Summertime in Austin means sunshine, long days, staying up just a little bit later and plenty of chances to make lasting memories with the fam. Here is our list of 75 FREE things to do in Austin this summer. Thanks to OurPact for partnering with us on this post. OurPact is a tool which gives parents the power to unplug their kids from devices by blocking both Internet and apps. To ensure your kids are getting the most out of their summer, you can choose to either limit screen time at-a-touch or schedule device use, according to your child’s daily routine. You can download OurPact today free from the App Store or learn more at www.OurPact.com. Get ready for a fun summer!
Too Cool for School
- Take a break from the heat with a dip in one of these pools.
- If a trip to the pool is too stressful, how about an outing to a splash pad?
- Skip the long drive to the coast and play in the sand at Lake Pflugerville instead.
- Enjoy water at the Barton Creek Greenbelt for a little bit longer, thanks to this year’s rains.
- Dip your toes into Bull Creek and practice skipping rocks.
- Show your adventurous side by swimming for free at Barton Springs from 5-8am or 9-10pm daily during the “swim at your own risk” hours, when no lifeguards are on duty.
- Explore St. Edward’s Trail.
Enjoying the Great Outdoors
- Explore the grounds of the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum.
- Head up to Round Rock to the Play For All Abilities Park, which has special accommodations for children with special needs.
- Listen to a story on the porch of this historic home, right by downtown but seemingly a world away.
- Plan a fun day out with your furry family member.
- Check out over a dozen works of art at the Bee Cave Sculpture Park.
- Hang out in the shade at Springwoods Neighborhood Park.
- Dig in the Dino Pit at the Austin Nature & Science Center.
- Go fishing at East Metro Park.
- Explore the grounds Tuesdays at Laguna Gloria.
- On select Wednesdays, bring two H-E-B branded food items to Dell Diamond for a free Round Rock Express lawn ticket.
- Play on the playsets, sports fields, walking paths and mini mountain biking park at Cedar Park’s Elizabeth Milburn Park.
- Attend one of the free events at TOMS Austin and take the opportunity to do some window shopping while you are on South Congress.
- Check out the huge new climbing structure at Ramsey Park.
- Take a short drive down to San Marcos to play at Children’s Park.
- Play on the playscape, explore the trails and feed the ducks at Mueller Lake Park.
- See the final resting place of some Texas heroes at the Texas State Cemetery.
- Play in the big wooden house near the playground at Katherine Fleischer Park.
- Keep Austin clean by volunteering for cleanups at Lady Bird Lake on June 13 and/or August 8.
- See the sky sparkle at the HEB & Austin Symphony’s 4th of July Concert and Fireworks.
- Admire hot rods and listen to some live music, the first Saturday of the month at Top Notch Burgers.
A Picture Says a Thousand Words
- Snap a selfie with the statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan, 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, with the downtown skyline in the background.
- Make a homemade card and deliver it to someone in your neighborhood.
- Climb up to the top of Mount Bonnell and take a photo in your favorite direction.
- Create bag art for Terra Toys.
- Give your budding photogs a chance to capture their favorite pieces of public art.
- Take a family photo with Austin street art, murals and mosaics in the background.
- Check out the “museum” at the Broken Spoke.
- Climb on the cows in the shade at the Arboretum and smile for the camera.
- Try to document a work in progress at the HOPE Outdoor Gallery.
Nurture Your Nature Lover
- Pretend to be a tourist as you watch a million of our favorite winged residents head out for dinner.
- Spend Thursday evenings at the Wildflower Center’s Nature Nights, learning about the plants, animals and ecology of Central Texas.
- See the peacocks strut their stuff at Mayfield Park.
- Attend a Star Party in mid-June through early August at the University of Texas.
- Warm your heart by heading to BookPeople the third Wednesday of the month to pet the animals from Tiny Tails to You (keep in mind these storytimes are very popular).
- Look for tadpoles at Walnut Creek Park.
- Watch the purple martins put on a show in the sky near Highland Mall.
- Feed the ducks.
- Take those kids who don’t yet understand sleeping in for a morning hike or stroll.
- Take a family yoga class at The Little Yoga House on the third Sunday of the month at 9:30am.
- Take a guided or self-guided tour of the University of Texas’s Landmarks collection.
- Take a walk on the Boardwalk.
- Bring a snack and your Frisbee to Zilker Park’s Great Lawn.
- Relish in the breeze as you take your littles these places to ride a bike.
- Get vertical at the BMX Skate Park.
- Take a book (and donate one too) from your closest Little Free Library.
- School may be back in session on August 30th, but that doesn’t mean you can’t Come Dance! at Ballet Austin‘s free open house.
Catch a Flick
- Watch a Hollywood classic paired with sounds from a live band at Austin Sound & Cinema.
- Grab a blanket, a picnic and bug spray for a movie in the park.
- Catch your favorite flicks on the big screen at The Moviehouse & Eatery‘s Summer Kids Camp in Cedar Park.
Air Conditioned Outings
- Get your library card and check out the special events planned for the Austin Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.
- Through July 6th, guests to the Harry Ransom Center can view the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland exhibit.
- Visit the Blanton on a Thursday. From June 10-August 7, kids ages 3-7 can attend storytime at 10:30am.
- Kids in 1st grade and up can read to the kitties in Austin Pets Alive’s Feline Leukemia Cat Sanctuary.
- Get crafty at Lakeshore Learning, The Home Depot and Lowe’s (advance registration required for the Home Depot and Lowe’s).
- Families can explore the exhibits at the Bullock Texas State History Museum for free on the first Sunday of each month from noon until 3pm.
- See how many species of fish there are at The Fish Gallery.
- Round up any spare diapers, travel-sized toiletry items, spare office supplies and extra art supplies to donate to Little Helping Hands.
- Satisfy the need for sweet treats at Krispy Kreme’s Family Nights.
- Take a tour of the Texas Capitol building.
- Count how many animals you can find at Cabela’s.
- Enjoy improvised, interactive Move Your Tale “What’s the Story” improv shows for kids, at ColdTowne Theater most Saturday mornings.
Take in Some Tunes
- Listen to kid-friendly music every Saturday at 10am at Strange Brew.
- Check out the Austin Symphony’s Concerts in the Park series on Sundays at 7:30pm (except July 5th) in front of the Long Center City Terrace.
- Spend your Thursday night rocking out at Shady Grove for Unplugged at the Grove.
- Take in local acts at Zilker with a few thousand of your closest friends at Blues on the Green.
- Watch the kids move to the music at the City of Austin’s Planet Music Program‘s summer performances.
- Picnic with your people while watching Hairspray, this year’s Zilker Summer Musical Production.
- Junie B. Jones takes the stage in August for the Austin Summer Musical for Children.