San Antonio is home to world-class museums. The only thing better than a visit to one of them, is a FREE visit. We have rounded up the days and times for free, discounted visits and virtual tours to museums in San Antonio. We have included the location of the museum, hours of operation and other details to help you plan your next visit.
Editor’s Note: The staff at SanAntonioThingsToDo tries to bring you the latest information. However, as always, please confirm before you head out!
Museums On Us Program For Free Admission At San Antonio Museums
Museums on Us is a special program that allows one free general admission on the first weekend of every month to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders. Present your active Bank of America, Merrill or Bank of America Private Bank (U.S. Trust) credit or debit card with photo ID to gain one free general admission to a participating cultural institution.
In San Antonio, the McNay, Briscoe, Witte, San Antonio Museum of Art and the DoSeum participate in this program.
Free & Discount Days And Hours At San Antonio Museums
The Witte Museum
3801 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209
#FreeKnowledge #FreeTuesday lets you visit the Witte Museum free every Tuesday from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Take advantage of enhanced activities and programming just for free Tuesday! The Witte Museum showcases science, health, natural history and the heritage of the early South Texas people. Free Admission to the Witte Museum includes entrance to all permanent exhibits, the South Texas Heritage Center, and the HEB Body Adventure, a permanent, three-story experience, which offers interactive exhibits that teach kids and families how their bodies work and how they can stay fit and healthy.
Free Knowledge Free Tuesdays at the Witte Museum are generously supported by The USAA Foundation, Inc., Bolner’s Fiesta Products, BBVA USA, the Nathalie and Gladys Dalkowitz Charitable Trust, the Faye L. and William L. Cowden Charitable Foundation and John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation.
The Witte Museum is a Museums on Us participant and offers one free general admission on the first weekend of every month to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders.
2800 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209
The state-of-the-art DoSeum hosts Free Family Night on the first Monday of every month from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. It’s one of our favorite things to do with kids and toddlers in San Antonio.
A link for ticket reservations is posted on this page at 8 am the morning of Free Family Night. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is free but limited. No outside food is allowed and umbrella strollers only inside the museum. The cafe will be open with food and drinks for sale. Brought to you by HEB and Community First Health Plans.
The DoSeum is a Museums on Us participant and offers one free general admission on the first weekend of every month to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders.
The San Antonio Museum of Art
200 West Jones Avenue, San Antonio, Texas 78215
Free admission to the San Antonio Museum of Art is offered twice a week on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m for Bexar County residents. Children 12 and under are always free. The San Antonio Museum of Art has other free/discounted offerings each month that include:
Museums on Us program: One FREE general admission on the first full weekend of every month to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders.
Museums For All program: General admission for families receiving food assistance benefits (SNAP) is $3 per person, up to four people, with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card
University & Corporate Partners program: Alamo Colleges, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, Trinity University, University of the Incarnate Word (and affiliated Brainpower Connection Schools), and UT Health San Antonio students, faculty, and staff receive FREE general admission to the Museum and free parking during business hours with their school IDs. H-E-B employees receive FREE general admission and free parking with their company ID. Parking validation provided at Admissions Desk
Viva Culture Bus Riders: All VIVA Culture Route riders receive a $2 discount on general admission when they show their bus ticket.
The McNay Art Museum
6000 North New Braunfels, San Antonio, Texas 78209
The McNay offers free general admission every Thursday night from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. courtesy of H-E-B. Additionally, admission is free on the first Sunday of each month courtesy of the Dickson-Allen Foundation. Please note, a special exhibition fee of $10 still applies for the featured exhibition during these times.
The McNay also offers free admission to the following groups
- 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 admission
- Sotheby’s Preferred Client Cardholders – Present your card at the front desk for free admission for up to three guests.
- Students, faculty, and staff from one of the following colleges– Alamo Colleges, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, Trinity University, and the University of the Incarnate Word
- Museums for All– Recipients of SNAP, WIC, and MAP.
They also offer a reduced admission rate of $15 for college students, senior citizens, and military members and their families.
Institute of Texan Cultures
801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78205
Focusing on the people who call Texas home and celebrating their beautiful and varied heritages, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures offers free admission for everyone on the second Sunday of each month, from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Additionally, students, faculty, and staff at UTSA and Alamo Colleges get free entry any day with ID.
As of this posting, the Institute of Texan Cultures remains closed due to COVID.
The Briscoe Western Art Museum
210 W. Market Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205Military Salute Program
Military Salute Program: The Briscoe Museum is proud to be the only museum in San Antonio that offers FREE year-round admission to active military. We also offer discount admission for the active member’s family (with service member present), and retired military personnel.
Bank of America Museums on Us: For the first full weekend of the month, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust cardholders gain one free admission to the museum.
Museum Month: Taking place in October each year, the Briscoe participates in Museum Month with other cultural institutions in the area. Click here to learn more.
Locals Day: The Briscoe Western Art Museum is happy to welcome all residents of San Antonio and Bexar County to come and experience the culture and art of the West. Enjoy a day of art and culture for a 50% discount off general admission, a $6.00 savings. Click here for the next Locals Day.
The Alamo and the San Antonio Missions
The San Antonio Missions are now the first World Heritage Site in the state of Texas and the 23rd in the nation. And, everyone can visit them for free, every day! To visit the inside of the Alamo Church, visitors will need to claim a free timed ticket.
The Alamo (300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205) is open from 9 am to 7 pm during Peak season (May 28 to Sept 6) and from 9 am to 5:30 pm for the rest of the year.
San Antonio Missions hours vary by mission. For detailed hours of operation for the San Antonio Missions click here
Mission Concepción: 807 Mission Rd, San Antonio, TX 78210
Mission San José: 6701 San Jose Dr, San Antonio, TX 78124
Mission San Juan: 9101 Graf Rd, San Antonio, TX 78214
Mission Espada: 10040 Espada Rd, San Antonio, TX 78214
The Quadrangle and the Ft. Sam Houston Museum
1405 East Grayson St. Building 16 Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234
The Quadrangle is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; on weekends and federal holidays, it’s open from noon to 6:00 p.m. The Ft. Sam Museum is located inside the historic Quadrangle on Liscum Road. Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Tuesday thru Friday and 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Visitors without a valid government should use the Walters Street gate off of IH-35. Visitors must obtain a pass by stopping in the Visitor Control Center and presenting a form of identification. Admission to both is free.
As of this posting, the museum remains closed due to COVID concerns.
Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio
12500 NW Military Hwy, San Antonio, Texas 78231
There is no admission fee to visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum. It is open Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. While there is no admission fee, a suggested donation of $1 per student and $3 per adult is recommended. Holiday hours may apply. Enter through the main entrance of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Jewish Campus at 12500 N.W. Military Highway. The Holocaust Memorial Museum is located on the upper level.
As of the posting date, only virtual tours of the museum are available due to COVID concerns.
San Antonio: The Saga
San Fernando Cathedral, Main Plaza, 115 N. Main, 78205
More of an outdoor, audiovisual history experience than a museum.
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays at 9:00 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10:00 p.m.
This free video art installation, created by Xavier De Richemont, plays three times a night, weather permitting, on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays on the facade of San Fernando Cathedral.
Free museum visits for active duty military service members
Active duty members of the military and up to five members of their family, receive free admission to participating local museums from Armed Forces Day-Labor Day (May 18, 2019- September 2, 2019), courtesy of Blue Star Museums. Participating San Antonio museums in prior years have included:
Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum
Briscoe Western Art Museum
Casa Navarro State Historic Site
Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio
Institute of Texas Cultures
San Antonio Museum of Art
Villa Finale: Museum & Gardens
Visit the Blue Star Museums website for more information.
Know of any other free museums in San Antonio? Comment below and we’ll add them!
For the latest on free visits and other museums related news in San Antonio, continue to monitor our Museums and Attractions page.
Definitely need to plan some outings for the rest of the month! Thanks for this list, Colleen!
Yes! This list is a great place to start when planning some cool outings during the remaining summer months.
We have so many great museums here in San Antonio. How lucky are we?!
We are SO lucky! And, even luckier for us? So many free chances to visit them.
What a great list! Free days and times are a great way to try out a museum, especially if you have never been there before. If you find yourself thinking, “That was great, but it would be even better if it were less crowded,” then get yourself a membership so you can go back when it’s less crowded.
Good point, Inga. These are highly trafficked times at the museums because who doesn’t love FREE? 🙂 I love your suggestion that visiting during free time is a great way to preview the museums before buying a membership. Smart thinking.
I love that you are doing this posts. Love it!
Thanks, Debi! I hope they are useful and introduce people to all of the amazing, free things we have to do in our city.
wanted to add a side not that mr smith is an older gentleman who offers free visits to the toilet museum but maybe you can add a short list of supplies that he takes for donations. I know people would rather come prepared with something even if it was small like Black Sharpie Markers. He has a list of items that he always needs to make new seats to add to the collection!
This is awesome Colleen, thanks so much!
I think people should go check out Guadalupe culture center thry offer free art exhibits from Monday- Friday.
They are located at 723 S Brazos St, San Antonio, TX 78207
They also have lots of fun programs and festivals.