San Antonio Summer On a Budget 2018: Free and Cheap Activities for the Whole Family

Can you smell the sunscreen and bug spray? Are you stocking up on popsicles and pool snacks? A San Antonio summer is quickly approaching, and ACMB is happy to provide you with a list of free and almost free summer activities. Get out and explore our great city!

Free Admission to Museums

The WitteFREE! Tuesdays from 3:00–8:00 P.M.

San Antonio Museum of ArtFREE! Tuesdays from 4:00–9:00 P.M. and Sundays from 10:00 A.M.–noon.

The DoSeumFREE! The first Tuesday of the month is free for the first 1,500 guests from 6:30–8:30 P.M. In the 2018 summer months, free dates are June 5th, July 3rd, and August 7th.

The McNay Art MuseumFREE! Thursdays from 4:00–9:00 P.M., free general admission (special exhibits: $10).

Briscoe Western Art MuseumFREE! Tuesdays from 4:00–9:00 P.M. 

Summer Movies

Santikos TheatersFREE! Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00 A.M. from June 5–August 1 at seven area locations.

Regal Theaters$1 per ticket! Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00 A.M. from June 12–August 8 at four area locations.

Alamo Drafthouse$1–3 per ticket! Monday–Thursday at one of the three area locations. Showtimes are at 10:30 or 11:00 A.M.  

Movies by Moonlight at Travis ParkFREE! Tuesday nights. Pre-entertainment at 7:30 P.M., movie starts at 8:30 P.M. More information here.  

Free Movies at the Marquee (Mission Marquee)FREE! Various evening dates throughout June, July, and August. Movie starts after dusk.  

HEB Cinema on the Plaza at The Tobin CenterFREE! Every second Friday. Plaza opens at 7:00 P.M., movie starts at 8:00 P.M. Summer dates: June 8th, July 13th, and August 10th.


Summer Reading Programs

Barnes and NobleFREE! Return this completed form to Barnes and Noble for a free book. 

Chuck E. CheeseFREE! Return this completed form to Chuck E. Cheese for 10 free tokens.  

Half Price BooksFREE! Return this completed form to Half Price Books.

San Antonio Public LibraryFREE! Register online and log books throughout the summer to earn a free book.  

Blue mosaic spirals decorate the splash pad at Yanaguana Garden in Hemisfair | Alamo City Moms Blog

Splash Pads

Yanaguana Gardens at Hemisphere ParkFREE! Open daily from 7:00 A.M.–midnight.

The Pearl Splash PadFREE! Open daily.

Pearsall ParkFREE! Open daily from 9:00 A.M.–9:00 P.M.

Fischer Park in New BraunfelsFREE! Open daily from 9:00 A.M.–9:00 P.M.

San Antonio swimming poolsFREE! 23 locations; see website for information on specific pools.  

Miss Anastasia at the Twig Book Shop | Alamo City Moms Blog

Story Times

The Twig Book ShopFREE! Summer Fridays at 10:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M.

San Antonio Public LibraryFREE! Multiple daily options throughout the city.  

Barnes and NobleFREE! Saturdays at 11:00 A.M. at La Cantera location, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:00 A.M. at both the Ingram Park location and Northwoods location.  

Hemisfair: FREE! Tuesday mornings at 10:00 A.M. in the Central Games Plaza.

SAS Factory Tour  

FREE! The SAS Factory offers free tours Monday–Friday. Read more here

San Antonio Missions

FREE! All San Antonio Missions have free admission. 


San Antonio Public Library

FREE! The San Antonio Public Library has multiple free events and activities each week throughout the city.  

San Antonio Parks 

FREE! San Antonio is home to more than 240 city parksClick here to read ACMB’s guide to San Antonio Parks.  



FREE! San Antonio has several great geocache spots!


The Rollercade

Tuesdays are Bargain Day: $3 admission and $3 skate rental on Tuesdays from 11:00 A.M.–11:00 P.M.


Toyota Factory Tours

FREE! Tours are offered Monday–Friday year-round, and reservations are required


More ideas for summer fun:

San Antonio Summer Camp Guide (2018)

ACMB’s Ultimate Guide to summer in San Antonio (2017)

10 Single Mom Survival Tips for Schlitterbahn (2015)

Michelle moved to San Antonio eight years ago and yet still feels like a newcomer. She is rather smitten with the Alamo City. She and her husband met at Texas A&M and started their marriage in Minnesota. After six years of very cold winters, they returned to Texas. Michelle has two kids (12 and 9), along with a very quirky rescue dog and two rather cute guinea pigs. A former corporate food scientist turned part-time yoga instructor, she still takes her food very seriously—she just doesn’t get paid for it anymore. She is fueled by tea, cold brew coffee, yoga, dog walking, books and quickly googling answers to her kids eleventy million questions.


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