Friday Freebies: Spring break edition

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - Ready to take a break and spring into fun with your whole family? Most schools in our area are out for spring break beginning Monday. 

Consumer expert Amy Davis picked something free and fun for your family to do for every day of the break. 

Get an early start Saturday at The Woodlands Family Fun Fest. It's 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Town Green Park on Lake Robbins Drive.

They'll have carnival rides and games, reptiles, live performances and food trucks.

You can also head to the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center Sunday. It's free any day of the week to take a hike. Bring a picnic lunch to eat at nearby Memorial Park. 

Start your spring break week at Asia Society Texas. The free museum has a different craft every day of the week for kids 5 through 12 years old. Drop in for the craft anytime between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. 

It's "Touch-a-Truck Tuesday" at Discovery Green from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can get up close to construction vehicles, an HPD helicopter, art cars and more cool cars. The downtown park is hosting family activities every day of spring break. 

Drop by the HPD Mounted Patrol Barn Wednesday to feed the horses from noon until 2 p.m. You can bring carrots, apples and peppermints to the barn at 5005 Little York Road any day of the week. 

Thursday is a great day to check out a museum because seven venues in the Museum District are free! Check online for specific times

Sign up your student, 7 or older, for a free geocaching class at Jesse Jones Park in Humble. The class is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; but you do have to register. 

There are different classes every day of the break, like canoeing and fishing. 

While they're not all free, here are 10 ideas of events the whole family can enjoy in downtown Houston. 

Plunge into Cirque Du Soleil’s “Corteo.” Acrobats, clowns and captivating theatrics are some of the things guests can expect to witness at Cirque Du Soleil's new enchanting production of “Corteo.” The one-of-a-kind performance at the Toyota Center celebrates the spirit of a clown, Mauro, after his passing. Performances are Thursday through Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

Take in the Action at the Rocket's Game. Sometimes it's OK to get rowdy, especially if you're sitting court side at the Toyota Center watching the Houston Rockets take on the San Antonio Spurs. Nothing says family game night like cheering on the home team in the heart of downtown. The game is Monday at 7 p.m.

Enjoy a Family Picnic at City Hall's Farmers Market. Urban Harvest offers farm-fresh finds at the City Hall Farmers Market. The market features more than 30 vendors showcasing fresh, local produce, cheeses, breads, roasted coffees and a variety of prepared meals. Pick up ready-to-eat food or order something tasty from the food trucks lining Hermann Square and enjoy a nice picnic at City Hall Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 
Get your game on at Central Library The Central Library invites children to let their curiosity and critical thinking skills flourish with activities like Lego Mania, Little Explorers, Minecraft!, tabletop games, and stress relief and relaxation yoga series throughout spring break week. Registration is not necessary, but participants are encouraged to check the recommended age group for each activity.

Dive into an underwater adventure at The Downtown Aquarium. The Downtown Aquarium - a six-acre aquatic wonderland in downtown Houston - lets families feed stingrays, be a zoologist for a day, ride the Aquatic Carousel or just get up close and personal with dazzling fish and other sea creatures. The Diving Bell Ferris Wheel provides the perfect way to end a day, soaking in breathtaking views of the nighttime Downtown skyline. With hundreds of thousands of aquatic animals, there's definitely no shortage of family fun at this downtown hot spot. 
Let the good times roll at the rink. Grab your skates and roll your way to The Rink: Rolling at Discovery Green, presented by Avenida Houston. DJ Mohawk Steve will spin a great mix as visitors skate through decades past during Time Warp Tuesday, Throwback Thursday and Funfetti Friday. Children of all ages will love skating alongside some of their favorite characters on Superhero Saturday. The Roller Rink will be open daily throughout spring break with extended hours. The rink is open Monday through Sunday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 
Go on a boat ride along Buffalo Bayou. Houstonians can escape from the city without ever leaving the loop, and enjoy a cool breeze as they glide along the banks of Buffalo Bayou. Tickets for the 30-minute Second Saturday boat ride start at $7 for adults, and $5 for kids ages 12 and under. Participants should keep their eyes open for graceful herons, jumping fish and even an occasional alligator sunning on the banks. Saturday, March 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (30-minute boat rides). 
Watch a show in the Theater District. Balance all of your outdoor activities with an evening of culture when you suit your family up for an exciting performance over in the Theater District. Opt for an uplifting performance like Theatre Under The Stars’ "Bright Star" at the Hobby Center Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 16 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., or make your pulse race with Society for the Performing Arts’ presentation of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Ride around downtown on a Segway. Discover downtown's most prominent historical sites while riding around effortlessly on a Segway with Segway Tours of Houston, which offers unique tours tailored to any skill level, starting at $49 per person. Whether you’re trying the tour for the first time or brushing up on your downtown knowledge, this is the perfect spring break activity for families with children ages 12 and up.

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