The fourth largest city in the United States is full of fun, adventure, and wonder- even on the cheap! The best part is that you don’t have to spend a ton on money in order to have fun in Houston Downtown. There are a number of affordable activities and attractions that you can enjoy. Read more below for our write up of the best things to do in Downtown Houston without breaking the bank.

The Best Free and Cheap Things To Do in Downtown Houston 

Outdoor Fun Activities in Downtown Houston

buffalo bayou roco

Buffalo Bayou Park

Houston has no shortage of parks and recreational facilities to enjoy your day. The famed Buffalo Bayou Park runs 160 acres from the Memorial area to downtown. Walk the pathways downtown near the Preston Street Bridge and find the red button to “burp the bayou”. No spoilers! Don’t expect a fantastic show but it’s still one of Downtown Houston’s favorite hidden quirks.

Discovery Green Visitors

The Discovery Green Conservancy always has something exciting going on. This is one of Houston’s best parks downtown and it’s filled with free and fun activities.

Other parks and pocket parks near Downtown include the Sam Houston Park, Sesquicentennial Park, Market Square Park, Tranquility Park, and more!


Best Food & Drink Options in and around Downtown Houston

Les Givral's Kahve

Image courtesy of Les Givral’s Kahve FB page

Houston is starting to gain the attention of foodies and restaurateurs around the world. They’re just learning what real Houstonians have always known: Houston is a foodie paradise. Whether you’re looking for a genuine greek gyro at Niko Niko’s or an authentic Bahn Mi at Les Givrals, there is something affordable for everyone in Houston.

For some of the best Mexican food, try the pollo guisado taco at Tacos A Go Go for just $2.79 each.  La Fisheria caters to seafood lovers for a decent price, especially during lunch time.

El Big Bad

Image courtesy of El Big Bad Facebook page

Don’t forget to make a date to try some of Houston’s best patios. Whether it’s Batanga, El Big Bad, or Last Concert Cafe, you are bound to find not only great live music but a table with a breeze and a view. And if you are going to be with your furry friend, check out Inner loop patio restaurants that are dog-friendly

You can also head underground to the Downtown Houston Tunnels for a ton of other food and drink options during the day.

Get the latest updates on Food & Drink  in the Houston area


Things to do in Downtown Houston – Best Art Attractions

heritage society houston

credit: Heritage Society Facebook

If our restaurant and foodie scene are poppin’ then our museums are on fire! The Heritage Society has a gallery open to the public daily and tickets start at just $2 for children, $5 for adults. You can also get a tour of the historical buildings starting at $6 for students. That’s a whole lotta culture on the cheap!

Personage and birds

Personage and birds by Joan Miro – Image courtesy of

Outsiders may be aware of our rich cultural and arts scene but we also have a budding public art community. Check out Personage and Birds by Joan Miró at the JP Morgan Chase Tower Plaza. You can also check out Sky Dance by C. Finley, the largest public mural in Houston. The mural was just recently completed and can be viewed at 1415 Louisiana.

For the best selfie location, check out the Sugar and Cloth Color Wall on Green Street downtown. The vibrant colors will absolutely pop with a good camera. Set a day aside and view all of the public art in Houston for free!

Check out the full list of murals in Houston

Get the latest updates on Museums & Attractions in the Houston area


Things to do in Downtown Houston – Live Entertainment

miller outdoor theatre virtual series

Miller Outdoor Theatre

For a dose of the nightlife, Houston’s theatre district is a long-standing favorite. With dozens of cheap and affordable plays and musicals showing all year long, live theater is one of your best bets.

If theater isn’t music to your ears, Downtown Houston is a musical mecca. You can find plenty of restaurants and bars offering live music on the patio. For an on-the-cheap experience, Batanga has great food, great drinks, and an expansive patio featuring live music and dancing- and there’s no cover! House of Blues offers live music inside the restaurant as well as ticketed shows in their concert venue. They often have ticket giveaways at various record stores around town making it one of the best cheap things to do in Downtown!

Pete's dueling piano bar Houston

Image courtesy of Pete’s dueling piano bar Houston

To get in without a cover, visit Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar on Wednesday or Thursday night. The lively venue featuring interactive entertainment also allows you to bring your own eats for the show or have them delivered from their list of local favorites.

Get the latest updates on Theatre and Music in the Houston area


Whether it’s live entertainment, fun in the great outdoors, arts and culture, or nightlife you’re after, Downtown Houston has it all. See something which catches your eye? Let us know in the comments what free and cheap events in Downtown Houston you’re looking forward to!