Don’t stay at home this weekend! There are so many FREE ways to get out and make memories! Get ready for Thanksgiving with a special musical storytime with a local children’s author and entertainer, start your holiday celebrations early with one of Austin’s best light shows, experience art at one of several exciting spots, or catch a Cowboys game on a huge outdoor screen. There are also several ways for you and your family to have fun while helping the community. Don’t forget to check out our calendar for even more FREE fun!
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: November 17-19, 2017
- Turducken: Thanksgiving Songs & Stories with Ms. Kat
Friday, Nov. 17 | at 10:30 AND 11:15 a.m. | Wells Branch Community Library, 15001 Wells Port Dr, Austin
Beloved children’s entertainer Ms. Kat will be performing two mini-concerts, where she will also read, sing, and autograph her very first illustrated song-and-storybook, Turducken! Come start your Thanksgiving holiday vacation right with some family-friendly fun! FREE!
- Friday Movie Matinee: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Friday, Nov. 17 | at 3:30 p.m. | Old Quarry Branch, 7051 Village Center Dr
Enjoy a movie at the library! Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, tries to bring the magic of Christmas to Halloween Town and kidnaps Santa. Rated PG. FREE!
- Mozart’s Christmas Light Show – Opening Weekend!
Friday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, Nov. 19| from 6 to 11 p.m. | Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd
Thousands of dazzling lights have been sculpted into giant iconic objects, custom-made in Greece, that evoke Austin’s culture and the Christmas season, including a dozen guitars, the State Capitol, and a tree filled with presents, plus, an audio-activated wall of lights. Thousands of other lights will be imaginatively strung in the trees, facades, and rooflines. All will be placed around Mozart’s lakeside deck. For refreshment, Mozart’s acclaimed coffee and hot chocolate can be purchased inside the coffee house and at kiosks outdoors. Special holiday goodies from Mozart’s bakery will also be available. High Points of the Show/Timing: The exhilarating high points of the show, super light-ups and live choral singing, will be spaced throughout the entire evening. Families can relax and arrive at any time to get their over-the-top dose of Christmas magic. Show is FREE!
- Creek Show Final Weekend & Closing Party
Friday & Saturday, Nov. 17-18 | from 6 to 10 p.m. | Waller Creek between 5th St and 8th St
Haven’t stopped by Creek Show 2017 yet? This is the FINAL night to see our six new light-based, site-specific art installations along Waller Creek between 5th and 8th Streets, open until 10 p.m. Family-friendly activities will be hosted by the Thinkery at the Sabine Tree deck from 6 to 8 p.m. AND stop by the Creek Show Lounge at the Waller Ballroom for exclusive Creek Show merch, a photo booth, and one-of-a-kind Samsung VR experience. Creek Show is FREE and open to the public. View complete schedule here. On Saturday, celebrate at the closing party! Stop by Cheer Up Charlies on Red River from 6-9 p.m. to catch local music performances, featuring Rattletree and Big Wy’s Brass Band. This show is FREE, ALL ages and family-friendly!
- KUTX Live @ Mueller
Friday, Nov. 17 | at 7 p.m. | Mueller Lake Park, 4550 Mueller Blvd, Austin
The fun starts at 7 p.m. Enjoy music from Sugar Free All-Stars and Sweet Spirit. Food trucks, fun, and live music on the lake! FREE!
- Austin Families Give Back
Saturday, Nov. 18 | from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. | Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, 1156 Hargrave St, Austin
Bring your family to Austin Families Give Back: Family Volunteer Day 2017! Hosted by Generation SERVE (formerly Little Helping Hands), this event is an opportunity for families to learn about our community’s needs and sample service projects to benefit many local nonprofit organizations. All ages are welcome and the event is FREE and open to the public, but to attend, pre-register your family for a specific shift.
- Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade
Saturday, Nov. 18 | at 11 a.m. | Downtown Austin – click here for the parade map
There will be giant inflatable balloons, festive holiday floats, famous children’s characters, spectacular marching bands, cool classic cars, and Santa! The parade is FREE, but you can help Operation Blue Santa by bringing new, unwrapped toys to donate! At a designated time during the parade procession, all units will stop to collect the toys. Santa’s Helpers will line the parade route and help spectators give their toy. All toys will be distributed by the Operation Blue Santa Program to another child just in time for the holidays.
- The Community’s Table: Opening Brunch at Republic Square
Saturday, Nov. 18 | at 11 a.m. | Republic Square, 422 Guadalupe Street, Austin
Join the Downtown Austin Alliance at the Sustainable Food Center Farmers’ Market downtown for the unveiling of a new community public art piece – The Community’s Table. This event is FREE with RSVP! Learn more about the collaborative piece and what it means for Austin here.
- E.A.S.T. (East Austin Studio Tour)
Sat. & Sun., Nov. 18-19 | from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Multiple east Austin locations
This is a FREE, annual, self-guided art event. EAST provides opportunities for the public to meet the artists and artisans of Austin in their creative spaces. This year marks the 15th edition of the tour. Since East’s inception in 2003, participation has grown from 28 creatives to over 400 – attracting over 30,000 audience members, ranging from local neighbors to international visitors. With so much growth, they are working to bring you more personalized experiences – from themed tours to neighborhood hubs – to help you make the most of all there is to see and do. Be sure to stop by the Psychodome – a fully immersive, exploratory hands-on art experience! FREE!
- Sports at the Cinema
Sunday, Nov. 19 | at 7:30 p.m. | Community First! Village, 9301 Hog Eye Rd
Grab chairs and a blanket, bring family and friends, and enjoy a special screening of Cowboys vs Eagles on the big screen! Come as early as 6:30 p.m. to explore Community First! Village, pick your spot, and enjoy your favorite movie snacks. Burgers, hot dogs, milkshakes, popcorn, candy, and drinks will be available for purchase (cash and cards accepted). Concession sales and tips help Community First! friends who will be serving you to earn a modest living income. Game begins at approximately 7:30 p.m. Reserve your FREE tickets here. A donation of $5 is greatly appreciated.
Bonus Free Fun Near Austin:
- Play for All Park Grand Re-Opening Celebration (Round Rock)
Friday, Nov. 17 | at 9:30 a.m. | Play for All Abilities Park, 151 N A.W. Grimes Blvd, Round Rock
The wait is over! Head to the Play for All Abilities Park Grand Re-opening Celebration and enjoy FREE refreshments and Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, family activities and more. Be the first to experience the all new attractions! The park has more than doubled in size and now features three additional themed play spaces and four current play spaces have been greatly expanded. Activities begin at 9:30 a.m., the park opens for play at 10:30 a.m. FREE!
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