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Budget-Friendly Summer Fun

Having a blast this summer doesn't have to cost you a lot. San Antonio is one of the nation's top cities for an affordable vacation (source Livability.com). Here are some free or inexpensive ways to explore the city! Note: please check websites to reconfirm pricing and hours. Learn more about all the sensational places where you can have a good time without spending a dime.

Downtown Tuesdays

Enjoy free parking downtown at city-operated parking garages, parking lots and parking meters every Tuesday evening from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

San Antonio – The Saga

Free Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 9 p.m.

Projected on the façade of the San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio – The Saga tells the story of the city through a spectacular display of color, light, music and historical images.

Go San Antonio Cards

Visit top museums, tours and attractions with one easy-to-use card. The Go San Antonio Card gives you flexibility while saving you up to 40% on admission.

VIVA Bus Routes

Discover even more of the city with three new bus routes developed to quickly connect riders with popular sites and attractions related to culture, our San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site and the downtown area.

Museums

San Antonio has many distinct museums that you won't find anywhere else—and you can visit them (at the right times) free of charge.

The DoSeum

Celebrate imagination and education at San Antonio’s Museum for Kids, featuring exhibits that make learning fun. Free admission is offered the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum

Free for children 12 & under and for active military personnel and up to four of their family members. Free on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum on the River Walk preserves and interprets the art, history and culture of the American West through exhibitions, educational programs and public events.

Institute of Texan Cultures

Free the second Sunday of the month.

The Institute of Texan Cultures, located in Hemisfair Park, presents the stories of the people who settled Texas through exhibits, programs and special events.

McNay Art Museum

Free Thursday nights from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the first Sunday of the month. Children 12 and under are always free.

The McNay Art Museum is set in a 1920s mansion and has wide-ranging collections, including postimpressionist and modern pieces, medieval offerings and rotating shows.

San Antonio Museum of Art

Free Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and free Sundays 10a.m. to 12p.m.

The San Antonio Museum of Art is housed in a castle-like building that was formerly the Lone Star Brewery. This museum is noted for its antiquities collections and the Latin American Art.

Witte Museum

Free Tuesdays 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The new rennovations and expansions to the Witte Museum add over 170,000 square feet of space for more immersive exhibits on dinosaurs and more!

Area Parks

The city has many parks that are free and fun for the entire family. Here are a few favorites!

Brackenridge Park

One of the city's most beloved parks is Brackenridge Park which features alcoves perfect for picnics, a playground, trails for quiet walks and a dog park.

Hemisfair Park

Relax for a spell in this functional urban oasis that offers plenty of green space in our vibrant downtown area. Built to host the 1968 World’s Fair, Hemisfair Park also features Yanaguana Garden, with playscapes, a splash pad, public art and more.

Japanese Tea Garden

A botanical retreat that offers stone walking paths woven through ambient gardens and ponds brimming with Koi—all at no cost!

San Pedro Park

San Antonio's oldest park and the second oldest park in the United States behind Boston Common, San Pedro Park provides a beautiful and historic setting where you can take a swim in a lake shaded by cypress trees.

The Fort Sam Houston Quadrangle

Explore the rich history of the oldest building at Fort Sam Houston for free while also enjoying the sociable deer, rabbits, peacocks, geese and more that roam the grounds.

The Missions & Alamo

San Antonio began as a community of five Spanish colonial missions built along the spring-fed San Antonio River. These missions have collectively been named the first World Heritage Site in Texas by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). All are open to the public and free to explore, including the world-famous Alamo. For easy access from mission to mission, San Antonio's 12-mile Mission Trail is perfect and welcomes hiking and biking. If you don't want to bring your bike on your trip, you can rent one using the affordable B-Cycle program.

The River Walk

The River Walk is all about fun with restaurants, bars, theaters, shops and historic sites. Now there is even more River Walk to enjoy with the Museum and Mission Reaches.

The Museum Reach is full of arts and culture experiences and connects the main part of the River Walk to the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Pearl Brewery entertainment complex, which features a farmer's market on Saturdays. And don't miss the lock and dam system and a bat colony that lives under the I-35 bridge.

The Mission Reach is more of an outdoor adventure, great for hiking and biking, as it is an ecosystem restoration project and links to four of the San Antonio missions.

La Villita and Market Square

Market Square is the largest Mexican market in the nation and always has a festive environment. With great restaurants, working artists, live music, performances and shopping galore, you will want to spend a while walking around and taking in the sites.

Originally established by Spanish soldiers stationed at the Alamo, La Villita has been reincarnated as a historic arts village where beautifully restored residences house galleries and shops.

King William Historic District

Just south of downtown, the King William Historic District — the first historic district in Texas — reflects San Antonio's European heritage in a gracious residential area settled in the late 1800s by German immigrants. Free brochure guides and maps are provided at saconservation.org

Pearl

This historic complex offers great entertainment for the whole family, including First Thursdays, with live music, in-store sales and more, and the Pearl Farmers Market, which is chock-full of beautiful local produce and products. You’ll also find local shops, cooking classes, special events and acclaimed restaurants, giving you plenty of amazing places to browse or join in on the fun.