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20+ Free Things to Do in San Antonio: No Wallet Dent Here!

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Hey friends the holidays are approaching, but don’t sweat it. If you’re on a budget, saving up for something important, or setting aside money for those X-mas gifts, the FUN doesn’t have to stop! UNATION SA has created a list of Free Things to Do in San Antonio so you’re able to save your coins for something extra special.

Whether you’re into outdoor activities like early morning meditation, taking cute selfies, or soaking in history, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Keep reading!

Reminder: Due to COVID-19, we understand there’s not much going on in our city. But don’t worry, there is still plenty of Stuff to Do in San Antonio that can be done while social distancing. Be sure to double-check for any updates on these coffee spots before making plans to head out.

Free Things to Do In San Antonio

Table of Contents

Free Outdoor Activities

1. Japanese Tea Garden

Situated across from the San Antonio Zoo and the Brackenridge Park, the Japanese Tea Garden is open 7 days a week with free admission and parking. This beauty has been around for over 90 years in San Antonio with its breathtaking waterfall and Japanese pavilion. The exquisite and beautiful garden is filled with exotic plants, great for meditations, walks, and amazing photo ops.

In case you’re wanting to indulge, check out the yummy Jingu House. Grab a delicious tea and explore.

2. Hemisfair Park

A great location blocks away from the River Walk, The Alamo, and the hip Southtown, Hemisfair Park is perfect for a peaceful escape. The best part is that it’s 3 parks in 1 and you’re sure to have a fun-filled day. There are beautiful art and sculptures to observe, kid-friendly obstacles, splash ponds for the warmer days, and places to grab a snack if you’re willing to spend a few bucks.

Check out the schedule for free events like Story Time or Free Workouts  here.

Personally, I enjoy a cold brew coffee and an almond croissant from CommonWealth Coffehouse & Bakery. It’s the best way to write and enjoy the fresh air.

Here are some other coffee spots in San Antonio to help quench your thirst!

Other Free Outdoor Activities to Do in San Antonio:

Hot Wells Hotel Ruins

📍 S Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78214

La Villita Historic Arts Village

📍 418 Villita St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Pearl Brewery

📍 303 Pearl Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78215

Missions:

📍 6701 San Jose Dr, San Antonio, TX 78214

  • Mission San José
  • Mission San Juan
  • Mission Espada

Free Movies

3. Mission Marquee Plaza

Free movie Under the stars? Count us in! Mission Marquee Plaza provides family-friendly entertainment at zero to no cost. They offer a free monthly cinematic experience featuring a different movie every time. They also have multiple food trucks available if you’re wanting to buy some snacks. But don’t worry, if you don’t want to spend too much you can always pack your own goodies. Bring your homemade pb&j sandwiches, juice packs, lawn chairs, blankets, and enjoy the show!

4. Main Plaza

Located downtown in “The Heart of the City,” Main Plaza puts on a magical show. The Saga happens 4 days out of the week and it’s free for all to enjoy. Seating is first-come, first-served basis but you’re also able to bring blankets or chairs along. Make it romantic and pack snacks like a yummy charcuterie board or chocolate-covered strawberries.

Btw, there’s also Corazón Cinema to enjoy free movies on the plaza or Music Monday. Check out the schedule here.

Bonus Tip: DowntownTuesday is in full effect! Enjoy free parking on Tuesdays after 5pm at city-owned meters, parking lots, and garages.

Other Free Movie Spots In San Antonio:

Slab Cinema Outdoor Movies

Cinema on Will’s Plaza – Tobin Center

📍 100 Auditorium Cir, San Antonio, TX 78205

Locals: Free Day at the Museum

5. Witte Museum

It’s always a great idea to soak in some knowledge, explore, and enjoy amazing art. Lucky for us, San Antonio has a handful of museums that offer FREE or discounted days to local San Antonians. Grab your friends or family for some free fun and go out there and get cultured.

One of our favorite spots is the Witte Museum and if you’re a Texas or dino lover, Witte is perfect for you! Enjoy awesome galleries like the Dinosaur gallery, South Texas Heritage Center, People of the Pecos gallery, ¡Órale! The Magical Art of Oaxaca, and many more.

Visit websites for other Free Day at the Museum In San Antonio:

San Antonio Museum of Art

📍 200 W Jones Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215

McNay Art Museum

📍 6000 N New Braunfels Ave, San Antonio, TX 78209

Briscoe Western Art Museum

📍 210 W Market St, San Antonio, TX 78205

DoSeum

📍 2800 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209

Free All Week Long Museums

6. Artpace

Calling all art lovers! You’re sure to enjoy this one. Artpace is a contemporary art gallery that supports the art-making of regional, national, and international artists. This museum might be a hidden gem to a few and the best part is that it’s free all week long, including weekends. Enjoy some time alone to observe and get inspired, or go with a group of buddies to discuss the beauty of it all.

Bonus: There’s free parking available at 513 N Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78205.

Other Free All Week Long Museums In San Antonio:

Blue Star Contemporary

📍 116 Blue Star, San Antonio, TX 78204

Become a Tourist

7. The Alamo

In case you ever get bored and unsure about what to do, a little FREE history lesson can do the trick! Although you might’ve visited The Alamo many times before, there’s always something new to learn. Plus, sometimes it can be fun to revisit the past and it’s always fun to become a tourist in your own city. The Alamo holds plenty of history and is extremely beautiful to look at. Enjoy a nice stroll, soak in the past experiences, and enjoy some hometown city photo-ops in front of The Alamo.

Being spontaneous happens quick but please make sure to reserve your free ticket ahead of time. At the moment due to safety measures, a maximum of 100 people will be allowed in the church with a minimum of 30 minutes to explore. After the 30 mins are up, you’re able to roam and enjoy the rest of the grounds for as long as you’d like.

Other Free Spots to Become a Tourist In San Antonio:

San Antonio River Walk

📍 849 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Historic Market Square

📍 514 W Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78207

Free Instagram Photo-ops

8. Love Lock Bridge

If you believe in true love, soulmates, and are a true romantic, this one is for you! You won’t have to travel all the way to Paris either because San Antonio has it’s very own Love Lock Bridge! It’s nestled in a cute alley by the River Walk in the heart of the city, blocks away from the Main Plaza. Make a fun-filled day out of it. Take photos, bring a lock to leave, or just admire the beauty. 🔐💖

In the mood to splurge a little? Check out these spots that offer adorable Instagrammable Cocktails in San Antonio! Cheers! 

Other Free Instagram Photo-ops In San Antonio:

Peacock Alley

📍 110 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78205

Up for a drive?

You will need gas money but a short scenic drive always helps clear the mind. Especially with great music or even greater company. Plus, these awesome spots require no entrance fee. They’re beautiful for exploring, taking a stroll, fun pictures, or planning a cute homemade picnic.

9. Gruene Historic District

There are loads of fun things you can do while visiting the Gruene Historic District like shopping and wine tasting. However, if you’re on a budget, taking a walk and enjoying the Texas town will do the trick! There’s plenty of photo opportunities like at the Gruene Hall with the tower in the background that’ll be perfect for your Instagram feed, you can pack a picnic and enjoy it at one of the many beautiful parks, you can do some fly fishing, or you can visit in the evening for some out of this world Star Gazing!

Other Free Up for a Drive Spots In San Antonio:

Landa Park

📍 164 Landa Park Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130

River Road Park

📍 River Road Park, 100 River Rd, Boerne, TX 78006

Before You Go...

Don’t forget to save or bookmark this guide! You’ll want to check back when you’re looking for fun but Free Things to Do in San Antonio.

We know not everyone is ready to be out and about just yet, and we encourage you to do what is best for yourself and your family during this time.  

If you’re looking for more events and things to do in San Antonio check out the UNATION website or the UNATION app!  There is something there for everyone!  If you want to follow the Stuff to Do in San Antonio gals’ adventures be sure to follow us on InstagramTikTok, and Facebook!

Planning a trip or a fun-filled day in San Antonio?  Check out our Pinterest page for great ideas and planning tips!
Untitled Design 41 2 1 20+ Free Things To Do In San Antonio: No Wallet Dent Here! 2022
Samantha Sanchez

Samantha Sanchez

Samantha is a UNATION team member and author of the Stuff to Do City Guide. For more insight on the best events and things to do near you, subscribe for updates and follow be sure to follow us on social!

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