50 Free Anytime Adventures in Austin, Texas

 Thursday, May 31, 2012



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  1. Explore the quirky wonderland that is the Cathedral of Junk
  2. Run around Ghost Town in Manor*. 
  3. Take your bike on a bumpy ride at the BMX park on 9th Street. 
  4. Dig for dino bones at the Austin Nature and Science Center
  5. Check out the impressive taxidermy displays and aquarium at Cabela’s in Buda. 
  6. Ride the saucer swings at Mueller Lake Park
  7. See the bats emerge from under Congress Avenue Bridge. 
  8. Climb the wooden forts in Georgetown's Creative Playscape
  9. Catch some free music on the Central Market patio, while kids burn off steam on the playground. 
  10. Head to a free Sunday morning kids’ show at Ruta Maya Coffee House. (Update: Ruta Maya has closed and is currently looking for a new location. As a replacement for #10, try scheduling a free tour of Blue Baker.)
  11. Play your heart out at the brand new Play for All Abilities Park in Round Rock. 
  12. Explore the Asian Supermarket
  13. Take your skateboard to the downtown Austin Skate and BMX park
  14. Go for a romp at Children’s Playground in San Marcos. 
  15. Ride your bike around the Veloway
  16. Load up on fruits and veggies at a Farmer’s Market
  17. Take a docent-led tour at Laguna Gloria (suggested donation).
  18. Climb Mount Bonnell
  19. Go on a self-led tour of the Texas Capitol. 
  20. Commune with the peacocks at Mayfield Park
  21. Enjoy the air-conditioned Texas Memorial Museum. 
  22. Visit the turtle pond on the UT campus. 
  23. Feed ducks at Mills Pond in Wells Branch. 
  24. Pet the cow statues in The Arboretum. 
  25. Visit the Austin Children’s Museum for free on Sundays, from 4 – 5 p.m. 
  26. Practice amateur Paleontology at Champion Park.
  27. Take a hike in Wild Basin Preserve (suggested donation). 
  28. Touch a tank at the Texas Military Forces Museum at Camp Mabry. 
  29. Peruse modern art exhibits at AMOA-Arthouse at The Jones Center (suggested donation). 
  30. Pose for a family portrait in front of the "Greetings from Austin" mural.
  31. Embark on a Historic Walking Tour
  32. Picnic in Zilker Park
  33. Head out on a creek expedition along the Barton Greenbelt. 
  34. Explore the Mexic-Arte Museum for free on Sundays. 
  35. Take the Family Nature Quest at McKinney Roughs Nature Park.
  36. Dine at a local food trailer.
  37. Navigate the incredible maze of costumes at Lucy in Disguise on South Congress. 
  38. Attend a Star Party on the UT campus. 
  39. Go on a scavenger hunt in The Blanton Museum of Art (free on Thursdays). 
  40. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the old-fashioned Big Top Candy Shop.
  41. Wade in Bull Creek
  42. Give geocaching a try. 
  43. Attend storytime at BookPeople
  44. Buy lunch fixins at Whole Foods and eat by the playground on the rooftop plaza.
  45. Tour a steam train.
  46. B.Y.O.Kayak or swim in Lake Pflugerville
  47. Learn about famous Texans, like Stephen F. Austin, who were laid to rest at Texas State Cemetery.
  48. Pile the kids into a red wagon at The Natural Gardener.
  49. Take a dip in Barton Creek.
  50. Visit the chickens at East Side CafĂ©. 

*Yes, I know Manor is not within Austin city limits. Technically the title should be "50 Free Anytime Adventures in the Greater Austin Area," but that's not nearly as catchy.


Image credit: R We There Yet Mom?

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