Visiting (and enjoying) Austin doesn’t have to cost you a dime; really, all you have to do to have a blast there is walk around outside. From wildlife watching (Congress Avenue Bridge boasts North America’s largest urban bat colony) to people watching (Leslie The Transvestite—more on shim later), Austin’s streets are loaded with free entertainment. So next time you find yourself in this weird little section of the Lone Star state, here are a handful of things to do that are guaranteed to score you some fun for free.
Eeyore’s Birthday Party
If you’re in Austin during the last Saturday of April, you won’t want to miss out on this birthday bash in honor of the depressed ass from “Winnie the Pooh”. Thousands of people celebrate Eeyore’s birthday every year with drums, beer, ganja, potato sack races, topless body painting and much more. Show up in a silly costume or show up naked. People won’t mind either way. Eeyore’s birthday party is a fundraiser for a large number of local nonprofits. Support the cause and head to Pease Park on the last Saturday of April.
Participate in a flash mob
The Urban Prankster Network has been working hard year round “to spread city-wide fun one spontaneous event at a time.” Flash mobs are spontaneous events where you receive instructions to pull a theatrical stunt in a public place. Past events by the network include a mass abduction heist on a public train, a mass narcolepsy event called “Operation Sleepy Head” and a 50 person choreographed dance to a song by “Wham”. To get in the loop, visit flashmobaustin.com and join the forum. They are always appreciative of ideas from creative lunatics such as yourself.
Go on a mission to meet Leslie the Transvestite
Leslie The Transvestite is a local Austin celebrity with no office or private venue to visit. You just have to find her, and it’s probably not that hard to do if you’re downtown. You are likely to find this charismatic crossdresser at the Sixth Street block party on the weekends, which is another free thing to do in Austin. Leslie is a very entertaining character who loves to pose for photo-ops and engage in bizarre conversations. Be sure to give her a tip or perhaps a drag from your cigarette, as that’s how she makes a living. For firsthand accounts of past Leslie sightings, check out her Yelp page.
Attend an Art Walk
Art walks in most cities entail a large number of activities within the confines of galleries within a particular neighborhood. This Austin event encourages you to become the art by turning South Congress Street into an acid carnival every first Thursday of the month from 6:30pm-9pm. Furthermore, art walks don’t necessarily keep you weird, but Austin’s does. If you’re one of those crazies who wishes it was Halloween year round, it is totally OK to dress up as your favorite “Scooby Doo” character or serial killer during this art walk. You may even run into Fred, Daphne and Velma and spend the night solving mysteries as anything is possible in Austin. If you need to loosen up a bit before unleashing your creative monster, rest assured that some of the shops and galleries offer free booze.
Cathedral of Junk
If you’re looking for fun and perhaps recycling opportunities, you may want to bring an offering of trash to a theme park owner named Vince Hannemann. OK, so it’s not a theme park. It’s Vince’s Austin backyard that is the site of a 60 ton building made of bicycle parts, lawnmowers, televisions and other assorted garbage. The structure has multiple rooms and floors and it’s open to the public. Visit the Cathedral of Junk at 4422 Lareina Drive on the south side of Austin.