Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Summer fun in Austin

Andrew Torrey

Constantine Caramanis lounges on the side of Big Stacy Pool as he talks to Wade Miller and Andrea Schutz. Public pools and swimming holes offer a break from the summer heat in Austin.

It’s more than 100 degrees. Again. You’re bored. Again. Maybe you’re a little short on cash because all your money is going toward paying for the A/C. You’ve either spent all day working or all day on your couch. Either way, you desperately need something to do.

Summer is almost over, but it doesn’t have to end. Here are a few events (most of them free) that will make the rest of your summer in Austin a lot cooler.

Blues on the Green
7:30 p.m.
Zilker Park
Wed. July 11: BoDeans and Sahara Smith
Wed. July 25: Marcia Ball and Nakia
Aug. 8: Quiet Company and The Eastern Sea and Wild Child
Blues on the Green has been a regular fixture in Austin for years now. If you haven’t already been, you absolutely need to go. And if you’ve been already, then you know how much fun it can be. Thousands of people flock to Zilker Park to enjoy free concerts on a giant stage with the downtown skyline as the backdrop. Bring your picnic blankets, appetites, frisbees, dogs and friends.

Eastside Movies in the Park
7:30 p.m., movie starts at 8:30 p.m.
Fiesta Gardens
Sat. July 14: Muppet Treasure Island
Sat. Aug. 11: The Goonies
It’s hard to beat watching a free movie … unless it’s outside on a big screen! These are kid-friendly events so be prepared for lots of families, but these movies are some classics that anyone can get into. There will be vendors with food and beverages, but you’re allowed to bring water. Dogs, however, are not allowed — leave your pooch at home.

Music Under the Star
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
Fri. July 13: Junior Brown and Warren Hood and the Goods
Fri. July 20: Little Joe y La Familia and Conjuntazzo
Fri. July 27: The Gourds and the Redd Volkaert Trio
Here’s another free music series bringing you the sounds of Texas during the sweet summer nights. The shows are a mixture of blues, country, Tejano, bluegrass and Americana, so if you’re looking for a little “down south” to spice up your July, this is the place to be. The museum is also hosting the Texas Music Roadtrip exhibit that people are invited to go check out in between sets. Bonus? Admission to the exhibit is free during this time.

Bastille Day Festival
Sat. July 14, 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.
French Legation Museum
$8 online, $10 at door
Independence Day has already passed and you need another excuse to party. How’s your French? The only word you need to know is “oui” because you’ll want to say yes to celebrating Bastille Day. The huge, French holiday commemorates the day that Bastille prison was stormed and taken over during the French Revolution. At this festival, you can enjoy all things French, including music, food, wine and more.

McDade Watermelon Festival
Sat. July 14, starts around 9:00 a.m.
McDade, Texas
If you’re feeling like you need to get out of the city for a bit, then head to McDade for their annual watermelon festival. It’s about 45 minutes east of Austin on Highway 290. It’s a whole day and whole city affair. A lot of the activities are country fun, including seed-spitting contests, a BBQ, a car show, a parade, a watermelon queen, live music and more. Oh, and the best part: all the watermelon your heart desires.

Superhero Party (21+)
Sat. July 21, 10:30 p.m.
The Highball
$5 online, $7 at door
Because this is the party that Austin deserves. The Highball is throwing another of their amazing superhero-themed parties celebrating the release of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Bust out your costumes, capes and underoos because dressing up is certainly encouraged. We’re going to party like it’s the last night in Gotham.

Austin Ice Cream Festival
Sat. Aug. 4, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Fiesta Gardens
So you’re thinking, “But I don’t want to pay $10.” But what about $10 and free ice cream? Your fee also gets you access to games, contests and other forms of delicious entertainment. Plus, you can feel good about paying the entry fee because a portion of the proceeds will benefit charities.

Night of the Bat Fest
Sat. Aug. 25, 5:00 p.m. – midnight
Congress Avenue Bridge
The best time to see the bats under the Congress bridge is during the late summer, which is why every year Austin holds Bat Fest, a collection of music, vendors, crafts and (of course) bats.

Hot Sauce Festival
Sun. Aug. 26, 11:00 a.m.
Fiesta Gardens
Free with three nonperishable food item donations (goes to Capital Area Food Bank) or cash donation.
August is already pretty hot, but let’s turn it up a little. Here you get to taste test all the hot sauces that you (or your taste buds) can handle. The only thing hotter than the temperature outside will be the burning sensation in your mouth. Lot’s of local wares will be available as well as live music to enjoy and other refreshments for those who need a break from the heat.


The Sound of Music, Zilker Summer Musical
July 6 – Aug. 11, Thursdays – Sundays 8:30 p.m.
Sheffield Hillside Theatre
The hills of Central Texas are alive with the sound of music. This beloved musical is finally available for free and plays every weekend until Aug. 11.

(Photo by Andrew Torrey)

Weekend Stargazing
Fridays and Saturdays until Aug. 11, around 9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
T. S. Painter Hall, UT Campus
If you’re looking for just the right star to make your wish on, you can use the Painter Hall Telescope during UT’s free stargazing event every weekend. The times will vary depending on sunset, so check in on the website.

Unplugged at the Grove
Every Thursday until Sept. 20, 8:00 p.m.
Shady Grove
Yet another free summer concert series! Bands range from local favorites to some great out-of-towners. These shows are a little more intimate so get ready to get cozy with your live music.

(Photo by Pu Ying Huang)

Geeks Who Drink
Various pubs, bars and restaurants around town host the “Best Damn Pub Quiz” on different nights throughout the week. It’s 21+ to drink, but not to be a geek. These quizzes are open and free for everyone so long as you aren’t rude and at least order something from the venue to eat or drink. Check out their website,, for more information.

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Summer fun in Austin