Visiting the MFAH for FREE
There are many ways to enjoy your Museum for FREE! Browse the list below for a few ideas.
Thursdays: Always FREE
It's simple. If it's a Thursday, general admission to the MFAH is completely FREE, to everyone, courtesy of Shell Oil Company. Plus, the Museum is open late on Thursdays (until 9 p.m.), so bring the entire posse for free after work.
Don't forget that there are always special offerings like gallery talks and tours offered on Thursdays that are included in your visit, also free. Check the online calendar to see what's happening next.
Free Parking on Thursday Evenings
Parking in the Museum’s two garages—one at 5101 Montrose, the other at 1144 Binz—is free for MFAH visitors who enter the Museum between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Thursdays! Learn more about parking and plan ahead.
Kids Get in FREE When . . .
1) They are 12 years old or younger.
2) Visiting on a Saturday or Sunday. Ages 18 and younger simply show their library card from any public library in Texas. (The cardholder receives the free general admission.)
3) Using the voucher they received after their school trip to the MFAH. (Each student who visits the Museum on a school tour is given a voucher to return with FREE admission for themselves—and their family!)
4) Visiting with a Lone Star Card participant who presents the card with a photo ID. Lone Star Card holders receive free admission for up to 6 people on one card.
Free Admission for Lone Star Card Participants
Lone Star Card participants receive free access to the buildings on the Museum’s main campus, as well as Bayou Bend and Rienzi! A guest who presents a Lone Star Card and photo ID can get free admission for up to 6 people on one card.
Excludes dated and timed-entry events, including films, programs, special events, and some ticketed exhibitions. Please be sure to call ahead for tour information for Bayou Bend (713.639.7750) and Rienzi (713.639.7800).
Lunch + Look = FREE Weekday Admission, 12 noon to 2 p.m.
On weekdays, bring your lunch receipt to any admissions desk and you'll receive free same-day general admission from 12 noon to 2 p.m.* Enter the Museum during those hours, and stay as long as you wish, until closing time. *Free admission does not apply to ticketed events or special exhibitions.
The BBVA Roof Garden; The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza; and the Cullen Sculpture Garden
The Museum’s Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus boasts beautiful outdoor spaces that are free and open to the public!
The BBVA Roof Garden, with its panoramic views of Houston’s skyline, extends The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza up along the walkable, sloped roof of the Steven Holl Architects–designed Glassell School of Art. The public plaza below includes two sculptures, Eduardo Chillida’s Song of Strength and Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Column, as well as an architectural fountain and plenty of seating.
Connected to The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza is the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, the perfect sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of Houston. Created by sculptor Isamu Noguchi, this tranquil oasis of art and nature is open every day of the year, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
FREE Fun at Bayou Bend
An amazing afternoon of free fun awaits at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens! On the third Sunday of the month (September to May), Bayou Bend Family Days feature crafts, music, games, and more for kids and adults. Families are also welcome to enjoy guided tours of selected rooms in the house. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 713.639.7750
FREE Activities at Rienzi
Ways College Students Can Get in for FREE
College students can get FREE admission in two ways:
- Bring a class assignment and student ID
Students attending any college or university can show that they are participating in an art-related assignment in order to receive free general admission.
- Attend a college that is part of the University Partnership Program
Students of universities that participate in our University Partnership Program can show their student ID to receive free general admission and discounts on ticketed exhibitions. Learn more
Wait! There’s More
Free Admission For . . .
• The Museum provides free general admission to active members of the U.S. military and reserves with valid ID, as well as to military families with dependent cards. Available in person at any admissions desk.
• Bank of America cardholders are allowed one free general admission to the MFAH as part of the Museums on Us customer benefit program, applicable to the first Saturday and Sunday of each month. Learn more
Some Free Add-ons
Whether you paid for admission or not, you'll find activities at the MFAH that don’t cost extra. Before you visit, see what's going on that day so you can take full advantage of your time on the Museum campus.
- Explore the Museum on gallery talks & tours
- Participate in family activities such as storytime, art projects, tours, films & more
- Stop by for the Wi-Fi and other resources at the Kinder Foundation Education Center
- Read & research in the libraries
- Drop in to free or free-with-admission public programs
- View exhibitions at the Glassell Junior School