Austin has become a top vacation destination in recent years, and for good reason! There is always something fun going on here, especially in the spring. Free fun is everywhere, as long as you know where to look! Check out our list of free things to do during spring break in Austin.
FREE Things To Do During Spring Break in Austin: March 10-19, 2017
Live Music and Festivals
- SXSW (March 10-19) offers a bunch of FREE events, including SXSW Create, concerts, outdoor film screenings, Flatstock 53, and more. All you need to do is get your FREE guest pass here!
- The Holi Festival is a FREE festival on March 11 from 3-7:30 p.m. Holi is known as the festival of colors, traditionally celebrated in India to mark the beginning of the spring season. Here in America, Holi is played in the same style as it is in Braj district of India, with the same colorful, playful, family-filled fun and devotion.
- Listen to FREE live music and enjoy good food and drinks while watching your kids play on the playground at Central Market on North Lamar.
- Cherrywood Coffeehouse offers FREE kids’ music on Sundays at 10 a.m. out on their patio! Check out Groundwork Music on March 12 or the Que Pastas on March 19.
- The Little Yoga House is hosting musicians Monday – Friday, March 13-17, from 1-2 p.m. at the Clarksville location. You can find more details on the Eventbrite page here.
The Great Outdoors
- Check out the Top 10 Playgrounds in Austin and our readers’ favorite parks. Then get out and explore our vibrant city!
- Mayfield Park is a definite must-see FREE Austin adventure! Bring a picnic and eat among real, live peacocks! There is a also a beautiful hiking trail on property that is easy enough for young ones to explore. (Note that the hike is not stroller-friendly.)
- Not far from Mayfield Park is Mount Bonnell. Hike to the top to check out the views of our dear city down below. Read about Katie’s adventure here.
- Visit Zilker Park (here’s our guide!). Then explore the Hike and Bike Trail and Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake.
- Take a hike in Balcones District Park. Start at the playground and bring a picnic or some snacks to enjoy along the way!
- Walnut Creek Park is easy to explore with young hikers, and a fun place to cool down while splashing in the water.
- Bull Creek is another FREE favorite hiking spot on warm days. Make sure to wear waterproof hiking shoes (and maybe even swimsuits).
- Barton Creek Greenbelt is an Austin staple, and it’s easy to see why. Locals and tourists alike commune here to relax and hike and play in the water. It’s bound to be crazy crowded over spring break, so go early and beat the crowds!
- Secret Beach and Roy G. Guerrero Park is a great place to spend the day. The FREE “beach” can get h-o-t- in the summer time (no shade!), so going in the spring is a much better idea! Bring a picnic, wade for awhile in the morning, and eat lunch while you dry out in the sun. Then, hop over to the playground at the park and play for a bit longer. For more beachy fun, check out our list of local beaches here.
- Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve is suitable for all hiking skill levels, as you can make it as easy and short or challenging and long as you’d like. FREE (donations accepted).
- Hike the beautiful, but more challenging, River Place Nature Trail.
- Explore the playground and workout facilities at Great Hills Park, then head out on the beautiful hiking trail!
- Hike the Shoal Creek Trail and play at Pease Park.
- On Saturday, March 11, Laguna Gloria will host the FREE Art Free For All Open House. Laguna Gloria is also FREE on Tuesdays, and the grounds are a fun (beautiful) alternative to your average playground.
- Rodeo Austin Rodeo Rumble Kid’s 1K Fun Run is on March 11 at 9 a.m. The FREE event for children ages 12 and under gives kids the chance to race on the dirt where the cowboys and cowgirls compete each night. Register online.
- Check out the largest FREE car show in Central Texas at Cars and Coffee on March 12.
- Big Stacy Pool is FREE and open through April 9. Due to geothermal water flowing from an artisian well thousands of feet below its surface, it stays a balmy 80 degrees, so you can still swim even if the weather isn’t very warm yet!
- Austin Science and Nature Center is FREE, fun, and educational. Dig for dinosaur bones, see wild animals, learn about fossils, and more!
- Sample some goodies and maybe pick up some local treasures at one of Austin’s Farmers Markets.
- Feed the ducks, stroll around the lake, and play at the playground in Mueller Lake Park.
- The HOPE Outdoor Gallery is another FREE must-see when visiting Austin. Check it out soon before it moves to another location!
- Take your picture in front of the Greetings From Austin mural, the I Love You So Much mural at Jo’s Coffee, or go on a mural scavenger hunt all over the city!
- Check out what to see and do on South Congress Avenue.
- Check out the recently reimagined galleries on the second floor of the Blanton Museum of Art. Admission is always FREE for kids under 12 and is FREE for everyone on Thursdays.
- Cabela’s in Buda and Bass Pro Shops in Round Rock both have giant aquariums full of big fish to watch swimming around. Bass Pro even lets you watch the fish feeding frenzy at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
- The Thinkery children’s museum has a Community Night every Wednesday! The museum will offer admission by donation on Wednesday, March 13 from 4-8 p.m.
- Check out any of the FREE museums in Austin (and use this handy printable checklist).
- Lakeshore Learning offers FREE crafts for kids every Saturday.
- Texas State Capitol offers FREE guided tours.
- Schedule a FREE 20-minute tour of the Governor’s Mansion. Read about touring the Governor’s Mansion with kids here.
- Visit the fish at the Austin Aqua-Dome.
Day Trips from Austin
- Visit New Braunfels to enjoy Landa Park and the FREE New Braunfels Railroad Museum. For more inspiration, read about Katie’s recent New Braunfels adventure here.
- Take a picnic to the giant, wooden Children’s Park in San Marcos.
- Drive out to Bastrop to explore Fisherman’s Park.
- Find more day trip ideas here and here.
Check out our calendar for even more FREE fun ideas!