Corpus Christi & Coastal Bend Area FREE and Frugal Things to Do


“Summer! Summer! Summer!” The chanting grew louder as the end of school drew closer and closer. The lazy days are upon us! For this mama, it means I can actually sleep in past 5:30 a.m., and lunches don’t have to be packed at the crack of dawn. It also means that I get to spend as much time as I want with all four of my kiddos! I love summer! But, one thing I dread is the boredom. And, boy do I hear it. “I’m sooo bored.” “There’s nothing to do.” “Are we going anywhere today?”

Also, I know my grocery bill will be going up soon because my kids will be home all day; and pretty much all of their meals and snacks will take place at home again. Trust me, they will eat me out of my house! Last year our kids attended a few summer camps, too. We all know that can get pricey. This year we are taking it easy. This means I need some frugal ways to spend our summer. In March, I shared with you our spring bucket list, and that kept us very busy. Luckily, many of those activities cost little to no money. Now that summer is almost here, I’d like to share with you some free or almost free things that your family and you can enjoy, too, right here in the Corpus Christi area!

Free & Frugal Things To Do-2Vacation Bible School. There are many affordable or free Vacation Bible School sessions available. Check out our VBS round-up here!

Home Depot has free kids workshops where your children can participate in a DIY building project. They also have a great round up of DIY project guides online. Cost: Free

Lowes also offers a free kids workshop similar to Home Depot’s. Lowe’s also requires pre-registration on their website. (Register early because these workshops do fill up quickly.) Cost: Free

Michael’s Kids Club. Get creative at Michael’s on Saturdays, or try out “Camp Creativity” at the store this summer. Check the link for schedules. Cost: Only $2.00-$4.00

Alamo Drafthouse Kids CampIt happens every year. Summer rolls around and suddenly you’ve got kids with a lot of free time on their hands. Well your friendly neighborhood Alamo Drafthouse has you covered with our Kids Camp series. All summer long we’ll be showing family-friendly movies ranging from recent animated favorites to timeless classics. Check the schedule in the link to find a movie that fits you. Cost: $5.00 per ticket.

Library Summer Reading Clubs. Don’t let summer stop you from reading a good book. Coastal Bend Area Libraries have summer reading programs throughout the city that you can enjoy during the summer. Story time, crafts, in-library movies, and games are just some of the activities that they have planned for you! Cost: Free

Summer Concerts. Go out to Cole Park for the Bay Jammin’ Concert Series this summer. Don’t miss concert performances every Thursday from June 1 – August 17, 2023, from 7:00 pm–10:00 pm. The series will showcase a wonderful musical group each week for your entertainment. Fans will enjoy LIVE music — featuring a variety of genres from rock, country, world beat, jazz, blues, and more. Cost: Free.

Outdoor Movies. Cole Park is also hosting the bay Jammin’ Cinema Series. Bring your lawn chair, blanket, and picnic basket and enjoy a FREE movie every Friday from June 2 – August 11. All movies are rated TV-Y or PG. Cost: Free.

The Water’s Edge Summer Series. This family-friendly event will feature a variety of live music artists playing each weekend at three locations at the Water’s Edge. Food truck will be onsite offering a wide variety of food for purchase. Hang out, play games and enjoy the beautiful bay with friends and family. May 27 – September 4. Fridays and Saturdays 4:00 – 9:00 pm, Sundays 3:00 – 7:00 pm Cost: Free 

Corpus Christi Downtown Artwalk. Every first Friday, the Marina Arts District hosts an art walk downtown. There is plenty to do there including listening to live music, viewing art galleries, and filling your tummy with something tasty from a food truck. Cost: Free or cost to vendors.

Family Art Time.  The Art Center of Corpus Christi has family art time every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m and every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. There is a different art project that the family can participate in every week. Cost: Free

Free Family Saturdays at the Rockport Center for the Arts. Free Family Saturdays is designed to be a drop-in craft project for the young and young-at-heart. Stop by the Rockport Center for the Arts 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturdays. All materials and instructions provided. Cost: Free

La Palmera Mall. Take a stroll through the mall, shop, and join the Tide Turners Kid’s ClubEvery first Tuesday, La Palmera mall has fun activities, story time, and crafts at a play area that children 5 and under can enjoy. 10:00 – 11:00 am Cost: Free

Aquarium at Rockport Harbor. Learn paddling techniques on the kayak and explore with some “critters from the bay” at the Aquarium Education Center in Rockport during their “Critters and Kayaks” summer program. Email at [email protected] or call 361-727-0016 for more information. Pre-registration is required. Cost: $5.00, non-refundable/cash only. (Cost: Free to visit.)

Splash Pads & Pools! Visit one of the MANY awesome splash pads or pools in the Coastal Bend – get all the details here.

Image of a white life preserver with red accents. It is laying next to a swimming pool. Crystal clear blue water is behind the life preserver. Text reads: Corpus Christi and Surrounding Area Splash Pads and PoolsCorpus Christi Municipal Band. Attend a free concert at Del Mar College Amphitheater featuring the Corpus Christi Municipal Band. Summer 2023 concert season kicks off on June 11. Check their Facebook page for scheduled events. Cost: Free

Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning CenterGo on a guided nature walk on Tuesday mornings from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. or on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Have children from ages 2 to 8? Join the Oso Preserve staff for story time on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays or on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays. Children can hear a story and go on a walk, explore animal artifacts, or meet a live animal. Meet at the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve & Learning Center located at 2446 N. Oso Parkway, Corpus Christi, TX 78414 Cost: Free

**Remember to check the websites and Facebook pages above for additional information, updates, and schedule changes.**

Looking to keep your bellies full while you have all of this fun? Check out our kids eat free guide and save some $$ while feeding your babes!

Kids Eat Free

I hope you and your family will take advantage of the Coastal Bend and Corpus Christi area’s many free and frugal activities and destinations this summer. I know we will!

What activities do you have planned for summer?

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