Free things to do in Austin Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

One of the best holiday experiences in town is back and better than ever! Bundle up the kiddos and take them to see over a million LED lights kick off the Christmas season. The people at Mozart’s go absolutely nuts and over-the-top this time of year and we love them for it.

Since it’s a coffee house, they will have plenty of hot chocolate and warm treats. They’ll also have a German Market in the parking lot serving up all kinds of goodies. New this year is a cobalt blue piano that will be played by pianist all season long and a gigantic coffee mug!

This is essential holiday fun in ATX, so don’t miss out.

When: Now–January 1st

Time: 6 p.m.–12 a.m.

Location:
Mozart’s Coffee
3826 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78703

The 5th annual Waller Creek Conservancy Creek Show is on! Take a stroll along the edge of the creek downtown and see how various artists have lit the way with their original work. It’s a newer Austin tradition and it’s a great way to kick off the holiday season. The location of the art is a little different this year—so take note!

In addition to the amazing art installations, attendees can check out the Creek Show Lounge with a bar and a diverse lineup of Austin bands at Symphony Square. Attendees can also participate in free activities and games for the whole family at the Doyle House and attend an Artist Talk from 6 – 8 p.m. on  Thursday, November 15 at CB’s Lounge at Stubb’s.

When: Friday, Nov. 11th – Saturday, Nov. 17th | 6 – 10 p.m. nightly in Austin.

Location:
Waller Creek between 9th and 11th Streets

Did you wake up thinking: Today would be a wonderful day to find a kitty friend? Well you are in luck! The Tarrytown location of Austin Pets Alive! is full so they are waiving adoption fees.

They’ll have both kitties with FeLV and kitties without FeLV for you to meet. Fosters and adoption counselors will be on hand to introduce them and let you know what it’s like to have a cat with Feline Leukemia in your family.

See you there! Mrow!

Time: noon – 6 p.m.

Location:
Austin Pets Alive Tarrytown Adoption Center
3108 Windsor Rd.
Austin, Texas 78703

Grab your bestie (the furry one) and come out to the UT campus for the fourth-annual Landmarks Dog Walk! Landmarks has partnered with Blue Dog Rescue to present a docent-led public art dog walk. Dogs and owners will take a leisurely one-hour stroll around The University of Texas at Austin to appreciate some of its most stunning works of outdoor sculpture.

Bring your dog, a leash, and plenty of waste bags to Mark di Suvero’s Clock Knot near Dean Keeton Street and Speedway at 11 a.m. Don’t have a four-legged friend? Meet and greet some of Blue Dog Rescue’s most eligible canines!

Please make sure your dog is well-behaved around people and other animals and up-to-date on vaccinations. There will be plenty of water stops along the tour route, and each guest will receive a special Landmarks frisbee!

When: Today, October 7th

Time: 11 a.m. – noon

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Location:
Landmarks, The Public Art Program of The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Sta
Austin, Texas 78712

The good people at Austin Animal Center are trying to avoid using pop crates this weekend by waiving adoption fees on medium and large doggies! They are super full right now and also looking for fosters.

If you’ve been thinking about bringing someone special into your family, THIS is the perfect time to find them.

When: Today, September 16th

Hours: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Location:
7201 Levander Loop Bldg. A
Austin, TX 78702

Tonight’s Hartman Foundation Concert in the Park will be the perfect way to wind down the weekend. These weekly concerts are one of Austin’s true summer treasures. The city at sunset is a beautiful backdrop to the music. Don’t forget to bring a picnic dinner and a blanket!

Each week features a different ensemble of the Austin Symphony. They will play a variety of music, everything from jazz and light classical to pop selections and film scores. Tonight’s theme is brass and next Sunday it’s big band!

When: Today, August 19th

Admission: Free

Time: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Location:
Austin Symphony At The Long Center
701 W Riverside Dr.
Austin, Texas 78704

It’s all things free tonight—free yoga, free snacks, and a free swim at Barton Springs! Summer At The Springs is happening every Monday night through August on the Zilker hillside. Yoga teacher trainees will be leading the classes and getting you in the zone. Follow @practiceyogaaustin on Insta for updates on the weather.

When: Today, July 9th

Time: 7:30 – 10:00 p.m.

Location:
Barton Springs/Zilker park
2100 Barton Springs Road
Austin, TX 78704

Come explore one of Austin’s most beautiful treasures with your best friend! It’s Dog Day at Zilker Botanical Garden! The Garden is actually dog friendly every day, but this is an extra special day where the Garden is all about pups! Well-socialized, well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome, but they must remain on leash at all times. And, of course, dog owners are responsible for their dogs’ behavior… and for scooping up after them.

Here’s what you can expect:
• An adorable photo op with your dog,
• Learn about dog-friendly opportunities in Austin Parks and responsible pet etiquette that helps keep our Parks safe for all!
• Doggedly good amenities and things to dig into!

Dog bowls and cooling off stations will be available around the Garden and anyone with a dog will receive a doggie bag with a dog treat, pooper scooper bag, and a stylish bandana for your favorite canine!

When: Today, July 7th

Time: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Location:
Zilker Botanical Garden
Austin, Texas 78746

The Zilker Summer Musical is a beloved Austin tradition, and this year the production is celebrating its 60th season! For a whopping 60 years, they’ve been putting on first-rate Broadway musicals at the park’s Hillside Theatre to audiences packed with families taking it all the magic for free. To celebrate this big anniversary, this summer the company is bringing us the Elvis-themed All Shook Up, which features the legendary singer’s top hits. The show opens on July 16, but if you can’t make the premiere, you’ll have 25 other chances this summer, every Thursday through Sunday until August 18.

Click here for all the details, including donor preview parties and insider access to the show.

A few pro tips for the uninitiated: Get there a couple of hours early to secure your spot with a blanket and some low-backed chairs, then go for a swim in Barton Springs! You’ll be so glad you did. It’s like natural air conditioning that lasts throughout the show. And pack a big picnic—everyone gets snacky at this thing.

When: Thursdays – Sundays through August 18th

Time: 8:15 p.m. (There are two acts, with a quick intermission!)

Location:
Zilker Hillside Theatre
2201 Barton Springs Road
Austin, 78746

While planning a power-bonding group activity for my co-workers recently, I was struggling with the decidedly un-cool nature of the options. A pub on wheels? No thanks. A Segway tour? They’d never forgive me. Or trust falls? Oh God, no. I didn’t want to embarrass these people, I wanted to have a fun with them!

Thankfully, because of this very site, I came across Your Biker Gang, which bills itself as one of the funnest things to do in Austin. This company helps you create your own motorcycle gang, but subs in fat-tired electric minibikes for the motorcycles, which are so much safer and completely glee-inducing.

I can tell you now that when I surprised my beloved colleagues with this outing, I became, for that brief shining moment, the hero of our office. When we arrived at their headquarters in West Austin, our little gang of nine were outfitted with helmets and bandanas by our fearless leader and road captain, Cope. We also had what’s called a “sweeper,” a super nice guy who held up the tail end of the crew and kept us all very very safe.

After a quick tutorial and training on the bikes in a parking lot, we were out on the open road, with Cope blasting classic biker gang tunes from a giant speaker on his bike. I immediately wanted to buy one of these bikes and I still do. It’s a little intimidating at first, but once you learn to trust this speedy little machine and lean into your turns (top speed is 20 mph) you become one with the bike and basically feel like you can do anything. Anything! Like riding in Downtown Austin traffic.

As someone who has grown up in this city, and takes its beauty for granted on a daily basis, I can tell you that this is an amazing way to see Austin. As we biked over the pedestrian bridge on Lady Bird Lake, through Zilker Park, and along Waller Creek, I fell in love with this place all over again. The wind was blowing our hair back, people were looking at our crew with total envy, and Cope was doing stunts at the front like a badass. We were the happiest Hell’s Angels you ever did see.

If you need an activity to entertain a crew, whether they are family, friends, coworkers, or total strangers, Your Biker Gang will be a hit, I promise. They will customize the tour for your group so you can get history and trivia and see the big sights like murals, statues, the UT campus, and more.  Or—if you are locals like us—you can just have a joyride and stop for tacos on the way. These bikes are easy to ride and the concept is as feel-good as it gets.

It’s time to jump on your electric hog and get lost for a while. Be a group-activity-planning hero for once. The road is calling!