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Top Ten Free Things to do in Austin: Broke, College Kid Style

Posted by admin on Monday, October 15, 2012

In Austin, fabulous shows, parties, festivals, tournaments, concerts, and games happen at the drop of a hat. Sometimes, these ever-so-life-changing events cost a pretty penny, and unfortunately if your pocketbook is empty, your weekend might look like an empty billfold, too. However, this weekend have a ball and satisfy your cheapskate heart. If you don’t want to drop a dime, here are the top 10 free things to do in Austin:

1. Let nature inspire you at Mount Bonnell. This overlook is seriously the bee’s knees. Located on 3800 Mt. Bonnell Drive, this covert looking place has one of the best views in Austin. Hike up those 104 steps (yes, I counted), set up a picnic basket, and you’re set for a relaxing, fun Saturday with your friends.

2. Get your creepy crawly on at Zoo Keeper Exotic Pets store. Tickets to the zoo are expensive. Hit up this pet store on the corner of Highway 183 and Burnet Road and get all of the perks of the zoo in a one-stop, one-store trip. Besides, the employees are awesome and friendly, and you can hold almost anything if you ask. Who knows? You might find a future apartment companion among the reptiles and amphibians.

Interact with the critters of your dreams at Zoo Keeper Exotic Pets.

Photo credit: Jane Hervey

3. Sit back and relax at Mozart’s Coffee on the lake. This coffee shop is the perfect place to study and enjoy Lake Austin. Right off of the corner of Enfield Road and Lake Austin Boulevard, this coffee shop offers a deck on the lake for its customers and visitors (and a perfect view of the Austin sunset). (Technically, you're supposed to buy something, we're sure. But..whatever.)

4. Frolic in Zilker Park. Want a day in the sun? Need some Vitamin D? Chillax on the huge lawns in Zilker Park.  Not only will the fresh air stimulate your brain, but your cute sensors will jump into overdrive with the plethora of adorable dogs and their people.

5. Dip in the Barton Springs Swimming Pool. This dammed body of water is the perfect place to splash and play with your friends--and at certain times of the day (early in the morning and late at night), you can do it fo’ free.

Cool off in the Barton Springs swimming pool.

Photo credit: Google Images

 6. Movie prices are too damn high! Get the whole popcorn-and-a-movie experience at Republic Square Movies in the Park. Set up a lawn chair and watch a free movie in the comfort of a public park. Plus, the park shows plenty of America’s all-time favorites (like Jurassic Park) and some independent documentaries.

7. Get batty with Austin’s favorite group of bats. From March to early November, bats fly out from under the South Congress Bridge at dusk almost every night. Participate in this spectacle and save your cash flow.

Class got you batty? Take a breather and watch some winged mammals take flight.

Photo Credit: Moon Battery

8. Yeah, tuition is crazy, but UT actually offers a bunch of fun stuff for free. Wait… What? Yeah, that’s actually right. If you’re a student (or faculty/staff member), you can get into the Blanton Museum of Art and the Texas Memorial Museum without paying a nickel. You’d be surprised; Blanton exhibits some crazy cool art, and Texas Memorial has some fossil finds you just might dig (pun intended).

9. Take a hike on the Town Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail. Don your sneakers and hit the trail. Some oxygen and exercise will do you some good.

10. Check Austin 360. There are so many festivals and free concerts every weekend, and Austin 360 (powered by the Austin Statesman) compiles them all in one place. Check ‘em out and have that ultimate weekend you’ve been dreaming of.

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