Summer Outdoor Freebies


Yeah…it’s summer alright. Austin’s weather map shows triple-digit temperatures for the foreseeable future. But in spite of the sweltering heat, there are still plenty of free outdoor activities to keep us amused during the summer months…besides the bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge, of course.

IMG_0018New this summer is the Sound & Cinema series, held every other Wednesday evening over at the Long Center. The Alamo Drafthouse folks set up their huge inflatable screen on the lawn and everyone brings blankets or chairs for the pre-concert and movie. Last week’s show was School of Rock, preceded by Will Taylor & Strings Attached. Upcoming features include Jurrasic Park and Back to the Future. Huge crowds have been showing up for each event. Is that because the temperature has cooled off to 99 by sundown?

IMG_0008Also at the Long Center, the Austin Symphony continues to host free Sunday evening “Concerts in the Park.” Personally, my favorite is Big Band, but Strings, Woodwinds, and Brass ensembles perform too. These concerts prompt a surprising amount of dancing: little ones running around on the circle of flashing lights right in front of the musicians as well as couples two-stepping up on the terrace.


The Music under the Star concert series was held on Friday evenings in July up at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Performers included Grupo Fantasma and Guy Forsyth. The museum was free and open to the public during these concerts…a welcome escape from the heat.

I’ve already posted a blog entry about another popular outdoor concert series, Blues on the Green. And I don’t want to forget to mention this year’s Zilker Summer Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, which is very entertaining, features a colorful, huge people-eating plant, and is also free (although donations are requested).

Considering the summer heat in Austin, that’s an impressive list of free outdoor activities!

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