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50+ Free Things for Kids and Families to do in San Antonio this Summer (2014)


PLEASE NOTE: THE LIST BELOW IS FROM 2014. Here is the list of 100+ Free Things for Kids and Families to do in San Antonio this Summer (2016).

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50+ free things for kids and families to do in San Antonio this summer

There are so many fantastic ways to spend time with your kids in San Antonio this summer. Wouldn’t it be nice if they didn’t all cost a lot of money? Here’s San Antonio Mom Blogs’ list of 50+ free camps, activities, events, and programs your kids will love experiencing this summer and they are all free!

Free tech camps for kids

These three-day, free Apple camp sessions teach kids, ages 8-12, how to use iMovie to make their own films.

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.

Free programming camps for middle and high schoolers
Three free programming camps for middle and high schoolers in San Antonio this summer. San Antonio Youth Code Jam has details on these camps which take place in June and August this summer. Register now!

Free tech camps for kids this summer in San Antonio

Free Bowling Programs

Kids Bowl Free: Kids get two free games every day all summer long at the following locations:
Bandera Bowling Center
Oak Hills Lanes
Astro Super Bowl

AMF free bowling for kids
Kids get three free games every weekday in June, July, August at these locations: Country Lanes (San Pedro) and Ponderosa Lanes (Goliad)

Kids get one free game of bowling every day in June, July, August

University Bowl
Kids get two free games per day and discounts on shoe rental

Free bowling for kids this summer in San Antonio

Free Swimming Pools

San Antonio public pools

From now until June 13, free admission is available at the following San Antonio public pools: Heritage, 1423 Ellison Dr.; Lady Bird Johnson, 10700 Nacogdoches; Lincoln, 2803 E. Commerce; and Woodlawn, 221 Alexander Ave. Lap swimming is available Tuesday through Thursday from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and open swimming is offered offered Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m.

From June 14 – 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 swimming pools in San Antonio this summer

Free Summer Movies

Santikos Free Summer Movies
Every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10AM

Free Movies by Moonlight in Travis Park by Slab Cinema
Slab Cinema provides Movies by Moonlight in Travis Park all summer long on Tuesday evenings. Parking garages downtown are free on Tuesdays after 5:00 p.m.

Free Family Flicks at San Antonio Museum of Art
Family Flicks at SAMA, AGES 6 and up, Every second Saturday at sundown

Free Movies by the Lake
Movies by the Lake at Woodlawn Lake Park San Antonio free outdoor screening each fourth Saturday at dusk. Bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Free outdoor movies in Alamo Heights
June 20, July 18, August 22
Free outdoor movies at the Nature Trailhead park next to the Heights Pool. Bring blankets, chairs and picnics. Movies start at dusk.

Cycle In Cinema at Main Plaza
Outdoor movie every Thursday this summer during June – August, movie starts at dusk (around 8:45 p.m.)

Alamo Drafthouse Kids Camp: free family movies
Tickets are available at the box office on the day of the show, and seating is first come, first served.

Almost-free Movies

Regal: $1 admission to family movies
Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m.

Ten films for just $5 when purchased in advance OR $1 per show at the box office
Cinemark McCreless Market
Cinemark Movies 16

Free movies for kids and families this summer in San Antonio

Free Reading Programs

San Antonio Library’s Summer Reading Program (begins June 1)
Barnes and Noble Summer Reading
Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge
Book Adventure
Mooo-dy Summer Mania with Judy Moody books and Borden Milk

Free reading programs with rewards for kids this summer in San Antonio

Free Parks and Historical Sites

San Antonio has 185 public parks and greenways and they’re all free to visit. Here are a few San Antonio parks our family recommends. And, learn to go geocaching in local parks. This San Antonio Express-News article on geocaching shows you how.

All five San Antonio Missions are free to visit (although donations are accepted)

Cibolo Nature Center (Boerne): free admission (although donations are accepted)
Four separate ecosystems are available to explore, including: a marsh, a savannah, a forest, and a prairie.

Japanese Tea Gardens at Sunken Gardens
Located near the San Antonio Zoo and Brackenridge Park, the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden is an oasis of lush greenery, calming ponds, and breathtaking views. And it’s all free! Details in this post.

The Quadrangle on Fort Sam Houston
All you need is a government issued I.D. or driver’s license, and you can gain free entry into The Fort Sam Houston Quadrangle, San Antonio’s second oldest military installation (and oldest active one). Peacocks, deer, geese, and rabbits roam freely around the grounds, and they’re extremely tame and love to be fed. Details in this post.

Free parks and historical sites to visit with your kids this summer in San Antonio

Free San Antonio Public Library Events, Activities, and Services

Regularly check the San Antonio Library’s updated calendar of free events, story times, arts and crafts, book clubs, and classes for kids and teens.

Free streaming movies are available from indieflix and the San Antonio Library (all you need is your library card number to create an account).

Free digital magazines from the San Antonio Library (all you need is your library card number to create an account).

Free library activities, events, and services for kids and families this summer in San Antonio

Free Museums

Free Museums for Military members and their families
Memorial Day – Labor Day 2014
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: The Alamo, the Institute of Texan Cultures, the Casa Navarro State Historic Site, the McNay Art Museum, and the San Antonio Museum of Art. Visit the Blue Star Museums website for FAQs and more information.

San Antonio Children’s Museum free admission
HEB Free Family Night every third Tueday of the month – adults and children get free admission and parking is free on Tuesdays downtown:

Witte Museum
Admission is free on Tuesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

McNay Museum
Free admission to fun activities on the McNay grounds. Event includes art, food, and music. Every second Thursday from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

San Antonio Museum of Art free admission:
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
Second Sunday of the month – free admission

Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum in Alamo Heights (yes, you read that correctly): free admission

Free museums for kids and families to visit this summer in San Antonio

More Free Fun

Free San Antonio Missions baseball games. Join the Mission Kids Club and receive free admission to Sunday home games and other activities.

Tour the San Antonio Shoe Factory
The company gives regular, free tours of their shoe and purse factory, located on the southwest side of town. Details in this post.

Stroll the San Antonio Riverwalk or around downtown San Antonio (and, if you do it on Tuesday evenings after 5pm, downtown parking garages offer free parking).

Free Car Rally every second Saturday at Wonderland of the Americas Mall, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Morgan’s Wonderland Mom’s Group
The Morgan’s Wonderland Moms’ Group meets the first and third Friday of every month at 9:00 a.m. Free admission for kids, ages 3-10 and moms are just $15 each. Must arrive before 9:45 to receive free admission for kids.

More free places to take your kids this summer in San Antonio

More almost-free fun

The Rollercade
Summer passes on sale now: you can skate June 6 – August 24 for only $100 total per person
Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Bargain Day: $3 Admission, $3 Regular Skate Rental, and $3 Hot dog special (hot dog and soft drink)

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

Carvel Skateland South
Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., $5 per person (includes admission and skate rental)
Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., $5 per person (includes admission and skate rental)

Skateland West
Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Family Night – Parents skate free with their children (kids are just $3.70 plus tax)

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

Free Fun in San Antonio (my guest post over at Free Fun in Austin last year)

Almost Free Fun in San Antonio

Visit San Antonio’s free events page

The San Antonio Current’s Free for Kids page

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  1. Colleen, what a great list of things around town! I’ve lived here almost 10 years but you still managed to find things I hadn’t thought about or found yet, like free streaming videos/magazines from the library and the multitude of summer fun reading programs. Thanks so much!

  2. Great post Colleen! Thanks for the list. I’ll be adding a few of these gems to our summer calendar 🙂

  3. LOVE this list, Colleen!!!

  4. This list is awesome!! I’ll definitely use it this summer–Thank you 🙂

  5. This is a great resource! Off to share. 🙂

  6. I love this list, thank you so much! Here’s hoping I make it to San Antonio this summer! 🙂

  7. I def want to get my girls to a baseball game, a museum and to the library! I have been obsessed w Groupons lately–I know they are not free BUT at least it will save us some $.

  8. Great list! I don’t have any kids, but I’d love to go to most of these places just me and my husband! 🙂 Or take my nieces and nephews. Thanks for this!

  9. I love this! we needed a list like this to plan our summer with

  10. Thanks so much for this list! Just FYI, though, the flyer for Santikos free movies is NOT the current one.
    Those are last year’s movies and dates.

    • Lauren, thank you for bringing that to my attention! I’ve removed the incorrect link and will add the correct one as soon as it becomes available. I appreciate your help!

  11. Rita Fridley says:

    Do you have any activity for children with Autism? I have a 13 year old autistic son .He is considered none verbal but he does talk very short sentence s . We recently moved to San Antonio from Virginia

    • Hi, Rita. Are you familiar with Morgan’s Wonderland? It is a wonderful park here in San Antonio designed for accessibility and with special needs individuals in mind. Here is the link to their site: Special needs individuals receive free admission. It may be a good place for your son to visit. There are gentle rides (carousel, train, off-road adventure ride) and other areas like the sensory village, developed with special needs in mind.

      Let me see if I can think of some other places your son may enjoy and I’ll post them here or email you. Thank you for your question!

  12. Also, Kidcation Week is back this year: August 8 – 17. Family friendly offers and events are still rolling in, but there are some fabulous examples of what the week holds at (including a three-day free Kick Off Event).

  13. The free movie at the Bijou Theater at the Wonderland of Americas Mall is not kids friendly for children under 12. Learned the hard way when I went to take my 7 & 11 year olds to see Sound of Music (which they love that movie) and we were turned away.

    • Candy, thanks very much for letting me know. I’m sorry that event turned out not to be kid-friendly. Sure seems like the Sound of Music is a film for everyone! 🙂 I’ll remove it from my list. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know.

  14. Barney’s Toilet Seat Museum was awesome. It’s a must, seriously. It’s something that you just won’t see again and Barney absolutely loves what he does. He was very sweet and loved having all the kids there. Go check it out at least once just to say you did it.

  15. Barney’s Toilet Seat Museum was awesome. It’s a must, seriously. It’s something that you just won’t see again and Barney absolutely loves what he does. He was very sweet and loved having all the kids there. Go check it out at least once just to say you did it.

  16. This is a great list! Thanks for sharing!! The free summer movies are always fun…we enjoy the monthly ones in Helotes.

  17. Priscilla says:

    Lakeshore learning store: 327 Nw Loop 410 has free crafts for kids every Saturday at 11:00am!

  18. Thanks for great info! Look forward to moving here this summer!

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