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!
301 Nature Center Dr., Austin
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm, Sunday, Noon – 5 pm
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.
200 E. MLK Blvd., Austin
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
1800 N. Congress Ave., Austin
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.
112 East 11th St., Austin
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Sunday, noon – 5 pm
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.
304 East 44th St., Austin
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, Noon – 5 pm; Closed Monday and Tuesday
See works of art created by European sculptress Elisabeth Ney as you explore her studio and the surrounding grounds.
1165 Angelina St., Austin
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
Learn more about Juneteenth and the history of African-American scientists and inventors on our country.
2313 Red River St. Austin
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.
419 Congress Ave., Austin
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.
2310 San Gabriel St., Austin
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.
10621 Pioneer Farms Dr., Austin
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.
2400 Trinity St., Austin
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.
2200 West 35th St., Bldg. 6, Austin
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm
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.
1220 Toro Grande Dr., Cedar Park
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.
3809 West 35th St., Austin
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.
1830 Simond Ave., Austin
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.
605 Robert E. Lee Rd., Austin
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!