- June 11, 2013

Road Trip: Top 4 Free Things to do in Houston


Houston is blessed with many activities and venues that are always free. Here is a round up of my top 4 free things to do in Houston:

  1. Miller Outdoor Theatre — Celebrating its 90th birthday this year, Miller Outdoor Theatre is a midtown venue that is always free. The hillside theater inside Hermann Park offers a variety of entertainment. Some of the annual favorites include Shakespeare in the Park, Theater Under the Stars’ Summer Musical, July 4th Houston Symphony and fireworks, Children’s Hilltop Festival, and Movies at Miller. Free reserved covered seats are available on performance day (10:30 am – 1 pm) at the Miller Box Office. Or just bring your blanket to enjoy hillside seating. 
  2. Discovery Green — Some folks originally doubted the idea of a downtown park, but Discovery Green has taken off in its first five years. In fact, it’s a big part of the celebration for Houston’s Super Bowl win in 2017. The park across from the convention center is home to a plethora of family-friendly events including the winter ice rink, live concerts, Movies Under the Moon, kayak rides, outdoor yoga, children’s weekly storytime, and more. It also offers a lake, splash pad, dog run, and a couple of restaurants. Discovery Green is located at 1500 McKinney.
  3. Houston Museum District — Houston is home to a dynamic museum district. In fact, culture and cuisine are two major reasons people come to Houston, according to a recent New York Times article — specifically mentioning the museum district. Thursdays are the magic day in the museum district with free admission during certain hours. Check out the schedule in Free Thursday Museum Day
  4. All Things Art Car — A Houston novelty, nothing can compete with Houston’s Art Car Parade held annually during the spring. Nearly 300 cars (that’s a loose term) roll through the streets on Allen Parkway. You see it all — a cockroach vehicle, outhouse on wheels, bedazzled mirror car, and ones with tiny plastic toys glued all over the top. If you miss the annual parade, a small Art Car Museum offers free admission Wednesday through Sunday. Houston has the largest number of art cars of any city, according to the museum’s director. The Art Car Museum is located at 140 Heights Blvd. 

If you plan on visiting Houston, check out Houston on the Cheap’s Free Weekend Fun post each Thursday. There are typically at least 10 activities and events posted to enjoy for free with family and friends.

Vicki Powers is a journalist who lived the first half of her life in Austin. Her favorite memories include Town Lake fireworks, Zilker Park summer theater, and visiting dogs at the Austin Humane Society. She started Houston on the Cheap in January 2009.

Image credits: 

Art Car by Vicki Powers
Discovery Green by Christine Tremoulet
Photo courtesy Children’s Museum of Houston
Photo courtesy of Miller Outdoor Theatre via Facebook