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 18, 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.

14233201_10153835747996288_7298585628115901951_nTop Picks for Austin Museum Day:

–> 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.

texas-memorial-museum-fossils_094207–> Farm Animals & Historic Tours at Pioneer Farms
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Farm animals, historical demonstrations and much more will be offered at 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. There are 5 themed restored historic areas for the whole family to explore.
pioneerfarms–> Art & Sky Activities at Laguna Gloria
noon – 4 p.m.
The sky’s the limit at this family-friendly, celestial day of art and exploring! See how works of art at Laguna Gloria are influenced by the sky above, from the luminous Luna to a giant figure looking skyward.  Take in a lofty performance by aerial performers Sky Candy, then stop by the Mobile Planetarium to see the night sky. Make starry art to take home, grab a bite from a local food truck, and join in to create an artistic galaxy installation!

img_1112–> Hands-on Science Fun at the Thinkery
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Kids can enjoy a day full of family fun and learning at this children’s museum! The entire Thinkery will have hands-on activities and content appropriate for visitors with children of all ages.

10320265_681838541888848_8241873218471729196_n–> 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. Meet featured artist Laurel Daniel and view her nature paintings. Enjoy story time and a book signing in the Store and story time in the outdoor classroom. They’ll have seed-planting demonstrations and tours throughout the day, and indoor presentations, including how to coexist with coyotes!

13532975_10157031096600576_8734817776468655645_n–> Historic Home Tours, Ice Cream & Lemonade at Neill-Cochran House
noon – 4 p.m.
Neill-Cochran House Museum invites guests to step into history and visit with Civil War-era reenactors. Then take a walk around the grounds and check out the gardens exhibit, take a peek inside the Dependency to see examples of 19th-century tools and kitchenware, and have your picture taken at the 19th-century photo booth. Afterwards, head to the porch and help make hand-churned, old-fashioned ice cream and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

museum-day-2015b2–> Costumes, Selfies, Art Projects & Live Music at the Bullock Museum
noon – 5 p.m.
Tour the museum during regular Sunday hours, and take note of special family activities from 12-3 p.m. to celebrate your Texas pride. Travel through Museum exhibitions to meet costumed interpreters to hear stories of what Texas was like in days past. Snap a selfie with something in the museum that makes you proud to be Texan. Design wearable button art, create paper bluebonnets, build a musical instrument out of recycled materials and then join Groundwork Music Project to make some music in celebration of Austin, the live music capital of the world.

13347016_10154296412691096_8294592181799652508_n–> Portraiture in the Park at the Elisabet Ney Museum
noon – 5 p.m.
The historic Elisabet Ney Museum will host Portraiture in the Park. Enjoy music, art demos, activities, caricatures and more! Feel free to picnic. Food trucks will be on site.

599679_327596370659345_1453727713_n–> Picnic & 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 on the lawn. You’re encouraged to bring a picnic and find a cool spot under the oaks.

file_4759–> Shibori & Batik Workshops, Kids Crafts at the Asian American Resource Center
1-5 p.m.
Create your own patterns and learn the art of fabric dye from two Asian traditions, including Batik (Indonesia) utilizing wax and dye, and Shibori (Japan), a shaped-resist dying technique. (Batik workshop from 1-3 p.m. & Shibori workshop from 3-5 p.m.) Kids are invited to create their own Shibori Snowflakes and Suiseki ROCKstars. Plus, Asian art exhibits on view and light refreshments provided.

get_involved_cropped–> Costume-making & Activities to Honor “El Divo de Juarez” at Mexic-Arte Museum
noon – 4 p.m.
This year’s Family Day is inspired by Juan Gabriel. Enjoy an afternoon filled with costume-making and mojiganga designing as the Museum pays homage to the late Mexican singer. The miniature mojigangas that participants create on this day will be used in this year’s procession at Viva La Vida Festival on Saturday, October 29.

12038421_10153585718129654_5911196628589232250_n–> Build an avatar & see a 3D Movie at the Hill Country Science Mill
If you wish to head out for a short day trip, you can visit the Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City. This museum is excited to be part Museum Day this year!  Explore the Mill’s amazing hands-on exhibits, build a personalized avatar, see a 3D movie (Tiny Giants), enjoy interactive maker stations and much more. Click here for a review of this museum.

14046006_1136739679731286_7209486081869928112_n—> There’s certainly much more to explore on Austin Museum Day! For even more details, please visit 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:–> 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!