Free Things to Do in HoustonSave your cash and still see the best of Houston with these local events and activities. Whether you’re visiting Houston for a weekend or you’ve lived here your whole life, you can do any of these things for free and have fun every day of the week!

Here are 25 awesome free things to do in Houston so you won’t have to spend a dime:

 

1. Houston’s Best Parks

With Houston’s weather, we can spend most of the year outside! Go early in the summer for great hiking and biking trails and some of the coolest playgrounds you’ve ever seen, without ever leaving the outer loop! Discovery Green, Levy Park, Evelyn’s Conservancy, and Midtown Park host free outdoor movies, children’s activities, live music, and other free activities on the regular. Check out our guide to the best parks in Houston for more info.

 

2. H-Town Arts

Houston’s art scene is as unique and diverse as the city itself. Murals in the city are ever-changing which means you must tour regularly to see them all. There are plenty of maps and guides to Houston murals to help you find them. Pack a picnic and bring your camera!

 

3. Always Free Museums

Unbelievably, there are first-class museums in Houston which are always free! The Menil Collection, The Rothko Chapel, The Contemporary Arts Museum, The Art Car Museum, Blaffer Art Museum, and just a few of the great free museums in Houston. Don’t forget to visit more of Houston’s best museums on Free Thursdays!

 

4. Stay Fit

free fitness classes in houston

credit: Levy Park

There are plenty of ways to get a free workout in Houston. You can visit the local parks for free fitness classes open to the public or stop by your local community center to see their calendar. Check in at a local Houston gym or studio to get your first class free! Most gyms offer guests a free trial period before you join, just go “gym-shopping” until you find one worth paying for!

 

5. Catch a Live Show

livenation free concerts

Even if you can’t save for a touring legend, there are plenty of local musicians who perform across Houston’s restaurants and bars. Batanga, Sambuca, Birraporettis, Niko Niko’s at Market Square Park, Baker Street Pub, Last Concert Cafe, and many more have live music on weekends. House of Blues also regularly hosts free concerts with just as online RSVP required to get your tickets. Keep it cheap and go for appetizers!

 

6. Hit Up the Mall

Malls have changed since the 90s- they know we want more than boring chain stores and a sub-par food court. City Centre and Memorial City have inviting outdoor spaces where you can find indoor playgrounds, live music, storytimes, free movie screenings, live sportscasts, workouts, and more. Head out to La Centerra’s Central Green in Katy, Sugar Land’s Town Square, The Galleria, and more.

 

7. The Red Button at Buffalo Bayou

buffalo bayou

One of Houston’s best-kept secrets isn’t a secret at all. Burp the Buffalo Bayou on the Preston Street Bridge. This is a great activity for kids or someone new to Houston- just don’t hype it up too much! If it’s not in service at that time, or you’re ready to move on, head over to Buffalo Bayou Water Works.

 

8. Miller Outdoor Theatre

Miller Outdoor Theatre

Shows at the Miller Outdoor Theatre are always free! If you want covered seating, you’ll have to reserve your free tickets at the box office on the morning of the performance. Otherwise, you can always sit on the lawn for free! Bring your own picnics and blankets, just leave the booze and glass at home.

 

9. The Park of the Artists

smither park houst

credit: Smither Park Facebook

Smither Park is one of the most unique places in Houston- and on earth! Local artists and artisans install new pieces to the mosaic on a regular basis. Visit early on a Saturday morning to see the artists at work.

 

10. University Tours

rice university

Visit the Admissions Center of any local university for a free, walking tour of the grounds! Rice University, Saint Thomas, and the University of Houston all have beautiful, sprawling campuses with art, fountains, and more.

 

11. Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark

lee & joe jamail skatepark

Located at Eleanor Tinsley Park, this skating mecca is open to the public. Bring your skateboard or just watch the athletes. Admission is free but you’ll want to mind the rules and skating safety.

 

12. The Downtown Tunnels

downtown houston tunnels

The tunnels of Downtown Houston are an ever-improving maze meant to get you from one side of downtown to the other. Admission is free but they are only open on weekdays during business hours. You’ll find restaurants, shops, and more. Check out our full guide to the Downtown Houston Tunnels.

 

13. The Houston Arboretum

Houston Arboretrum Trail

The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center has winding paths through native plants, clusters of trees, outlook points, and more. There’s even a mural! Admission is always free! They have a free nature hike on Saturdays and paid classes for all ages!

 

14. The Water Wall

houston waterwall

In the Galleria-area, the Gerald D. Hines Water Wall is a jaw-dropping structure you’ll never tire of visiting. Check out all you need to know before you go and pack a picnic!

 

15. Farmers Markets

farmers markets in houston

You can support local Houston artists and entrepreneurs by shopping at local farmers markets. Check out the Heights Morning Market, Westchase District Market, Memorial Villages, Grand Parkway Farmers Market, East End Market, and more. Check out our guide here!

 

16. Project Row Houses

project row houses

credit: projectrowhouses.org

This collection of restored houses in the Third Ward offers a glimpse of the history of Houston’s oldest neighborhoods. They have frequent art installations, live performances, tours, and more. Admission is free.

 

17. Waugh Bridge Bat Colony

The bat colony under Waugh Street Bridge is one of the largest in the nation. Park nearby and walk to the bridge- there is a market and plenty of room to have a seat. Keep little ones away from the bridge- there are droppings nearby and the bats tend to come out irregularly. Around sunset, you’ll see the bats emerge slowly.

 

18. The Moody Center of the Arts

Located on Rice University campus, this installation for the arts is open to the public every day. Exhibition spaces have free admission, some events may be ticketed. They’re open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.

 

19. Twilight Epiphany

twilight epiphany

The James Turrell Skyspace, Twilight Epiphany, is an art installation playing with light. See how the sculpture grabs and focuses the light every day at sun up and sundown.

 

20. Get Zen

houston temple

Houston has many beautiful churches and temples, many of which are open to the public. For something truly breathtaking, visit the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford. The marble-white walls and peaks are magical. They offer free admission to the public and a vegetarian canteen- just heed the rules and respect their sacred space.

 

21. Free Walking Tours

There are several free walking tours throughout Houston, most of which are self-guided. Join the Houston Downtown Introduction Walk, Religious Walking Tour, Art Walking Tour, and more. Find more tours here.

 

22. Heritage Society

heritage society houston

credit: Heritage Society Facebook

The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park offers beautiful gardens, historic homes and collections, and more. Admission to the gardens and grounds is always free but some events and activities may be ticketed.

 

23. Armand Bayou

armand bayou canoeing

The paddling trail here can be easily accessed from the Bay Area Park. You’ll want to go with someone who is experienced as there can be dangers {and alligators!}.

 

24. Breweries

saint arnold brewery

credit: Saint Arnold Brewing Facebook

Houston has a bustling craft brew scene with breweries popping up all over. We also have some awesome beer halls and biergartens. Visit Saint Arnold, Axelrad, No Label Brewing, Karbach, Brash Brewing, Klaus, and more. There’s rarely a cover, often live music, and some places will give you free tours!

 

25. The Kemah Boardwalk

Kemah Boardwalk

One of the best attractions in Houston has free admission, every day of the year! Head out to Kemah for an old-school boardwalk with rides, restaurants, games, prizes, and more! Entry is free, to ride and play games requires tickets. They have frequent events including live music and dancing. Or, you can simply watch the boats around the marina!

 

Know of any other great free things to do in Houston? Share them with us by commenting below. And if you’re looking for more fun ideas, make sure to check out our guide to the best things to do in Houston on the weekend.