Creative Things To Do In and Around Austin
Visiting Austin and wondering what creative things to do in and around the city? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite suggestions — from museums to parks, and, of course, shopping tips!
Austin is known for its mural walls. So take a walk around town, and make sure to get selfies in front of some of the most popular walls. Here is a guide to help you find them. The most popular is definitely the “I Love You” wall on South Congress. And, you’ll want to visit more of South Congress for some great eats and unique shopping experiences.
We have bats, lots of bats. We love our bats in Austin. Because every evening at dusk, over 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats fly out from under the Congress Street bridge. It’s an amazing sight to see all of these bats leave their daytime home, then fly out for the night.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners. Your purchases via these links may benefit Create Whimsy. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.
Visit the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, highlighting the artistic works of American sculptor Charles Umlauf and other contemporary sculptors in a natural setting. A peaceful and relaxing stroll through the 8 acre garden and Charles’ studio is a perfect way to get centered and inspired.
Lady Bird Johnson’s mission was to bring back native plants to Texas, including amazing and colorful wildflowers. A visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center should be on your list any time of year, but especially in the spring when the wildflowers are at their peak. Fields of bluebonnets, with a sprinkling of red Indian Paintbrush, are a sight to see. When the butterflies are migrating, you’ll see gorgeous butterflies enjoying the native plants. So there is always something to enjoy at the Center.
Explore Zilker Botanical Garden, in Zilker Park. While the Colorado River runs through town, take walks on the great trails alongside it. With 26 acres in the heart of downtown Austin, you can enjoy themed gardens interconnected with streams, waterfalls and Koi-filled ponds.
The Blanton Museum of Art is on the University of Texas campus and showcases art from across the ages – from ancient Greek works of art to contemporary abstract. Check out the year-round schedule of exhibits on their website, then enjoy.
While on the University of Texas campus, you can visit more great museums. So stroll around campus and visit The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, the LBJ Library and Museum and the Texas Memorial Museum.
The Contemporary Austin is really two museums, The Jones Center and Laguna Gloria. The Jones Center is located downtown, and Laguna Gloria is 14-acres of art-in-nature. They have the unique combination of both urban and outdoor locations for their contemporary art exhibits.
Mexic-Arte Museum shares the art and culture of Mexico and is located in the heart of downtown on Congress Avenue. You’ll find events with hands-on activities, as well as ever-changing exhibits highlighting Mexican art.
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation, creation, presentation and promotion of the cultural arts of Mexican Americans and Latino cultures. So here you’ll find two galleries featuring Latino art and work with Latino organizations to co-produce events and educational programs.
George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center curates history, culture and art exhibits to educate and inspire about the black community. They have a genealogy center that provides databases, workshops and seminars free of charge so we can learn more about our heritages.
Have children with you during your visit to Austin? Then make sure to add the Thinkery to your list of places to visit. Thinkery is Austin’s STEM focused children’s museum with interactive exhibits that encourage hands-on experiences.
Looking for a short day trip? If so, make the time to visit Fredricksburg. A drive through the Texas hill country takes you to Fredricksburg. You’ll find wineries and vineyards, breweries and distilleries, as well as a great small town with shops full of unique items. Close by are several parks with great vistas and views, as well as opportunities for hikes and other outdoor activities.
My favorite place to shop in Austin for my creative supplies is Austin Creative Reuse. Their vision is a community that consciously consumes and chooses reuse as a first choice when evaluating the need for personal or project materials. They collect, distribute and sell reusable materials donated from industries and individuals.
You never know quite what you’ll find, but it will surely be something unique for that next creative project. Creatives like us donate the things that just don’t spark joy anymore, so someone else can give it some love and a new life. From yarn and needles, to beads and fabric, stamps and frames. Sometimes you’ll find sewing machines and looms. Seriously, you need to visit when you come to Austin.
Living Felt supports the arts and felting community with eco-friendly and local supplies for felters. You’ll find everything you need for both wet and nuno felting – including fibers, yarns, bats, needles, finished wool felt and more.!
Looking to enhance your jewelry making techniques? Then browse through the class schedule at the Creative Side Jewelry Academy of Austin! And, listen to their podcasts interviewing leaders in the jewelry making business. You can also rent studio time to use their equipment to make your own custom jewelry.
Visit CRAFT, Austin’s creative hub for DIY crafting, workshops and events. Want to try a technique? Then schedule some personal time to work on your own project with their tools and equipment. From sewing and embroidery, to painting, soapmaking and lettering, you’ll be inspired to create something your own at CRAFT.
Make sure to leave some time for some shop hops! Here are some of the quilt and fabric shops you’ll want to visit in and around Austin.
More of a knitter or yarn person? Here are some great yarn shops to visit!
I don’t know about you, but I love to add a few beads and bling to just about everything, and they don’t take much room in my bags! Here are some great bead shops to visit in and around Austin.
What’s your favorite creative place in Austin? Send us an email and we’d love to add it to our list!