Free things to do when you’re bored in San Antonio – Trinitonian

Places and events to spend your time but not your money

Do you want to find ways to enjoy San Antonio, but have little or no money in that mangled bank account? We have what you need. Here are some places and events that cost nothing, plus one that costs just two dollars.

The Japanese Tea Garden – A waterfall, a koi pond, gardens and pagodas – what’s not to love about this gorgeous little piece of East Asia? Is nestled right next to Trinity in the heart of San Antonio?

Brackenridge Park – Towering cypress trees beside the peaceful San Antonio River and one of the last major heron colonies in downtown Texas make this a wonderful picnic spot to sit and gather. Find trees to hammock on, picnic in the shade, or just enjoy a walk.

The Alamo – While some might say “Ala-no!”, others might call it a “glorified tourist destination,” and some might say it’s mandatory for anyone who sets foot in the state of Texas . (Note: although this one is free, you must reserve it in advance.)

The Riverwalk – Although many are familiar with the downtown tourist destination, not everyone is familiar with the many miles that go beyond this busy downtown circuit. You can find beautiful places north and south of the city center that have wildlife, beautiful flora, interesting artwork, and simple tranquility.

Every first Friday of the month at the Blue Star Arts Complex – Check out an entire arts complex, wander the halls with friends, listen to a band or chat with some of the city’s top visual artists. This arts complex located in the King William district south of the city center is the place to be that evening.

San Antonio Public Library – Doesn’t Coates have that book you’re looking for? How about a movie or a piece of music? The San Antonio Library System will even purchase media from another regional library system if it does not have it. The beautiful Landa Library is just one block from Trinity and is an excellent free resource for students.

San Pedro Springs – Want to swim in the second oldest park in the country? Enjoyed for thousands of years by the Payaya people, it was created as a park by King Philip V of Spain in 1729. It is a historical, cultural and geological monument open for swimming from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. weekends and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. pm on weekdays. But get in quick, because it closes for the year on September 26.

Fotoseptiembre – Do you like photography? Throughout September, the festival organization, Fotoseptiembre USA, hosts galleries across San Antonio and offers a wide range of artistic perspectives. (Visit for complete schedule and locations)

Two Dollar Tuesdays for the San Antonio Missions Game at Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium – This is the most expensive item on this menu, at a whopping two bucks. You can enjoy the San Antonio minor league baseball team on any of the eleven Tuesday nights they play at home this year.

Free Movies at the Marquee – Every first Saturday, third Saturday and third Thursday you can enjoy a free movie on the Mission Marquee lawn. Just bring a chair and some snacks. (Movies start 15 minutes after dusk.)

Open Mic Mondays at the Comedy Lounge – Come laugh or (if you’re brave) make fun of every Monday open mic night at the Upstage Comedy Lounge. (Laughs start at 8 p.m.)

Wellness at the Tobin Center – HEB is sponsoring a series of free public experiences at the Tobin Center “designed to address aspects of life and wellness”. Experiences include yoga, zumba, meditation, drum circle, and even a happy hour. Come and get well. (Many times, visit their website for more information.)

Witte Museum – San Antonio’s finest natural history museum has free admission on Tuesdays from 3-6pm. Come feast on the bones of dinosaurs.

Community Yoga at Mission San Jose – Become more mindful among missions. This class meets every Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. under a large oak tree in the heart of the Historical Park.

McNay Museum of Art – With a Trinity student card, students can walk around the beautiful McNay Museum Mansion for free and admire world-renowned artists and works of art at almost every turn. (Variable hours, closed Monday and Tuesday)

Ford Parade of Lights – (September 2-4 and September 9-11) Over two weekends, from the banks of the downtown River Walk, spectators can enjoy an illuminated procession of ten 26ft boats filled with colorful lanterns. (Event begins at 8 p.m., see River Walk website for parade route information)

So this is it. Discovering San Antonio doesn’t have to break the bank: go out, grab a friend or two and enjoy!

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