Catherine Prystup - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

Catherine Prystup


A brand new KinderCare is opening in Round Rock on August 21, 2017! KinderCare Education is the nation’s largest provider of early childhood education, and local families are invited to tour their newest child-care center during the Family Party and Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, August 19th. Guests will enjoy refreshments and fun activities that will include educational games and giveaways.

KinderCare Education makes it their passion to nurture a sense of discovery, joy, and wonder in every child, every day, at every one of its nearly 1400 centers across America. KinderCare is the most accredited early childhood education provider and focuses on creating a world of learning, joy and adventure for children ages six months to twelve years. To bring these learning concepts to life, children and their parents will enjoy the following activities during the grand opening party:

  • Color a pre-printed wall mural
  • Visit a (temporary) tattoo bar
  • Showcase creativity in the chalk corner
  • Try out the all new playgroundAdvertisement
  • Cozy up with a book at the Book Nook
  • Take a guided tour with KinderCare staff

—>Visit KinderCare online or on Facebook to learn more. Join KinderCare for their Grand Opening celebration. Click here to RSVP for free. <—

What: KinderCare Family Party and Grand Opening Celebration
When: Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Round Rock KinderCare Learning Center, 1900 S. AW Grimes Blvd., Round Rock
Cost: Free

The Austin Summer Musical for Children’s 2017 performance of The Jungle Book is coming to the BOyd Vance Theater August 12-27, 2017. The non-profit organization provides live musical theatre productions for the children of Central Texas as a way of fostering community, building interest and enriching the lives of children through music and theatre.

The fully costumed and choreographed production is presented FREE of charge. It is written, planned and performed by a board of community volunteers who share their free time to ensure that the children of Austin and Central Texas will be treated to a quality show.  There are 17 free public performances, produced for children ages 2-12.

The Jungle Book

Banished by the ferocious tiger, Shere Khan, a human boy named Mowgli and his panther friend, Bagheera, are on the run in the deepest parts of the jungle. On their journey, the two meet a sinister snake named Kaa, a herd of elephants and a giant bear named Baloo, who teaches them the swingin’ musical rhythms of the jungle. After surviving a dangerous encounter with a band of monkeys led by King Louie, Mowgli and Bagheera are forced to run for their lives. When Shere Khan returns, our heroes must rally their fellow animals into battle and restore peace throughout the jungle.
While the show is free, you do still need to have a ticket for entry to the theatre. Tickets are available 30 minutes prior to the show with online tickets available for select performances.

When: Saturday and Sundays, August 12-27, 2017
Time: Saturdays at 11 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m.
Where: Boyd Vance Theater, inside Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St., Austin

Tip: Arrive early to make sure you get a place in line to get tickets! Lines can be long and tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. Only six tickets allowed per family. Tickets are released 30 minutes before show time.

More Information:


1 classic story, myth or fairy tale
1 group of expert improvisers
1 audience full of great ideas

Combine all ingredients and mix together until you have a totally new hilarious story!

Saturdays and Sundays in August, Austin Scottish Rite Theater and Hideout Theatre present “Once Upon a Whaaa?!”, a fully improvised mashup of some of our favorite classic stories. The skilled improvisers from the Hideout Theatre will take the Scottish Rite stage to completely remix well-known stories using suggestions from the audience. Since it’s improvised, each show is totally unique, never seen before, never to be seen again!

What would happen if Prince Charming had to win a singing competition to wake Sleeping Beauty up? What if Snow White went on a road trip? Find out Saturdays and Sundays in August at 11:00 AM at Austin Scottish Rite Theater!



Sat August 5 – 11:00 AM
Sun August 6 – 11:00 AM
Sat August 12 – 11:00 AM
Sun August 13 – 11:00 AM
Sat August 19 – 11:00 AM
Sun August 20 – 11:00 AM
Sat August 26 – 11:00 AM
Sun August 27 – 11:00 AM

Tickets: $12 adults, $8 children under age 12. Purchase online or at the door.

Giveaway: Enter here for a chance to win a family four pack of tickets to see Once Upon a Whaa?! The winner picks which performance to attend. All you have to do is leave a comment or fill out the form below by 9:00 a.m. CST on Friday, August 4, 2017.

Kids decorating cookies with sprinkles and frosting is so much fun! Better yet, it’s mess-free when done at a bakery! Baked by Amy’s, located off of 183 in north Austin, is offering two cookie decorating classes for kids this summer. For only $25 per person, they’ll provide the cookies, decorations, an instructor, and they will clean up the mess, too!

Can’t make a class? Bring a group of 8 or more in to decorate cookies without an instructor. They will set up a table for the group to have fun with icing and sprinkles for only $5 an item.

AdvertisementWhat: Cookie Decorating Classes
When: July 29, 2017 at 1pm (Beach/summer theme); August 5, 2017 at 1pm (Back to school theme)
Where: Baked by Amy’s, 13265 US-183, Austin
Cost: $25
RSVP: 512-918-2253

Each year, Child Protective Services (CPS) removes over 17,000 children from their homes in Texas alone. When these children arrive at foster homes, they often arrive with nothing more than the clothes that they are wearing. On Saturday July 22nd, you can help make a huge difference in the life of one of these foster children while having fun with your whole family and entering to win great prizes at the Carrying Hope “Hope Pack Drive.” Come bring a “Hope Pack” to the Browning Hangar/Mueller on July 22nd from 9am-12pm. The first 150 people to donate Hope Packs for Foster Children will also receive a free family pass to The Thinkery. (One per household.)


After dropping off your Hope Pack, you will be treated to free snow cones from Kona Ice, a free family workout from Stroller Strides and fun children’s activities like face painting, balloon animals and games. Everyone who donates a Hope Pack will also be entered to win items from Kendra Scott, Alamo Drafthouse, ABGB, Whole Earth Provision Co., P.Terry’s and more

A Hope Pack is a backpack filled with age-appropriate essentials and comfort items. Examples include:

  • Toothbrushes
  • Diapers
  • Pajamas
  • Stuffed animals
  • Books
  • Toys

Carrying Hope’s mission is to provide a Hope Pack for every child entering the foster care system. When you donate a Hope Pack, you provide comfort to foster children during their time of crisis and allow new foster parents to spend time bonding with, and comforting the child instead of shopping for necessities.

To create a Hope Pack, visit and choose the age and gender of foster child you would like to help. The packing lists are broken down by gender and ages from newborn to 16 years old so all kids will receive the items that will best help their transition to a new home. Get more information at and by following Carrying Hope on Facebook and Instagram.

What: Kids Helping Kids Hope Pack Drive
When: Saturday, July 22, 2017
Time: 9 am – noon
Where: Browning Hangar at Mueller

About the author: Susanne Kerns is a Writer and Marketing Consultant living in Austin, TX. Her stories have been featured in the several parenting anthologies, including the recently released, “But Did You Die?” You can find her at and at Susanne also co-produced this year’s “Listen to Your Mother” show in Austin.

Follow her on Facebook to see why she’s frequently featured on Today Parents’ “Funniest Parents on Facebook” round-up.  She’s also on Instagram and Twitter.

A major milestone of summer is the 4th of July, a celebration of America’s independence that is commemorated by spectacular fireworks shows that take place across the Austin area. There are plenty of ways to celebrate with events starting as early as this weekend. Catch a fireworks show, pack a picnic, and enjoy some live music at one of these 4th of July Celebrations in the Austin area.

Bastrop Patriotic Festival 

Saturday, July 1, 2017
10am – 10pm
Fisherman’s Park
1200 Willow St.
Bastrop, TX 78602
(512) 303-0558

A Water Wonderland for the kids, contests, a petting zoo, a Car Show with the Bastrop Area Cruisers, children’s activity area, a DJ playing music all day, a washer (with cash prizes) and domino tournament, tons of awesome food & treats, the Austin Symphonic band and of course, fireworks (9:15pm).

Bob Schneider’s Independence Day Party

Saturday, July 1, 2017
Doors open at 6pm
Nutty Brown Cafe
12225 Highway 290 West
Austin, TX

Performances by Calliope Musicals, The Avacados and Bob Schneider with fireworks at the end of the show. Tickets start at $25.

A Star Spangled Independence

Saturday, July 1 & Sunday, July 2, 2017
10am – 5 pm
Pioneer Farms
10621 Pioneer Farms Drive
Austin, TX 78754

Family fun includes historical reenactments, hayrides, live music and a colorful display of independence flags. Red-white-and-blue historical shows, new exhibits, farm animals and hayrides are planned, along with music and other other old-fashioned festivities straight from the 1800s. The days will be Austin’s version of a midsummer festival, a popular activity in the late 1800s. Plan to come early and stay late for this old-fashioned weekend outing that replicates the family-friendly summer holidays in Old Texas. Regular admission will be charged.

H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Vic Mathias Shores
800 West Riverside Drive
Austin, TX

Spend this Independence Day with 100,000 of your closest friends! Central Texans will hurry to claim their grassy spot with the Austin Symphony Orchestra this July 4th for the largest Independence Day Celebration in the state. Tens of thousands of families will be decked out in red, white, and blue and heading down to Vic Mathias Shores (formerly Auditorium Shores) this July 4th for an amazing event complete with a fireworks display over the city skyline backed by symphonic patriotic classics.

The Austin Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8:30 p.m., followed by “mile-high” fireworks at approximately 9:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Independence Day Celebration at Round Rock Express

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
7:05 pm
Round Rock Express at the Dell Diamond
3400 E. Palm Valley Blvd.
Round Rock

Celebrate the U.S.A. at Dell Diamond as the Express will don special uniforms before a spectacular post-game fireworks show.

Leander’s Liberty Fest

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
1680 Hero Way
Leander, TX 78641
(512) 528-9909

Celebrate the Fourth of July at Liberty Fest! This FREE, family-friendly event is perfect for the whole family with live music, food and craft vendors, children’s activities and a spectacular fireworks display. Fireworks will be launched from the Capital Metro Leander Station from approximately 9-10pm.

July Fourth Frontier Days Festival & Celebration

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Old Settlers Park
3300 Palm Valley Blvd.
Round Rock, TX 78665
(512) 218-5540

A parade, fireworks, carnival rides, jalapeno eating contest, Swifty Swine Pig Races, children’s games, Sam Bass shootout, Movies in the Park and skydivers are all part of the City of Round Rock’s July Fourth Frontier Days Celebration. The event is free for the entire family. Independence Day festivities begin with free watermelon at the Lakeview Pavilion in Old Settlers Park and includes music from the Austin Symphonic Band. The SERTOMA Round Rock Veterans Fourth of July Parade moves back to Main Street in Downtown Round Rock. Fireworks begin at dark, and the movie (Lego Batman Movie) begins right after the fireworks.

Wells Branch FourthFest

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Katherine Fleischer Park
2106 Klattenhoff Dr.
Austin, TX 78728
(512) 251-9814

Wells Branch is famous for its FourthFest celebration. The day begins with a short parade starting at Katherine Fleisher Park at 10am. Spectators are welcome to line the street to watch. When the parade returns, there’ll be an afternoon of entertainment under the big tent, concessions from local restaurants and community service groups offering a variety of items to enjoy, and activities for the kids around Katherine Fleischer Park. The pool will be open and free to the public as well. Fireworks begin at 9:30pm at the soccer field adjacent to the recreation center on Shoreline Drive.

Georgetown’s SERTOMA 4th of July Celebration

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
San Gabriel Park
455 E. Morrow St.
Georgetown, TX 78626

The festivities will begin at 11:00 a.m. with over 60 Arts and Craft booths, 20 Food vendors. Kiddie rides, Bounce Houses and games along with a Petting Zoo are provided for the children. Musical entertainment, featuring some of the best local and central Texas talent, will begin at the Gazebo at 12 noon and will continue all day. A “Hometown Parade”, sponsored by the Leadership Georgetown Alumni begins at 11:00 a.m. at the low water crossing, ending at the Gazebo. The 4th of July Celebration is free. Fireworks will start at around 9:30pm.

Cedar Park’s 4th of July Celebration & Parade

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
10am – 10pm
Milburn Park
1901 Sun Chase Blvd.
Cedar Park, TX 78613
(512) 401-5500

The parade kicks off the day at 10 am on Discovery Blvd. Afterwards, from 4-10pm, the event will feature live music, bingo, a washer tournament, air castles, free watermelon and a fireworks display.  Fees apply for food concessions, face painting, and carnival games and rides. Admission is free.

Pflugerville Pfirecracker Pfestival

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
The Pfield
1440 W. Pecan Street
Pflugerville, TX 78660
(512) 990-6113

Come to the new stadium for live music by The BlueBonnets and SkyRocket, food trucks, and a fireworks show (9:15pm). Free admission.

Kyle’s Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks Show 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Plum Creek Golf Course
4301 Benner
Kyle, TX 78640

Starting at 6pm, the pre-show celebration at Plum Creek Golf Course Clubhouse is free to the public and includes live music and fantastic viewing. Hot dogs and cold drinks will be sold under the large tent, along with other snacks. No outside food or drink permitted on the golf course property. Hays CISD Performing Arts Center will entertain with music until the fireworks start. The free public program begins at 7pm. No alcohol permitted on school grounds. When it gets dark enough, around 9:30pm, the fireworks show will launch from the golf course.

Hill Country Galleria’s Independence Day Celebration

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
12700 Hill Country Blvd., Suite T-100
Bee Cave, TX
(512) 263-0001

Enjoy shopping, dining, live music & fireworks at the Hill Country Galleria. There will be a day-long sidewalk sale, live music by The Watters and Vallejo starting at 6:30pm, and a fireworks show starting at around 9pm. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. Free admission.

Red, White and Buda

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Buda City Park
121 Main Street
Buda, TX 78610

Watch or be a part of the morning children’s parade filled with decorative bicycles, wagons, and unique kid’s floats as it takes route on Main Street. Bounce houses and more family fun can be found at City Park immediately following the parade. The celebration continues at night with live music, activities and a spectacular fireworks display.

Spending summers in Austin means long, hot days when staying in air conditioned buildings becomes the priority of the day. If you’re itching to get out of the house while also staying cool, and you need a break from the pool, The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a great option. Located in downtown Austin, the museum offers a perfect picture-taking opportunity in front of the big Texas star! Head inside to check out the exhibits, learn about the history of Texas, catch a film at the IMAX Theater, or stay for one of their many family-friendly programs offered all summer long.


You can always find engaging exhibits on Texas history, but the exhibit you don’t want to miss this summer is Pong to Pokémon: The Evolution of Electronic Gaming. Opening July 29, this exhibit will explore the history of gaming and where it’s headed, with a special emphasis on Texas’ role in the industry. (Did you know that Texas ranks third in the nation in number of video game personnel?) There will be classic games available to play (no quarters needed!) like Oregon Trail, Centipede, Tetris and more.

Summer Free Family Film Series

All summer long, the Bullock Museum is presenting a biweekly Summer Free Family Film Series. This year’s theme is A Magical Fantastical Adventure. The movies are free and open to the public with preferred seating for museum members.

All seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but museum members have priority seating. Guests do not need to purchase tickets, but simply show up for line queuing outside of the Spirit Theater on the second floor of the museum. Bullock members will have priority seating which begins at 1:30 p.m. Members must present their membership card at the theater for early access. All other guests will begin seating at 1:40 p.m. Concessions from the IMAX lobby will be allowed in the theater.

2017 Summer Free Family Film Series schedule

June 3 – Matilda
June 10 – Alice in Wonderland (Disney animated version)
July 1 – The Black Cauldron
July 22 – My Neighbor Totoro
August 5 – Secret of the Kells
August 12 – Where the Wild Things Are

Music Under the Stars Summer Concert Series

Music Under the Stars is a free concert series held each July in the Bullock Museum’s Lone Star Plaza. The public is invited to experience free concerts under the iconic Bullock Museum Star from 6 to 9 p.m. with complimentary garage parking. Bring the whole family, camp chairs, and blankets to enjoy an incredible lineup of Texas artists.

2017 Music Under the Stars Summer Concert Series schedule

July 7 – James McMurtry with Akina Adderley
July 14 – Mother Falcon with Molly Burch
July 21 – Tameca Jones with Los Coast

Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 N. Congress Ave.
Austin / (512) 936-8746

The Bullock Museum is a sponsor of the 2017 Austin Summer Fun Checklist for Kids! Complete three items on the checklist and your kids can start earning prizes and discounts from local companies. Save $2 on exhibit admission at the Bullock Texas State Museum.  

There’s no denying that it gets hot in Texas during the Summer months. Can you imagine living without even a fan to help keep your house cool on those hot summer days? A simple fan can help bring relief from the heat to seniors living without air conditioning. On June 16, 2017, Austin’s favorite music, food and on-air talent will come together for Fans From Fans, an annual event that collects fans on-site and funds to buy fans for Austin-area seniors.

The Summer Fan Drive, which runs from May 1 – August 31 and is celebrating its 27th year, is a way to bring relief from the heat to over 6,000 Central Texas residents! This year, Family Eldercare will distribute it’s 95,000th fan to low-income seniors, adults with disabilities, medically fragile individuals, or families with children. To help support the Summer Fan Drive through fans and monetary donations, join Family Eldercare for the 18th annual iconic Fans From Fans event, formally ‘Fan Fare Friday’.

Join KXAN’s David Yeomans in the morning and Jim Spencer in the evening, along with a fantastic roster of local musicians from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Threadgill’s World Headquarters in downtown Austin. Drop off fans and funds and stick around for great food, kid’s crafts, live music, and fun for all ages. The party moves up north to Havovers 2.0 for Happy Hour from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Entertainment includes:

  • On-site donations of $15 or a new fan begins at 7 am
  • Pancake Pileup – 7-9 am
  • Kid’s concert with Hey Lolly Band (9am) and Big Don (10am)
  • AMD Gaming Stations – 9:30 am – 1 pm
  • Lunch concert featuring Scott Strickland of the Scott Strickland Band (Special Solo Performance!) – 11 a.m.
    Derrick Davis Band – 12 pm
  • Kid’s crafts activities from 8a-12p, include coloring, making maracas, a bounce house, a fire truck, and more!

What: Family Eldercare’s Fans From Fans
Where: Threadgill’s World Headquarters, 301 W. Riverside Drive
When: Friday, June 16, 2017
Time: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: Suggested donation of $15 or a fan
More Information: Fans From Fans website

This event is featured on the 2017 Austin Summer Fun Checklist for Kids. Check off three items out of over 60 fun events, activities and day trips to earn prizes. Click here for more details.

It’s summer time in Texas, and that means it’s time to plan your next Texas road trip with a little help from the Bullock Museum. Map your route to the best Texas roadside attractions and discover fun new games to play along the way.

In partnership with H-E-B, Bullock Museum offers FREE exhibition admission all day during H-E-B Free First Sundays, held the first Sunday of every month. Families can explore the Story of Texas through three floors of exhibitions that showcase artifacts from around the state. Special family programs from 12-3 p.m. combine art creation, exploration stations, and gallery activities.

Activities Include:

  • Show your love for Texas and create a personalized license plate.
  • Construct treasured Texas landmarks as you map your next road trip through the state.
  • Discover parks and outdoor spaces that make Texas fun to explore with help from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
  • Make a pit stop with Common Threads and enjoy a favorite Texas recipe to keep you energized on long road trips.
  • Park yourselves at Storytime and hear a tale of an adventure.

When: Sunday, June 4, 2017
Time: Noon – 5 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Location: Bullock Museum. 1800 Congress Avenue, Austin

More information:

Download your 2017 Summer Fun Checklist and start checking items off. A visit to the Bullock Museum gets a check mark and you can earn a discount to the Museum after completing three items on your Checklist! More details here.

Looking for ways to entertain your kids this summer? Worried about how to combat the daily cries of boredom? The 2017 Austin Summer Fun Checklist for Kids is packed with over 60 activities, events, and day trip recommendations to keep your family active in the Austin area all summer long. This FREE printable can be downloaded or picked up in the latest edition of Austin Family Magazine. It’s easy, free, and the kids earn prizes and discounts to local Austin businesses as they complete items on the checklist. See just how easy it is below!

How to Have Summer Fun

1. Print the 2017 Austin Summer Fun Checklist for Kids or pick up the more recent edition of Austin Family Magazine for an already printed copy.


Come to the Summer Fun Launch Party on June 10th, from 9 am to noon, at Whole Foods Market Lamar to pick up a copy of the checklist. Kids of all ages will enjoy live music by Joe McDermott, Lauren Diamond, Ms. Kat’s Music and Movement, and Big Wy’s Brass Band, craft activities, prizes and more. There will be free breakfast tacos (one per admission), free pretzels (limited availability) from Easy Tiger, free coffee from Chameleon Cold-Brew, Me & the Bees Lemonade samples, KIND Bars, and more. Tickets are just $5 for adults, $2 for children 13 and under, with all proceeds benefiting Whole Kids Foundation. Bring a food item to be donated to the Central Texas Food Bank and get a free child’s admission!

2. Pick activities to do all summer long.

3. Do activity.

4. Check it off the list.

5. Once you’ve done at least three activities on the checklist, you can earn prizes for even more Summer Fun!

6. Upload photos of you and your kids doing activities on the Summer Fun Checklist for a chance to win even more prizes including Chaparral Ice Skating Passes, free museum admission to the Bullock Museum, and more. Use #AustinSummerFun as the hashtag with your account set to public. We’ll be picking winners randomly all summer long.

What’s on the 2017 Austin Summer Fun Checklist?

Anytime Fun Includes:

  • Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool
  • Discover Dinos in Austin
  • Jump on a trampoline at Springfree Trampoline
  • Go indoor skydiving at iFly
  • Watch the Bats Emerge at Dusk
  • Ride the Train at the Austin Zoo
  • Play indoors at Catch Air
  • Visit Exhibits at Bullock Museum
  • Watch Friday night fireworks at Round Rock Express
  • Nerf war indoors at Dart em Up
  • Hike & splash at St. Edward’s Park
  • Explore Zilker Botanical Garden
  • Go fishing
  • Visit the animals at the Austin Zoo
  • Ice skate at Chaparral Ice
  • Get wet at Typhoon Texas
  • Get lost in a book at BookPeople
  • Visit a Farmer’s Market
  • Visit the Cathedral of Junk
  • Explore The Domain
  • Roller skate at Playland Skate Center
  • Eat a taco on a Tuesday
  • Kayak in Austin’s Waterway
  • Play at Joanne Land Park
  • Play Pinball, Pac-Man and more at an arcade
  • Visit an Austin Museum
  • Cool down with some ice cream
  • Join a summer reading program
  • Learn about the history of Austin at the Austin History Center

Or you can go to a few awesome Austin events this summer including:

  • Children’s Day Art Park
  • Blues on the Green
  • Summer Free Family Film Series at the Bullock Museum
  • Summer Fun Launch party at Whole Foods Market, Lamar
  • Taste North Austin at The Domain
  • Blues on the Green
  • Family Eldercare’s Fans from Fans Fan Drive
  • Juneteenth Celebration
  • Unplugged at the Grove
  • 4th of July Fireworks
  • Visit Whole Foods Market for Kid’s Club
  • Father’s Day Event at Catch Air
  • Zilker Summer Musical: The Wizard of Oz
  • Soar to new heights at Science Mill
  • Superhero night at Round Rock Express
  • … and more!

How about a day trip to explore other places that are still close to home?

  • Seguin
  • Salado
  • Waco
  • Lockhart
  • Gruene
  • Fredericksburg
  • Boerne
  • Johnson City
  • Texas State Parks Close to Austin

Check back here all summer long for more in-depth articles or follow us on Facebook and Instagram for tips and advice on navigating the summer months with kids.

–> Download the 2017 Summer Fun Checklist and start having fun! <–