Celebrate the new year with these family friendly events in Austin! There’s a magic show and Doctor Strange, a performance the Mutt Cracker, drawing, music, dance, and more, giving you many ways to welcome 2018 in FREE fun style!
A big thank you to this week’s sponsor, the Neil-Cochran House, an Austin historical gem! Every first Sunday of the month from now through May, the Neill-Cochran House Museum opens its doors to feature free hands-on activities, scavenger hunts, self-paced tours, and (weather permitting) lawn games with space to picnic in the shade. Looking for that extra little bit of weekend time to get out and see something new? Between the spacious lawn and kid-friendly activities, Neill-Cochran House offers a museum experience to folks of all ages and, (ahem!) attention spans. Don’t let the 21st century get you down! Get out and learn something new about how we got to where we are now!
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: January 5-7, 2017
- Doctor Strange + Live Magic Show
Friday, Jan. 5 | 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. | Community Cinema, 9301 Hogs Eye Rd.
Grab chairs and a blanket, bring family and friends, and enjoy this special screening of Marvel’s Doctor Strange preceded by a special live magic show from John Maverick AKA Dr. John “MadMan” Maverick. The event is FREE, however a $5 donation would be highly appreciated. Magic show at 6:30 and movie at 7:30 p.m.
- The Mutt-Cracker (Sweet!) 2017
Friday, Jan. 5 – Sunday, Jan. 7 | 4:30 & 6:30 p.m. (4:30 only on Sunday) | The Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd.For the 7th year, Circus Chickendog transforms The VORTEX for the holidays with a fabulously fun show for all ages. This year’s production once again stars five brilliant and talented rescue dogs and a talking scarlet macaw. Darren Peterson brings his masterful juggling and unicycling, as well his gifted dog training. Joining Darren with the magic of diabolo is Etienne Chauzy. Limited free tickets for each performance in the spirit of sustainability, accessibility, and the gift economy. Radical Rush tickets released at 7 p.m. each night, in-person only.
- YOURBIKERGANG.COM New Year Revolution
Saturday, Jan. 6 | 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. | 508 Walsh St.
You and the fam are invited to a biker gang party. In case you haven’t seen these fat tired electric motorcycles cruise through Austin, YOURBIKERGANG.COM is a new and weird way to tour Austin. Join the electric minibike gang and see the sights from a one of a kind fully electric vehicle. Whether your gang is family, friends, spouse or co-workers, the gang ensure you have a blast. This family friendly event is full of free food, free tours, free games and free fun. Drivers must be 16-years-old and passengers need to be 8.
- Children’s Book Fair
Saturday, Jan. 6 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.
Meet children’s authors and favorite characters, enjoy story time, and discover great stories and books to take home! Peter Rabbit, Froggy and Ladybug Girl will all be here to meet, greet and take photos with young visitors. All activities are free with regular admission to the Wildflower Center. Stay and enjoy the Family Garden! Book donations will be accepted at the Center throughout the weekend for Recycled Reads, Austin Public Library.
- Saturday Morning Drawing Salon
Saturday, Jan. 6 | 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. | Elisabet Ney Museum, 304 E. 44th St.
Draw from Elisabet Ney’s sculptural works in her own historic artist studio, using her amazing work as models! Each session will be hosted by one of the museum educators, and all of the required materials will be provided. Participation is FREE and open to everyone, regardless of age or level of experience! No RSVP is required.
- 16th Annual Free ATJS Jam Session
Sunday, Jan. 7| 1:30 to 5 p.m. | Cap City Comedy Club, 8120 Research Blvd.
Jump start your New Year with the 16th Annual ATJS Jam Session! This event is FREE and family friendly. During this annual event Dave Stoddard takes available jazz musicians and forms them into a series of ad hoc traditional jazz bands. The Jam Session often produces some of the best jazz the Society gets to hear all year. See their website for more details.
- Free Introductory Dance Classes for Young Children
Sunday, Jan. 7 | 12:15 to 2:45 p.m. | JCC Austin, 7300 Hart Ln., AustinJoin Ballet Austin with your young dancer and discover the world of Creative Movement together! Free intro classes for ages 18 months to 5 years. Dance with Me (ages 18 months to 2 years): 12:15 – 1:00pm, Creative Movement (age 3): 1:00 – 1:45pm, Creative Movement (ages 4 & 5): 2:00 – 2:45pm, Sign up HERE.
- The Lion & The Pirate Unplugged
Sunday, Jan. 7 | 1 to 3 p.m. | Malvern Books, 613 W. 29th St.
In association with VSA Texas (The State Organization on Arts and Disability) and the Pen2Paper Creative Writing Contest (a project of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities), Malvern Books is delighted to present an inclusive (mic-less) open mic for writers and musicians. Join for a fun and friendly afternoon suitable for performers of all ages and abilities.
- Mueller Meander
Sunday, Jan. 7 | 9 a.m. | Halcyon, 1905 Aldrich St.
Hosted by the Greyhound Pets of America-Central, meet across the street from Halcyon Coffee shop near the playground serpent. There are lots of great trails to meander around on. The Farmer’s Market opens at 10 a.m. and they are super canine-friendly. Open to all dogs so feel free to bring even the non-long-leggeds out for a stroll.
- History Lab – Bright Ideas: The Lightbulb and The Electric Motor
Sunday, Jan. 7 | 1 to 4 p.m. | Neill-Cochran House, 2310 San Gabriel St.
Using nothing more than household batteries, History Lab experimenters can re-create some of Edison’s earliest attempts to find a filament that would give good light without burning too quickly AND build a simple model electric motor. We recommend this workshop for experimenters ages 8 & up, but younger children are welcome to work with an older child or an adult.
Bonus Nearly FREE Fun:
- Holiday Break at Dart’em Up ($10)
Friday – Sunday, Jan. 5-7 | 4 to 11 p.m. (Friday), 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Saturday), 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Sunday) | Dart’Em Up , 13776 US-183 #104
$10 per hour/up to Level 2 with hourly giveaways!
- What’s The Story Steve? (Family-Friendly Improv) ($5)
Saturdays, Jan. 6 | 10 to 11 a.m. | Coldtowne Theater , 4803 Airport Blvd.
Move Your Tale and ColdTowne Theater collaborate to present What’s the Story, Steve? A fully improvised, interactive journey through a story of the audience’s making, starring our own improvising poodle, Steve Scott. Volunteer to be a part of the show or enjoy from your seat, either way you can get a high-five from Steve. Tickets are available at the door for $5 or in advance through the event.