The Best Things to do in San Antonio for Free

You will be surprised to know the number of free things to do in San Antonio for the whole family is rather large. We will walk you through all the wonders the lively and robust city of Texas has to offer, and how to plan a budget-friendly vacation in San Antonio without missing out on the good stuff.

Enjoying San Antonio on a Budget

San Antonio has a very sunshiny, outdoorsy weather. The peak vacation months in summer are mostly rainless and sunny. The winters are quite pleasant too, and you rarely see snowfall in the city. The weather conditions are ideal for planning a lot of open-air activities and opting for one of the many things to do in San Antonio for free.  

You can opt for historical sightings, parks in San Antonio, free museums in San Antonio and a strikingly high number of free places to go in San Antonio during your stay. Although the experiences are free, they are still worthwhile and give you the opportunity to explore the diversity and rich personality of the city.

The San Antonio River Walk

The San Antonio River Walk is almost as famous as the Alamo. If you’ve been planning a vacation to San Antonio for a while, we’re sure this article isn’t the first time you hear about the San Antonio River Walk. It is quite a famous activity in everyone’s to-do list in the city, and as a bonus, it is absolutely free! The peaceful strolls, gorgeous vistas and festive activities won’t cost you a thing. The best time to see the river walk in all its glory is when it lights up at night during holiday seasons. But overall it’s a great experience all year long.

The Alamo

The Alamo is a fortress compound that represents the turning event in the Texas Revolution. To take the unguided tour inside the Alamo is free.

It was the sight of the historic battle between Mexico and Texas. You can explore the rich and intricate architecture of the landmark. The place also hosts many significant events throughout the year, and the whole ambiance of the place is very welcoming with coy fish ponds and beautiful exhibits.

Yanguana Garden

This is one of the best source of entertainment in San Antonio Texas. Designed for families you can witness some of the best exhibits in the city and exotic and unique art displays featuring exclusive designs and creativity at its peak.

Tons of great things for kids to do here like splash pads, climbing areas, and even a pre-k area. There are pathways for running as well as other games and activities. Plus, if you get hungry there are lots of good restaurants nearby if you get hungry.

Market Square – El Mercado

Who says you need to shop at a Market Square? The El Mercado depicts Mexican Culture while still retaining the modern San Antonio twist. You can witness local crafts and events. Enjoy authentic music and find out the latest trends. It is one of the best free places to go in San Antonio to walk around for window shopping and taking pictures.

There are 3 blocks of shops with tons of stuff to buy and is the largest Mexican market in the United States.

Free Museums in San Antonio

A city of historical significance is bound to have a good variety of museums. Here are some of the free museums in San Antonio that you can enjoy with your family.

San Antonio Museum of Art

This museum features art pieces from all over the world and represents a community of intercultural socializing. You can witness one of a kind art, like the fairytale prints by Henri Fantin-Latour and Japanese clay pottery.

Institute of Texan Cultures

This museum has a contemporary and historical theme of the Texan culture where you get a chance to reflect upon the different eras of the state.

Biscoe Western Art Museum

This unique art museum gives life to your childhood fantasies by bringing together historical artifacts and legendary vestiges, statues, and special gallery talks. 

The Witte Museum

The Witte Museum works in collaboration with National Geographic to bring you various scientific models, documentaries, and chronicles of South Texas history.

San Antonio Missions

This historic site is full of mystery and rich history of the city. It is also a great destination for photo ops or to organize a gathering, party or even a wedding.

Make sure to check the schedules of these museums in advance to mark the timings and days when they have no entry fee.

Parks in San Antonio

Almost all the parks in San Antonio have no entry fee and also features free activities for the whole family. Here are some of the best parks in San Antonio.

Brackenridge Park

This park is huge and brings together several attractions in one place for you. It has a San Antonio Zoo, Botanical Garden, Japanese Tea Garden and much more! You can walk around and enjoy the scenery at no cost. You can also go for a hike or biking in the area.

Phil Hardberger Park

This park in San Antonio is filled with greenery and hosts nature and fitness programs throughout the year. The gorgeous scenes in the area are full of heritage and are one of the most visited places in the city.

San Pedro Creek Culture Park

Located in the downtown area, this park has art, splendor, and culture. The beautiful creek is a sight to behold, and nature and surrounding area is home to valuable wildlife.

Pearsall Park

Keeping the whole family in mind, this park is designed to have a family fun zone, fitness challenge zone, and other recreational amenities. The classes and programs are quite cheap, and the park has completely free entry. 

Travis Park

Travis Park is one of the most happening places in the city, with food trucks, ballet, and spring break activities for the whole family to enjoy. 

Free Events in San Antonio

There is a multitude of free events in San Antonio throughout the year. Many parks feature events and programs for the whole family, and there are several activities that you can get enrolled in.

Splash Pads

You can be a part of the free splash pads that are available at Pearsall Park, Fischer Park, the Pearl Splash Pad, Yanaguana Garden, Park West, and Bulverde Community. Get access to the pools, swimming programs, and splash pads without spending a dime!

Hands-on Art

Lakeshore Learning offers free crafts and hands-on arts for kids and adults every Saturday.

Library Events

San Antonio Library has several fantastic programs throughout the year with free events and parties, Lego Camp, Crafts and reading the challenge for kids.

Jazz Festival

Enjoy free music in San Antonio at Balcones Height Jazz Festival. It is hosted every summer and brings together renowned talents to perform for you. Seating plans are on first come first serve basis so make sure to mark the time and date of the event in advance.

ArtPlace Downtown

This is a must-visit for the artists and creative souls. It depicts the modern culture with the best art displays and events all around the year.

Other San Antonio Attractions that are Free or Cheap

San Antonio has a lot to offer. From free shoe factory tours to decorating donuts at Krispy Kreme on free family nights, you can take part in many activities that will make your stay worthwhile and strengthen your bond with your family. Catch the free art installations on the façade of San Fernando Cathedral, or take your kids to the Miss Anastasia’s Wild and Wacky Pre-weekend Twiglet Storytime absolutely free of cost.

Other cheap and free things to do in San Antonio include a ride on VIVA, with a cheat day pass for unlimited access! The Asian gardens also have fun, free and cheap activities. Skateland West, Rollercade and Mitchell Lake Audubon Center have a very reasonable entrance fee and a lot of free activities to enjoy with your family and kids.   

Whatever your interested in there is probably a free option for you to explore.

Dustin Baier

Hey, I'm Dustin a Dad of 4 and married to Sweet Pea Chef for over 15 years now :) We got engaged at the Disneyland Hotel way back when and love a vacation at Disney World, Universal Studios, really anywhere with theme parks!

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