Free Fun in Austin: August 2014

L to R: LBJ Presidential Library, Zilker Summer Musical Oklahoma!,
Austin Symphony Concerts in the Park, Bullock Texas State History Museum


Read to plan for the month ahead? You can always refer to our Free Fun Calendar for upcoming activities and events happening around town, but we thought you might like to see a roundup of some August highlights:

Alamo Kids Camp – Daily through August 28, 2014


See kid-friendly movies for free at Alamo Drafthouse Village (2700 West Anderson Ln, Austin), Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter (5701 W Slaughter Ln, Austin) and Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline. Verify showtimes before heading out as they frequently change.  Tickets are available at the box office on the day of the show, and seating is first come, first served. No children under the age of 3 will be admitted, except on Baby Day which is Tuesday. Families with loud children will be asked to leave.

Zilker Summer Musical: Oklahoma! – Thursdays – Sundays, through August 16, 2014

This free musical starts at 8:30 p.m. Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides a colorful backdrop for Oklahoma!, one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most cherished collaborations. Read what to know before you go. The City of Austin charges $5.00 per car for parking in Zilker Park. Zilker Hillside Theater,‎ 2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.

What’s the Story Steve: The Birthday Party – Saturdays at 10 a.m., through August 16, 2014

Steve the Improv Dog is turning 4. Join him and his friends as they improvise the ultimate celebration. Audience members help create the show through suggestions – sometimes even joining the cast on stage! Shows are pay-what-you-wish. ColdTowne Theater, 4803 Airport Blvd, Austin.

Austin Symphony Concerts in the Park – Sundays through August 24, 2014


Each Sunday, a different ensemble of the Austin Symphony will be featured at the Hartman Park, located on the grounds of the Long Center, at 7:30 p.m. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and blanket and make it a group outing. Free parking will be available at One Texas Center, located on Barton Springs Rd. at S. 1st Street. Paid parking will be available at the Palmer Garage for $7. Hartman Concert Park (directions), Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin.

Free Admission to the Umlauf – Wednesdays – Sundays, through August 31, 2014

Through the generous donations during Amplify Austin, the museum and garden will waive admission fees for the Summer of 2014! From June 1 through August 31, the UMLAUF will once again be free to the public. Wednesday – Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road, Austin.

Austin Amazing Pet Expo Saturday, August 2, 2014

Bring your pet to the 2014 Austin Amazing Pet Expo from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. You’re welcome to bring your dog or your bird or even your lizard – just make sure that you have proof of current age-appropriate immunizations (if applicable) and that your canine companion is on a non-retractable lead. Check out a special appearance by Shorty Rossi (and his pit bull, Hercules), star of Pit Boss on Animal Planet, visit with 165+ pet-friendly exhibitors and rescue groups, see live demonstrations in agility, obedience training, pet care, and activism, enjoy great giveaways, a talent contest and costume contest, and much more fun for the whole family. If you’re looking to add a new pet to your family, a mega-adoption event sponsored by Banfield Pet Hospitals will have more than 300 pets available for adoption. Admission is free. Download a program here. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.

1960s Day at Bullock Museum Sunday, August 3, 2014

Enjoy free exhibit admission from 12 – 6 p.m.  Families can explore the Story of Texas through three floors of exhibits that showcase artifacts from around the state. Special family programs from 12 – 3 p.m. combine art creation, presentations by partner organizations, and gallery activities. This Sunday, travel backward to the 1960s and explore this wild decade with fun for families. Kids will make their own wearable 1960s art, explore 1968 with exhibit guides just for them, and much more. Hippie attire encouraged! Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N. Congress Avenue, Austin.

Family Day at UMLAUF – Sunday, August 3, 2014

First Sundays offer a special, hands-on program designed for families with children, four to 15 years old, from noon – 4 p.m. Families have the opportunity to explore the Umlauf collection and exhibitions in the garden and museum while engaging in creative activities. Family First Sundays feature Story Time with BookPeople (1 p.m.), Sculpture Demonstrations by representatives from Texas Society of Sculptors, Sculpture Scavenger Hunts and more! Free and open to the public!  Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road, Austin.

Magic Shows at Highland Mall – Mondays – Thursdays, through August 21, 2014


Fantastic Magic Camp presents free Camp Shows that are open to the public. No tickets and no registration needed, just show up and enjoy the fun. 

  • August 4 – Black Bert 
  • August 5 – Cody Fisher 
  • August 6 – Gusto the Great 
  • August 7 – The Fantastic Kent Cummins 
  • August 11 – Bonzo Crunch (Clown) 
  • August 12 – Close-Up Magic 
  • August 13 – Ian Varella (Ventriloquist) 
  • August 14 – Peter the Adequate 
  • August 18 – Black Bert 
  • August 19 – Peter the Adequate 
  • August 20 – Cody Fisher 
  • August 21 – The Fantastic Kent Cummins
Highland Mall, 6001 Airport Blvd, Austin.


Movie Mondays at Amy’s – Mondays through August 18, 2014

It’s another awesome summer in Austin! The kids are out of school, so bring them to free outdoor viewings of classic childhood movies! Every Monday night, Amy’s Ice Creams will set up a huge projector outside of the Burnet Road location and show one of these movies: 

  • August 4 – Finding Nemo 
  • August 11 – 101 Dalmatians 
  • August 18 – Monsters Inc and Monsters University 

It’s totally free! Movie starts around dusk. Amy’s Ice Creams, 5624 Burnet Rd, Austin.


Blues on the Green – Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Head to Zilker Park for Blues on the Green with Charlie Mars and Quiet Company. As Austin’s largest free concert series, KGSR’s Blues on the Green is consistantly ranked as a top annual entertainment event, and has become a staple of the Austin lifestyle. Music starts at 8 p.m.  Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.


MamaCents Consignment SaleFriday, August 8 and Saturday, August 9, 2014

Shop for clothing, gear, furniture, maternity, books and more! Frank Fickett Center, 12500 N IH 35, Austin.


Texas Sales Tax Holiday – Friday, August 8 – Sunday, August 10, 2014


Shoppers can save money on certain items priced under $100 during the state’s annual sales tax holiday. The law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales tax, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend during the weekend.

Planet Music: American Swing – Friday, August 8, 2014

An evening of Swing music and dance from the 1910s to 1940s! This month’s Planet Music event will feature live music by Aunt Ruby’s Sweet Jazz Babies and a dance lesson by Samantha Garfield and Alex Gaw! Doors open at 6:30 p.m. From 7-9 p.m. enjoy a beginner dance lesson, followed by live music, swing dance demos, and more! The event is free and family friendly. Dougherty Art Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.


Movie in the Pool: Free Willy – Friday, August 8, 2014

Join an evening of fun at El Salido Pool! Bring your whole family to swim under the night sky while watching Free Willy. The movie is free, however, the pool is only free after 8 p.m.  Free Willy will start at dusk.  El Salido Pool, 11500 El Salido Parkway Austin.


Classic Cartoon Community Cinema – Despicable Me 2 – Friday, August 8, 2014

Come be a kid again with cereal and cartoons! The Fellowship at Scofield Farms will be showing classic cartoons and serving free popcorn and cereal on the lawn. Be sure to bring blankets, towels or folding chairs. It’s free and open to the public. Seating starts at 8:30 p.m.; cartoons start at around 9 p.m. Concessions are first come, first served, while supplies last. The Fellowship at Scofield Farms, 12424 Scofield Farms Dr, Austin.


Barton Springs Fest – Saturday, August 9, 2014

Join the S.O.S. (Save Our Springs) Alliance at Barton Springs Pool from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. for outdoor adventure, snorkeling tours, hikes, and live music on the south hill. There will also be free watermelon, a diving competition, educational speakers and workshops. While the Fest activities are free, events that take place within the gates of the pool require that you pay admission to Barton Springs Pool ($1-$4). Also, $5 will be charged to park in Zilker Park, starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Barton Springs Pool, Outside Back Gate and South Hill Area, 2201 Barton Springs Rd., Austin.


Austin Summer Musical for Children: The Wizard of Oz – Saturdays and Sundays from August 9 – August 24, 2014


Austin Summer Musical for Children presents the live musical theater version of the motion picture The Wizard of Oz.  Free tickets for the play are available at the door 45 minutes before the showtime. There are 15 performance times to choose from. Appropriate for all ages. Boyd Vance Theatre, Carver Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina St, Austin.


Flashback Family Night at LBJ LibrarySaturday, August 9, 2014

Grab a picnic and a lawn chair and come on out to the LBJ Library to enjoy exhibits, live music, and a movie on the lawn:

  • 5 – 7 p.m. – Free Library admission; tour Sixty from the ‘60s exhibit
  • 7- 8:30 p.m. – Rock to “Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes” on the lawn by the LBJ fountain
  • 9 p.m. – Sing along with the 1963 classic Bye Bye Birdie

Please, no alcohol or pets. Bring your own blankets and chairs for the movie and music!

Free parking will be available in the LBJ Library visitor parking lot (#38) located at 2313 Red River Street, as well as the parking lots adjacent on either side (lots #37 and 39). The entrance to lot #38 is flanked by Library banners. Overflow parking will be available in nearby garages for a fee of $3 per hour. LBJ Library, 2313 Red River St., Austin.

101x Cinema: Back to the Future – Wednesday, August 13, 2014

See a free outdoor screening of Back to the Future at Central Market North Lamar, starting at sundown (around 8:30 p.m.). Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs and to arrive early to get a good spot. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the Central Market Cafe. Central Market North Lamar, 4001 North Lamar Blvd, Austin.


Raiders of the Lost Ark at the Long CenterWednesday, August 13, 2014

See a musical performance by The Golden Dawn Arkestra at 7:30 p.m., followed by the free movie at around 8:30 p.m. Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin.

Blues on the Green – Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Head to Zilker Park for the final free Blues on the Green concert by Shinyribs with Tameca Jones. Music starts at 8 p.m.  Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.


Movie in the Park: The LEGO Movie (Georgetown) – Thursday, August 14, 2014

Free popcorn, pickles, and bottled water! Free face painting and free glow in the dark necklaces! Movie starts at sunset, approximately 8:45 p.m.  Gazebo Area of San Gabriel Park, 445 E Morrow St, Georgetown.


Clothing Exchange and Donation Drive – Saturday, August 16, 2014

From 9 a.m. to noon, the public is invited to “bring what you can and take what you need.”  Foster families are invited to shop without bringing anything to donate. First Baptist Church, 9th and Trinity, Austin.


AISD Back to School Bash – Saturday, August 16, 2014 


Austin ISD will host the ninth annual Back to School Bash Celebration and Safety Fair from 9 a.m. – noon at the Austin Convention Center. More than 100 community and district organizations will offer exhibits for AISD families to learn more about the services and programs that can help students enjoy a safe and successful school year. Nurses from Dell Children’s/AISD Health Services will provide free vaccinations and Kids Vision for Life Central Texas may be providing free vision exams and eyeglasses. Students will also receive a free backpack filled with school supplies appropriate for their particular grade level. Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin.


Back to School Parade & Festival – Sunday, August 17, 2014

Families in Austin and the surrounding areas are invited to take part in the annual Back to School Parade and Festival, from 1 – 7 p.m. The Back to School parade begins at 3 p.m. at Delco Center (4601 Pecan Brook Dr) and ends at Bartholomew Park (5201 Berkman Dr). 


The festival will provide a limited number of free backpacks filled with school supplies. In order to get a backpack, students and their parents must line up in Bartholomew Park from 1 – 2:30 p.m. for wristband. Backpacks will be handed out to students with wristbands from 4 – 6 p.m. (following the parade); any leftover backpacks will be given out on a first come, first served basis after 6 p.m. 
The festival and parade are open to students from all school districts. For more information visit the Back to School Parade website, check out the parade details, or read through the frequently asked questions

Movie in the Plaza: Alice in Wonderland (Round Rock) – Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Movies in the Plaza returns this summer with Alice in Wonderland (1951) at 8:30 p.m. Music by Back 9 Band begins at 6 p.m. Bring your lawn chair or blanket. Scarlet Rabbit will be onsite selling refreshments. Centennial Plaza, 301 Bagdad, Round Rock.


Free Haircuts for Kids & BBQ at Police Open House (Round Rock) – Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Round Rock Police Department – with the help of local hair stylists – will help kids get a fresh start for the upcoming school year with its first “Kutz 4 Kids” event. Stylists from across the city will volunteer their time to give free haircuts during the event, which coincides with an Open House at the Police Department. Residents will be able to tour the police station and get a behind the scenes look at holding cells, Crime Scene Unit, K-9 Unit, fingerprinting, and more. Families can enjoy fun and educational exhibits, demonstrations, as well as face painting, balloon artists, and snow cones. In addition, SWAT vehicles, police vehicles, and a fire truck will be on display. Free barbecue will be provided by the Round Rock Police Officers Association. The free event will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Department, 2701 N. Mays Street, Round Rock.


Movie in the Playground: Horton Hears a Who –  Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sammy’s House hosts the 2nd Annual Movie in the Playground with a free screening of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who. Bring your chairs, bug spray, and blankets to enjoy the show. Admission is free! There will be baked goods, drinks and popcorn for sale. Movie will start at 8:15 p.m. Sammy’s House Playground, 2415 Twin Oaks Drive, Austin.


Free Admission to the LBJ Museum – Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The LBJ Library and Museum will offer birthday cake and refreshments so that visitors can commemorate the birthday of Lyndon Baines Johnson. He would have been 106 years old. Admission to the Library will be free. LBJ Presidential Library, 2313 Red River St, Austin.

Long Center Open House – Sunday, August 31, 2014

Join the Long Center for an all access pass to Austin’s arts experience. This open house is free and open to the public! From noon – 4 p.m., every space will be buzzing with activity. Performances and information from Austin’s best and brightest arts organizations, plus a Kid’s Zone and public tours of some of the Long Center’s most secret and exclusive spaces (backstage areas, star dressing rooms, green rooms and more!). Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Dr. Austin.


Splash Jam (Cedar Park) Sunday, August 31, 2014


Admission is free. The event kicks off with a washer tournament at 4 p.m. and the rest of the event starts at 5 pm. The festival will feature live music and inflatables. Fees apply for face painting, food concessions, mechanical bull, carnival games, hamster balls, quad jump, super slide, rock wall, caricatures and spinner ride. The event will end with a fabulous fireworks display. Elizabeth Milburn Park, 1901 Sun Chase Blvd., Cedar Park.


If you’re more of a last-minute planner, be sure to watch for our What’s Up? Weekly posts (every Sunday night) and our Weekend Top 10 FREE Events posts (every Thursday night). 

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