Weekend Top 10 Free Events in Austin
- Planet Cinema Series: Sita Sings the Blues – Friday at 7:30 p.m. Join the AARC in an outdoor screening of “the greatest break-up story ever told.” Sita Sings the Blues (2008) is the vision of director Nina Paley presenting an animated version of the epic Indian tale of Ramayana interspersed with scene from her own life, set to the 1920s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw. Rated PG. Chale Nafus, founding board member of the Austin Film Society, will provide introductory remarks for this film. Arrive early (7:30-8:15 p.m.) for a FREE Indian Bharat Nayam dance workshop led by dancers from Austin Dance India. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs; outside food and drinks welcome. Mango lemonade provided; Indian snacks available for purchase. FREE admission, open to all ages. Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd, Austin.
- Shrek: the Musical – Friday and Saturday at 8:15 p.m. This is the final weekend for Zilker Theatre Production’s summer musical. Shrek The Musical brings the beloved characters from the popular animated films to life on stage. Irreverently fun for the whole family, Shrek proves that beauty is truly in the eye of the ogre. There is no charge for parking on Friday. On Saturday you must pay $5 per car at the meter. FREE; donations greatly appreciated. Bus Routes: 3, 30, 338, 803 will get you there. Plan your trip online or on your smartphone. Zilker Hillside Theater, 2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
- Texas Nature Challenge Closing Ceremonies – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Participating Texas Nature Challenge teams and the public are invited to enjoy kids’ activities including insect walks hosted by Travis Audubon Society, Backyard Bass from TPWD, and kids’ crafts. There will also be refreshments and take-home freebies. Family friendly and FREE! Austin Nature & Science Center, 2389 Stratford Dr, Austin.
- Mueller Back to School Bash – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Kick off the beginning of the school year with snacks, games, and free school supplies. Mueller businesses will be sponsoring school-themed giveaways and activity booths such as: photobooth; obstacle course; facepainting; games; hair coloring; coffee and treats; live music; plus prizes and giveaways. FREE! Browning Hangar, 4550 Mueller Blvd, Austin.
- Back to School Splash – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Bring your swimsuits and towel to enjoy a giant water slide and water activities. Guests of all ages receive FREE health checks, eye exams, hearing tests, blood glucose checks, and physical fitness demos. Meet local safety officers and explore their trucks. Receive FREE school supplies and backpacks. Enter to win raffle prizes from local businesses. Donate blood on board the Texas Blood and Tissue Center Bloodmobile. FREE! Holy Word Lutheran Church, 10601 Bluff Bend Dr, Austin.
- Family Programs: Ice Painting (RSVP) – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Beat the heat with this icy workshop. Make a colorful painting using ice cubes, then watch professional ice sculptor Sean Leahy create a one-of-a-kind work of art before your eyes. FREE with RSVP. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W 35th St, Austin.
- Carnival of Books – Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Enjoy a day of wonders, merriment, bookish carnival games, giveaways, and cake. The festivities begin with a very special storytime at 11:30 a.m. followed by a kick-off parade through the store at noon. FREE! Book People, 603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.
- Austin Summer Musical for Children: The Big Bad Musical – Saturday at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The notorious Big Bad Wolf is being slapped with a class-action lawsuit by storybooks of quirky characters who want to get even: Little Red Riding Hood, her Grandmother, the Three Little Pigs and the Shepherd in charge of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. With Sydney Grimm as the commentator on live Court TV, the two greatest legal minds in the Enchanted Forest — the Evil Stepmother and the Fairy Godmother — clash in a trial that will be remembered forever after. Tickets available ONLY at the door 30 minutes before show times. FREE! George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St, Austin.
- Family Day at the UMLAUF – Sunday from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Explore the collection; create art; listen to stories; practice yoga; watch sculpture demos; and enjoy live music. FREE! Umlauf Sculpture Garden, 605 Robert E Lee Rd, Austin.
- Concerts in the Park: Brass – Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Austin Symphony Hartman Foundation “Concerts in the Park” will return to the Long Center for a 14th season of FREE ensemble concerts on summer Sunday evenings. Each week, a different ensemble will be featured, performing music from jazz and light classical to pops selections and film scores. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and blanket and make it a group outing. Bus Routes: 1, 5, 7, 10, 20, 30, 801 will get you there! Plan your trip online or on your smartphone. Long Center Terrace, 701 W Riverside Dr, Austin.
Bonus Nearly Free Fun
PBS Kids at the Alamo: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Saturday (Slaughter) and Sunday (Lakeline). The Alamo Drafthouse and our local PBS station are teaming up for a family screening of PBS KIDS’ Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. This is an all-ages show with Baby Day rules – noisy young fans won’t be asked to leave the theater. Purchase tickets online for a $1-$3 donation. Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter, 5701 W Slaughter Ln, Austin and Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, 14028 N US Hwy 183, Bldg F
- Rockin’ Dudz Back to School Consignment Event – Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Shop for gently loved clothing and shoes (size newborn to 16). You will find clothing, baby gear, toys, books, furniture, bedding, strollers, and maternity items. Admission is FREE! Frank Fickett Scout Conference Center, 12500 N IH 35, Austin.
More Events Beyond Austin
- Music On the Square (Georgetown) – Friday at 6:30 p.m. The “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas” will be the stage for FREE weekly Friday night concerts featuring regional musicians from June through August. Bring chairs or a blanket and beverages to enjoy music from Detentions Acoustic playing Coastal Vibe. Georgetown Square.
- Movies in the Park: Planes Fire and Rescue (Leander) – Friday at 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 for FREE! Robin Bledsoe Park, 601 S Bagdad Rd, Leander.
- Movies in the Park: Inside Out (Hutto) – Friday at 8:45 p.m. Bring your chairs, blankets, coolers and popcorn and enjoy a movie under the stars. FREE! Hutto Lake Park, 805 Estate Dr, Hutto.
- Star Party (Cedar Park) – Friday at 9:00 p.m. Star gaze on a state-of-the art computer guided telescope. View through the telescope, take telescope assisted photos with your smartphone, and learn major stars and constellation positions along with the planets and moons. Learn how to read a star map, and much more. Weather permitting. FREE! Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220, Toro Grande Dr, Cedar Park.
- Hands on History (Georgetown) – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Children can get up close and personal with the history of Williamson County, learn something new, and create their own artifacts. This month will feature Mexican Free Tail Bats in Williamson County. FREE! Williamson Museum, 716 S Austin Ave, Georgetown.
- Kutz 4 Kidz Back to School Event (Round Rock) – Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Students who attend RRISD will receive a free haircut, free school supplies, free food, and free wellness checks while supplies last. The event is FREE and will include live entertainment and information about community services. Round Rock High School, 201 Deep Wood Dr, Round Rock.