July events provide free fun in Austin

Anna McCreary

  • Celebrate the summer without breaking the bank by checking out The Daily Texan’s picks for 10 free events this July.
  • in.gredients First Friday Independence Block Party
  • July 1, 5–8 p.m.
  • 2610 Manor Rd.

The locally famous grocery store in.gredients is throwing a free, family-friendly block party with live music, games, beer and massage chairs to celebrate the beginning of July and the Austin summertime spirit. Whether you’ve got kids or are a kid at heart, you can enjoy the party’s huge slip n’ slide, balloon animals and more with live music from folk-country band Dry Sky & Kyote.

  • Ice Cream Socials at South Congress Hotel
  • July 3–August 14, every Sunday from 1–4 p.m.
  • South Congress Hotel, 1603 S. Congress Ave.

The Texas heat isn’t good for very much, but it does make for great ice cream weather. Drop by the South Congress Hotel’s ice cream socials every Sunday throughout the summer to grab ice cream from Stephen F. Frostin’ and listen to live music. As an added bonus, you can ooh and ah at the adoptable puppies brought by Austin Humane Society when they make a special appearance on July 24.

  • Annual Fourth of July Parade and Freedom Festival
  • July 4, 9–11 a.m.
  • 4302 N. Hills Dr.

Line the streets and watch the parade as marching bands, fire trucks, dance teams, antique cars and miniature pets celebrate Independence Day throughout the streets of northwest Austin. The parade will end at Doss Elementary School, where there will be face painting, games, clowns, snow cones and watermelon.

  • H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks
  • July 4, 8:30 p.m.
  • Auditorium Shores, 900 W. Riverside Dr.

If you’re not a native Austinite, this year is your chance to partake in an Austin Independence Day tradition. The Austin Symphony will perform a live concert at 8:30 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9:30. Food, drink and arts and crafts will all be available from local vendors.

  • Shrek The Musical
  • July 8, 8:15 p.m.
  • Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater, 2206 William Barton Dr.

Revive your buried love for Shrek, Fiona and Donkey by stopping by Zilker Summer Musical’s presentation of Shrek the Musical. The show is free but does encourage donations, and will have food, drinks and chair rentals available at the Wells Fargo Hillside Market.

  • Music under the Star
  • July 8–22, every Friday 6–9 p.m.
  • Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Head toward the iconic Bullock Museum star and enjoy this free concert series throughout July. Every Friday features a lineup of renowned Texas artists, like the soulful rock band Midnight Stroll and Grammy-winning band Los TexManiacs. Bring your family, your chair and your blankets and experience the sounds of Texas with complimentary garage parking.

  • 101X Summer Cinema Series
  • July 13 (Napoleon Dynamite) & July 27 (The Goonies), 8:30 p.m.
  • Central Market – North, 4001 N. Lamar Blvd.

Enjoy summer the way it’s meant to be spent — watching a film while lying on a blanket on the lawn with pizza and wine. Summer Cinema will screen “Napoleon Dynamite” on July 13 and “The Goonies” on July 27 at dusk, but they encourage visitors to arrive early to claim spots on the lawn. Both showings are free to the public, and food and drink can be purchased at the venue.  

  • Rock the Rose Summer Concert
  • July 16, 3–9 p.m.
  • Rock Rose Hall, 11420 Rock Rose Avenue.

Get your live music fix this summer with the Dogwood Rock Rose’s free concert series. Music will be provided by cover bands, independent artists and DJs like Ryan Holley and Southtown. Food will be provided by East Side King’s Thai-Kun and General Tso’Boy, whose sales proceeds will go to the local nonprofit Globetrotting for Good.

  • Trailer Food Tuesdays
  • July 19, 5–9 p.m.
  • Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Dr.

Take in the beauty of the Austin skyline while dropping by and sampling some of the best food trucks the town has to offer. Take your picnic blanket and a few friends, and enjoy the view, the food and the live music.

  • Sound and Cinema Series: Master Pancake’s “Footloose” 
  • July 20, 6 p.m.
  • Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Dr.

Drop by the lawn at the Long Center to catch the screening of Master Pancake’s take on “Footloose,” featuring the Urban Achieves Brass Band. The movie will begin shortly after dark, but food trucks will open at 6 p.m. — so be sure to get there a little early — and don’t forget to bring your blankets, folding chairs, friends and non-alcoholic drinks.