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Boardwalk Trail Austin | © Steven Vance/Flickr
Boardwalk Trail Austin | © Steven Vance/Flickr
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The Best Free Things To Do In Austin

Picture of Aubrey Cofield
Updated: 9 February 2017
There’s so much fun to be had in Austin; from live music to food trucks galore, it’s all a good time. However, there’s nothing better than free fun, so here are some of the best things to do in Austin without spending a dime.

Mayfield Park

Park
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Peacock at Mayfield Park © jinglejammer/Flickr
Peacock at Mayfield Park | © jinglejammer / Flickr

Mayfield Park

Mayfield Park is a beautiful cottage that once belonged to Dr. Milton Gutsch, a former professor at UT, and his wife, Mary Gutsch, who inherited the property from her parents. They designed gardens, placed ponds, and were given peacocks, whose offspring still roam the premises, as a gift in 1935. When Mary Gutsch died shortly after her husband, she gave the whole property to the City of Austin for people to enjoy. It’s now a free park you can visit and marvel at – a beautiful site with lush gardens and friendly peacocks greeting the visitors.

Mayfield Park, 3505 W 35th St, Austin, TX, USA

More Info
Sun - Mon:
5:00 am - 10:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Local, Instagrammable
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Congress Bridge Bats

Spend an evening on Congress Avenue Bridge watching the largest urban bat population emerge from underneath the structure almost every night before sunset. You can also walk along the edge of Lady Bird Lake for an alternative view of the bats. It does get crowded during springtime when the bats are pregnant and at their hungriest, so arrive early to secure a good viewing spot.

Congress Avenue Bridge, Congress Ave, Austin, TX, USA

The Boardwalk Trail on Lady Bird Lake

Built in 2014, The Boardwalk Trail on Lady Bird Lake quickly grew in popularity and is now one of the most popular spots to get away from urban living. The trail is a perfect setting for running, walking, bike riding, and getting the perfect selfie with the Austin skyline as a backdrop. As you meander along, you can watch the kayakers go by or spend an evening watching the sunset.

The Boardwalk Trail on Lady Bird Lake, 1820 S Lakeshore Blvd, Austin, TX, USA

Boardwalk Trail Austin © Steven Vance/Flickr
Boardwalk Trail Austin | © Steven Vance/Flickr

Austin Nature & Science Center

Museum
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Austin Nature & Science Center © amy gizienski/Flickr
Austin Nature & Science Center | © amy gizienski / Flickr

Austin Nature & Science Center

Whoever said learning couldn’t be fun? At Austin Nature & Science Center, not only is it free but there are also so many ways your child, or even you, can discover something new while having fun. They have various hands-on exhibits, including a DINO Pit for your future paleontologist. They also feature walking trails, a pond, and astronomy programs, among other activities.

Austin Nature & Science Center, 2389 Stratford Dr, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 974 3888

More Info
Mon - Sat:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun:
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Kid Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours, Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors

Thursdays at Blanton Museum of Art

The beautiful Blanton Museum of Art boasts masterpieces created by artists from all over the world. It’s Austin’s largest art museum, and on Thursdays, admission is free. You can catch many of their notable rotating exhibits like the current Book from the Sky or their permanent pieces like Teresita Fernandez’s Stacked Waters, adorning the walls at the entrance of the museum.

Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 471 5482

Blanton Museum of Art © Ethan Lundgaard/Flickr
Blanton Museum of Art | © Ethan Lundgaard/Flickr

Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

Park
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Red Bud Isle, Austin | © Michael Coté / Flickr

Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

Covert Park at Mount Bonnell has the best views in Austin. After a short hike up the summit, you’re rewarded with views of the river, bridges, and large mansions that outline the amazing scenery. You can try to spot Sandra Bullock’s former mansion, enjoy a picnic on a warm day, watch the sunset, or better yet, do all three.

Covert Park at Mount Bonnell, 3800 Mt Bonnell Rd, Austin, TX, USA

More Info
Sun - Mon:
5:00 am - 10:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Dog Friendly

Services & Activities:

Fishing Allowed, Smoking Allowed

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Instagrammable

East Side Friday Food Truck Fest

Food Truck, Market, American, $$$
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East Side Friday Food Truck Fest

On Fridays, Whole Foods Market Catering offers free food to enjoy during your lunch break. They even have games, and the dessert is none other than delicious GoodPops. It’s worth making a stop no matter where you work in Austin.

Whole Foods Market Catering, 6201 Bolm Rd. Austin, TX, USA, +1 866 547 7527

More Info
Fri:
11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Outdoors