Weekend Top 10 FREE Events: January 13-16, 2017

This weekend, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with MLK commemorative walks and celebrations, and free admission to the LBJ Library on Monday. Here are our top picks for free events happening in Austin this holiday long weekend.

Weekend Top 10 Free Events - Free Fun in Austin

Weekend Top 10 Free Events in Austin:

  1. Staci Gray Kids’ Concert – Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. Staci Gray’s original music gets children to sing, dance, and get their sillies out. FREE! In.gredients, 2610 Manor Rd, Austin.
  2. Saturday Morning Drawing Salon – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Through these unique workshops, visitors will have an opportunity to draw from Elisabet Ney’s sculptural works in her very own historic artist studio. Each session is hosted by a Museum Educator and all materials are provided. Participation is FREE and open to everyone, regardless of age or level of experience. Elisabet Ney Museum, 304 E 44th St, Austin.
  3. Preschool FairSaturday from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. This fair brings together local preschools and kid-friendly businesses under one roof, creating a unique atmosphere where families can easily navigate and discover the many opportunities that our community offers them. Free entertainment and activities for children will be provided. The first 200 families to arrive get a free tote bag full of goodies. FREE! Hill Country Bible Church, 12124 RR 620 N, Austin.
  4. Family Programs: Hoop Around (RSVP) – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. You’ll be wowed by the wild patterns you can create using an ancient fabric-dyeing technique. This inky workshop, inspired by Concentric, the watery work of art by Danae Stratou, will also feature a hula hoop how-to by a local “hoopiness” expert. Reservations are required for family art-making workshops. No reservation necessary to visit Laguna Gloria and enjoy hula hoop demonstrations. FREE! The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria, 3809 W 35th St, Austin.
  5. Tea Time for Storytime – Saturday at 11:30 a.m. In honor of Lewis Carroll’s birthday month, BookPeople is hosting a literary tea party worthy of the Mad Hatter. Read Tea Rex and other festive, feast-y tales to salute the whimsy of Wonderland and its brilliantly bizarre creator. FREE! Book People, 603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.
  6. ACE Innovation – Saturday from 12-4:00 p.m. ACE Innovation is an all-ages-oriented, public event celebrating Austin’s community of creative entrepreneurs. With guest speaker presentations and community-led, hands-on educational exhibits, visitors will find an abundance of opportunities to learn in this interactive environment. A showcase of local students’ original inventions and enterprises will also be on display, along with an artisan craft market, and live entertainment. FREE and fun for all ages! UT Thompson Center, 2405 Robert Dedman Dr, Austin.
  7. Front Door Concert – Sunday from Noon to 3:00 p.m. Joe McDermott, Staci Gray, and Ms. Kat return for an afternoon of singing, dancing, and musical fun. Join them at the top of each hour for three sets of children’s programming. FREE! Central Market, 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.
  8. Get Fit 2017Sunday from 1-4:30 p.m. Enjoy FREE fitness and Pilates classes, health resources and screenings, and lectures from experts in health and wellness. See the schedule of FREE 20-minute classes here. Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness, 501 W 3rd St, Austin.
  9. MLK March, Festival, and Food DriveMonday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The march will kick off with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus. Participants will then march to the south steps of the State Capitol before continuing on to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where exciting activities are planned. Everyone is invited to march and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. The MLK Community Festival will begin as soon the march arrives on location. It will include all types of vendors and local musical artists to make this year’s celebration the best ever. FREE but marchers are encouraged to bring canned goods or non-perishable food items, which will be donated to the Central Texas Food Bank. March: Begins at MLK Statue on UT Campus, East Mall. Festival: Huston-Tillotson University 900 Chicon St, Austin.
  10. Free Admission to the LBJ Presidential LibraryMonday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. To ensure President Johnson’s wish for the library to “be available to all,” entrance fees are waived on several days during the year, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. FREE! LBJ Presidential Library, 2313 Red River St., Austin.

Bonus Nearly Free Fun:

  • PBS Kids at the Alamo: Ready Jet Go! – Saturday and Sunday. Ready Jet Go! is a PBS Kids earth science and astronomy series for children ages 3-8 that takes viewers on a journey into outer space, building on children’s curiosity about science, technology and astronomy. This is an all-ages show with Alamo for All rules – noisy young fans won’t be asked to leave the theater but cellphones and other devices must stay dark. Tickets are available for a $1-$3 donation. Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter, 5701 W Slaughter Ln, Austin (Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m.) and Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, 14028 US-183, Austin (Sunday at 10:30 a.m.)

More Events Beyond Austin:

  • MLK Commemorative Walk & Celebration (Round Rock) Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The walk begins at CD Fulkes Middle School. Parade participants and marchers, led by a drumline from Round Rock ISD, will assemble at 1:00pm, and begin the march promptly at 1:30pm. The march will last approximately 15 minutes and will end at the Baca Center. A program with speakers and entertainment will be held at the Baca Center. The public is invited to participate by attending the walk, bringing non-perishable food for donation, bringing banners, and attending the program. Attendance is FREE and all are welcome. CD Fulkes Middle School, 300 W Anderson Ave, Round Rock.
  • Family Movie Matinee: The Secret Life of Pets (Pflugerville) – Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Rated PG. FREE! Pflugerville Public Library, 1008 W Pfluger St, Pflugerville.
  • Rolling Sculptures Car Show (Bee Cave) – Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. This show will feature upwards of 200 collector cars, antiques, modern classics, exotics, muscle cars, street rods, foreign sports cars, art cars, and even bicycles. With live music and all of the amenities that the Galleria has to offer, it’s an event the whole family can enjoy. FREE! Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Austin.
  • Trout Fishing Derby (Round Rock)Monday from 1-4:00 p.m. Rods and reels will be available to borrow if you don’t have your own. Measurements of fish size and quantity caught during the event will be recorded and used for awarding prizes. Requirements for Cub Scouts for the fishing badge and pin will be worked on during the event. Please note: A fishing license is not required for children under 17 in the state of Texas; however, ages 17 and older must have a license. FREE! Shirley McDonald Park Duck Pond, 4390 Brushy Creek Rd, Round Rock.

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About the Author

Emily D
In her life before kids, Emily held jobs as a zookeeper, a middle school teacher, and a tour bus driver in the wilds of Montana--not one of which prepared her for the adventures of motherhood. Now she’s living the good life in Austin with her husband, two sons and a Great Dane. When she’s not off gallivanting with her boys, you might find Emily baking up a mean batch of cupcakes, recalling obscure 80s song lyrics, or dreaming of peace and quiet.