Summer in Austin: 10 Things to do on the cheap!

  • Blues on the Green (Free)  Bring a blanket, a cooler, and your sunscreen for free shows every other Wednesday during the summer at Zilker Park! Get there early to avoid the last minute parking debacle and bring plenty of cold drinks to offset the heat from dancing your face off.
  • Austin Sound & Cinema (Free)  Where else do you get to watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off while eating a lobster roll from Garbo’s on the patio of the Long Center? As the sun goes down you have a perfect view of the Austin skyline that even Ferris would admit is “so choice.” Check out their website for the complete summer 2015 schedule including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ghostbusters, The Naked Gun, & The Neverending Story.
  • Bull Creek & River Place Nature Trail (Free)  Austin has plenty of great hiking areas, and these two are community favorites. Both are about 3.5 miles and boast great Austin views and gorgeous Texas wildflowers along the way. Bring a camelback and your dog; these are a great way to spend these perfect summer days.
  • Cathedral of Junk/Baylor Street Art Wall (Free)  Look, Austin likes to keep it weird and artsy. So go see the Cathedral of Junk (call first for an appt.) for the weirdness and the Baylor Street Art wall for the sheer magnitude of creativity. People are so cool.
  • Harry Ransom Center/Blanton Museum of Art (Free with student ID)  Speaking of artsy, your UT student ID gets you in free to the Harry Ransom Center and the Blanton Museum of Art here on campus. Head to the HRC to the see their fantastic Alice in Wonderland exhibit (closing July 6, 2015) and then to the Blanton to check out Ralph Eugene Meatyard’s “Wildly Strange” photographs (through June 21, 2015).
  • Barton Springs Pool ($3 daily entrance, free swim 9-10pm)  Grab your picnic blanket and head to the best place to lounge about for an entire afternoon and do some people watching. Learn the Barton Drill: sit out until you can’t take the heat and then jump in the water until you can’t stand the cold. Oh, and don’t get busted with snacks, instead head over to El Alma for some guacamole and a spicy mango-rita to soothe your sunburn.       
  • Hot Sauce Festival (free with donation of 3 nonperishable food items or $5)  Here in Austin we like a challenge. Why just be hot when you can set your mouth on fire voluntarily? Bring a koozie for your drink (the local breweries are out in full force, lucky us!) and prepare for a day of music, contests, and delicious spiciness.
  • Ice Cream Festival ($10 entry)  It’s hot. So cool off with all of the ice cream your heart desires. Tried last year: jalapeno strawberry, avocado bacon, and honey goat cheese. Live music, food trucks, and dogs welcome. Welcome to Austin.  
  • Round Rock Express Games ($10-20 tickets)  America’s favorite pastime is a requirement in the summertime, so head north for a Round Rock Express game at the Dell Diamond. Friday nights boast an awesome firework show and keep an eye out for their special $1 hot dogs and sodas nights.
  • Texas Rowing Center ($10-25 hourly depending on rental)  Finally, one of the best ways to spend your summer days: on the lake. Rent a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard all in the same place and spend some time on the water. There are lots of deals on Groupon and Living Social so keep an eye out and get some water time in for cheap!