You’ve heard before. You’ll hear it again. Houston is one of the most diverse, culturally rich, and generally happening cities in the country. While there are a host of museums, galleries, performances, and other events you can pay a pretty penny to experience, Houston also has a lot of free attractions. We’re not just talking about free days at museums. Although those are great, as well. Here are a few experiences in Houston that are always free.
The 155-acre Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is a centrally located city retreat and education center every Houstonian should visit from time to time. Five miles of nature trail wind through a range of diverse habitats, enabling visitors to forget they’re in the U.S.’s fourth-largest city for a time. The Houston Arboretum is a family-friendly destination, with a children’s botanical hall and several educational programs for children and adults. Other popular attractions at the arboretum include a Hummingbird and Butterfly Island, Sensory Garden, and Wildlife Garden. The Houston Arboretum is less than 10 minutes’ drive from AMLI Uptown apartments in the Galleria.
Downtown Houston’s Discovery Green is another place where plenty of free activities are held throughout the spring and fall. Free activities at Discovery Green range from yoga to writing workshops to musical performances. Check the schedule of events for information about free live music performances and artisan markets.
The Urban Harvest Farmers Market brings fresh, local produce and artisanal foodstuffs to Houstonians every Saturday of the year. The market is free to enter, and there are usually plenty of free samples available to try. If you want to bring produce, fresh baked goods, or jars of jam or honey back to your apartment, you’ll have to pay for those.
Known colloquially as the Garage Mahal, Houston’s ArtCar Museum is a one-of-a-kind institution where visitors can see contemporary art made from old motor vehicle parts. The museum is private, but charges no admission. Houston’s ArtCar Museum is a 15-minute walk or short drive from AMLI Memorial Heights.
The Menil Collection showcases a vast collection of art, carefully curated and displayed. While particularly rich in its offerings, the Menil Collection is only one of several free activities of its kind in Houston. Other art collections that do not come with an entrance fee can be found at Houston’s Contemporary Art Museum, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Lawndale Art Center, and Blaffer Art Museum.
Port of Houston Boat Tour
A short sailing journey from the Gulf of Mexico, the Port of Houston is an economic engine that has helped drive Houston’s growth and prosperity for more than a century. Learn more about the port and enjoy some time at sea with a free, 90-minute tour of seaport. The tour is free, but reservations are required.
Waugh Drive Bridge Bat Watch
After sleeping through the day, a quarter million bats emerge from under Waugh Drive Bridge to feed every evening at dusk. Witness the frenetic phenomenon that you’ve no doubt heard people talking about for free. The bat colony resides a 15-minute walk or short drive from AMLI Memorial Heights.
Between March and November, the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park is one of Space City’s hottest destinations. Free ballet, dance, live music, and Shakespeare in the Park performances are held. Not only are these events free. You’re allowed to bring and picnic and your own beverages, provided they are not in glass bottles.
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