Watching your budget doesn't mean you have to pass on fun. There are plenty of free — and fabulous — things to do around the city. We've rounded up some of the most popular San Antonio activities that won't cost you a dime.
Catch a movie
Every Thursday night at 7 pm, Santikos Bijou Cinema Bistro has free admission to a special movie screening. The weekly event is hosted by Wonderland of the Americas, and selections range from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. Check out the upcoming selections here.
Events at Artpace are free and open to the public. The building showcases amazing international contemporary art and hosts residencies for many of the artists who have exhibitions on display. Visitors can check out these wonderful exhibitions Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 pm.
Check out Second Thursday and First Friday
These monthly events are a true treat. Live music, beer, and food are found at First Friday, where art galleries and other local vendors sell their art and wares along South Alamo Street. Even more local bands, food trucks, and beer await at Second Thursday at the McNay Art Museum, where attendees socialize and take in the art collections on display.
Visit the Japanese Tea Garden
This tranquil oasis is located inside Brackenridge Park and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Its breathtaking beauty features koi ponds, pagodas, and a 60-foot waterfall. If you end up feeling peckish, the Jingu House Cafe serves delicious and affordable lunch options like sushi, salads, and sandwiches.
Explore Missions National Historical Park
We've all been to the Alamo, but too few of us have given thought to San Antonio's other historic missions. You can take a free tour of one or all of the missions, located along an 8-mile stretch that's also perfect for hiking and biking.
Take in a museum
There are some great museums in the city, and with the right timing, you can visit most of them for free. Here's our cheat sheet:
- The Briscoe Western Art Museum: Tuesdays, 4 to 9 pm
- The DoSeum: First and third Tuesday of the month, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
- The McNay Art Museum: Thursdays, 4 to 9 pm; first Sunday of month, noon to 5 pm
- San Antonio Museum of Art: Tuesdays, 4 to 9 pm; Sundays, 10 am to noon
- The Witte Museum: Tuesdays, 3 to 8 pm
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