Summer is a great time to go out and explore, but you don’t have to break the bank to do so. There are plenty of things to do that are fun and free of charge. This weekend, try some of these fun and free things to do in Texas.
1. Hermann Park, Houston, year-round. Free points of interest at this green space that is now celebrating its centennial year include an 80-acre bayou parkland with trails, intermittent bayous, a playground, an event pavilion, multiple gardens and a log house museum.
2. The Menil Collection, Houston, year-round: This 30-acre “neighborhood of art” is known for its Surrealist and modern European paintings and sculptures, part of a private collection spanning 50 years.
3. The Art Car Museum, Houston, year-round: Known as the “Garage Mahal” for its presentation of fine art dedicated to cars, it also boasts multiple kid-friendly exhibits in science, electronics and engineering.
4. Lampasas Spring Ho Festival, historic downtown Lampasas, July 3-9: A tradition since 1972, this multifaceted event features music, entertainment, a pet parade, running races, a fishing derby, museum exhibits, swimming in the local spring-fed pool and contests in beauty, dance, talent, horseshoes and washer pitching.
5. Balcones Heights Jazz Festival, San Antonio, Friday, July 7: Enjoy seating on the amphitheater lawn and concessions at this annual nighttime series. Performers include Texan guitarist Ruben V, local singing sensation Melina and L.A.-based trumpeter Rick Braun.
6. Bullock Museum Music Under the Stars, Austin, Friday, July 7: Texans James McMurtry and Akina Adderley perform outdoors next to the city’s iconic museum. Concessions include a signature vodka cocktail.
7. First Friday Art Trail, Lubbock, Friday, July 7: This regularly scheduled self-guided tour takes visitors through area art centers, museums, galleries and businesses to view pieces in multiple mediums. En route trolley rides are free.
8. Ysleta Mission Festival, El Paso, July 7-9: This festival on the grounds of the 337-year-old mission focuses on El Paso culture, history and traditions with live music, Native American dancing, Mexican Loteria cards and other games and concessions.
9. Levitt AMP Music Series, Denison, Friday, July 7: This outdoor concert celebrating “inclusivity, engagement and accessibility through music” features bluesman David Gerald with opening act the Black Dirt Playboys.
10. The Laredo International Sister Cities Festival, Laredo, July 7-9: Celebrate the Hispanic heritage of the city by enjoying Mexican and Central American art, products and food. The indoor “mercado” features more than 200 vendors and exhibits.
11. Big Bang Salsa Fest, Three Rivers, July 7-8: This intriguingly named festival offers continuous music, a salsa tasting contest, children’s rides, craft vendors, face painting, concessions and fireworks.
12. FridaFest, Edinburg, Saturday, July 8: Enjoy art, music, dance, poetry, theater, crafts and food celebrating famous artist Frida Kahlo. Special events include lookalike contests and live recreations of Kahlo’s paintings.
13. Early Settler’s Day Celebration, Levelland, Saturday, July 8. Celebrate the pioneers who founded this historic town through music, arts, crafts, games and food.
14. Rockin’ the River, Fort Worth, Saturday, July 8: This rollicking festival features live music, fireworks, concessions and refreshing tubing down the Trinity River. Kids are welcome, but expect alcohol.
15. Addison Summer Series, Addison, Saturday, July 8: This event features music by Joseph Vincelli, followed by film showings to be announced.
16. McDade Watermelon Festival, McDade, July 7-8: Highlights of this 69-year-old event, considered one of the longest-running festivals in the state, include a car show, pageants, parade, street dance and concessions focusing on the ubiquitous pink and green fruit.
17. Second Sunday Music Fest, Bandera, Sunday, July 9: The town billing itself as the “Cowboy Capital of the World” holds a free afternoon concert featuring artists Paul Hilliard, Boone Holding, Three Peace Band and the Gibson Sisters. Concessions are available.
Are you a fan of freebies? You’re likely a perfect candidate for our Free Power Weekends electricity plan offering free power all weekend long, from 6 p.m. Fridays until 11:59 p.m. Sundays.
This weekend, have fun and save money with free activities and free electricity!