Every year, the Zilker Hillside Theater puts on a summer musical. It is hosted, well, on the Zilker Hillside ;o) Right by Barton Springs Pool. It is completely free, though they do ask for donations during intermission. There is also a $5 fee to park in Zilker. Well worth it, in my book!
Seats are on a first-come first-serve basis and a sign requests that you do not reserve your place with an unoccupied blanket until after 6pm.
Last year, we showed up around 7pm and there were still some spots in front of the stage at the back of the hill. By 7:30, all the good hill spots were gone, and the blankets were spilling out along the sides. Much later than 7:30 and I'm not sure what kind of spot you would find.
We went on a Thursday night and I overheard one of the actors say it was their lowest attendance so far - and the hillside was packed. So, on a weekend night, you might want to get there even earlier.
With an hour and a half of time to spend, we needed some entertainment.
We brought along a wiffle ball and bat, and my son was able to encourage some other boys to play with him. We also saw some frisbees in use.
We also walked down to the Barton Springs Creek bed and the boys spend a good half hour digging in the mud before the show.
It was really hot, and for future shows, I think I might just bring our bathings suits and dip into Barton Springs after we reserve our spot with our blanket. It would make the whole night much cooler (literally!)
After the show, the actors and actresses stick around for photos and questions - which is really fun! And to top the night off, D saw a shooting star while watching the show!
Tips and Thoughts
The show starts right around 8:30 and goes until 10:45, so it is a late night for the little guys.
Chairs under 30 inches (the squat ones for sitting at the beach) are allowed up front, but they request any larger chairs sit at the very back to keep the view unblocked. Blankets are the preferred seating method.
You can bring along a cooler of anything you want. There are also concessions available for snacks (water, chips, candy, frozen custard, etc.)
Currently, the only bathrooms are port-a-potties beside the stage. But you can also walk the short distance to the Barton Springs bathhouse for some real plumbing.