Welcome to the first weekend in November! It’s going to be a fun one, with free Austin festivals, parties, and museum events galore.
Weekend Top 10 Free Events in Austin:
- First Friday Block Party – Friday from 6-9:00 p.m. Pint House Pizza will be taking over the taps with their beloved brews, and Fond will fortify you against the coming cold with their warm and delicious bone broth. 5th Dimension Books, Austin’s Weird, Wandering Book Store, will be paying a visit, so you can check out their eclectic collection while enjoying live music on the in.gredients stage. Consider treating yourself to a chair massage with Devon of One Love Healing Center or just enjoy the company of the Longhorn steer being brought by local farm Deer Run Longhorn. Admission is FREE! in.gredients, 2610 Manor Rd, Austin.
- Painter Hall Telescope: Public Viewing – Friday and Saturday from 8-10:00 p.m. Every Friday and Saturday while UT is in session the Department of Astronomy hosts viewing for the general public on the Painter Hall Telescope. All ages are welcome but children must be under adult supervision at all times. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information. FREE! University of Texas – Painter Hall, 103 W 24th St, Austin.
- Local Block Party – Saturday from 8-11:00 a.m. To celebrate their newest home in the Domain, Hat Creek Burger Co. is hosting a family-friendly party with FREE tacos. Hat Creek Provisions will be there with some delicious fixins’ to add to your taco as well as pouches of their pickles. There will also be complimentary coffee provided by Cuvee Coffee. Top it off with live music from School of Rock and facepainting. FREE! Whole Foods Domain, 11920 Domain Dr, Austin.
- ANSC Fall Festival – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. See Texas wildlife up close, give back to the animals, relax in the planetarium, and learn how to leave no trace. FREE! Austin Nature & Science Center, 2389 Stratford Dr, Austin.
- Texas Book Festival – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. One of the largest and most prestigious literary festivals in the country, the annual Texas Book Festival features 250 nationally and critically recognized authors, 80 exhibitors, live music, local food trucks, family activities, and countless opportunities to meet authors and fellow book lovers. View the full festival schedule here. FREE! Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave, Austin.
- Day of the Dead Party – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Enjoy the traditions of Día de los Muertos with music, art, dancing, and shopping in the mercado lined with art, home decor, and wares from local businesses. Artists and students will create ofrendas (celebration of life altars). Members of the community are welcome to create their own altars to celebrate the life of a loved one. Throughout the day there will be pop up performances, face painting, and a kid’s art station. RSVP requested but not required. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. FREE! Verde’s Mexican Parrilla, 16018 Hamilton Pool Rd, Austin.
- Band Books: Libraries Rock – Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Get ready to shake, rattle, and read with Austin’s very own all-librarian band, Echo and the Bats, award-winning author Yuyi Morales, and the master of suspense R.L. Stine. Join the Texas Library Association and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for an all-ages show that brings reading and rocking to center stage. FREE! APL – Terrazas Branch, 1105 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin.
- H-E-B Free First Sunday: American Indian Heritage Month Celebration – Sunday from Noon to 5:00 p.m. Experience dancing and drumming performances by Great Promise for American Indians in the Museum lobby. Celebrate the traditional and contemporary arts of Texas’s American Indian groups. Hear a story inspired by Comanche Indian folklore about how the bluebonnet came to be, then create your own paper bluebonnet to take home. Special family programs run from 12-3:00 p.m. FREE! Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N Congress Ave, Austin.
- Sunday Funday: The Telegraph and Crystal Radio – Sunday from 1-4:00 p.m. This Sunday, find out more about how people first started communicating over long distances in real time (the telegraph) and communicating wirelessly (the radio). Make your own telegraph switches and connect them to a network that will be set up inside and outside of the house. Two of the telegraph stations will have the ability to communicate by radio, mimicking the advent of radiotelegraphy (wireless telegraph). Will wireless be better than cable? Find out! FREE! Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin.
- Literature Live! Presents The Nutcracker – Sunday at 2:00 p.m. This classic, charming tale of holiday adventure follows a little girl’s journey through a fantasy world of fairies, princes, and an army of mice. Enhanced by Tchaikovsky’s much-loved score, Literature Live! brings the story to life with puppets. Recommended for ages 5 and up. FREE! APL – Faulk Central Library, 800 Guadalupe St, Austin.
Bonus Nearly Free Fun:
- 25th Annual Austin Powwow – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Featuring traditional Native American dances and contests, more than 100 booths with authentic American Indian arts and crafts, and a Food Court with a wide range of authentic American Indian foods. Admission is $5 for adults (12+); children under 12 are FREE. Parking is FREE. Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker Ln, Austin.
- 12th Annual Holiday Bazaar – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Share the holiday spirit, enjoy live performances by Connally student groups and other local talent, and support your local community school, students, and teachers, while shopping for that perfect gift. All proceeds fund student scholarships and other PTA programs. Admission and parking are FREE! John B Connally High School, 13212 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.
- The Settlement Home for Children’s 41st Annual Garage and Estate Sale – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Browse bargain priced merchandise in 20 different “departments,” such as clothing, shoes, jewelry, toys, furniture, books, linen, art, holiday items, and so much more. 100% of the proceeds go to The Settlement Home for Children. Admission and parking are FREE! Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
More Events Beyond Austin:
- Wurstfest (New Braunfels) – Friday from 4:00 pm. – 11:30 p.m. Enjoy good food, music, dancing, exciting carnival rides and games, and the finest in Alpine and Bavarian-style entertainment. Admission is FREE if you enter the gates before 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 4th. 120 Landa St, New Braunfels.
- Star Party (Cedar Park) – Friday at 8:00 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.
- Fountainwood Observatory Public Night (Georgetown) – Saturday from 8-10:30 p.m. On hand to guide viewing will be S.U. Physics Department faculty and talented observers from the Williamson County Astronomy Club. For weather-related updates call the Fountainwood Observatory Hotline at 512-863-1242. Open to the public and FREE! Southwestern University, 1001 E University Ave, Georgetown.
- Rummage to Save Lives (Pflugerville) – Sunday from 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Help save animal lives and get great deals on everything from books, movies, and music to furniture, toys ,and household items. First come, first pick. Admission is FREE! Central Texas Animal Hospital, 1200 W Pecan St, Pflugerville.