We certainly had April showers this year, but, thankfully, we are still enjoying the beautiful flowers! We’ve got plenty of excuses to make this a May to remember with all of these FREE events:
Pre-Cinco de Mayo Celebration – May 1, 5:30-8 p.m. (with movie screening afterwards)
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with games, food, door prizes and Tejano music. Bring your pups to the celebration for games and doggie treats! After the Celebration, enjoy Rise of the Guardians on the front lawn. Bring your blankets and chairs. One free popcorn and drink per person. Metz Recreation Center, 2704 Canterbury St, Austin, TX 78702.
Shakespeare at the Market: Love’s Labour Lost – May 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10; 6:30-10 p.m.
Present Company, in partnership with Whole Foods Market, presents the second annual SHAKESPEARE AT THE MARKET: LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST. Seating (and music) begins at 6:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. performance. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or short chair, and grab picnic goodies from Whole Foods before the show. Promoting the philosophy of “accessible & sustainable art,” this is a free event. However, a $15-20 donation is suggested for guests able to support. RSVPs recommended. Whole Foods Market Rooftop, 525 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703.
Movies in the Park: Annie (Leander) – May 1, 7:30 p.m.
Often described as a combination of state-of-the-art technology and the nostalgia of the 1950s drive-in, the Movies in the Park series provides families the opportunity to spend time together under the stars while enjoying first run movies. Movies begin at dusk. Lawn chairs, blankets, and a picnic dinner are encouraged. Concessions are also available. Glass containers are prohibited. Friendly pets are welcomed on a leash. In the 2014 film Annie, a foster kid, sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Robin Bledsoe Park, 601 S Bagdad Rd, Leander, TX 78641.
Movie in the Park: Up – May 1, 7:45-9:30 p.m.
Enjoy the movie Up on the big screen. Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W Dittmar Rd, Austin, TX 78745.
The Taming of the Shrew – May 1, 8-10 p.m. (repeats Thursdays-Sundays until May 24)
From the battle of the sexes to the marriage of true minds, Austin Shakespeare transforms The Taming of the Shrew to Austin in the 1890s, where city folk and cowboys collide. Bring a picnic and a blanket and enjoy Shakespeare under the beautiful evening skies across from Barton Springs Pool. Featuring Gwendolyn Kelso as Kate and Marc Pouhé as Petruchio. Post show audience/actor discussions after each performance. Performance begins at sundown. Free, but bring $5 for parking in Zilker Park. Zilker Hillside Theater, 2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704.
5th Annual Local Heroes Family Fun Day – May 2, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
This is a day where youth and their families get to meet and interact with police officers, firefighters and paramedics, all of whom serve, protect and keep their families safe. This event is free and filled with lots of hands on fun activities. Austin Public Safety Training Academy, 4800 Shaw Ln, Austin, TX 78744.
Pecan Street Festival – May 2, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; May 3, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
The Pecan Street Festival is one of the largest, and longest-running, arts/crafts and music festivals in the nation. Downtown Austin on 6th St. between Brazos St. and IH-35.
CelebrASIA Austin: An Asian Pacific American Food & Heritage Festival – May 2, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage with this year’s food theme: coconut! Featuring the AARC’s second annual Battle of the Asian Food Trucks, plus cultural performances, kids’ activities, games, educational food booths, artisan marketplace, community outreach fair, heritage showcases and more! Food and other items available for sale. Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd, Austin, TX 78754.
Children’s Celebration 2015 – May 2, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Hundreds of gifts will be given away at this family celebration, and there will be entertainment by clowns, face painting, figure balloons, giveaways, snow cones, cotton candy, popcorn, moonwalks and live music. Attendees can participate in contests, raffles and other fun free for the whole family. AB Cantu/Pan American Recreation Center, 2100 E 3rd St, Austin, TX 78702.
Keep Austin Well – May 2, 12-4 p.m.
Have fun and get healthy with lots of delicious food trucks, vendors, fitness classes, music, and Austin’s best health care providers. A community event with something for all ages, including face painting and bouncy houses for the kids. Four legged-friends encouraged to come too! During your visit you’ll meet some of Austin’s best health care providers, receive on site medical exams/screenings, experience healthy living demonstrations ranging from cooking to yoga on the terrace and much more! Long Center Terrace, 701 W Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78704.
Family Day at the Umlauf – May 3, 12-4 p.m.
Activities include children’s yoga, story time, clay creations and music by the Armstrong Community Music School. All-day activities include papel picado, ultimate hopscotch and sculpture safaris. Refreshments will be provide by Juice Austin. Umlauf Sculpture Garden, 605 Robert E Lee Rd, Austin, TX 78704.
Free First Sunday: Roller Derby – May 3, 12-3 p.m.
Come enjoy free entry to the Bullock Museum and its exhibits. Special programming will coincide with Texas Roller Derby special exhibit. Discover the connection between Austin and modern roller derby! Families with kids ages five and up can participate in hands-on activities, drop in at an art-making station, and meet some of the Texas Rollergirls themselves. Entry to the La Belle special exhibit also included. Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701.
Community Art Sundays – May 3, 1-4 p.m.
Celebrate creativity and innovation with active workshops and art experiences for the whole family. Bring your imagination to life with a recycled materials building workshop. Learn more about building community from Habitat for Humanity. Stand up for justice in a super hero photo booth. Watch movies made by Creative Action students in a screening room. Dance and sing with Austin family favorite, Mr. Will Dupuy! Enjoy treats from Chameleon Cold Brew and Nada Moo Ice Cream. Be creative, try something new, build community, and have fun with your whole family! Center for Creative Action, 2921 E 17th St, Bldg B, Austin, TX 78702.
Sunday-Fundays – May 3, 1-4 p.m.
Every first Sunday of the month the Neill-Cochran House Museum will be open to the public for free. Each Sunday will include an activity highlighting a theme that embodies both the history of Texas and the Neill-Cochran House Museum. Walk-through tours of the house will also be available. This month’s theme is Ojos de Dios and Paper Plate Sombrero. Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin 78705.
World Laughter Day – May 3, 3-5 p.m.
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Laughter Yoga and World Laughter Day, everyone, young and young at heart, are invited to an afternoon filled with lots of laughter, bubbles, hula hoops and more. It is being hosted by the Austin Laughter Club and led by Austin Laughter Yoga Teachers Linda Gillen and Simone Monique Barnes. No jokes, comedy or humor are needed. The Butler Park, 1000 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704.
La Condesa Cinco de Mayo Downtown Block Party – May 5, 5-9 p.m.
Join La Condesa & Univision for the 7th-Annual Cinco de Mayo Downtown Block Party. Parking is available in all downtown garages. Enjoy live performances by DJ Canoso, DJ uLOVEi, Mariachi Relampago, Celsius, Gina Chavez, Bidi Bidi Banda, and Cilantro Boombox; face painting a photobooth and more. 2nd Street between Guadalupe and San Antonio, Austin, TX 78701.
Movies in the Park: The Little Mermaid – May 7, 8:15-10 p.m.
Movies in the Park is a series of free films brought to you by the Austin Parks Foundation, and presented by the #1 movie theater in America, the Alamo Drafthouse. Dogs, picnics, and lawn chairs are welcome. Alcoholic beverages, glass and styrofoam are not permitted in the park. Smoking is also prohibited in the park, per city law. Republic Square Park, 400 W Guadalupe, Austin, TX 78701.
Mother Earth Day Festival at the Springs – May 8, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
This Festival is designed for environmental awareness and fun, especially relating to Barton Springs and Barton Creek, with a special emphasis on water conservation. Every activity is made to ensure that kids from 4-13 years of age have a great time and an interactive learning experience. Barton Springs, 2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin 78704.
Family Day at the Ransom Center – May 9, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Visit Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and enjoy activities for the young and young at heart. Participate in writing activities with teaching artists from Austin Public Library Friends Foundation’s Badgerdog Creative Writing Program or engage with Lewis Carroll-inspired math activities with local math literacy organization Math Happens. University of Texas at Austin museum theater students lead visitors through the galleries. Additional activities include docent-led exhibition tours and story times in the theater. Harry Ransom Center, 300 W 21st St, Austin, TX 78712.
Courtyard Artworks: Celebrate Spring! – May 9, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Join local artists for family art fun – including creating with gouache, acrylic and mask-making. Courtyard: JLC Artworks, Wade ArtRoom Austin, 81 San Marcos St, Austin, TX 78702.
38th Annual O.Henry Pun-Off World Championships – May 9, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jest for a Wordy Cause! Enjoy live music, food & drink, a used book sale, souvenir t-shirts and more. O. Henry Museum, 409 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78701.
West Austin Studio Tour – May 9-10 & 16-17, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Big Medium presents the 4th West Austin Studio Tour! WEST is an annual, self-guided art event occurring over two weekends in May, providing the public with an opportunity to meet the makers: the local artists and artisans who leave a lasting imprint on Austin’s vibrant, dynamic culture. Tour-goers are invited to discover new artistic talent, see working studios, learn about artists’ tools, techniques, and inspirations, and explore unique exhibition spaces and local businesses. Locations vary.
Mother’s Day Concert at the Capitol – May 10, 7-8 p.m. What better way to close out a great day with Mom than by taking her to a free concert at the Texas State Capitol in her honor? The Austin Symphonic Band will perform well-known tunes, including marches and musical numbers, that you and your mom are sure to enjoy! Get there early to select the best seating .. this concert gets more popular every year. Texas State Capitol South Steps, 1100 Congress Ave., Austin.
Texas Rising Stars Concert – May 10, 7:30 p.m.
The ACO returns to Bates Recital Hall at the University of Texas for the 3rd annual Texas Rising Stars Concert. The concert combines the best of the Austin community orchestras with the best from the Butler School of Music string studios in a collaborative concert free of charge to the Austin community. Bates Recital Hall at the University of Texas, 2420 Robert Dedman Dr, Austin, TX 78712.
Movies in the Park: The Incredibles – May 14, 8:30-10:30 p.m.
Dogs, picnics, and lawn chairs are welcome. Alcoholic beverages, glass and styrofoam are not permitted in the park. Smoking is also prohibited in the park, per city law. The Incredibles is rated PG. Republic Square Park, 400 W Guadalupe, Austin, TX 78701.
The Guns of 1863 – May 16, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Texas Military Forces Museum will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War with a special program – The Guns of 1863 – at Camp Mabry on May 16. Visitors will get a chance to get an up close and personal look at how soldiers on both sides lived during the war, as well as see firing demonstrations of some of the Civil War’s most famous weapons. Texas Military Forces Museum, 2200 W 35th St, Bldg 6, Austin, TX 78703.
2nd Street Public Art Crawl – May 16, 10-11 a.m.
As part of the 2015 West Austin Studio Tour, Art in Public Places will host a “Public Art Crawl” featuring new public art along 2nd Street. Austin City Hall, 301 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701.
Ney Day – May 16, 12-5 p.m.
Celebrating Elisabet Ney, her art and her legacy, with music, art, performances, activities and more! As always, the focus will be on art and music by Austin women! Featuring live music from SeVana Marimba (an all-woman Marimba band!), Yes Ma’am Brass Band, and more. Elisabet Ney Museum, 304 E 44th St, Austin 78751.
Close Assault 1944 – May 24 & 25, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Remember the true meaning of Memorial Day with this stirring look back at World War II. Close Assault 1944 honors the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans by focusing on the history of the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National Guard during World War II. Show times are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. both days. Texas Military Forces Museum, 2200 W 35th St, Bldg 6, Austin, TX 78703.
Ballet Under the Stars – May 29 & 30, 8-10 p.m.
Beginning just before sundown, this Austin tradition is fun for the whole family and a great way to kick off your summer. The performance will feature a variety of choreographers including some emerging talent in the dance world. Zilker Hillside Theater, Barton Springs Rd, Austin 78704.
You may also be interested in Free Austin Festivals in 2015.