- October 31, 2013

Free Fun at the French Legation Museum


Sitting high on a hill in East Austin overlooking downtown, the French Legation Museum is begging you to come have a picnic on its gorgeous grounds.

The French Legation originally served as home to diplomat Alphonse Dubois, a representative of King Louis–Philip of France. The current Museum includes the historic home, built in 1841, which is the oldest wooden frame structure in Austin and is among the few remaining examples of Republic Era architecture to be found in the state. In 1848, the house was purchased by Dr. J.W. Robertson and remained a private residence of the Robertson family for more than 90 years. Today, the French Legation is owned by the State of Texas and is operated by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

The French Legation Museum includes three acres of land, and the pretty grounds are open to the public free of charge on Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 am – 5pm. You can tour the house for a fee of $5 during Museum hours, and there is also a gift shop on site in the Carriage House.

Recently my family and I were very excited about the gorgeous fall weather, and we decided to pack up a picnic and head over to the French Legation to relax in the October sunshine. The public is welcome to bring food and pets to the grounds. When we arrived on a Sunday afternoon, we found two groups of adults playing bocce ball and a handful of families spread across the front lawn enjoying time together.

My boys loved running and racing across the front lawn. My youngest was happy to roll down the hill time and time again. The boys were delighted to chase butterflies across the grounds, rock in the chairs on the front porch of the home, play in the small maze of shrubbery behind the house, and view the State Capitol from the highest point of the grounds.

The staff at the French Legation were very welcoming and encouraged us to spread the word that the public is welcome to come and enjoy the lawn. They also shared info about a monthly story time offered for FREE each month!

Children’s Story Time
1st Tuesdays of every month

Join museum staff for 30 minutes of reading and play during this story time geared towards toddlers and caregivers for free!  Feel free to bring snacks, blankets, and your imagination.

French Legation Museum
802 San Marcos Street
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 472-8180
[email protected]

Freelance web producer, Heidi Okla is mom to three boys (ages 3, 5, and 7), and can’t pass up any opportunity for fun family adventures. Browse her literacy-focused kids activities on her blog, Read ‘Em and Leap.