Don’t you just love Austin Museum Day? We sure do! Not only are more than 35 local cultural institutions offering FREE admission on Sunday, September 20, you’ll also find tons of special activities for you and the kids to enjoy.

We know you probably already have your favorite museums in mind, but 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 something extra fun and unique for the family.


Top Picks for Austin Museum Day:

Lawn Games at the French Legation Museum
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the oldest house in Austin, built in 1841 by the French diplomat to the Republic of Texas. Enjoy tours along with games and hands-on activities for kids on the lawn. You’re encouraged to bring a picnic and find a cool spot under the oaks.



Portraiture in the Park at the Elisabet Ney Museum
noon – 5 p.m.
The historic Elisabet Ney Museum will host Portraiture in the Park. Get a free caricature, create masks of your friends and family, get portraits in the photo booths, write an homage to your pals, watch stone portrait carving, make a clay bust, and much more. Feel free to picnic. Food and dessert trucks will be on site.



Farm Animals & Activities at Pioneer Farms
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Farm animals, historical demonstrations and much more will be offered in this historical adventure park, Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms. It’ll be a family-friendly day when you can step back in time to see what Texas was like during the 1800s. New exhibits and sites to explore for the whole family.


Hands-on Science Fun at the Thinkery
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Kids can enjoy a day full of family fun and learning! The entire Thinkery will have hands-on activities and content appropriate for visitors with children of all ages. Come visit the space where science smiles!



Piñata-Making Workshop at Mexic-Arte Museum
Noon – 5 p.m.
Artist-in-Resident, Monica Lejarazu of Jumpolin will be hosting a Day of the Dead Piñata-Making workshop while preparing a giant Calavera Piñata float for the annual Viva la Vida Festival Parade. Monica will teach workshop attendees how to create and decorate their own smaller piñatas. Materials will be provided.



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.



Demonstrations at Texas Military Forces Museum
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
If your kids are into tanks, helicopters, and military vehicles and equipment, the Texas Military Forces Museum is a great place to go. Their exhibits showcase artifacts, weapons, vehicles, uniforms and equipment including a running Sherman tank. On Museum Day, Texas Military Forces Museum tells the story of Texas forces from the Alamo to Afghanistan, from 1823 to present day. They will have specialists demonstrating leather working, weapons, Civil War memorabilia, and a plastic model make-and-take section.


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  Discover nature, art, hear a story, and go on a scavenger hunt. Enjoy bubbles and games on the play lawn. Get out and play!



Games and Ice Cream at Neill-Cochran House
noon – 5 p.m.
Step into history! Neill-Cochran House Museum invites guests to visit with Civil War-era reenactors and churn ice cream under the shade of their 160 year-old porch. Staff will offer tours of the historic house and dependency, and young patrons are encouraged to play games on the lawn.



Family Activities at the Bullock Texas State History Museum
noon – 5 p.m.
Meet and greet characters from Texas’ past, get hands-on with Texas history through interactive family activities and art-making stations, enter to win a Bullock Museum family membership and much more!



Art & Nature Activities at Laguna Gloria
Noon – 4 p.m.
Wander through Texas’ natural ecosystems and meet the animal inhabitants of its wildest landscapes at this Art and Nature event. Enjoy a lively performance of Jules Buck Jones’ Animal Facts Club Theater, get a handmade creature-themed coloring book, watch artist demonstrations, and grab a snack from a food truck!



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:

–> 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 events.

Have a great time!