Summer has officially arrived. Suitcases are packed and the vacations have been planned. One of the most popular destinations for summer is Disney. But, did you know that the average cost of a weeklong Disney trip during the summer months for a family of 4 is close to $7,000?!

While Disney may seem like the ultimate vacation, there are plenty of FREE things to do in and around Houston. We have compiled a list for those who are trying to enjoy summer while on a budget.

  1. Miller Outdoor Theater: Located just inside the Medical Center Houston. Bring a blanket, cooler and chair to enjoy concerts, films, screenings and cultural performances. Visit for their scheduled events.
  2. Contemporary Art Museum: Located in the Museum District. There are 2 floors of art by local, regional and international artists.
  3. Waugh Drive Bridge: Located in Eleanor Tinsley Park. Every night at dusk over 200,000 bats emerge. You can also walk the trails to enjoy the new dog park.
  4. Rothko Chapel: Located in Montrose. This Chapel is a non-denominational chapel as well as a museum. Has been rated by GQ magazine as the Top 10 Most Mind-Blowing and Flat-Out Cool Places in America.
  5. Houston Arboretum & Nature Center: Located in Memorial. This 5 mile trail is full of trees and wetland.
  6. The Heritage Society: Located in Downtown. Houston’s own interactive museum with 9 historic structures.
  7. Discovery Green: Located in Downtown. This park is full of things to do – Dog Park, outdoor movies, musician stage, sculptures and trails.
  8. Armand Bayou Paddling Trail: Located in Clear Lake. Managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife, you can see more than 220 species of birds.
  9. Galveston Island: Walk the Strand or lay by the beach. Load up your bikes and ride along the Seawall.
  10. Imperial Sugar Factory: Located in Sugar Land. Take a tour of the old Imperial Sugar Factory and enjoy the kids discovery center.
  11. Central Green: Located in Katy. Enjoy a movie, music, Farmer’s Market and much more in LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch. For the event schedule:
  12. Matzke Park: Located in Cypress. This local park includes trails, playgrounds and a Butterfly exhibit.
  13. Waterway and Market Street: Located in The Woodlands. These two attractions have trails with shops and each have a Splash Pad.

Until you are ready to splurge on Disney, take advantage of these local free perks. Don’t forget to check Houston Press and your local newsletters or social media for free daily events.

Everyone at Haven hopes you have a wonder and safe summer!

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