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7 Things To Do In Houston For Free | Houston for the Budget-Conscious

College students’ finances are geared toward paying for textbooks and tuition and rent, first and foremost. Whatever is left is the let’s-have-fun fund, and it might not be a lot. So what’s better than finding things that you can do for free?

Here are seven interesting and free things to do in Houston:

Free concerts at Miller Outdoor Theatre – Houston

Miller Time!

Are you into the arts, theater, ballet, dance, film and more? The Miller Outdoor Theatre is the best place to find free shows in Houston. The performances and features at the Miller Outdoor Theatre.

cover everything from Shakespeare to popular musicals. Pick up tickets early to sit in the seats under the amphitheater, or bring a picnic and sit on the hill facing the stage. The best thing about the Miller Outdoor Theatre is: all performances are free to the public. See the summer performance calendar.


Chapel of St. Basil – University of St. Thomas – Houston

Architectural Delights: See Houston’s Most Iconic Buildings

One of the most influential American architects left quite a mark on Houston.  Philip Johnson came out of retirement to design the Chapel of St. Basil for the University of St. Thomas. Along with fellow architect John Burgee, Johnson made noted contributions to the Bank of America Center building. Every Houstonian knows the Waterwall—a 64-foot-tall fountain shaped like a horseshoe near the Galleria. Well it’s one of Johnson’s pieces too.If you’re into the geometry of spaces and have a passion for art that houses people day-in-day-out, check out his contributions to great American architecture. It’s one the top things to see in Houston and it’s free to visit them all!

Mexican Free-Tailed Bats in Houston, Texas

Get Acquainted with Tadarida Brasiliensis (Mexican Free-Tailed Bats)

Batman isn’t the only one with access to thousands of bats in his secret headquarters, the bat cave. The Waugh Drive Bridge is home to thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats that swarm back and forth every evening. A second colony of bats can be found at the Watonga Drive Bridge in northwest Houston. Just remember to sit or stand at a safe distance to allow the bats plenty of room to fly from their dark abode. Please don’t forget to be bat friendly and do not use flashlights or camera flashes when the bats begin their flight.Project Row Houses – Houston, Tx.

Artistic Things Come Alive in Small White Houses at Houston’s Project Row

The Project Row Houses are restored shotgun houses that have been renovated into unbelievable community-based art studios. UST student Jennifer Mendez even created art for one. Each abode houses several pieces with some of the contributors being local college students with a concentrations in the fine arts. It’s free to visit, however you could dig deep and contribute to keep the project going.

Walk Inside an Underground Cistern: Buffalo Bayou Park Free Admission on Thursdays

Everyone knows about Buffalo Bayou Park, but do you know about the historic cistern beneath? The space is approximately 87,500 square feet wide at 25 feet high. The cistern was built in 1926 as a drinking water reservoir, but has been unused for years. There’s only one catch. If you want to explore the space at no cost to you, you need to make a reservation to get there on Thursdays. Any other day will incur a $2 fee. How magnificent is the space you ask? Well if it doesn’t sound that appealing just wait until plans for the cistern to become a temporary art space begin to take form. Book a tour.

Your Very Own No-Cost Zootopia: Free Admission to Houston Zoo

Please note you can’t get this deal during the summer, but during the spring and fall you can get a free pass to the Houston Zoo. If you want to sing the “bear necessities” you can with the bears in the carnivore exhibit. Want to see how a Malayan Tiger, the largest cat in the world, traverses the forest floor? The Houston Zoo is home to the endangered 30-40-mph-running, big cat. The deal is only available on the first Tuesday of every month from 2 p.m. to closing time.

Whatever you do this summer, there’s a lot of things to do in Houston for free. Have fun!

Want more ideas for things to see in Houston? Check out our guide to fun things to do in Houston in the summertime or see what you can do in Houston on Spring Break.

About the Author — Staff

AvatarThe University of St. Thomas is the only Catholic, liberal arts university in Houston, Texas. We have 35+ undergraduate majors including STEM, Nursing, Business, Education and Pre-Med. Located in a vibrant urban environment just minutes from downtown and the famed Texas Medical Center, we welcome students of all races and religions to our diverse and collaborative campus.

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