- October 1, 2016

40+ Free “Don’t Miss” Events In Austin This October


October just might be the busiest month of the year in Austin! With all the fall festivals and Halloween events, there’s always some FREE fun to be found in Austin and beyond. Here are the month’s upcoming “don’t miss” events!

Fall Autumn October

Free Things to do in Austin this October

Texas Teen Book Festival
October 1   |    St. Edward’s University, 3001 S Congress Ave, Austin
The FREE annual one-day festival takes place on the campus of St. Edward’s University. More than 4,000 YA enthusiasts are expected to attend.

Home Depot Kids Workshop: Fire Truck
October 1 from 9 a.m. – noon  |   The Home Depot; locations vary
Join the hands-on workshop and you and your child can build a toy fire truck with real wheels so you can race it to the rescue! Once the toy truck is built, your child can decorate it with paint & vehicle stickers. FREE!

Pfamily Pfestival & EXPO (Pflugerville)
October 1 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  |   Stone Hill Town Center, 18820 Hill Top Commercial Dr, Pflugerville
More than 80 merchant booths, door prizes, children’s activities, performers, demonstrations, and public safety displays will be part of the Expo. Learn more and confirm event details here.

Chalk Walk (Round Rock)
October 1 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.   |   Centennial Plaza, 301 West Bagdad, Round Rock
The Round Rock Chalk Walk Arts Festival is the Round Rock area’s largest and most prestigious festival for arts and cultural events, drawing over 35,000 people annually to Round Rock during the first weekend in October.  Chalk Walk and Arts Festival has thousands in attendance with numerous vendors, sponsors, and artists, including chalk artists, musicians vocal groups, theatrical performances, food and drinks, and children’s performances.  The Round Rock Chalk Walk is a FREE festival. There are two parking garages in the area as well, and plenty of on-street parking.

Free Kids’ Music at Strange Brew
October 1, 8, 15, & 22 from 10-11 a.m.   |   Strange Brew, Lounge Side, 5326 Manchaca Rd, Austin
Staci Gray (October 1), Groundwork Music (October 8), The Que Pastas (October 15) and Big Don (October 22) will be performing FREE all ages shows. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

Shakespeare at the Market: Twelfth Night
October 1 & 2 at 7 p.m.   |   Whole Foods, 525 N Lamar Blvd, Austin
Present Company proudly presents the 3rd annual Shakespeare at the Market: Twelfth Night, running September 9th – October 2nd on the rooftop of the downtown Austin Whole Foods Market. This is your last weekend to catch the show! Seating begins at 6:30 p.m., the event kicks off at 7 p.m. All ages welcome. Promoting the philosophy of Accessible Art, Shakespeare at the Market is FREE. A suggested $20 donation (for guests who are able) supports the artists and event. Free and donation-based RSVPs available.

Southpark After Dark: Clockwork
October 1 from 7-10 p.m.    |   Southpark Meadows, 9300 S IH 35 Frontage Rd, Austin
Southpark After Dark Concert Series’s second show in the series held Saturday, October 1 featuring Clockwork – A San Antonio Cover Band. They play an assortment of 80’s pop and rock music! FREE family friendly event with live music, a play area and restaurant patios with a view.

Free Kids’ Music at Cherrywood Coffeehouse
October 2, 9, 16 & 23 from 10-11:30 a.m.   |   Cherrywood Coffeehouse, 1400 E. 38 1/2 Street, Austin
October 2: Hey Lollies; October 9: Groundwork Music; October 16: The Que Pastas; October 23: Staci Gray will be performing FREE all ages shows. Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

H-E-B Free First Sunday: Butterflies at the Bullock
October 2 from 12-5 p.m.   |   Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N Congress Ave, Austin
Enjoy FREE exhibition admission all day during H-E-B Free First Sundays, held the first Sunday of every month. Special family programs from 12-3 p.m. combine art creation, exploration stations, and gallery activities. October’s H-E-B Free First Sunday celebrates butterflies! Create a butterfly, listen to a story about their life cycle, learn about their migratory behaviors, and more. FREE admission. Learn more and confirm event details here.

Sunday Funday
October 2 from 1-4 p.m.   |   Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin
Theme: Dyed and patterned fabric. Printed, dyed, woven, spun, embroidered–the list goes on. But what is life like when dyed and patterned fabric is scarce or even unavailable?  Like all of the Sunday Funday programming, this workshop is FREE and doesn’t require reservations. Scraps of different fabrics along with all of the dyes and materials you’ll need will be provided. Have a small item (like a handkerchief or a pair of socks) you’d like to dye? Bring it along! Dyers will have a chance to try out simple tub dyeing, twist dyeing, wax/oil resist dyeing or printing using simple stamps to create a pattern or design.

Harvest Fest (Pflugerville)
October 2 from 1-4 p.m.  |   Heritage House Museum, 901 Old Austin Hutto Rd, Pflugerville
The Heritage House Museum is open the first Sunday of each month from 1-4:00 p.m. The event includes food, games, live music, and a tour of the historic Heritage House Museum. Learn more and confirm event details here.

Movie in the Park: Best in Show
October 6 at 8 p.m.   |   Northwest District Park, 7000 Ardath St., Austin
Movies in the Park is a series of FREE films brought to you by Austin Parks Foundation (APF) in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse and presented by Carvana. Each year, APF and the Drafthouse bring you free movies in parks all over Austin. Residents and visitors bring their blanket or lawn chairs (and often a picnic dinner!) for a fun and relaxing evening under the beautiful Austin night sky.

Downtown Street Market
Fridays through November 18 from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.   |   Congress Ave & 9th Street, Austin
Join the Downtown Austin Alliance for the Downtown Street Market along Congress Ave and 9th Street every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. September 30 through November 18. Each week the market will offer a variety of popular food trucks, local artisans and retailers, as well as musicians and street performers. Support local businesses, enjoy the work of local artists and entertainers, and experience the creative spirit of downtown Austin. The event is FREE and open to the public. Learn more and confirm event details here.

Hands On History (Georgetown)
October 8 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.   |   Williamson Museum, 716 S Austin Ave, Georgetown
The second Saturday of each month, the museum hosts an interactive activity where children can get up close and personal with history, learning something new and creating their own artifact. Dia de los Muertos: come and celebrate. FREE for children of all ages.

Second Saturdays are for Families: Tall Tales (RSVP)
October 8 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.   |   Laguna Gloria, 3809 West 35th Street, Austin
Once upon a time, you came to this storytelling workshop at The Contemporary Austin, where you learned how to write your own scintillating story with the help of Austin Bat Cave. You made a book to take home, and participated in a little improv theater before you headed on home to live happily ever after! Recommended for ages 2-11. Reservations are requested for family art-making workshops; please reserve your spot here.

Southpark After Dark: Vallejo
October 8 from 7-10 p.m.    |   Southpark Meadows, 9300 S IH 35 Frontage Rd, Austin
Southpark After Dark Concert Series’ 3rd show on Saturday October 8th features Vallejo, a Latin rock band! It’s a FREE family friendly event with live music, a play area and restaurant patios with a view.

The Corner Store Country Run 5K & Country Fair (Round Rock)
October 9 at 8:30 a.m.   |   Dell Diamond, 3400 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock
The family-friendly Country Run returns to Old Settlers Park in Round Rock on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. Register online with the promo code FREEFUN to get free registration for all ages! Following the 5K, stick around Dell Diamond for a lively country fair with music, food, refreshments, carnival games and giveaways!

Umlauf Family Day
October 9 from 12-4 p.m.   |   605 Robert E. Lee Road, Austin
Family Days offer special, hands-on programs designed for families with children, ages four to ten years old. Families have the opportunity to explore the UMLAUF while engaging in creative activities. Listen to stories, do yoga in the garden, watch sculpture demos, enjoy live music and more. FREE and open to the public.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Thursdays – Saturdays, October 13-16, 20-22, and 27-29 from 8-10 p.m.   |   Ramsey Park, 4301 Rosedale Ave, Austin
This fall, Something for Nothing Theater graduates from one show to two shows a year with their Romeo and Juliet, featuring an all-star cast of Austin’s favorite Shakespeareans. Something for Nothing Theater company produces the plays with minimal props, costumes, and lighting, focusing on storytelling and the wonderful language of Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet takes place Thursdays – Saturdays, October 13-16, 20-22, and 27-29, 2016, beginning at 8:00 p.m. All shows are FREE and open to the public (donations accepted). Learn more and confirm event details here.

Red Barn Garden Center
October 15 at 10 a.m.  |   12881 Pond Springs Rd, Austin
A special fall festival is planned for Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 10 a.m. PumpkinFest 2016 will be FREE and will feature a bounce house and petting zoo.

Fall Holidays Fair
October 15 from 12-4 p.m.   |   Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd, Austin
Explore Fall & Winter festivals celebrated in Asia and beyond! Learn about these celebrations through hands-on activities, demonstrations and cultural performances. FREE!

Diwali Festival & Bollywood Night
October 15 at 4 p.m.   |    Pan Am Hillside, 2100 E 3rd St, Austin
Diwali Festival & Bollywood Night will have henna, Diwali shopping, free kids activities, food stalls and the famous Bollywood Musical Night with a live DJ, dance performances by All Famous Dance Schools, and kids’ performances. FREE entry, free parking. Find out more and confirm details here.

Southpark After Dark: The Eggmen
October 15 from 7-10 p.m.    |   Southpark Meadows, 9300 S IH 35 Frontage Rd, Austin
Southpark After Dark Concert Series final show on 10/15, featuring The Eggmen, a Beatles Tribute band! FREE family friendly event with live music, a play area and restaurant patios with a view.

Texas Avid Outdoors Annual Fall Expo
October 16 from 12-5 p.m.   |   Shady Hollow Community Center, 3303 Doe Run, Austin
Come one, come all to Texas Avid Outdoors Annual Fall Expo. This is a FREE, family-friendly event to help celebrate a love for the outdoors. There will be lots of educational and interactive things for both kids and parents to take part in that are geared towards camping, hiking, and the outdoors. With many great returning participants like Backwoods of Austin, Whole Earth Provisions, Pronghorn Overland Gear, Ethos Offroad, and many others, there will be plenty to see and do. There will also be prize giveaways from participants. Food will be available for purchase. Learn more and confirm event details here.

The Blanton’s Third Thursday
October 20 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.   |   Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin
Enjoy art and activities at the Blanton’s Third Thursday. Admission is FREE and the museum stays open through 9pm for a variety of exciting public programs. Parking is available for $4 at the Brazos Garage.

Halloween Carnival and Haunted House
October 20 from 5:30-8 p.m.   |   Metz Recreation Center, 2407 Canterbury Street, Austin
Halloween games, treats and eats for the entire family. Dare to enter the Metz Haunted House! $1 Haunted House, games are 25 cents per ticket.

Movie in the Park: Jurassic Park
October 20, 8 p.m.  |   Palm Park, 711 East 3rd Street, Austin
Movies in the Park is a series of FREE films brought to you by Austin Parks Foundation (APF) in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse and presented by Carvana. Each year, APF and the Drafthouse bring you free movies in parks all over Austin. Residents and visitors bring their blanket or lawn chairs (and often a picnic dinner!) for a fun and relaxing evening under the beautiful Austin night sky.

25th Annual Austin Arbor Day
October 22 from 9 a.m. – noon  |   Southern Walnut Creek Hike & Bike Trail Entrance, 7800 Johnny Morris Rd, Austin
To celebrate Austin’s Arbor Day and the City of Austin’s 25th year as a Tree City USA community, the City of Austin Urban Forestry Program will host a tree planting and family friendly Arbor Day event. Volunteers will plant 100 native trees along the newly built trail. There will be a brief ceremony to read the Arbor Day Proclamation, tabling events, DJ music, and refreshments. Families are encouraged to attend from 9:00 a.m. – noon to participate in tree related activities including tree planting, educational booths, and seed ball making. Sign up here. Learn more and confirm event details here.

Touch A Truck (Round Rock)
October 22 from 9 a.m. – noon  |   Old Settlers Park, 3300 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock
Touch a Truck provides a unique opportunity for children to explore vehicles of all types – public service, emergency, utility, construction, transportation, delivery and just plain cool – all in one place. Those young and young at heart will be allowed to touch, climb on and ask questions about their favorite trucks in a safe, supervised environment. There will be a “no horn hour” for those with sensitive ears or who do not respond well to loud noises from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event is FREE and no registration is required, but guests are encouraged to bring a canned food item donation to donate to the Round Rock Serving Center. Learn more and confirm event details here.

Archeology Month Fair
October 22 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.   |   Main Soccer Field at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus, 10100 Burnet Rd, Austin
In partnership with the Texas Historical Commission, UT’s Texas Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL) will be hosting a public Archeology Fair to celebrate this year’s Texas Archeology Month. The Fair will feature hands-on activities for kids and adults, demonstrations from the community of professional archaeologists, and displays that highlight Texas’ rich archeological history. FREE! Bring your family, your scout troop, and your friends of all ages. Learn more and confirm event details here.

Hairy Man Festival (Round Rock)
October 22 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.  |   Cat Hollow Park, 8600 O’Connor Dr, Round Rock
The Hairy Man Festival is a family-oriented festival that includes an arts and crafts area with numerous artisans participating. There are special performances and live music by local groups and organizations on the Festival Stage. Judged by local community leaders, the festival closes out with the legendary ‘Hairiest Man’ contest. Admission to the festival is FREE with two non-perishable food items (or $2 per person) to benefit local food banks.

Diwali Festival of Lights in Austin
October 22 from 5 p.m. – midnight   |   400 Barsana Rd, Austin
Austin: Sparkle up your Diwali with Joy at Radha Madhav Dham! Join in the magnificent festival of Diwali, the festival of lights, at Radha Madhav Dham Austin. Food stalls, amazing fireworks display, games, sparklers, chanting, keynote speech, colorful performances, outdoor Dandiya (dancing), and live music. FREE entry and free parking, as well.

Trunk or Treat for Special Needs Kids (Round Rock)
October 22 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.    |   Seton Medical Center Williamson, 201 Seton Pkwy, Round Rock
Join Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department and Williamson Pediatric Rehab for this FREE trick-or-treating event. A family-centered event, it encourages active participation for children with various disabilities or limitations. Trick or Treat from car to car, trunk to trunk. Costumes encouraged. Bring your trick or treat bags. Learn more and confirm event details here.

Last Straw Fest at UMLAUF
October 23 from 12-5 p.m.  |   UMLAUF, 605 Robert E. Lee Road, Austin
Last Straw Fest is a FREE event for all ages. Activities will include pumpkin carving with “Professor Pumpkin,” with an optional contest judged by We Are Austin hosts Taylor Ellison and Jordan Steele, face painting, storytelling, family yoga, balloon demos and other seasonal crafts and games, music from DJ Gatsby, and opportunities to meet and adopt cats, with fees waived, from the Austin Animal Center. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from several local food trucks. 

Spooky Fiesta
October 27 from 6-8 p.m.  |   South Austin Rec Center, 1100 Cumberland Rd, Austin
Join South Austin Recreation Center for a Haunted House, Carnival Games and Costume Party. This is a FREE event for all ages. Please make sure to bring your own bag for candy and prizes. Learn more and confirm event details here.

Halloween Carnival
October 28 from 3:30-6 p.m.   |   Oswaldo A.B. Cantu / Pan American Recreation Center, 2100 East 3rd St., Austin
Fun, Games, Candy, Prizes, Halloween Costume Contest & More. Open to all ages & FREE! Check out more information and confirm event details here.

October 28 from 5-8 p.m.   |   Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N Congress Ave, Austin
Shake your bones at the Bullock Museum’s annual Halloween celebration. Skeletons of all shapes and sizes will find fun creating glow in the dark art, experimenting with “bony” science, and moving their bones to the spooky beats. Plus, explore the Museum’s exhibitions after hours while sporting your latest Halloween costume creation. FREE! Learn more and confirm event details here.

Halloween Festival
October 28 from 6-8 p.m.   |   Dottie Jordan Recreation Center, 2803 Loyola Ln, Austin
Have a spooktacular time and enjoy carnival games, music, snacks, a cake walk, and more!

Halloween Carnival and Haunted House
October 29 from 1-4 p.m.   |   Delores Duffie Recreation Center, 1182 North Pleasant Valley Road, Austin
Costume Contest: (Age groups) 1-4, 5-7, 8-10, 11-12 year olds. Costume Contest Registration by 2 p.m. Costume Contest Judging at 3:30 p.m. One winner per age group.

Halloween Spooktacular
October 29 at 6:00 p.m.   |   Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Rd, Austin
Haunted House & Carnival both begin at 6:00 pm and the movie showing will start at 7:30. Movie in the Park: Corpse Bride. This event is FREE.

Viva la Vida Festival and Parade
October 29 from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm   |   419 Congress Ave, Austin
Viva la Vida is Austin’s largest and longest-running Day of the Dead festival featuring Latino artists and entertainment, an exhibition, and educational programs in the heart of downtown. Attendees will be able to enjoy wall murals, education programs, a grand procession with costumes and props, and a street celebration with traditional foods, hands-on art activities, artist demos, local retail booths, live music and performances. Find out much more about this FREE event here.

Planet K Texas Fireworks and Dia De Los Muertos Celebration
October 31  |   Krieg Baseball Field, 515 S Pleasant Valley Rd., Austin
On Halloween, thousands of spectators will gather with Planet K to rejoice and celebrate the lives of loved ones passed. There will be a grand display of life affirming fireworks, celebrating Dia De Los Muertos, the traditional Mexican holiday, Planet K style.

Kids are free:

Austin City Limits Music Festival
October 1-2 & 7-9   |   Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin
ACL Festival features a diverse lineup of acts every year with 8 stages, more than 130 bands – and now, two weekends. Tacos, brews, vegan options and more. Everything served is handpicked from a local restaurant or vendor. With an Art Market, a mini-fest for kids, and photogenic spaces, there’s plenty to do for the entire family. Tickets aren’t cheap, but kids 10 and under are admitted FREE with a ticket-holding adult.

More free fall fun beyond Austin:

Harvest of Fall Fun! (Marble Falls)
September 24 – November 6 (closed Wednesdays)  |   1801 FM 1980 Marble Falls (Check the website for exact directions as GPS isn’t always accurate with this address)
Harvest of Fall Fun runs September 24 – November 6, 2016. Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; 1–5 p.m. on Sunday. Closed all Wednesdays. Admission is FREE and parking is free, as well. The pumpkins and gourds are individually priced. Each activity has a fee. Activities include Scarecrow Island Hayrides, Candy Corn Hay Maze, pumpkin painting, scarecrow stuffing, face painting, horse rides, sand art, The Sweet Berry Express Barrel Train, The Berry Bounce, and The ‘Texas’ Maze. Visit the Sweet Berry Farm website for pricing. Payment by cash or check only.

Texas Big Worm Pumpkin Patch (Bertram)
September 30 – October 30  |   4625 E. State Highway 29, Bertram
Fridays and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. FREE admission! Look for the Giant Chair and all the Pumpkins! Pumpkin patch and fun activities (for a fee) for all ages, including a pumpkin sling, corn fishing, hay rides, pumpkin painting, and a petting zoo. Two fun events will be happening every Friday this season. Storytime in the Patch: Fridays 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Come out and hear great fall themed books read among the pumpkins. Storytime will be followed by a free fall themed craft ideal for ages 10 and under. Music in the Patch: Fridays 5-7 p.m. Live music by great area bands. Check out more information here.

Cross Plants and Produce (Kyle)
October 1-31 Closed Mondays |   705 N. Old Highway 81, Kyle
Cross Plants and Produce is an everyday farmer’s market and plant nursery in Kyle, TX. There is a large kid’s play area with picnic tables, a mini horse and mini donkey, a farm dog and bunny rabbit. Pumpkins will arrive October 1 and the pumpkin patch will be open through October. It will be open on weekdays (except Mondays), with free activities on weekends. Pumpkin Patch will be open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Paint-a-pumpkin is $5. More information on events can be found on their Facebook page. Please call to confirm pumpkin arrival before you go.

Evergreen Farms (Elgin)
Weekends in October  |   242 Monkey Rd, Elgin
Visit for the Pumpkin Hunt, weekends in October for a special day with the Down Home Ranch Friends at Evergreen Farms. Hours: Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays, from 1-5 p.m. Admission is FREE, but some activities cost $2.50 to $5. FREE activities include wagon rides around the farm and a petting zoo.  Activities that cost $2.50 per ticket include a train ride, a maze, and face painting.

More Fall Fun: