This weekend will be the last hurrah of summer for many families, so we’ve teamed up with Pulsr, the social discovery app that helps Austinites find the best restaurants and local happenings, to help you make the last few days of vacation count!
Pulsr is a free app that offers a personalized list of recommendations for local events and activities happening near you! We have partnered with Pulsr for the month of August to showcase the very best family-friendly weekend events featured in the Pulsr app! Download the app for iOS or Android, then click the Pulsr links below to save your top weekend picks, and easily share them with friends!
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.
Weekend Top 10 Free Events in Austin Presented by Pulsr
- The Austin Amazing Pet Expo (Find on Pulsr here) – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Check out tons of pet-friendly exhibitors and rescues, see live demos in positive-reinforcement obedience training, and let your pet take a spin with the latest pet sports. Learn about pet care and activism, enjoy giveaways and prizes plus amazing discounts on your favorite pet products, see talent and costume contests, and shop at fabulous retailers. There will also be shopping, adoptions, free nail trims, low-cost vaccinations, agility, and much more fun for the whole family. FREE! Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
- El Mundo Newspaper’s Back to School Festival (Find on Pulsr here) – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This fun, family event provides valuable community resources to the public related to education, health and wellness, nutrition, and much more. There will be: 2,500 FREE backpacks (while supplies last); vaccines; health and vision screenings; raffles and door prizes; snacks; music and entertainment; and more. FREE! Delco Center, 4601 Pecan Brook Dr, Austin.
- Austin Emergency Center’s Back 2 School Bash (Find on Pulsr here) – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Need a fun and FREE day with the family? Austin Emergency Center is hosting a Back to School Bash featuring pizza, snow cones, a petting zoo, games, giveaways, live music, and ER tours. Austin Emergency Center is pediatric friendly, locally-owned, and provides a positive ER experience, 24/7. Austin Emergency Center – Far West, 3563 Far West Blvd, Ste 110, Austin.
- Austin Summer Musical for Children: The Big Bad Musical (Find on Pulsr here) – Saturday at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The notorious Big Bad Wolf is being slapped with a class-action lawsuit by storybooks of quirky characters who want to get even: Little Red Riding Hood, her Grandmother, the Three Little Pigs and the Shepherd in charge of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. With Sydney Grimm as the commentator on live Court TV, the two greatest legal minds in the Enchanted Forest — the Evil Stepmother and the Fairy Godmother — clash in a trial that will be remembered forever after. Tickets available ONLY at the door 30 minutes before show times. FREE! George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St, Austin.
- Recycled Reads’ Back to School Bash (Find on Pulsr here) – Saturday from 12-6:00 p.m. Celebrate the beginning of the school year with a Media Corral, making upcycled t-shirt bags with Blythe from Re-sourcery, and how to make healthy, zero waste lunches with Josh Blaine from in.gredients. Recycled Reads will be collecting school supplies for Workers Defense Project as well. FREE! Recycled Reads, 5335 Burnet Rd, Austin.
- Back to School Splash Bash (Find on Pulsr here) – Saturday from 1-3:00 p.m. Celebrate back to school with a bounce house, snacks, drinks, games, and more FREE fun for the whole family. Please note that a swim test and waiver will be required for youth guests who are not currently members of the Y to ensure the safety of all that enjoy the pool. TownLake YMCA, 1100 W Cesar Chavez St, Austin.
- Summer Family Film Series: The Secret of NIMH (Find on Pulsr here) – Saturday at 2:00 p.m. To save her ill son, a field mouse seeks the aid of a colony of rats with whom she has a deeper link than ever suspected. Rated G. Come early for an Exploration Station kids activity table from 1-2:00 p.m. All seats are available on a first come first served basis. FREE! Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N Congress Ave, Austin.
- Comic it Up! (Find on Pulsr here) – Saturday from 2-4:30 p.m. Fans of all ages are welcome to dress up like their favorite characters, make superhero buttons and other swag, watch superhero movies, create their own three-panel comics, or just chill in the comic corner. Light refreshments will be provided. FREE! APL – Windsor Park Branch, 5833 Westminster Dr, Austin.
- Planet Cinema: The Secret of Kells (Find on Pulsr here) – Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Enjoy a unique new program for the Ney–outdoor film screenings. The Museum will present The Secret of Kells (2009), a magical animated film that revolves around a youth in a remote medieval village who finds adventure when a celebrated and mysterious master illuminator arrives. There will be chairs and lemonade, but bring your blankets and picnics, too. FREE! Elisabet Ney Museum, 304 E 44th St, Austin.
- Concerts in the Park: Woodwinds (Find on Pulsr here) – Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Austin Symphony Hartman Foundation “Concerts in the Park” will return to the Long Center for a 14th season of FREE ensemble concerts on summer Sunday evenings. Each week, a different ensemble will be featured, performing music from jazz and light classical to pops selections and film scores. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and blanket and make it a group outing. Bus Routes: 1, 5, 7, 10, 20, 30, 801 will get you there! Plan your trip online or on your smartphone. Long Center Terrace, 701 W Riverside Dr, Austin.
Bonus Nearly Free Fun
- Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival (Find on Pulsr here) – Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sample hundreds of hot sauces, check out live cooking demonstrations, and enjoy live music by Joe King Carrasco, A. Sinclair, Bombasta, Mayeux and Broussard, and La Vida Buena ATX. This family-friendly event is FREE to the public with a donation of three non-perishable food items or $5 donation to Central Texas Food Bank. Get ready to eat the heat. Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E Segovia St, Austin.
More Events Beyond Austin
- Music On the Square (Georgetown) (Find on Pulsr here) – Friday at 6:30 p.m. The “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas” will be the stage for FREE weekly Friday night concerts featuring regional musicians from June through August. Bring chairs or a blanket and beverages to enjoy music from Adan Davila playing Rock-A-Billy. Georgetown Square.
- Star Party (Cedar Park) (Find on Pulsr here) – Friday at 9:00 p.m. Star gaze on a state-of-the art computer guided telescope. View through the telescope, take telescope assisted photos with your smartphone, and learn major stars and constellation positions along with the planets and moons. Learn how to read a star map, and much more. Weather permitting. FREE! Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220, Toro Grande Dr, Cedar Park.