Weekend Top 10 FREE Events: October 20-22, 2017

Are you ready for a weekend jam-packed full of FREE Fall Festivals and Austin events?  You can celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, gear up for Halloween, enjoy all things football, learn how to make safety fun, or honor diversity and world music at different festivals around town. You also have a chance to check out the new boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake, where you can snag a free fishing rod! Plus, we’ve got two more free chances for you to get new-to-you Halloween costumes for your kids! Search for even more free Austin events on our Free Fun in Austin Calendar, and get out there and enjoy October in Austin!

Weekend Top 10 Free Events in Austin

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Don’t miss Austin Emergency Center’s FREE Football Fest, full of college football tailgating fun for the whole family! It’s this Saturday, October 21, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Austin Emergency Center – South Lamar in Austin.

Find out more information here.

1. Boardwalk Trail Fishing Pier Grand OpeningSaturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Join the City of Austin and the CORE Health Foundation as they celebrate the grand opening of the ADA-accessible pier on the Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake. Ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:00 a.m. followed by fishing rod giveaways, local food trucks, and more! Fishing rods will be distributed to the first 100 attendees. Parking is available at Krieg fields. Shuttles will transport guests to and from the pier until noon. The pier is located on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail at the east end of the Boardwalk on S Lakeshore Blvd (east of IH-35). FREE! 515 S Pleasant Valley Rd, Austin.

2. Austin Emergency Center’s Football FestSaturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Austin Emergency Center, a locally owned, 24/7 emergency room, is hosting a FREE family friendly tailgate event at their South Lamar location. This will be a day full of college football tailgating fun in a family-friendly environment. College games will be playing on the big screen while adults and kids alike enjoy: pizza from Rockin’ Tomato, drinks from Juiceland, raffle prizes, petting zoo, face painting, snow cones, Gymboree leading a fun kiddo activity, fitness event, UT football tickets as raffle prizes, former football players attending, and MORE. This is a 100% FREE community event. Come out and enjoy!  Austin Emergency Center – South Lamar, 2110 S Lamar Blvd, Austin.

3. St. David’s Children’s Hospital KidsFest & Safety FairSaturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Come dressed in your favorite Halloween costume, and be ready for fun! Activities include Trunk N Treat, games, prizes, food and Sno-Cones, bike helmet giveaways, bike safety obstacle course, safety info and demonstrations, and more! This FREE family event is presented by Ghisallo Cycling Initiative. Bring your bike or use one provided by Ghisallo Cycling Initiative and receive a FREE bike helmet! St. David’s Children’s Hospital, 12221 N. Mopac Expressway, Austin.

4. Austin’s 2017 Arbor Day CelebrationSaturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This will be a family-friendly interactive and educational event located at the Austin Nature & Science Center. On-site Arbor Day activities include Tree Trail Tours at the NEW tree trail, kids tree climb, nature craft table, ask an Arborist booth, and so much more! FREE! Austin Nature & Science Center, 2389 Stratford Dr, Austin.

5. 2nd Annual Boo N’ BrewSaturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mark your calendar for a SPOOKtacular event! There will be center-wide trick-or-treating, fun activities for the kids, and beer for the adults. FREE! The Arboretum at Great Hills, 10000 Research Blvd, Austin.

6. Dia de los Muertos FestivalSaturday from 3-8:00 p.m. A day full of entertainment, art activities, and food for the family. Experience a display of traditional and contemporary altars and explore the beauty of classic cars and bikes. FREE and open to the public! Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River St. Austin.

7. Hill Country Galleria’s Concert Series and 10th AnniversarySaturday from 7-9:00 p.m. Hill Country Galleria is turning 10! Enjoy a day-long sidewalk sale at your favorite retailers, followed by the Saturday Night Concert Series with live music by Jeff Plankenhorn! The music begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Hill Country Galleria’s Central Plaza. Bring your family, friends, and a blanket to lounge on the grassy lawn during the show. Arrive early to shop and dine at Hill Country Galleria retailers and even get your meal delivered straight to your seat in the Central Plaza! SWAG bags filled with fun items and discounts will be available throughout the event. FREE! Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Bee Cave.

8. Kids Costume Exchange TwoSunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Bring a Costume! Color a Mask! Eat Cookies! Just in time for Halloween, Kid Frolic is hosting their 2nd Costume Exchange! Bring a costume, take a costume. Accepting costumes sizes baby to kids 12. Extra activities: color a mask and sensory sand play, story time with Brittany Root, Usborne Books, free raffle giveaways for prizes: books and pretend play stuff!! Plus, enjoy Halloween Special 30% off Kid Frolic Austin Merchandise & Costume Party Reservations! FREE! Kid Frolic, 1107 S 8th St, Austin.

9. HOPE Farmers Market Costume SwapSunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Re-Spook, Re-Wear, Re-Scare this Halloween! HOPE FM will be hosting a special Costume Swap this month. Stop by with any gently used costumes in exchange for a new-to-you costume. Donors will receive one ticket for each costume donated, to use to select a new-to-you costume at the Swap. Kids, teens, adults, and pet costumes. Do you only wish to donate costumes and not participate in the swap? Feel free to drop off costumes at HOPE FM on the 22nd! Want to shop but got nothin’ to swap? That’s ok, too. Please make a small donation in exchange for a costume. Stick around to shop the Farmers Market, where you can enjoy live music and even make some Halloween crafts! Admission is FREE! HOPE Farmers Market, 412 Comal St, Austin.

10. Our World Family Music FestivalSunday from 4-8:00 p.m. Celebrate Austin’s diverse cultures at Our World Family Music Festival, October 22, 2017 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Zilker Hillside Theater. Featuring music from Mother Falcon and several more acts, as well as dance and food from around the globe. A FREE family event sponsored by the Museums and Cultural Centers of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department. Zilker Hillside Theater, 2206 William Barton Dr, Austin.

Bonus Shopportunity:

  • City Wide Garage SaleSaturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The City-Wide Garage Sale®, keeping Austin vintage since 1977. A secret resource for interior designers, set designers, and lovers of everything vintage! Come early Saturday for best pick and Sunday afternoon for the best bargains. Admission is $7 (ages 12 and under are FREE), and allows you to enter both days with a hand stamp. Special early shopper passes are available on Saturday for an extra charge. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.

Bonus Nearly Free Fun:

  • Monarch Appreciation DaySaturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. An Austin- Area Butterfly Celebration that offers fun for the entire family! You can make nature crafts, see a Monarch eye to eye, learn how to attract pollinators year-round, learn how you can be a Pollinator Pal, and more! Regular Admission prices of $1-3 apply (cash or check only). Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
  • 1/2 Off For Early Birds at Sweet Berry Farms Harvest of Fall Fun (Marble Falls) Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. A visit to Sweet Berry Farms is a fall tradition in this area! They have hayrides, corn mazes, a pumpkin patch, wildflower picking, pumpkin painting, scarecrow painting, barrel trains, and more! Admission is FREE, you only pay for the activities you choose to do. This Saturday, the early birds gets the worm – save 50% off some of the most popular activities with this coupon (valid Saturdays 8:30-9:30 a.m. only). Tip: Credit cards are not accepted, cash and check only. Sweet Berry Farm, 1801 FM 1980, ​Marble Falls.

More Fun Beyond Austin:

  • Touch a Truck (Round Rock)Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Name a child who wouldn’t love to climb aboard a fire truck, big rig, or bulldozer! Touch a Truck provides a unique opportunity for children to explore vehicles of all types – public service, emergency, utility, construction, transportation, delivery, and just plain cool – all in one place. Those young and young at heart will be allowed to touch, climb on, and ask questions about their favorite trucks in a safe, supervised environment. Accompanying personnel will teach the children about the equipment displayed and how these machines help us and our community. There will be a “no horn hour” for those with sensitive ears or who do not respond well to loud noises from 9 to 10 a.m. Bring out the entire family to enjoy sitting in these trucks and learning about what they do, how they work, and how they benefit our community. For the safety of all, please leave the family pet at home. FREE! Old Settlers Park – East Entrance, 700 N Red Bud Ln, Round Rock.
  • 23rd Annual Hairy Man Festival (Round Rock)Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It’s time for everyone’s favorite event! Family activities include petting zoo, haunted house, train rides, inflatables, scavenger hunt, fall crafts and pumpkin decorating, and a variety of carnival games. Wear a costume and compete in the costume contest at 4:30 p.m.! Watch the Hairiest Man Contest at 5 p.m. Support a local non-profit as you shop for gifts at the craft fair, listen to live music, and grab a bite from food vendors or trucks. Admission is FREE! If you would like to donate to the Round Rock Serving Center, bring two non-perishable food items or a suggested donation of $2.00 per person. 8600 O’Connor Dr, Round Rock.
  • Plugerville Pfall Chili Pfest (Pflugerville)Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Come to Main Street in Downtown Pflugerville for the 10th Annual Pfall Chili Pfest. This festival features a chili cook-off and tasting, jalapeño pepper eating contest, live music, free kids’ area, shopping, and more. Entry is FREE, and tasting cups for chili can be purchased in packages of 10 cups for $5. Main Street, Downtown Pflugerville, 100 E. Main Street, Pflugerville.
  • Peanuts Halloween Event @ Bass Pro Shops (Round Rock)Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Come to Bass Pro Shops for a FREE Halloween photo booth, crafts, pumpkin toss, and more! Admission is FREE! Bass Pro Shops, 200 Bass Pro Dr, Round Rock.
  • Halloween at the Y (Cedar Park)Saturday from 3-8 p.m. Head to the Y for some spooky Halloween fun! Activities include trick-or-treating, games, bounce houses, demos, talent shows, selfie photo booth, and more! Food and beverages available to purchase. Lots of FREE family fun! Twin Lakes Family YMCA, 204 E Little Elm Trail, Cedar Park.
  • Round Rock Diwali Festival (Round Rock)Saturday from 3-10 p.m. The festival of Diwali is a ‘celebration of light’ and all that it encompasses. This includes the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and strength over fear. Bring your friends to enjoy beautiful street lights, savory food, music, cultural dance, beautiful Rangoli (sand art), and a fashion show. Kids can learn various arts and crafts while others can partake in free Bollywood dance lessons. In such a vibrant atmosphere, local vendors will display colorful arts and crafts, Indian clothing, jewelry and artists will offer Henna temporary tattoos. This event is FREE! Centennial Plaza, 301 W Bagdad, Round Rock.

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About the Author

Jaelyn Penner
Jaelyn was born and raised in Kansas, but she got to Texas as soon as she could! After a few years of youthful fun in Dallas, Jaelyn decided to make her passion her career and headed to west Texas to make it happen. There, she honed her musical chops while studying Commercial Music, and then headed straight for Austin to help keep it weird. Once here, she unexpectedly found her soul mate, and loves that her husband and two boys are now her biggest fans! Besides being a musician, Jaelyn also works as a corporate event planner, is a self-proclaimed “celebratory expert” and a long-time foodie. She doesn’t feel complete unless she is keeping up with all the cool stuff Austin has to offer.
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