Check These Out! Free or Almost Free in Austin

I’ve lived in Austin for over 20 years. One of my goals this summer was to get out and try new places and events in Austin that were free and fun! Some have been in Austin for a long time but I’d never experienced them myself. If you haven’t checked these out, I highly recommend them!

1. A challenging & beautiful hike:

Helpful Hints: Bring a lot of water, a protein bar, sunscreen, and lightweight clothes. The hike is covered with trees which helps with the heat, the trail is narrow with a lot of stairs up and down, and is 3.5 miles one way (See pics above).

2. Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) On Ladybird Lake.

Austin SUP is located at the Texas Rowing Center & offers free SUP every Sunday morning at 9:00 am.

Helpful Hints: bring a small backpack with water, sunscreen,  Chapstick, and your phone if you want pictures. The boards have hooks on the front to secure your backpack  I wrapped my life jacket around my backpack as an extra precaution to keep the contents dry. A waterproof bag would be ideal. We didn’t bring a cooler but if you’re planning on making a day of it I would bring a cooler and a Bluetooth speaker.

3. ACC fireworks from the 360 Bridge


Helpful Hints: Get there early!  This year the north eastern side of the bridge has a section for pedestrians and firework viewing. We brought tailgate chairs and had a great view and a breeze. It was perfect! Below is a picture of our view from the bridge.


4. Hike up to the 360 Lookout

The view is breathtaking and is a common place for Austinites to take beautiful pictures! There a hiking spots on the northeast and northwest side of the bridge.

Helpful Hint: Wear sneakers and bring sunscreen and water.

8. Painting with a Twist (not free, but fun)


There are several Painting with a Twist locations around Austin. Bring your own wine or favorite adult beverage, a wine glass, and snack if you like and they will lead you one step at a time to painting your very own masterpiece! I was skeptical because I’m not even close to being an artist, but wow, I was so happy with my painting in the end. Check the calendar of paintings at a location near you. They offer a wide variety of paintings throughout the month.

9. Rap Battle at Highball (Free)

It wasn’t exactly what I expected but it was funny and definitely worth checking out at least once.  Click here for Highball’s Calendar of Events!

Helpful Hints: Free parking garage in the back & you enter Alamo Drafthouse to get to the entrance of Highball.

10. Austin Aquarium (free for teachers & military)

The Austin Aquarium is as fun for adults as it is for kids!   Be ready to feed stingrays, sharks, fish, and birds.  You can also step inside a hurricane simulator (hold on to your hat).

What fun new things have you tried in Austin?  Leave a comment in the box below!  I love to check out new places and I’m sure other readers would love to hear about them also. Remember to subscribe to make sure you don’t miss a post!

Keeping It Short & Sweet,


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