Texas Memorial Museum on the campus of UT Austin

Austin has so many museums of all varieties to explore. Whether your interests lie in art, science, Texas culture or natural history, there is a museum which fits the bill, right in our own 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

Dig in the sand and uncover bones in the Dino Pit, check out the indoor and outdoor hands-on exhibits, and bring natural treasures to the Trading Counter. This museum focuses on appreciating the natural elements found around us.

Blanton Museum of Art

200 E. MLK Blvd., Austin

(512) 471-7324

The Blanton features both temporary exhibitions from around the world and across genres and mediums and ages as well as permanent exhibitions. Be sure to check out Austin, the 2,715-square-foot stone building, designed by Ellsworth Kelly, with luminous colored glass windows, a totemic wood sculpture, and fourteen black and white marble panels. Free admission on Thursdays.

Bullock Museum

1800 N. Congress Ave., Austin

(512) 936-8746

Take in some Texas history at the official history museum of the State of Texas. In addition to the permanent and temporary exhibits, patrons can see a movie on the huge IMAX screen, or take part in one of the many events that they host throughout the year.  Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month.

The Contemporary Austin

3809 West 35th St., Austin

(512) 458-8191

Explore the grounds of Laguna Gloria and the residence that prominent Austinite Clara Driscoll called home. Free admission on Tuesdays.

Elisabet Ney Museum

304 East 44th St., Austin

(512) 458-2255

See works of art created by German sculptress Elisabeth Ney as you explore her studio and the surrounding grounds. The museum offers a range of educational programs, exhibits, special events, workshops and lectures throughout the year. Free admission!

George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center

1165 Angelina St., Austin

(512) 974-4926

Learn more about Juneteenth and the history of African-American scientists and inventors in our country. Free admission!

LBJ Presidential Library

2313 Red River St. Austin

(512) 721-0200

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

Mexic-Arte Museum

419 Congress Ave., Austin

(512) 480-9373

Mexic-Arte features exhibits by Mexican, Latino and Latin American artists. Free admission every Sunday at 2 & 3 pm.

Neill-Cochran House Museum

2310 San Gabriel St., Austin

(512) 478-2335

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

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. Check the event calendar for special events throughout the year.

Texas Capitol Visitors Center

112 East 11th St., Austin

(512) 305-8400

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. LEGO fans will appreciate the giant LEGO replica of the majestic Texas State Capitol. Free admission!

Texas Memorial Museum

2400 Trinity St., Austin

(512) 471-1604

Exhibits at 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

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. Free admission!

Thinkery

1830 Simond Ave., Austin

(512) 469-6200

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

Umlauf Sculpture Garden

605 Azie Morton Rd., Austin

(512) 445-5582

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. Be sure to check the themes for each month’s Family Day happening the second Sunday of each month.

Catherine Prystup has been in the publishing industry for over twenty years, handling everything from large and small scale ad campaigns to events, marketing, content management, and more. She lives in the greater Austin area with her husband, three kids, three dogs, two cats, and one Beta fish.