Here are 25 free and cheap things to do in the Greater Houston area this summer

Here are 25 free and cheap things to do in the Greater Houston area this summer

Many venues host free events this summer, including the Sugar Land Town Square, who will have an outdoor movie night each month. (Courtesy Sugar Land Town Square)

Outdoor movies

1. Summer Movie Nights

Harris County Precinct 4 will host outdoor movie nights throughout the summer in parks across north Houston. Guests can bring blankets, chairs and snacks. Space is limited, though registration is not required. 7 p.m. Free (admission).

“Aladdin,” June 15, 16, 17, 18, 21 and 28

“Mulan,” July 9, 13, 14, 15 and 16

“Brave,” Aug. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9

2. Bank of America Screen on the Green

Discovery Green hosts movies on the green in June, with two showings each day, as space is limited and guests will be socially distanced. 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Free (admission). 1500 McKinney St., Houston.

“Mulan,” June 19

“Onward,” June 26

3. Second Saturday at the Depot

Each month, the city of Tomball will host a socially-distanced movie at the Tomball Railroad Depot Plaza, where guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and snacks. 8 p.m. Free (admission). 201 S. Elm St., Tomball.

“Wonder Park,” June 12

“The Goonies,” July 10

“Sonic the Hedgehog,” Aug. 14

4. Movie Under the Moon

Sugar Land Town Square presents movies at the plaza every second Saturday of the summer months, sponsored by First Colony Church of Christ. Free (admission). 2181 Hwy. 6, Sugar Land.

“Frozen 2,” June 12 at 8:30 p.m.

“Lion King” (2019), July 10 at 8:15 p.m.

“The Secret Life of Pets 2,” Aug. 14 at 8:15 p.m.

“DooLittle,” Sept. 11 at 7:45 p.m.

5. Movie Night

Market Square Park will have outdoor movie nights throughout the summer. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets, and can bring outside food and nonalcoholic drinks. There will be beer, wine, Greek food and American food available for purchase. 8:30 p.m. Free (admission). 301 Milam St., Houston.

“Roman Holiday,” June 11

“Rear Window,” June 23

“Sabrina,” July 9

“Some Like it Hot,” July 21

“Psycho,” Aug. 13

“An American in Paris,” Aug. 25

6. Family Movie Night

Levy Park presents movie nights in their event pavilion this summer, sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital. Guests should not bring outside furniture, as park chairs will be available. 8 p.m. Free (admission). 3801 Eastside St., Houston.

“Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” June 4

“Captain Marvel,” June 25

7. Katy Summer Nights-Movies in the Park

The city of Katy will have two outdoor movie showings this summer at the Katy City Park soccer field. Popcorn is complimentary, and outside food is permitted. The movie begins at sundown, though guests are encouraged to arrive early to grab a spot. Free (admission). 5850 Franz Road, Katy.

“National Treasure,” June 11

“Raya and the Last Dragon,” July 23

Discounted Movies

8. Kids Camp

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has family-friendly movie showings for $3 per ticket over summer break. Times vary each day and by location. June selections include “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” “Curious George,” “Minions” and “Babe.” 531 Mason Road, Katy.

9. Summer Movie Clubhouse

From June 16-Aug. 4, participating Cinemark theaters offer eight different PG-rated movies each Wednesday for $1.50 per ticket, along with discounted concessions during these showtimes. Times vary by location.

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

10. Children’s Summer Series

Studio Movie Grill presents a different movie for children each week from May 31-Sept. 3, where attendees can get a ticket, small popcorn and small drink all for $6. These movies will be the first showing of the day Mon.-Fri. and times vary by location.’s-summer-series

City Centre, 822 Town & Country Blvd., Houston. 346-299-6456

Pearland, 8440 S. Beltway 8 E, Houston. 346-299-6453

Live entertainment

11. Summer Symphony Nights

The Houston Symphony will perform at Miller Outdoor Theatre June 10 and June 12 for family-friendly orchestra concerts, rain or shine. Seating is capped to allow for social distancing and tickets are limited to no more than four per person. 8:30 p.m. 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston.

12. Live Performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre

Throughout the summer, Miller Outdoor Theatre presents live performances of music, dance and theater. Tickets are available starting a week in advance and no more than four tickets per person. Free (admission). 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston.

Notable events include:

A Gulf Coast Juneteenth featuring Bobby Rush, June 19 at 8:30 p.m.

An Evening with Christina Wells, June 25 at 8:30 p.m.

Summer Mixtape Series, July 29-31 at 8:30 p.m. each night

Houston Shakespeare Festival, August 3-7 at 8:30 p.m. each night

13. Road to River Revival Music Fest

Ahead of the River Revival Music Festival in September, Market Square Park hosts a monthly concert series, sponsored by Splice Records, Saint Arnold Brewing Company and the Downtown District. Guests can start arriving for the show at 6 p.m., and music will begin at 7:30 p.m. Free (admission). 301 Milam St., Houston.

John Evans and Two Tons of Steel (opener), June 12

Greyhounds and Maggie Belle Band (opener), July 10

Money Chica and Mia Borders (opener), Aug 14

14. Summer Block Parties

Sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital, Levy Park hosts a different live music group each month for their Summer Block Party Series in their event pavilion. There will also be bubble stations, games and children’s activities. 5-9 p.m. Free (admission). 3801 Eastside St., Houston.

Nick and the Groove, June 13

La Tribu Cubana and Street Style Salsa, July 11

DJ Mohawk Steve, Aug 8

15. Music in the Plaza ft. Zach Person

American Idol alumnus and Sugar Land Superstar finalist Zach Person performs live at the Sugar Land Town Square Plaza June 18, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free (admission). 2181 Hwy. 6, Sugar Land.

16. Friday Night Live Concerts

Discovery Green hosts outdoor shows this summer with a different local performer each month. The indie-pop duo Say Girl Say will take the stage June 25 at 6:30 p.m. The bands Bayou Funk and Swimwear Department perform July 23 and Aug. 27, respectively. Free (admission). 1500 McKinney St., Houston.

17. NOLA Nights

Sugar Land Town Square presents an authentic New Orleans music experience with the New Orleans Hustlers Brass Band June 26 and Ruben Moreno and the Zydeco Re-evolution July 24. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free (admission). 2181 Hwy. 6, Sugar Land.

18. Stars at Night-a Salute to Service

The Woodlands Symphony Orchestra performs at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion July 3 to celebrate Independence Day and honor local service heroes. 6:30 p.m. Free (admission). 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands.

19. July 4th Live Music at the Boardwalk

The Boardwalk at Towne Lake presents their annual Independence Day Celebration July 4, with live music, festivities and American foods from restaurants on the boardwalk. There will not be a fireworks display this year. noon-3 p.m. Free. 9945 Barker Cypress Road, Cypress.


20. The Woodlands Children’s Museum

Here, children can enjoy interactive exhibits to discover the importance of play. The museum will be closed July 4. Hours: Tue. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Thu. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon. $7 (1 year old and older). 4775 West Panther Creek Drive, Ste. 280, The Woodlands. 281-465-0955.

21. Houston Museum District

Many of these downtown museums offer daily free admission or special free admission times.

Museums offering daily free admission:

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 Mondays

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 Mondays

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., MS-480, 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 Sundays

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.


22. Kids Bowl Free

Participating locations in this national program offer kids two free games on select days. Registration required. Age limits, days and times vary by location.

Max Bowl East, 720 Ward Road, Baytown: Ages 2-15, June 1-Aug. 31

Time to Spare Entertainment, 13027 Hwy. 105 E, Conroe: Ages 2-15, May 24-Aug. 15

Emerald Bowl, 9307 Boone Road, Houston: Ages 2-17, June 1-Aug. 31

iT’Z Family Food and Fun-Houston, 18355 Tomball Parkway, Houston: Ages 2-13, April 19-Aug. 31

Max Bowl Humble, 2390 Wilson Road, Humble: Ages 2-15, June 1-Aug. 31

Times Square Entertainment, 402 Grand Parkway S., Suite 110, Katy: Ages 2-15, June 1-Oct. 31

iT’Z Family Food and Fun-Pasadena, 5950 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena: Ages 2-13, April 19-Aug. 31

23. Honky Tonk Chili Challenge

Tomball hosts its annual Chili Appreciation Society International sanctioned cook-off June 19 at the Railroad Depot Plaza. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free (admission and parking). 201 S. Elm St., Tomball.

24. HMNS at Levy Park

Experts from the Houston Museum of Natural Science will be at Levy Park select Sunday afternoons to lead educational, nature-related activities for visitors. 2-4 p.m. Free. 3801 Eastside St., Houston.

Buzz About Bees, June 27

Focus on Fossils, July 25

Cultural Africa, Aug. 22

25. Back to School Splash Bash

Sugar Land Town Square hosts an end to summer Aug. 7 with water slides, a DJ, giant bubbles and other activities, sponsored by Sewell Audi Sugar Land. The event will benefit the Fort Bend Rainbow Room, and attendees can bring backpacks and school supplies to donate. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 2181 Hwy. 6, Sugar Land.

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