Free and Frugal in Houston: Part I

If you have some extra time before or after our conference — or perhaps a few hours between sessions — Houston offers an incredible number of fun activities. Many are very easy on your budget, and there are free events every day.

  • Miller Outdoor Theatre, in Hermann Park, hosts an array of free activities that include classical music, dance, plays and movies. Some shows offer ticketed seating in a covered area that you reserve the day of the event. Bring a picnic lunch!
  • Blues at the Brown, at the convention center, is a free lunchtime concert, Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Market Square Park, in the Historic District, offers art installations, movies and other free goings-on. Many restaurants just outside the park will tempt you.
  • Water Wall, Post Oak Blvd. This 64-foot fountain, part of a 3-acre site with 180 oak trees, pumps more than 78,000 gallons of water every three hours. Perfect place for a picnic.
  • Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, on the west side of Memorial Park, 4 miles from downtown, is a 155-acre center with free interactive exhibits and 5 miles of trails to explore.
  • Port of Houston Boat Tour, Sam Houston Landing. Climb aboard for a free 90-minute tour, Wednesday through Sunday. Learn all about the port’s history, and enjoy the ride as you watch the freighters go by. Reservations are required.
  • The Menil Collection, Sul Ross Street, is composed of almost 15,000 works of art from the Paleolithic to present day, Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission is always free. The bookstore is open Wednesday and Thursday during museum hours.