- October 24, 2014

Weekend Top 10 FREE Events (Oct 24-26, 2014)

  1. Spooktacular at the Bullock Museum – Friday, October 24 from 5-8 p.m. Discover the spooky side of Texas at this family-friendly Halloween extravaganza, featuring performances, games, interactive activities, science, and more for kids ages five and up. Come in costume for a special prize, and enjoy a fun-filled night at the museum. Interactive activities will be provided by Austin Reptile Shows, Mad Science, and Girlstart. Explore three floors of Museum exhibits and uncover the mysteries of Texas. Tiny Texans can enjoy Spooky Story Time throughout the evening. Plus, decorate your own treat bag, take a Halloween picture with your family in a photo booth, visit with roving magicians, and more. Check out the event schedule here. FREE! Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave, Austin.
  2. City of Austin Halloween Events:
    • Dove Springs Fright Night – Friday, October 24 from 5-8 p.m. FREE! Dove Springs Recreation Center, 5801 Ainez Dr, Austin.
    • Halloween Town at Northwest Recreation Center – Friday, October 24 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. All ages welcome. First 10 tickets are FREE; additional tickets can be purchased for $0.25 each. Northwest Rec Center, 2913 Northland Dr, Austin.
    • Dittmar Recreation Center Halloween Spooktacular – Saturday, October 25 at 6:30 p.m. Dittmar Recreation Center’s Halloween Spooktacular is back! The haunted house is bigger, the carnival has more games, and this year you can see the movie, Hocus Pocus. The carnival and haunted house will start at 6:30 p.m. and the movie will start at 7:45 p.m. All events are FREE to the public. Get scared with even more haunted house spine-tingling spooks than ever before. There is a scream around every corner. Don’t miss the fun! Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Road, Austin.
  3. Shakespeare on the Farm: The Tempest – Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. Present Company presents Shakespeare’s classic tale of love, magic, and one helluva hurricane. Promoting the philosophy of accessible and sustainable art, Shakespeare on the Farm is a FREE event, but a suggested donation of $10-$20 helps support the event and the artists that create it. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or short chair and a picnic, although snacks and donation-based cocktails will be available. Suitable for all ages. Seating starts at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at about 7:30 p.m. RSVP here to guarantee your spot. Rain Lily Farm, 914 Shady Ln, Austin.
  4. Texas Book Festival – Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26. There are hundreds of author sessions and panels, live music on both days, children’s activities, cooking demos, a Lit Crawl, food, drinks and more. For the kids, HEB Children’s Chapter will feature the Children’s Read Me a Story Tent, a Children’s Entertainment Tent, and Children’s Activity Tent. One highlight this year will be the Storybook Fashion Show, in which kids will dress up like their favorite characters and walk the runway. Some of returning favorites include magician Ken Cummins, the Biscuit Brothers, and Joe McDermott. See all the family fun scheduled here. For the complete schedule and more information about authors or sessions, visit here. FREE! Texas State Capitol and Congress Avenue, Austin. (Festival map here. See where to park for free here.)
  5. Austin BikeFest – Saturday, October 25, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Austin BikeFest will showcase everything bicycle in Austin, Texas! FREE and open to all ages. The day will begin with a ribbon cutting of Austin’s newest multi-use path, the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. A family-friendly bike ride in three-mile, eight-mile and 16-mile distances, entirely on this great new paved trail, will follow the ribbon cutting, with hydration and snacks provided along the way. Enjoy music for all tastes from Blue Mist, The Staylyns, Continental Drift, Riders Against the Storm, and DJ Chorizo Funk. Govalle Park, 5200 Bolm Road, Austin.
  6. The Domain’s Halloween Party on the Plaza – Saturday, October 25 from 3-5 p.m. Enjoy a FREE Halloween Party on the all-new Domain II plaza! Have fun with trick-or-treating, music by Superband, face painting, balloon twisting, a pumpkin patch, cake walks, crafts, prize giveaways and more. Costumes encouraged but masks permitted only on children ages 12 and under. No toy weapons, please. For updates, follow The Domain on Facebook and RSVP on the event page! You can also follow The Domain on Twitter. The Domain II spans from Dick’s to Dillard’s, with iPic in the center. (See map for D2 North Parking Deck and D2 South Parking Deck.)
  7. Northwest Family YMCA Spooktacular – Saturday, October 25 from 5-8 p.m. Join the Y for a safe and family-friendly Halloween Spooktacular event featuring a Haunted Candy Trail, Spooky Family Games, Face Painting, Pumpkin Patch, Zombie Cupcake Walk, Mad Scientist Lab, Arts & Crafts, Raffles & Prizes, Bandage Brigade, and Seton Hospital: Take 10 Compressions Training. FREE to community, but please bring 3 canned foods for the YMCA Food Pantry Drive. Northwest Family YMCA, 5807 McNeil Drive, Austin.
  8. VIVA! Streets – Sunday, October 26 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Join the energetic fun at VIVA! Streets — a FREE festival that invites you to bicycle, play, get fit, people watch, and celebrate good health. A two-mile route through Mueller will become a car-free and tobacco-free playground for thousands of Austinites. See the FREE fun planned here! Bring your kids, tell a friend, and come see what VIVA! Streets all about! Mueller Lake Park (map), 4450 Mueller Boulevard, Austin.
  9. Polkapocalypse – Sunday, October 26 from 12-5 p.m. This year’s Polkapocalypse will showcase Polka music, a rich Texas cultural tradition. Head to the Elisabet Ney Museum to hear Dallas-based Los Morales Boyz at noon; Austin’s own The Fabulous Polkasonics at 1:15; Conjunto Los Pinkys, also from Austin at 2:15, and Denton’s Grammy Award winners Brave Combo at 3:30. FREE! Elisabet Ney Museum, 304 E. 44th, Austin.
  10. Pumpkin Sculpting Competition at Umlauf – Sunday, October 26 from 12-4 p.m. Grab a pumpkin at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum and learn the tricks of the trade to carving a jack-o’-lantern from Professor Pumpkin. Win bragging rights and prizes by entering your masterpiece in the competition! Admission is FREE when you bring three healthy, nonperishable food items to donate to the Capital Area Food Bank. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road, Austin.
Bonus fun in the ‘burbs:

  • Spooktacular Cinema: Hotel Transylvania (Cedar Park) – Friday, October 24 from 6-9:30 p.m. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the movie on the big screen. Wear your Halloween costume to enter the costume contest! The movie will begin at 7 p.m. FREE! Refreshments will be provided. East Lawn at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center, 1401 Medical Pkwy, Cedar Park.
  • Halls of Horror Haunted House (Pflugerville) – Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25 from 7-11 p.m. Enter if you dare! This haunted house is very scary and quite loud. It is recommended for ages 10 and up.  Admission is FREE with the donation of two canned food items (otherwise it is $2). Green Red Barn in Heritage Park, 901 Old Austin Hutto Road, Pflugerville.
  • Touch a Truck (Round Rock) – Saturday, October 25 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The City of Round Rock’s Parks and Recreation Department will host a FREE Touch a Truck event for kids of all ages, giving children a unique opportunity to explore vehicles of all types – public service, emergency, utility, construction, transportation, delivery and just plain cool – all in one place. Participants will be allowed to touch, climb on and ask questions about their favorite trucks in a safe, supervised environment. Accompanying personnel will teach children about the equipment displayed and how these machines help us and our community. There will be a “no horn hour” from 1 to 2 p.m., for those with sensitive ears or who do not respond well to loud noises. In addition to the vehicles, there will be a Kids Fun Zone with various activities. Food and beverage vendors will also be onsite. Guests are encouraged to bring a canned food item donation to donate to the Round Rock Serving Center. Old Settlers Park, East Entrance, 700 N. Redbud Lane (TC Oatts and Redbud Lane), Round Rock.
  • Hogeye Festival (Elgin) – Saturday, October 25 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Elgin goes hog wild for this FREE family festival. It is a time for family-friendly fun and casual feasting in the Sausage Capital of Texas. The festival features live music on three stages, handmade arts and crafts, children’s activities, a children’s costume pet parade, a carnival, Road Hog Car Show, BBQ Pork Cook-Off, In a Pig’s Eye Dart Contest, the crowning of King Hog or Queen Sowpreme, Hogalicious Dessert Contest, Cow Patty Bingo, the Pearls Before Swine Art Show and great festive food! FREE Festival Shuttle available at the Hwy 95 North Park and Ride, Elgin.
  • MUMC Fall Festival (Manchaca) – Saturday, October 25 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The festival will have pumpkins, face painting, hay rides, music, food, games, crafts, cake walks, jump house, bake sale, handmade treasures from the Craft Group, Community Garden and ideas for recycling, and lots of information about MUMC ministries. FREE! Manchaca United Methodist Church, east corner of Manchaca Rd. and FM 1626, Manchaca.
  • Spookyfest Family Halloween Festival (Round Rock) – Saturday, October 25 from 12-2 p.m. This Spooktastic festival is open to all ages, but activities are targeted at children 2 to 12 years old. Join the fun and games: costume contest, color your own trick-or-treat bag, candy scavenger hunt, spooky storytelling, Halloween craft table, carnival games, pumpkin decorating, inflatables, face painting, scary snacks station, trackless train rides, space ball, and more. FREE! Sendero Springs Park, 4203 Pasada Ln, Round Rock.
  • Trick-or-Treat at Hill Country Galleria (Bee Cave) – Saturday, October 25 from 2-9 p.m. Kids can enjoy FREE face painting, FREE bounce houses, and trick-or-treating! The fun starts at 2 p.m. in the outdoor Amphitheater with kids’ entertainment by musical guest The Sassy Spurs. Trick-or-treating follows from 4-6 p.m. Kids are invited to wear their costumes and make the rounds at more than 100 stores and restaurants! End the day with a live music performance by The Brewbirds with Warren Hood. FREE! Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave.
  • Leander Fall Festival (Leander) – Saturday, October 25 from 5:30-10 p.m. Come join Leander Fire Department (LFD) at their Annual Fall Fun Festival. LFD has carnival style games, vendors, food, haunted house, silent auction and more at this family event. All proceeds go to the Leander Volunteer Fire Department. FREE to enter the festival. Tickets for games start at just 50¢ and touring the Firehouse of Horror is $5. Leander Fire Department, 101 E. Sonny Drive, Leander.
  • Farmer Fred’s Harvest Fall Carnival (San Marcos) – Saturday, October 25, from 6-9 p.m. FREE kids’ carnival with costume contests, games, and a screening of The Nut Job! A haunted hayride, barrel train ride and concessions will be available for a nominal fee.  San Marcos City Park, 401 E Hopkins, San Marcos.

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