Austin's impressive arts scene is thriving. And you'll discover that local museums offer diverse experiences geared to a variety of interests and age groups. Whether you're looking to please the kids, a family history buff or the art enthusiast in your friend group, we're confident you'll find a museum everyone will remember.

Don't miss Austin Museum Day, held the second to last Sunday each September in coordination with the Austin Museum Partnership, featuring free admission, programs and activities at area museums and cultural spaces. Here's a list of 10 to jump-start your planning.

Woman in white jumpsuit admiring Kelly Eisworth's rainbow glass exhibit at the Blanton Museum.Blanton Museum. Credit Cindy Bolanos.

1. Blanton Museum of Art

Austin’s Blanton Museum houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of art in Central Texas. Enjoy the permanent collection of over 21,000 pieces, along with unique rotating exhibits and special events. You'll discover European paintings, as well as modern and contemporary American and Latin American art. Visit the Blanton Museum website for current hours and admission prices. Insider tip: Admission is free on Tuesdays! 

Bullock Museum exterior with star statueCourtesy of the Bullock Museum.

2. Bullock Texas State History Museum

Named after the state’s 38th lieutenant governor, Bob Bullock, the Bullock Museum extends his love and preservation of Texas history through meaningful and educational experiences to locals and visitors alike. Thought-provoking and culturally enriching exhibits, programs and events are offered for all ages. Discover more about current admission prices and hours on the Bullock Museum website.

The Contemporary Austin Jones Center With Liberty And Justice For All exterior displayThe Contemporary Austin Jones Center. Courtesy of The Contemporary Austin.

3. The Contemporary Austin

With two locations, The Contemporary is Austin's top attraction for modern and contemporary artwork. Located in the heart of Downtown Austin, The Contemporary Austin - Jones Center is hard to miss. Jim Hodge’s glittering work of art appears as if it’s floating in mid-air and will catch any visitor's eye. The iconic outdoor installation, which states “With Liberty and Justice for All,” sets the tone for what you'll experience during your visit. The 8,000 square feet of space allows for seasonal, dynamic exhibits and educational events the whole family will enjoy. Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Downtown Austin? The Contemporary Austin - Laguna Gloria is a historic site situated right on Lake Austin. This location showcases outdoor sculptures by renowned international artists in a magical landscape. Wander the grounds on your own or add the free Action Pack, recommended for families, to enhance your visit. Information about admission, parking and hours for both locations can be found on the website.

Woman playing drum at the George Washington Carver MuseumCourtesy of George Washington Carver Museum.

4. George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural & Genealogy Center

The Carver Museum is located in East Austin, one of the city's historically Black neighborhoods. The museum’s mission is to celebrate and honor the global contributions of Black people to Texas and the world. The goal is to serve as a catalyst to connect communities and build a larger narrative surrounding Blackness. Explore exhibits designed to preserve African American culture, history and aesthetic expression. Admission is always free. Visit the website for current hours.

Wide shot of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center with a large metal building and field of multi-colored wildflowers.Credit Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

5. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope,” former Lady Bird Johnson once said. The former First Lady and environmentalist, Lady Bird Johnson, along with actress Helen Hayes, envisioned a future where natural landscapes were restored and preserved. They founded the National Wildflower Research Center (later renamed Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to honor Johnson). The South Austin center is internationally recognized for its conservation of native plants. Visit to learn more about education programs and outreach, research projects and sustainable gardens. Continue to their website to plan your visit.

View from the top of the stairs at the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum, looking at rows of red books and accolades in the great hall.LBJ Presidential Library & Museum. Credit Lauren Gerson.

6. LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

On the grounds of The University of Texas at Austin, the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum honors Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th U.S. president. Walk through innovative, educational exhibits to get a glimpse into the political and personal lives of Lyndon and his wife, Lady Bird Johnson. Gain insight into important decisions President Johnson faced regarding education, civil rights, the environment and health care. Ready to begin a tour? Click here for admission fees and hours. Insider tip: Anyone with “Lyndon” in their name will be admitted for free.

Multimedia Exhibition at Mexic Arte Museum in Austin TexasCourtesy of Mexic-Arte Museum.

7. Mexic-Arte Museum

Immerse yourself in a unique cultural learning experience by walking through the Mexic-Arte Museum in the vibrant Warehouse District of Downtown Austin. The museum's exhibits explore rich Mexican, Hispanic, and Latin American art and culture. Seasonal and rotating exhibits and events keep crowds coming back. Admission and hours can be found here.

8. Pioneer Farms

Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms in North Austin illustrates how pioneers lived in the Blackland Prairie during the 19th century. Highlights of the 90-acre living history park and museum include the 1844 Tonkawa Indian Encampment, 1866 Kruger Farm and 1899 Sprinkle Corner village. Children especially love visiting the farm animals in the 1850s barn. Workshops and demonstrations typically include crafts, blacksmithing and banjo lessons. Take a self-guided tour of the grounds by following a printable booklet. Visit Pioneer Farms' website for current hours and ticket prices. 

Child playing with light exhibit at the Thinkery Museum in Austin TexasCourtesy of Thinkery.

9. Thinkery

Unleash your child’s creativity, imagination and love of learning at the Thinkery in the Mueller neighborhood. The Thinkery offers a hands-on learning experience in 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities are geared to newborns through 11-year-olds, though activities are designed to engage all ages. Ticket reservations are encouraged, as walk-ins are limited. Learn about the hours here.

People enjoying UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum in austin texasCourtesy of UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum.

10. UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum

The UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum, honoring the work of American sculptor Charles Umlauf, is located in a six-acre garden featuring Texas’ largest collection of touchable sculptures. Rotating exhibitions of work by Umlauf and other contemporary artists provide an educational experience that inspires an appreciation and understanding of nature and sculpture. Hours and admission information can be found here.

Make your trip to Austin a memorable one by using our creative itineraries to help plan your next visit.