Watching your spending doesn’t mean slamming the door on fun. In Texas there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy big fun that won’t cost you a dime.
1. Get in shape
A gym membership isn’t the only path to making yourself fit and healthy. All you need is your body and the great outdoors. Just step outside and start running or biking, followed up with some strength-building exercises for your core muscles. If you’re in the Dallas area, you can even take in some free yoga and Pilates sessions at the Dallas Farmers Market. Look online for lots of other free workout classes in your area.
2. Life is a circus
Stoke that childhood wonder and watch acrobatic performers of Houston’s Cirque la Vie bring their fun, whimsy and effortless maneuverability to the Avenida Plaza every Friday night.
3. Get your groove on
Where there’s free live music, there’s fun, and even a smaller city can play host to free live outdoor music. In Fort Worth, you can spend your Saturdays rocking out to live music while floating on an inner tube at Rockin’ the River Live on the Trinity. Of course, plenty of free music opportunities abound in Austin, the live music capital of the world. For example, Blues on the Green delivers Texas-honed talent in an outdoor atmosphere that also welcomes dogs and kids.
4. Get inspired at a museum
Hop online and find an art museum or historic landmark to broaden your horizons. In Dallas, you can explore the beauty and architecture of the 68-acre Dallas Arts District, which includes theaters, and free admission to the Dallas Art Museum as well as the Crow Collection of Asian Art. Mark your calendar for the June 16 Dallas Arts District Block Party.
5. Classic and quirky — the perfect combo!
No trip to San Antonio is complete without a visit to the iconic source of the ultimate Texas spirit, The Alamo. While you’re there, leave room for the off-the-wall, nothing-like-it, one-on-one tour of Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum. What do they have in common besides their rave online reviews? Both offer free admission!
6. High-class symphony music
Snag some tickets to wait for July 4 fireworks in style, and listen to a world-class performance of patriotic masterpieces by the Houston Symphony at the Miller Outdoor Theater.
7. Splashy fun
Give the backyard sprinkler a break (along with your water bill) and take the kids to one of the dozens of free splash pads, wading pools and beaches all around Austin.
8. Feel natural
Hiking and biking always does a soul good. Pack some tasty, portable snacks, water bottles and sunscreen, and start exploring. While some larger parks charge a per-car fee, there are plenty of no-cost options to explore around the Lone Star State. Austin’s Barton Creek Greenbelt offers 800 acres of free and clear access to nature featuring hiking, biking, climbing and swimming, creating a well-loved oasis in the city.
9. Dance in the streets
Literally! Houston’s Avenida Plaza comes alive every Thursday evening with two opportunities to learn to dance. Donations are accepted, but anyone is welcome to join.
10. Peer into the future
You can’t get your fortune told without someone robbing you blind, right? Wrong! On Friday or Saturday evenings in Dallas you can get free one-card readings, no strings attached.
11. Invite the gang over for a movie
You live in the golden age of readily accessible entertainment. Instead of dropping a small fortune on tickets and movie house snacks, bond with your friends over your shared love for action flicks and stream a classic in the comfort of your home. Better yet, take advantage of First Choice Power’s Power-to-Go Free Weekends, and you can watch for hours and crank up the AC all weekend long, and the extra kilowatt-hours won’t cost you one dime!
Living large in Texas doesn’t mean breaking the bank. While this list should get you started, keep your eyes open for more free fun around the Lone Star State.