Free Things to do in Houston

October 1, 2005 by  
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October brings pleasant weather, and with it, an adventuresome spirit. Get out and enjoy what Houston has to offer – it’s fun and free!

Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens
Located in north Houston, this arboretum contains both native and cultivated plants. The park spans more than 250 acres and has five miles of trails. It contains butterfly, tropical and rose gardens, to name a few of the attractions. Whether you’re looking to spend a day or volunteer regularly, Mercer has much to offer. 22306 Aldine Westfield, Humble, (281) 443-8731

Lillie &Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden
Enjoy a peaceful day among 19th and 20th century sculptures. This acre of art is sure to inspire all who visit. Montrose Boulevard at Bissonnet Street, (713) 639-7300

Home Depot Workshops and Clinics
Home Depot offers Do-It-Herself Workshops, Weekly Clinics and Kids Workshops to give people a supportive place to learn to do various things around the house. The events include topics such as pressure washing, updating your cabinets and proper painting techniques. Visit the Home Depot near you. www.homedepotclinics.com

Lynchburg Ferry Service
Take a historic and beautiful ride across the San Jacinto River. This ferry service has been running since 1822 and played an important role in the fight for Texas’ independence. Take the seven to 10 minute ride, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. 1001 South Lynchburg, Baytown, (281) 424-3521

Japanese Garden in Hermann Park
Experience the natural beauty and simplicity of Japan. This garden utilizes natural materials such as rock, wood and plants to create a feeling of serenity. This is definitely a garden you won’t want to miss. 1500 Hermann Drive, (713) 284-1989

Memorial Park
With more than 1,400 acres, Memorial Park is an excellent place to spend the day. The park is complete with recreational trails, a golf course, tennis courts and a driving range (though some of these cost money). There is also plenty of room for a picnic! 6501 Memorial Drive, (713) 845-1000

Glenwood Cemetery
Are you looking for a historic cemetery this Halloween season? Glenwood Cemetery was Houston’s first professionally designed cemetery. It is full of sculptures, obelisks and historical markers nestled on small rolling hills with one of the best views of Houston’s skyline. Howard Hughes, the eccentric aviator, is the cemetery’s most famous resident. 2525 Washington Ave., (713) 864-7886

The Children’s Museum of Houston
The Wortham Foundation Inc. and John P. McGovern, M.D. sponsor Free Family Nights on Thursdays from 5-8 p.m. Bring your children to experience the hands-on exhibits in science, technology, history, culture, health, human development and the arts. 1500 Binz, (713) 522-1138, www.cmhouston.org

Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary
Relax a while and watch the birds at this beautiful sanctuary. Be sure to check out the log cabin and educational programs. The gates are open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. 440 Wilchester Blvd., (713) 932-1639, www.houstonaudubon.org The Menil Collection and The Rothko Chapel
Dominique and John de Menil left a legacy of art in Houston with The Menil Collection and The Rothko Chapel. The Menil Collection features the Menil’s private art collection that dates from the Paleolithic era to today and is divided into four areas – Antiquity, Byzantine and Medieval, Tribal, and Twentieth Century Art. The Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational chapel that acts as a sanctuary for people of every religion. Fourteen of Mark Rothko’s works can be viewed here. The Menil Collection: 1515 Sul Ross (parking at 1515 W. Alabama), (713) 525-9400, www.menil.org; The Rothko Chapel: 1409 Sul Ross St., (713) 524-9839, www.rothkochapel.org

Holocaust Museum Houston
With an ongoing message that “humankind must learn to live together in peace and harmony,” the Holocaust Museum reminds the public of the need for Holocaust remembrance and understanding to insure such an atrocity is not repeated. This museum reminds us all of the dangers of prejudice and hatred. Admission is always free, but donations are appreciated. 5401 Caroline St., (713) 942-8000, www.hmh.org

Traders Village
Museums aren’t your thing? Enjoy a day of bargain hunting at Traders Village Flea Market. With 105 acres and 1,000 dealers, new treasures can be discovered every weekend. Don’t miss the festivals! (The seventh annual Halloween Boo Bash is Oct. 30.) 7979 North Eldridge Road, (281) 890-5500, www.tradersvillage.com

Old Town Spring
Step back in time with a visit to Old Town Spring. Filled with shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries, this town has something different around every corner. 1 (800) OLD-TOWN, www.oldtownspringtx.com H

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