Labor Day activities offer options for weekend fun


Courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

Lisette Oler

Labor Day weekend is the first holiday after the start of the school year when students can take their first breath of fresh air and relax. Whether you choose live music shows or one of the 19 state parks near Austin, we’ve got you covered with a few new places to visit this weekend.


Pace Bend Park

2011 Pace Bend Rd. N. 
Spicewood, TX 78669

Only a 50-minute drive from campus, this park is worth the drive and located along the shores of Lake Travis. You can make it a day trip and be back for church on Sunday or spend the whole weekend there enjoying the sunset. Also available are hiking trails if swimming isn’t your cup of tea. Day use of the park is $10 per car (so bring a friend or two) and $3 per pedestrian or bicyclist.

McKinney Falls State Park

5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy
Austin, TX 78744

If you’re looking for something that is a little closer to home but still retains the middle-of-nowhere feel, this is the place for you. Situated on Onion Creek, McKinney Falls State park is 20 minutes from campus. It has nearly nine miles of hiking and biking trails, camping, bouldering and fishing. Don’t have any fishing gear? You can borrow some through the Tackle Loaner Program just as easily as a library book and be on your way. Reservations can be found online and the entrance fee is $6.

The Original King Kong

719 Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78701

If the whole nature thing isn’t your style, check out Paramount and Stateside Theaters’ showing of the 1933 version of “King Kong.” With revolutionary special effects, this film is sure to entertain you while also providing relief from the Texas heat. Doors open at 12:30 p.m., with the movie showing at 1 p.m., and tickets are $10 each. 

5 Decades – Exhibition at Gallery Shoal Creek

2832 E. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. #3
Austin, TX 78702

Austin is known for its music scene, but its fine arts scene should not be ignored. This exhibit showcases, as the name aptly describes, the work of artists across five decades. There are contemporary 3-D installations and traditional pieces included in the exhibition. Maybe you’ll get some inspiration for your next project. The exhibit opens on Sunday, Sept. 4.

Selfies on Paper: Pinhole Cameras

2310 San Gabriel St.
Austin, TX 78705

Thanks to the digital revolution, photography has become instant — but it didn’t always used to be that way. Back in the day, photographers had to wait hours to see their reproductions and often had no idea if the image would turn out. Thanks to the Neill-Cochran House Museum, you can easily learn about what photography was like in the early 20th century and make your very own pinhole camera. In a matter of minutes you will be making photos like the pros of old. Open this Sunday, Sept. 4 from 1–4 p.m. Admission is free and the museum is located in West Campus, so you don’t have to go too far.

Whether you choose to stay in your routine this weekend or explore a new Austin experience, make sure you give yourself a break from the stresses of campus life. Sit back, relax and enjoy your labor-free weekend.