6 places to visit completely for free during Austin Museum Day this weekend
You might be surprised by the number of museums in Austin — institutions dedicated to a range of subjects, from art to history to science, even music (of course). And this weekend is the best possible time to explore one or more of them: Austin Museum Day, on Sept. 23, offers free admission and, in some cases, special activities at the more than 43 participating venues.
Here are a half-dozen places to check out in celebration of Austin Museum Day. (Some of them are already free of charge. But let this day be a reminder that you should check out what they have to offer.)
Bullock Texas History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave.
In addition to three floors of Texas history-related artifacts, documents and other items, the Bullock will have fun and games from 12 to 3 p.m. centered around current exhibition “Rodeo!” Family activities include a sing-along, produced by the Groundwork Music Project, featuring music about rodeos and ranches.
Elisabet Ney Museum, 304 E. 44th St.
Once the home and art studio of eclectic German sculptor Elisabet Ney, who moved to the city in 1882, the Hyde Park museum is hosting Portraiture on the Park: Who Are You Anyway? on Sunday. You’ll explore the many ways to create portraits and self-portraits using a variety of items: paint, crayons, clay, metal, music and more.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.
Fall flowers are blooming. Take a garden tour to savor the sight at this far South Austin center celebrating native Texas plants. And that’s not all: Austin Museum Day starts early here, at 9 a.m., and runs through 1 p.m. with activities that include lawn games, coloring and other crafts, a seed-planting demonstration and a scavenger hunt.
LBJ Library and Museum, 2313 Red River St.
At the downtown library constructed in honor of former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, Austin Museum Day doubles as Space Day. The Johnson Space Center is celebrating the 60th anniversary of NASA and the 50th anniversaries of both Apollo 7 and 8 and will have activities and more to share. Touch a moon rock, explore models of space, and participate in science, math and technology events.
Texas DPS Museum & Research Center, 5805 N. Lamar Blvd.
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a state trooper for Texas? Find out during this museum’s Austin Museum Day event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., when there will be interactive activities. These include vintage uniform dress-up, a scavenger hunt and a meet-and-greet with current DPS Troopers and special agents. You can even tour the training academy.
Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Azie Morton Rd.
One of the most scenic spots in Austin has a full afternoon of events planned for Austin Museum Day. Kicking off the festivities is a mimosa bar at noon, and afterward, there will be guided tours, live music by Light Horse Harry and more. Throughout, you can also keep cool with sweet treats from Steel City Pops and enjoy arts and crafts.