog Shows July 17-20 ($30 value). SAVE EXTRA 15% on local Groupon deals through July 15 with LOCAL15.

Marilyn: Forever Blonde$30 for Marilyn: Forever Blonde August 21-23 as part of the Brilliant Lecture Series at Wortham Theater Center ($60 value)

Houston Museum of Natural Science$10 for Houston Museum of Natural Science ($20 value adults and $15 value kids). Good for all year 2014.

Lady GagaLady Gaga: The ARTPOP Ball at Toyota Center July 16 (average savings 10%)

Houston Roller DerbyHouston Roller Derby$7 Ticket to the Houston Roller Derby July 19 ($15 value)

Sky High SportsTwo Hours of Jump Time or Private Trampoline Party at Sky High Sports (Up to 50% Off). Four Options Available. SAVE EXTRA 15% on local Groupon deals through July 15 with LOCAL15.

A Streetcar Named Desire $10 for A Streetcar Named Desire ($20 value)

Tarzan: the Musical$6.50 for Tarzan: The Musical ($13 value)

Beauty & the Beast JuniorFREE adult ticket for Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Junior” in Pearland July 26 ($12 value). Kid tickets are $3 (reg. $6).

skeeters fieldSugar Land Skeeters$6.50 for a ticket to Sugar Land Skeeters ($12.99 value). Choose from about 20 game dates.

Houston Comic Con –  $14 for admission to Houston Comic Con 8/29 for one with one print ($50.19 value), $25 for admission 8/29 for two with two prints ($100.38 value), $20 for admission 8/30 for one with one print ($60.19 value), and more. SAVE EXTRA 15% on local Groupon deals through July 15 with LOCAL15.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema$6 for a General Admission Movie Ticket at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema ($10 Value). SAVE EXTRA 15% on local Groupon deals through July 15 with LOCAL15.

Caribbean RumFest$10 – $50 to attend the 4th annual Caribbean Rum Fest at Jones Plaza downtown August 16-17 ($20 – $100 value).

The Texas Tenors$37.50 – $40 to see The Texas Tenors September 11 at Wortham Theater Center ($75 – $80 value).

Studio Movie Grill$5 for one movie ticket to Studio Movie Grill, $10 for 2 tickets ($20 value) or $20 for 4 tickets ($40 value). SAVE EXTRA 15% on local Groupon deals through July 15 with LOCAL15.

I am an affiliate partner with daily deal sites — meaning they thank me with compensation for sending folks to their sites.

6 Winners of Children’s Museum Giveaway

Childrens Museum of HoustonWe had a great giveaway last week for the Children’s Museum of Houston. Folks are excited about all the events and activities scheduled each day.

Out of 762 entries, there are 6 winners:

Gina Herring
Tammy Frye
Cassidy Stephens
Karen Porter
Kristen Jackson
Ivan Jimenez

Please respond to the email to claim your prize. If I don’t receive a response in 48 hours, I will select another winner. Watch for more fun giveaways in the future!

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


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.


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.


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!

Hit the Road: 5 Free Things to Do in San Antonio

Houston has plenty of free fun this summer, but if you want to hit the road, San Antonio is great at 3+ hours away. Colleen Pence of San Antonio Mom Blogs shares her ideas for 5 Free Things to Do in San Antonio.

San Antonio

Thanks to Vicki and Houston on the Cheap for inviting me to share some free San Antonio fun with you. I’m Colleen Pence from, and I love sharing everything free that I find in San Antonio.

Here are five free things to do in San Antonio throughout the year:

1. Tour the San Antonio Missions and walk or bike down the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River
Everyone remembers the Alamo (which is free to visit, year round) but did you know that just south of downtown San Antonio lie four, beautiful, historic Spanish missions (Concepción, San José, San Juan and Espada)? They’re connected along the San Antonio River by a scenic, 8-mile paved trail, perfect for walking and biking. The Missions are free to visit and guided tours are free as well. Spend a little money and rent a B-Cycle from kiosks located along the way (and all over San Antonio). For just $10 enjoy this fit form of transportation to tour the missions and all of downtown San Antonio for 24 hours. Want to keep the bike longer? A 7-day rental is just $24 and you can return your B-Cyle at any kiosk located throughout the city. If water travel is more your speed and you’ve got a canoe, there’s a 1.6 mile section of the river to paddle along from Mission Road to Padre Park.

Mission Reach

2. Stroll through the Pearl Farmer’s Market and down the Museum Reach of the San Antonio River
Slightly north of downtown San Antonio you’ll find another lovely stretch of paved pathways that take you along the San Antonio River (some construction is under way so consult the San Antonio River Authority website for possible detours. Start at the Pearl, a San Antonio hotspot for dining and shopping located on the site of the former Pearl Brewery. Head south to the San Antonio Museum of Art (free days/times listed below!) and then stroll further along to the Riverwalk proper, which is filled with restaurants, shops, music, and more. Saturday mornings, the Pearl’s already festive atmosphere fills with the sights, sounds, and magnificent smells of the Farmer’s Market which includes local vendors selling fresh meat, produce, flowers, honey, and more, as well as live music, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of opportunities for people and dog watching.

San Antonio Pearl

3. Visit San Antonio’s treasured museums, for free
From early to modern art, from children’s activities to science, from Texas history to Western art, San Antonio museums have something for everyone. And, you can see visit them for free! This post on San Antonio Mom Blogs has all of the days, hours, and details for free San Antonio museum fun.

Witte Museum

4. Visit San Antonio Parks
San Antonio has more than 185 parks and greenways and they are all FREE to visit! My family and I are park ambassadors for San Antonio and we’ve made the commitment to visit 20 San Antonio parks in the year 2014. Check out the full list of San Antonio Parks to visit. Here are a few of our favorite, must-visit San Antonio parks:

  • Eisenhower Park: With a hilltop view of downtown San Antonio and over five miles of paved and unpaved trails, this is one of the best places to hike in San Antonio.
  • San Pedro Springs: The second oldest park in America, San Pedro Springs is a great place to swim, for free, during the summer months.
  • Chris Park: This tranquil, one-acre oasis hidden away in the heart of downtown San Antonio is perfect for shady strolls, meditation, and photography. Created by artist/philanthroper Linda Pace  in the memory of her son Chris, it’s a love letter come to life, with artistic touches, lush greenery, and, when not in drought season, a flowing fountain. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., closed Mondays.

Chris Park

5. Visit the San Antonio Book Festival
Held once a year in the spring, the popular, free, and open-to-the-public San Antonio Book Festival brings nearly 100 authors to town to speak on panels and head up literary discussions. It also includes book sales, a technology area, cooking demonstrations, food trucks, live music, and theatre presentations. The kids’ zone brings reading to life for kids when they get to meet and hear their favorite authors read aloud from their books. Kids can also play at art booths and participate in other hands-on, literary-related activities. The Festival culminates in a Literary Death match (which does have a small charge of just $10 a ticket), pitting author against author as they read from their works in a hilarious fight to the “death.”

San Antonio Book Festival

More Free (and cheap) fun in the Alamo City:

Colleen PenceColleen Pence is a blogger, a social media consultant, a mama, a Parrothead, and a foodie who can’t cook. Her passion is finding and connecting San Antonio mom bloggers and sharing free things for families and kids to do in the Alamo City.

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