Experience Houston for Free

Posted on Friday, July 9, 2021

If you are looking for budget-friendly summer adventures, we have a suggestion — spend the day in Houston. The nation’s fourth largest city is a bustling place with theatrical performances, museums and nature centers — many of them free and an easy drive from Sierra Vista. Here are some of their favorite free activities.

Picnic in Hermann Park

Up your picnic game with a trip to Hermann Park. Located in the heart of Houston, the 445-acre park boasts plenty of places to spread a blanket. Lake Overlook and Molly Ann Smith Plaza offers shaded seating and water features for the kids. The new Lake Picnic area sports BBQ grills, picnic tables, swings and trails.

Catch a Show at Miller Outdoor Theatre

Concerts, films, showstopping musical theater performances and more can be accessed for free in Hermann Park. In July, come out for The Miller Summer Mixtape series, a three-day, independent music showcase featuring Houston’s top musical artists. The annual Shakespeare Night at the Movies begins in August. Check here for even more performances.

Visit the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

Spend a few hours wandering the trails of this shady 155-acre sanctuary near Memorial Park.

Watch Bats Take Flight

The Waugh Drive Bridge near Buffalo Bayou is home to a year-round colony of Mexican free-tailed bats. They take flight every evening, and you can keep an eye out for them from an observation deck in Buffalo Bayou Park.

Enjoy International Art at The Menil Collection

The Menil Collection is a great place to view contemporary art, but it also houses art from Africa, the Pacific Islands and the American Pacific Northwest. Byzantine and Medieval art, Paleolithic artifacts and antiquities from Egypt and the Near East are also on display.

Explore the Rothko Chapel

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational place of worship providing a safe space for dialogue, prayer and worship reflecting Houston’s religious diversity.

Go Vroom at the Art Car Museum

Also known as the “Garage Mahal” this private museum showcases contemporary art from around the world emphasizing the automobile including art cars, low riders and other motor-driven contraptions as well as paintings and photography.

Make a Splash in Discovery Green

Cool down by making a splash in the Gateway Fountain at Discovery Green. The 14-foot-high arcing jets are beloved by children. Once the family is cooled down you can visit the playground, take in a free movie under the stars, unleash Fido on the dog runs, view art and more.