Spring is the perfect time to check out these quintessential Austin activities — all of which happen to be free. From festivals to family outings to general Austin weirdness, here are 9 things to do this season that won't cost you a dime.
Stroll South Congress
On the first Thursdays of every month, South Congress turns into one big block party. Stores keep their doors open late and several spaces offer complimentary sips and bites. Take a stroll along the iconic avenue for a quintessential Austin evening.
Get weird at Eeyore's Birthday
Eeyore's Birthday Party, an annual celebration at Pease Park, is as weird as Austin itself. Whether you join a drum circle, paint your body, wear a costume or dance to live music, this is one Austin tradition not to miss.
Hit up Pecan Street Festival
The bi-annual Sixth Street fest returns May 2-3. Hit up the Pecan Street Festival for local live music and artwork at one of Austin's oldest festival traditions.
Experience new art
Fusebox Festival is a citywide, multi-arts celebration taking place April 1-12. Various venues around town will host stellar performances and exhibitions in theater, music, art, film, writing and more. The fest's "Free Range Art" initiative, launched last year, encourages folks to be adventurous and check out new art forms — for free.
Take the road less traveled
Have you checked out some of the emerald gems around town? We suggest going off the beaten and exploring Mayfield Nature Preserve or Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. Mayfield is a cute escape (complete with peacocks) tucked away next to Laguna Gloria. Located outside the city, Wild Basin is ideal for hiking rougher territory.
Catch free music at the Grove
KGSR's seasonal music series kicks off at Shady Grove on April 9 with an amazing lineup of artists. Go early to get a seat and enjoy great free tunes from the likes of Jamestown Revival, Carolyn Wonderland and Dale Watson.
Hunt for treasures
Geocaching and letterboxing are two activities that double as modern-day treasure hunts — and we promise there won't be any peg-legged pirates on these adventures. People regularly hide little surprises around Austin and leave instructions online for how to find them.
Explore the great outdoors
The Austin Nature and Science Center is always fun — and always free. The nature center offers educational hands-on activities that teach us all about the environment and the way that our world really works.
Go down the rabbit hole
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at the Harry Ransom Center is an absolute treat for fans of the classic tale. This free exhibit offers several different versions of Alice's journey into Wonderland, from the first edition of the book to music soundtracks and photography.
Bonus: Have some fun at the Thinkery
Every Wednesday is Community Night at the Thinkery. Although it's not technically free, the suggested donation is only $1. Space8, the newest exhibit at the Thinkery, lets older kids play with woodworking, circuitry, sewing and more hands-on activities.