Top 10 FREE Weekend Events (March 18-20, 2016)

What a week! We’ve sprung forward, enjoyed the first part of spring break and the fun of SXSWi, and are getting ready for even more fun at SXSW Music. Whether you want to soak up some more SXSW, listen to live music, explore classic Austin favorites, or get away from downtown and do some shopping, there are lots of fun things to do this weekend.

Top 10 FREE Events

Free fun in Austin this weekend:

  1. Fairytale Threads – Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fairytale Threads is an event for local families to sell what they are done with and to buy what they need for their growing kids! You can find infant, maternity, toddler to teen clothing sizes as well as toys, games books and gear at amazing prices. Every item is checked for quality. Austin Sports Center Cedar Park, 1420 Toro Grande, Cedar Park.
  2. SXSW Gaming Expo – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 12–8 p.m. The Gaming Expo is the epicenter of gaming culture at SXSW. Come enjoy free gameplay, a videogame museum, witness gaming competitions, a cosplay contest and more! FREE with Guest Pass and open to all ages (accompanied children do not need a Guest Pass). No badge required. Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin.
  3. Flatstock 53: Free SXSW Poster Show – Thursday, 2-6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. The best concert posters have always captured both the essence of the music they promoted and the spirit of the time in which they were produced. Flatstock provides an ongoing series of opportunities to see fine poster art in person and to meet the artists who created it. FREE with Guest Pass and open to all ages (accompanied children do not need a Guest Pass). No badge required. Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin.
  4. Free SXSW Live Shows At Auditorium Shores – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. View the full schedule here. The SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake features a three-day series of charity beneficiary concert events, which are FREE with a SXSW Guest Pass. No badge required. Auditorium Shores, 800 Riverside Dr., Austin.
  5. Girls Rock Austin SX Day Party – Friday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Enjoy a music-packed day of family-friendly fun featuring performances from Grace London, AfroPanther, Candy Party, Worriers, Regrettes, Annabel Allum, Tiarra Girls, Billy Dean Thomas, Tiarra Girls, and Freakabout. FREE. Cherrywood Coffeehouse, 1401 E 38th 1/2 St, Austin.
  6. Echo and the Bats: Official SXSW 2016 Music Event –  Friday, 2 p.m. Dance along with Echo and the Bats – Austin’s first All Youth Librarian band! You’ve seen their storytimes, now come hear some of your favorite kid’s books put to music. Familiar stories, familiar tunes, all new fun for the whole family. Echo and the Bats use their love for books and music to blend the two into a brand new kind of show that makes reading and rocking go hand in hand. FREE. Faulk Central Library, 800 Guadalupe St, Austin.
  7. Know Here Day Party with Art Institute of Austin (RSVP) – Saturday, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. Join the Art Institute of Austin for delicious dishes created by their culinary students, live music, an interactive showcase of students’ work, and more! FREE! 1312-B East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin.
  8. Young People’s Theatre Presents “Sky Blue and Prince the Frog” – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. Meet Skye Blue (the less popular princess cousin of Snow White and Rose Red). Skye Blue has a major problem. Her step mommy is evil. She forces Skye to do things like chores on a Saturday (GASP!) Skye Blue decides she must run away. To find out what becomes of Skye Blue, join the Dougherty Arts Center for the performance of Skye Blue and Prince the Frog. FREE. Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
  9. Kids’ Music Sundays: Hey Lolly Band – Sunday, 2-4 p.m. The Domain Whole Foods Market store has an outdoor shipping container eatery called “Public Domain” that is located just outside the west entrance. We are launching a kids’ music series there this month! Every Sunday from 2-4pm there will be a kid-friendly live music performance on the Public Domain outdoor stage, right behind the mini play area. FREE. Whole Foods Domain, 11920 Domain Dr, Austin.
  10. Nowruz Celebration – Sunday, 6-9 p.m. Head to Central Market North to celebrate the New Year in Central Asian style! Music from Atash and Bereket, with performance from Ravaan Persian Dance Company. FREE. Central Market, 4001 North Lamar, Austin.

You may also be interested in:

Heartsong

Looking for something fun to do with your child (birth through age 9) this spring? Sign up for a FREE Music Together Demo Class March 21st-26th at Heartsong Music and register NOW for their Spring Session of family music classes!

About the Author

Ava Love Hanna
Ava Love Hanna is a writer, performer, and mother of the world’s most awesome 7 year old. She loves exploring Austin’s best family-friendly places with her husband and son. Read more about her adventures in writing, parenting, and learning to transform autobots at 6 am at: http://avalovehanna.com or follow her on twitter: @RobotsControlMe