Visiting the MFAH for Free

The MFAH offers 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, admission to the MFAH Permanent Collections is completely free to everyone, courtesy of Shell USA, Inc. The only exceptions are Special Exhibitions, which are available with a discounted ALL ACCESS ticket.

Plus, the Museum is open late on Thursday, until 9 p.m. So you can bring the entire posse for free after work.

On Thursday, admission to the MFAH Permanent Collections is free for all individuals, courtesy of Shell USA, Inc.

Kids Get in FREE When . . .

1) They are 12 years old or younger.

2) They are Texas public library cardholders, 18 or younger, visiting on a Saturday or Sunday. (The cardholder receives the free 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 Participants in the Texas Lone Star Card Program

Participants in the Texas Lone Star Card program receive free admission to the buildings on the Museum’s main campus, as well as Bayou Bend and Rienzi. A guest who presents a Texas Lone Star Card and photo ID can receive free admission for up to 6 people on one card. Excludes dated and timed-entry events, such as films and special programs. Please be sure to call ahead for tour information at Bayou Bend (713.639.7750) and Rienzi (713.639.7800).

The PNC Roof Garden | Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza | 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 PNC Roof Garden, with its panoramic views of Houston’s skyline, extends The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza up along the walkable, sloped roof of the Glassell School of Art. The plaza includes sculptures, a fountain, and seating.

The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza is connected to 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. 

FREE Fun at Bayou Bend

A variety of free fun awaits at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, the MFAH house museum for American decorative arts. Enjoy Family Days, art activities, history programs, and more for kids and adults. Questions? Contact or 713.639.7750

FREE Access at Rienzi

Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts, offers programs for all ages, including free Family Days and garden tours. Questions? Contact or 713.639.7800

FREE Admission for College Students

College students get FREE admission with their student ID in two ways:

  • Students attending any college or university who show they are working on an art-related assignment receive free admission.
  • Students enrolled at institutions that participate in the University Partnership Program receive free admission.

Wait! There’s More

  • The Museum provides free admission to active members of the U.S. military and reserves with valid ID, as well as to military families with dependent cards, in person at any admissions desk.
  • One person accompanying a guest who has accessibility needs receives free admission to the MFAH Permanent Collections and Special Exhibitions, upon request at any admissions desk.
  • Bank of America cardholders receive one free admission as part of the “Museums on Us” customer benefit program, applicable to the first full weekend of every month.
  • It’s always free to visit the Museum’s library, shop, and restaurants, as well as exhibitions at the Glassell School of Art.
  • Whether you paid for admission or not, you’ll find activities at the MFAH that don’t cost extra. Before you visit, check the calendar to see what’s happening so you can take full advantage of your time at the Museum.