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

Locations:
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.

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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

Free Weekend Fun in Houston October 10-12

It’s another weekend in Houston with plenty of free fun! Check out these 16 Free Things to Do in Houston October 10-12:

free fun in Houston

FRIDAY

Celebrate Italy – Houston Italian Festival kicks off the weekend with free admission Friday, 11 am – 4 pm. After 4 pm Friday and all weekend, admission is $8 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. The Italian Festival is located on The University of St. Thomas campus, 3800 Montrose Blvd. with parking just $2.

Scare up some funBoo on the Boardwalk officially kicks off Friday 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 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Greatful Geezers Band. Lots of free fun but haunted houses have a fee. Located in Kemah.

Watch Finding Nemo — Head to Discovery Green Friday night for H-E-B Movie Night featuring Finding Nemo on the giant outdoor screen. Arrive an hour early for activities and contests. Discovery Green is located at 1500 McKinney.

Love the drums – Kokyo: Dialogue Between Hearts features thundering drums and cultural costumes Friday night at Miller Outdoor Theatre. The event begins at 7:30 pm.

SATURDAY

Kids get fitCrossfit 1420 presents a free Community Kids Workout Saturday, 9 am – 11 am, at Central Green Park in Katy. This great community event is for all children, regardless of ability. Participants will receive a 15% discount at Luke’s Locker. Located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Learn about blacksmithing -- This month’s Second Saturday Settlers Series focuses on Blacksmithing. Watch demonstrations and learn about activities of the early Texans. Located at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center.

Cy Fair Fire FestEnjoy family fun and fire safety Fire Fest returns Saturday, October 11, 10 am – 2 pm, to the Cy Fair Volunteer Fire Department Station 11. Kids can get up close to the fire trucks, put out a simulated fire, watch demonstrations and the apparatus showcase, get photos with firefighters and an antique fire truck, and see a Life Flight landing. Lone Star College-Cy Fair is located near Barker Cypress and West Road off Hwy 290. ***Katy is hosting its own fire station Open House Saturday, 1 pm – 4 pm at Willowfork Fire Department Open House. Visitors can tour the station, meet local firefighters, and see the fire equipment and apparatus. Located at Station #1 (24655 Westheimer Parkway) and Station #3 (26950 Cinco Ranch Blvd.).

Celebrate Smither Park — The Orange Show presents free family fun at Smither Park Saturday, 11 am – 3 pm. Enjoy music, kids’ activities, food trucks and more. Artists will be working on the memory wall. Located at 2411 Munger.

Enjoy a Halloween carnival — The animated movie The Book of Life, is presenting a Halloween Carnival Saturday 2 pm – 4 pm at Houston Galleria in the food court. Kids will enjoy free arts and crafts, cookie decorating, face painting, and the chance to win prizes from The Book of Life. Kids in costume get free movie passes! Located at 5085 Westheimer.

Make family fun — Families can engage in Family Day at Contemporary Arts Museum Saturday noon – 3 pm. This month’s theme focuses on fibers related crafts making pom-pons with Travis Boyer, a New York-based artist. Admission is free and all supplies provided. Located at 5216 Montrose.

Make Halloween fun in Tomball 2nd Saturday at the Depot is dubbed Zomball in Tomball this weekend! Families will enjoy “trunk or treat” themed activities and games, live music, games, food, and a screening of Hotel Transylvania on the giant inflatable screen. Don’t forget to wear your costume! The fun kicks off at 5 pm. Located at 201 South Elm in Tomball.

Engage in Latin American-inspired music — The Houston Symphony presents Lunada 2014 Saturday, October 11, 7:30 pm, as a cultural event to share classical Latin American music in the outdoor setting of Miller Outdoor Theatre. Free reserved covered seats are available on performance day at the Miller box office from 10:30 am – 1 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, and Boogie Man Band. Lots of free fun but haunted houses have a fee. Located in Kemah.

pink lightingHonor cancer survivors — La Centerra hosts a free tribute concert and pink lighting event Saturday honoring cancer survivors. The MD Anderson Pink Lighting Ceremony event is 7 pm – 9 pm. Located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Enjoy live music at Waterway Square — It’s the last weekend of Live at Night Waterway Music Series in The Woodlands. This weekend’s performer features Brenda Guy, October 11, 6 pm.

Enjoy a free outdoor concert – Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis, Austin natives, have huge solo careers, but they perform together Saturday, 7:30 pm, at Market Square Park.

SUNDAY

Search for the pumpkinConcert in the Park continues Sunday, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm in The Woodlands. This week’s music is provided by Easy Money. Located at 2505 Lake Woodlands Drive.

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 kids’ corner activities, pumpkin decorating, and Luther and the Healers. Lots of free fun but haunted houses have a fee. Located in Kemah.

Sam’s Club: Free Women’s Health Screenings ($250 value)

sams clubAs part of its commitment to health and wellness, Sam’s Club is offering free women’s health screenings Saturday, October 11, at Houston-area Sam’s Club.  The free screenings are open to the public, so you don’t have to be a Sam’s Club member. Valued at more than $250, health screenings include:

  • TSH (thyroid) testing
  • total cholesterol and glucose testing
  • HDL (good cholesterol)
  • risk ratio
  • body mass index
  • vision (not available at all locations)

These screenings are available at Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy. Find the 15+ Houston locations online here.

Discovering Houston on the Cheap: Dan Phalen, Luby’s

Welcome to Discovering Houston on the Cheap, a weekly series highlighting cheap dates, cheap
meals, Houston’s best-kept secret and more — by local chefs, media, athletes, and folks in local business.

Dan Phalen, corporate executive chef, Luby’s and Fuddruckers
{Dan Phalen designs and implements the culinary standards at Luby’s and Fuddruckers and provides programs and training. He has 18 years in hotel, restaurant, and catering industries. He’s a huge nature geek, and you’ll likely find him watching Discovery Channel.}

Dan Phalen, Luby's1) Favorite spot for a cheap mealSimply Pho

Lately I’ve been on a Pho kick and tried at least a half dozen places all around town. At Simply Pho in Midtown, their Pho and Bahn Mi sandwiches are very flavorful, generous portions and a big bang for your buck. Small Pho (which isn’t that small) is $4.95, and the Bahn Mi are all under $3. It’s a big healthy meal in a clean restaurant all on the cheap.

2) Favorite spot for a cheap dateCafé Piquet

For the right balance of “date night” atmosphere, but good value, I’d have to say Café Piquet in Bellaire. Cuban food is one of our favorite as it’s also my wife’s heritage. The Cuban food scene is steadily growing in Houston, and more restaurants are popping up all over. Their food offers rich flavors, always marinated meats and the plantains are always a must have. Portions are good, and plates usually vary from $10-$15.

3) Houston’s best-kept secret — Kababi Zytoon

The Mediterranean food profile has certainly grown by leaps and bounds. Recently, there are four new restaurants within four miles of my neighborhood. But the best of them all is, hands down, Zytoon in Spring. Their flat breads are made from scratch and only cooked to order. They also make the Lamb Gyro meat from scratch. Best of all is their lunch special where for about $8 they will prepare a plate with a little bit of everything on it. Plus fresh flat breads that most of us cannot finish. And the service and atmosphere is outstanding.

4) Best place to save money in Houston — Zoës Kitchen

Sticking with the flavorful and healthy Mediterranean profile, I like Zoës for quick service and easy on the budget. The restaurants are clean and bright which certainly matches the food. Always good service on top of a good meal.

5) Favorite Houston festival or annual event — Texas Renaissance Festival

There are few things I love more than the weather in Houston in the fall and being outdoors in the Texas piney woods. The Ren Fest provides both, and as a chef it also scratches my culinary itch to boot. The variety and flavors of food are outstanding and made even better by a crazy fun atmosphere and lots of great people watching — if you’re not of the faint of heart.

6) My perfect day in Houston would be…

Perfect day in Houston would start in the Fall, maybe late October. Clear skies, mid-70s with a breeze. At that point, any activity outdoors will suffice. Working in the yard, a day at the park or Zoo, shopping at the outdoor outlet mall — it’s all good. Finish the day off with outside seating at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants with an ice cold margarita (rocks with salt please), lots of chips and guacamole and stay there till the sun goes down, the deck lights come on, and the tres leches is delivered. That’s a perfect day in Houston!

Find more on Pinterest! If you love this interview, check out the complete Discovering Houston on the Cheap interview series profiles on Pinterest.

Houston Italian Festival: Free & Discount Tickets

Houston Italian FestThe Houston Italian Festival returns to Montrose Thursday through the weekend, October 9-12. In its 36th year, the annual Houston Italian Festival is one of the largest festivals in town. Enjoy authentic Italian food and wine, live musical performances including the Fab 5 Beatles Tribute band, grape stomping, pasta-eating contests, Bocce competition, sidewalk art contest, Tarentella dancers, Marionette Puppet shows, and more. New this year is a Classic Car Show Sunday. The Cultural Movie Theater will show Italian movies and regional travel films.

The festival kicks off with free admission Thursday, October 9, 5pm – 10pm, and again Friday from 11 am – 4 pm. After 4 pm Friday and all weekend, admission is $8 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. The Italian Festival is located on The University of St. Thomas campus, 3800 Montrose Blvd. with parking just $2.

Save $2 each by buying online! Purchase advance tickets for just $6 through October 8. There is no extra online fee. (The print says the pre-sale ends October 5, but the “countdown clock” for sales takes it through October 8!)

photos: flickr/Festa Italiana Houston

The Book of Life Advance Screening October 16

The Book of LifeUPDATE: All passes are gone now as of 1:30 pm.

It’s another opportunity for free tickets to The Book of Life advance movie screening!

Thanks to a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox, I have 250 passes (in quantities of 2) to see The Book of Life, a 3D-animated fantasy adventure featuring the voices of Channing Tatum, Christina Applegate, Hector Elizondo and Ice Cube.

Check out the official trailer here.

The Book of Life Advance Screening
Thursday, October 16, 7 pm
Edwards Marq*E, 7600 Katy Freeway

Head to GoFoBo.com and use promo code HOTCXMV1 to get your free passes. These will go fast, so I will update the post when they are gone.

Seats are not guaranteed! As with all free screenings, they are overbooked to ensure a full audience. Seats are first come, first serve so you need to arrive early.