Visit an Austin Museum

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Austin has so many museums to explore, and summertime is the perfect time to visit one. When it’s hot outside, step into one of the cool museums to learn new things. Whether your interests lie in art, science, Texas culture or natural history, there is a museum which fits the bill, right in our backyard. Check each museum’s website for hours and admission costs. Some are even free!

Austin Nature & Science Center

301 Nature Center Dr., Austin

(512) 974-3888

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm, Sunday, Noon – 5 pm

Cost: Free

Dig in the sand and uncover bones in the Dino Pit, meet animals, see the indoor and outdoor exhibits and bring natural treasures to the Trading Counter. The Austin Nature and Science Center is a participating site in the Central Texas Nature Challenge, family-friendly adventure this summer across central Texas.

Blanton Museum of Art

200 E. MLK Blvd., Austin

(512) 471-7324

Hours: Tuesdays – Friday, 10 am – 5 pm; Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm; Sunday, 1-5 pm; Closed on Mondays

Cost: Free on Thursdays and free for members. Adults, $9; seniors, $7; Youth (13-21) and college students, $5, free 12 and under

Active-duty military receive free admission year round. UT faculty members and one guest receive free admission year round, including retired faculty. Teachers receive free admission upon presentation of an official school ID, in addition to free admission to Big Brothers/Big Sisters and their littles.

Since Thursdays are free to the public, so it’s a good excuse to check out some art and take a family tour. Check out tips for families visiting the Blanton here. In addition to many events throughout the year, the exhibitions

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Bullock Texas State History Museum

1800 N. Congress Ave., Austin

(512) 936-8746

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Cost: $12 adults, $10 military/seniors/college students, $8 children.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a sponsor of the 2016 Summer Fun Checklist for Kids! Use the coupon after completing three items on the checklist for $2 off admission.

Take in some Texas history, see a movie on the huge IMAX screen, catch part of the Summer Free Family Film Series or visit during Free First Sunday or for another special event.

Texas Capitol Visitors Center

112 East 11th St., Austin

(512) 305-8400

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Sunday, noon – 5 pm

Cost: Free

Visit the oldest state office building in Texas and learn about soldiers during the Texas Revolution, ranching, construction of the Capitol and about famous writer O Henry, who worked in the building.

Elisabet Ney Museum

304 East 44th St., Austin

(512) 458-2255

Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, Noon – 5 pm; Closed Monday and Tuesday

Cost: Free

See works of art created by European sculptress Elisabeth Ney as you explore her studio and the surrounding grounds.

George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center

1165 Angelina St., Austin

(512) 974-4926

Hours: Monday-Wednesday 10 am – 6 pm; Thursday 10 am – 9 pm; Friday 10 am – 5 pm; Saturday 10 am – 4 pm; Closed on Sunday

Cost: Free

Learn more about Juneteenth and the history of African-American scientists and inventors on our country.

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LBJ Presidential Library

2313 Red River St. Austin

(512) 721-0200

Hours: Open daily, 9 am – 5 pm

Cost: Adults, $8; Seniors/military, $5, children 13-17 years old and college, $3; free for children under 12

Gain insight into the life and accomplishments of our nation’s 36th President and the political climate when he governed. Admission fees apply.

Mexic-Arte Museum

419 Congress Ave., Austin

(512) 480-9373

Hours: Monday – Thursday, 10 am – 6 pm; Friday 10 am – 5 pm; Saturday 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday Noon – 5 pm

Cost: $5 adults, $4 senior citizens and students, $1 children 12 and under

Free admission every Sunday!

Mexic-Arte features exhibits by Mexican, Latino and Latin American artists.

Neill-Cochran House Museum

2310 San Gabriel St., Austin

(512) 478-2335

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 1-4 pm

Cost: Guided tours start on the hour during all regular hours: $10 for adults / $8 for seniors / $5 for students (with valid ID) and children 12+ / free to children under 12

Self-guided tours anytime during regular hours: $5 adults / $4 seniors and students / free to children under 12

The Neill-Cochran House offers its visitors an intimate view of the fabric of the lives of prominent Austinites and some of those who lived among them from the mid-19th through early 20th centuries.

Pioneer Farms

10621 Pioneer Farms Dr., Austin

(512) 837-1215

Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm

Cost: $8 for ages 13 and over, $6 for children ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are free.

Pioneer Farms is a working living history museum featuring five themed historic areas: a Tonkawa Indian Encampment, a German Emigrant Farm, a Texian Farm, a Cotton Planter’s Farm and a rural village called Sprinkle Corner.

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Texas Memorial Museum

2400 Trinity St., Austin

(512) 471-1604

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm

Cost: $4 ages 13 and up, $3 ages 2-12, under 2 are free

Exhibits are the Texas Memorial Museum are based on the 5.7 million collected specimens from research conducted at the university. Exhibits focus on prehistoric life, evolution, rocks and minerals, and Texas wildlife.

Texas Military Forces Museum

2200 West 35th St., Bldg. 6, Austin

(512) 789-5659

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm

Cost: Free

The museum explores the story of the Lone Star State’s militia and volunteer forces from 1823 to 1903 when Congress created the National Guard, as well as the story of the Texas Army and Air National Guard and the Texas State Guard in peacetime and war.

Texas Museum of Science & Technology

1220 Toro Grande Dr., Cedar Park

(512) 961-5333

Hours: Monday – Thursday, 10 am – 7 pm; Friday & Saturday, 9am – 9 pm; Sunday, 11 am – 6pm

Cost: Adults, $15, ages 12-17, $13; ages 5-11, $11; under 4, free

This new museum offers exhibits and a planetarium with regular star shows. Admission fees apply.

The Contemporary Austin

3809 West 35th St., Austin

(512) 458-8191

Hours: Closed on Monday, Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 4 pm; Grounds: Monday – Saturday 9 am- 5 pm; Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

Cost: Adults, $5, Seniors & Students $3, Under 18 & Military Free; Tuesdays are always free

Explore the grounds of Laguna Gloria and the residence that prominent Austinite Clara Driscoll called home. Admission fees apply, except on Tuesdays.

Thinkery

1830 Simond Ave., Austin

(512) 469-6200

Hours: Monday: 9 am–12 pm; Tuesday, 10 am–5 pm; Wednesday: 10 am–8 pm; Thursday and Friday: 10 am–5 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm

Cost: $10, free for children 0-23 months

Get wet in the Currents exhibit, tinker at the Innovators’ Workshop, climb in the courtyard and experiment with light at this Austin children’s museum. Visit on Wednesday nights from 4–8 pm for Community Night where you pay by donation.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden

605 Robert E. Lee Rd., Austin

(512) 445-5582

Hours: Closed on Monday, Tuesday-Friday: 10 am-4 pm, Saturday & Sunday: 12 pm-4 pm

Cost: Free during summer months

This sculpture garden houses over 100 works of art, many of which are coated in wax and therefore available for gentle touching, primarily to benefit visually impaired guests.

Share your photos on Instagram as you complete items off the Austin Summer Fun Checklist for Kids for a chance to win weekly prizes. Tag #AustinSummerFun and be sure your profile is set to public. We can’t wait to see your family having fun together this summer!