Value Wednesday at Houston Rodeo Today

houston rodeoToday is the last Value Wednesday at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo! A $10 bill can get you in the livestock show, rodeo, and musical performance in the upper level of NRG. Today’s Value Wednesday performer features Florida Georgia Line.

If you’re heading to NRG just for AGventure and Kid Country fun, it’s $5 Value Pricing for adults on Wednesdays, with kids and seniors free. Count on $2 rides, $2 games, and $2 food bites from 11 am – 4 pm in Kids Country Carnival. Check out value pricing at various food and merchandise vendors as well. Have fun and go save money!

Check out my original post on more ways to do Houston Rodeo on the Cheap!

photo: flickr/kim alaniz

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

One more week of Spring Break in the Houston area. Here is my list of free and cheap fun for Houston Spring Break March 16-22, 2015.

Houston spring break: free and cheap

1) 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. 

2) Houston Livestock Show & RodeoValue Wednesday is the day to save money on Houston Rodeo fun. Select seats are just $10 to the rodeo and concert with Florida Georgia Line March 18. Check out the livestock show, AGventure, carnival and shopping at NRG 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.

3) Main Street Theater — Main Street Theater is offering 1:30 pm matinees during Spring Break: 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.

4) Studio Movie Grill — Catch a $3 daily 11 am matinee of SMG Toons: Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Bitty Mysteries March 16-19. This is only at the CityCentre location. 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.

5) Alamo Drafthouse — It’s Teacher Appreciation through March 22 at Alamo Drafthouse for Spring Break: teachers, school/university admin and employees get free movie ticket to any movie any day! Valid at Vintage Park and Mason Park locations. Plus free Alamo Kids Camp movie this week, March 16-19 — Spirited Away — at both Vintage Park and Mason Park.

6) 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 is Amazingly Immature Spring Break. 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. Plus two free movies each day: Big Hero 6 and Despicable Me (except March 18). First 100 at the door get a free giveaway. Go free on Thursdays 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.

7) 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 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. $9/adults and $7/children. 1515 Hermann Drive.

8) The Museum of Printing History — Kids can attend a free workshop, Kids Springing into Publishing, March 17-19 from 10 am – 2 pm. Kids can create content and learn to make their own zine. This is sponsored by ZineFest and Houston Book Arts Group. Located at 1324 W. Clay.

9) 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.

10) Katy Contemporary Arts MuseumAdmission is free every day (Wednesday – Sunday) at this new Katy museum. Or for just $5 per family, enjoy Night (Sounds) at the Museum Wednesday, March 18, 6:30 pm – 8 pm. Learn the sounds of night wildlife and create an in-class spring symphony. Located at 805 Avenue B in Katy. Register online.

11) 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.

12) 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.

13) 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

14) Blessington 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.

15) 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 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 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.

16) 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.

17) 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.

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Alamo Drafthouse: Free Movies for Teachers

alamo drafthouse teacher dealIt’s Teacher Appreciation at Alamo Drafthouse during Spring Break this year.

{UPDATED}: New locations around the country are now participating. Find them online.

School and university faculty members, teachers, administrators, and employees can get a free movie ticket to any movie, any day March 7-22. That covers both Spring Breaks in Houston!

Simply show your ID at the box office for your free movie ticket. One ticket per day. Valid at both locations in Houston — Vintage Park and Mason Park.

**For more Spring Break fun {free & cheap in Houston} check out my big list:
Free & Cheap Spring Break Fun in Houston.

Free Frozen Treats: Chick-fil-A, Rita’s Ice & more

It’s a great week for free frozen treats in Houston!

chick fil a frosted lemonadeChick-fil-A: Enjoy a new frozen treat at Chick-fil-A! Frosted Lemonade combines your favorite lemonade and Icedream. Check out these locations for free Frosted Lemonade!

Leave a comment if you know of other locations.

Rita’s Italian Ice: Get ready for Spring with a free Italian ice from Rita’s Friday, March 20, to kick off the first day of Spring. This freebie is available from noon – 9 pm only. Find 4 Houston area locations in NW Houston (Steeplechase), Katy, Clear Lake, and Sugar Land. A new location will open Houston Heights (2802 White Oak).

Dairy Queen: Celebrate Dairy Queen’s 75th anniversary with Free Cone Day! Get a a free small vanilla ice cream cone March 16. This is available all day, one per person

National Ravioli Day & Other Pasta Deals March 18

National Ravioli Day is later this week on March 20 — but folks are celebrating early this year. Check out these specials:

ravioli day 2015BRIO Tuscan Grille — Celebrate 50% off any ravioli dish March 18 for National Ravioli Day. Choose from ravioli items including Crispy Cheese Ravioli, Ravioli di Bello, Ravioli alla Vodka, and Cheese Ravioli al Forno. Dine in only. BRIO is located at CityCentre and The Woodlands.

Buca di Beppo —  This isn’t truly a deal for National Ravioli Day, but it’s a new coupon. Take advantage of the $40 Meal Deal where Four Can Eat for $40. Get your coupon online. Located on Buffalo Speedway and in Conroe.

Spaghetti Warehouse — Imagine a 4-course meal for just $12.99! It’s called Warehouse Trios with choice of soup/salad, appetizer, entree, and dessert. Not a National Ravioli Day deal, but a great deal right now! No coupon required. Spaghetti Warehouse is located at 901 Commerce.

Free Weekend Fun in Houston March 13-15

Get ready for a weekend of free fun! What are your plans? Here is a snapshot of Free Things to Do in Houston March 13-15:

Discovery Green

FRIDAY

Party with the French — The French Cultures Festival arrives downtown at Discovery Green Friday to kick off a month of events sponsored by the French Consulate in Houston. The free outdoor event features music from French musicians plus Houston natives Wild Moccasins from 7 pm – 10 pm. French sweets will be available for purchase. Discovery Green is located at 1500 McKinney.

SATURDAY

St Patrick's Day paradeWear your green — Celebrate the Irish at Houston St. Patrick’s Parade Saturday in downtown Houston. The 56th annual parade features 100+ entries beginning at Minute Maid Park at noon. The fun continues at Lucky’s Pub with the awards and a toastings. Find the parade route online.

Learn archery — This month’s Second Saturday Settlers series focuses on primitive archery. Watch demonstrations of bows and arrows and learn how they were made. From 1 pm – 3 pm at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center.

Engage in danceProject Dance Houston returns Saturday for a free family-friendly dance concert, 11 am – 6 pm. The event features all types of dance styles. Located at 1500 McKinney.

Enjoy family fun2nd Saturday at The Depot offers lots of free fun each month. Don’t miss entertainment, games, activities, inflatables at Tomball Depot 5 pm – 8 pm. Catch the outdoor movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs at dark. Located at 201 S. Elm in Tomball.

Watch movie under the moon — Free outdoor movies return to Sugar Land Town Square this weekend with Big Hero 6. The 7:30 pm movie is sponsored by First Colony Church of Christ.

SUNDAY

Love a parade — Another St. Patrick’s Day parade tradition continues in North Houston Sunday with the 37th  annual 1960 Parade Sunday, March 15, 2 pm. The parade travels east starting at Champions Forest and ending at Kuykendahl. The vendor area is a new addition this year.

Enjoy family dayFamily Day returns to Bayou Bend Sunday! Springtime Sensations features programs and activities to celebrate nature through music demonstrations, performances, crafts, giveaways and more. Take a tour through the first floor of the house. Bayou Bend is located at 6003 Memorial Drive.

Love Mini Pops — Pop Shop Houston and Pavement Clothing present March Mini Pops Sunday, March 15, noon – 6 pm (postponed from March 7}. Make free DIY colored paper pom poms, browse vintage and handmade items, and enjoy live music at 3pm. Located at 1657 Westheimer.

Enjoy a concert in the park — The popular Concert in the Park returns every Sunday in March and April in The Woodlands, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. This weekend features live music and Spring Break fun on a giant slide. Located at 2505 Lake Woodlands Drive.

Houston on the Cheap — with Amy Davis

Welcome to Discovering Houston on the Cheap, a series highlighting ideas for
cheap dates, cheap meals, Houston’s best-kept secret and more — all from the perspective
of local chefs, media personalities, athletes, and folks in local business.

amy davisAmy Davis, KPRC 2 Houston, Consumer Expert
{Emmy-award winning Amy Davis in an investigative reporter and Consumer Expert at KPRC 2 Houston. She started her TV news career at KPRC as an intern, worked at stations around the country, and returned in 2005.}

1) Favorite spot for a cheap meal: Luby’s

Let me explain. When you’re dining with a 4-year-old and a 12-month-old, you can’t beat the price or selection on Wednesdays and Saturdays. That’s when kids eat free!

At least once a week, my family is picking up from or dining at Romano’s Pizza on West Gray. We almost always get a large cheese pizza; but everything on the menu is delicious!

2) Favorite spot for a cheap date: Brennan’s for lunch!

My husband and I have found day dates far more enjoyable and leisurely since we’ve had children. If we can swing a day off work together, when child care is already covered, we go to lunch. The lunch menu is at least half the price of the dinner menu; and the food is the same. Did you know Brennan’s has 25 cent martinis Monday through Friday until 3pm? Then, a lazy stroll or bike ride down the Buffalo Bayou hike and bike trail. On second thought, maybe we should do the bike ride, then the martinis!

3) Houston’s Best Kept Secret: High Fashion Home

This store is like my HGTV. I could wander the floors for hours, just window shopping. There’s a little something for everyone. When I take my 4-year-old, it’s hard to drag him away from the toy section so I can browse the furniture. It would be disingenuous to call this place a bargain, but I have found a great deal or two in the clearance section on the top floor. There are also some fabulous finds at the fabric store across the street. I had drapes made for my daughter’s nursery based on a picture I found on Pinterest. The exact fabric was more than $40 a yard; but I found similar fabric in the clearance section for less than $4 a yard!

4) Best Place to Save Money in Houston: Facebook Exchanges

These are popping up all over Facebook: Memorial Area Trading, Heights Trading, Beg, Barter & Buy in Magnolia. You have to be invited to join a group, but when someone is cleaning out their closet or purging baby gear they no longer need, you can get incredible deals on second hand designer clothes, purses and strollers.

5) Favorite Houston Festival or Annual Event: Moonlight Bicycle Ramble

I can’t wait until my little ones are old enough so our whole family can do this ride together. Nearly 2,000 riders meet at the George R. Brown on the Saturday before Halloween at midnight for a moonlit ride around Houston. There is an 8-mile ride and a 20-mile ride. Some cyclists are wearing costumes; some string flashing lights on their bikes. Even streets you drive everyday look new and different in the saddle of your bike at 1am!

6) My perfect day in Houston would be:

My perfect day in Houston would be waking up without an alarm clock, whenever that might be! I’d head first to Common Bond Bakery in Montrose for breakfast and a cappuccino. Then I would spend a few hours on a little retail therapy, shopping in some of my favorite boutiques, like Jubilee on 19th Street in the Heights, Kuhl-Linscomb on West Alabama, taking a break for custard and macaroons at Sweet Petit just a few blocks away. On a nice fall or spring day, I’d head to Buchanan’s Nursery in the Heights to pick up some flowers and plants and head home to get my hands dirty in my very neglected yard!

Leaving for Guatemala on My Mission Trip

Compassion InternationalOne day until I leave on my mission trip to Guatemala with Compassion and BCF! I’m just full of emotions: anxious, excited, and hopeful of all the good that will come from this trip.

Thanks to my amazing readers at Houston on the Cheap, I received $950 towards my trip, when I asked for support. I truly appreciate every dollar that came in — and love your generous spirit. I ended up just $700 away from my total goal of $2,600, with the extra from friends and family. Thank you, thank you!

Our group will be leading a Vacation Bible School in Guatemala, painting, and meeting the kids we sponsor through Compassion. I get to meet our sponsored child, Rubi and her family Thursday. I can’t wait to share a photo of us together! {If you’d like to sponsor a child through Compassion, get info here.}

As a result, new content on the site will be light next week, but the “weekly staple” Free Weekend Fun will definitely be published. Follow my big lists in the mean time:

I am leaving my laptop at home to be “present” in this amazing opportunity. See you back on the site March 16!

Free Weekend Fun in Houston March 6-8

The first weekend of March is here! What are your plans? Here is a snapshot of 16 Free Things to Do in Houston March 6-8:

Houston

FRIDAY

Listen to classical musicHouston Civic Symphony, our local community orchestra, presents a free concert Friday, 8 pm, at Houston Baptist University’s Dunham Theater. The evening features Young Artist Concerto Winners plus Daugherty’s Red Cape Tango and Janacek’s Sinfonietta. HBU is located at 7502 Fondren.

SATURDAY

HOU regattaParty on the bayou — Houston’s 43rd annual Buffalo Bayou Regatta kicks off Saturday as Texas’ largest canoe and kayak race. Gather around the finish line from 11 am – 2 pm to cheer on the racers at downtown’s Sesquicentennial Park (400 Texas)! Enjoy free live Zydeco music, rock climbing, and the awards ceremony. Food and drink are available for purchase. This event is rain or shine!

Relax with yoga — Don’t miss free Blissful Warrior Yoga every Saturday, 9 am, at Discovery Green. This yoga class brings together elements of tai chi, kung fu, balance techniques and energy building poses. Located at 1500 McKinney on the wooden deck. No pre-registration required.

Explore nature — It’s a free, fun, educational day at NatureFest with topics such as birds, native plants, and nature photography 9 am – 3 pm. Guided nature walks, pontoon boat tours, live animals, and nature-related educational booths will be available. Located at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, 20635 Kenswick, in Humble.

Fly a kite — Sugar Land’s Cultural Kite Festival returns Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm, for all things kites. Get ready for kite making, kite competitions, kite flying, cultural performances, and more. Free shuttles will be available from U of H Sugar Land campus. Located at Sugar Land Memorial Park, 15300 University Blvd.

FUNonemal Family FestivalCelebrate family funFUNomenal Family Festival returns Saturday to Discovery Green. The free family event features Baby Olympics, foam parties, rockwall, Ballet Folklorico performances, and more. The event is 11 am – 6 pm at 1500 McKinney. photo: Katya Horner

Make origami — The first weekend of each month Houston Center for Contemporary Craft offers a free craft for kids with Hands On Houston. This month features origami and tea sampling. The Path of Tea will be onsite sharing tea culture and the history of serving tea. Drop in anytime between 11 am – 3 pm. Located at 4848 Main.

Watch family flick  — Alamo Drafthouse is hosting free movie screenings of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Saturday and weekdays for spring break March 9-12. Saturday movie time is 4:30 pm at Vintage Park only. Mason Park and Vintage Park are showing the weekday movies. Seats are first-come, first-serve. Get a reserved seat by pre-purchasing a $5 food and beverage voucher online.

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.

Watch movie under the moon — Deer Park’s Dow Park is hosting a free outdoor movie, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Saturday, 7:30 pm. This is held the first weekend each month.

Visit museum and zoo –First full weekend means free admission for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch cardholders Saturday and Sunday through its national “Museums on Us” program. In Houston, free admission includes the Houston Zoo, Children’s Museum of Houston and the The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Limited to card holders only, not their children. Check museum links for hours and location.

Grab a friend for fun — It’s BYOF (Bring Your Own Friends) day at IKEA Houston Saturday. The day features perks for you and your friends including free breakfast (with coupon), free IKEA blue bag, and BOGO free dessert. IKEA Family members can take advantage of free workshops on organization and sustainable living, exclusive one-day offers, and more! Located at I-10 and Silber.

Grow patio vegetables — Learn to grow vegetables in Saturday’s free weekly clinic at Cornelius Nursery, 10:15 am. Located at 2233 S. Voss.

SUNDAY

Love Mini Pops — Rescheduled to March 15 due to weather. Pop Shop Houston and Pavement Clothing present March Mini Pops Sunday, noon – 6 pm. Make free DIY colored paper pom poms, browse vintage and handmade items, and enjoy live music at 3pm. Located at 1657 Westheimer.

Visit museum and zoo –First full weekend means free admission for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch cardholders Sunday through its national “Museums on Us” program. In Houston area, free admission includes the Houston Zoo, Children’s Museum of Houston and the The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Limited to card holders only, not their children. Check museum links for hours and location.

Spend Spring Break at Bayou Bend

You’ll find fun for all ages at this historic estate in River Oaks during Spring Break.

Bayou Bend

Take part in Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens‘ variety of child-friendly activities — from crafts and storytelling to games and scavenger hunts. Get a look inside the Bayou Bend mansion and enjoy springtime beauty in the 14-acre gardens. Visit during both weeks of Spring Break: Monday–Friday, March 9–13 & March 16–20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Daily admission is FREE for ages 18 & younger, and $10 for adults. No reservations are needed, so drop by at your convenience!

Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, 6003 Memorial Drive, is the house museum for American decorative arts of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Visit Bayou Bend online for all the info.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bayou Bend.

**For more Spring Break fun {free & cheap in Houston} check out my big list:
Free & Cheap Spring Break Fun in Houston.