The Top Ten Best Things to Do in Houston For Free

Published: June 17, 2014


Go to a big city and enjoy new and exciting things, they said.  There are fun things to do in Houston, they said. 

Yet, if you are trying to see Houston on a budget you might be left scratching your head, wondering how you can see the city and all that it has to offer without going broke.  Luckily, there are some great things to do in Houston that are absolutely free that will appeal to the young and the old!

There are so many great options, that it is impossible to choose which is the best!


  1. Miller Outdoor Theatre

    Miller Outdoor Theatre 

    Who doesn’t like to take in a musical or stage show?  Who doesn’t enjoy live music?  Yes! You can enjoy these things absolutely free of charge when you visit the Miller Outdoor Theatre.  Performances range from off Broadway performances, to youth drama performances, to musical performances and beyond. The theatre is set within the beautiful Hermann Park and allows for the masses to come and enjoy free performances.  You can sit on the lawn and enjoy your own picnic and be entertained at the same time.  Shows range from morning to evening, so there truly is something for everyone.

  2. Discovery Green

    Discovery Green 

    Discovery Green is a 12 acre park that is so much more than your basic park.  In the summer months families can come and enjoy a splash pad that will make the Houston heat more bearable.  The splash pad and the surrounding areas that are perfect for picnics is 100% free of charge.  In the winter months, families can come to the park and enjoy ice skating.  The rink is free to those who have their own skates, and for a very small fee skates can be rented.

    The park is also a great place for families to spend time together enjoying nature, taking in the unique sculptures that are located all around the park, or to take in any one of the free movie nights, group fitness classes, and of course the library that is found on park grounds.  A whole day can be spent at the park, taking in all different types of experiences, pleasing the whole family for free or next to nothing.

  3. The Art Car Museum

    Art Car Museum

    If ever there was a unique experience to behold, it’s the Art Car Museum.  This museum has been open to the masses since 1998 and it features a wide variety of vehicles ranging in size, shape and age.  There are true antiques and those that are much more modern, but these are not your average cars.  Here, the cars have been modified, and they are truly pieces of art.  Visitors will see cars that hardly look like cars at all because they have been modified to the specifications of their artist, with the addition of wings, horns, buttons, mosaic pieces and beyond.  Whether you are a car buff, are an art fanatic or are drawn to the absurd, this is a must see and it is 100% free to gain access.

  4. Port of Houston Boat Tour

    Port of Houston

    Visiting Houston often involves trips to the obvious places such as the zoo or concert venues, yet so many don’t realize that Houston is actually a port city.  Individuals or groups can take a 90 minute boat tour that will allow you to see what the Houston port is all about.  You can learn so much about what the city brings in and out of the area, and you can see the sights that are unique to this area of the city.  The tours are 100% free, although you’ll need to plan ahead for this budget friendly excursion, because it does require reservations.  Planning ahead for this experience is definitely worth it and can be enjoyed by the young and old alike.


  5. Children's Museum of Houston

    Children's Museum of Houston


    While the museum is not always free, on Thursdays from 5-8 families can gain entry into the museum for free.  The museum offers a wide variety of exhibits, including permanent and visiting opportunities for exploration.  The museum is fit for those ranging from birth to 12 years of age, and has received recognition as one of the best children’s museums in the country.

    There are hands on exhibits for children to enjoy that will not only provide hours of fun, but will also help them learn something about how things work, how water flows and beyond.  There are clear indications of what exhibits and areas will appeal to what age ranges, making it easy for parents to guide the exploration of their children.  A day spent at the museum for free will provide entertainment and education for the whole family!

  6. Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park

    Skate Park

    For those looking to get outdoors and get on their skateboard, this is a great place to visit.  The park appeals to those who have been skating for years, as well as those who are just getting started.  It offers more than 30,000 square feet of skate space that is sure to challenge the old pros and give beginners a place to hone their skills.  100% free, this park is a great addition to this list for those that want to take on a spectacular sporting experience.

  7. Houston Arboretum

    Houston Arboretum

    For those looking to spend time outdoors, this is a free find that is sure to impress.  This is a 155 acre resource that is home to many plants that are native to the area, wild animals that call the space home and trails that span miles at a time.  The shaded paths make for a great place to experience the outdoors without driving long distances.  Once on the property, visitors forget that they are just five miles from downtown Houston and they can get lost in the great outdoors. 



  8. Labyrinth at St Paul's Methodist


    Who knew that you could visit a labyrinth in the city of Houston?  While you may not see David Bowe and the host of creatures that many associate with the movie Labryinth, you’ll find that this is an oddly entertaining and relaxing way to spend your time in the city.  It’s a unique experience that is not well known, so you may feel like you are a part of a great secret!


  9. Hermann Park

    Hermann Park

    Hermann Park is where you can spend many days exploring, enjoying, learning and being entertained for free.  You can enjoy picnic lunches and dinners in the park and you can visit rose gardens, water features, Japanese gardens and unique sculptures, wildlife and plant life that are native to the area.  There is so much to see and do in the park that you can make it your destination several times and see something new. If you do want to splurge and spend a little money, there are also paddle boats that will offer a lot of fun and great memories made.

  10. Houston Public Library

    Houston Public Library

    That’s Right!  The library is a destination in Houston.  The central library is home not only to books, but is a great place to go for entertainment and relaxation. There are always children’s activities available and adults can enjoy yoga, relaxation and mediation classes, crocheting classes and beyond.  The list of events is always changing and growing, making this a great place to visit for free fun and entertainment.

There are so many great free opportunities in Houston that it is hard to say which is the best.  Houston is a great place to live and visit, and these amazing free opportunities prove that you don't have to break the bank to take in the unique, entertaining and educational offerings in and around the area.