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!
Weekend Top 10 FREE Events: November 3-5, 2017
- Concert & Picnic in West Austin Park
Friday, November 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. | West Austin Park, 1317 W 10th St, Austin
Bring a blanket and picnic to the downtown West Austin Park located in the historic Clarksville neighborhood for a FREE concert and picnic, hosted by Old West Austin Neighborhood Association (OWANA). Music by local award winning songwriter, Aimee Bobruk, with additional support from Austin’s House of Songs. The Melting Potluck is a co-host of the event promoting diversity through music. Enjoy a playscape, dog park, and kickball field as well! FREE!
- It’s My Park Day 2017
Saturday, November 4 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. | Various City of Austin Parks
It’s the Austin Parks Foundation’s biggest city-wide volunteer event! Each year, thousands of volunteers work to improve parks and greenbelts throughout the city. This is a great chance to teach your family how to help create a more beautiful Austin, and give back to the community! Sign up for a shift here. FREE!
- Snapology Grand Opening
Saturday, November 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Snapology Austin Discovery Center, 1910 Fort View Rd, Austin
Snapology Austin is opening the doors to their Discovery Center on Saturday, November 4 for LEGO and STEM inspired activities! The center is located in 78704 at 1910 Fort View Rd. Drop by between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to check out the open play rooms, classroom space, and amazing outdoor area. Signage will direct you to the parking lot off of Fort View Rd. which leads to the back of the property.There is street parking available in the neighborhood as well! Children of all ages are welcome! FREE!
- First Saturdays at the Carver
Saturday, November 4 from 1 to 6 p.m. | George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina St, Austin
The George Washington Carver Museum’s FREE, once-a-month event created for people of color celebrates a range of themes each month. It’s family friendly, diverse, and the programming is intelligent. Activities, music, vendors, discussions, and more.
- Passport to the World
Saturday, November 4 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. | Austin Community College: Eastview Campus, 3401 Webberville Rd, Austin
Be ready for a fun day of kids’ activities and games, and explore Austin’s sister cities!
Kids will receive a passport and visit each sister city to get a stamp. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.,
live performances and kids’ activities from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. There will be door prizes and more! FREE and open to the public.
- Fall Festival and Star Party
Saturday, November 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. | Austin Nature & Science Center, 2389 Stratford Dr, Austin
Travel through the solar system in a new planetarium furnished through grant funding by Austin Parks Foundation. See the stars through a telescope. Check out the Masters of the Night Exhibit and meet a live bat. FREE!
- Texas Book Festival
Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Texas State Capitol and Grounds, 1100 Congress Ave, Austin
One of the largest and most prestigious literary festivals in the country, the annual Texas Book Festival features 250+ nationally and critically recognized authors, 20+ venues including the State Capitol, 80+ exhibitors, live music, local food trucks, family activities, and countless opportunities to meet authors and fellow book lovers. Founded in 1995 by First Lady Laura Bush, the Festival has hosted thousands of notable and award-winning authors over the years. The Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Click here for complete schedule. The Texas Book Festival Weekend is FREE and open to the public and takes place in Austin, Texas, at the State Capitol and surrounding grounds.
- 15th Annual Travis Heights Art Trail
Saturday, Nov. 4 and Sunday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Various locations in the Travis Heights neighborhood
This is a collaborative two-day neighborhood interactive art, music and literary event. In its 15th year, this cultural gem showcases more than 40 of the city’s longest practicing artists as they open up their homes and studios to the public in this FREE event. This year will also feature an Author’s Showcase at the Fairview Inn where local authors will be on hand reading from their books. There will also be book making demonstrations. The Travis Heights Elementary School Arts Program parents and children will display and sell “kid” art and provide art activities for visiting children as fundraiser for the school art program. The event is FREE!
- H-E-B Free First Sunday
Sunday, November 5 from noon to 5 p.m. | Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave, Austin
Enjoy FREE exhibition admission all day during H-E-B Free First Sundays, held the first Sunday of every month. Families can explore the Story of Texas through three floors of exhibitions that showcase artifacts from around the state.
- Sunday Funday: Free Basic Printing Techniques Workshop
Sunday, November 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. | Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin
When the historic Neill-Cochran House was built in 1856, not even typewriters were available. Hard to imagine, right? That’s why they decided to explore what printing text used to be like. History lab experimenters will be able to set up and print their own messages as well as a few pre-made images. This activity is best suited for experimenters ages 8 and up but younger children are always welcome to work with a grown-up. And what’s cooler than a hand-printed-by-a-kid greeting card? Entry to the museum is FREE for all visitors to Sunday Fundays and includes access to the exhibits on display in the historic house, annex, and grounds. Parking is available free of charge behind the museum.
- UT Surplus Sales Event
Saturday, November 4 at 8 a.m. | J.J. Pickle Research Campus: Surplus Property Warehouse, 3300 Read Granberry Trl, Austin
The UT Surplus Reuse Store strives to recover, repurpose, renew and resell items that are no longer being utilized by the university community. Items may include: desks, office chairs, filing cabinets, tables, monitors, keyboards, computer bags, computer speakers, bookcases, sofas, arm chairs, coffee tables, end tables, sofa tables, buffet tables, dining, various décor items including frames and glass vases, memorabilia and antiques, including athletics apparel and equipment. All items will be available for purchase by members of the general public, in addition to university faculty, staff and students. Cash, check, and credit accepted.
Bonus FREE Fun Near Austin:
- Rainwater Revival + Hill Country Living Festival 2017 (Dripping Springs)
Saturday, November 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Dripping Springs Ranch Park & Event Center, 1042 Event Center Dr, Dripping Springs
Enjoy the sounds and flavors of the Hill Country while learning about and celebrating sustainable living. There will be more than 70 exhibitors with information and products on rainwater harvesting, green building, native landscaping, sustainable products. You can visit a tiny home village, as well as a food truck court and hill country wine tour! There will also be prize giveaways, kids activities, and some great live music from Mr. Will, La Tampiquena, Drew Womack and Mike and the Moonpies. FREE!
Bonus Nearly Free Fun:
- Wurstfest (New Braunfels) ($10)
November 3-5, hours vary | 120 Landa Street, New Braunfels
Attend a unique and massively fun annual celebration rich in German culture and full of Texas fun – this festival is worth the drive! Located near the headwaters of the beautiful Comal River in New Braunfels, you’ll enjoy good food, music, dancing, exciting carnival rides and games, German, Texan and domestic beer, special events and the finest in Alpine and Bavarian Style Entertainment. It all happens at Wurstfest! The best ten days in sausage history. No admission ticket is required if you enter the gates before 7 p.m. on Friday. If you’re coming Sunday, use this BOGO coupon! Also, kids 12 and under are FREE!
- 2017 Austin Powwow and American Indian Heritage Festival ($5)
Saturday, November 4 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. | Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker Ln, Austin
The Austin Powwow is one of the largest single day Native American Powwows in the country. In addition to a traditional Powwow with dance contests, Native drumming, and singing, we feature outdoor storytelling and indigenous music, a Native American arts and crafts fair, and Native American food. By honoring traditions of the past and sharing them with the community, we are preserving them for the future. The Austin Powwow is a family oriented cultural event. Adult tickets are $5, kids under 12 are FREE!
- 27th Annual Fossil Fest ($3)
Saturday, Nov. 4 and Sunday, Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Old Settlers Heritage Association, 3300 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock
Spotlight on Texas Dinosaurs!! Come for guest speakers, fossil identification, Q&A with a scientist, hands-on demos, a fossil touch table and microscope, exhibits, dig pit, door prizes and more! Tickets are $3/adult, $2/child (6-12), children under 6 FREE.