This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
Houston is a large city bustling with activity and things to do! In fact, many of the wonderful sites and sounds won’t cost you a dime. This city makes it easy to enjoy budget-friendly activities that the whole family can enjoy. Here are 25 top attractions that won’t break the bank!
Top 25 FREE Things to Do in Houston, TX
This is Houston’s premier outdoor theater for the performing arts. Free performances run March through October. The venue hosts a range of performances including classical music, ballet, and more and is set inside Hermann Park. Pack a picnic and enjoy some great shows.
This 12-acre park located in downtown Houston, is designed as an engaging and active place with programming to serve all ages. From large fields for sports to a promenade with 360 views of the city, dining options, fountains, music and so much more, this park has a lot to offer.
The Museum opened to the public in June 1987 and holds much of John and Dominique de Menil’s private collection. It’s considered one of the greatest of the twentieth century, the collection consists of more than 16,000 works dating from the Paleolithic era to the present day and a great place to go if you enjoy art and history.
It’s dedicated to contemporary art with an emphasis on art cars, other fine arts, and artists who are rarely, if ever, acknowledged by other cultural institutions. Stroll through to find neat exhibits of cars presented in many different ways. If you have a car or motorcycle fan in the family, they might really get a kick out of this stop!
This center develops local contemporary artists and the audience for their art. It’s dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art with an emphasis on work by Houston artists. Another great place to enjoy art with the family.
This Memorial Park (4 miles from downtown Houston), is a great way to escape the busy city. This 155-acre non-profit urban nature sanctuary provides education about the natural environment and you can walk the five mile trails for FREE. You can park for free with an Arboretum membership or on Thursday each week; otherwise, the parking fee is $5.
It’s Houston’s most photographed site! A 64-foot U-shaped fountain has water rushing down its inside and outside walls. The Water Wall pumps 78,500 gallons of recycled water every (3) hours and 20 minutes plus there are more than 180 live oaks shade the three-acre area, great for a picnic or throwing the Frisbee.
The Port of Houston Authority offers FREE 90-minute round-trip cruise along the Houston Ship Channel. While there is no fee, you must make reservations.
While you might not be a skater yourself, this one of a kind skate park is a great place to watch skaters do some neat tricks. This 30,000 square foot in-ground public facility contains one of the largest cradles in the nation, and is truly a sight to see. Remember your helmet!
You will find an impressive assortment of artist and designer-made items, books, accessories and educational toys for kids. You will find many exhibits to look at, so plan to spend a while looking at some modern art and creations.
With thousands of visitors each year, this chapel functions also as a museum and a forum. It’s filled with architecture and history and a place to put on the list to visit.
The Houston Zoo is free the first Tuesday of the month, but you must make a reservation. Taking the family to the zoo can be quite pricey, so this is an awesome freebie.
This are is a combination of a salt marsh, mud flats, and beach. Anyone can drive on the beach to see the birds for free.
Watch the boats and play in the fountains! Be sure to check for concerts and firework shows!
You can explore the underground tunnel system and Trolley tour. The tunnels are air conditioned and have shops and restaurants.
Take a day trip to see the ducks, birds, and prairie dogs. The park has a walking trail, playground, picnic area,and more!
Part of Rice University, you can visit art exhibitions and see other events and programs.
Head to the Waugh Drive Bridge at dusk to watch up to 250,000 bats fly around. This park also hosts the city’s 4th of July Fireworks display.
There are 20 splashpads in Houston! This is great summer fun, so grab a swimsuit and pick a pad near you.
This hands-on science center has tons of free education activities. There are also walking trails and a playground.
This family friendly park is perfect for picnics, feeding ducks, playing on the playground, and even has two splash areas.
You can take the ferry over to spend a day at the beach! This makes a great day trip with endless fun things to do.
Drive by and see the beer can house for free. If you want to go in, admission is $5. The house is covered in shiny, silver beer cans and even has art made from marbles and beer cans in the yard.
Check out the largest farmers market in Texas. It’s open daily 5:30am to 6pm. You can shop for produce, spices and more.
Reserve your seat at sunrise or sunset Wednesdays through Mondays to watch an artistic light display on a grass-covered pyramid.
See more free city guides.