It doesn’t cost much to enjoy a weekend in Texas. If you’re on the hunt for free fun, head to these events across the state—including free art tours and early winter celebrations.
Find more exciting things to do using the Texas Highways Events Calendar database.
Alpine: Nov. 17-18
The whole West Texas town of Alpine is covered in art and entertainment for this two-day, 24th annual festival. Peek into art galleries, take in public murals, listen to live music, participate in silent auctions, and check out the Art Car Parade, which features vehicles all gussied up with eye-catching paint jobs. Kids will enjoy face-painting, horse rides, and games.
Bryan: Nov. 18
Organized by Texas A&M University, this event allows attendees to get a taste of Middle Eastern, African, Latin American, South Asian, and East Asian cultures without leaving Texas. Various cultural organizations host dance and storytelling performances, educational programs, craft vendors, and food vendors representing their native countries. A kids’ village with a bounce house and arts and crafts keeps little ones occupied, too.
Austin: Nov. 18-19
With hundreds of artist galleries and work spaces to check out on the East Side of Austin, you could fill your entire weekend with just attending the East Austin Studio Tour. This annual event connects the community with local artists for conversation and contemplation. Pick up a map/catalog at any public library to help guide your journey.
Houston: Nov. 18
Head to Discovery Green Park for the opening of its seasonal ice rink known as The Ice. Although you do have to pay for skate rentals, there’s plenty of free fun to be enjoyed, from music by the Peterson Brothers to live ice sculpting to the debut of a new public art installation. Welcoming winter has never been so cool.
Lake Jackson: Nov. 18
Get a head start on holiday merriment with a jam-packed day of activities that concludes with a parade of lights in the downtown area. Throughout the day you can attend a carnival (with a fee), see dance performances, participate in children’s games, watch the pet parade go by, grab a bite at a food vendor, soar down a man-made snow hill, and pay a visit to Santa.
Plano: Nov. 18-19
Get your Christmas shopping done early this year and pick up a gift for everyone on your list at the Plano Christmas Market, where you can browse through handmade items like jewelry, clothing for adults and children, candles and soaps, salsas, jams, nuts, and dips.