Celebrate Austin Museum Day Sunday, Sept. 17 with free admission to dozens of area museums

The Bob Bullock Texas History Museum will have free admission on Sunday for Austin Museum Day.

The Bob Bullock Texas History Museum will have free admission on Sunday for Austin Museum Day.

Sunday, Sept. 17 marks the twentieth year of Austinites celebrating Austin Museum Day with free admission to dozens of area museums. In addition, there are special activities and prizes at many of the venues. Here are our five top picks for Austin Museum Day. See a list of the rest of the participating museums here.

1. The Blanton Museum of Art on The University of Texas campus is holding multiple activities for Austin Museum Day. Besides free admission and free parking at Brazos Garage, visitors can enjoy a community art project, traditional Indian dance and storytelling, organic paletas and special sales items in the museum store. 1-5 p.m. The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Austin. 512-471-5482. www.blantonmuseum.org

2. Founded by Caleb Zammit, a lifelong toy collector and special needs teacher, the Austin Toy Museum is a nonprofit that showcases about 20,000 different toys. A number of classic arcade games and video games consoles are available for play. Noon-7 p.m. The Austin Toy Museum, 1108 E Cesar Chavez St., Austin. 512-220-9582. www.austintoymuseum.org

3. At the Bullock Texas State History Museum, native Texans and transplants alike can learn all about the heritage of the Lone Star State through the museum’s collection, such as 14,000-year-old American Indian artifacts and objects belonging to Spanish and French settlers. The museum also shows how development in Texas affected global politics and major events in American history, such as the American Revolution, the Louisiana Purchase and the fight for Mexican independence from Spain. For Austin Museum Day, activities inspired by a special exhibit, Pong to Pokémon: The Evolution of Electronic Gaming, will be available. Noon-5 p.m. Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave., Austin. www.thestoryoftexas.com

4. The Elisabet Ney Museum, run by Austin’s parks and recreation department, is housed in the former studio of Ney herself, called Formosa. The nineteenth-century artist, a woman ahead of her time, painted portraits and sculpted busts of European intellectuals and kings as well as Texas heroes, many of which are still on display in the Texas Capitol. Also housed at the museum are photographs and memorabilia of Ney herself. Noon-5 p.m. The Elisabet Ney Museum, 304 E. 44th St., Austin. 512-974-1625. www.austintexas.gov/Elizabetney

5. In 1982, former first lady Lady Bird Johnson helped organize what is now known as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to protect and preserve North America's native plants and natural landscapes. The center features public gardens, woodlands, sweeping meadows and is the site of internationally influential research. For Austin Museum Day, visitors can enjoy story time in the outdoor classroom, seed-planting demonstrations, scavenger hunts in the gardens, and see insects on display as well as take tours throughout the day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin. 512-232-0200. www.wildflower.org


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