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Budget Travel: Top 10+ Fun and Free Things to Do in Houston

Free Things to Do in Houston

Houston is a representation of American resiliency. The spirit of community is very strong that no hurricanes, recent and ancient past, can make the city recoil from its tough character. That is why the Bayou City, as it is also known, is regarded as one of the prime destinations if you’re traveling within the United States.

What’s more, there are plenty of outstanding attractions and free things to do in Houston. You don’t have to worry about knocking over your budget to have an extraordinary break. That’s how budget-friendly the city is despite their latest storm episode.

12 Houston Points of Interest That Are Free

1. View the City Atop the J.P. Morgan Chase Tower

This is the iconic skyscraper in downtown Houston you wouldn’t want to miss. Ride the express elevator and take the one-minute ascent to the Observation Deck on the 60th floor. The view of the entire city from the public observation deck is spectacular. Be sure to include the tower in your weekday itinerary. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2. The Underground Adventure in the Downtown Tunnel System

Go underground just like what the locals do to escape the piercing sun rays. You’ll be amazed at the intricate 7.5-mile long downtown tunnel system where retail shops and restaurants line up the network’s stretch. Save a full weekday afternoon for an interesting adventure beneath the city’s surface.

3. Create Your Postcard at the Water Wall

The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park at Post Oak Blvd. is where the ‘water wall’ stands proud. The unique wall is the most photographed spot in Houston.  Use this astounding 64-foot-high fountain structure as a backdrop of your Texas souvenir. Feast your eyes on a never-ending flow of recycled water on both sides of the wall. Feel the mist in the morning, afternoon or dusk or simply gawk at the impressive structure.

Free Things to Do in Houston

4. Find Escape from the City at the Arboretum & Nature Center

This wildlife sanctuary was spared from serious devastation by Hurricane Harvey. You can come to the center to stroll along the endless walk trails, find momentary solitude in the ponds or just gather inspiration. Admission is free but if you have extra dollars to spend, there are affordable programs for adults, families, and children to enhance the experience.

5. Have a Gem of an Experience at Discovery Green

Discovery Green is a 12-acre urban park that is brimming with activities for families, couples, and lone travelers. Watch concerts, relish movie nights, marvel at the Houston skyline and enjoy other free events. Nearly $185 million was spent for the acquisition and development of the property. It is a model of a successful private-public partnership that benefits hundreds of locals, visitor, and tourists.

6. See the Wheels at the Art Car Museum

Whether you have a fancy for cars or not, you will delight in the Art Car Museum. The museum showcase the car revolution in a stunning fashion. Imagine combining great artwork with superb craftsmanship. You can head out there Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

7. Save Your first Tuesdays for the Houston Zoo

In case your trip to Houston falls from September to May, better save the first Tuesday afternoon of the month for the zoo. Time your arrival after lunch to avail of the ‘free’ afternoon entrance tickets. It’s a generous welcome freebie to see wildlife at its best.

8. The Scene of Top-Rated Entertainment Is the Miller Outdoor Theatre

The Miller Outdoor Theatre is the perfect venue if you’re in search of ‘free’ but first-rate entertainment in Houston. Check out the show schedules and the line-up of performers before going. Only precarious harsh weather can warrant show cancellations. Thus, only hurricane or tropical storm warnings will dampen your excitement.

Free Things to Do in Houston

9. Potluck at the Bear Creek Pioneer Parks

The 2168 acres park is the ideal location for family bonding time.  Picnic tables and grills are scattered around the place but there are no stores. You have to bring your own foodstuff and baskets. There’s a mini-zoo, playgrounds, and fields or courts for outdoor sports.

10. Reserve Your Seats at the Sam Houston Boat Tour

You have to make prior reservations to secure seats and experience a 90-minute round trip around the Port Authority cargo area. The boat tour is a fantastic way to view the city from another perspective. This free excursion is available from Wednesday to Sunday.

11. Explore the Early Days of Houston at the Heritage Society Museum

The setting at the Heritage Museum Gallery will bring you back to the early days of Houston. Relive the period before the oil boom of the 1900s that brought the city to the spotlight. The museum is open, free of charge, from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. only.

12. Take a Peaceful Journey to Glenwood Cemetery

A different ambiance awaits you at the Glenwood Cemetery. It’s modeled after the 19th century romantic gardens but blended with a landscaped park. The feeling is peaceful more than haunting. Check out the art and architecture of the restored Superintendent’s office that was built in 1888. The Glenwood Company was revitalized from receivership in 1901 before becoming a permanent fixture in Houston’s tourism scene.

An Insider Bonus

If you think you still need help to explore the city, you can seek out a Houston Greeter. The ‘greeter’ is a local volunteer who will accompany you around for free. Learn how to meet one if you want to really save on expenses. Many tourists found it to be their saving grace.

Witness the City’s Resurgence

Houston is back on track even before the Astros won the 2017 World Series. The victory indicates a portent of things to come for families and businesses in Houston. Tourism is again gaining momentum as none of the major economic engines sustained lasting impairment. The city is actually entering a new phase of restoration.

Visitors coming to the city can witness first-hand the resurgence of a city that found itself in a tight situation. What’s best is that you can have the luxury of having to choose various travel itineraries. Your vacation can be fulfilling and budget-friendly just like when you travel to other cities in the United States.  Head out to Houston on your next trip to see the workhorse of the American economy at work.

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Free Things to Do in Houston

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.

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