Free Weekend Fun in Houston October 17-19

It’s another weekend in Houston with plenty of free fun! Check out these 16 Free Things to Do in Houston October 17-19:

free fun in Houston


Scare up some funBoo on the Boardwalk continues for Halloween-themed fun through October 31. Enjoy trick or treating at retail stores 4 pm – 8 pm Fridays – Sundays, outdoor movie each Friday night, kids’ activities and more. This Friday’s movie and music is Beetlejuice and music by Epic Blaze. Lots of free fun but haunted houses have a fee. Located in Kemah.


Pick the perfect pumpkin — The Nature Discovery Center presents its Pumpkin Patch fall festival, October 18-19, from 11 am – 4 pm. Enjoy carnival games, pumpkin patch, fall crafts, games, wagon rides, food and drink. Free with fee for some activities. Located at 7112 Newcastle Dr.

Texian Heritage FestivalCelebrate Texian heritage — Don’t miss the Texian Heritage Festival Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm, at Montgomery’s historical park. The day features Texas Independence battle reenactments, Native American dancers, and a Texian Army Tent Encampment. It’s a great way to explore the daily lives of Texas settlers on the frontier in the 1800s. Fernland Historical Park has four cabins from the 1800s. The festival is located at the historic park, 780 Clepper in Montgomery. photo: Texian Heritage Festival

Go wild outdoors — Get ready for free family fun at the 8th annual KBR Kid’s Day: Wild on Buffalo Bayou Saturday, 11am – 3 pm. The day features activity stations with hands-on activities, pontoon boat tours, local entertainment and performers, Halloween Costume Parade, kayak and skateboarding demos, and Birds of Prey Show. This event, sponsored by Buffalo Bayou Partnership and KBR is located at Downtown’s Sabine Promenade, 150 Sabine Street (between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive).

Engage with energy – Don’t miss this free family festival around all-things energy, Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm. Energy Day features more than 70 kid-friendly demonstrations and energy exhibits, live music, contests, food, and fun. The festival highlights the importance of energy in the lives of Houstonians. Its mission is to spark the interests of the next generation in energy-related careers. The event is at Sam Houston Park, 1000 Bagby.

 Celebrate Centennial Gardens — Enjoy music, food, fun, performances and more at the Family Celebration of McGovern Centennial Gardens, Hermann Park’s newest improvement project. Schedule includes garden tours, children’s activities, art talk and art walk. Saturday, 9:30 am – 5 pm at Hermann Park.

Support the pups — Dog lovers can unite at Barkitecture Houston, an annual local fundraiser supporting Pup Squad and its rescue dogs. The city’s best architects and designers join together Saturday to build creative, designer dog houses for silent auction. The free event also features shopping and fun. Bring your dog, of course. This event is at GreenStreet downtown, noon to 5 pm, with free parking at 1301 Main Street garage.

See WWII Aircraft — Don’t miss your chance to tour the WWII Museum and visit the Hangar of the Houston Wing of the Commemorative Air Force Saturday 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.

Thrill at the mill — Play out on the farm with free admission October 18 only for Thrill at the Mill. It’s all at 7 Acre Wood 10 am – 4 pm in Conroe near The Woodlands. Enjoy park and games, petting zoo, putt putt golf, pumpkins, rope slide, playground, live music, free candy and more!

Free outdoor movies in HoustonWatch movies under the stars — It’s a big weekend for free outdoor movies in Houston. 1) Central Green Park, Katy: Batman , dusk 2) Sugar Land Town Square: Monsters University, 7 pm 3) Discovery Green: The Bully Project documentary, 7:30 pm 4) Pearland Town Square: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, 8 pm

See boats in action — Head to Sugar Land for the 11th annual Dragon Boat Regatta Saturday and Sunday. Watch dragon races, enjoy cultural performances and enjoy Asian cuisine. Some of the performers include belly dancing, Chinese Yo Yo, Kung Fu, and Asian Pie Eating Contest. This year’s theme is Breast Cancer Survivors. Held at Brooks Lake at Fluor in Sugar Land 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Scare up some funBoo on the Boardwalk features Halloween-themed fun through October 31. Enjoy trick or treating at retail stores 4 pm – 8 pm Fridays – Sundays. This week’s Saturday fun includes kids’ corner activities, Monster Magic Show, pumpkin decorating, Costume Contest (12 and under), Zombie Night Party, and music by Rapture. Lots of free fun but haunted houses have a fee. Located in Kemah.

Celebrate Korean culture — The Korean Festival kicks off Saturday, October 18, 10 am – 7 pm, at Discovery Green. Enjoy a variety of performances featuring folk musicians, Korean dancers, TaeKwonDo masters plus fabulous culinary cuisine. Located at 1500 McKinney downtown.


bayou bend family dayEnjoy family day at Bayou BendFree Family Day returns to Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens Sunday as the historic home celebrates “Energy: A Texas Legacy.” Families are encouraged to visit between 1 pm – 5 pm for music, games, art-making activities and more such as hunt for dinosaur food in the gardens, do a science experiment, and draw with charcoal. Don’t miss the chance to tour the first floor of Bayou Bend’s historic mansion. Located at 6003 Memorial Drive. photo: Bayou Bend

Scare up a pumpkinConcert in the Park is back Sunday in The Woodlands with a Jack-o-Lantern Challenge. Enjoy a family pumpkin carving competition during the concert in Northshore Park. The Jack-o-Lantern Challenge begins at 5:30 pm. This week’s music is provided by Subdivided Band. Located at 2505 Lake Woodlands Drive. This is the last week in the fall series.

Scare up some funBoo on the Boardwalk features Halloween-themed fun through October 31. Enjoy trick or treating at retail stores 4 pm – 8 pm Fridays – Sundays. This week’s Sunday fun includes pumpkin decorating, guessing games, creepy creatures, and music by Moodafaruka. Lots of free fun but haunted houses have a fee. Located in Kemah.

Katy Budget Books $1 or Less Semi-Annual Sale

BooksIt’s a book lover’s dream! Katy Budget Bookssemi-annual sale returns October 16 – November 2. This fabulous independent retailer is discounting more than 50,000 overstock used books for $1 or less. Find children’s books for 40¢, paperback books for 75¢ or less, and hardcover books for $1. All sale books will be marked on the bottom.

More books will be added to the shelves each night, so you might need to visit several times! Katy Budget Books is located at 2450 Fry Road (north of I-10) in Katy.

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Test Drive Lincolns & $50 Goes to Houston SPCA

Driven to GiveTest drive a set of Lincolns this weekend and $50 will be donated to Houston SPCA! West Point Lincoln is sponsoring this fun Driven to Give campaign to make a difference in the lives of animals in need. Guests are invited to drive the new 2015 MKC (cue Matthew McConaughey commerical!) and 2015 MKZ.

Where: Houston SPCA
When: Saturday, October 18, 10 am – 3 pm
What: Test drive Lincolns, meet the adoptable animals, and get a free Texas Blizzard Shaved Ice

This is the third year for West Point Lincoln’s Driven to Give campaign to help organizations in the Houston community. Houston SPCA was a natural fit for West Point Lincoln’s charity of choice, since so many employees feel passionately about its mission.

“Driven to Give is a fantastic way to give back to the Houston SPCA,” says Chris Poulos, vice president/general manager, West Point Lincoln. “We hope it will bring a lot of people to the shelter to not only meet the animals up for adoption but also see how good these pets look in a Lincoln!”

Seven Lincolns will be onsite at Houston SPCA, so lines shouldn’t be an issue! Folks are asked to drive the MKC and MKZ. Houston SPCA is located at 900 Portway off 610 & 290.


Wings Over Houston Airshow Discount Tickets & Free Flights for World War II Veterans

Wings Over HoustonIf you plan early, you can save money on some of Houston’s favorite annual events.

Wings Over Houston Airshow returns to Ellington Airport November 1-2 for its 30th year, produced by Commemorative Air Force. It’s a jam-packed weekend adventure featuring U.S. Navy Blue Angels, vintage warplane demonstrations, civilian acrobatic pilots, Tuskeegee Airmen Traveling Exhibit, Legends and Heroes autograph tent, Vietnam Demonstration and Tribute, Freedom Flyers, displays of modern and vintage aircraft, along with kids’ zone, food, and vendors.  photo: Wings Over Houston Airshow

World War II veterans can receive a free flight on Ward’s P-51-D Mustang “Pecos Bill,” Friday, October 31. Contact Freedom Flyers at 512.756.6163 or email Cowden Ward at to request a flight and make arrangements. Requests over the six slots will be honored and scheduled for different dates.

Beat the lines and save a bit of cash with online advance purchase:

  • adults: $25 + $2 fee ($30 at gate)
  • kids (6-11): $4 + .50 fee ($5 at gate)
  • kids under 6: free
  • Family Pack: $60 + $5 fee. Admission for 2 adults and up to 4 kids (6-11). Available online only.

Purchase your discount tickets online here. Discount tickets also are available at Kroger for $25 and $4, adult and child, respectively.

Free Admission

Vietnam Wall traveling exhibitFree admission Friday, October 31, 8 am – 5 pm, for folks interested in the Vietnam Demonstration and Traveling Wall exhibit, a 3/5 scale of the Vietnam Memorial Wall located in Washington, D.C. The wall honors those who gave their lives during Vietnam War at 300 ft. long and 6 ft. tall.

Ellington Airport is 15 miles south of downtown Houston.  photo: Maureen Welsh

Half-Price Houston Fun: Turkey Trot, Houston Rockets, Heights Candy Bar, Joshua Bell, Nightmare on 1960…

The daily deal folks added some great half-price deals for fall fun in Houston. Here are a few that caught my eye today:

Houston RocketsHouston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs up to 50% off (pre-season) — Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs  October 24 at Toyota Center (average savings 50%)

TXU Energy Turkey Trot$18 for One Entry in TXU Energy Houston Turkey Trot November 27 ($30 value)

Nightmare on 1960$8 for one general admission ticket to Nightmare on 1960 (up to $20 value) or $15 for two general admission tickets (up to $40 value)

Halloween Pub Crawl $5 for admission to Halloween Pub Crawl beginning at The Gaslamp ($10 value)

joshua bellJoshua Bell, classical violinist$15 for classical violinist Joshua Bell at Jones Hall ($30 value)

The Rocky Horror Show$15 for The Rocky Horror Show at The Kaleidoscope ($30 value)

Heights Candy Bar50% off All Candy at Heights Candy Bar

Yellow Rose Distilling –$7 for Two Admissions to Yellow Rose Distilling one-hour distillery tour ($14 value) or $12 for Four Admissions to one-hour distillery tour ($28 value)

Dinner Detective Interactive Murder Mystery Show $61.22 for The Dinner Detective Interactive Murder Mystery Show Houston ($102.02 value)

Chicago Musical$17.50 for “Chicago ($35 value)

Nick Carter & Jordan KnightNick Carter and Jordan Knight – The Nick and Knight Tour at House of Blues Houston November 7 (average savings 10%)

Spirits & Skeletons Mixer at HMNS $20 for one ticket to Spirits & Skeletons Mixer October 31 at Houston Museum of Natural Science ($35 value)

Shark at HMNS$12.50 for “Shark!” at the Houston Museum of Natural Science ($25 value)

Johnny Carino’s$10 for $20 Worth of Italian Food at Johnny Carino’s

Ragin’ Cajun$22 for $40 Worth of Cajun Cuisine at Ragin’ Cajun

The Health Museum$10 for Two Admissions to The Health Museum ($16 value) or $20 for Four Admission ($32 value).

Disclosure: Compensated links included.

Free Outdoor Houston Movies Fall 2014 {Updated}

30 Free Outdoor Movies in HoustonHouston is home to lots of outdoor movie nights — especially in the fall when the weather starts to turn cooler!

Don’t miss the remaining free outdoor movies in Houston October – December 2014 {updated from previous list}:

Batman (Central Green Park)
October 18, dusk

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Pearland Town Square)
October 18, 8 pm

Monsters University (Sugar Land Town Square)
October 18, 7 pm

Young Frankenstein (Market Square Park)
October 22, 8 pm

Ghostbusters (GreenStreet Downtown)
October 24, 8 pm

The Addams Family (Central Green Park)
October 31, 8 pm

Frankenweenie (Discovery Green)
October 31, 7 pm

Maleficent (Discovery Green)
November 1, 7 pm

Free Birds (Dow Park Pavilion, Deer Park)
November 1, 7:30 pm

Despicable Me (Central Green Park)
November 7, 8 pm

Ghostbusters (Tomball Depot 2nd Saturday)
November 8, 5 pm – 8 pm

The LEGO Movie (Miller Outdoor Theatre)
November 9, 5 pm – 8 pm

The Sandlot (CityCentre)
November 13, 8 pm

Silent Films: The Boat & The Rink (Discovery Green)
November 14, 8 pm

Spaceballs (Market Square Park)
November 14, 8 pm

Saving Mr. Banks (Central Green Park)
November 15, dusk

Free Birds (Sugar Land Town Square)
November 15, 7:30 pm

Arthur Christmas (Central Green Park)
November 29, dusk

Elf Quote-A-Long (Central Green Park)
December 5, dusk

Jingle All the Way (Tomball Depot 2nd Saturday)
December 13

Elf! (Sugar Land Town Square)
December 13, 7:30 pm

Discovery Green — 1500 McKinney (downtown)
Market Square Park — 301 Milam (downtown)
CityCentre — 800 Town and Country Blvd.
Sugar Land Town Square — 2711 Town Center Blvd.
GreenStreet Downtown– 1201 Fannin
Central Green Park — 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd, Katy
Tomball Depot — 201 S. Elm
Pearland Town Square — Hwy 288 and FM 518
Dow Park Pavilion — 610 E. Augustine, Deer Park

Bayou Bend: Free Family Day October 19

This is a sponsored post by Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Bayou Bend Family DayFree Family Day returns to Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens October 19 as the historic home celebrates “Energy: A Texas Legacy.” Families are encouraged to drop by between 1 pm – 5 pm for music, games, art-making activities and more.

Here are some of the fun activities:

  • hunt for dinosaur food in the gardens,
  • join a science experiment,
  • hear about fossils and fossil fuels from Houston Museum of Natural Science, and
  • listen to popular Texas tunes by a live quartet.

Kids who love crafts will enjoy the hands-on creative activities: make a replica of Spindletop oil rig, color the Houston skyline, and draw with charcoal. Plus, don’t miss the chance to tour the first floor of Bayou Bend’s historic mansion and discover the legacy of the Hogg family in Houston.

Admission is free! Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is located at 6003 Memorial Drive. A free shuttle service is available to transport guests, since the bridge at the entrance is under construction. Get more info about Family Day and shuttle service here.

7 Free Things to Do in Houston October 13-17

There’s never a dull moment in Houston. Here are 7 options for free fun in Houston October 13-October 17 before planning your free and cheap weekend!

We Love Houston sign

Monday (10/13) — Get prepared for outdoor fun at Camping 101 (7 pm – 8:30 pm) with Bayou City Outdoors and REI. Kelly Howard, Bayou City Outdoors, will cover where to go, tent set up, packing tips, plus the differences of car camping, primitive camping and backpacking. Folks also will learn about equipment and watch in-store demonstrations of gear and tents. The free class is held at REI, 7538 Westheimer.

Tuesday (10/14) — Meet The Elf on the Shelf co-author Carol Aebersold at a book signing at The Woodlands’ Barnes & Noble Tuesday, 7 pm. Carol will be signing her latest story, The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition. Located at 1201 Lake Woodlands Drive.

Wednesday (10/15) — Enjoy Nature Story Time each Wednesday, 4 pm, at Nature Discovery Center. Each week they read books with a different nature topic plus nature walk, live animal demonstrations, or crafts. Located at 7112 Newscastle in Bellaire.

Wednesday (10/15) — Not free, but cheap! Family Rewind at Studio Movie Grill this month features Steven Spielberg’s Gremlins for $2. This takes place at both locations October 15, 7 pm: Copperfield and CityCentre.

Thursday (10/16) — Learn about Solar Energy as part of Solar Month in October. Houston Renewable Energy Group is presenting free Solar Energy workshops throughout the month at IKEA Houston. Learn about solar energy and how it can work for your home or business. One-hour sessions are 10 am or 6 pm. Located at 7810 Katy Freeway.

Thursday (10/16) — Thursday is the magic day in the Houston Museum District to visit seven museums free each Thursday.

  • 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
  • Holocaust Museum Houston — 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

Thursday (10/16) – Games on the Green returns Thursday, 5 pm – 8 pm, to GreenStreet downtown. The free monthly event features giant Jenga, bocce ball, live music and more. Don’t miss Lucky Strike’s interactive booth on The Lawn with giveaways, games, and more. Located at 1201 Fannin.

Discount Texas Renaissance Festival Tickets

Red Knight RenFestReady for some 16th-century fun at the nation’s largest Renaissance festival in the country?  Tis the season for the 40th  Texas Renaissance Festival kicking off this Saturday, October 11, for eight consecutive weekends.

Opening weekend, this Saturday and Sunday, offers half-price tickets!

Discount tickets are still available online for opening weekend October 11 and October 12: $13 for adults and $6 for kids ages 5-12, plus a $2 fee. This is a savings of 50% off the gate prices of $27/adults and $13/kids.

Located about 50 miles northwest of Houston, Texas Renaissance Festival features the sites, sounds, and smells of a 16th-century village. With jousting matches, 200 daily performances, international cuisine, thousands of costumed characters, elephant/camel rides, human-powered rides and games of skill — there is truly something for everyone!

A Family 4-Pack is also available for $54 for any weekend, which includes 2 adult tickets and 2 child tickets — save $26! Folks who plan to attend more than one day can benefit from a $39 Weekend Pass: admission one “any day” and one Sunday during the season, though it doesn’t have to be consecutive days. Purchase the discount tickets online here. Discount tickets are available in person at Walgreens for Opening Weekend and Family 4-Pack. Kids 4 and under are free, with kids admission for ages 5-12.

Find all the schedules, maps and more online for Texas Renaissance Festival in Plantersville.

photo: Texas Renaissance Festival

5 Things to Love About eT Craft Burgers & Beer

eT Craft Burgers & Beer {pronounced “eat”} is Northwest Houston’s newest burger concept. It’s first spot, eT Premium Grill in the downtown tunnel, proved so successful the last four years that it took the new idea out to the neighborhood. It added the craft beer angle, however, providing folks in the ‘burbs some amazing beer options on draft that frequently can’t be found elsewhere. Here are My 5 Things to Love about eT:

eT Craft Burgers & Beer photo: eT Craft Burgers & Beer


1. One price for burgers with any toppings: $6.49

eT Craft Burgers & Beer

You’ve experienced the drill where adding anything to a burger costs extra — $1 here and there for cheese, avocado slices or other options. At eT Craft Burgers & Beer, burgers are a flat price of $6.49. It’s a simple 3 step process: order your all-natural flame-grilled meat, choose a spread, and add the toppings. Amazing fresh options like tomato confit, grilled portobello mushrooms, flash-fried jalapenos, avocados, queso, apple cider slaw, and of course, bacon! You can make a custom burger or choose one of their favorites.

2. Local craft beer on draft

eT Craft Burgers & Beer

Local craft beer is a big deal at this neighborhood spot featuring breweries such as No Label, Lone Pint, Fort Bend, 8th Wonder, Cedar Creek, Buffalo Bayou, and Saint Arnold. Selections will rotate based on customer input and seasonal options. Some of these beers are not canned or bottled, so eT Craft Burgers & Beer certainly has the connections to offer them on draft! Even the younger crowd can enjoy Saint Arnold Root Beer on draft!

3. Free 64oz. growler in October ($6 value)

eT growlers

Take advantage of an October beer special! Folks can get a free 64oz glass growler this month. Fill it up with your favorite draft craft beer for $16. And bring it back again next time to repeat. The restaurant CO2-flushes its growlers to maximize freshness.

4. Beautifully designed space

eT Craft Burgers & Beer

eT partnered with Michael Hsu, an award-winning Austin-based architect, to design the interiors of its newest location. Houstonians may know Hsu for his work on local restaurants such as Uchi. He did an amazing job designing a neighborhood-oriented urban space using organic materials.

5. Share the Love options

et share the love

Consider eT Craft Burgers & Beer for your next group to-go option! Its Share The Love box includes six burgers and six fries for $49. Or make it a real party and add a couple growlers filled with craft beer. Perfect when you’re tired of pizza and other easy to-go options! This is geared more to enjoying with your gourmet burger friends — not the fast-food types who expect a $2 burger deal! photo: eT Craft Burgers & Beer

Location: 19841 Northwest Freeway (Highway 6 at 290)
Hours: 11 am – 10 pm 7 days a week