Looking for free things to do in Austin this weekend? We’ve got you covered! Make plans to picnic with Shrek, do yoga at the Capitol, stock up on free back-to-school clothes, and more!
Weekend Top 10 Free Events in 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.
- 5th Annual Back-to-School Clothing Swap – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. Bring what you can and take what you need. Please pre-sort items to donate by type/size. When you arrive, clothes will be distributed to marked tables, then you can shop. Remember to bring your own bags. Leftover items will be donated to FreeStore Austin. FREE! Crestview United Methodist Church, 1300 Morrow St, Austin.
- Pista sa Nayon – Saturday from Noon to 4:00 p.m. The tradition of the Pista sa Nayon dates back centuries to the rural areas and towns of the Philippines. During Pista sa Nayon (a Filipino phrase translated “town festival”) Filipinos would gather for a fiesta in the middle of town to celebrate a good harvest, and it would be a time for people to focus on their neighbors, family, and friends, solidifying the sense of community and hard work. Bring the whole family to join in a fun-filled and festive celebration with some surprise pinoy games, entertainment, Filipino food, fashion show, etc. Admission is FREE! Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd, Austin.
- Tea Collection Pop-up Shop – Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Tea Collection, a globally inspired children’s clothing company based in San Francisco, is heading to Austin to hang out at TOMS for their first ever pop-up shop. Enjoy shopping, local musical guests, arts and crafts, snacks, and a chance to meet the co-founders. View the full event schedule here. Admission is FREE! TOMS, 1401 S Congress Ave, Austin.
- International Day of Yoga – Saturday from 6-8:00 p.m. Celebrate International Day of Yoga with a program that includes Yoga asana sequence, Peace Meditation, Yoga Dance, Live Music, and more. Wear your cool white summer clothing. Bring along your yoga mat, friends, and family to celebrate this timeless tradition of Yoga unifying Austin communities. Family friendly and FREE! Texas State Capitol – South Steps, 1100 Congress Ave, Austin.
- Summer Youth Performance Ensemble – Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Enjoy AllRhythms’s culminating performance featuring students from Austin and Pflugerville. FREE but donations are encouraged. Symphony Square, 1101 Red River St, Austin.
- Harry Potter & the Cursed Child Midnight Release Party – Saturday from 10:00 p.m. to midnight. Unpack your wizard robe and party like it’s 2007 again! BookPeople is dusting off their old Diagon Alley set for atmosphere and planning all kinds of festivities including a costume contest, a House Cup Tournament (including a Quidditch challenge), trivia, and a whole cast of characters (some ghostly) to wander the party and interact with guests. There will also be local food vendors and The Typewriter Rodeo will be onsite to type up poems (on appropriately old-fashioned apparatus) in the style of each of the houses. Admission is FREE! (Want to be among the first to get the book at midnight? Pre-order your copy here.) BookPeople, 603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.
- Harry Potter’s Birthday Party – Sunday from 3-5:00 p.m. Drop in to celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday. There will be lots of studio specials, photo ops, and FREE wand making. The Art Garage, 11190 Circle Dr, Ste 202, Austin.
- Concerts in the Park: Big Band – 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:
- VERGE Summer Art Show – Sunday from 2-6:00 p.m. This family-friendly multidisciplinary art and music event will showcase the talents of 25 local artists, craftspeople and independent local publishers. Artists span all genres and media including, oil, acrylic, mixed media, watercolor, sculpture, woodworking, metalworking, jewelry, ceramics, photo realism, surrealism, abstract, illustration, street art, zines, poetry, fine art publications and more. Tommy Cornelision Group jazz quartet will perform and refreshments will be provided. Admission is pay-as-you-wish, a portion of which will be donated to aid in Aveda Institute’s fundraising efforts to support breast cancer research. Aveda Institute, 6001 Middle Fiskville Rd, 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 Jimi Lee. Georgetown Square.
- 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.
- Family Storytime Featuring RRFD Firefighters (Round Rock) – Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Guest readers from the Round Rock Fire Department will share books and sing. If your child has always wanted to meet firefighters, or could use some really cool reading role models, this event is for you. (Please be aware that in the event of an emergency, the firefighters will go help those in need, and Ms. Andrea will lead a regular storytime.) FREE! Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main St, Round Rock.
- Storytime LIVE! with Curious George (Cedar Park) (RSVP) – Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Educationally focused child care providers Kiddie Academy will host Storytime LIVE!, where Curious George jumps off the page and visits the classroom in person. Attendees will enjoy a story highlighted by a visit from the story’s lead character, Curious George, as well as light refreshments and educational activities for children and families. FREE with RSVP. Kiddie Academy of Cedar Park, 1602 Medical Pkwy, Cedar Park.
- Storytime LIVE! with Curious George (Pflugerville) (RSVP) – Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Educationally focused child care providers Kiddie Academy will host Storytime LIVE!, where Curious George jumps off the page and visits the classroom in person. Attendees will enjoy a story highlighted by a visit from the story’s lead character, Curious George, as well as light refreshments and educational activities for children and families. FREE with RSVP. Kiddie Academy of Pflugerville, 2617 Kelly Ln, Pflugerville.
- Summer Reading Club Picnic Finale with Joe McDermott (Cedar Park) – Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Celebrate your Summer Reading Club accomplishments at the finale picnic. Bring a sack lunch and your picnic pass, the library will provide a cool treat and water. Kids’ musician Joe McDermott will perform at Noon. FREE! Elizabeth Milburn Park, 1901 Sun Chase Blvd, Cedar Park.
- Pfree Splash Day (Pflugerville) – Saturday from Noon to 7:00 p.m. FREE! Windermere Pool, 16800 Gower St, Pflugerville.
- Comic Con (Pflugerville) – Saturday from 2-5:00 p.m. Dress up as your favorite comic book hero and head to Comic Con. Three New York Times bestselling writers, voice actors, and award winning comic book creators are scheduled for interviews, panels, and group discussions. There will also be a family friendly cosplay contest, crafts for adults and children, a photo booth, a drawing workshop, and a children’s superhero obstacle course. FREE! Pflugerville Public Library, 1008 W Pfluger St, Pflugerville.