Money Matters: Cheap summer fun in Lubbock

Reported by: Brittany Price
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Updated: 6/20/2012 10:49 am
Enjoying some leisure summer activities in Lubbock doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet.

John Osborne, CEO of Visit Lubbock, said there are affordable ventures for all ages.

“We have some wonderful things to do here in Lubbock for all types of families. Young couples, retirees, as well as young families with young kids. There’s stuff going on every single day like many of our museums that are open as well as the Stars and Stripes Theater. There you can experience a drive-in theater that many of our young families have never seen before,” Osborne said.  

Movie tickets are seven dollars for adults and free for kids five years and under.

"This coming weekend is Critterfest out at the Science Spectrum. That’s going on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You can go and see all kinds of animals. You can see alligators, lions, tortoises, bugs and all kinds of neat and fun critters,” Osborne said.  

For art-enthusiasts downtown Lubbock offers some fun, free of charge.

“4th on Broadway will be going on July 4th. That’s free to the general public. Then we also have the First Friday Arts Trail which happens on the first Friday of every month and that’s free. You can go and travel through the different art exhibits all through the downtown area,” Osborne said.

Checking out local vineyards is another cheap-date idea.  

“There are a lot of couples that enjoy going and touring all of our five wineries here in town. You can go and get a good tasting and each of them and make a good evening of it,” Osborne said.  

Below is a complete list of Visit Lubbock's cheap summer activities.

1.       Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre


Description: Enjoy a movie under the Lubbock night sky at the Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre. This is an affordable activity in Lubbock because the admission includes double-feature movies and outside food is allowed.


Date: Open everyday during the summer season.


Cost:      $7 for admission

                Ages 3 and under are FREE


Age Suitability: All ages


Contact Information: Call 806.749.7469


2.       Buddy Holly Center Summer Showcase

Description: The Summer Showcase is an entertaining experience in a modern environment, where visitors can enjoy original and unique Texas made music. Performances are every Thursday evening at the Buddy Holly Center’s Meadows Courtyard.

Date: May 31st – August 30th, every Thursday evening from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Cost: FREE

Age Suitability: All ages

Contact Information: E-mail the Buddy Holly Center at or call 806.775.3560

3.       4th on Broadway

Description: 4th on Broadway is also considered the "Largest Free Festival in the State of Texas." On Wednesday, July 4th, families can enjoy numerous festivities on Broadway like a parade, children’s activities and Gandy’s Fireworks Extravaganza. 

Date: July 4, 2012 from 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Admission to the event is FREE

Age Suitability: All ages

Contact Information: E-mail Stephanie Nairn at or call 806.749.2929


4.       4th on Broadway Street Dance

Description: Put on your cowboy boots and come two-step at the 4th on Broadway Street Dance featuring the Josh Abbot Band. The street dance will take place on Texas Avenue and Broadway.

Date: July 4, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $15 per person

Contact Information: E-mail Stephanie Nairn at or call 806.749.2929

5.       First Friday Art Trail


Description: If you are looking for art, then the First Friday Art Trail is the place to be. Welcome to Lubbock’s longest running and most successful art event. On the first Friday of every month galleries, restaurants and businesses open their doors displaying an abundance of local and regional visual and performing art. This free-to-the-public event is full of the sights, sounds and tastes of Lubbock’s dynamic art culture, spanning the cultural arts district and downtown Lubbock.


Date:     July 6, 2012

                August 3, 2012


Cost: FREE

Age Suitability: All ages


Contact Information: Call 806.762.8606


6.       Take a Tour of Lubbock’s Five Wineries


Description: West Texas is responsible for more than 70 percent of the total wine grape production in Texas. An affordable activity is to take a tour, try a few samples, and visit CapRock Winery, McPherson Cellars, La Diosa Cellars, Pheasant Ridge Winery and Llano Estacado Winery.


CapRock Winery:

                    Date:     Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

                                              Sundays beginning June 17 from 12:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Cost:      Admission to winery is FREE

Tasting fees start at $10 per person and include a premium engraved tasting glass

Contact Information: Call 806.686.4452



McPherson Cellars Winery:


                Date:     Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.


                Cost:      Complimentary Tours are offered daily.

Tastings are $5 for up to five wines or sample our reserves for only $8.


Contact Information: Call 806.687.9463 or e-mail           


La Diosa Cellars:


                          Date:     Tuesday - Thursday 11 a. m. - 11:p.m.

Friday, 11 a.m. - Midnight

Saturday, Noon - Midnight


                    Cost:      Wine flights range from $11 - $14


Contact Information: Call 806.774.3600 or e-mail


Pheasant Ridge Winery:


Date:     Friday – Saturday

                                                12 – 6 p.m.


                                                1 – 5 p.m.


                   Cost:      Come out and enjoy a complimentary tasting of wines


                  Contact Information: Call 806.746.6033


Llano Estacado Winery:


Date:     Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

                                                Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m.


                   Cost:      Daily tours with complimentary tasting of wines


Contact Information: Call 806.745.2258 or e-mail





7.       CritterFest ‘12

Description: No where else in town can you see elephants, lions, alligators, crocodiles, camels, giant tortoises, big snakes and tons of other cool animals. The Science Spectrum literally turns into a zoo for four days starting June 21 – 24. This is an affordable event because admission cost includes viewing all of the amazing animals on display, up close seating to the Close Encounters Lion & Tiger show, seating to the Crocodile Encounters and regular museum admission.


Date:     June 21- June 24 


            Cost:      Adults - $12

                                Children (3-12) - $9.50

                                Seniors (60+) - $9.50

                Age Suitability: All ages

                Contact Information: Call 806.745.2525


8.       South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Bi-Annual Open


Description: The wildlife “animal” ambassadors, featuring various birds, mammals and reptiles, will be out and about at the rehabilitation center for people to meet. There will be face painting, arts and crafts, as well as food and drinks. The center is only open to the public twice a year, so stop by and enjoy spending time with the native wildlife of West Texas.


Date:     Saturday, June 16

                11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Cost: $1 donations

Age Suitability: All ages

           Contact Information: Call Christa Threet at 806.799.1405 or 806.577.2071 or e-mail christathreet@hotmail.

9.       Get a Clue with Nancy Drew Event at Godeke Library

Description: Discover clues and listen to Nancy Drew tell how she cracked the case of the Secret of the Whispering Walls. During this summer activity, families will learn how to make their own private investigator kit. Come and join the fun with games and raffles. Families are encouraged to bring their camera and take their photo with Nancy Drew!

Date: Tuesday, July 31st

                Cost: FREE

                   Age Suitability: All ages

               Contact Information: Call 806.792.6566

 10.    American Wind Power Center and Museum Summer Sundays

Description: Lubbock is the home to the largest windmill museum in the world. The American Wind Power Center has become internationally recognized as the place to visit for observing windmills in their natural setting, photographing groups of windmills and serving as the premier educational facility where the windmill’s heritage is taught, seen and heard. Common to those who grew up on the Plains, the windmills hold a fascination for people from outside this region. For the summer, the museum is open on Sundays to allow families that cannot make it during the week to visit.

Date: Every Sunday beginning May – September


         Cost: $10 for a family of four

          Age Suitability: All ages

      Contact Information: Call 806.747.8734

11.   Junior Rough Riders Summer Corral

Description: Junior Rough Riders Summer Corral is a fun, activity-based event that offers classes for children ages 10 and under at Texas Tech’s National Ranching Heritage Center. It includes activities in the park, story time and much more. Corrals are free for members of the Junior Rough Riders and $5 for non-members. Advance registration required.

Date:     June 23, 2012

                1 – 3 p.m.

Cost: $5 per child

         Age Suitability: Children 10 years of age or younger

        Contact Information: Call 806.742.0498

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