Besides the activities hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research, there are many activities for students to enjoy while spending their summer in Austin. Many of these activities are free; some are on campus, and some are around Austin. We encourage researchers to take advantage of these opportunities.
Texas Memorial Stadium Tour
The Stadium Tour takes visitors through the trophy room (which houses the National Championship and Heisman trophies), the Red McCombs Red Zone, and other UT football hot spots.
For $6.00, visitors are given a tour of the UT Tower, which includes access to the once-closed observation deck.
Robert Lee Moore Hall Star Parties
The UT astronomy department sponsors free weekly public star parties on the roof of RLM using a 16-inch telescope. According to the website, “a typical night will include a planet or two, binary stars, star clusters, and maybe one of the brighter nebulae.”
Harry Ransom Center Tour
HRC is home to extensive collections of rare books, manuscripts, photography, film, art, and performing arts. The center offers regular tours of current exhibits and events such as poetry readings and film screenings.
The Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton is UT Austin’s on-campus art museum (located at Brazos and MLK) and is free for all UT students. Check their website for a list of rotating exhibits, film events, and public tours.
In the City
Barton Springs Pool
A favorite for locals and visitors alike, Barton Springs is a crisp, spring-fed pool on the southern edge of downtown Austin. Admission is $3, and visitors can swim for free from 9-10 p.m. You can also swim for free anywhere along the creek outside of Barton Springs, and there are places to rent kayaks and canoes by the hour or for the day.
Deep Eddy Pool
Each summer, Deep Eddy Pool offers Splash Party Movie Nights, beginning at dusk on Saturdays. Admission is $3 for both movie nights and normal swim hours.
The Contemporary Austin
Located on Congress Avenue, the Jones Center location of The Contemporary Austin offers informative and informal art experiences oriented towards the interests of a broad general audience. The welcoming and centrally located galleries serve as the Museum’s primary exhibition site and present continually changing exhibitions and education programs that showcase an array of twentieth-century and contemporary art. Admission is $3 for students.
Also on Congress Avenue (perfect for museum hopping!), Mexic-Arte Museum is dedicated to enriching the community through education programs and exhibitions focusing on traditional and contemporary Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture. Since its founding in 1984, Mexic-Arte Museum has been designated as the Official Mexican and Mexican American Fine Art Museum of Texas by the 78th Legislature of the State of Texas. Admission is $4 for students.
Texas Music Museum
The Texas Music Museum collects and preserves artifacts, documents, and reference material surrounding the diverse traditions of Texas music, and utilizes these collections in the presentation of exhibits, educational programs, and performances. Admission is always free.
Congress Bridge Bats
Cap off your evening by hanging out with Austinites and tourists alike to watch the approximately 1.5 million Congress Bridge bats take off to find their dinners each evening at dusk. An information site can be found on the north bank of the river, just east of the bridge. The bats don’t charge for their show.
Getting Around Austin
All UT Austin students have access to free public transportation via Capital Metro mainline buses. Simply swipe your UT ID when boarding the bus. Visit Capital Metro’s website to view schedules, maps, or to use their trip planner to find out which buses get you where you need to go. All buses have bike racks, making it easy to access the city’s many bike-friendly parks and neighborhoods.