With school in full swing, you can almost smell the pumpkin spice lattes in the air. If you’ve been missing your littles and need some quality time after the bell rings, don’t worry, there are lots of things to do in September when school is done for the day. Enjoy every minute of the weekend with these free (or almost free) events in Austin.
Free Fun In Austin continues to highlight Austin area locations and activities that may not be available at this time. We encourage you to take all safety measures to keep yourself and your neighbors safe. It is our hope that the stories and features on this site will help inform your plans in the future.
RC Airshow – ARCA 2018 Fall Big Bird
Saturday, September 1 | at 4 p.m. | Austin Radio Control Association, 8705 Lindell Ln
Pilots from all over Texas and beyond will be tearing up the sky with some of the most incredibly realistic radio control airplanes that you will ever see! All types of airplanes including civilian, military, aerobatic and turbine jets will be flying during this event. FORMATION FLYING !! Thundering through the skies with several airplanes screaming around together in a group called a “warbird gaggle,” pilots push the edge as they show incredible precision and control while filling the skies with their incredible planes at over 120 mph!! If you have never seen this in person, you do not want to miss it! The fun starts around 10 a.m. but feel free to come earlier and talk to the pilots, see the planes and pick a spot to sit! FREE parking and FREE admission to the public. Concessions will be available for purchase onsite (11-3) with a shaded picnic area, and an air conditioned club house.
Nappy Times Portrait September Event
Saturday, September 1| from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Global Kids Preschool, 4 Chisholm Trail, Round Rock
Nappy Time Portraits events are held regularly in the Austin area. You provide the camera, we provide unique and original backgrounds, each with a rentable matching outfit. At the September event, we will provide a Summer background and a Monthly Commemorative background. Please bring your baby and a camera. We provide a mermaid costume and a Halloween prize-winning octopus costume for rent for the Summer background, and a variety of party themed costumes are available for rent for the Monthly Commemorative background. The Summer background works best with babies who are 0-18 months old, and the Monthly Commemorative background has signs for babies 0-12 months old. You can also bring your baby in a swim suit or your favorite clothes to fit the backgrounds, and share your imagination with us. This is going to be awesome!
Labor Day Weekend Community Event
Saturday, September 1 | from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. | Lenoir, 1807 S 1st St
For the third year in a row, Lenoir, Lick Honest Ice Creams, and Revolution Spirits are celebrating community by turning the spotlight on Becker Elementary Schools’ organic and educational non-profit gardening program, The Becker Green Classroom, on Saturday, September 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Lenoir’s Wine Garden. There will be ice cream to lick, wine, beer & Revolution Spirits to sip, and snacks to eat. ALL of the proceeds from Lick’s ice cream and a portion of other sales will also benefit Becker Elementary’s Green Classroom! In addition to treats and live music, there will be a silent auction with prizes from Hotel San José, Jo’s Hot Coffee Good Food, TLC Austin, Jose Luis Salon & Boutique, Flat Creek Estate Winery and Vineyard, June’s All Day, and Barkin’ Creek Dog Kitchen & Bath.
We also invite you to participate in a snack drive that will take place from Friday, August 31st through Thursday, September 6th! Non-perishable healthy snacks can be dropped off at Lick’s Lamar Union Scoop Shop (1100 South Lamar Blvd.). Items needed include fig bars, popcorn, pretzels, applesauce or other fruit squeezes, granola bars, rice snacks and Cheerios.
H-E-B Free First Sunday: Totally Texas
Sunday, September 2 | from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. | Bullock Texas State History Museum 1800 Congress Ave
Enjoy FREE exhibition admission all day during Free First Sundays, held the first Sunday of every month. Families can explore the Story of Texas through three floors of exhibitions that showcase artifacts from around the state. Special family programs from 12-3 p.m. combine art creation, exploration stations, and gallery activities. Get inspired to write an original song while exploring Rodeo! The Exhibition activities include build an iconic Texas landmark using various building blocks, create a torn paper Texas landscape and giddy up for a horse-themed story time and activity.
Lone Star Zine Fest
Sunday, September 2 | from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. | The North Door, 501 Brushy St.
Lone Star Zine Fest is a FREE, fun, and engaging event open to the general public and appropriate for all ages. At the heart of the event is an exhibition featuring over three dozen tables featuring Central Texas zine creators, collectives, distributors, retailers, libraries, and small presses sharing their amazing work in one big room and showcasing the diversity of expression made possible by independent- and self-publishing.
Living Springs Back To School Documentary Film Screening
Thursday, September 6 | from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. | Barton Springs – East gate – under the pecan tree
On Thursday, September 6th come spread your blanket and enjoy a selection of short films (45 minutes total) from the on-going Living Springs documentary series. Living Springs, in collaboration with Splash! will feature Wildlands and A Reflecting Pool. Wildlands showcases Austin’s water quality protection lands that Austin voters purchased through open space bonds to protect the aquifer. Learn about the diversity, history and significance of these protected lands. A Reflecting Pool recounts Barton’s social history in the 50-year period from 1912-1962 through the memories of those who lived it. This documentary showcases wonderful archival photos, film and original historic re-creations. The story follows the memories of swimmers such as John Henry Faulk exploring the little-known history of Barton Springs before, during and after the time of racial segregation in Austin. A free popsicle from Good Pops for the first 200 people to stop and provide your zip code. City of Austin environmental educators and local environmental groups will be on hand before the screening to talk about how you can get involved in community efforts to support the Springs, creeks and aquifer through volunteering and internships. We will gather at 7:30 p.m. near the big tree at the south entrance, Azie Morton Road (formerly Robert E. Lee Road.) The screening will begin at full dark and last approximately 45 minutes. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on. Before or after the screening, take a swim in the Springs!
Austin Parks Foundation Presents Beauty And The Beast For Movies In The Park
Thursday September 6 | at 8:15 p.m. | Adams-Hemphill Park, 201 W 30th St
Be our guest with Austin Parks Foundation’s special screening of Beauty and the Beast at Adams Hemphill Park as part of the the Movies in the Park series. Bring a blanket and the whole family for this can’t-miss summer event under the beautiful Austin night sky. Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs food truck will be serving up frozen treats! Movies in the Park is a series of free films brought to you by Austin Parks Foundation in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse. Each year, APF and the Drafthouse bring you free movies in parks all over Austin.
Starry Nights At Girlstart
Thursday, September 6 | from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. | Girlstart Stem Center, 1400 W Anderson Lane
Girlstart’s STEM Studio and Mini-Planetarium is a unique space for families to explore astronomy! Starry Nights are held the 1st Thursday of every month (except January, June, July and August), with each month featuring a new astronomy experience and related hands-on activities. All ages are welcome.
Hands-on activities include: Explore sound with a Greek lyre harp instrument, program drones to help Helios pull the Sun across the sky, create a unique Olympic wreath, design your own Greek god or goddess. Additional activities and resources from our friends at the Austin Astronomical Society
Family Saturday – Splish Splash
Saturday, September 8 | from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria, 3809 W 35th St
Splish Splash! In this month’s free family program, learn how to engineer an aquatic work of art that can actually swim, inspired by the watchful lifeguard sculpture by duo Elmgreen & Dragset. Workshop free with reservation. Thank you to H-E-B and HomeAway for supporting our free family programs! Reservations available online beginning the 1st of September.
GR8 SK8 At Domain Northside
Saturday, September 8 | from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. | Domain Northside Rock Rose Ave
Join Domain NORTHSIDE, in partnership with Nordstrom and Archer Hotel, on Saturday, September 8, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for the GR8 SK8 event. Portions of the streets on Domain BLVD, Rock Rose Avenue and Palm Way will be closed off to all vehicles as NORTHSIDE turns into a skating rink with music, prizes and swag, a photobooth, and refreshments. All ages are invited to roller skate around the property as the streets are transformed into an outdoor glow-in-the-dark roller skating rink. All tenants will remain open during GR8 SK8 and parking will be open in all lots. Guests are welcome to bring their own skates or rent a pair at the event for a suggested donation. Bring your family and friends to skate our streets. We will also have a special appearance from the Texas Rollergirls! During the GR8 SK8, Domain NORTHSIDE will have an activation station for Austin Angels, a local nonprofit whose mission it is to walk alongside children in the foster care system, as well as their caretakers, by offering consistent support through intentional giving, relationship building and mentorship.
Long Center Birthday Party
Sunday, September 9 | from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. | Long Center, 701 W Riverside Dr
The Long Center is turning 10 and it’s time to celebrate! Jam out to Latin funk masters Grupo Fantasma, enjoy Art of Everyone with Wiley Ross, get your stretch on with Goat Yoga, or live it up birthday-style with a bounce house, glitter tattoos—and did we mention there’ll be birthday cupcakes?!If outside’s more your thing bring a blanket or some lawn chairs, order a cool drink from the bar, and get your fill of local eats from the best food trucks in town. Event is free!
Sarah Ivens Forest Therapy Speaking And Signing
Wednesday, September 12 | at 7 p.m. | BookPeople 603 N. Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX
There is something simply soul-soothing about being in nature. In fact, research shows that spending time outside can improve the immune system, combat stress hormones, lower blood pressure, and boost self-esteem. Around the globe, rising movements are driving us to reconnect with Mother Nature—from shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing”) in Japan to friluftsliv (“open-air life”) in Scandinavia—yet our everyday lifestyles have distanced us from the great outdoors. For stressed-out professionals, reclusive bookworms, worn-out parents, and their cooped-up kids, Forest Therapy shares why getting back to nature is critically important for our well-being, and offers fun, easy practices to break out of hibernation. Local author Sarah Ivens shares how connecting with nature helps to lead a happier life. Adults Only.
Perler Bead Saturdays
Saturday, September 15 | from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. | University Hills Branch Library, 4721 Loyola Lane
At this program we’ll use Perler Beads to create mosaics and designs that can be transformed into pop art, pictures, coasters, magnets, and more. We will also have LED lights, batteries and copper tape available to make your Perler Bead project LIGHT UP! With a little bit of creativity, patience, and a regular household iron, Perler Beads are a fun way to get creative. We’ll supply the beads and iron, you bring your patience for placing tiny beads on a template!
Old Town Summer Nights
Saturday, September 15 | from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. | 100 N. Brushy, Leander
Leander Old Town Summer Nights is a concert series, a small town shopping experience, a farmers market, dining, the Leander Car Show, and other small businesses in our regional area, hosted in partnership with the City of Leander & the Leander Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. The 3rd Saturday of the month from June-October, 6-9PM.
The Inflatable Run Austin ($10 For Adults)
Saturday, September 22 | from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Travis County Expo Center, TX 7311 Decker Lane
1 Mile / 5K Inflatable Obstacle Course Includes Full Day of Entertainment with Costume Contest, Live Shows, Food Trucks, Carnival Games and a Gigantic Water Balloon Battle. The most unique 5K run ever designed will be held at Austin’s Travis County Expo Center. The Inflatable Run is a family-friendly event featuring a mile-long course built entirely of kid-friendly, colorful, inflatable obstacles to duck under, bounce off, climb through, and slide down, which racers can run three times, for a total of 5K. The area will be packed with live music, food carts, carnival games, face painting, magic shows, inflatable Zorb balls to ride, a massive water balloon battle and a costume contest. Kids can also meet The Inflatable Run mascot, “Mr. Wacky”, who is, himself, an inflatable tube man. Ideal for families or even company gatherings, the Inflatable Run is suitable for all ages. Tickets Available.
Mermaid Art Market (San Marcos)
Saturday, September 22 | from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. | San Marcos Plaza Park 206 N. CM Allen Pkwy
The Mermaid Art Market is a juried arts and fine crafts market that is part of the SPLASH Festival. This yearly San Marcos event takes place on Sept. 22nd, downtown on the banks of the beautiful San Marcos River. Be sure to see the mermaid parade, and go to Plaza Park afterwards for live music, live mermaids, and great art beneath the pecan trees across the river from the main stage!
Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
Saturday, September 22 | Check participating museums for hours of operation
Museum Day is a one-day event in which participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Participants are allowed to download one ticket per email address. The ticket provides free general admission on Saturday, September 22, 2018, for two people. There are over 60 museums participating in the State of Texas. See their website for details and to download tickets.
Portraiture In The Park: Who Are You Anyways?
Sunday, September 22 | from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. | Elisabet Ney Museum 304 E. 44th St.
Who are you, and how do you tell people? Why do kids draw themselves how they do? What decisions do they make? Do they use props? Come explore the many, many ways to produce portraits–and self-portraits!–using crayons, paint, clay, words, rocks, music, pieces of metal, trash, even data! The Elisabet Ney Museum celebrates Elisabet’s work, and one of her most famous pieces is her own self-portrait! Part of Austin Museum Day, the event is free and will bring all sorts of artists and activities together to help folks playfully find themselves in art! As usual, there will be food trucks, music, and other activities as well.
38th Annual Pecan Street Festival
Saturday, September 22 | 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. | Sunday September 23 | 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. | 24 Blocks on 6th Street from Brazos to I-35
The Fall Pecan Street Festival will be taking place on September 22nd & 23rd, 2018. Featuring 300 juried vendors, food concessions, 3 stages of music, kids rides and petting zoo, and so much more!
Badgerdog Songwriting Workshop For Kids
Saturday, September 22 | from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. | Twin Oaks Branch Library 1800 S. 5th St.
Join musician Jean Caffeine for a morning of songwriting! We’ll learn the fundamentals of writing a song and create a new piece together, which we’ll share with parents at the end of the session. Open to third- through fifth-graders. No instruments needed or required.
LifeKids Fall Festival
Saturday, September 29 | from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. | LifeAustin Amphitheater 8901 W Hwy 71
Join for a family event as we celebrate entering into the fall! The LifeKids Festival is such a fun experience! A wide selection of food trucks, free carnival rides, bounce houses, college football, and so much more.