Start the new year off right with some of these “don’t miss” free events coming up in January!
20 Free “Don’t Miss” Events In Austin This January
First Day Hikes
January 1 | Texas State Parks
Kick off the new year outdoors on a FREE First Day Hike! Participating state parks include Inks Lake State Park, McKinney Falls State Park, Bastrop State Park, Pedernales Falls State Park, and Lockhart State Park. Please note that while the hikes are free, regular park admission applies.
Barton Springs Polar Bear Splash
January 1 from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Park, Austin
Save Our Springs (SOS) Alliance hosts this annual event at Barton Springs Pool. Commemorative shirts, coffee, and donuts all on a first come basis. Everyone is welcome to come, jump, and go throughout the day. Don’t forget your warm clothes for when you get out. FREE!
Pfreeze Pflop (Pflugerville)
January 1 at 10 a.m. | Scott Mentzer Pool, 901 Old Austin Hutto Rd, Pflugerville
Are you brave enough to slide into the pfrigid water at Scott Mentzer Pool to kick off your new year? The event lasts until the last brave soul goes down the slide! No, the pool isn’t heated. Admission is FREE with donation of a canned food item to benefit local food banks.
Polar Bear Splash (Kyle)
January 1 at 1 p.m. | Kyle Pool, Gregg-Clarke Park, 1100 W Center St, Kyle
Take part in the Kyle tradition and make a splash at the Kyle Pool. FREE!
Free Week Around Austin
January 1-8 | Locations vary
Check out hundreds of Austin bands that play for FREE in venues all over Austin.
Home Depot Kids Workshop: Crate Toolbox
January 7 from 9 a.m. – noon | The Home Depot locations
You and your child can get to work on a wood toolbox they can use for keeping anything from art supplies to toys neat and portable. Once the toolbox is built, your child can paint it in their favorite color. Kids can make a FREE craft to take home! Register to attend this drop-in workshop at a Home Depot near you.
Free Kids’ Music at Strange Brew
January 7 & 14 from 10-11 a.m. | Strange Brew, Lounge Side, 5326 Manchaca Rd, Austin
Staci Gray (January 7) and Groundwork Music (January 14) will be performing FREE all ages shows. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Please note that the schedule is subject to change.
Lakeshore Learning Free Crafts for Kids
Saturdays in January from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Lakeshore Learning, 9828 Great Hills Trail, Austin
January 7: 100th Day Celebration Mask, January 14: Prehistoric Pal, January 21: To the Moon & Back! Rocket, January 28: Let’s Build a Snowman! Craft
Free Kids’ Music at Cherrywood Coffeehouse
January 8, 15, and 22 from 10-11:30 a.m. | Cherrywood Coffeehouse, 1400 E. 38 1/2 Street, Austin
January 8: Groundwork Music; January 15: Que Pastas; January 22: Staci Gray will be performing FREE all ages shows. Please note that the schedule is subject to change.
Sunday Funday: Hot Air Balloons and Gliders
January 8 from 1-4 p.m. | Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin
Sunday Fundays at the Neill-Cochran House Museum feature historically-inspired activities for children, scavenger hunts in the historic house, and informal tours of the museum. Staff and volunteers will guide you through the process of building a simple balloon, but will also encourage you to be your own engineer and experiment with different methods of constructing a lighter-than-air flier. And make simple gliders with some pre-built examples to launch off of the historic balcony. FREE!
Umlauf Family Day
January 8 from 12-4 p.m. | 605 Robert E. Lee Road | Austin
Family Days offer special, hands-on programs designed for families with children, ages four to ten 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 and open to the public.
Second Saturdays are for Families: Hoop Around
January 14 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | 3809 West 35th St., Austin
Every second Saturday of the month, The Contemporary Austin offers hands-on art-making workshops at Laguna Gloria, inspired by the exhibitions on view. See family-friendly performances, meet local artists, and make art to take home. Recommended for ages 2–11. Drop in and create for FREE! 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. Reserve your spot here.
Rolling Sculpture Car Show (Bee Cave)
January 15 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Bee Cave
For the 9th year in a row, the Hill Country Rolling Sculpture Car Show will return to the Hill Country Galleria with upwards of 200 collector cars, antiques, modern classics, exotics, muscle cars, street rods, foreign sports cars, art cars, and even bicycles lining Hill Country Boulevard and its side streets to the enjoyment of the participants and spectators, and continuing benefit of the Bee Cave Public Library. With live music, and all of the amenities that the Galleria has to offer, it’s an event the whole family can enjoy. The Rolling Sculpture Car Show is FREE to the public, and runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Get Fit 2017! Ballet Austin’s Annual Free Day of Fitness & Pilates (RSVP)
January 15 from 1:30-4:30 p.m. | Ballet Austin, 501 W 3rd St, Austin
Every day is a good day to make healthy choices, but January is the perfect time to renew and revive your health and fitness goals. Make plans to attend Ballet Austin’s annual Get Fit and kick off the new year celebrating health and well being. This is your opportunity to sample fitness and conditioning classes, try Pilates reformers, learn more about living healthy, visit with local health exhibitors, and have fun! FREE classes during Get Fit include: Arms & Abs | Ballet Fit | Barre Yoga Fit | Better Balance & Movement | Body Burn | Bollywood Fitness | Cardio Hip Hop | Cardio Dance | CardioFUNK | Encore Workout | Foam Roller Stretch & Workout | Pilates Cardio | Pilates Mat | Stretch & Resistance Band | Yoga 101 | Upside Down Workout | Zumba® | Pilates Reformer Workout. Several informal talks offered all afternoon on topics like healthy eating, keeping resolutions, taking care of your body, and more. Spend the afternoon and sample one or all of the classes offered–whatever your body can take! Register here.
MLK March and Festival
January 16 at 9 a.m. | March: Begins at MLK Statue on UT Campus, East Mall. Festival: Huston-Tillotson University 900 Chicon St, Austin
The Annual Community March celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy while uplifting diversity and multi-culturalism in our city. The MLK Community March kicks off on Monday, January 16, 2017 at 9 a.m. with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus. March to the south steps of the State Capitol for a short program and continue on to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where exciting activities are planned. All businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals are invited to march and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. This year, marchers are asked to help by donating can goods or non-perishable food items, which will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank. Donation receptacles will be available at The University of Texas and the Capitol, while the march is in those locations. Receptacles will also be available at the festival at Huston-Tillotson University.
Free Admission to the LBJ Presidential Library
January 16 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | LBJ Library, 2313 Red River St., Austin
Enjoy FREE admission for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Third Thursdays at the Blanton
January 19 from 12-9 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, multiple programs including Yoga in the Galleries, tours, and other offerings. Thursdays are always FREE at The Blanton.
Summer Camp Fair
January 21 | Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd., Austin
Opportunity for families to come visit with various camps both local and overnight camps. There will be entertainment, as well as camp giveaways. This event is lots of fun, and opportunity to find out what is out there for spring break and summer camps. FREE!
Free Day of Dance
January 28 | Locations vary
There will be more than 180 FREE dance classes offered all over the Austin area: Country, Swing, Salsa, Ballroom, Tango and more! How many styles of dance will you try? See the schedule.
Nearly Free Fun
Vietnamese New Year Festival
January 21 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Travis County Exposition Center, 7311 Decker Ln, Austin
Tet is the most important celebration in the Vietnamese culture. It is an occasion for families and friends to reunite, to cherish the good memory of the past year, to share love and respect for each other, and to wish each other a great year ahead. This year’s Tet Festival of Austin will be held at the premier Leudecke Arena in the Travis County Exposition Center. Day tickets are $5.46. Check here for more information.
Panorama Playground at Hurlyburly (RSVP)
January 28 & 29 at 4 & 5 p.m. | Hurlyburly (adjacent to Waller Creek Boathouse), 74 Trinity St, Austin
See dance, see public art, and build your own experience to the music by wearing multi-channel headsets at Dance Waterloo’s Panorama Playground, an evening performance at Orly Genger’s art installation Hurlyburly. Panorama Playground is a pay-what-you-can performance on January 28 & 29 at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Bring your blankets, chairs, and a snack picnic. Hot chocolate and hot apple cider will be served. Stick around for a Q & A with the artists after the 5 p.m. performances. Headsets are first come, first serve. Reserve yours in advance.