Things to Do in Houston Under $20

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We’ve all been there… you’re dying to get out of the house and do something fun, but everything is just SO expensive! You resign yourself to another day of Netflix binges and takeout, but your FOMO is out of control. It doesn’t have to be that way! Houston has tons of fun things to do that won’t break the bank.

Don’t believe us? Check out our list below for things to do in Houston under $20, including museums, natural wonders, and other family-friendly fun! Which one will you try first?

📷 Art Car Museum

There’s no museum that screams Houston quite like the Art Car Museum. Showcasing the funky hand-decorated cars that fill the Houston streets every year for the annual Art Car parade, this museum is a one-of-a-kind art experience that simply can’t be missed!

At this museum, no two cars are ever the same, and there’s no limit to the kookiness on display. Stop by to see their newest spring exhibition: The Art of Harold Bourdier! And we didn’t tell you the best part– admission is always FREE! Just make sure to reserve your spot on their website.  When it comes to affordable activities in Houston, this is a must-do. 

Monday | Closed
Tuesday | Closed
Wednesday | 11:00am–6:00pm
Thursday | 11:00am–6:00pm
Friday | 11:00am–6:00pm
Saturday | 11:00am–6:00pm
Sunday | 11:00am–6:00pm

📍140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007

📷 Houston Museum District

And speaking of free museums… let us fill you in on our little secret about the best way to experience Houston’s museum district. Every single Thursday, general admission is free at Houston’s biggest museums. Yep, you heard that right! You can visit the Children’s Museum, Health Museum, Holocaust Museum, Houston Museum of Natural Science, The Museum of Fine Arts, and many others for FREE.

This is such a great way to experience all of the amazing art, science, and history that Houston has to offer without going over budget. Next Thursday’s plans? Sorted!

**Hours vary by location**

📍Museum District

📷 Sam Houston Boat Tour

Finding fun things to do in Houston doesn’t always mean you have to go downtown. There are fun and unique things to do all over the area. Like…did you know you can take a tour of the Houston Ship Channel? This is a 90-minute boat ride that will take you through the ins and outs of Houston’s port and maritime history.

You’ll start at Port Houston’s Sam Houston Landing, and from there you’ll have a firsthand look at the international cargo vessels as they enter and exit the port. On a day with nice weather, this would be the perfect activity for you and your kids. And of course… it’s also free! What could be better than that? Visit their website on the first of the month to make your reservations!

Monday | Closed
Tuesday | 10:00am & 2:30pm
Wednesday | 10:00am & 2:30pm
Thursday | 10:00am 
Friday | 10:00am & 2:30pm
Saturday | 10:00am & 2:30pm
Sunday | Closed

📍 7300 Clinton Dr, Houston, TX 77020

📷 The Houston Zoo

Take a walk on the wild side at the Houston Zoo! Right in the middle of the city, you can encounter hundreds of animals and learn all about wildlife. You’ll get up-close and personal with birds, bugs, sea creatures, primates, elephants, and more.

This is a great activity for the kids too– with child-friendly interactive zones, playgrounds, and live demonstrations, there is always something for you and the family to do! And with the new Flex Pricing option, you can plan a visit to the zoo on a day that best fits your budget. A day out with the family no longer has to be a huge expense!

Monday | 9:00am–5:00pm
Tuesday | 9:00am–5:00pm
Wednesday | 9:00am–5:00pm
Thursday | 9:00am–5:00pm
Friday | 9:00am–5:00pm
Saturday | 9:00am–5:00pm
Sunday | 9:00am–5:00pm

📍6200 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030

📷 Brazos Bend State Park

Calling all nature lovers! Did you know that Houston has its very own state park, just a short drive outside of the city? Brazos Bend State Park is a beautiful nature preserve that boasts natural wetlands, a variety of wildlife, and several amenities for families to enjoy.

What can you do there? Go for a walk on the Creekfield Lake Nature Trail, which includes interactive exhibits, a boardwalk and observation deck, and shaded bench areas. Or if you’re looking for a longer hike, check out the hike & bike or horseback riding trails. Go fishing, camp overnight, or visit the Nature Center. There are so many ways to enjoy this gorgeous park! And at only $7 per ticket for ages 13+ and FREE for 12 and under, this is definitely one of the most affordable activities in Houston.

Monday | 8:00am–10:00pm
Tuesday | 8:00am–10:00pm
Wednesday | 8:00am–10:00pm
Thursday | 8:00am–10:00pm
Friday | 8:00am–10:00pm
Saturday | 8:00am–10:00pm
Sunday | 8:00am–10:00pm

📍21901 Farm to Market Rd 762, Needville, TX 77461

📷 Jo Perry

It’s hard to believe that a place as beautiful as the Houston Arboretum and Memorial Park area exists smack-dab in the middle of Houston, but it’s true! The Houston Arboretum is a stunning park where you can observe natural beauty and wildlife all around. Containing a few miles of paved hiking trails, The Arboretum is an amazing place for a walk on a beautiful day.

The Arboretum also hosts several events throughout the year, including stargazing, picnic nights, photography classes, and more. There are several exciting events coming up for the summer, including Yoga on the Lawn, Drink the Rainbow, and Water in Harmony! This will definitely become your go-to spot for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Monday | 7:00am–8:00pm
Tuesday | 7:00am–8:00pm
Wednesday | 7:00am–8:00pm
Thursday | 7:00am–8:00pm
Friday | 7:00am–8:00pm
Saturday | 7:00am–8:00pm
Sunday | 7:00am–8:00pm

📍4501 Woodway Dr, Houston, TX 77024

📷 Flip 'N Fun Center

When it comes to affordable, family-friendly activities in Houston, you really can’t beat Flip ‘N Fun Center! This place is chock-full of fun things to do, including a trampoline park, bumper cars, laser tag, rock climbing, an arcade, and a ropes course. How fun is that? Your kids are guaranteed to have a blast, making this a great place to go when you need to get out of the house or you’re trying to beat boredom on a rainy day.

Each activity at Flip ‘N Fun Center is less than $20, allowing you to fully customize your visit based on which activities you want to try and your budget. You HAVE to check this place out for your next family fun day!

Monday | 3:00pm–9:00pm
Tuesday | 3:00pm–9:00pm
Wednesday | 3:00pm–9:00pm
Thursday | 3:00pm–9:00pm
Friday | 11:00am–10:00pm
Saturday | 11:00am–10:00pm
Sunday | 11:00am–9:00pm

📍5379 W Richey Rd, Houston, TX 77066

📷 Corey Seeman

See nature in action when you visit the bat colony at the Waugh Drive bridge. Most people have heard of the bats that take to the night sky every evening in Austin, but you may not know that Houston also has their very own bat bridge! These Mexican free-tailed bats call the Buffalo Bayou their home, and you can watch them take flight every night around dusk.

If you’re going for a stroll on the Buffalo Bayou trails, be sure to stop by this bridge and see the bat colony. This is a fantastic, free activity to check off your list! And boat tours are also available throughout the summer!

**The bats typically emerge at dusk or just after**

📍Waugh Dr, Houston, TX 77002

The Best Things to Do in Houston Under $20

It may seem like most activities in Houston are super expensive, but that’s definitely not the case! There are so many interesting things to do around town that won’t throw off your monthly budget, from nature walks to museums, to parks and arcades. Which one will you be checking out next weekend?