Stay Cool this Summer… FREE Houston Splashpads, Pools & Air Conditioned Venues for 2018!

Summer Break is here… and you know Houston is HOT!  If you are looking for COOL things to do in Houston, with kids… but also want FREE things to do… here’s the list for you!

Look below for FREE Splashpads, Pools, Beaches and Indoor Air Conditioned Venues… and maps for each!  (And as always, tell us what else to add!)

For all the Houston summer break resources, go HERE!




Paid Admission:  Houston ZooNoah’s Ark at Quillian Center





  • Free:
    • The City of Houston has 37 outdoor swimming pools are open during the summer (June – August). All pools are FREE and open to all ages.  They are open Tuesday through Sunday, 1:00pm – 8:00pm.
    • Citizens with disabilities can also use the heated indoor pool at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 West Gray. The 5-lane, 25-yard heated pool is open year round.
    • The City of Houston also offers FREE Swim Lessons.  All of these classes are free and are filled on a “first come, first served” basis during specified registration periods.
      • H2OSAFE LEARN TO SWIM classes are offered at three levels and are designed to teach youth ages 6 – 13 basic swim skills, swim strokes, and water safety skills to help them become proficient at swimming.
      • SwimWise is a series of FREE learn to swim classes offered for all ages and skill levels.
    • Matheson Park Pool in Tomball is open for free for everyone!
  • Paid Admission:  These Pools are not free, but they are available for you to cool off!
  • Map:





  • Seawall Beach: This busy beach is what you see when you drive by the hotels and restaurants.  Street parking is metered but beach access is free.
  • West Beach: Just drive on to the packed sand, back up to the water and have everything you need without hauling bags and chairs and coolers and kids.  And West Beach is free!
  • Jamaica Beach:  Like West Beach, this little section of beach has drive-on-the-beach access. The public beach is the area of sand from the vegetation line to the water’s edge.
  • Surfside Beach: This park is in the small town of Surfside (and not Galveston).  It’s free to access by foot or you can buy a permit to drive on.
  • Sylvan Beach Park: In La Porte, this small beach is closer than driving to Galvston.

Paid Admission:

  • East Beach: Not far from the Seawall is East Beach on the tip of the island. It has a pavilion, playground, restrooms, showers, concessions… and alcohol is permitted and it is known for the festivals and live concerts.
  • Stewart Beach: Located right after I45 turns into Broadway… and where Broadway meets the Seawall, the beach is very easy to find. This beach has a pavilion, concessions, restrooms, showers, playground, volleyball courts and more. No alcohol is allowed on this family beach.
  • Galveston Island State Park: The cool thing about Galveston Island State Park is that there are not many people, showers, changing rooms, a nature center, miles of trails, camp sites, places for kayaking and more.
  • The Hidden Lake: Not the ocean… but a lake in Katy with zip lines, sand beach and huge inflatable on the water!




Indoor Air Conditioned Venues:


Paid Admission:

Map: (This one includes everything in Houston… not just the free stuff.)


Free indoor playplaces:

For all the Houston events happening in summer 2018, go HERE!  Or get weekly emails with things to do HERE!

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