7 Free Things to Do in Houston February 1-5

Don’t miss these 7 options for free & cheap fun in Houston February 1-5 before planning your free and cheap weekend!

We Love Houston sign

Monday (2/1) — Enjoy a free 6oz cup of frozen yogurt at Menchie’s between 4 pm – 7 pm. No purchase necessary and no coupon required! Valid at all Houston locations.

Tuesday (2/2) — Free Houston Zoo afternoon is a great way to spend your afternoon for free! Tuesday, February 2, noon to close, is the next afternoon with free admission. Last entry is 5 pm with closing at 6 pm. Register online to get your free ticket.

Wednesday (2/3) — Enjoy a free noontime concert downtown with Da Camera’s A Little Day Music. This month features the Da Camera Young Artists performing Mahler, Schumann, Brahms, and Mozart. Located in the Grand Foyer of Wortham Theater Center. This is held the first Wednesday each month at noon.

Wednesday (2/3) — {Not free but cheap!} It’s a $3 movie screening of Crazy Stupid Love for Date Night at Studio Movie Grill. Movie begins at 7:30 pm at both CityCentre and Copperfield locations.

Thursday (2/4) — The Culinary Institute of LeNotre hosts free movies the first Thursday each month at both 1:15 pm and 6:15 pm in Crump Amphitheater. This month features Le Chef. Located at 7070 Allensby.

Thursday (2/4) — 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 — free Thursday 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Children’s Museum of Houston — free Thursday 5 pm – 8 pm
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston — free Thursday 10 am – 9 pm
  • The Health Museum — free Thursday 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Houston Museum of African American Culture — 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Buffalo Soldiers National Museum — 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Holocaust Museum Houston — 2 pm – 5 pm

{Don’t forget Houston’s 10 museums that are free every day.}

Thursday (2/4) — Catch a free outdoor movie at Discovery Green, Thunder Soul, as part of Bank of America Screen on the Green. Movie kicks off at 7 pm, 1500 McKinney.

Free Weekend Fun in Houston January 29-31

Houston is full of free fun every weekend!  Check out these 10 Free Things to Do in Houston January 29-31.

Houston Gonzo mural

Watch a movie under the moonEnjoy a free outdoor movie at Central Green Park in Katy, 6 pm. Despicable Me is the next feature. Located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Watch live painting in action — The next Friday Night Sights features live painting by Aerosol Warfare, Houston low rider cars, and DJ music. The fun kicks off at 7 pm. Located at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney.


Celebrate trees — The city is hosting the 30th Annual Arbor Day Celebration January 30, 8:30 am – 11 am, with an official ceremony and tree planting event at Blackhawk Park. Trees will be planted in the esplanades of Hiram-Clark Road, West Orem Drive, and Buffalo Speedway. Located at 9401 Fuqua St.

Introduce kids to opera — Houston Grand Opera presents Opera to Go: The Puffed-Up Prima Donna in two morning performances: 9:30 am and 11:15 am. This original opera addresses the topic of social cruelty and bullying. The free performances will be located at Houston Community College downtown campus in The Heinen Theater, 3517 Austin St.

Browse the museum district — Don’t miss The Museum Experience’s Zone 1 museums Saturday for free admission and activities. It essentially divides the district’s 19 museums into four zones and features different museums each quarter to inform and educate Houstonians. Zone 1 museums January 30 include The Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel, and Houston Center for Photography. There are lots of free events and activities Saturday including music, photography scavenger hunt, art exhibitions, and more! Check the schedule online. All three museums are free Saturday — and free every day! Hours are 9 am – 6 pm.

Enjoy classical music for the family — The Shepherd Society’s Family Concert is a free annual concert at Rice University geared to kids ages 6 and up. Concert begins at 11 am, but arrive at 10:30 am for instrument demonstrations in the foyer. The Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra performs selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet suites. Located at 6100 Main.

Help create a masterpiece — The Houston community is invited to help local artist Patrick Renner prep his wood strips for his upcoming sculpture, Trumpet Flower. Renner’s sculpture is the inaugural piece in Downtown District’s “Art Blocks” public art project at Main Street Square. The come-and-go painting party Saturday is from noon to 4 pm. All supplies are provided. No minimum age or time commitment required to participate. Located at 301 Milam, Market Square Park.

Explore a winter wonderlandFrozen Winter Wonderland Festival (11 am – 4 pm) has free admission with crafts, games, and activities including music and story time with the Snow Queen! Don’t miss the snow covered play area for kids. Soft drinks, snacks, and raffle tickets will be available for purchase. Bring new or gently used coats to donate to the Coats for the Cold collection drive.  Located at Asbury United Methodist Church, 5354 Space Center Blvd, Pasadena.

Celebrate Mardi Gras on the waterYachty Gras Grand Boat Parade is a Kemah tradition! Decorated boats parade down Clear Creek Channel by the Kemah boardwalk and revelers will be showered with beads and doubloons. It’s America’s largest Mardi Gras boat parade! Parade viewing is free. The fun begins at 7 pm at Kemah Boardwalk, 215 Kipp.


Enjoy Mardi Gras family style — Head to Galveston Sunday for Family Gras celebration, with free admission to the entertainment district. The Sunshine Kids Parade kicks off at 1 pm, which pays tribute to children with cancer. The parade begins at Strand Street at 20th and goes west to 25th Street, then Ship’s Row Mechanic back to 20th and Strand.

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Houston on the Cheap Celebrates 7 Years

Houston on the Cheap Turns 7

Today is the day! Help me celebrate seven years of helping Houstonians find free and cheap fun in Houston.

This site is so much more than just a bunch of posts about free Chick-fil-A breakfast or free holiday fun. Not to be dramatic, but it’s changing people’s lives. Mine included. Remember Jacqueline who won a $1,400 mattress at a store giveaway that was shared on my site — which was exactly what she needed to leave the homeless shelter with her two boys? Or the folks who tell me they’ve lost their job, and Houston on the Cheap is helping them through the tough times.

Why I Do This

It’s so important for me to remember “my why” when I get caught up in the numbers game of blogging. It’s easy for me to get distracted wondering why I didn’t get more Facebook likes or why my page views are down. Those are things I can’t control — including my income from this site. But what I can do is focus on my purpose and reason for doing this every day — and that’s to help others. I’ve only recently made this connection. My desire to help others (subconsciously) is probably the reason why I continue doing this after seven years, because my journey with it has been challenging and overwhelming at times!

Houston on the Cheap started as a project in a blog class. Nothing more — and no expectations. I didn’t even know you could make money. Not only has it led to fantastic opportunities for me (speaking engagements, book contract, TV segments) but it’s helping families discover ways to create memories with their kids without spending money. And helping Houstonians learn a little more about Houston — with a frugal frame of mind.

Thank you for being a part of my community.

Discounts to Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk in Houston

Cirque du Soleil's TORUKAre you excited for the next Cirque du Soleil tour in Houston? Toruk: The First Flight arrives in Houston February 11-14 at Toyota Center. What a great Valentine’s date and gift!

Discount tickets are available with seats from $48 – $75 ($60 – $100 value). February 13 discount seats are sold out.

The story is inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar and blends puppetry, cutting-edge visuals, immersive multimedia, and stagecraft with an amazing score.

Head online to get discount tickets to TORUK.

Before you go: For the first time, Cirque du Soleil launched an app to bring fans’ experience to a whole new level. Download TORUK: The First Flight app for access to never-seen-before backstage photos and videos and discover what it’s like to become part of the show.

Disclosure: affiliate link included. I get a small referral fee when folks save and buy through my link.

BONUS: Free Chick-fil-A January 27 at Select Locations

free Chick-fil-A breakfast HoustonA few Chick-fil-A locations in Houston area are offing a bonus Free Breakfast Wednesday January 27. Guests can get a free 3-count Chick-n-Minis 6 am – 10:30 am. Here are the locations I’ve heard of:

I-45 & Wayside
I-10 & Silber
Sawyer Heights
Lake Houston

No purchase necessary. One free breakfast item per person.

Feel free to share other participating locations in the comments.

7 Free Things to Do in Houston January 25-29

Don’t miss these 7 options for free fun in Houston January 25-29 before planning your free and cheap weekend!

We Love Houston sign

Monday (1/25) — Take advantage of free admission to Czech Center Museum Houston, offered the last Monday each month from noon – 4 pm. The Museum includes antique furniture from European castles, folk art toys and dolls, Bohemian crystal, Czech porcelain, pottery, and costumes. Genealogy research is another aspect of the Center as well as a chapel. Located at 4920 San Jacinto.

Tuesday (1/26) — Enjoy free line dance lessons at the stage at Discovery Green, 7 pm – 8 pm, with instructors from Neon Boots. Located at 1500 McKinney.

Wednesday (1/27) — Join the fun at BYOL Movie Series where you bring your lunch and watch a free movie. This week’s feature is Ricki and the Flash with Meryl Streep. Head to the Central Library downtown Wednesday, noon – 2:15 pm, 500 McKinney.

Thursday (1/28) — 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 — free Thursday 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Children’s Museum of Houston — free Thursday 5 pm – 8 pm
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston — free Thursday 10 am – 9 pm
  • The Health Museum — free Thursday 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Houston Museum of African American Culture — free Thursday 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Buffalo Soldiers National Museum — free Thursday 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Holocaust Museum Houston — free Thursday 2 pm – 5 pm

{Don’t forget Houston’s 10 museums that are free every day.}

Thursday (1/28) — Houston Grand Opera’s Opera to Go! program performs The Puffed-Up Prima Donna Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week. Two performances each day: 9:30 am and 11:15 am. This original opera addresses the topic of social cruelty and bullying at HCC Central, 3517 Austin Blvd.

Thursday (1/28) — Bank of America Screen on the Green brings a new free movie downtown this week. Enjoy the classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Thursday, 7 pm, at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney.

Friday (1/29) — Kids will love to get creative at Abrakadoodle Home School Art Class Friday, 10 am. There are two age groups this month: children age 2-5 will do watercolor technique on Fantasy Forest, and children 1st – 5th grade will learn chalk pastels featuring P. Buckley Moss. This is held the last Friday each month at WFDD’s Central Green Park, 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Discount Houston Auto Show Tickets

Houston Auto ShowHouston Auto Show returns to Houston this week, January 27-31. Just like last year, the Show takes over NRG Center with 30+ manufacturers under one roof! Explore 700 of the newest model vehicles, concept cars, and Texas innovations. The Houston Auto Show is always a family favorite in my home.

Here are a couple of ways to save on this year’s show:

  • $9 admission with Groupon, EXPIRED.
  • Use a $2 off coupon and pay $10 for weekdays only, Wednesday through Friday. Print coupon here.

Take advantage of free test drives with 14 different auto makers. One of the new additions this year includes a modified Camp Jeep with a dirt track. Check out 13 different Texas debuts including 2016 Buick Envision, Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, Lotus Evora 400, and 2017 Infiniti QX30.

Admission is $12 adults and $5 for kids age 6-12 (cash only). Kids 5 and under are free. The Houston Auto Show is located at NRG Center with $10 parking. Hours are noon to 9:30 pm Wednesday – Friday, 10 am – 9:30 pm Saturday, and 10 am – 7 pm Sunday.

{This post contains an affiliate link.}

Free Weekend Fun in Houston January 22-24

Houston is full of free fun every weekend!  Check out these 10 Free Things to Do in Houston January 22-24.

paloma trails mini horses

photo: Paloma Trails


Enjoy a free children’s performance — Impande Ye Africa presents Sing Along Africa, a free performance with Cypress Creek FACE’s Children Series. The performance takes audiences on an imaginary journey to Africa. This highly interactive show entertains and educates through songs, games, dancing and music. Located at 6823 Cypresswood Drive in Spring.

It’s all about the pony — Paloma Trails offers a story time and pony time for children this Saturday, 10 am to noon. Owner Paige Clough will read the book she wrote about her pony, The Jumping Orie Story. Then Orie will do a jumping demonstration. Kids will love the chance to pet and feed the horses as well as ride a horse. RSVP to [email protected] if you want to attend. Located at 35056 Wilson Rd. in Brookshire.

Enjoy nature – Enjoy Arbor Day this weekend at one of several venues:
**Houston: Celebrate Arbor Day at Houston Arboretum and Nature Center with plenty of free fun for kids and adults, 10 am – 2 pm. Celebrate all things trees at this free event! Take home a free tree seedling, enjoy crafts, tree planting demo and more. Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is located at 4501 Woodway Drive.

**The Woodlands: It’s the 40th annual Arbor Day Celebration January 23, 10 am – 2 pm, at Rob Fleming Park in The Woodlands. The celebration is giving free tree seedlings to guests. Puffy Pine Cone mascot will celebrate his birthday. Kids will love the free rides and family fun. Puffy’s mascot friends will be at the party, too! Rob Fleming Park is located at 6055 Creekside Forest Drive in The Woodlands.

Clean up the park — Share your time at Volunteer Day at Buffalo Bayou Park Saturday, 8:30 am – 11:30 am. Volunteers will be doing a variety of tasks including mulch, weed removal, and trash pick-up. Sign up online here for this event. This is for ages 9 and up. Meet at The Water Works, 105 Sabine. This will be a monthly event in 2016.

astros fanfest 2016Engage with the Astros — Baseball fans will love attending Astros FanFest Saturday, January 23, 11 am – 4 pm. The day features all kinds of fun including batting practice, Run the Bases, free kid’s autograph session (ages 4-12), Kids Zone, bullpen throws, face painting, photos in the dugout, and more. Admission to FanFest is free, but you must get your free general admission voucher online here. FanFest is located at Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford St.

Get organizedGet organized in 2016 with these free organizing workshops at IKEA Houston. New organizing session each hour beginning at noon focusing on kids, kitchen, and closets. Located at 7810 Katy Freeway.

Jam with the pros — For the first time, ReelAbilities Houston presents ReelMusic,where students and musicians with disabilities jam with professional jazz & blues musicians. The event will feature local greats such as Sebastian “Bash” Whittaker, Pamela York, and more. Reception begins at 6:30 pm with the show beginning at 7:30 pm. Free admission, but space is limited. Register online in advance to secure a seat. Located at HCC-Spring Branch, 1010 W. Sam Houston Parkway N.


Engage with a children’s author — Enjoy an afternoon with an award-winning children’s author, Jacqueline Woodson as part of Cool Brains! Inprint Readings for Young People. She will talk about and read from her middle school books. Free and open to the public. Located at Johnston Middle School, 10410 Manhattan Dr.

Photograph the gardens — Indulge in an amazing backdrop for photographs! Rienzi offers free Sunday Garden Photography 1 pm – 5 pm. Select from a variety of scenes featuring colorful flowers, green space, architectural details and sculptures. Located at 1406 Kirby.

10 Free Winter Movies in Houston 2016

Free outdoor movies in HoustonWinter weather in Houston tends to be mild, but you never know! Venues around Houston love to share free outdoor movies year-round. Here are 10 free movies (indoors and out) in Houston the next couple months:

Rocky (Discovery Green) 
January 21, 7 pm

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Discovery Green)
January 28, 7 pm

Despicable Me (Central Green Park)
January 29, 6:30 pm

Le Chef (Culinary Institute LeNôtre) 
February 4, 1:15 pm & 6:15 pm

Thunder Soul (Discovery Green) 
February 4, 7 pm

Rango (2nd Saturday at The Depot)
February 13, 5 pm

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Central Green) 
February 14, 6:30 pm — free date night for Valentine’s Day

Red Obsession (Culinary Institute LeNôtre) 
March 3, 1:15 pm & 6:15 pm

Shaun the Sheep (2nd Saturday at The Depot)
March 12, 5 pm

TBD (Sugar Land Town Square)
March 12, 7:30 pm


Check out these $3 movie series at Studio Movie Grill this year: Date Night, Girls Night Out, and Family Rewind. It’s a great way to find cheap fun for the family!

Discovery Green — 1500 McKinney (Downtown)
Central Green Park — 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. (Katy)
2nd Saturday at The Depot — 201 S. Elm (Tomball)
Sugar Land Town Square — 15958 City Walk (Sugar Land)
Culinary Institute LeNôtre — 7070 Allensby (610 & I-45)