This weekend in Austin, it’s time to celebrate Día de los Muertos and Halloween! Get ready for piñatas, parades, candy, costumes and festivals galore!
Weekend Top 10 Free Events in Austin:
- Spooktacular – Friday from 5-8:00 p.m. Skeletons of all shapes and sizes will find fun creating glow in the dark art, experimenting with “bony” science, and moving their bones to the spooky beats. Plus, explore the Museum’s exhibitions after hours while sporting your latest Halloween costume creation. FREE! Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N Congress Ave, Austin.
- Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. This is the final weekend to catch Shakespeare in Ramsey Park’s fall show. Something for Nothing Theater company produces the plays with minimal props, costumes, and lighting, focusing on storytelling and the wonderful language of Shakespeare. FREE! Donations accepted. Ramsey Park, 4301 Rosedale Ave, Austin.
- TreeFolks Sapling Day – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Fall and Winter are the seasons for planting. Come adopt a sapling — a baby Bur oak or Carolina buckthorn for you or a friend. Stay for family friendly activities including: tree story time, a tree education table, and a special talk about medicinal uses of trees by local medicine woman Marika Alvarado. FREE! APL – Cepeda Branch, 651 N Pleasant Valley Rd, Austin.
- Spooky Skedaddle Festival & Car Show – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Halloween Festival will feature Wild Things Zoofari Exotic Petting Zoo, family-friendly music, adrenaline rush obstacle course, mini horses, cake walk, food trucks, clown, photo booth, costume parade, face painting, tattoos, balloon darts, Wheel of Fortune, and many more games. Tickets can be purchased on-site for all booths and games. Festival and Car show admission is FREE! Spooky Skedaddle 1K Fun Run is $3 per person ($10 with t-shirt). All proceeds benefit Texas School for the Deaf Foundation. Texas School for the Deaf, 1102 S Congress Ave, Austin.
- Viva la Vida Parade and Festival – Saturday from Noon to 8:00 p.m. Austin’s largest and longest-running Day of the Dead event features a grand procession and street festival (from Congress to San Jacinto) with artist vendors, live music, food trucks, and community altars. Art activities for children and families will also be available in the neighboring Frost Bank Tower Plaza, where the public will have an opportunity to take pictures with parade props, including large-scale moving sculptures and mojigangas. Additionally, the festival grounds have expanded this year to include Brazos Hall, where the public can enjoy even more vendors, face painting, lively performances, and a costume contest. FREE! Mexic-Arte Museum, 419 Congress Ave, Austin.
- Dia de los Muertos Celebration – Saturday from 1-6:00 p.m. Celebrate the cycle of life remembering our loved ones with respect, honor and joy. Festivities include an array of colorful altars, rare collections of classic cars and custom Lowrider bikes, free candy-filled pinatas for the family, face painting, sugar skull decorating. Introducing Pink Drum Poets, and music to lift your spirits by Johnny Degollado Trio, Cilantro BoomBox, Trampia, Clemencia Zapata & the Fran Gomez Band, Son Armado and Ballet East. FREE! ESB-MACC, 600 River St, Austin.
- 5th Annual Kids’ Ball – Saturday from 5-8:30 p.m. Join Creative Action for a fun, family-friendly evening of treats, dancing, interactive crafts and costume creation stations, plus the rollicking tunes of White Ghost Shivers. Wear your favorite costume, or make and modify your own. FREE! Central Market, 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.
- Halloween Spooktacular – Saturday at 6:00 p.m. This year’s Spooktacular will include an outdoor screening of Corpse Bride (Rated PG) and a “very scary” haunted house. The carnival and haunted house will open at 6:00 p.m. The movie will start at 7:30 p.m. FREE! Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W Dittmar Rd, Austin.
- Polkapocalypse! – Sunday from Noon to 5:00 p.m. Four awesome Polka bands will rock the boots off your lederhosen with a crazy mix of Tejano, Czech, German, Ukranian, Polish, Slavic, and Norteno sounds. Austin’s Fabulous Polkasonic, Houston’s Polish Pete and the Polka I Hardly Knew Her Band, San Antonio’s Los Texmaniacs, and Denton’s Brave Combo will all be performing. FREE! Elisabet Ney Museum, 304 E 44th St, Austin.
- Sunday Funday – Sunday from 1-5:00 p.m. Fall is here! It’s time for Waller Creek Conservancy’s second Sunday Funday. Kids of all ages will enjoy fall activities, a hay bale maze, arts and crafts, performances, food trucks, and much more. Bring your own pumpkin to decorate. Plus, prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. FREE! Palm Park, 711 E 3rd St, Austin.
Bonus Nearly Free Fun:
- Snout By Snoutwest – Sunday from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to bring their four-legged friends for a fun-filled day of activities including the annual Doggie Derby, live music by DeadEye, goodie bags, complimentary pet photos, dogs for adoption, and more. This year, Snout By Snoutwest will be benefiting PALS, a program that provides free dog and cat food delivery and veterinary services for elderly and disabled homebound clients of Meals on Wheels. The event is $5 for adults; FREE for kids under 12 and dogs. Dell Jewish Community Campus, 7300 Hart Ln, Austin.
More Events Beyond Austin:
- Star Party (Cedar Park) – Friday at 8:00 p.m. (Please note new start time.) 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.
- Upper Highland Lakes Nature Center Owl-oh-ween Open House (Burnet) – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Learn about bats, bees, butterflies, birds, and ladybugs (a gardener’s BFFs); meet owls, snakes, turtles, and other interesting critters; learn about incredible, edible, medicinal native plants; explore the natural forces that produced the hill country (what is a Llano uplift anyway?); experience building a bird’s nest (are you smarter than a painted bunting?); learn the fine art of casting so you can catch something; gardening in harmony with nature (pollinators and keyhole gardens anyone?); check out a real achaeological dig site and learn about the people who lived here before Texas was Texas…. and so much more. FREE! Reveille Peak Ranch, 105 CR 114, Burnet.
- Fable Fest Festival (Cedar Park) – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Attractions and entertainment at this year’s Fable Fest include: The Kings Carnival where kids of all ages can play games and enjoy inflatables (requires tickets purchased at event); live professional jousting; The Pig’s Pub will provide an opportunity to eat your fill on foods of all kinds; and The Royal Academy will give live demonstrations. Costumes are encouraged. Admission is FREE! Elizabeth Milburn Park, 1901 Sun Chase Blvd, Cedar Park.
- Pumpkin Hunt (Elgin) – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5:00 p.m. The Pumpkin Hunt includes a wagon ride into the Christmas tree fields where mini pumpkins are hidden in the trees. After the Hunt, enjoy pumpkin decorating on the pavilion (pumpkin purchase required) along with great concessions and other activities and games. Admission and parking are FREE! Some activities require ticket purchase. Evergreen Farms, 242 Monkey Rd, Elgin.
- Trunk or Treat (Pflugerville) – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Visit the Pflugerville Animal Shelter for some Howloween fun. There will be LOADS of candy, games, photobooth, prizes, and a costume contest, plus all the fur friends you could ever want to meet. FREE! Pflugerville Animal Shelter, 1600 Waterbrook Dr, Pflugerville.
- Dia de los Muertos Procession and Festival (Round Rock) – Saturday from 1-8:00 p.m. There will be crafts and activities for kids, plus art, craft, and food vendors. Featured performers are Las Fenix. FREE! Centennial Plaza, 301 W Bagdad, Round Rock.
- Diwali Mela (Cedar Park) – Saturday from 4-9:00 p.m. Enjoy delicious Indian food booths, cultural programs, sparklers, small fireworks, a jump house, and shopping. Light Diyas for Maha Lakshmi in front of Baba Temple. Admission is FREE! Sri Sai Baba Temple of Austin, 2509 W New Hope Dr, Cedar Park.
- Scores from the Crypt (Georgetown) – Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Cinematic Symphony has scare up some “boo”tiful pieces for this “howl”oween concert featuring large-screen visuals, photo ops, trivia, and prizes. Some of the “terror”ific tunes are from your favorite “fang”tastic scores, such as Dracula, Psycho, Fantasia, Nightmare Before Christmas, and even a couple pieces that feature a “spook”tacular theremin. Costumes welcome and encouraged for all ages. FREE! Klett Center for the Performing Arts, 2211 N Austin Ave, Georgetown.
- The Great Pumpkin Festival (Round Rock) – Sunday from 2-6:00 p.m. St. Richard’s throws this big party to say thanks to everyone for buying pumpkins at their Pumpkin Patch. This year’s festival will feature live music from Lost & Nameless; food trucks; trunk-r-treat; carnival games; inflatable bounce houses; silent auction, and more. FREE! Dell Diamond, 3400 Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock.