Having fun this summer doesn’t have to leave you feeling light in the wallet. Here are 100+ free things to do in San Antonio this summer for kids and adults alike:
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.
ALL SUMMER LONG DEALS
The San Antonio Zoo
Visit the beautifully manicured landscape of interactive exhibits at the only zoo that’s as big as Texas. The special summer exhibit is Wild Connections – special LEGO sculptures can be found all over the zoo! Admission is $15.99 for kids and $19.99 for adults.
Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tours
Discovery everything the city has to offer with this rooftop tour. You can get on and off anywhere for 24 hours to up to 4 days. You can get off at any tourist attraction, shopping mall, and more. Tickets start at $37.89!
Regal Cinemas E-Tickets
Sometimes it gets too hot, and going to the movies is a great way to cool off this summer in San Antonio. Regal Cinemas is offering e-tickets all summer long for just $9.50! Just purchase them online, print them out at home, and redeem any date, for any showing!
GoKart Racing at K-1 Speed
Bring the whole family to see who can hack it and come in the fastest! Racing packages come with score cards so you can compare times. Packages usually run $30- $58.
AMC Yellow E-Tickets
E-Tickets work just like regular movie tickets with one awesome difference- you aren’t locked into any particular day or show time! Use them for almost any movie, any day, at any showing. Just purchase the tickets, download them from your email, and print them out to redeem at the box office. E-tickets are just $9 (down from $13.50!) so you can watch multiple movies at the theater this summer!
The San Antonio Aquarium
Interactive exhibits encourage guests to feed the sharks, sting rays, and birds. You can also get up close and personal with a variety of reptiles and other animals. There are over 8,000 animals to explore in this aquarium, making it one of the best places to visit in San Antonio this summer. Admission is $10.95 for children and $15.95 for adults.
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.
*Note: Microsoft Stores are closed until further notice but kids can take advantage of online workshops!
FREE BOWLING PROGRAMS
AMF Kids Bowl Free
Kids, ages 15 and under, get two free games every day all summer long (June 15 – September 7) 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!)
*Note: This section is from last year. We will update when new information becomes available!
San Antonio Regional pools
Open starting May 4, 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 24 outdoor local pools. Lessons are for ages four and up (to adults) and for levels beginner – intermediate. (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 free splash pads in San Antonio and the surrounding area!
FREE SUMMER MOVIES
There are dozens of free (and almost-free) indoor and outdoor movies for families this summer in San Antonio. Check out out HUGE list of Free and Almost-free Summer Movies for 2020!
FREE SUMMER READING PROGRAMS
San Antonio Public Library
Starts: June 1
Where: Library branches all over San Antonio (see locations here)
How: Kids complete a reading journal. When it’s full, and when the library is open again, contact your library to make arrangements to pick up your free paperback book. Current plans are for the library to open for contact-free service on June 16.
Events: the San Antonio Public Library supports its Summer Reading Program with free events and activities, all summer long. See the San Antonio Public Library Calendar for more information.
Rewards: Kids (both listeners and readers) earn a Summer Reading Certificate and a free paperback book to keep.
Half Price Books: Feed Your Brain
Starts: June 3
Ends: July 31
How: Kids 14 and under can go to the Half Price Books website to download the reading log. Have a parent or guardian initial each week and each month during June and July. High school students who would like to participate can also visit the Half Price Books website beginning in June to submit a short review of a book they read in June and July.
Reward: Share your logs by tagging @halfpricebooks and use the hashtag #FeedYourBrain for a chance to win summer reading prizes!
Starts: May 30
Ends: August 7
Where: Online and in stores
How: Twiglets read and log the books they read this summer on their SPOT ON Reading Sheet. The Twig offers rewards for every 10 books you child reads (or, that you read to them). Turn in your SPOT ON Reading Sheet at The Twig for a chance to win a $10 Twig gift certificate (drawn weekly).
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
Starts: May 4, 2020
Ends: September 4, 2020
How: Kids log the minutes they spend reading.
Rewards: Play games, earn virtual rewards, and enter a sweepstakes.
Parks & Greenways
With more than 185 public parks and greenways to visit in San Antonio, there’s something for everyone in the family! Here are our 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.
Cibolo Nature Center
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 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. These are some of the best summer activities in San Antonio for families.
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.
LEGO Time & LEGO Club
Bring the kids to play legos and share with each other during LEGO Time or LEGO Club. The events are held at various days and times at branch library locations across the city. Check this calendar for updates.
Enjoy books, arts and crafts, and age- appropriate activities. This event is for school-aged children. Younger siblings may attend if they are accompanied by an adult. The events are held at various times and dates across the city. Check their schedule for details. There are also special Baby Time and Toddler Time classes!
Come & Go Crafts
Let the little ones truly express themselves. These crafts are meant to do independently so that kids can learn to follow instructions, take visual cues, and become self-directed. Let them make whatever they want! The crafting times are held all over the city, just check your local branch library.
Check out our post, Free Days and Times for San Antonio Museums, to learn how and when to get free admission to 12 local museums.
MORE FREE FUN
Home Depot Workshops
Every Saturday morning, Home Depot hosts free workshops for kids! There are also free workshops for men and women.
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.
*Note: Due to Covid-19, showings have been suspended until further notice.
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, 10:30, or 11:00 a.m. for this free, wild, and wacky story time.
MORE ALMOST-FREE FUN
Take a Tour of San Antonio’s Asian Gardens
A few 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 until June 30, at the earliest, because of Covid-19.
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, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. One parent skates free with a child’s paid admission (kids are just $5).
Got any more things to do in San Antonio this summer? Let us know where to meet you in the comments below: