The University of Texas at Austin
  • Free of Charge

    By Marjorie Smith
    Published: Aug. 3, 2009
    Free

    Summer session is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean your cash supply has to as well. In fact, within The University of Texas at Austin’s 40 acres there are plenty of events and venues to enjoy that won’t cost you a thing.  So leave your billfold at home, come to campus and enjoy a good time, on us.

    Destination: Landmarks

    Web site: www.landmarks.utexas.edu

    Admission: Free and open to the public

    With nearly 30 pieces of public art carefully placed through out campus, Landmarks is truly what its name implies: a University of Texas at Austin landmark. Known as the university’s public art program, Landmarks provides a free, self-guided walking tour through campus that includes stops at each installation.  The installations, which are on long-term loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, vary in artist, inspiration and origination.

    Destination: Blanton Museum of Art

    Web site: www.blantonmuseum.org

    Admission: Free admission every Thursday, open to the public

    Offering free admission every Thursday, the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art provides more than just a visual experience. During a visit to the museum, guests can experience Blanton’s signature Uncommon Commentary Acoustiguide Tour, which features an innovative mix of Austin voices. Patrons can also enjoy unusual activities such as yoga classes hosted in the galleries and live music in the atrium.

    Destination: Moonlight Prowl

    Web site: www.utexas.edu/tours/prowl

    Admission: Free and open to the public

    If you’re a night owl, the Moonlight Prowl nighttime campus tour is definitely something to sign up for.  Packed with stories and anecdotes of student life, campus history and university lore, the prowl is intended to help “personalize” one’s university experience. Tours are scheduled sporadically and interested persons can sign up on the tour’s Web site.

    Destination: Texas Memorial Museum

    Web site: www.utexas.edu/tmm

    Admission: Free and open to the public

    With its entire first floor dedicated to the fossils of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, the Texas Memorial Museum provides a bigger-than-life experience that is free and open to the public. Its unique Paleo Lab is a working laboratory where visitors can interact with and ask questions of a paleontologist while seeing how fossils are cleaned and prepared.

    Destination: Harry Ransom Center

    Web site: www.hrc.utexas.edu

    Admission: Free and open to the public

    Whether it’s viewing Robert De Niro’s donated collection of papers, film, movie props and costumes, or seeing the infamous Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait, the Harry Ransom Center is a vibrant venue for arts and humanities and the performing arts.  Free and open to the public, the museum offers extensive collections that include the permanent display of the Gutenberg Bible and the First Photograph.

    Destination: Star viewing at Robert Lee Moore Hall

    Web site: http://outreach.as.utexas.edu/public/parties.html

    Admission: Free and open to the public

    Every Wednesday night from 9-10:30 p.m., the public is invited to join the Astronomy Department for free public star parties on the rooftop of Robert Lee Moore Hall. Discover planets, binary stars and star clusters when peering through a 16-inch telescope. Viewing times change throughout the year, so visit the department’s Web site to confirm event details.

    Destination: The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

    Web site: www.cah.utexas.edu/index.php

    Admission: Free and open to the public

    One collection at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History has taken on greater meaning during the past month: the Walter Cronkite Papers. This collection chronicles the late CBS newsman’s more than five-decade-long career as one of the nation’s most respected journalists. Including research files, audio and video recordings, scripts and photographs, Walter Cronkite’s collection is considered one of the most important archives covering the history of television journalism.

    Destination: Frank Denius Fields

    Web site: www.mackbrown-texasfootball.com

    Admission: Free and open to the public

    The University of Texas at Austin Longhorns football team will host two open practices on Wednesday, Aug. 12., and Thursday, Aug. 13. Both practices will be held at Frank Denius Fields from 7-9 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to park at the Manor Garage (PG 5) on Dedman Drive across from Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The football team, along with the volleyball teams, will hold its annual autograph session on Saturday, Aug. 22, at 11 a.m. at the Gregory Gym.

    Destination: Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

    Web site: www.lbjlib.utexas.edu

    Admission: Free and open to the public

    With items ranging from coins and stamps to White House furniture, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library pays tribute to the 36th president of the United States.  The museum, which is free and open daily to the public, is one of 11 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It features 45 million pages of historical documents, including papers from the presidential career of LBJ. An exhibit opened in 1998 to honor former first lady, Lady Bird Johnson. The exhibit includes audio recordings, family films and excerpts from her book, “A White House Diary.”

    To learn about other campus events, visit the Know events calendar.

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