Free Things To Do in Austin: 23 FASCINATING Things To Do

12 mins read
Free Things
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In the heart of Texas, there is a welcoming city called Austin. There is much to see and do here because it is the state capital.

It is renowned for its fantastic live music scene, vibrant nightlife, and mouthwatering barbecue and Tex-Mex cuisine.

Finding things to do in Austin on a budget will leave many scratching their sweaty heads as the city is experiencing sky-high pricing on everything from apartments to avocados.

Boomtown offers a ton of great free activities that will keep everyone entertained without costing a thing.

Because this city is so great because of music, art, and the outdoors, there are free live music performances virtually every night of the week, free days for museum entrance, and many bars and hiking trails right in the city borders.

The American city of Austin is located in Texas. The weather is mild and warm all year round.

The Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas at Austin are well-known landmarks in the city for their live music and hip-hop scenes.

The Texas State Capitol Building is located in the state capital of Texas, which is also one of the state’s most dynamic, forward-thinking, and “strange” communities.

Gently cultivated a distinctive ecosystem focusing on unique art, delicious food, and fantastic music.


Austin, Free things
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1. Free Things To Do in Austin

The city is a hub for enjoyable yet inexpensive activities because of its young population. You’ll be relieved to learn that Austin has many free activities if you’re on a limited budget.

Austin, Texas, isn’t exactly known for being inexpensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to break your budget.

Whether you’re a local or just visiting on a tight budget, Austin has a ton of affordable, thrilling, and entertaining things to do.

There is something for everyone when looking for free things to do in Austin, Texas, and the whole family can enjoy themselves without having to spend a lot of money.

Let’s start learning about activities to do in Austin, Texas, for free or at a very reasonable cost, shall we?

1.1. Congress Avenue Bridge

Witnessing the world’s largest urban bat population, 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats, swarm out from under Austin’s Anne W.

Although the Richards Congress Avenue Bridge is amazing, you don’t have to take one of the many accessible boat cruises to appreciate the scene.

Instead, line up along the bridge’s eastern side any evening from late March through early fall like the Romans (well, Austinites, that is).

Around dusk, the bats spread out over the lake in large groups, making it impossible to ignore the magnificence from this vantage point.

Free Things
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1.2. Elizabet Ney Museum

The Elizabet Ney Museum, which offers free entrance, is a popular attraction that brings a lot of life to the neighborhood. Elizabet Ney, a German sculptor from the 19th century, left her mark on this ancient home.

In the center of Hyde Park, this location houses the largest collection of Ney’s marble sculptures, which are frequently displayed with other modern displays.

The museum is noted for holding additional free programs like their Saturday Drawing Salons, where visitors could draw Ney’s statues with all the materials provided, regardless of skill level.

1.3. Bullock Texas State History Museum

Austin residents are proud, but Texans are perhaps more so.

Example: The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, where three floors of the Lone Star State’s history—the Story of Texas, as they like to say—come to life with regularly updated artifacts covering a range in scope from the Civil War and surrounding eras to the Golden Age of NASA’s mission control operations out of Houston to the French shipwreck La Belle in the 17th century.

1.4. Greenbelt Along Barton Creek

The Barton Creek Greenbelt is typically what comes to mind when people think of Austin’s beautiful surroundings.

It stretches more than twelve miles of trails that offer swimming, bouldering, bicycling, and hiking opportunities.

There are many different entrance points, and each one makes it simpler to participate in the many outdoor activities offered there.

Knowing the best beginning is the point you’re looking for on any given day can feel overwhelming.

But as a place to start, the Gus Fruh entrance is great for swimming, and the Important Access Point off Capital of Texas Highway offers easy access to several main hiking trails.

1.5. Free Thursdays at the Blanton Museum of Art

The Blanton Museum of Art, arguably Austin’s most well-known museum, is a mainstay of the city’s art scene.

It has a sizable collection of items with the main emphasis on modern and contemporary art from the United States and Latin America.

The entrance is unrestrictedly free every Thursday. It features excellent permanent collections and works in addition to changing exhibitions for anyone with even a vague interest in the arts.

The Blanton is the place to go for museum enthusiasts as one of the top university art museums in the nation with amazing permanent and temporary collections.

Every kind of art enthusiast will find something to enjoy here, including stunning interactive installations, an abundance of paintings by European, Latin American, and American/Contemporary artists, Ellsworth Kelly’s new “Austin” structure, and many more.

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1.6. Austin Public Library

The Austin Public Library is a beautiful building. It is perhaps one of the coolest libraries you’ll find in any city and is filled with public art.

There are several inviting spaces to sit and explore, including a lovely rooftop garden patio with views of the river and the south side of downtown.

It features board games, desktops, laptops, and tablets in addition to a huge selection of books that you may browse and read.

It’s a great place to pass sometime in the air conditioning because it’s close to Shoal Creek Park.

If your visit is brief, parking at the on-site lot is complimentary for the first hour, but it is regrettably charged parking after that.

1.7. Mayfield Park

Did you know that peafowl is the proper noun for a group of peacocks? The phrase is not commonly used, but neither is seeing numerous vividly colored birds calmly wandering among people in the open.

You may take in the full mating and life cycles of this rare, entirely unthreatening bird family, whose original descendants were brought in 1935, at West Austin’s Mayfield Park and Preserve while taking a free picnic or stroll around the grounds.

The oldest park in Austin, Mayfield Park offers a distinctive setting. It is a public green space with views of Lady Bird Lake that is situated across from the downtown area.

There are walking paths, picnic spots, playgrounds, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, and other amenities nearby.

Mayfield Park also has a lovely garden and a historic cottage that are open to visitors free of charge. The park’s natural splendor gives solitude, relaxation, and peace.

While other areas of the park offer rolling hills for picnics or running across a boardwalk, it also has an amphitheater where visitors may listen to live music during the summer.

1.8. Zilker Park

350-acre Zilker Park serves as a haven in the busy capital. It would be a shame if you missed your chance to visit one of Austin’s most popular attractions at least once.

The park features paths and sports fields that are open to everyone, so you can walk or run on the walkways, play pick-up basketball or soccer, take your dog for a stroll, or throw frisbees for a relaxing afternoon.

Zilker Park is a terrific option for visitors who want to spend the day in nature and engage in free activities.

Shakespeare presentations and musical concerts are both free. However, admission to the botanical gardens is only a few bucks.

The biggest music event in Texas, Austin City Limits, is held in Zilker Park, which is a bonus.

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1.9. Congress Bridge Austin Texas

Nearly 1 million bats can be seen each evening leaving their roost to look for food from Austin, Texas’ Congress Bridge.

The bridge, which crosses Lady Bird Lake and can be seen from miles away, is excellent for bird watching.

It was recently repaired with new artwork, and its architecture symbolizes Austin’s past.

Due to the breathtaking views of downtown, the Congress Bridge is also regarded as one of the top spots in Austin to see sunsets.

1.10. Texas State Capitol Building

Free of charge, you can explore one of the city’s most stunning architectural achievements and learn all about Texas history from one of the professional tour guides.

Daily free tours are available but are sure to check the website for special tours like the Rest in Peace: Texas Capitol Halloween Tour and the Holiday Tour.

The Vacation Tour, Women in Texas History, African American Trailblazing Texans Tour, Warriors of the Texas Revolutionary Tour, and Hispanic Heritage: A Texas-Size Legacy Tour are just a few of the fascinating excursions that are offered.

1.11. Barton Springs Pool

The enormous three-acre Barton Springs Pool is fueled by underground springs that maintain the water’s pleasant year-round temperature between 68 and 70 degrees (even in the winter).

The grassy banks of the pool make for the ideal location for unwinding with friends and taking in the sunset.

No of the season, Barton Springs Pool is a well-liked location that is a center of activity and ideal for socializing.

This is undoubtedly the place to go if you’re searching for something to do with friends or some quiet time.

The Barton Springs Pool may be found in Austin, Texas, 78746, at 2201 William Barton Drive.

1.12. South Congress Avenue

Austin’s South Congress (SoCo) section is the best place to people-watch and window shop.

The Congress Avenue Bridge will take you from downtown to a new area where you can explore, window shop, people watch, and plan your next adventure.

The Colonial Club, which periodically hosts free early events, and guesthouses like the Hotel San Jose and the South Congress Hotel are a few live music venues in the South Congress sector.

1.13. Mount Bonnell

In Convert Park in Austin, Texas, there is a free activity called Mount Bonnell.

One of the most well-liked activities in Austin is climbing Mount Bonnell, which provides a 360-degree view of Austin, the Colorado River, and other sights.

Take a leisurely bike ride around the city’s center or stop by Zilker Park to hear some live music while taking in the area’s breathtaking scenery. The highest point in Austin, Texas, is Mount Bonnell.

It is a short climb that is well-known for its views of the city.

A short hike will take you to the viewing platform at the top, which is a terrific spot to watch a sunset and take in views of Austin and the surrounding area.

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1.14. Lady Bird Lake Austin Texas

Lady Bird Lake provides a wealth of alternatives for those who appreciate being in the great outdoors and escaping the rush of city life.

Lady Bird Lake is a well-liked location for individuals to exercise because it contains 10 miles of hiking and bike trails.

There are lots of activities near Lady Bird Lake to enjoy, even if you aren’t interested in hiking any of the paths, such as hanging out by the dock with your friends or having a picnic in the afternoon.

1.15. Learn at the LBJ Presidential Library

When seeking free things to do in Austin, Texas, the LBJ Presidential Library is an intriguing option.

The structure pays tribute to President Lyndon B. Johnson by serving as both a library and a museum.

Many exhibits about the former president include the First Lady’s Gallery, a replica of the Oval Office, and LBJ’s presidential limousine.

Tickets for the average adult visitor cost $13, while those for adolescents (ages 13 to 18) cost $4 and those for kids (12 and under) are free.

Additionally, UT Austin staff, faculty, and students are all free, as are members of the armed forces and up to five of their family members.

Interestingly, you can also enter for free if you can show identification bearing the name Lyndon as your first, middle, or last name.

1.16. Play Disc Golf

There are 18-disc golf courses in Austin where experts and amateurs can play on grounds with three to eighteen holes.

Players toss a disc into a linked basket in the sport of “disc golf,” which is a cross between golf and frisbee.

Anyone may play the game as long as they can pitch a frisbee. Most disc golf courses are free, though parking might cost money.

They only cost about $14 each if you want to purchase your frisbee.

1.17. Tejano Walking Trail

Explore 4.9 miles of Hispanic heritage on the Tejano Walking Trail in Austin’s East Cesar Chavez and Holly districts. Every third Saturday of the month, the 2.5-hour walking tour is free.

Along the walk, you’ll pass by Austin landmarks, including the Cristo Rey Catholic Church, where Cesar Chavez attended mass, and El Jardin Alegre, also known as the Happy Garden.

The Federal Fish Hatchery and the Willow-Spence National Historic Register District are also on the trail.

1.18. Enjoy St. Edwards Park

In the North Austin hills, there is a secret recreation spot called St. Edwards Park.

The 80-acre semi-urban park allows visitors to run or stroll the pathways, experience nature without leaving the city, and play with their dogs.

Children of all ages can enjoy Austin’s Great Hills while taking a break from the Texas heat at St. Edwards, which also has a swimming hole and rope swing.

Due to the freedom, enjoyment, and beauty, visitors will find, the park is among the best free things to do in Austin, Texas.

free things
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1.19. McKinney Falls State Park

McKinney Falls State Park, located inside Austin’s city limits, offers visitors a variety of activities, including hiking the park’s Hill Country trails and swimming and fishing in Onion or Williamson Creeks.

81 campsites with water and electricity are available for visitors to the park, where they can spend the night. Or they can select a posher cabin.

1.20. Bull Creek District Park

A well-liked attraction in Austin, Texas, Bull Creek District Park offers a wide range of outdoor pursuits to keep you engaged.

The park has something for everyone, from soccer fields, tennis courts, and swimming holes to playgrounds and nature walk.

Festivals and concerts are only a couple of the events the park organizes all year round.

You can’t avoid sinking your toes into one of the four watering holes along the trail, and the park also features dog-friendly strolling trails.

Pro tip: The Upper Falls region of Bull Creek is the most well-liked swimming location.

1.21. Free Week

Free Week in Austin is a celebration of music happening all around the city, with hundreds of top performers performing for free, including Riverboat Gamblers, Whiskey Shivers, Peelander-Z, Lost Coast, and Otis the Destroyer.

The seven-day festival, customarily held the first week of January, features Austin residents bopping from one music venue to the next to catch their favorite ATX bands and discover new ones.

Although there is never a cover charge, you should still bring cash if you grow thirsty.

1.22. Backyard Story Night

Are you seeking a live performance that has nothing to do with music? Backyard Story Night, which goes place in various places across the city, is the (free) ticket.

Bring a blanket and some Tacodeli, and take in the company of people while they share their life experiences (revolving around a specific theme during each event). Or, even better, take the spotlight and share your own story.

Downtown Austin
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2. What do You Need to Know Before Going To Austin?

Given how dispersed the city is and the few options for public transit, you should make sure you have a car.

Austin experiences chilly and hot weather, so you should be ready for either. Before departing, you should consider a few things.

Austin is said to be the world’s live music capital because it hosts various events throughout the year. The diversity of Austin is another element to be aware of.

Due to the diversity of the city’s people in terms of cultures, faiths, and races, it may be challenging for one visitor to experience everything it offers without long-term residents’ assistance fully.

3. How Much Time Does It Take You To Discover Austin Entirety?

Because there is so much to do in Austin, we advise spending at least three days there. Here are a few of Austin’s top tourist destinations.

  1. Lady Bird Lake is an excellent location to view Austin’s skyline.
  2. Zilker Park – This park, where you can run about, have a picnic, or relax, is one of my favorite spots in Austin.
  3. Barton Springs Pool – Come here if you enjoy swimming; the water here is incredibly cool!
  4. The State Capitol Building is a fantastic location to visit if you want to learn more about Texas history and see where all the laws are produced.
  5. The University of Texas: There is always something going on, and an amazing museum exists.
  6. Barton Creek Greenbelt – This is the spot to go if you want to be outside but don’t want to travel too far from the city.
  7. Longhorn Cavern – It’s a great spot to make field trips with your friends.

Suggested Reading- 20 Fun and Unique Things To Do in Idyllwild!

free things to do in Austin
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4. Conclusion

In Austin, Texas, there are many inexpensive and free things to do. The outdoors, some performances, and food trucks are just a few of these attractions.

The best thing about visiting Austin is how simple and inexpensive it is to participate in all these things.

We have some fantastic recommendations for a weekend in Austin. There are lots of enjoyable activities and locations to see. Check out the live music scene first.

The Continental Club is one of my favorite locations to hang out. Visit the Austin Museum of Art if you want to participate in more cultural pursuits.

If you wish to engage in more cultural activities, visit the Austin Museum of Art. You can also visit some of the city’s neighborhoods, including Pecan Street, East Austin, South Congress, and downtown.

In Austin, Texas, there are many inexpensive and free things to do. The outdoors, some performances, and food trucks are just a few of these attractions.

The best thing about visiting Austin is how simple and inexpensive it is to participate in all these things.

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