This weekend gives you the chance to celebrate Texas heritage, the arts, and the Earth for FREE! There’s an air show, a children’s indie festival, a children’s picnic, Austin’s largest Earth Day event, and, of course, plenty of live music!
Weekend Top 10 Free Events in Austin:
- Classical Music For the World: World of Joy – Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Fresh off the heels of its Spring Love Concert, Classical Music For the World presents “World of Joy,” Six Suites for Cello Solo by J. S. Bach. The program is divided into two parts: the first (Bach Cello Suites I, II, III, & IV) takes place on Friday and the second (Bach Cello Suites V & VI) on Saturday. A reception with the artists in attendance follows each concert. All ages are welcome. FREE! Oak Hill United Methodist Church, 7815 W Hwy 290, Austin.
- Texas Military Department Open House and American Heroes Air Show – Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. This annual event gives you a closer look at the National Guard through demonstrations, displays, and personal interactions. There will be a variety of attractions including helicopter and parachute demonstrations, a World War II reenactment, First Responder demonstrations, the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall, the Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall, military vehicles, bands, bounce house and numerous other children’s activities, a naturalization ceremony for service members, an education fair, and a variety of food available for purchase. A photo ID is required to enter the post. Admission and parking are FREE! Camp Mabry, 2200 W 35th St, Austin.
- Austin Nature Day and Climbing Wall Grand Opening – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Visit the Austin Nature & Science Center to celebrate bees and trees! Activities include making houses for native solitary bees, creating seed balls with Capital Area Master Naturalists, meeting a real beekeeper from Travis County Beekeepers Association, going on a tree scavenger hunt, designing your own flying seeds with 4-H CAPITAL, and much more. Plus, there’s a climbing event to celebrate the opening of ANSC’s new 20-foot outdoor climbing wall. Pre-registration is required for the climbing wall. Both events are FREE! Austin Nature & Science Center, 2389 Stratford Dr, Austin.
- 11th Annual Sunset Valley ArtFest – Saturday from 9:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m. The Sunset Valley ArtFest displays the talents of many local artists and various forms of art such as woodworking, painting, pottery, and jewelry. ArtFest 2017 will have a great mix of live music from Tejas Brothers, Guy Forsyth Band, Lost & Nameless, The Biscuit Brothers, Mr. Will, Warren Hood, and the Steel Drums from Bowie High School. There will also be a kid’s zone, local food vendors, and much more. Admission is FREE! Toney Burger Center, 3200 Jones Rd, Austin.
- Honeychild: Indie Kids Fest + Earth Day Celebration – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. REVELRY is transforming the Amphitheater at Mueller Lake Park into an interactive, art-filled space for kids and parents. To jazz it up, they’re also bringing along food trucks, crafts from local makers, live music, shopping from local creatives and small businesses, a mobile library, and more. Children can put their hands to work in engaging projects under the instruction of ATX-based creatives. This event is geared for infants to 12 years of age, with teens signing up as artist volunteers. The mission is to provide a creative atmosphere where families and children can celebrate each other, Austin, and the local makers and businesses that make our city what it is. Admission is FREE! Mueller Lake Park, 2016 Simond Ave, Austin.
- Earth Day ATX – Saturday from noon to 7:00 p.m. Earth Day Austin is the largest sustainability event in Central Texas. Learn about conservation and sustainable solutions, celebrate your love for the environment, and get connected to the best and most innovative green businesses and organizations. With 8 new activity areas and a focus on hands-on discovery, Earth Day 2017 will be more engaging and exploratory than ever. FREE! Huston Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St, Austin.
- The Big Squeeze Accordion Concert – Saturday from 1-5:00 p.m. For its eighth year on the Museum’s Lone Star Plaza, the Texas Folklife Big Squeeze Accordion Contest will host an afternoon of squeezebox greats, young and old. Watch the next generation of accordion players compete for three grand prizes in polka, zydeco, and conjunto accordion traditions. Following the competition, enjoy a concert featuring bands with some of the best accordionists across the state. Rain or shine. FREE! Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave, Austin.
- Idea Lab Summer Camp Open House and STEAM Showcase – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Parents and kids will enjoy a wide assortment of STEAM activities that will showcase Idea Lab’s Summer Camps including: a robotics showcase with Lego, SphereO, and more; a 3D printing workshop; 3D designs at the art station; make-your-own blinky bugs; and drone flights. FREE! Austin Recreation Center, 1301 Shoal Creek Blvd, Austin.
- Edible Austin Children’s Picnic: A Real Food Fair – Sunday from 1-5:00 p.m. Bring a blanket, sit in the sunshine, plant a square foot garden, meet farmers, and enjoy bites from local food vendors. There will be live music, storytelling, and endless activities. FREE! Rosewood Park, 2300 Rosewood Ave, Austin.
- Community Art Sunday − Sunday from 2-5:00 p.m. Community Art Sunday is back, and they’re ready to empower you with practical, hands-on ways to celebrate and advocate for the art all around us. Enjoy live musical performances and workshops, nature crafts, garden tours, pollinator-friendly ‘seed-bomb’ creation stations, a collaborative embroidery project, an interactive theater experience, and more. This event is family fantastic and FREE! Center for Creative Action, 2921 E 17th St, Bldg B, Austin.
Bonus Nearly Free Fun:
- PBS Kids at the Alamo: Explore the Outdoors – Saturday and Sunday. View showtimes here. PBS Kids at the Alamo Drafthouse features brand new Wild Kratts episodes, including a special premiere of Deep Sea Adventure. The Kratt Brothers will introduce you to new and beloved animals as they embark on their newest adventures in the animal kingdom. Young explorers and animal lovers will have a blast seeing their favorite characters on the big screen. This is an all-ages show with Alamo for All rules – noisy young fans won’t be asked to leave the theater. Purchase tickets online for a $1-$3 donation. Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, 14028 N US Hwy 183, Bldg F, Austin and Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter, 5701 W Slaughter Ln, Austin.
- Record Store Day at Waterloo Records – Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. Waterloo Records will open at 8:00 a.m. to sell you 100s of special, limited release vinyl. They’ll have FREE pastries and coffee from Easy Tiger and 24 Diner, plus Austin Beerworks beer and Tito’s cocktails in the afternoon. Family friendly. Admission is FREE! Waterloo Records, 600 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.
More Events Beyond Austin:
- Music in the Park: Beto y Los Fairlanes (Elgin) − Friday at 8:00 p.m. Featured at the Austin City Limits Festival, Kupira Marimba plays high-energy, family-friendly dance music on gigantic African xylophones. Inspiring audiences around the world to dance in celebration of life, Kupira’s foot stompin, heart pounding, hand clapping rhythms of joy are an unforgettable experience. FREE! Veterans’ Memorial Park, 109 Depot St, Elgin.
- 19th Annual Butterfly Festival (Wimberley) – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The festival will open with a flag raising and a memorial butterfly release. Throughout the day, watch the live release of 3800 butterflies (releases every 30 minutes). Other activities include butterfly art, live entertainment, nature activities, and exhibits. Game and concession tickets will be available for purchase. Admission is FREE but donations are greatly appreciated. EmilyAnn Theatre and Gardens, 1101 FM 2325, Wimberley.
- Wimberley Arts Festival (Wimberley) – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. View art by 115 top notch artists from Wimberley and distant places. There will be live music all day and picnic refreshments available for purchase. Admission is FREE! The Waters Point, 13401 Ranch Rd 12, Wimberley.
- Science Saturday: Earth Day and the March for Science (Cedar Park) − Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. TXMOST is opening its doors for FREE in solidarity with the March for Science. Families can take advantage of TXMOST’s attractions, including the TimeWalk exhibit, “Wonderful Things” galleries, the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Exhibit, and the planetarium. The museum will be open to the public all day, but guests are especially encouraged to drop in during Science Saturday from 1-5:00 p.m. to explore what the Earth does for humans and what humans can do for the earth. In celebration of Earth Day, there will be fun activities for the whole family to enjoy, including seed bombs, tiny terrariums, and more. FREE! Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Dr, Cedar Park.