You won’t want to stay home this weekend — we’ve found some amazing FREE fun events for you! Meet Elmo and get a behind-the-scenes look at the history of Public Broadcasting, bring home a new treasure from an art swap, learn and connect at the African American Book Festival, try out your karaoke skills on stage, enjoy a Latin American celebration, or enjoy an outdoor movie or concert!
A big thanks to our sponsor, Sci-Fi/Thriller Author Liv Hadden. Adults and young adults (16+) are invited to join Liv in celebrating the launch of The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame, the next installment in The Shamed Series. This new release features comic book illustrations by St. Louis artist Mo Malone. The Book Launch will also feature live music from Lexi and the Bleached Roses. The fun begins at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 25, at Malvern Books (613 W 29th St, Austin).
Weekend Top 10 Free Events in Austin:
- Community Cinema: Moana – Friday at 7:30 p.m. Grab chairs and a blanket, bring family and friends, and enjoy a special screening of Moana. Arrive early to explore Community First! Village, pick your spot, and enjoy a family favorite on the big screen. Plus, stop by the Community Market to check out all the beautiful art and handcrafted products that Community First! residents make in the various micro-enterprise programs at the Village. Candy, popcorn, water, and sodas will be available for purchase (cash preferred). Concession sales and tips help Community First! friends who will be serving you to earn a modest living income. Movie begins around 8:30 p.m. Rated PG. Reserve your FREE tickets here. A donation of $5 is greatly appreciated. Community First! Village, 9301 Hog Eye Rd, Austin.
- Meet Elmo! 50 Years of Public Broadcasting Exhibit Opening – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act, creating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, transforming our national media landscape. The new exhibit at the LBJ Presidential Library, On the Air: 50 Years of Public Broadcasting, brings iconic artifacts from treasured television and radio shows under one roof. Visitors can pose with Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Count von Count, on loan from Sesame Workshop. Turn the corner and there’s even more to see: take photos in front of full-scale backdrops of the iconic 123 Sesame Street stoop and Big Bird’s nest. Also featured are artifacts from Mister Rogers, Bob Ross, Garrison Keillor, and Julia Child, among others. Opening day features another favorite from Sesame Street: meet and take photos with Walkaround Elmo (approximately 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) – hugs are encouraged! Activities include puppet shows, a cookie giveaway, a chance to win tickets to an Austin City Limits TV taping, and more. Admission is FREE! LBJ Presidential Library, 2313 Red River St, Austin.
- Staci Gray Kids’ Concert – Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Staci Gray’s original music gets children to sing, dance, and get their sillies out. Parents can relax and sip on some delicious cold brew coffee or a mimosa and, of course, they are welcome to sing, dance, and get their sillies out, too. FREE! in.gredients, 2610 Manor Rd, Austin.
- Gymboree National Day of Play – Saturday various times and locations: Arboretum, South Lamar, and Cedar Park. Celebrate at Gymboree Play & Music’s National Day of Play with music, art, and science, all in one place in one day! The event is FREE for everyone! Your local Gymboree Play & Music. View locations here.
- Art Swap – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Art Swap gathers artists from all over town for exactly what it sounds like: an Art swap meet. Art, artist’s tools, supplies, and more will be offered at tables for exchange with other artists and members of the public. It’s half yard sale/half performance art, in which art itself is the currency and commerce is an exchange of ideas, visions, beauty, and gear. If you’re not an artist, don’t worry. Bring items to trade and an open mind. Arrive early for a Big Medium Community Breakfast and coffee. The museum will also be open for tours. Family friendly and FREE! Elizabet Ney Museum, 304 E 44th St, Austin.
- Austin’s African American Book Festival – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Since 2007, the Austin African American Book Festival has worked to promote empowerment through literature. This event brings readers and writers together and produces and facilitates collaboration, dialogue, creativity and activism. Enjoy presentations by award-winning authors as well as discussions led by field experts. Bring your little ones to enjoy kids activities including kids yoga and storytime with books read by their authors. View full event schedule here. FREE! George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural, and Genealogy Center, 1165 Angelina St, Austin.
- Bring the Sing Karaoke – Sunday from 1-4:00 p.m. Calling all future Bellas and their embarrassing parents! Take over the Barrel O’ Fun for onstage karaoke with a full catalog of more than 8,000 songs. There will be props to take it to the next level and onstage challenges for the very brave of heart. If you’ve dreamed of being in Pitch Perfect or killing it at the school talent show, this party is for you. Kids 13 and under must be accompanied by a parent but teens are welcome to come solo. FREE! Barrel O’ Fun, 1911 Aldrich St, Ste 120, Austin.
- Big Don CD Release Show – Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Join Big Don for a CD release party and lots of fun. FREE! Moontower, 10212 Manchaca Rd, Austin.
- Plaza Para Todos – Sunday from 6-8:00 p.m. Immerse yourself in culture. Join the community for an evening in the Zocalo with live entertainment from local musicians and performing artists. Enjoy children’s activities, classic Latino games, and food from across Latin America. Relish in this cultural tradition. Admission is FREE! Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River St, Austin.
- Concerts in the Park: Big Band – Sunday at 7:30 p.m. The Hartman Foundation “Concerts in the Park,” presented by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, brings together ardent enthusiasts and unwitting attendees alike. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and blanket and make it a group outing at the new Hartman Park, located on the grounds of the Long Center for the Performing Arts. FREE! Hartman Concert Park, 701 W Riverside Dr, Austin.
Bonus Nearly Free Fun:
- Woodland Faerie Trail – Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The award-winning, 5th annual Woodland Faerie Trail features faerie homes and gardens created by Austin area gardeners, architects, artisans, businesses, clubs, families, and school groups. Explore the abodes of the faeries and gnomes along the Woodland Faerie Trail through the escarpment pathway and see who is home. Read about Emily’s experience here. FREE with Garden admission, which is $1-3 (for ages 3+). Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
- Alamo Kids Camp Movies: Matilda, Zathura: A Space Adventure, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, various days and times. Alamo Kids Camp now has a “choose-your-own-ticket price” model ranging from $1-$5 per person – you choose the amount. This new model not only allows for tickets to be purchased online, in advance with reserved seating, but also 100% of ticket sales will be donated to local nonprofits helping families. Now, while you’re enjoying some summer movie fun, you’re also helping your local community. Confirm showtimes and reserve your tickets here. All ages will be admitted to this show but families with loud children will be asked to leave. Alamo Drafthouse, various locations.
More Fun Beyond Austin:
- Around the World in 80 Days (Round Rock) – Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Don’t miss your last chance to see this hilariously fresh take on the classic novel. It follows the fearless adventurer Phileas Fogg, who agrees to an outrageous wager that puts his life and fortune at risk. Danger, romance and comic surprises abound in a dramatic race against time. No reservations required. FREE! Round Rock Amphitheatre, 301 W Bagdad Ave, Round Rock.
- 64th Annual Watermelon Thump (Luling) – Friday from 5:30 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 10:00 a.m.to 9:00 p.m. Join an annual tradition that celebrates small towns and all things watermelon. This 4-day annual event (begins Thursday) now draws an estimated 30,000 visitors to a town of 5,000. Attractions include live music, arts and crafts contest, a car show, carnival rides, exhibitors and food booths, the world championship seed-spitting contest, and more! Click here for complete daily schedules and admission fees, which vary by day. You can attend for FREE Saturday before 2:00 p.m. and all day Sunday. Children 12 and under FREE every day. Downtown Luling, 421 E Davis St, Luling.
- Saturday Sing-a-Long: Mary Poppins (Pflugerville) – Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Bring a blanket and pillow and spend a Saturday singing along to a favorite movie musical. FREE! Pflugerville Public Library, 1008 Pfluger St W, Pflugerville.
- Teen Pool Party (Round Rock) – Saturday from 7-9:00 p.m. Beats, eats, treats, and more! Teens age 13-17 are invited to a FREE pool party just for them. Brushy Creek staff provides all the fun, including “Beach Bash” themed food and activities. Play water polo, compete for Best Dive, and race on the large pool inflatable while listening to tunes. Creekside Pool, 4300 Brushy Creek Rd, Round Rock.
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