I love finding activities that can involve the whole family and don’t break the bank. So during our explorations, I’ve come up with a list of free activities that have kept my kiddos busy and my bank account happy!
Lake Travis. I know many people in Austin flock to Barton Springs Pool or Lady Bird Lake for some water fun but Lake Travis offers some great swimming / boating / fishing as well and it’s free!
Some access parks are privately run by neighborhood associations so get in with a friend or find an access point near you here: Recreational Areas
Zilker Botanical Gardens has dedicated free days for the public. Look on their website for the calendar: Zilker Garden
Canyonlands Trail near Jones Brothers Park in Jonestown, TX is a great little trail for kids or novice hikers and there’s a great water feature at the end of the trail to check out!
If you’re looking to cool down and have fun, Lakewood Park in Leander has a great playground, a skate park, and an awesome free splash pad. Be sure to check the city website for the season splash pad schedule: Lakewood Park
Waterloo Greenway hosts many fun activities for the family throughout the year, including the Creek Show, which is an annual display of fun light installations along Waller Creek. Check out their events schedule here: Waterloo Greenway
Zilker Hillside Theater puts on AMAZING live theater performances during the Summertime. They are free and one of our favorite traditions every Summer.
The Bob Bullock Museum offers free community and homeschool days to the public. Along with permanent exhibits with Texas artifacts, the museum also hosts special exhibits and has an awesome IMAX theater.
The museum has so many neat artifacts on display and really does a good job with interactive components to help kids and adults alike learn more in-depth about history.
Veteran’s Park in Cedar Park has a fun play structure that’s also shaded (Amen!) and a fun sand area so bring some buckets and shovels.
Another great park that provides natural shade with its massive trees is Springwoods Park. It has multiple play structures for different ages and tons of space to run around and explore.
If you couldn’t tell by now, we’re park people! Elizabeth Millburn Park offers a wonderful play space with an awesome climbing web, so of course my kids have nicknamed this the “web park.” There’s also a dirt bike trail with ramps and an obstacle course, rock climbing wall, and during the Summer months there’s a community pool with multiple slides and a kiddie area.
Joanne Land Park offers multiple amazing play structures for climbing, a zip line, swings, and a disc golf course.
There’s also wide open fields to run around near a pond where you can see ducks and other wildlife. It’s a great picnic spot to spread out a blanket and enjoy the scenery after the kids play.
The Capitol grounds and building is a fun place to check out. Also go to the Texas Capitol Visitors Center for deeper information and more hands-on learning.
Bass Pro Shop has daily fish feedings and hosts many family events all year long, including hands-on educational activities: Bass Pro
Salado Glassworks is a little journey North, but it’s worth the drive. You can watch a free glass blowing demo almost any time they have open business hours. Check online or give them a call just in case to be sure they don’t have a reserved class: Salado Glassworks
Hill Country Water Gardens and Nursery is a beautiful place to shop for plants and soak in the scenery of the beautiful setting there.
Pioneer Farms – The Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms is a living history museum that interprets and preserves the histories and cultures of Texas.
They offer a hands-on look at Central Texas during the 19th century. The Farm at times has live demos and people dressed in historical attire telling stories of days of old. It’s a picturesque place to absorb history while having fun. The Farm offers free admission with the POGO Pass.
The Thinkery is a wonderful place for kids to learn and explore with hands-on STEM activities. The facility offers free community days to the public, or you can get a free trip using the POGO Pass.
I hope these offer some additional activities to put on your family fun list and help keep your wallet a little fuller as well!