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

This post was originally published in 2018 by Michelle Head. While we try to ensure the accuracy of all information, times, and dates in this post, please confirm details for yourself!

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 ACM is happy to provide you with a list of free and almost free summer activities. Get out and explore our great city!

Decorative image with two pineapples and the text free and cheap activities in san antonio

Free Admission to Museums

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

San Antonio Museum of ArtFREE! Bexar County Residents Free General Admission Hours: Tuesday, 4 to 7 P.M. and Sunday from 10 AM to 7 P.M.

The DoSeumFREE! Free Family Nights are the FIRST Monday of the Month. A link for ticket reservations will be posted the morning of Free Family Night. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.  RSVP is required for all Guests – including Members.

The McNay Art MuseumFREE! Thursdays from 4:00–9:00 P.M. courtesy of H-E-B, and the first Sunday of every month from Noon to 5 p.m., courtesy of the Dickson Allen Foundation; free general admission (special exhibits: $10).

Briscoe Western Art MuseumFREE! on Locals Days

FYI – Many San Antonio museums participate in Museums for All – Recipients of SNAP, WIC, and MAP receive free general admission through Museums for All, a cooperative which encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums. Simply present an EBT card and a photo ID. Offer is valid for up to four people for each EBT card presented. Check the link for details and specific days, hours, or requirements.

Summer Movies

Santikos TheatersFREE! Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00 A.M. 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. Check website for dates.


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! Check out what the library is offering this summer!

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

Splash Pads + Swimming Pools

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 9 A.M. – 9 P.M., from the Friday before Spring Break through October 31st, weather permitting

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

City of San Antonio Splash Pads: FREE! City splash pads are open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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

Story Times

The Twig Book ShopFREE! Summer Fridays at 9:30 A.M. and 10:30 A.M.

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

Barnes and NobleFREE! Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Northwoods location. Check the website for details.

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 ACM’s guide to San Antonio Parks.

The Rollercade

Tuesdays are Bargain Day: $4 admission and $4 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

ACM’s Ultimate Guide to Summer in San Antonio

4th of July Events In and Around San Antonio

Five Texas Beaches Within Driving Distance of San Antonio

A fifth-generation San Antonionian - who happened to spend her formative years in Austin - Amanda loves the SAT from the confetti in her hair to the bluebonnets under her feet. Never one to miss a reason to host a party or decorate for a theme, Amanda revels in the 'mas Fiesta' attitude of the city. She's mom to Vivi (2012) aka #HurricaneVivi, Mac (2020) and wife to Francois, whom she met at Texas A&M (FTAC '05). She has a Masters in Early Childhood Education and a Doctorate in Making it Up As She Goes - which means she's a sometimes-fun-mom. You can find her on Instagram . She loves confetti, croissants, and a cold Ranch Water. Favorite Restaurant: Piatti's Favorite Landmark: Johnson Street footbridge in King William Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Fiesta Medals


  1. Free bowling for kids when you sign up at One bowling center in SA and one in New Braunfels are participants.

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