- It’s My Park Day – All day Saturday; hours vary by park. It’s My Park Day is Austin Parks Foundation’s biggest city-wide volunteer event when each year thousands of volunteers work to improve parks, trails, and greenbelts throughout the city. Register here to show your park some love. All volunteers will receive an It’s My Park Day t-shirt. FREE! View projects and locations here.
- Texas Independence Day Parade – Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Celebrate Texas Independence Day with a parade up Congress Avenue! This year marks the 180th birthday of Texas! Bring a lawnchair and a Texas flag to wave. Congress Avenue, Austin.
- Celebrate Urban Birds – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Learn about birds that live where you live. Activities will include live bird comparisons, bird walks, avian drawing, a bird bistro, and more avian activities for all ages. FREE! Austin Nature & Science Center, 2389 Stratford Dr, Austin.
- French Legation’s 175th Birthday Party – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The public is invited to a birthday celebration for the oldest house in Austin. Festivities include a flag ceremony at noon; performance by Circus Chickendog; book signing of Bonjour Y’all, a squirrel’s nutty tale of the Texas French Legation; free tours every 30 minutes; face painting, storytelling, games, and jugglers; birthday cake; and a silent auction. FREE but donations are appreciated. The first 200 donations will get a “FLM Supporter” wrist band. French Legation Museum, 802 San Marcos St, Austin.
- Explore UT – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Have you ever wanted to create your own hover craft, sample ice cream made from liquid nitrogen, or launch a rocket into space? If so, Explore UT is for you. Austin families are invited to enjoy a day of hands-on educational fun at the University of Texas at Austin’s annual open house. Bring your future Longhorns out to explore the UT campus, while taking part in hundreds of activities that promote higher education. Students in grades K-12 will be encouraged to participate in various activities, no registration required. View the full schedule of activities here. FREE and open to the public.
- Spring Holidays Fair – Saturday from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Celebrate the arrival of Spring through festival traditions from Asia and beyond. From Holi in India to the Taiwanese Dragon Boat Festival, the fair will feature cultural experiences; performances; lantern and mask making; trying on festival clothing; storytelling, and much more. Admission is FREE! Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd, Austin.
- MossFest: A Family Concert – Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The inaugural MossFest will be held during the Zilker Kite Festival at the historic Zilker Hillside Theater, featuring various local musicians including Sara Hickman, Mr. Will and Joe McDermott, vendors, and associated child-friendly activities. View the full schedule and artist lineup here. FREE! Zilker Hillside Theater, 2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
- Zilker Kite Festival – Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 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. Read about getting there. Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
- Free First Sunday at the Bullock Museum: Texas Independence Day – Sunday from Noon to 5:00 p.m. Celebrate Texas’ storied past and exciting future through performances, hands-on activities, trivia, and more. Encounter costumed interpreters, play historic games, or create your own Texas flag all while exploring what Texas was like as an independent nation. Special family programs from 12-3:00 p.m. combine art creation, presentations by partner organizations, and gallery activities. FREE! Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N Congress Ave, Austin.
- Sunday Funday: Invisible Ink – Sunday from 1-4:00 p.m. Methods of producing invisible messages have existed since antiquity, and though the principles of making and developing inks are well known, even as late as 2011, the US Government was hesitant to declassify documents written about (and with!) invisible inks. Experiment with the three common principles of making and reading messages written in invisible ink – all with safe, non-toxic materials. How do you disguise and deliver an invisible ink message? Which kind of ink works best? You be the judge. Especially shrewd spy-investigators can also try their hands at deciphering hidden messages in sample prepared documents. Weather permitting, snacks and lawn games will be set up on the museum’s front lawn. FREE! Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin.
Extra free fun because it’s hard to stop:
- Springdale Farm Open House – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Meet and greet with the farmers of Springdale Farm. There will be bilingual farm tours, a kids’ cooking class by Patricia’s Table, baby food cooking demonstration by Baby Taste Buds, live music by the Afro Caribbean Soul Collective, a double dollars program (double your SNAP with some fresh produce), and more. Family friendly and FREE! Springdale Farm, 755 Springdale Rd, Austin.
- Spring Plant Sale – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The 2016 plant sale will have everything for your spring garden–thousands of organic heirloom and hybrid vegetables and ornamental plants, plus bag-your-own compost that will save you a trip to the nursery center. There will be an abundant supply of knowledgeable gardeners on hand to share their tips with you. The sale will also feature a silent auction, local craftsmen and businesses selling their wares, and live music by Hey Lolly Brass Band, Alyse Black, and the Will Gullatt Ensemble. Proceeds benefit Sunshine Gardens and Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired’s horticulture program. Admission is FREE! Sunshine Community Gardens, 4814 Sunshine Dr, Austin.
- Sky Blue and Prince the Frog– Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sky Blue (the less popular princess cousin of Snow White and Rose Red) has a major problem. Her step mommy is evil so Sky Blue decides she must run away. To find out what becomes of Sky Blue and her darling princess friends, join the Young People’s Theatre for this performance that’s perfect for children ages 2-5. FREE! Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
- Orly Genger. Hurlyburly – Opening Day – Saturday from Noon to 3:00 p.m. Explore the outdoor, interactive art installation Hurlyburly by internationally renowned artist Orly Genger at the mouth of Waller Creek. Opening day includes family-friendly activities, a weaving wall, and complimentary frozen treats from GoodPop. Hurlyburly will be on view through February 2017. FREE! Paid parking is available two blocks away at the Convention Center Garage on 2nd Street with access from Brazos or San Jacinto. Mouth of Waller Creek, adjacent to the Waller Creek Boathouse, 74 Trinity St, Austin.
Bonus nearly free fun:
- Hero Con Toy Show – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. With a chance to meet some of your favorite comic, TV, and storybook characters, plus a ton of toys, arts, and collectibles available for purchase, Hero Con Toy Show has something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Cost: adult tickets cost $5. Admission is FREE for kids under 12. Norris Conference Center, 2525 W Anderson Ln, Austin.
And even more fun in the ‘burbs:
- Spring Celebration (Georgetown) – Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. Hop on over to the Shade Plaza, between Kohl’s and Ross, for Wolf Ranch Town Center’s family friendly Spring Celebration event. Enjoy a cake walk, arts and crafts, and more. There will also be a visit from the Easter Bunny. FREE! Wolf Ranch Town Center, 1015 W University Ave, Georgetown.
- Disco Fire Safety Show (Round Rock) – Saturday at 11:00 a.m. The firefighters are in the house and they wanna get down with you. Round Rock Fire Department’s high-energy program teaches vital fire safety information in a kid-friendly format. Recommended for ages 3-10. FREE! Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main St, Round Rock.
- Saturday Spring Family Tour Days (Manor) – Saturday at 11:00 a.m. See the farm’s new baby goats, sheep, and llama. There will be a hayride, cow milking demo, Faeriewood, gardens, tons of critters, plus local honey and homemade preserves available for purchase. The tour lasts about 90 minutes. Cost: $6 per person ages 3 an up. $3 for 2 year-olds. Under 2 are FREE. 10300 Taylor Lane, Manor.
- Texas Night Sky Festival (Dripping Springs) – Saturday from 3-10:00 p.m. Join in fun citizen science activities, learn from engaging speakers and exhibits, see examples of good lighting for your home or business, view school projects and competition entries focused on protecting the night sky, feast at food trucks, take home a book or work of art inspired by the night sky, earn a related scouting badge, or explore the stars. View the full schedule of events here. FREE! Dripping Springs Ranch Park, 1042 Event Center Dr, Dripping Springs.