What is there to do in Houston with no money? Turns out, a lot! It’s possible to enjoy the city while saving money, and there are parks, museums, and concert venues to explore. Here are eight free things to do in Houston.
8 Free Things to Do In Houston
Miller Outdoor Theatre
The Miller Outdoor Theatre offers free outdoor performances for about 8 months out of the year. Located in Hermann Park, there are two types of seating: covered seating and lawn seating. The best part? All performances (and seats) at Miller Outdoor Theatre are free, making it a great place to spend an evening with friends. View the list of upcoming performances, mark your calendar, and pack a picnic to meet your friends.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
If you enjoy art, check out the rotating exhibits at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Located in the heart of the Houston Museum District, admission is always free. Visitors can use the MetroRail, which is a short walk from the museum. It’s a great way to spend a rainy day in Houston without breaking the bank. You’ll often see it referred to as CAMH.
Buffalo Bayou Park
Buffalo Bayou Park is a 160-acre greenspace that lies just west of downtown Houston. There are beautiful gardens; hike and bike trails; paddle craft and bike rentals; a dog park; nature play area; and two visitor centers. It’s a great gathering place for visitors to picnic, relax and enjoy outdoor activities. The park boasts an elevated skylawn and pavilion — The Water Works — that offers stunning views of Houston’s skyline.
Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
One of Houston’s most beloved, iconic landmarks, the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park attracts visitors of all ages. It’s one of the most-visited attractions in Houston. The 64-foot-high semi-circular water wall is one of the most-visited attractions in Houston and makes for a great photo opportunity.
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
Founded in 1967, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is one of the oldest nature education facilities in Texas. Located on the southwest corner of Memorial Park, admission to the Nature Center and trails is free. There are a lot of different trails to explore in the Nature Center and adjacent Memorial Park. Leashed dogs are allowed, making it a great place to bring a furry friend to get some energy out, too.
If you’re venturing out to the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, it only makes sense to check out adjacent Memorial Park. As Houston’s largest urban-center park, it’s almost double the size of New York’s Central Park. There are 30 miles of natural and surfaced trails, making it easy to explore new parts of the park on each visit. It’s also home to Houston’s annual Bayou City Art Festival.
The Menil Collection is a museum and neighborhood of art spanning 30 acres in the heart of Houston, Texas. It houses approximately 17,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs and rare books. With a mission to make art accessible to all, no admission is charged and public programs are free.
Smither Park is an urban space that has been developed over time with help from artists and community members. It’s an urban green space with a quirky collection of large mosaic sculptures designed and created by local artists. Using materials like dinner plates, fishing lures, and street signs, artists contribute to the park’s working space. Visit on a Saturday and you might find local artists adding to the creation with recycled materials.
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