Say Hello to 2020 with These Family Friendly Austin New Year’s Day Events

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The new year is a time to leave the past behind and celebrate new beginnings. Here are some fantastically FREE ways to celebrate 2020 with your family and friends.

New Year’s Day Community Fun Run
January 1 | at 9 a.m. | Gilbert’s Gazelles, 115 Sandra Muraida Way
Open to the Austin Community — An easy run of 3, 5 or 7 miles followed by refreshments and other surprises. Start the new year with friends, family and fitness!



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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.
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Free Community Workout
January 1 | from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. | Dirk Nichols Park, 8011 Beckett Road
Join for a FREE community workout and kickoff the New Year in style! Get your 1st CG workout with some friendly faces, sweat and the beautiful outdoors. Anyone is welcome to join the fun so bring friends, family, and/or neighbors!

Super Magic Rainbow Storytime
January 1 | at 11:30 a.m. | Book People, 603 North Lamar Boulevard
Kick off the new year with SPARKLE and FUN! If you love the marvelous, unique creatures known as unicorns as much as we do, we invite you to today’s storytime, where they’ll be reading Uni the Unicorn and more!

Polar Bear Plunge
January 1 | from 12 to 1:30 p.m. | Anderson Mill Limited District, 11500 El Salido Parkway
Join for the annual Polar Bear Plunge on January 1, 2020 at El Salido Pool! Admission to the pool is free during the event and includes hot chocolate with light snacks and pictures with a polar bear (no, not a real one).

4th Annual First Day Hike
January 1 | from 12 to 2 p.m. | Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, 805 North Capital of Texas Highway
Set the tone of the New Year by spending time outdoors with friends! Scout friends from all Austin groups have been invited. You’re welcome to bring family and friends. Sadly, dogs are not allowed on the preserve, so please leave fur babies at home. This is not an “official” group event, so uniforms are not required.

New Year’s Day Parade
January 1 | from 3 to 4 p.m. | Doug Sahm Hill, 1000 Barton Springs Road
Shake off the post-party glitter, grab some coffee and start the New Year by joining Minor Mishap Matching Band for a musical saunter in the park. 

Dripping Springs Community Date Night (Dripping Springs)
January 1 | at 5 p.m. | Dripping Springs Ranch Park
Drip Slateboarding is excited to announce a collaboration with the City of Dripping Springs for a community skate night at DS Ranch Park. Skate night will run every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. for the next year. The ground at Ranch Park is buttery smooth. One push and you will roll forever! Skate nights are for all ages so bring your kids, moms, dads and anyone else that wants to come skate with us.

Christmas Towne and Mighty Thomas Carnival (Round Rock)
January 1 | from 5 to 9 p.m. | Dell Diamond, 3300 East Palm Valley Boulevard
Take your family to the FREE Christmas Towne at the Old Settlers Association and the Dell Diamond parking lot. Christmas Towne features amazing light displays including a walking tunnel of lights, full-scale carnival rides, holiday refreshments and more. Christmas Towne is located at the Old Settlers Association and the Dell Diamond parking lot. Entrance address is 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd. Christmas Towne is adjacent to the exciting Thomas Carnival featuring full-scale carnival rides. Fun for all ages!

Mozart’s 10th Annual Joyous Light Show
January 1 | from 6 to 10 p.m. | Mozart’s Coffee Roasters
, 3825 Lake Austin Boulevard
The Mozart’s Joyous Light Show is back for the 10th year in a row! Come celebrate the season with us. Magical lights, delicious hot chocolate, tasty treats, and a wonderful time for the whole family.

Star Party 2020
January 1 | at 7 p.m. | McKinney Falls State Park, 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway
Experience the first night of 2020 by looking at the moon and stars through a telescope and listening to constellation stories. All ages and abilities are welcome. Please leave dogs at home if possible. If conditions are not cooperating by 5 p.m. on 1/1, the Ranger will update event listing and the event will be canceled. Event is free with park entry. The office will close before the program begins. Pay for your entry fee ($6 per person, ages 13 and up) online before you arrive. Click here for more info and instructions.

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About the Author

Dani Dudek
Dani Dudek is an Emmy-winning marketer who has been active professionally in the entertainment industry for two decades. She has mastered the art of celebrity spotting across the country, but does so best in Austin, where she runs the website ATXGossip.com. With a special eye for even the most minor of celebs, she is basically Shazam and IMDB together in human form.
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