Spring is upon us, so break out your calendars and check out these FREE “don’t miss” fun events this March!
20+ Free “Don’t Miss” March Events In Austin
NORTHSIDEkids Monsterfied (RSVP)
March 1 from 10 a.m. – noon | Domain Northside, Palm Way and Rock Rose, Austin
ROOOOOOAAR! It’s time to get monsterfied! The Boogaloo Crew will teach your little monsters (18 months – 6 years old) a “monster moves” dance routine, help them craft their own costume, and lead them in other roarsome activities. End the morning by taking home a fun photo of your monster (and a gift bag from select Domain NORTHSIDE and Rock Rose retailers and restaurants). FREE with registration. Guided activities begin at 10 a.m. Space is limited. After 10 a.m., they will begin to take walk-ups and registered guests will not be guaranteed admission. This event is FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED. All children must be accompanied by an adult for the entire duration of this event.
Rodeo Austin Cowboy Breakfast
March 3 at 6 a.m. | Long Center, 701 W Riverside Dr, Austin
The Cowboy Breakfast is a super-sized Texas breakfast that kicks off the Fair and Rodeo. Come enjoy pancakes, authentic chuck wagon biscuits, and more at this FREE event. Featuring western-themed entertainment, live music, and two-stepping lessons, the Cowboy Breakfast is fun for all ages. Learn more and confirm event details here.
It’s My Park Day
March 4 | Locations vary
The biggest city-wide volunteer event, It’s My Park Day, has expanded to a spring and fall event! Each year, thousands of volunteers work to improve parks and greenbelts throughout the city. Register here to help out!
35th Annual Heart of Texas Regatta
March 4 & 5 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Festival Beach, 2101 Jesse E Segovia St, Austin
The Heart of Texas, A USRowing Nationally Recognized Regatta, is held annually in early March, making it one of the first sprint regattas of the spring. Austin Rowing Club has been host to the Heart of Texas Regatta since 1983 when the race was primarily for visiting college crews. The event has grown to include Masters, Open. and Junior events. Held on a seven lane, fully buoyed 1,000 meter course and state-of-the-art starting platform. Over 800 entries competed in the 2015 regatta for a total of over 1,500 competitors. FREE for spectators.
Texas Independence Parade
March 4 at 9:30 a.m. | Congress Avenue, Austin
This year marks the 181st birthday of Texas! Bring a lawn chair and a Texas flag to wave.
Spunky Kids ATX First Annual Girls’ Morning Out Event (RSVP)
March 4 from 10 a.m. – noon | Coffee Shark, 7300 Ranch Road 2222, Austin
Coffee. Crafts. Community. A FREE, Family-Friendly Event! Calling all girls of ALL ages. You are cordially invited to the first annual Girls’ Morning Out event. Stop-in for a craft coffee, tea, espresso, smoothie (for the school-aged ones) or baked good and enjoy a craft at the bar (not the hoppy kind– the arts-and-crafty kind!) to celebrate and support the fabulous, goal-oriented girls and young women in our community. You’ll get to create your own VISION BOARD to conceptualize your personal and professional goals by using the first of the five strategies for success–VISION. While doing so, you will be supporting the mission of an Austin-based small business, Spunky Kids ATX! All crafting supplies for the vision boards will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own photos, magazine and newspaper clippings, positive affirmations, etc. to design your board. And, you won’t want to miss out on the shark-themed photo booth contest (take a #Selfie with #Jaws!) for a chance to win the official Coffee Shark t-shirt AND register to win a free Girls of Summer Camp 2017 registration or Birthday-In-A-Bag package for a lucky little lady, donated by Spunky Kids ATX. Please RSVP to [email protected] or on their website on the ‘FREE Community Events’ page to reserve your board and supplies. Remember, this is for ladies of ALL ages.
March 4 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Campus of UT Austin
Held annually at UT Austin, Explore UT aims to inform students, parents, teachers, and community members from across the state about the importance of the public research institution and higher education in Texas. The day-long event invites Texans of all ages to experience robust research experiences, hands-on demonstrations and experiments, and participate in the richness of the university’s scholarship and knowledge. Explore UT seeks to broaden the horizons of students in Texas and motivate them toward achieving higher education after high school. It seeks to help parents and teachers encourage the excitement of learning and discovery, and welcomes alumni to reconnect with the institution that prepared them for their careers. View full schedule of events here. FREE!
Lakeshore Learning Free Crafts for Kids
Saturdays in March from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Lakeshore Learning, 9828 Great Hills Trail, Austin
This learning products store has a wealth of educational merchandise for both teachers and students, alike. Each weekend they host a free craft activity for kids. March 4: Lookin’ Sharp! Pencil Holder; March 11: Lots O’ Luck Hat; March 18: Rockin’ Guitar; March 25: Honeybee House.
Zilker Kite Festival
March 5 March 12 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin
Go fly a kite! Kick off spring with exciting kite contests, the best food booths and food trucks that Austin has to offer, and exciting activities for kids of all ages. The ABC Zilker Kite festival is FREE for everyone and benefits Communities In Schools of Central Texas. Update: Due to inclement weather, ABC Kite Fest has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 12, 2017.
H-E-B Free First Sunday: Texas Heritage
March 5 from 12-5 p.m. | Bullock Museum, 1800 Congress Ave, Austin
Texas Heritage: What do your Texas roots say about you? Share who you are and where you came from with hands-on activities and demonstrations that celebrate all who make Texas great, YOU! Enjoy FREE exhibition admission all day during H-E-B Free First Sundays, held the first Sunday of every month. Families can explore the Story of Texas through three floors of exhibitions that showcase artifacts from around the state. Special family programs from 12-3 p.m. combine art creation, exploration stations, and gallery activities.
Sunday Funday: The Lightbulb and the Electric Motor (“Bright Ideas”)
March 5 from 1-4 p.m. | Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin
Sunday Fundays at the Neill-Cochran House Museum feature historically-inspired activities for children, scavenger hunts in the historic house, and informal tours of the museum. Staff and volunteers will be available to help and provide supplies. FREE! When the Neill-Cochran House was built, having ample indoor light at the flip of a switch was practically unimaginable. This month, they will conduct simple (and safe!) experiments with static and dynamic electricity while imagining what life was like for Austinites before, during, and after electricity’s increasing availability in the beginning of the 20th century. With help from staff, kids can experiment with two early means of generating electricity: the Leyden Jar (static) and the Voltaic Pile (dynamic). Build and test your own experimental light bulbs using batteries, graphite filaments, and mason jars. Rounding out the day’s displays, demonstrations of a Wimshurst machine and a simple electric motor/generator will show both forms of electricity at work.
SXSWedu Expo (RSVP)
March 7 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin
The SXSWedu Expo is back and bigger than ever. This year, the Expo is expanding to an exciting two-day event. Day one of the Expo is open to SXSWedu registrants only. However, day two of the Expo on Tuesday, March 7 is FREE and open to the public. Anyone can RSVP to let us know that they’re interested in attending day two of the Expo.
Rodeo Austin Rodeo Rumble Kid’s 1K Fun Run (RSVP)
March 11 at 9 a.m. | Travis County Expo Center – Luedecke Arena, 7311 Decker Ln, Austin
The Rodeo Austin Rodeo Rumble Kid’s 1K Fun Run is a FREE event for children ages 12 and under. Held in Luedecke Arena on Saturday, March 11, 2017 and beginning at 9:30 a.m., children get the chance to race on the dirt where the cowboys and cowgirls compete each night. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and the first heat of runners begins at 9:30 a.m. Learn more and confirm event details here. Register online.
Art Free For All
March 11 from 12-4 p.m. | 3809 West 35th St, Austin
Every second Saturday of the month, The Contemporary Austin offers hands-on art-making workshops at Laguna Gloria, inspired by the exhibitions on view. See family-friendly performances, meet local artists, and make art to take home. Recommended for ages 2–11. Drop in and create for FREE! Enjoy hands-on Art School demonstrations, check out new sculptures on the grounds, take in a cool performance, and make art to take home.
March 11 from 3-7:30 p.m. | Radha Madhav Dham, 400 Barsana Rd, Austin
Holi is also called the Spring Festival as it marks the arrival of spring, the season of hope and joy. It is known as the festival of colors, and traditionally played in India every year to mark the beginning of the spring season. Here in America, Holi is played in the same style as it is in Braj district of India – with the same colorful, playful, family-filled fun and devotion. This year, the Holi play will be accompanied by a live band singing Holi songs from Braj to liven up the environment with uplifting music. There will also be a traditional Holika fire burning as a reminder that evil always burns in the face of good. FREE!
Free Kids’ Music at Cherrywood Coffeehouse
March 12, 19, and 26 from 10-11:30 a.m. | Cherrywood Coffeehouse, 1400 E. 38 1/2 Street, Austin
March 12: Groundwork Music; March 19: Que Pastas; March 26: Staci Gray will be performing FREE all ages shows. Please note that the schedule is subject to change.
Umlauf Family Day
March 12 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.
March 13-19 | Various locations
The South by Southwest Music and Media Conference (SXSW) is held every March in Austin. A large multi-industry trade show exhibition, Music Gear Expo, and daytime stage performances round out the day while evenings are devoted to the SXSW Music Festival, which showcases over 2,200 acts ranging from the unsigned to the iconic. The festival itself is not free, but there are lots of free concerts and public events that do not require a badge to attend. Sign up to receive information about 2017 FREESXSW events here.
Third Thursdays at the Blanton
March 16 from 12-9 p.m. | Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin
Every third Thursday, the Blanton has a FREE themed event that features extended hours, multiple programs including Yoga in the Galleries, tours, and other offerings. Thursdays are always FREE at The Blanton.
Austin Kid’s Directory Spring Fair (Cedar Park)
March 18 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Austin Sports Center Cedar Park, 1420 Toro Grande Dr, Cedar Park
Meet some of Austin Kid’s Directory’s advertisers who will be offering information about summer camps, schools, childcare, family activities, medical services and more. Admission and parking are FREE and there will be great prizes, giveaways, freebies, hands-on activities and entertainers. While there, you can also find some great bargains at the Fairytale Threads Spring Consignment Sale.
Texas Night Sky Festival (Dripping Springs)
March 18 from 2-8 p.m. | Dripping Springs Ranch Park, 1042 Event Center Dr, Dripping Springs
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) Texas, the City of Dripping Springs, and the Hays County Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist will host the 2nd Annual Texas Night Sky Festival, a FREE celebration of the Texas Night Sky. All attendees will join in fun citizen science activities, learn from engaging speakers and exhibits, see examples of good lighting for their home or business, view school projects and competition entries focused on protecting the night sky, feast at the food trucks, take home a book or work of art inspired by the night sky, earn a related scouting badge, or explore the stars. The intent of the festival is to increase the appreciation of the night sky and the world around us. This goes hand in hand with increasing awareness about the type of lighting that provides needed light while it reduces glare, saves money, eliminates light trespass, protects the health and safety of living things, and saves our common view of the night sky. Vendors and exhibitors will be sharing displays and demonstrations related to the night sky, things inspired by the night sky, or how to protect the night sky. Displays of shielded outdoor lighting, light pollution reduction efforts, educational materials about our natural world, literature relating to the night sky, astronomical equipment, and other items relevant to the night sky are just a few of the aspects of the desired exhibits.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the American Stage
March 30 from 4-5:30 p.m. | Harry Ransom Center, 300 W 21st St, Austin
The theatrical adaptation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin reached three times as many people in America as the original novel, which was the second best-selling book in the nineteenth century after the Bible. Cline Curator of Theatre and Performing Arts Eric Colleary shares insights into the original manuscripts held in the Ransom Center’s collections and traces the fascinating production history of one of the single most important plays in American theatre history. This event is FREE and open to the public; donations welcome. Please be aware that the Ransom Center’s Charles Nelson Prothro Theater seats 125. Line forms upon arrival of the first patron, and doors open 30 minutes in advance.
Bonus Fun That Isn’t Free
March 4 at 11 a.m. | Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker Ln, Austin
BBQ Austin is a fun event for the public to attend, as well as a great team building event for companies and groups who wish to participate. BBQ Austin has two (2) divisions, Champions and Open. Cities from all over Texas send their Champion BBQ Teams to compete in our Invitational Division for the title of “State of Texas BBQ Grand Champion.” Additionally, all our teams compete for the title and purse of “BBQ Austin Grand Champion.” All BBQ Teams, while competing in several contests, provide BBQ to the public for sampling. Many teams will also set up elaborate spaces to welcome folks to join in on the fun. Everyone is welcome and donation jars are provided in each team space for public donations to help raise funds for the Scholarship Program. Come join the fun! BBQ Austin is a two day event featuring BBQ tasting, live music and carnival fun! Admission includes entry to cook off area with free tasting samples, entry to outdoor stage for concerts, and entry to the carnival. Carnival rides require an additional fee. Single Day Adult (ages 13 and up): $8; Single Day Child (ages 3 to 12): $5; Children 2 and under: FREE. Buy tickets here.
Llano Earth Art Fest and Rockstacking World Championship (Llano)
March 10-13 | Grenwelge Park, 199 E Haynie St, Llano
The Llano Earth Art Fest (LEAF) is an arts and music festival focusing on natural art. Held on the banks of the beautiful Llano River, right next to the National Registered Historic Downtown of Llano, LEAF is fun for the entire family. LEAF is also home to the Rockstacking World Championship and is open to all competitors, amateur or professional, to compete in the Height, Balance, Arches, and Artistic competitions. With food, music, nature, fashion, performers, and plenty of natural art, the Llano Earth Art Fest is the place to be. Escape the SXSW crowds and visit the Hill Country for the best fest in Texas. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the gate. Children 15 and under are FREE when accompanied by a parent.
Bonus: Kids Eat Free!
Bring your kids to The Melting Pot from 4-6 p.m. and you both get a break from Spring Break boredom! Enjoy a complimentary kid’s entree for your 12 and younger with the purchase of an adult’s 4 course dinner. Offer valid 4-6 p.m. March 13-17, 2017.
For more restaurants that offer FREE kids’ meals, check out our huge list!