If you already bought the Costco bags of Halloween candy and spent way more than you meant to on your Halloween costume materials, you may be looking for free Halloween fun this year (no judgment – everything is expensive right now). Here is some free Halloween fun in and around Austin!
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UMLAUF Sculpture Garden Strawfest
Sunday, October 29 11 AM-4 PM
605 Azie Morton Rd
UMLAUF’s annual fall festival is back. From 11-4 on Sunday, 10/29, families can visit the sculpture garden for pumpkin decorating, carnival games, and other fun fall activities. The sculpture garden will be open for exploring. The event is free but RSVPs are recommended.
Creative Action and White Ghost Shivers Kids Ball
Saturday, October 28 5-7 PM
Central Market, 4001 N Lamar
Creative Action is excited to bring its 10th Annual Kids Ball to Central Market on North Lamar. The ball is jam-packed with sustainable Halloween activities, including creative reuse costume-making stations, a photo BOOth, pumpkin rolling, three-legged races, and music by White Ghost Shivers. Guests are asked to reserve a spot for the fall fun.
Neill-Cochran House Museum Halloween Carnival
Sunday, October 29 11 AM – 3 PM
2310 San Gabriel St
The Neill-Cochran House Museum hosts its free family Halloween carnival in partnership with The Vine and Latinitas. Come in costume for trunk-or-treat, a bouncy house, scavenger hunts, and more. Friends from Latinitas will be leading an activity to make ofrendas in tribute to ancestors who have passed on in observation of el Día de los Muertos. The museum will be open for free tours during the event.
Bob Bullock Museum Spooktacular
Friday, October 27 5-8 PM
1800 Congress Ave
Don your best ocean-themed costume for this free annual Halloween celebration hosted by the Bob Bullock Museum in partnership with Girlstart. Families can explore the Museum’s exhibitions after hours with a spooky scavenger hunt. Activities include boo bubbles formed from dry ice fog, spin your own spider web plates, craft an LED wearable, write hidden messages, bewitch a spooky sphero, engineer candy corn cannons, learn about our batty neighbors, and create eerie blood slime. Boys and ghouls can compete for prizes in the “under the sea” themed costume contest, judged by our friends at Dragon’s Lair. The School of Rock’s house band, The B Team, will play from 5:45-6:45 PM.
SAC Murder, Mayhem & Misadventure Walking Tour
Saturday, October 28 10 AM – 3 PM
Oakwood Cemetery, 1601 Navasota St
Save Austin’s Cemeteries is hosting its free family-friendly walking tour the Saturday before Halloween. Families can hear the spooky stories behind some of Oakwood Cemetery’s most infamous residents in Austin’s history. 45-minute-long tours begin at 10 AM and leave every half hour, with the last tour dearly departing at 2:30 PM. SAC’s most popular annual event is free, but donations are appreciated.
Arboretum Boo & Brew
Saturday, October 28 4-6 PM
The retailers of the Austin Arboretum welcome costume-clad families to the free Boo & Brew celebration. Guests can enjoy a trick-or-treating candy crawl, DJs and live music, face painting, balloon art, a hay maze, and a raffle for gift cards to Arboretum businesses. Grown-up drink samples are available from Beerburg Brewing, Big Country Hard Seltzer, Meridian Hive, Soco Ginger Beer, Starbase Brewing and Watertight Cocktails. Guests are asked to reserve a spot in advance.
Nature Nights: Spooky Critters
Thursday, October 12 5-9 PM
Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave
The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center’s final nature night of the season is a spooky one that’s free for the whole family. In anticipation of Halloween, ghosts of all ages can learn about nighttime critters, including bats, discover whether spiders are pollinators, and see what the gardens look like once the sun goes down. No reservations required, and activities start at 6 PM.
Saturday, October 28 12-3 PM
Hill Country Galleria
Come celebrate Halloween with the Hill Country Galleria. Guests are invited to arrive early to this free event, dress up in their best costumes, pick up a festive pumpkin bag from the Central Plaza, and then stroll down Hill Country Boulevard to collect treats from their favorite HCG retailers. No reservations required.
Fall Fun Festival
Tuesday, October 31 9-11:30 AM
Old Settler’s Park, 3400 E Palm Valley Blvd
Round Rock Parks and Recreation invites families with toddlers and preschoolers to this free event at the Old Settler’s Park pavilion. Come in costume and enjoy a petting zoo, hayrides, snacks, and fun entertainment for all to enjoy. Guests are asked to bring canned goods to donate to the Round Rock Food Pantry.
Doc’s Drive in Haunted Marketplace
Saturday, October 21 10 AM – 5 PM
1540 Satterwhite Rd
The 5th annual Haunted Marketplace at Doc’s Drive-In Theater in Buda features more than 25 local vendors. The event is family- and pet-friendly, featuring a costume contest, live music, art stations, and goodie bags for the kids. Adults can enjoy the underground 1920s speakeasy. Guests are asked to reserve a spot in advance for this free event.
Trick or Treat Trail
Thursday, October 26 5-7 PM
This free and fun-filled family event hosted by Georgetown Parks and Recreation will definitely get you into the spirit of Halloween, so get dressed up and come on out for candy, games and fun! The trick or treat trail runs from 5-7 PM, followed by a movie screening of Coco at the Legacy Pavilion. Featured food trucks include Sugar and Spice and Zydeco Ice.
Saturday, October 21 6-9 PM
Lakeway Drive to Lakeway Activity Center
Lakeway Parks & Recreation hosts the annual Witches Ride Halloween parade. Parade-goers on decorated bicycles, tricycles, unicycles, skates, scooters, wheelchairs, golf carts, wagons, and spooky feet begin at the Live Oak Golf Course parking lot for the 1-mile ride to the Lakeway Activity Center, where a free carnival runs until 9 PM. Carnival activities include refreshments from local vendors, balloon animals, jugglers, battle axe, a bookmobile, and more. To participate in the witches flash mob dance, sign up for a dance lesson the Sunday before the ride. Those not participating in the parade are invited to line Lakeway Drive to catch candy and cheer on the witches.