We just love Austin Museum Day! On Sunday, September 23, you can enjoy FREE admission at over 44 local museums and cultural institutions! Presented by the Austin Museum Partnership, this annual occasion gives us the chance to explore exhibits and get hands-on with plenty of special family-friendly activities throughout the day.

We know you probably already have a short list of your favorite museums, but Austin Museum Day is a great time to branch out and try something new. Maybe there’s a place you’ve never been before? Here we’re sharing a few Museum Day highlights that stand out as top picks for family fun!

Top Picks for Austin Museum Day:

–> Space Day at LBJ Presidential Library
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Touch a moon rock, create your own space helmet, explore space models, and engage in STEM activities in NASA’s very own exploration trailer. Celebrate the anniversary of NASA and Apollo 8 with the LBJ Library and the Johnson Space Center.

It’s Space Day at LBJ Museum! Photo by Jay Godwin, from the LBJ Library Facebook page

–> Farm Animals & Historic Tours at Pioneer Farms
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Take a self-guided tour of restored historic areas for the whole family to explore: a 90-acre living history museum depicting life in 1800s Texas, three historic homesteads, Tonkawa Indian site, and a rural village with a dance hall, blacksmith shop, numerous exhibits and homes. You’ll also find artisans demonstrating their crafts, farm animals, docents dressed for the 1800s.

Step right into Texas history. Photo from the Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms Facebook page

–> Fossil Identification at Texas Memorial Museum
1-5 p.m.
Texas Memorial Museum will be hosting Identification Day! University scientists and experts from Central Texas will be on hand to identify natural objects such as fossils, bones, rocks and prehistoric archaeological materials.

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Learn about fossils with UT scientists. Photo from the Texas Memorial Museum website

–> Art-Making & Music at the Center for Creative Action
Join Creative Action for a family-friendly one-stop shop of various arts activities, a virtual reality corner, interactive theatre, miniature movie making, an interactive arts installation, live music, FREE beer, drinks, and snacks, and more!

Art-making and family fun! Photo from Creative Action

–> Make Alebrjes at Mexic-Arte Museum
12 – 5 p.m.
Mexic-Arte Museum will be hosting a special artist workshop with the 2018 Viva la Vida Festival Artist in Residence, Kuniklo. Art activities will highlight this year’s theme of “Alebrijes”, fantastical creatures of Mexican folklore—most recently featured in Disney-Pixar’s movie Coco. Visitors (of all ages) can create decorative masks and alebrije caterpillars using recycled materials.

Help make art for this year’s Viva la Vida Parade! Photo by Sara Palma, from the Mexic-Arte Museum Facebook page

–> Go on an Art Quest at the Blanton
1-4 p.m.
Experience the challenge of an Art Quest as you enjoy navigating the permanent collection galleries, as well as new installations in the Film and Video and Paper Vault galleries.

Explore the Blanton Museum’s many works of art. Photo by Roger Ho.

–> Hands-on STEAM Fun at the Thinkery
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ready to tinker, make and create? Enjoy a family-friendly day full of fun and learning at Austin’s home for “why” and “how.” Explore and experience Thinkery’s hands-on, STEAM-focused exhibits and gallery activities. Museum Day tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Go play!

There’s always so much to explore!  Photo from the Thinkery Facebook page.

–> Family Day at UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum
12-4 p.m.
The UMLAUF will be full of family-friendly activities, crafts along with music from Light Horse Harry, treats from Steel City Pops, and guided tours.

Kids always welcome! Photo from the UMLAUF Facebook page

–> Fun with Nature at the Wildflower Center
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Take the kids to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Luci and Ian Family Garden to explore Texas’ natural heritage. Watch a short film on Lady Bird Johnson, play giant lawn games, go on a scavenger hunt, hike the trails, and swing in the Texas Arboretum.

Explore nature! Photo from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Facebook Page

–> Historic Home Tours & Games at Neill-Cochran House
1 – 4 p.m.
Austin’s tenth oldest building hosts an exhibit of 19th century impressionist paintings by American artist Anna Huntington Stanley, reenactors in period costume, live old-time music, and refreshments under the shade of its front porch. Kids can check out the MathHappens Activity Station, play tic-tac-toe & chess and enjoy cupcakes.

Play games at Austin’s historic house. Photo from Neill-Cochran House Facebook page

–> Giddy Up at the Bullock Museum
12- 5 p.m.
Lasso up some Texas-sized fun. Explore Rodeo! The Exhibition to discover the excitement behind five of the largest rodeos in the state. Stick around and become immersed in the rodeo experience with creative fun and games from 12-3 p.m.

Celebrate all things “Texas” with exhibits and activities. Photo from the Bullock Museum Facebook page.

–> Portraiture in the Park at the Elisabet Ney Museum
12 – 4 p.m.
The historic Elisabet Ney Museum will host their annual “Portraiture in the Park: Who Are You Anyways?!” At this family event, visitors will explore the meaning of Portraiture through experimentation with different media, styles, and definitions… just think outside the box! There will also be tours of Elisabet Ney’s studio, demonstrations, performances and food vendors on site.

Enjoy plenty of activities in the museum’s backyard. Photo from the Ney Museum Facebook page

–> Hands-on Exploring at the Science Mill
12-4 p.m.
If you wish to head out for a short day trip, you can visit the Science Mill in Johnson City. Explore a world of science, technology, engineering, math and art in a repurposed 1880s grain mill in the beautiful Texas Hill Country! The Science Mill is a family-friendly destination in Johnson City offering more than 50 fun, interactive exhibits, an outdoor Science & Art Park and 3D movie!

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Much to see & do! Photo from the Science Mill Facebook page

There’s certainly much more to explore on Austin Museum Day! You can find kid-friendly happenings at the Texas Military Forces Museum, Austin Nature & Science CenterDougherty Arts Center, Williamson Museum — and much more!

For more details and more museum events, please visit www.austinmuseumday.org. You can also download the Austin Museum Partnership app on Google Play or the Apple Store to plan out your day.


And here’s something cool for those on Instagram: Participate in the Austin Museum Day Instagram contest for a chance to win great prizes. The contest is open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday, September 21.
To play:
1. Follow @TxHistComm and @austinmuseums on Instagram (link below)
2. Take a photograph at one of the participating Austin Museum Day institutions
3. Post it to your Instagram (make sure your profile is public!)
4. Tag the participating institution and #museumday2014
Multiple submissions are allowed. Contest closes at 9 p.m. on Sunday, September 21; submissions posted after 9 p.m. will not be included.A total of 3 winners – 1st through 3rd places—will be selected by a panel of judges that include staff from Texas Historical Commission and Austin Museum Partnership. Prizes to be announced. – See more at: http://www.rwethereyetmom.com/2014/09/8-family-museums-to-see-on-austin.html#sthash.AUM84Gpb.dpuf–> To see even more of what’s happening on Austin Museum Day, you can visit the Austin Museum Partnership website and download their app from Google Play and the App Store for listings of special activities offered at all Austin Museum Day eventsHave a great time!

Besides visiting on Austin Museum Day, did you know that many museums offer FREE admission on a regular basis? Visit our guide to see which dates and times allow free admission: When to Visit Austin Museums for Free