25 cheap or free activities to do in Greater Houston area this summer

25 cheap or free activities to do in Greater Houston area this summer

The Miller Outdoor Theater hosts performances at no cost for admission. (Courtesy Visit Houston Texas)

From museums and farmers markets to yoga and car shows, there are dozens of free and cheap activities for Houston-area residents to check out this summer.

Staying active

1. Fitness in the Park at Discovery Green

Fitness in the Park is presented by The J.W. Couch Foundation at Discovery Green. Attendees can bring a water bottle, towel and a mat if attending yoga. This will continue until the end of June. Free (admission). 1500 McKinney St., Houston www.discoverygreen.com/fitness

• Core-Focused Yoga: Tuesdays until June 21, 6:30-7:30 p.m. 

• HIIT class with FitMix Communities: Wednesdays until June 29, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

• Pilates: Thursdays until June 30, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

• Hatha Yoga: Saturdays until June 25, 9-10 a.m.

• Tai Chi: Saturdays until June 25, 10:15-11:15 a.m.  

2. Free Fitness in the Park

Fitness classes are offered in Town Square in Sugar Land. Three classes are held every Friday. Free (admission). 15958 City Walk, Sugar Land www.sugarlandtownsquare.com/events/category/health-fitness/

• Boot Camp with Cida Fitness, 9-10 a.m.

• Mommy and Me with inspired fitness, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

• Zumba with Cida Fitness, 10-11 a.m.

3. Riva Row Rentals

Located in The Woodlands, Riva Row Boathouse provides kayaks, single and tandem kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, elliptical standups, water bikes and swan boats. Pricing varies. 2101 Riva Row, The Woodlands. www.rivarowboathouse.com

• Kayak rental: $20

• Stand-up paddle board rental: $25

• Water bike rental: $30

• Swan boat rental: $30

Kid-friendly activities

4. Family Movie nights in Levy Park

Guests can enjoy a movie on the lawn at Levy Park. Blankets and allowed. Furniture and chairs are prohibited. Free (admission). 3801 Eastside St., Houston. www.levyparkhouston.org/calendar/

• “Luca,” June 11

• “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” June 24

• “Cruella,” July 29

• “The Mitchells vs. the Machines,” Aug. 26

5. Summer Movie Clubhouse

From June 15-Aug. 3, Cinemark will show eight different PG-rated movies on Wednesday’s at select locations. Each ticket will be $1.50 plus taxes as well as discounted concessions. www.cinemark.com/series-events-info-pages/summer-movie-clubhouse

Participating Locations Include:

• Cinemark 12 Cypress and XD, 25720 Hwy. 290, Cypress. 281-256-7652

• Cinemark Tinseltown 290 and XD, 12920 Hwy. 290, Houston. 713-329-9402

• Cinemark Memorial City, 310 Memorial City Mall, Houston. 713-467-9749

• Cinemark Tinseltown USA and XD, 11450 I-10 E, Houston. 713-330-3994

• Cinemark 19 and XD, 1030 W. Grand Parkway N., Katy. 281-371-6008

• Cinemark Valley Ranch and XD, 21750 Valley Ranch Parkway, New Caney. 281-354-4117

• Cinemark Hollywood Movies 20, 2101 Beltway 8 E., Pasadena. 713-475-8180

• Cinemark at Pearland and XD, 3311 Silverlake Village Drive, Pearland. 713-436-9065

• Cinemark Rosenberg 12, 3420 Vista Drive, Rosenberg. 281-239-0839

• Cinemark Spring-Klein and XD, 21440 Kuykendahl Road, Spring. 281-288-2894

• Cinemark 17 and XD, 1600 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands. 281-362-4340

• Cinemark at Market Street, 9595 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands. 281-419-9639

• Cinemark 18 and XD, 20915 I-45 S, Webster. 281-332-0951

6. Children’s story time in the Garden

Mercer Botanic Gardens and Baldwin Boettcher’s Little Blue Library hosts Story Time in the Gardens at Mercer Park. Mercer’s story times will be held at 10:30 a.m. June 13 and June 27. Registration is required. Ages 2-5. Free (admission). 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. www.hcpl.net/events/62062

7. Summer block parties

The Texas Children’s hospital will be sponsoring a series of summer block parties at Levy Park. Events include live music, bubble stations, games and activities. The next block parties will be held

5-9 p.m. June 10, July 10 and Aug. 14. Free (admission). 3801 Eastside St., Houston. www.levyparkhouston.org/calendar/3608/

8. The Woodlands Children Museum

The children museum in The Woodlands offers timed session admission tickets for both members and nonmembers. Summer hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 7-Aug. 6. $7.50 (per adult or child over the age of 1). 4775 W. Panther Creek Drive, Ste. 280, The Woodlands. www.woodlandschildrensmuseum.org

9. Kids Bowl Free

Kids Bowl Free is a summerlong program at select bowling centers. Customers can sign their children up for two games a day. Free (admission for kids). www.kidsbowlfree.com

Participating centers include:

• Emerald Bowl, 9307 Boone Road, Houston

• IT’Z Family Food and Fun-Houston, 18355 Hwy. 249, Houston

• Times Square Entertainment – Katy, 402 W. Grand Parkway S., Ste. 110, Katy

10. Katy Inflatable

Customers have the option to participate in a variety of activities such as go karts, miniature golf, batting cages and inflatables. Prices vary on activity. 2482 South Mason Road, Katy www.katyinflatable.com

Pricing includes:

• Go Karts: Beginning at $13.75 per ride

• Miniature Golf: $13.75 for adults, $11.50 for children, children under three ride free when accompanied by paying adult

• Batting cages: Beginning at $3

Farmers markets and the outdoors

11. Berries and Blooms Festival

P-6 farms hosts a three-week-long festival on Saturdays and Sundays from 9-1 p.m. until June 19. The farm includes sunflower fields, blackberry picking, vintage fair rides, kettle corn and photo opportunities. $15.95 for general admission, children under three are given free admission. 9963 Poole’s Road, Montgomery. www.p-6farms.com/blooms-and-berries

12. The Cockrell Butterfly Center

The butterfly museum offers a museum-type atmosphere while designating an outdoor section of butterflies for guests to walk through. Strollers are not allowed. 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston. www.hmns.org/cockrell-butterfly-center/

Pricing includes:

• Nonmember: $12 for adults, $10 for children

• Member: $6 for adults and children

13. Miller Outdoor Theater

The Miller Outdoor Theater provides opportunities to experience the arts outside. Performances range from symphonies, musicians, musicals and dance performances. The performance list rotates. All performances at Miller Outdoor Theater are free. 6000 Hermann Park Drive in Hermann Park, Houston. www.milleroutdoortheatre.com/performances/

14. Farmers Market Houston

The Houston Farmers Market is Houston’s oldest and longest farmers market. Through vendors, customers can purchase produce, baked goods and treats, herbs and spices, meats, and coffees. Free (admission). 2520 Airline Drive, Houston. https://thehoustonfarmersmarket.com

15. Neal’s Berry farm

Customers can find blackberries, peaches, figs, Muscadine grapes, sunflowers, zinnias, nectarines and vegetables at the farm in Harris County. Not all crops are available for U-Pick. $3 (admission for ages 2 and above). 21104 Binford Road, Waller. www.nealsberryfarm.com

• Season Hours: Tue.-Sun. 7:30-1 p.m., closed Mon.

• Runs through late July or early August depending on crops

16. Southdown Dog Park

This half-acre fenced dog park provides sections for puppies and small dogs under 25 pounds, including an off-leash area. Dog owners should bring their own puppy water supplies. Free (admission). 2150 Countryplace Parkway, Pearland. www.pearlandtx.gov

Check out cool cars

17. Scuderia Exotic Car show

Market Street in The Woodlands hosts an exotic car show on the third Saturday of every month. Free (admission). 9595 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands. https://shopatmarketstreet.com/events/scuderia-exotic-car-show-21/

18. The Woodlands Car and Coffee for a cause

Care and Coffee for a cause is presented by The Woodlands Car Club. This event collects monetary donations for the Market Street’s Change for Charities program. Free (admission). 9595 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands. https://shopatmarketstreet.com/events/the-woodlands-car-club-cars-coffee-for-a-cause-13/

19. The Art Car Museum

This privately owned museum turns cars into art. Available by appointment only. Free (admission). https://artcarmuseum.com/contact/

Everything else: Museums, shopping and ghost tours

20. Houston Ghost Tours

Customers can book individual or group ghost tours. The business also provides other activities such as workshops and tarot tea parties. $15 per customer. Student and child discounts are available. Active military and Veterans receive free admission. https://houstonghosttour.com

Locations and Prices:

• Old Town Spring, 311 Main St., Spring

• Houston Ghost Tour, 6001 Fannin St., Hermann Park, Houston

21. City Place events

City Place hosts a wide range of events daily. Events include movie nights, fitness classes, trivia nights and workshops. Free (admissions). 1250 Lake Plaza Drive, Spring https://cityplacenow.com/events/

Leisure activities

22. Selfie Statue

A ten-piece collection of bronze statues are at the center of Towne Green. These bronze statues provide photo-op opportunities for individuals who might be there on a picnic, playing frisbee or taking a walk in the park. Free (admission) 15958 City Walk, Sugar Land. www.sugarlandtx.gov/1684/Selfie-Statue

23. Old Town Spring

A historic location originally built in the 19th century, Old Town Spring offers over 100 local businesses such as restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and antique shops. Store and restaurant hours vary. Free (admission). 403 Main St., Spring. https://oldtownspringshopping.com

24. Railroad Depot

During the second Saturday of each month, the depot is filled with music, arts and an outdoor movie. The depot contains train memorabilia, original art work, antiques and a model railroad. Free tours by appointment 11-4 p.m. and noon-5 p.m. on weekends. 201 S. Elm St., Tomball. https://tomballtx.gov/343/Railroad-Depot

25. Houston Museum District

Museum admissions and hours vary depending on the museum.

Museums and Hours:

• Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Blvd., Houston. 713-496-9901. Hours: Tue.-Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Mon.

• Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose Blvd., Houston. 713-284-8250. Hours: Tue.-Wed. Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Thu. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Mon.

• Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main St., Houston. 713-529-4848. Hours: Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue.

• Houston Center for Photography, 1441 W. Alabama St., Houston. 713-529-4755. Hours: Wed.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue.

• Houston Museum of African American Culture, 4807 Caroline St., Houston. 713-526-1015. Hours: Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Sun.-Thu.

• Lawndale Art & Performance Center, 4912 Main St., Houston. 713-528-5858. Hours: Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sun.-Wed.

• Moody Center for the Arts, 6100 Main St., Houston. 713-348-2787. Hours: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.

• Rothko Chapel, 3900 Yupon St., Houston. 713-524-9839. Hours: Wed.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue.

• The Jung Center, 5200 Montrose Blvd., Houston. 713-524-8253. Hours: Mon.-Thu. 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sun.

• The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross St., Houston. 713-525-9400. Hours: Wed.-Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue.

Museums offering free admission times:

• Children’s Museum Houston, 1500 Binz St., Houston. 713-522-1138. Free admission Thu. 5-8 p.m.

• Czech Center Museum Houston, 4920 San Jacinto St., Houston. 713-528-2060. Free admission last Monday of the month, noon-4 p.m.

• Holocaust Museum Houston, 5401 Caroline St., Houston. 713-942-8000. Free admission Thu. 2-5 p.m.

• Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston. 713-639-4629. Free admission Thu. 2-5 p.m.

• The Health Museum, 1515 Hermann Drive, Houston. 713-521-1515. Free admission Thu. 2-7 p.m.

• The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St., Houston. 713-639-7300. Free admission Thu. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

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