Monday, February 25, 2013

Free Day Exploring Austin, TX

If you know me very well, you know an activity quadruples in value if it has no charge. So I was delighted to be informed of free guided historic downtown tours, free capitol building tours, and free meter parking on Sundays in Austin, Texas. Yay for a relaxed, fun, educational family day on Feb 17! (On Sat. after the conference we took a short stroll and happened upon 2 more free historical museums: the homes of O'Henry - writer of short stories including The Gift of the Magi, and Susanna Dickinson-survivor of the Alamo.)

While walking from the van to the capitol, we passed and popped into historic St Mary's Catholic Church, a new experience for our children. Some of the streets were blocked off for the Austin Marathon. We watched the various runners and listened to the announcer and sideline cheerers. 26.2! After a packed lunch on the capitol lawn, we met up with our tour guide for an hour's walk through the city right past the marathon's finish line! 
Rolling down  the sloped lawn after lunch. (Yep, we're from the plains of Kansas!)

The Governor's Mansion
 After the walking tour, we entered the massive capitol and caught the 30 minute inside tour. This included statues and paintings of famous Texas men and battles, the Senate and House of Reps rooms and several levels to climb- if you like heights-.
Shannon, Annie, & Caroline waving from the 4th hallway while us wimpies stayed below.
In the upstairs of the Visitor's Center there was a free interactive museum that our younger girls really enjoyed.

 Have you ever been to Austin? What would your day include? Have you ever been to neat free sights in another city? Do tell!


  1. It's GREAT to see pictures! AND you all look so we sit here in a KS snowstorm!! Praise God for the moisture, tho!!

  2. Exploring Austin looks like a fun experience. Wish we could have stayed. I like the historic buildings and architecture and, of course time with all of you! xoxoxox Mom

  3. Heather, Glad to see you are off to a great start to your trip. I will enjoy reading your blog. Our family has lived in several states, and always found free events. Our favorites have always been the music. We have heard open air concerts by several philharmonic orchestras. You can also get a membership with a museum (allowing free admissions) that is reciprocal with museums around the country. That works with zoos too. We have also found that colleges and libraries provide free public events. We met an astronaut at one college event. I'm sure God will help you arrange your calendar. Erica M