15 Fun San Antonio Museums With Free Admission

I’m very excited to share this guide to free museum days in San Antonio with you! As a Texas resident, I’m always checking out museums to help expand my cultural appreciation of art, science, technology, and history. Great museums are expensive to build, design, fill, and staff, and ticket prices reflect that. But there are ways around that! The city of San Antonio recognizes that museums should be accessible to all people, so there are a good number of world-class museums in San Antonio that are free. 

Institute of Texan Cultures at Hemisfair

My kids love visiting museums, too! So many museums now, whether they’re made for kids or adults, are interactive and FUN. 

Wait, fun San Antonio museums? YES! Get rid of the idea of stuffy, noise-less buildings that cost an arm and a leg to enter. San Antonio has so many cool, exciting museums that were expertly designed to capture your attention and hold it. 

Feel free to use the map below of the best free San Antonio museums, or read on for details. As always, check the museum's free days with the museum’s website before scheduling a visit as details can change quickly. 

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San Antonio Museum of Art

Free Museum Days In San Antonio

1. The Witte

Witte San Antonio

The Witte Museum, located in Brackenridge in San Antonio, is great for both kids and adults! My little ones love it, but I’m equally happy to visit on a solo day in San Antonio.

It’s a captivating institution that offers a rich and immersive experience for visitors of all ages. The museum showcases a diverse range of exhibits that explore the natural history, science, nature, and culture of the region. 

Inside the Witte (which is named after a San Antonio businessman, btw)  you’ll find engaging displays on topics like dinosaurs, wildlife, Texas art, and the heritage of the local communities. 

The museum also houses the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center, which delves into the unique history and traditions of South Texas. 

There are lots of fun interactive exhibits that the kids will like, hands-on activities, and educational programs. The Witte Museum caters to visitors of various ages, from young children to adults. Depending on your interests, you could easily spend a few hours exploring the museum and fully immersing yourself in the fascinating world it presents.

Free Days At The Witte Museum

Every Tuesday from 3 pm-7 pm, the museum offers a free day, inviting visitors to explore its exhibits without an admission fee. This weekly event is open to all visitors, regardless of residency, making it an accessible and inclusive opportunity for everyone to enjoy. Thank you!!

Of course, since the museum also boasts an array of special exhibits throughout the year, and while general admission is free on Tuesdays, there are some additional fees to access these specific displays (but you can often get them at a discounted price). Definitely check the museum's website or contact them directly for up-to-date information on any potential charges for special exhibits. Things change fast! 

As for parking, The Witte Museum provides free parking on-site.

WEBSITE | 3801 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209

2. McNay Art Museum

McNay San Antonio

The McNay Art Museum is a cultural gem in San Antonio that offers. Not only is it full of an extensive range of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, and decorative arts, but it’s also one of the most BEAUTIFUL museums you’ve ever seen! It’s a 1929 mansion in San Antonio that has a modern addition to it. 

McNay Museum San Antonio

Inside, visitors can admire masterpieces by renowned artists like Picasso, Renoir, O'Keeffe, and Hopper. I mean…pretty impressive, right? 

The museum also features rotating exhibitions that showcase various artistic movements and themes, providing a dynamic experience for every art enthusiast. 

While visitors of all ages can appreciate the diverse collection, the museum's emphasis on modern and contemporary art is probably going to particularly appeal to teenagers and adults. (Let’s just say that I’m not bringing my 3-year-old to the McNay.) 

And to fully appreciate the art on display, I would plan on allocating a couple of hours for a visit to the McNay Art Museum.

McNay San Antonio

Free Days At The McNay Art Museum

General admission is free from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursdays and from noon to 5 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. During those times, admission to special exhibitions costs $10. Whereas active-duty military personnel,  veterans, and their families are free all the time, the same with children 12 and younger. 

They provide free parking for visitors on its premises.

WEBSITE | 6000 N New Braunfels Ave, San Antonio, TX 78209

3. San Antonio Museum of Art

San Antonio Museum of Art

If you love a deep dive into history and civilizations, then the San Antonio Museum of Art is the best museum for you. 

It’s a vibrant cultural institution that offers a diverse collection of art spanning different eras and civilizations. 

San Antonio Museum of Art

Inside the museum, visitors can explore an extensive range of artworks, including ancient Egyptian artifacts, European masterpieces, Asian ceramics, Latin American folk art, and contemporary works. 

The museum's exhibits provide a comprehensive and enriching experience for art enthusiasts of all ages so adults with children can enjoy the interactive gallery spaces. Another thing that I love about SAMA is how they strive to help little ones love art, too! They offer engaging educational programs designed specifically for younger visitors. 

Also, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that delve into various themes and artistic styles…seriously, there’s always something new and exciting to discover! The amount of time you’ll want to spend in this museum depends on your interest and engagement, but many visitors visit the museum for two to three hours allowing for a thorough exploration of the diverse art on display.

Free Days At The San Antonio Museum of Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art offers a free admission day on Tuesdays from 4 pm-7 pm and Sundays from 10 am-12 pm to Bexar County Residents. Non-residents who visit on these free days will pay a regular admission. However, it's important to note that for special exhibitions during SAMA's free general admission hours, visitors will pay a $5 surcharge (applicable to all visitors).

Visitors should check the museum's website or contact them directly for information on any potential charges for specific exhibits. For parking, the San Antonio Museum of Art provides both paid parking options and limited free street parking around the museum. It's recommended to check the museum's website or inquire upon arrival for up-to-date information on parking options.

WEBSITE | 200 W Jones Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215

4. The DoSeum

DoSeum San Antonio

If you have kiddos, you can’t miss bringing them to The DoSeum! It is an interactive children's museum that offers a dynamic and educational experience for young learners. It truly is world-class and I think it’s one of the best kids' museums I’ve ever been to…and I’ve visited a lot all over the country! 

In this museum, children can engage in a wide range of hands-on exhibits and activities that promote creativity, problem-solving, and exploration. It features areas such as the Sensations Studio, where kids can discover the wonders of light, sound, and color, as well as the Innovation Station, which encourages STEM learning through interactive experiments and building challenges. 

The museum also boasts outdoor play areas and a spacious outdoor garden. The DoSeum caters primarily to children between the ages of 1-10, providing age-appropriate exhibits and programs. 

Visitors typically spend around two to four hours exploring the museum, but the amount of time can still vary depending on individual interests and engagement levels. My little ones typically make it about 2.5 hours at a kid's museum.

The DoSeum is praised for its engaging exhibits, knowledgeable staff, and its ability to provide an enriching and enjoyable experience for children of all ages. It’s a must-try in SA. 

The DOSeum

Free Days At The DoSeum

Unlike other museums, The DoSeum does not have a regular free day each week. But they offer Free Family Nights every first Monday of the month. In order to get this admission, you should definitely make a reservation (it’s limited and fills up!). Know that it is on a first come first serve basis also. You can visit their website to register for the next coming Free Family Nights.

And although there’s not a free night every week, the museum strives to provide accessibility and inclusivity and they’ll sometimes offer various discounted admission options throughout the year. 

Keep in mind that, while general admission grants access to most exhibits, there may be fees associated with certain special exhibits or programs. As always, check on the website or talk with the front desk staff if you want the most up-to-date information.

The DoSeum also offers free parking on-site but they only have limited parking space so go early to secure parking.

WEBSITE | 2800 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209

5. The Alamo


Yes….the Alamo is FREE! If you want to get lost in real-life history, exhibits, and interactive displays that chronicle the Battle of the Alamo and the events leading up to it, then visiting The Alamo in San Antonio is the best thing to do. 

Of course, you’ve most likely already heard of The Alamo. It is a historic landmark and museum that holds great significance in American history. Inside, visitors can explore artifacts like weapons, uniforms, artwork, and historical documents that shed light on the heroic struggle for Texas independence. 

The Alamo is suitable for visitors of all ages, but it’s definitely more appealing to adults or young adults that have an interest in history. It’s a great way to learn about an important chapter in American history! 

While the museum itself probably won’t take up a substantial amount of time, lots of visitors choose to spend additional time exploring the grounds and reflecting on the historical significance of the site. 

The Alamo always provides valuable information on the exhibits, guided tours, and educational programs available, so you’ll definitely get a memorable experience here.

Do I need a car in San Antonio

Free Days At The Alamo

Admission to The Alamo is always free for all visitors! (No, you don’t have to be an SA resident to get in for free.) 

The historic site welcomes visitors from around the world to explore its grounds and learn about its historical significance. While general admission to the Alamo is always free, there can be fees associated with special tours or events that occur on-site. 

A note about parking: there is literally no free parking near the Alamo. It’s a crazy zone! So plan to pay for street parking or a nearby public parking lot or garage. 

WEBSITE | 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205

6. The Holocaust Memorial Museum

Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio, a program of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio, is a poignant educational institution that serves as a testament to the Holocaust and its lasting impact.

Located in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Campus of the San Antonio Jewish Community. The Museum isn't very clearly marked from the outside, so walk into the community center and find the front desk, and they'll point you in the right direction. You'll have to show you ID to check in.

The museum provides a powerful experience through its exhibits, artifacts, and personal stories of Holocaust survivors. Visitors can explore various exhibits that chronicle the history, atrocities, and resilience of those people affected by the Holocaust. The institution also offers educational programs, lectures, and events to foster understanding, empathy, and tolerance among its visitors. It’s a sobering and important experience. 

The museum appeals to a wide range of ages, as it provides a valuable educational opportunity for both young and adult visitors. But history enthusiasts will find the museum particularly engaging. The exhibits are designed to be informative and emotionally impactful, offering visitors a chance to gain a deeper understanding of this tragic chapter in history.

The amount of time you'd want to spend in the museum depends on individual interest and engagement. But, many visitors suggest allocating about 1.5-2 hours to fully appreciate the exhibits and absorb the profound stories presented. 

Holocaust Memorial Museum

Free Days At The Holocaust Memorial Museum 

The Holocaust Memorial Museum always has free admission and is always open to the public. Although they don’t charge for entry passes, a donation of $1 per student and $3 per adult is recommended to help them maintain the museum. Walk-in visitors can also enjoy a self-guided tour or join scheduled tours for groups of 20 or more, depending on their choice.

WEBSITE | 12500 NW Military Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78231

7. San Antonio Fire Museum

San Antonio Fire Museum

This is a fun one for kids! You can get a glimpse of the evolution of firefighting techniques and technology in the San Antonio Fire Museum. 

This museum offers a fascinating exploration of the city's fire service history and showcases the heroic efforts of firefighters throughout the years. Inside the museum, visitors can discover a diverse range of artifacts, vintage fire apparatus, equipment, photographs, and interactive displays. 

They also showcase different exhibits featuring engaging narratives that highlight the bravery, skill, and dedication of firefighters, honoring their contributions to the community.

The museum is very fun for a wide range of ages, making it a great destination for families, history enthusiasts, and (of course) those who are just interested in fire fighting in general. Children especially can learn about fire safety through interactive displays and exhibits tailored to their age group, fostering awareness and prevention.

This is a small-ish museum, so you honestly won’t want to spend more than about 1-2 hours here. However… if you have a strong interest in firefighting history or wish to participate in guided tours you might want to stay a bit longer.

Free Days At The San Antonio Fire Museum

The San Antonio Fire Museum offers free admission to visitors every first Tuesday of the month 12 pm-4 pm. Visitors can also enjoy the museum's exhibits and displays, but keep in mind that some events have an additional charge. Check out special exhibits and events on the museum's website. {Photo: Christy K, Yelp}

WEBSITE | 801 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205

8. The Briscoe Western Art Museum

Briscoe San Antonio

Looking for some significant things to do on the San Antonio Riverwalk? Here’s a good one! The Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio is a captivating institution that celebrates the art, culture, and history of the American West. 

Located on the historic San Antonio Riverwalk, the museum offers a diverse collection of Western art and artifacts that depict the spirit and heritage of the region. Visitors can explore various galleries showcasing paintings, sculptures, photographs, and historical artifacts that encompass the vast landscapes, indigenous cultures, cowboys, and settlers of the American West.

The museum appeals to a wide range of ages, making it a great destination for families, history enthusiasts, and art lovers. Children can also engage with interactive displays, participate in educational programs, and learn about the cowboy way of life, while adults can immerse themselves in the rich narratives and visual representations of Western art.

The amount of time you would want to spend in the museum really depends on individual interest and engagement. But visitors typically spend around two to three hours exploring the exhibits and fully appreciating the extensive collection.

Briscoe San Antonio

Free Days At The Briscoe Western Art Museum

The Briscoe Western Art Museum does not offer free admission every day. But, they have a designated free day every first Sunday of the month that applies to all San Antonio and Bexar County residents as part of their monthly locals day.

For parking availability and fees, the Briscoe Museum only offers free parking on Sundays at city-owned garages and parking slots. On other days, you’ll just have to look for some paid parking lots and metered spots near the museum. 

WEBSITE | 210 W Market St, San Antonio, TX 78205

9. The Fort Sam Houston Museum

The Fort Sam Houston Museum in San Antonio offers a rich and immersive experience that delves into the history and heritage of the United States Army. Located within the grounds of Fort Sam Houston, the museum showcases a wide array of artifacts, photographs, documents, and exhibits that chronicle the military history of the area. 

The museum caters to a broad range of ages, appealing to history enthusiasts, military buffs, and families alike. Although the time you will spend here can vary depending on your interest and exploration, the average number of time visitors spend here is around one to two hours exploring the exhibits and absorbing the historical information. 

Free Days At The Fort Sam Houston Museum

Admission is always free at Fort Sam Houston Museum. There’s also plenty of free parking onsite.  

WEBSITE | 1405 E Grayson St, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234

10. The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum


The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM) in San Antonio is a cultural institution! It celebrates and preserves the history and heritage of the African American community in the city. 

Inside the museum, visitors can explore a diverse range of exhibits and displays that showcase the contributions, struggles, and achievements of African Americans in San Antonio. The museum's collection includes photographs, documents, artifacts, oral histories, and interactive exhibits that provide a comprehensive understanding of the African American experience in the local context.

The museum is great for visitors of all ages, but history enthusiasts and individuals interested in African American culture and heritage will find the museum more interesting for sure. I

And although kids are welcome, it’s not necessarily a super kid-friendly museum. The really young kids probably wouldn’t last very long… How much time will you want to spend here? To explore the exhibits and absorb the stories and information, you’d probably want to stay around one to two hours.


Free Days At The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum

Admission is always free at SAAACAM. Although they don’t charge an admission fee, visitors are required to make an advance registration to access the museum on their desired dates. Visitors can also freely enjoy special events and other exhibits at the museum. 

WEBSITE | 3737 Broadway St., Suite 300. San Antonio TX 78209

11. Area 21

Area 21 San Antonio

Area 21, the new museum of San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT), is an innovative institution in San Antonio that explores the realms of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

It features a fascinating collection of exhibits, interactive displays, and hands-on activities that showcase the history and advancements in various fields of science and technology. Inside, visitors can explore topics such as robotics, aviation, energy, aerospace, telecommunications, and more.

Visitors of all ages (especially kids!) are going to love what this museum offers. If you’re a family with young kids, a student, or a tech enthusiast, or honestly anyone with an interest in STEM subjects, you need to visit Area 21. 

Visitors can engage with the interactive exhibits and educational programs designed to ignite curiosity and inspire a love for science and technology.

You’ll probably want to spend around two to three hours exploring the exhibits and participating in interactive activities. 

Free Days At Area 21

There’s no cost to explore the Area 21 museum but they are open for donations. If you are interested in joining their classes, you are required to pay for it. But the rest of the activities and stations to explore like Factory Robots, Autonomous Driving Exhibit, Cyber (Lego) City, Media Room, Server Room, Cyber and Launch Operations, Moon 3D Printing, 3D Print Station, The Spark Organ, Engines and Cooling, Augmented Reality and Intern projects are free. {Photo: Inga C, Yelp}

WEBSITE | 3331 General Hudnell Dr Acc Rd, San Antonio, TX 78226

12. Ruby City

Ruby City

If contemporary artworks have a huge space in your heart, I suggest you make a point to visit Ruby City, a contemporary art center located in San Antonio, Texas. 

Designed by renowned architect Sir David Adjaye, the museum is (truly!) a stunning architectural masterpiece that houses a range of exhibitions featuring contemporary art across various mediums, including paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia pieces. 

The museum provides a platform for both established and emerging artists, showcasing their innovative and thought-provoking creations. And it’s suitable for art enthusiasts of all ages, including adults, students, and families.

Plan on about 1 to 2 hours here.

Free Days at Ruby City

All exhibitions and events at Ruby City are free and open to the public. For parking space, they also offer a designated area located at 1203 S. Flores. There is also public parking available along Camp Street.

WEBSITE | 150 Camp St, San Antonio, TX 78204

13. The Institute of Texan Cultures

Institute of Texan Cultures

The Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio is a vibrant museum that celebrates the rich cultural diversity and heritage of Texas. Visitors can explore a wide array of exhibits that showcase the traditions, history, art, and customs of various ethnic and cultural groups that have shaped Texas. 

Institute of Texan Cultures

Specifically, it features interactive displays, artifacts, photographs, and multimedia presentations that provide a comprehensive understanding of the state's multicultural heritage to individuals of all ages. 

Plan on about 2 hours here.


Institute of Texan Cultures

Free Days The Institute of Texan Cultures

The Institute of Texan Cultures is always free! They don’t have a specific admission fee as they only accept donations. You can look for some donation stations with QR codes at the museum’s entrance or you can visit their site to donate online. For parking, they have a designated parking space for commuters, visitors, special event parking, or shuttles. 

WEBSITE | 801 E César E. Chávez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78205

14. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Mission San Juan in San Antonio

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is one of our favorites around here. Read this guide to know all the details about how to visit it! It preserves and showcases the history, culture, and architectural significance of the Spanish missions in the area. The park encompasses four beautifully preserved missions: Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. 

Inside the park, visitors can explore the missions' historical structures, including churches, living quarters, courtyards, and gardens. The park also offers interpretive exhibits, displays, and audio-visual presentations that provide insights into the missions' role in the colonization and development of the region.

This historical park is great for all ages, appealing to history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and those interested in learning about the Native American and Spanish colonial history of Texas. If you’re curious about which San Antonio Mission is best for kids, that info is here. Visitors can also enjoy guided tours, educational programs, and interactive displays that bring the missions' stories to life.

The missions are spread out around the city, so plan on spending a few hours to half a day exploring the missions and the park's surrounding trails and landscapes. And honestly, you could probably spend a full day biking through the entire park if you wanted to really dive deep.  

Free Days At San Antonio Missions National Park

You can always roam around the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park at no cost, plus you can also participate in regularly scheduled ranger-led programs and park films. But if you will join guided tours or additional enhanced tour experiences you’ll have to pay additional costs.

WEBSITE | San Antonio, TX 78214

15. Blue Star Contemporary

Blue Star Contemporary

Located in the vibrant Blue Star Arts Complex, the museum hosts a variety of dynamic contemporary art and exhibitions featuring contemporary art across various mediums, including paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia works. The museum provides a platform for local, national, and international artists, offering a captivating and ever-changing art experience.

Blue Star Contemporary is suitable for all types of ages, be it for adults, students, and families with an interest in contemporary art. Children and teenagers can also enjoy engaging with the artworks and participating in educational programs tailored to their age group.

Depending on your level of interest and engagement with the exhibitions, you could spend at least one hour exploring the exhibits and absorbing the contemporary art on display. 

Blue Star Contemporary

Free Days Blue Star Contemporary

The Contemporary at Blue Star offers free admission to their exhibitions and other programs but donations are encouraged to support the museum. You can sign up to their site to get a free admission. 

You can look for free nearby street parking, or you can also park at Brackenridge High School’s parking lot during non-school hours for free. 

WEBSITE | 116 Blue Star, San Antonio, TX 78204

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