There are plenty of options for free and cheap July 4th fun with these 30+ Houston-area July 4th parades, festivals and fireworks:

Freedom Over Texas

HOUSTON

Near Downtown: Houston’s official July 4th celebration, CITGO Freedom Over Texas, is hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, 4 pm – 10 pm. The event, celebrating its 30th year, kicks off with a performance by the United States Air Force Band of the West followed by Hunter Hayes and multi-platinum selling DNCE. Kids will love the variety of fun in the Kids’ Zones. Fireworks’ finale begins at 9:35 pm. There is still time to win 2 tickets to the event! Sign up by 6/30 at 5 pm here. Otherwise, admission is $8 online through midnight, July 3. Children 5 and under are free with a paying adult. $10 admission at the gate. Located at Eleanor Tinsely Park and Sam Houston Park.   photo: flickr/eschipul

Miller Outdoor Theatre: The Houston Symphony’s annual A Star-Spangled Salute starts at 8:30 pm July 4 at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Of course, the evening includes 1812 Overture with cannon blasts and concludes with a fantastic fireworks display at 10 pm. It also showcases vocalist Ryan Shaw and Houston Symphony’s new Principal POPS Conductor, Steven Reineke. Free tickets for reserved covered seats are available on performance day at Miller Outdoor Theatre box office from 10:30 am – 1 pm. Four per person while they last. Located at 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Bayou Bend July 4Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens: This historic home hosts July Fourth Celebration with historic family fun! The afternoon of free fun July 4, noon – 5 pm, features historical performers, crafts, activities, refreshments and more. A lemonade toast and a reading of the Declaration of Independence takes place twice on the north side of the house. Don’t forget to sign a Texas-sized reproduction of the Declaration of Independence. Bayou Bend is located at 6003 Memorial. Photo: Bayou Bend

Children’s Museum of Houston: This family museum honors July 4 with a Kidpendence Day celebration. The festivities feature the Kidpendence Day March with the High Steppers Brass Band plus a meet-n-greet with Ben Franklin and George Washington. There will be lots of options for patriotic creativity plus a patriotic splash in the Concrete Jungle. Museum admission is $12. The museum, open 10 am – 6 pm, is located at 1500 Binz.

CityCentre: The outdoor retail spot hosts Fourth of July Music & Fireworks for its patriotic celebration. The concert features People’s Choice Band at 7 pm. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs! The evening concludes with a 15-minute fireworks display at 9:30 pm. Live music continues every night through July 1-July 4. CityCentre is located at 800 W. Sam Houston Parkway N.

Memorial City: Don’t miss this brand-new July 4 celebration at The Square featuring 20,000 lbs. of snow! From 5 pm – 8 pm, folks can watch ice sculpture demonstrations and play in summer snow flurries. Families have lots of options for free fun including live music, face painting, balloon art and more. Located at The Square between Maggiano’s and Cheesecake Factory at 303 Memorial City.

OUTSIDE HOUSTON

Alvin: It’s a July 4 community celebration beginning at 5 pm with food trucks and inflatables, community concert and 7:30 pm and fireworks at 9 pm. Located at Briscoe Park with parking at ACC.

Baytown: It’s a 2-day July 4th celebration with live music July 3 by Mambo Jazz Kings at 6 pm followed by headliner Grand Funk Railroad at 8 pm. On July 4, games booths and vendors open at 4 pm. Picture Book takes the stage at 4:30 pm with the parade on Market St at 5:30 pm. Al White kicks off live music at 6 pm with Josh Turner taking the stage at 8 pm. The big fireworks extravaganza is 9:30 pm. Located at Bicentennial Park, 1001 Market St.

Bellaire: The city is hosting a parade and festival July 4 with the parade at 9:30 am and festival from 10 am – 1 pm. Festival fun at Bellaire Town Square includes live entertainment, carnival games, petting zoo, ferris wheel and more! The event is free but there is a fee for carnival games and food.

Cypress: Towne Lake is hosting Live Music on the Boardwalk July 4, noon – 2 pm. The afternoon features a live band, patriotic festivities and more. {NOTE: The Boardwalk is not hosting a fireworks display this year.}

College Station: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is hosting the “I Love America” celebration July 4 plus free admission all day July 4 9:30 am – 8:15 pm. Special activities begin at 6 pm with live entertainment, games and activities for kids. The Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra kicks off its performance at 8:45 pm with fireworks following at 9:30 pm. Located at 1000 George Bush Drive West. {Note: Free parking is available at Fan Field, the gravel parking lot on Research Parkway on the Texas A&M University campus. There will not be shuttles from West Campus Garage or Reed Arena.}

Houston fireworksFriendswood: The city proudly hosts its 122nd annual Friendswood July 4th Celebration with a 10 am parade featuring more than 100 entries. Live entertainment and afternoon fun lasts till 3:30 pm. The event is free but there is a fee for rides. The evening festivities kick off at 7:30 pm at Centennial Park with music by Bee Gee’s Gold. Fireworks will begin around 9:20 pm. There is no public parking at Centennial Park. Shuttles are available at Friendswood High School and Clear Brook High School.

Galveston will host its annual July 4 parade beginning at 7:30 pm starting at Seawall and 59th. Enjoy the floats, military vehicles, and performers. Then stick around for a 20-minute fireworks display over the Gulf of Mexico near 37th and Seawall Blvd. It’s the 178th City of Galveston celebration!

Katy (July 1): Folks in Katy can celebrate early July 1 at Katy Freedom Celebration from 9 am – 1 pm at the City of Katy complex. Enjoy activities from Katy Parks & Recreation Department and Katy Fire Department. The evening fireworks and music will be between 8 pm and 10 pm at the area between Typhoon Texas and Katy Mills Mall.

Katy: LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch hosts its own July 4th Independence Day tradition kicking off at 4:30 pm with the Kids’ Patriotic Bike Parade at Central Green Park. Kids should arrive by 4 pm at LaCenterra courtyard and travel to Central Green for the start. Prizes for most patriotic bike! This annual evening event features live music by Sheila Marshall and Chris Boss on the main stage area in LaCenterra’s courtyard in front of Las Alamedas Mexican Grill & Bar. The interactive Kids’ Zone at Central Green includes Pump It Up inflatables, balloon art, face painting, music and more. Fireworks begin at 9:15 pm. LaCenterra, 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd in Katy.

Kemah Boardwalk: The Kemah Boardwalk is hosting five nights of fireworks and live music June 30 – July 4. Each night represents a different theme of fireworks including Top 40 June 30, then Classic Rock, ’80s, ’90s and Star Spangled Sky.

Kingwood: Kingwood is hosting an all-day July 4th event 2 pm – 9 pm at Town Center Park. The event features live music by Thunder, inflatables, craft and food booths, and fireworks at 9 pm.

League City: League City is hosting two events to celebrate this year. July 3 is League City Light Up the Sky Spectacular from 6 pm – 10 pm. The evening includes free bounce houses, food trucks, vendors and fireworks. July 4 is Citizen Appreciation Day 11 am – 3 pm featuring live music, face painting, petting zoo, moonwalks and family fun. The Mayor, City Council, Parks Board and Parks and Rec staff will serve refreshments to honor the citizens. Located at League Park, 512 2nd Street.

Missouri City:  It’s a July 4th celebration from 6 pm – 9 pm at Buffalo Run Park, 1122 Buffalo Run Blvd. The evening features moonwalks, rides, rock wall, face painting, and other free activities. Fireworks begin around 9:15 pm. Stadium seating will be available at Thurgood Marshall High School for the fireworks show. Folks are encouraged to use free Metro shuttles at the Park & Ride lot (13849 Fondren Rd.) since parking is limited around the high school. Metro buses will begin operation at 5:45 pm until the end.

Pasadena: The city’s Annual 4th Fest features lots of patriotic fun right at the Pasadena Convention Center. The event is July 4, 4 pm – 10 pm, with live music, car show, Kid Zone, USMC Toys for Tots BBQ cookoff, games and prizes. Stick around for the 20-minute fireworks show at 9:15 pm with simulcast music on 100.3 The Bull. Located at 7902 Fairmont Parkway in Pasadena.

Pearland: Pearland’s Celebration of Freedom features a free concert and fireworks show July 4 with gates opening at 6 pm. Stadium and field seating is free at the Pearland High School Stadium. Activities include VFW Military Salute, strolling entertainment, craft vendors, and inflatables. The traditional fireworks display begins at 9 pm. Park at Turner Career and College High School, 4719 Bailey Road and ride a free shuttle to the event. Event parking is free. Located at 3775 S. Main in Pearland.

Richmond: George Ranch Historical Park is hosting a day of An American Tradition for July 4th fun. Enjoy vintage games, scavenger hunt, a powerful reading of the Declaration of Independence, cobbler eating contest and more. The park opens at 9 am. A Historic Lunch is served for an extra fee beyond admission. Admission fees: $10 adults and $5 kids age 5-15. Located at 10215 FM 762 in Richmond.

Rosenberg: The city celebrates with Family 4th Independence Day Celebration July 4 from 6 pm – 10 pm.  Enjoy live music, children’s carnival area, complimentary horse-drawn wagon rides and more. Fireworks begin around 9:30 pm. Located at Seaborne Creek Nature Park, 3831 Hwy 36 South.

roundtop july4Round Top: This year marks the 167th July 4th parade and celebration in Round Top around the square.  The historical day kicks off with civil war-era cannons booming at 10:30 am to announce the parade start. Imagine close to 5,000 folks coming in for this parade in a town that has only 90 people!  Music, raffle and games for the kids last until 4 pm. Then live music kicks off again for the afternoon dance. I’ve actually experienced this parade, and it’s fun celebrating July 4th in a small town! Round Top is about an hour-and-a-half west of Houston.

Stafford: The City of Stafford hosts its annual July 3rd Celebration with a parade at 7 pm along with game booths, free carnival rides and hay rides and dance till 11:30 pm. Enjoy the patriotic concert Freedom Rings July 4 at 7 pm featuring the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra. This free, festive performance is at Stafford Centre, 15050 Cash Road. Fireworks follow at 9 pm.

Sugar Land: The city’s Star-Spangled Spectacular is July 4 at a new location: 18355 SW Freeway from 5 pm – 10 pm. This free event does not require tickets this year. Enjoy free entertainment, patriotic music, activity booths and fireworks finale. Free shuttles are available from 3 locations: Edward Mercer Stadium, UH Sugar Land, and Smart Financial Centre. Parking is by permit only to the first 2,000 who request online. At 8 pm, all parking spots are available to the public.

tomball july 4Tomball: Enjoy Tomball’s annual street party July 4 from 5 pm – 10 pm on Business 249 north of FM2920. The event features live music by The Fab Five, Kids Zone, games, face painting, and the traditional fireworks around 9 pm. Admission and parking are free.

The Woodlands: July 4th fun in The Woodlands begins a day early with a free Houston Symphony concert, Star-Spangled Salute, Monday, July 3, at 8 pm at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The evening would not be complete without 1812 Overture and cannons on the hill!  The patriotic fun continues July 4 with a 9 am parade at The Woodlands United Methodist Church. The Red, Hot, and Blue Festival is 6 pm – 10 pm featuring live entertainment, face painting, children’s activities, games, and more. The fireworks will be launched from four locations with the primary as Lake Woodlands.

Waller: The Waller Freedom Festival is a two-day celebration July 3-4. The free family event features a Worship Night July 3, beginning at 6 pm as well as fireworks! July 4 features a family festival and fireworks, 3 pm – 9 pm, with live music, Military and Veteran recognition and WWII P-51 flyover, bumper boats, water slides, rock climbing wall, Zorb Extreme, bubble runners, helicopter rides (fee) and more. Admission is free but please consider bringing a canned good for W.A.R.M. food pantry. The event is located at Waller High School stadium, 20735 Stokes Road, Waller.

Washington-on-the-Brazos: Fireworks on the Brazos is a special annual event at the park from 10 am – 10 pm. The free event includes a concert by Wesley Westbrook Band, living history interpretations, old-fashioned baseball games, period games, and fireworks at 9:30 pm. Admission and parking are free. Located at 23400 Park Road 12, Washington.

Webster: Webster hosts its 4th of July Celebration at Texas Avenue Park from 5 pm – 9 pm. The evening includes A Salute to Veterans, entertainers, games, and inflatables with fireworks. Located at 17100 Texas Ave.