There’s no shortage of fun things to do in October. We’ve rounded up all the festivals, Halloween events, and more so you can start planning your month. Check out these 35 FREE “Don’t Miss” events in and around Austin this October!
Free Kids’ Music at Cherrywood Coffee House
Sundays in October from 10-11:30 a.m. | Cherrywood Coffeehouse, 1400 E 38 1/2 St, Austin
October 1: Big Don CD Release Party. October 8: Groundwork Music. October 15: Telephone Company. October 22: Staci Gray. October 29: The Buglies. FREE all ages shows. Schedule is subject to change.
Landmarks Dog Walk
October 1 at 11:00 a.m. | 24th St & Speedway, The University of Texas at Austin
Fetch your pooch and head to campus for the second annual Landmarks Dog Walk! Landmarks has partnered with Blue Dog Rescue to present a docent-led public art dog walk. Dogs and owners will take a leisurely one-hour stroll around The University of Texas at Austin to appreciate some of its most stunning works of outdoor sculpture. Bring your dog, a leash, and plenty of waste bags to Nancy Rubins’ Monochrome for Austin near 24th Street and Speedway. Don’t have a four-legged friend? Meet and greet some of Blue Dog Rescue’s most eligible canines! Please make sure your dog is well-behaved around people and other animals and up-to-date on vaccinations. There will be plenty of water stops along the tour route and each guest will receive a special Landmarks frisbee. FREE!
Sundays in October from 11:00 a.m. to noon | Mueller Lake Park, 2016 Simond Ave, Austin
Every Sunday morning, families are invited to enjoy a relaxing Kemetic Yoga flow across the lake from the Mueller’s Farmer’s Market. Bring a yoga mat and/or towel. Bring your friends and family. Open to all ages and experience levels. Entry is 100% donation-based entry. All donations go toward upcoming healing and wellness events.
Diego and Frida: A Smile In The Middle Of The Way
Sundays in October from noon to 5:00 p.m. | Mexic-Arte Museum, 419 Congress Ave, Austin
Enjoy FREE admission every Sunday! In celebration of the 110th Anniversary of Frida Kahlo’s birth, Mexic-Arte Museum pays tribute to the iconic artist through Diego and Frida: A Smile in the Middle of the Way. This exhibition takes an intimate look at the life and relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, as seen through the lens of some of the most notable photographers of that time, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Ansel Adams, Guillermo Kahlo, Leo Matiz, Nickolas Muray, Edward Weston, and Guillermo Zamora. The photographs in the exhibition come from the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, documenting nearly twenty-five years of their marriage. Best known for her striking self-portraits and vibrant regional Mexican fashion, Frida Kahlo has become one of Mexico’s most emblematic cultural icons. Inspiring people through the decades, the image of Frida Kahlo can be seen in the work of artists across disciplines. Mexic-Arte Museum displays artworks by contemporary artists such as Richard Duardo, Emilia Garcia, and Raul Caracoza as a testament of the impact Frida Kahlo continues to have on artists today.
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H-E-B Free First Sunday: Go West!
October 1 from noon to 5:00 p.m. | Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave, Austin
Enjoy FREE exhibition admission all day during H-E-B 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 12-3:00 p.m. combine art creation, exploration stations, and gallery activities. You can pose as a bandit, choose your old west name, and make your own wanted poster; create a torn paper landscape inspired by the west; enjoy a live reptile show and learn all about desert reptiles with Capital of Texas Zoo; giddy up for a western themed storytime; and move like animals of the west with The Little Yoga House.
October 1 from 1-4:00 p.m. | Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin
The Neill-Cochran House Museum is presenting a FREE, hands-on, pinhole camera workshop to offer visitors a look at early photographic techniques. Museum volunteers will walk visitors through the total process from assembling their camera to the finished printed image. Due to high demand, it is recommended that visitors reserve tickets online. This workshop is open to all ages, however, children 12 and younger may require the assistance of an older child or adult. Visitors are encouraged to bring their lunch to picnic on the grounds, as the museum cafe will be closed this Sunday. Entry to the museum is FREE for all visitors to Sunday Fundays and includes access to the exhibits on display in the historic house, annex, and grounds. Parking is available free of charge behind the museum.
Harvest of Fall Fun (Marble Falls)
Now through November 8 (closed Wednesdays) | 1801 FM 1980 Marble Falls
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; 1-5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Closed all Wednesdays. Parking is FREE. The pumpkins and gourds are individually priced. Admission is FREE, but each activity has a fee. Activities include a hayride, corn maze, and pumpkin painting just to name a few. Payment by cash or check only. (Check the website for exact directions as GPS isn’t always accurate for this location.)
Free Monday Tango
October 2 from 8-11:30 p.m. | Native Hostel and Bar & Kitchen, 807 E 4th St, Austin
Everyone is welcome to a fun Tango Night at Native Hostel and Bar & Kitchen. The evening starts with an intro lesson to authentic Argentine Tango (no experience or partner needed) and follows with two hours full of social dancing with wonderful guest DJs. This is a great way to extend the weekend. This event is 100% FREE, kid-friendly, and two left feet are welcome!
Krispy Kreme Family Night
October 4 from 6-8:00 p.m. | Krispy Kreme Austin Locations
There will be doughnut decorating, arts and crafts, and it is FREE!
October 5 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. | Girlstart STEM Center, 1400 W Anderson Ln. Austin
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. This month, you can create a solar system in a jar, engineer a device prototype to take soil samples on other planets, design your own satellite dish, and xplore the planets’ path of revolution around the sun. All ages are welcome to stop by any time between 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. RSVP is recommended, but not required, to attend. FREE!
Chalk Walk (Round Rock)
October 6 from 5-10:00 p.m. & October 7 from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Centennial Plaza, 301 W Bagdad Ave, Round Rock
Enjoy chalk artists creating artwork on the streets, plus musicians, vocal groups, theatrical performances, food and drinks, and children’s performances by local organizations and schools. Art is the theme and chalk is the medium. From start to finish, participating artists will create art in full view of the public, who are encouraged to interact with the artists as they use their amazing talents to create beautiful murals. FREE!
Home Depot Kids Workshop
October 7 from 9:00 a.m. to noon | Home Depot Stores
Hands-on workshop where you and your child can build a cute coin bank with a fire station design. Once the bank is built, your child can decorate it with paint and stickers. All kids get to keep their project, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Children must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron and pin. FREE!
Pfamily Pfestival & EXPO (Pflugerville)
October 7 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. | 105 Swenson Farms Blvd, Pflugerville
More than 80 merchant booths, door prizes, children’s activities, performers, demonstrations, and public safety displays will be part of the Expo.
Pumpkin Hunt (Elgin)
Weekends in October | Evergreen Farms, 242 Monkey Rd, Elgin
Visit for the Pumpkin Hunt, a special day with the Down Home Ranch Friends at Evergreen Farms. Hours: Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sundays, from 1-5:00 p.m. Admission is FREE, but some activities cost $2.50 to $5.
Texas Teen Book Festival
October 7 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | St Edward’s University, 3001 S Congress Ave, Austin
This year’s Festival will feature nationally and critically recognized authors, writing workshops, and workshops for educators. The Texas Teen Book Festival is FREE, open to the public and, no, you don’t have to be a teen to attend. All ages are welcome.
Cars and Coffee
October 8 from 8:00 a.m. to noon | The Oasis on Lake Travis, 6550 Comanche Trail, Austin
Enjoy a low-key display of classic cars. FREE!
UMLAUF Family Day
October 8 from noon to 4:00 p.m. | UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E Lee Rd, Austin
Family Days offer special, hands-on programs designed for families with children ages 4-10 years old. Families have the opportunity to explore the UMLAUF while engaging in creative activities. Listen to stories, do yoga in the garden, watch sculpture demos, enjoy live music, and more. FREE!
Texas Archaeology Month Fair
October 14 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | JJ Pickle Research Campus, 10100 Burnet Rd, Austin
The University of Texas’ Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory and the Texas Historical Commission are partnering to host the annual Texas Archaeology Month Fair, a FREE, family-friendly event that offers fun and educational hands-on activities for kids, older students, and adults. Bring your kids, scout troops, and friends of all ages to learn about the archaeology that’s happening around us all the time. See examples of Texas’ rich archaeological legacy and see how archaeology plays an important part in environmental conservation and scientific research. Visitors will get the chance to view artifact displays, see presentations by professional archaeologists, and check out activities including stone tool making, rock art, blacksmithing, spear throwing (in a very controlled environment!) and a mini mock excavation.
Second Saturdays are for Families: Tree Tales
October 14 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Laguna Gloria, 3809 W 35th St, Austin
What do the trees have to say? Learn about Austin’s towering residents from the educators of environmental nonprofit TreeFolks, and use them to make beautiful prints to take home. Check out some tree-themed works of art and play on our temporary tree stump playground! The Contemporary Austin offers FREE monthly hands-on art-making activities, brought to you by HomeAway. Recommended for ages 2-11. Reservations are requested for family art-making workshops; please reserve your spot here beginning the 1st of the month.
Red Barn’s Annual PumpkinFest
October 14 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Red Barn Garden Center, 12881 Pond Springs Rd, Austin
PumpkinFest 2017 will be FREE and will feature a bounce house, candy, pumpkins, and more!
Diwali Festival of Lights in Austin
October 14 from 5:00 p.m. to midnight | Radha Madhav Dham, 400 Barsana Rd, Austin
Austin: Sparkle up your Diwali with Joy at Radha Madhav Dham! Ignite the flame of spirituality in your heart. Join in the magnificent festival of Diwali, the festival of lights, at Radha Madhav Dham Austin. This is one of the most favorite Indian festivals of the year. Admission and parking are FREE!
Koo Koo Kanga Roo
October 15 from 3-6:00 p.m. | The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin
Koo Koo Kanga Roo is the dance-a-long comedy show from Bryan and Neil, two friends who set out to experiment with live music and make it more fun. Armed with nothing more than an iPod, two mics, one giant rainbow, and some gold sneakers, Koo Koo Kanga Roo puts on an all-ages dance party that invites everyone to join in. Whether you know them from “brain break” videos in your classroom, the Warped Tour, or a late night bar show, you’ve probably gotten sweaty dancing to their jams at some point. The concert will also feature Riders Against the Storm at 3:30 p.m. and Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship at 4:15. Koo Koo Kanga Roo plays at 5:00 p.m. All ages welcome. FREE!
Third Thursdays at the Blanton
October 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. | Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin
Every third Thursday, the Blanton has a FREE themed event that features extended hours and multiple programs including yoga in the galleries, tours, and other offerings. Thursdays are always FREE at The Blanton.
Movie in the Park: Death Becomes Her
October 19 at 7:15 p.m. | Pan Am Park, 2100 E 3rd St, Austin
Get in the Halloween spirit with this camp-tastic throwback starring the incomprable Meryl Streep, Godlie Hawn and Bruce Willis. The movie starts around 7:15, but arrive early to grab your spot! Bring your blanket or lawn chairs (and a picnic dinner!) for a fun and relaxing evening under the beautiful Austin night sky. Rain Date: November 2nd.
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Touch a Truck (Round Rock)
October 21 from 9:00 a.m. to noon | Old Settlers Park, 3300 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock
Touch a Truck provides a unique opportunity for children to explore vehicles of all types – public service, emergency, utility, construction, transportation, delivery and just plain cool – all in one place. Those young and young at heart will be allowed to touch, climb on and ask questions about their favorite trucks in a safe, supervised environment. There will be a “no horn hour” for those with sensitive ears or who do not respond well to loud noises from 11:00 a.m. to noon. The event is FREE, but guests are encouraged to bring a canned food item donation to donate to the Round Rock Serving Center.
Annual Austin Arbor Day
October 21 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Austin Nature + Science Center, 2389 Stratford Dr, Austin
Be one of the first to walk the new tree trail at ANSC on a Tree Trail Tour. Climbing experts will assist kids who want to practice tree climbing with harness and ropes. Park Rangers will be on hand with their Nature Trailer for making unique arts and crafts. Got tree questions? Ask an arborist. Admission is FREE!
Hairy Man SpookyFest (Round Rock)
October 21 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Cat Hollow Park, 8600 O’Connor Dr, Round Rock
The Hairy Man Festival is a family-oriented festival that includes an arts and crafts area with numerous artisans participating. There are special performances and live music by local groups and organizations on the Festival Stage. Judged by local community leaders, the festival closes out with the legendary ‘Hairiest Man’ contest. Admission to the festival is FREE with two non-perishable food items (or $2 per person) to support local food banks.
Pfall Chili Pfest (Pflugerville)
October 21 from noon to 5:00 p.m. | 100 E Main Street, Pflugerville
This annual chili cook-off contest has as many as 40 teams entered, plus vendors, a car show, a children’s area, and live music on stage. Admission is FREE! Packages of tasting cups and spoons will be available for purchase.
KUTX Live @ Mueller
October 27 at 7:00 p.m. | Mueller Lake Park, 2016 Simond Ave, Austin
Rock the amphitheater at Mueller Lake Park with another round of family friendly concerts curated by KUTX and Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child. The fun starts at 7:00 p.m. with kid-friendly act Kupira Marimba, followed by rock and roll for the grown-ups by Brownout. Don’t miss food trucks, fun, and live music on the lake! Face painting runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Morning Glory Community Health Awareness & Music Festival
October 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Givens Park, 3811 E 12 St, Austin
This family oriented event is FREE to the community and provides local and area citizens opportunity to participate in a festive atmosphere with food, live entertainment, health screenings, and more. A variety of food and retail vendors along with healthcare specialists will be onsite to showcase their best food, products, and services to the community. This event will focus on rebuilding communities one family at a time by providing education on the importance of one’s health personally and within their family.
Fable Fest (Cedar Park)
October 28 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Elizabeth Milburn Park, 1901 Sun Chase Blvd, Cedar Park
Attractions and entertainment at this year’s Fable Fest include: The Kings Carnival, where kids of all ages can play games, make arts and crafts, and enjoy inflatables, a petting zoo, and pony rides (tickets purchase required); The Cobblestone Market provides the opportunity to shop with a variety of Arts & Crafts vendors and other area merchants; The Pig’s Pub will provide an opportunity to eat your fill on foods of all kinds; The Troubadour’s Court with feature live music and theatrical performances; and The Royal Academy will be home to live jousting and blacksmith demonstrations. Admission is FREE!
Viva la Vida Festival and Parade
October 28 from noon to 8:00 p.m. | 100-200 block E 4th St, Austin
Mexic-Arte Museum’s Viva La Vida Fest is Austin’s largest and longest-running Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. The FREE festival features a Grand Procession, an education pavilion with hands-on art activities and artist demos, and a celebration with traditional foods, local artist and retail booths, a low-rider exhibition, live music, and performances throughout the day. This year’s festival will honor Frida Kahlo in conjunction with the autumn exhibit Diego & Frida: A Smile in the Middle of the Way.
Fall Family Fun Fest
October 28 from 1-5:00 p.m. | Pavilion at Great Hills, 11819 Pavilion Blvd, Austin
Youth2Seniors invites you and your family to a unique event filled with all sorts of fun. Participate in activities that give back the community, take photos in the photo booth, create art projects, and read stories about our generations. FREE and fun for participants of all ages.
Last Straw Fest at UMLAUF
October 29 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | UMLAUF, 605 Robert E Lee Rd, Austin
Last Straw Fest is a FREE event for all ages. Festival activities include pumpkin carving, fall-themed family activities, food trucks, and concessions. You’ll be amazed by the many scarecrow sculptures created by generous sponsors.
Planet K Texas Fireworks and Dia De Los Muertos Celebration
October 31 at 9:30 p.m. | East of Pleasant Valley, behind Krieg Baseball Field, 515 S Pleasant Valley Rd, Austin
On Halloween, thousands of spectators will gather with Planet K to rejoice and celebrate the lives of loved ones passed. There will be a grand display of life affirming fireworks, celebrating Dia De Los Muertos, the traditional Mexican holiday, Planet K style.
Kids Are FREE:
Austin City Limits Music Festival
October 6-8 & 13-15 | Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin
ACL Festival features a diverse lineup of acts every year with 8 stages, more than 130 bands – and, now, two weekends. With an Art Market, a mini-fest for kids, and photogenic spaces, there’s plenty to do for the entire family. Tickets aren’t cheap, but kids 10 and under are admitted FREE with a ticket-holding adult.