Looking for free things to do in Austin this weekend? We’ve got you covered! Make plans to picnic with Shrek, party with purple martins, see Shakespeare in the park, stargaze, visit the Wildflower Center for free, and more!
Weekend Top 10 Free Events in Austin:
- Music Under the Star – Friday from 6-9:00 p.m. Bring the whole family, camp chairs, and blankets to enjoy live music by Quiet Company and Riders Against the Storm. Concessions available for purchase. FREE! Bus Routes: 1, 3, 5, 18, 19, 801 803 will get you there! Plan your trip online or on your smartphone. Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N Congress Ave, Austin.
- Arcade Night – Friday from 6:30-9:30 p.m. FREE fun for all ages featuring: 10 gaming systems including Wii, X-Box 360, and PS4; live action Pacman and Tetris; Minecraft LAN party; photo booth; trivia; popcorn and cotton candy. Bus Routes: 20, 37, 323 will get you there! Plan your trip online or on your smartphone. APL – University Hills Branch, 4721 Loyola Ln, Austin.
- Movie Night at Community Cinema: Jurassic World (RSVP) – Friday at 8:00 p.m. Grab chairs and a blanket, bring family and friends, and enjoy a special screening of Jurassic World. Arrive early to explore Community First! Village, pick your spot, and enjoy your favorite movie snacks. Candy, popcorn, water and sodas will be available for purchase (cash only). Concession sales and tips help Community First! friends who will be serving you to earn a modest living income. Event begins at 8:00pm, movie begins at sundown. FREE with RSVP. Community First! Village, 9301 Hog Eye Rd, Austin.
- Purple Martin Party – Friday and Saturday from 8-9:30 p.m. Join Travis Audubon to watch a hurricane of birds as hundreds of thousands of Purple Martins “swirl” into their roosting site each evening. Binoculars are optional. Lawn chairs, cameras, and hats or umbrellas are recommended. FREE! Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin Central (parking lot), 5901 N IH-35, Austin.
- Shrek: the Musical – Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8:15 p.m. Zilker Theatre Production’s summer musical is a cherished Austin cultural event. 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 Thursdays and Fridays. On Saturdays and Sundays, 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.
- Summer Free Family Film Series: Ernest and Celestine – Saturday at 2:00 p.m. When free-spirited mouse Celestine and troubadour bear Ernest form an unlikely bond, their respective communities put their friendship on trial. This charming animated film is rated PG. All seats are available on a first come first served basis. FREE! Bus Routes: 1, 3, 5, 18, 19, 801 803 will get you there! Plan your trip online or on your smartphone. Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N Congress Ave, Austin.
- Austin Under the Stars – Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to midnight. The event will kick off with amateur astronomers from Austin’s Astronomical Society providing safe solar viewing, moving into darker sky observing once the sun sets. There will be micro-talks on astronomy as well as activities for young astronomers. Viewable throughout the evening will be phenomenon of the cosmos including: Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn as well as many stars, globular clusters, nebulae. All ages welcome. FREE! Bus Routes: 1, 3, 5, 18, 19, 801 803 will get you there! Plan your trip online or on your smartphone. St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, 6500 St Stephen’s Dr, Austin.
- Christmas in July Party – Sunday from 1-4:00 p.m. Enjoy free hot cocoa, Christmas music, and cold AC. Plus, play with science snow, sit on the real Santa Claus’s lap, make a Christmas list, and much more. FREE! Bus Routes: 3, 5, 325, 803 will get you there! Plan your trip online or on your smartphone. Terra Toys, 2438 W Anderson Ln, Austin.
- Lady Bird Day – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The Wildflower Center honors its founder, Lady Bird Johnson, and all that she did for our nation’s treasured environment on Lady Bird Day. Listen in for story time; make flower crafts; view a short film about Mrs. Johnson; reflect with some writing and drawing exercises for all ages; join a guided tour of the Wildflower Center’s interior spaces, featuring historic items owned by Lady Bird Johnson (at 11:30 a.m.); and enjoy book signings in the store. Admission is FREE! Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave, 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:
- Splash Party Movie Night: Zootopia – Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Watch a classic movie while you cool off in the 72-degree water or picnic on the hill. Movie begins at dusk. The regular pool entrance fee ($1-8) covers the movie and pool entrance. Deep Eddy Pool, 401 Deep Eddy Ave, 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 Bob and Johnny. Georgetown Square.
- Music in the Park (Pflugerville) – Friday from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, picnic baskets, friends, and neighbors for a FREE evening of music, entertainment, and relaxation. This week’s performers are Charlie Pierce and Choctaw Wildfire. Food and drinks available for purchase. Pfluger Park, 515 City Park Rd, Pflugerville.
- Penfold in the Park: Comedy of Errors (Round Rock) – Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Show up with a blanket or chair and enjoy Shakespeare’s breeziest and most farcical comedy, overflowing with slapstick, romance, word play, and mistaken identities. The show runs about one hour and forty minutes with intermission and is recommended for middle school ages and up. FREE but donations are appreciated. Round Rock Amphitheater, 301 W. Bagdad Ave, Round Rock.
- 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.