10 Things To Do In Houston That Are Free Or Almost Free

1. Take a look at the Menil Collection.

Visitors are allowed to explore the Menil Collection, which was gathered by John and Dominique de Menil and is located in Houston’s affluent Montrose area.

Paleolithic, Middle Eastern, African, modern, and religious art are among the 17,000 pieces in the collection. Some of the most well-known pieces include works by Miro, Max Ernst, and Picasso.

2. Visit the Rothko Chapel for some peace and quiet.

The Rothko Chapel, another of de Menil’s gifts to Houston, is located near the Menil Collection. The nondenominational chapel is named after Mark Rothko, a Russian-born artist who created the 14 enormous canvases that look virtually black at first view.

Take a seat on one of the benches in the chapel. Colors, depth, and movement in his paintings become visible as your eyes adjust to the ambient light.

The Broken Obelisk, a Barnett Newman sculpture in the courtyard, was dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr., in line with John and Dominique de Menil’s commitment to uplift all people and eliminate social injustice.

Pay a visit to the Houston Center of Photography while you’re in the area. The exhibit hall is always free to enter, but reservations are required.

3. Think about the sunrise or sunset.

On the Rice University campus, James Turell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyspace is an outdoor art piece. Seating is available on the ground and second floors of the modern building.

About 40 minutes before dawn and about 10 minutes before dusk, the light sequence begins. Watch the sky, and the Skyspace that frames it, change color slowly. The nighttime performance is even more intense.

4. Take a Dip In The Waterfall

Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park is a haven in the heart of Uptown Houston. Pictures do not do justice to this renowned fountain, which every 3.5 hours distributes 11,000 gallons of water over the inner and outer semicircular walls.

There is no street noise after you pass past the Scanae Frons, a limestone and brick entrance. It’s very nice to have a chilly mist.

Along the walkways leading to the fountain, there are benches shaded by live oak trees.

5. Visit The Galleria To Window Shop

Window shopping and strolling around the air-conditioned mall are both free. It’s also fun to observe ice skaters at Ice at the Galleria during public skating. You’ll have a hard time leaving without handing over your credit card to purchase anything from one of the 400 stores or renting a pair of skates to take a spin around the ice.

6. Be awestruck by a work of art.

The Art Car Museum is a privately owned museum that features art automobiles and rotating exhibits by local artists throughout the year.

The Art Car Museum, affectionately known as the “Garage Mahal,” houses three or four automobiles, one of which is outdoors. The demon automobile was once driven to California, and I’m sure it turned a few heads.

Aside from the automobiles, the museum hosts temporary art exhibits such as photography, fine art, and ceramics. The present situation What I did on my COVID Vacation provided a wide spectrum of thought-provoking insights.

7. Be awestruck by street art

Mural painters in Houston have painted on hundreds of walls around the city and suburbs.

If you’re in Houston Heights, check out Sergio Aquilar and Jose Kontos’ retro-looking space/UFO-themed painting on the Heights House Hotel. It would appear like you are being abducted if you stand in the beam of light. Sebastien “Mr. D” Boileau painted God carrying a can of spray paint in the manner of Michaelangelo at 2800 San Jacinto Street in Midtown’s Preservons la Creation.

The Houston Is Inspired painting by GONZO247 is located downtown, across from Market Square Park, where free classic movies are shown on summer nights. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs. At Niko Niko’s in the park, you can get something to eat or drink.

8. Study the Early Settlers

The oldest park in Houston, Sam Houston Park, was founded in 1900. Houston’s past is highlighted through a museum and renovated mansions. A reproduction of a general shop that formerly stood in Egypt, Texas, is on display in the museum. Built in 1823 and transferred here in 1973, the oldest home is located near the museum, where it is more sheltered from storms.

A stroll across the park across the street takes you past residences and St. John Church. Some of the structures were slated for destruction but were moved and rebuilt in the park.

The magnificent Kellum-Noble House, constructed in 1847, is the sole residence that is unique to this area. It was used as the park keeper’s residence, and the grounds were home to the first Houston Zoo.

Each house has a sign in front of it with information on how to listen to the description of who constructed and lived there. From a freed slave who became a pastor and founded Bethel Baptist Church to German immigrants, the owners came from many walks of life.

9. Go on a Harbor Cruise

The Sam Houston Tour Boat departs from Port Houston’s Sam Houston Landing every Tuesday through Saturday for a 90-minute guided tour of this commercial port. You may witness dock workers unloading goods as you pass under the shadow of massive multinational freighters. Everything is free, including the parking near the terminal, the tour, and the refreshments.

10. Take Part In A Bat Walk

There are 250,000 Mexican free tail bats in the Waugh Bridge colony. By day, they dangle upside down in the bridge’s cracks and emerge at twilight, flying in a swirling pattern. The Waugh Bridge spans Buffalo Bayou in the heart of Houston, and you can watch the bats leave for the night to feast on insects from a viewing platform.

Bat Talk and Walk Tours with a Bat Expert are also offered by Buffalo Bayou Partnership to provide a better knowledge of these flying animals and their role in the environment.