Need FREE Outings/Events Suggestions for July/August in Austin, TX Area

Updated on July 06, 2009
J.T. asks from Cedar Park, TX
4 answers

Hello, All!

My 20 year old neice is coming into the states from Cyprus to visit me and my family. She'll be here for an entire month, perhaps longer. We're on a limited budget (one-income family at the moment) and so I need lots of great ideas from y'all on FREE things for us to do together but still make her feel like she's gotten the grand tour of the capital city and beyond.
During the summer, I know there are a few things we can do that are either dirt cheap or free to do but since she's going to be here for a while, I'd like to get a nice long list of things so we don't run out and she goes home feeling like she learned all about Central Texas.
Thanks in advance for all your wonderful suggestions!


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answers from Austin on

Here are some fun things to do; hope you have a great time with your niece! - J.

Hear music at Unplugged at Shady Grove (Free concerts from local and touring bands):

Visit the capitol building:

Watch the bats pour out from under Congress Avenue bridge:

Go to the summer musical, "The Music Man," at Zilker Hillside Theater:

Visit the Blanton Art Museum free on Thursdays:

Swim free at Barton Springs from 9p.m. - 10p.m.:

See a movie at Deep Eddy swimming pool for the cost of pool admission ($3 for adults):

Experience First Thursday on South Congress (free music, outdoor art/craft market, window-shopping, people-watching....):

Spend a Saturday morning at Sunset Valley Farmers Market (free music, fresh food, dogs and people, lots to see):

Volunteer at Capital Area Food Bank (you process donated food in the warehouse, which distributes food to food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in 21 Central TX counties:

Enjoy free movies and music at Central Market:

Picnic on the grounds at Laguna Gloria:

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answers from Austin on

What about driving down to San Antonio for the day? It isn't far, and you can take in the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and visit the other old missions (I think there are 4?) ... it makes for an interesting history lesson on Texas/US settlement...

I'm sure there are other free activities in San Antonio or that area that could keep you busy for the day!

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answers from Austin on

You've already gotten a great list, but for some other free movies - try Regal theaters (

or Alamo Drafthouse - look for the summer kids camp

These may not be hill country specific, but they will be a chance to get out of the heat...

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answers from Austin on

Austin has tons of free or almost free events going on all of the time.. Just google "Free Austin Texas events". Here are a few.. I did not even include, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville or Georgetown, Dripping springs, Wimberley.. They also have a ton of stuff going on.

Some of these are for young children so you can go as a family, but towards the end you will see some ore events for your nieces age..

Remember the Austin Chronicle comes out every Thursday and has a ton of events listed each week. Purchase the Statesman each Thursday, that is the day the "XL" insert is printed and it has a lot of events also listed.

Taco Shack 5K & Kids Triathlon on Saturday, July 11th, 2009.
Ramsey Park, 1400 W. 42nd Street. 5K starts at 7am and Kids Triathlon ... Sponsored by The Taco Shack.
Even if your kids do not participate, they could cheer on the participants along the route.. Have them take cow bells and horns and yell encouragement.. Take bagels and juice for a snack.

Start your summer fun at the Austin Public Library with Tortuga del Mar, a puppet show by Literature Live! Mayan goddess Ixchel watches over two baby sea turtles on their journey across the ocean. They encounter all the enchantment and mystery the ocean holds. See if they can overcome the refuse of man that is threatening their very existence. The show is recommended for ages 5 and up. It is free and open to the public. Tortuga del Mar is part of One Green World, the Library’s 2009 Summer Reading Program. For more information about Tortuga del Mar and other youth programs at APL please call ###-###-#### or visit For information about the 2009 Summer Reading Program One Green World please visit
• Tuesday, July 7 at the University Hills Branch, 4721 Loyola Ln.
• Thursday, July 9 at the Carver Branch, 1161 Angelina St.
• Monday, July 13 at the Spicewood Springs Branch, 8637 Spicewood Springs Rd.
• Tuesday, July 14 at the Pleasant Hill Branch, 211 E. William Cannon Dr.
• Wednesday, July 15 at the Little Walnut Creek Branch, 835 W. Rundberg Ln.
• Saturday, July 18 at the Faulk Central Library, 800 Guadalupe St.
• Tuesday, July 21 at the Terrazas Branch, 1105 East César Chávez St.
• Monday, July 27 at the North Village Branch, 2505 Steck Ave.
• Thursday, July 30 at the Yarborough Branch, 2200 Hancock Dr.

To commemorate LBJ’s Centennial, the LBJ Library and Museum is presenting a major exhibit on space entitled To the Moon: The American Space Program in the 1960s.
Bat watching Bats Season is Mid-March to Early November

Hartman Concert Park, Long Center City Terrace Lawn
In its seventh summer season, these free ensemble concerts take place at the Hartman Concert Park in front of the Long Center City Terrace and will run on Sunday evenings from May 31st through August 23rd at 7:30 p.m. A gift from the Hartman Family Foundation, these concerts are presented to the Austin community in thanks for its continued, generous support. Each Sunday a different ensemble of the Austin Symphony will be featured, 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.

Blues on the Green Jun 3, 2009 - Aug 12, 2009 Waterloo Park
On alternate Wednesdays, free music from some of Austin’s best musicians fills the summer night from an outdoor stage.
51st Annual Zilker Summer Musical Series - The Music Man
Zilker Park Hillside Theater
Austin, TX
When: Dusk (approx 8:30 PM)
Family friendly event info: Bring a blanket, the family and enjoy a musical under the stars. Free. Thursdays - Sundays, July 3 - August 15. This is the first instance of this show on this day.

Thursday, July 9 , July 17 Nature Nights at Wildflower Center
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
4801 La Crosse Ave
Austin, TX 78739
When: 6-9 PM
Family friendly event info: Explore new topics - wildflowers, fish and astronomy - learning about Texas culture, animal habits, more. Each program also features hike, thematic crafts, and activities. Free for members, $1 for non-members
Round Rock Movies in Your Park
Old Settlers Park
3300 Palm Valley Boulevard
(off of Harrell Park Way, behind the Dell Diamond)
Round Rock, TX
Featured Movie: Horton Hears a Who
When: @dark
Family friendly event info: Free. Bring your blankets and chairs and enjoy these free family events. Pre-movies activities start at 7:30 p.m. and the movies start at dark.

On Dry Creek and 2222 is a family restaurant called The Hub. They have movies on their back patio. You can purchase tator tots for $1.00 and drinks for about the same price.. Bring a blanket for the kids to sit on..
July 2009 August

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Girls' Night- Movies and Manicures!
29 30
Family Movie Night- Open Season
1 2
3 4
5 6
Yappy Hour
Family Movie Night- Spy Kids
8 9 10 11
12 13 14
Family Movie Night- Madacascar
15 16
Midwest Night
17 18
"City Slickers" Movie Night

Girls' Night
20 21
Family Movie Night- A Bug's Life
22 23 24 25
26 27 28
Cubs vs. Houston
Family Movie Night- Charlotte's Web

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