Here is the list of 100+ Free Things for Kids and Families to do in San Antonio this Summer (2016).

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100+ free things to do in San Antonio this summer

Having fun together in the Alamo City this summer doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here’s San Antonio Mom Blogs’ list of more than 100 FREE, family-friendly activities to enjoy during summer 2015 in San Antonio!

Free tech camps for kids in San Antonio

Free (and Almost-free) Camps for Kids

These three-day, free Apple camp sessions teach kids, ages 8-12, how to use iMovie to make their own films. Sign up to be notified when registration opens.

Microsoft hosts free Youthspark Summer Camps at their La Cantera store for kids, ages 8-10 and 11-13. Courses include: smart game coding, smart game designing, smart movie making, smart photo taking. Registration is now open.

San Antonio Missions National Parks Writing Camp
Free writing camp for kids entering grades 4, 5,  and 6: July 20-24 from 9:00 to 3:30. This camp is sponsored through the San Antonio Writing Project, (SAWP), and in conjunction with the National Parks The camp will focus on the history and environment of the Missions in San Antonio. For details and to register, print this registration form.

San Anto Cultural Arts Free Camps for Teens
Free camps for kids, ages 13-17, this June and July, featuring painting, writing, cyanotype, paper making, creating comics, woodblock carving and printing, screen printing, and journalism/oral history. For more information and to register, visit the San Anto Cultural Arts website.

Northwest Vista College S.T.A.G.E.S. Almost-Free Arts Camps for Kids
Almost-free summer arts camps for kids, ages 8 – 17. Sessions for beginners and intermediate students of dance, voice, and guitar are just $50 per child for a two-week camp. Details here.

Bexar Bibilotech Bug Camps, presented by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension
Free, three-hour Bug Camps for kids of all ages from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Each camp is limited to 15 spots. Register your child for each camp individually here.
Friday, June 19: The Wonderful World of Insects
Friday, July 10: What’s the Buzz About Bees?
August 7: Spiders: Spooky or Cool?

Family Service Association and Best Buy present free technology camp
Open to girls, ages 10 – 15. Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 24 (Monday-Friday only) – 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
This camp is FREE to attend and lunch is provided. Spaces are limited: register NOW! For more information and to register call 210-431-7529 and visit Family Service Association free Summer Camp for girls.
Camp location is The Neighborhood Place / Best Buy Teen Tech Center at 3014 Rivas Street, 78228

Free bowling for kids this summer in San Antonio

Free Bowling Programs

AMF Kids Bowl Free
Kids get two free games every day all summer long at the following locations:
Bandera Bowling Center, 6700 Huebner Rd., 78238
Oak Hills Lanes, 7330 Callaghan Rd., 78229
Astro Super Bowl, 3203 Harry Wurzbach Rd., 78209

Brunswick Zone
4330 Thousand Oaks Blvd., 78217
For use by guests 15 and under, good for 3 games of bowling each day. Must register for a free pass. Visit this page and search for this zip code: 78217 (be sure to select Brunswick Zone on Thousand Oaks from the resulting list – other AMF locations charge a fee for the pass but Brunswick Zone on Thousand Oaks does not).

Free swimming this summer in San Antonio

Free Swimming Pools

San Antonio Regional pools
Open from now through Thursday, June 11, with open swimming:

Tuesday – Thursday,  4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 7:00  p.m.
Lap swimming open Tuesday – Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Admission is free.

  • Heritage, 1423 Ellison Dr.
  • Lady Bird Johnson, 10700 Nacogdoches
  • South Side Lions, 3100 Hiawatha
  • Woodlawn, 221 Alexander Ave.

From Saturday, June 13 – Sunday, August 16, free admission is available at all of San Antonio’s 24 outdoor pools which are open Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m. with some pools open from 2 to 8 p.m. 

Free movies for kids this summer in San Antonio

Free Summer Movies

Santikos Free Summer Movies
Every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at:

  • Palladium IMAX, 17703 W IH-10, 78257
  • Silverado, 11505 W Loop 1604 N, 78250
  • Mayan Palace, 1918 S.W. Military Drive, 78221
  • Embassy, 13707 Embassy Row, 78216
  • Rialto, 2938 NE Loop 410, 78218
  • Northwest Theatre, 7600 I-10 West, 78230

These free tickets to Santikos summer movies for kids are only available at the box office on the day of the show. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

June 9-10: The Boxtrolls
June 16-17: Penguins of Madagascar
June 23-24: Annie
July 7-8: Rio 2
July 14-15: Paddington
July 21-22: The LEGO Movie
July 28-29: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
August 4-5: Maleficent
August 11-12: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
August 18-19: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Free Movies by Moonlight in Travis Park
Every Tuesday evening in June and July, enjoy a free movie on the lawn at Travis Park. Bring lawnchairs and blankets, picnics and snacks. Free parking in City-operated garages, lots, and meters is available after 5:00 p.m. 7:30 pre-entertainment. Show starts at 8:30 p.m.

June 2: Big Hero 6 at Travis Park
June 9: Finding Nemo at Travis Park
June 16: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day at Travis Park
June 23: Paddington at Travis Park
June 30: Mary Poppins at Travis Park
July 7: Malificent at Travis Park
July 14: The Lego Movie at Travis Park
July 21: The Princess and the Frog at Travis Park
July 28: 101 Dalmatians at Travis Park

Free Summer Movie Nights at Southside Stadium
Enjoy free, outdoor movies (and free food!) on the Southside High School Stadium Jumbotron (19190 US-281, 78221). Seating will be on the bleachers. 6:30 p.m. free hot dogs and popcorn for the first 250 people. 7:00 p.m. movie starts.

June 11: The LEGO Movie
June 18: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
June 25: Paddington
July 2: Grease
Subject to Change / Weather Conditions.

Free Family Flicks at San Antonio Museum of Art
Family Flicks is held in collaboration with Slab Cinema. Films begin at sundown. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnics to enjoy. During inclement weather, films will be cancelled.

June 19: Ernest and Celestine
July 17: A Letter to Momo
August 7: Song of the Sea

Free outdoor movies in Alamo Heights
Movie Nights in the Heights
Next to the nature trails parking lot off Viesca Street. Bring your lawnchairs and blankets, picnics and snacks, and enjoy a free, family-friendly outdoor movie.

June 12: Big Hero 6
July 10: Into the Woods
August 14: Guardians of the Galaxy

Movies at Mission Marquee Plaza (formerly the Mission Drive-in)
Free, outdoor movies on the big screen.
June 6: Annie
June 20: Madagascar 3
July 11: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
July 25: Big Hero 6
August 8: Muppets Most Wanted
August 22: Captain America

Cycle In Cinema at Main Plaza
Head down to Main Plaza in downtown San Antonio for free outdoor movies on Thursdays this June – August. Movies starts at dusk (around 8:45 p.m.). Enjoy pre-movie games. Some nights provide free popcorn (first-come, first-served). Bring your lawnchairs, blankets and snacks but leave alcoholic beverages at home. No outside coolers, beer, or wine allowed. Instead, please purchase adult beverages at Blue Star Ice House on Main Plaza.

June 18: Teen Wolf
June 25: Edward Scissorhands
July 2: Captain America
July 9: Jurassic Park
July 16: Jaws
July 23: Jumanji
July 30: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
August 6: Space Balls
August 13: Ghostbusters
August 31: E.T.
August 27: TBA

Almost-free Summer Movies

Alamo Drafthouse Kids Camp
This year for the Alamo Drafthouse Kids Camp, choose your own low-cost ticket price between $1 – $3 per ticket. Buy your tickets online to reserve your seats in advance. 100% of ticket sales will be donated to local nonprofits. Kids Camp screenings are at 10:00 a.m. Monday – Friday during select weeks this summer. Only available for guests ages 3 and up. Please, no infants at Kids Camp (but bring them along on Baby Day which takes place on Tuesdays for regular shows that start before 2:00pm, excluding National holidays and special festival screenings.). Regular no talking/texting policies apply and noisy families may be asked to leave.

Despicable Me
Mary Poppins
The Land Before Time
Night at the Museum

Charlotte’s Web (2006)
Chicken Run
Muppets Most Wanted

Follow That Bird
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Kung Fu Panda 2
The Parent Trap (1961)

Regal Summer Movie Express
Admission to the Regal Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets available for purchase at the box office and all movies start at 10:00 am. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m.

Week 1: Nut Job & Annie
Week 2: Earth to Echo & The Boxtrolls
Week 3: Paddington & Turbo
Week 4: Rio 2 & How To Train Your Dragon 2
Week 5: Mr. Peabody & Sherman & The Book of Life
Week 6: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb & Penguins of Madagascar
Week 7: Madagascar 3 & Dolphin Tale 2
Week 8: Muppets Most Wanted & Alexander and the Very Bad Day
Week 9: The Lego Movie  & The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Ten films for just $5 when purchased in advance OR $1 per show at the box office.

Cinemark McCreless Market 4224 S. New Braunfels Ave, 78223
9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays

June 10: The LEGO Movie
June 17: Dolphin Tale 2
June 24: Mr. Peabody & Sherman
July 1: Penguins of Madagascar
July 8: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
July 15: How to Train Your Dragon 2
July 22: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Shipwrecked
July 29: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
August 5: The Nut Job
August 12: Rio 2

Cinemark Movies 16, 5063 NW Loop, 78229
10:30 a.m. on Thursdays

June 11: The LEGO Movie
June 18: Dolphin Tale 2
June 25: Mr. Peabody & Sherman
July 2: Penguins of Madagascar
July 9: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
July 16: How to Train Your Dragon 2
July 23: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Shipwrecked
July 30: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
August 6: The Nut Job
August 13: Rio 2

Free summer reading programs

Free and Almost-free Vacation Bible Schools

Most of the 70+ VBS on this list are free (or low-cost) to attend. Search the list using the handy map to find which ones are closest to you. Register soon as spots fill quickly!

Free Summer Reading Programs

San Antonio Library’s Summer Reading Program
The Twig’s Summer Reading Program
Barnes and Noble Summer Reading
Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
Book It Summer Reading Challenge with the Wimpy Kid
Book Adventure

Free parks and historical sites in San Antonio this summer

Free Parks and Historical Sites

Parks and greenways
With more than 185 public parks and greenways to visit in San Antonio, there’s something for everyone in the family! Here are San Antonio Mom Blogs’ 20 recommended San Antonio parks. While you’re there, try geocaching. Don’t know how? Learn from this San Antonio Express-News article on geocaching.

Historic Missions
San Antonio’s San Antonio’s five historic missions are free to visit are all free to visit. Donations accepted.

Four ecosystems in one location
In Boerne, you can visit the Cibolo Nature Center for free (donations accepted). Explore four different ecosystems, all in one location.

San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Gardens
Free to visit, this lush escape near the San Antonio Zoo is the perfect summer oasis with winding walking paths, koi ponds, lots of shade, a variety of exotic plants, and views of downtown San Antonio. And it’s all free! Details in this post.

Ft. Sam Houston’s Quadrangle
Bring your driver’s license or I.D. for free entry to San Antonio’s 2nd oldest military installation. Watch wildlife, including deer, rabbits, peacocks, and geese who make the Quadrangle their home. Details in this post.

Free Hands-on Art

Inspire Art
Free Family Art Day on the second Saturday of every month, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Lakeshore Learning
Free crafts for kids, ages 3 and up, every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Free events for kids at San Antonio Library branches this summer

Free Library Events, Activities, and Services

For all of the free, fantastic programs the San Antonio Library provides this summer, check their updated calendar of free events, story times, arts and crafts, book clubs, and classes for kids and teens. Here are a few of our favorites coming to a library branch near you this summer:

Digital downloads
Get books, periodicals, music, and more for free from your San Antonio Library. And, the Reading Room has content just for kids!

Happy Tails mobile petting zoo at the San Antonio Public Library
Get up close and personal with interesting and exotic animals at these free presentations all summer long:

Tuesday, June 9
4:00 pm Pruitt Library @ Roosevelt HS

Wednesday, June 10
2:00 pm Thousand Oaks Branch
4:00 pm San Pedro Branch

Thursday, June 11
2:00 pm Tobin Library @ Oakwell *

Saturday, June 13
2:00 pm Central Library

Monday, June 15
2:00 pm Encino Branch *

Tuesday, June 16
2:00 pm Brook Hollow Branch
4:00 pm Brook Hollow Branch

Wednesday, June 17
2:00 pm Johnston Branch
4:00 pm Guerra Branch

Thursday, June 18
2:00 pm Semmes Branch *
4:00 pm Semmes Branch *

Monday, June 22
2:00 pm Mission Branch
4:00 pm Bazan Branch

Tuesday, June 23
11:00 am Pan American Branch
2:00 pm Cortez Branch

Wednesday, June 24
11:00 am Collins Garden Branch
2:00 pm Igo Branch *

Thursday, June 25
2:00 pm Cody Branch *
4:00 pm Parman Branch *

Tuesday, June 30
4:00 pm McCreless Branch
6:30 pm Memorial Branch

Wednesday, July 1
2:00 pm Maverick Branch *

Thursday, July 2
11:00 am Forest Hills Branch
2:00 pm Westfall Branch

* For these locations, tickets will be distributed ahead of time. Call each branch with an asterisk to find out how to reserve your tickets. 

Free Spikey Mikey shows this summer in San Antonio

Spikey Mikey
This comedian / magician shows kids how much fun reading can be.

Monday, July 6
2:00 pm Encino Branch *

Tuesday, July 7
11:00 am Great Northwest Branch
2:00 pm Great Northwest Branch

Wednesday, July 8
11:00 am Carver Branch
2:00 pm Thousand Oaks Branch

Thursday, July 9
2:00 pm Tobin Library @ Oakwell *

Tuesday, July 14
2:00 & 4:00 pm Brook Hollow Branch

Wednesday, July 15
2:00 pm Maverick Branch *

Thursday, July 16
2:00 Cody Branch *

Tuesday, July 21
2:00 pm Cortez Branch
4:00 pm McCreless Branch

Sunday, July 26
2:00 pm Pruitt Library @ Roosevelt High School

* For these locations, tickets will be distributed ahead of time. Call each branch with an asterisk to find out how to reserve your tickets. 

SummerFest at San Antonio Public Library
SummerFest celebrates the Summer Reading Program at library branches around San Antonio.

Saturday, July 25
2:00 pm Tobin Library @ Oakwell
2:00 pm Westfall Branch

Sunday, July 26
2:00 pm San Pedro Branch

Monday, July 27
2:00 pm Landa Branch
4:00 pm Bazan Branch
6:30 pm Las Palmas Branch

Tuesday, July 28
11:00 am Pan American Branch
2:00 pm Brook Hollow Branch
2:00 pm Cortez Branch
4:00 pm McCreless Branch
6:30 pm Memorial Branch

Wednesday, July 29
2:00 pm Johnston Branch
2:00 pm Maverick Branch
2:00 pm Thousand Oaks Branch
4:00 pm Guerra Branch
4:00 pm Semmes Branch

Thursday, July 30
2:00 pm Cody Branch
4:00 pm Parman Branch

Friday, July 31
3:00 pm Igo Branch

Saturday. August 1
11:00 am Pruitt @ Roosevelt HS
2:00 pm Carver Branch
2:00 pm Central Library
2:00 pm Encino Branch

Saturday, August 8
12:00 pm Forest Hills Branch

Free museums for kids this summer in San Antonio

Free Museums

Blue Star Free Museums for Military members and their families
Memorial Day – Labor Day 2015
Free museum admission for active duty military (including National Guard and Reserve) and up to five family members
Courtesy of Blue Star Museums. Participating San Antonio museums include:

  • Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum
  • Briscoe Western Art Museum
  • Casa Navarro State Historic Site
  • San Antonio Museum of Art
  • Villa Finale: Museum & Gardens
  • Institute of Texas Cultures

Visit the Blue Star Museums website for FAQs and more information.

Witte Museum Free Tuesdays
Admission is free on Tuesdays at the Witte Museum in San Antonio from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Some special exhibits may have an additional fee or surcharge.

McNay Museum
Free Days / Times at the McNay in San Antonio

  • Bank of America’s Museums on US – Present your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card and picture ID on the first full weekend of every month for one free general admission.
  • Free HEB Thursday Nights from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Free Dickson-Allen Foundation First Sundays of the Month from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Free admission every second Thursday of the month from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Fun activities on the McNay grounds, including live music. Food trucks on hand for food/drink purchase.

San Antonio Museum of Art
Free admission days at the San Antonio Museum of Art
Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sundays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
First Sundays for Families from 12:00 pm. – 4:00 p.m. (free admission for kids 12 and under, adults are $10 each)

Institute of Texan Cultures
Free admission on the second Sunday of each month (except no free admission on Sunday, June 14 due to Texas Folklife Festival).

The Briscoe Western Art Museum
Briscoe Western Art Museum offers free admission, year-round, to children 12 and under and to all active military and their families (up to 4 people).

Also, the Briscoe’s Story Time Stampede is offered for kids every Saturday from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m in the Kampmann Library Portal (on-site at the Briscoe Museum). Adults are $10 each. Seniors (65+), Students (with valid ID), and Retired Military are $8 each.

Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum
Free admission every day to this unique museum located in the heart of Alamo Heights.

Free Music

Viva Poesia: Musica y Cultura at Mission Marquee Plaza (formerly the Mission Drive-in)
An evening filled with rap, poetry slam, spoken word, and musical performances: June 13 from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Party on the Tower Plaza
Free concerts every Friday night at the plaza at the  Tower of the Americas in downtown San Antonio (739 E Cesar Chavez, 78205) Starting Friday, June 5th and running through Friday, October 30th. 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

June 5 – Lipstick Junkys
June 12 – Bittersweet
June 19 – C-Rock
June 26 – Chill Factor
July 3 – Scratch
July 10 – Nick Lawrence Band
July 17 – Beetle Corps
July 24 – Rebels of Texas
July 31 – Bittersweet
August 7 – Four Count
August 14 – Lipstick Junkys
August 21 – Scratch
August 28 – Rebels of Texas
September 4 – Charlie Bravo
September 11 – Crossfire
September 18 – Lick
September 25 – Chill Factor
October 2 – Bittersweet
October 9 – Nick Lawrence Band
October 16 – Charlie Bravo
October 23 – White Tapes
October 30 – Eclipse Journey Tribute Band

Balconies Heights Jazz Festival
2015 Jazz Festival dates are July 10, 17, 24 & 31. Musical acts TBA (check back for more details)

More free fun in San Antonio this summer

More Free Fun

Tour the San Antonio Shoe Factory
Take a free tour of their factory to learn how San Antonio Shoes creates shoes, purses, and more. Details in this post.

Take a trolley around downtown San Antonio for free
Take the E, a free trolley that stops at one of 17 stops in downtown San Antonio every ten minutes on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.

Get free exercise
Attend any of these free fitness events held all over town hosted by the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department.

See San Antonio | The Saga
Projected onto the facade of San Fernando Cathedral on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays at 9:00 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10:00 p.m., The Saga is a one-of-a-kind multi-media history of San Antonio. This free art installation, created by Xavier De Richemont, will wow the whole family.

Make new friends at Morgan’s Wonderland Mom’s Group
The Morgan’s Wonderland Moms’ Group meets the first and third Friday of every month between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Free admission for kids, ages 3-11 and moms are just $17 each. Must arrive before 9:45 to receive free admission for kids.

Decorate donuts at free family night at Krispy Kreme
Enjoy games, arts and crafts, and free donuts each Wednesday evening from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at both San Antonio Krispy Kreme locations (1117 North Loop 1604 East, 78232 and 12328 IH 10 West, 78230).

Attend the best free story time event for kids ever!
Kids of all ages love Miss Anastasia’s Wild and Wacky Pre-weekend Twiglet Storytime. Head to The Twig at the Historic Pearl Brewery (306 Pearl Parkway, Suite 106, 78215) every Friday at 10:30 a.m. for this free, wild, and wacky story time

More almost-free fun

Take a Tour of San Antonio’s Asian Gardens
Some of the suggested stops do require a little cash but this beautiful tour introduces you to some little-known spots you and your kids will love!

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center
Visit this birding and wildlife hotspot just south of San Antonio for a low entrance fee. Admission is just $5.00 per person and $2 for children 6-16, children under age 5 are free.

The Rollercade
Bargain Day: Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. $3 Admission, $3 Regular Skate Rental, and $3 Hot dog special (hot dog and soft drink).

Carvel Skate Center Leon Valley
Discount all-day skate: Tuesdays and  Thursdays. 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. $5 per person (includes admission and skate rental).

Carvel Skateland South
Thursday skating special: lunch and skating $10, 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Skateland West
Family Night on Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Parents skate free with their children (kids are just $4)

See these posts for more free summer fun in San Antonio:

Free Fun in San Antonio

Almost Free Fun in San Antonio

See these posts for free fun in other Texas cities:

Free Fun: 5 Free Things to do with Kids in Austin

75 Free Things to do in Austin this Summer (2015)

Free 2015 Nature Nights at Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center (Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)

Free Fun: 5 Free Things to do with Kids in Houston

Free Fun: 5 Free Things to do with Kids in Dallas / Ft. Worth

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