We’ve made every effort to ensure that this list is accurate and up-to-date, however, some venues/events/activities may make changes without notifying us. We recommend contacting them directly before visiting to be 100% sure that their free offerings are still available.
Free in San Antonio this summer!
Free (and Almost-free) Camps for Kids
These three-day, free Apple camp sessions teach kids, ages 8-12, to expand their digital creativity through hands-on projects with experts at Apple. Sign up to be notified when registration opens.
Microsoft hosts free Youthspark Summer Camps at their La Cantera store for kids, ages 6+. Participants learn the latest technology from Microsoft while making new friends, completing creative projects, and gaining new skills that prepare them for the future. Registration TBA.
Free Bowling Programs
AMF Kids Bowl Free
Kids, ages 15 and under, get two free games every day all summer long at the following locations after parents register them (If you plan to have your kids bowl at all three locations below, you must register online at each of the three bowling centers to receive the two free games per day for your kids):
Bandera Bowling Center, 6700 Huebner Rd., 78238
Oak Hills Lanes, 7330 Callaghan Rd., 78229
Astro Super Bowl, 3203 Harry Wurzbach Rd., 78209
Parents can purchase an optional pass for $29.95 for the summer to receive two games per day for up to four adults in the family to bowl with their children. Options, ages, and rates may vary from bowling alley to bowling alley, so be sure to check with each individual business to learn their specific offer details.
Free Swimming Pools (and lessons!)
San Antonio Regional pools
Open now through Thursday, June 8, with open swimming:
Tuesday – Thursday, 4:00 p.m. to 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.
Soon after, all 24 of San Antonio’s pools are open and free admission is available.
Free swimming lessons
Thanks to the San Antonio Parks Foundation, University Health System, and Security Service Federal Credit Union, the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department offers free swimming lesson this summer at 23 outdoor local pools. Lessons are for ages four and up (to adults) and for levels beginner – intermediate. Registration begins on May 20 (Hurry! Spots are limited to 100 per pool). Click here for all of the details for free swimming lessons in San Antonio.
Free Splash Pads in San Antonio
Check out this post which lists six free splash pads you can visit, in and around San Antonio!
Free Summer Movies
There are more than 80 free (and almost-free) indoor and outdoor movies for families this summer in San Antonio. Check out San Antonio Mom Blogs’ HUGE list of Free and Almost-free Summer Movies for 2018!
Free Summer Reading Programs
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.
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.
Free Historical Sites
The San Antonio Missions
Recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the only one in the state of Texas!), the San Antonio Missions are also a National Historical Park. And, they are all free to visit! Our favorite San Antonio Mission is Mission San Jose! Donations are also accepted.
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
Free crafts for kids, ages 3 and up, every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Free Library Services
Free Library Events for Kids and Families
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.
Below are our favorite free events coming to a library branch near you this summer (check this page for library branch locations). Please note: all programs are free to attend but some require tickets due to a limited capacity. Some shows/events hand out tickets up to a week in advance. Be sure to visit the San Antonio Public Library’s calendar for specific details.
Summer Reading Kickoff Parties
Tuesday, May 29, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Pruitt Library
Saturday, June 2, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Maverick Library
Thursday, June 7, 3:00 p.m., Cody Library — San Antonio 300 Summer Reading Party!
Saturday, June 9, 2:00 p.m., Encino Library — Encino Summer Reading Beach Party!
Thursday, June 13, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Johnston Library
Wednesday, July 11, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Johnston Library
Wednesday, July 18, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Johnston Library
Wednesday, July 25, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Johnston Library
Monday, June 4, 4:00 p.m., Mission Library
Tuesday, June 5, 4:30 p.m., Igo Library
Wednesday, June 6, 4:00 p.m., Encino Library
Friday, June 8, 11:00 a.m., Cody Library
Wednesday, June 13, 4:00 p.m., Encino Library
Friday, June 15, 11:00 a.m., Cody Library
Monday, June 18, 4:00 p.m., Mission Library
Tuesday, June 19, 4:30 p.m., Igo Library
Wednesday, June 20. 4:00 p.m., Encino Library
Wednesday, June 27, 4:00 p.m., Encino Library
Monday, July 2, 4:00 p.m., Mission Library
Tuesday, July 3, 4:30 p.m., Igo Library
Wednesday, July 4, 4:00 p.m., Encino Library
Wednesday, July 11, 4:00 p.m., Encino Library
Monday, July 16, 4:00 p.m., Mission Library
Tuesday, July 17, 4:30 p.m., Igo Library
Wednesday, July 18, 4:00 p.m., Encino Library
Wednesday, July 25, 4:00 p.m., Encino Library
Monday, July 30, 4:00 p.m., Mission Library
Wednesday, August 1, 4:00 p.m., Encino Library
Tuesday, August 7, 4:30 p.m., Igo Library
Wednesday, August 8, 4:00 p.m., Encino Library
Wednesday, August 15, 4:00 p.m., Encino Library
Wednesday, June 6, 2:00 p.m., Johnston Library
Wednesday, June 6, 3:00 p.m., Cody Library
Tuesday, June 12, 5:00 p.m., Pruitt Library
Wednesday, June 13, 3:00 p.m., Cody Library
Tuesday, June 19, 5:00 p.m., Pruitt Library
Wednesday, June 20, 2:00 p.m., Johnston Library
Wednesday, June 20, 3:00 p.m., Cody Library
Tuesday, June 22, 5:00 p.m., Pruitt Library
Wednesday, June 27, 2:00 p.m., Johnston Library
Wednesday, July 11, 2:00 p.m., Johnston Library
Wednesday, July 18, 2:00 p.m., Johnston Library
Wednesday, July 25, 2:00 p.m., Johnston Library
Come & Go Crafts
Saturday, June 2, Encino Library
Saturday, June 9, Encino Library
Saturday, June 16, Encino Library
Saturday, June 23, Encino Library
Saturday, June 30, Encino Library
Saturday, July 7, Encino Library
Saturday, July 14, Encino Library
Saturday, July 21, Encino Library
Saturday, July 28, Encino Library
Saturday, August 4, Encino Library
Saturday, August 11, Encino Library
Saturday, August 18, Encino Library
Check out our San Antonio Mom Blogs post, Free Days and Times for San Antonio Museums, to learn how and when to get free admission to 12 local museums.
Balcones Heights Jazz Festival
One of San Antonio’s favorite musical traditions of the summer, the Balcones Heights Jazz Festival brings in world-renowned talent to perform under the stars at the Amphitheatre at Wonderland of the Americas. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and fans tend to save their spots beginning the morning of each concert. Food and beverages are for sale at booths and inside the mall.
2018 Jazz Festival dates are July 6, 13, 20 and 27. Here’s the awesome line up for this FREE festival in July:
Friday, July 6:
Friday, July 13:
Friday, July 20:
Friday, July 27:
More Free Fun
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 9:45 a.m. at The Wharf. Free admission for each mom’s kids, ages 3-11, and moms are just $17 each. Must arrive before 9:45 to receive free admission for kids.
*Note: Admission to Inspiration Island is an additional $10.00 per person.
Decorate donuts at free family night at Krispy Kreme
Enjoy games, arts and crafts, and free donuts the first Wednesday of the month from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at all three San Antonio Krispy Kreme locations (1117 North Loop 1604 East, 78232 | 12328 IH 10 West, 78230 | 2703 S.E. Military Dr., 78223).
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 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. for this free, wild, and wacky story time.
More almost-free fun
Take a ride on VIVA to see and stop at the most popular sites in and around downtown San Antonio
Take VIVA around town. It’s a new, low-cost service from Via offering three different views of San Antonio: VIVA Culture, VIVA Missions, and VIVA Centro. These new routes include stops at the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site, the Alamo, King William Historic District, Southtown, Downtown, Market Square, the River Walk, Pearl, and the South Broadway corridor. The best value for VIVA is with a $2.75 Day Pass, which gives you unlimited rides all day (available on the bus). A single trip is just $1.30. Or get a 7-Day Pass for only $12 and take the time to plan your next adventure with VIVA.
Take a Tour of San Antonio’s Asian Gardens
Some of the suggested stops on our San Antonio tour of Asian gardens do require a little cash but you and your kids will be introduced to some little-known spots the whole family 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 $3 for children 6-16, children under age 5 are free.
*Note: The center and grounds will be closed from June 17 to July 5 for repairs.
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).
Family Night on Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. One parent skates free with a child’s paid admission (kids are just $5).
See these posts for more free summer fun in San Antonio:
See these posts for free fun in other Texas cities:
And, don’t miss: