Family friendly events in Austin, Texas are an ongoing occurrence. There are always great family friendly places and events to attend!

4.15

In the spirit of being active as we start the New Year, I suggest making the trek to the top of Mount Bonnell on this absolutely gorgeous Sunday.  Go up and down the 102 (give or take) steps a few times and that will really get your heart pounding.

mount bonnell

Mount Bonnell is one of Austin’s oldest touring attractions, dating back to the 1850′s as it is the highest point in Austin City Limits reaching 785 feet tall.

The top of Mount Bonnell easily boasts some of the best views in Austin. You can get a truly panaramoic view of the city, on one side you have the UT Tower and downtown and to the other you have the 360 bridge. It’s on of my favorite places to go in Austin!

To get to Mount Bonnell:
Take 35th Street past Camp Mabry
Go left at the fork onto Old Bull Creek Road
Right on Mount Bonnell Road (You will start to see parking on your left)

http://www.austinparks.org/our-parks.html?parkid=287

Photo Credit: http://www.austinparks.org/our-parks.html?parkid=287

3.15

Hello Sunshine! We missed you. I always say that Austin needs more events to appreciate cars! Well Top Notch (where some of the classic Dazed and Confused was filmed)  is making it happen tonight with their live music, hot rod, and movie night!

Local car lovers will love checking out all the sweet rides.

They’ll have two for one chicken fried steak sandwiches and FREE beer!

Don’t forget to bring a chair.

I highly recommend their onion rings, treat yourself!

Admission: free

When: today, January 3rd

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location:
Top Notch Hamburgers
7525 Burnet Road
Austin, Texas 78757

https://www.facebook.com/topnotchaustin

1.15

Happy 2015 everyone! Here we go again, back to list item #1.  For those who don’t understand the numbering system, we start back over at number ‘1’ and the ‘.15′ represents the year.

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For the 35th year, people willing to brave the brisk jump into the springs are invited to make the plunge. We have it a little easier than some of our polar bear jumping neighbors from around the country, as Barton Springs stays at a constant 68 degrees. So in today’s case, the water will actually be warmer than the air temperature! Regardless of that detail, this is still going to be some feat today as it’s definitely the coldest it’s been outside in several years.

They’ll have coffee and donuts to warm you up, and they’ll be selling 2015 commemorative T-shirts.

When: Today, January 1st, 2015

Time: 5:00am-10:00pm (the actual plunge will take place at 10:00 a.m.)

Cost: Free

Location:
Barton Springs Pool
2101 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

https://www.facebook.com/events/758139187573616/

Photo Credit: http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs114/1101784698470/img/164.jpg

Today is Austin’s 175th Birthday! That calls for doing something especially Austin today. Given its a rainy day, I opted for something inside. I was in Austin for almost half a decade before I finally made it to the Capitol to explore. Now, I find myself there every few months roaming the grounds. It is absolutely breath taking and I learn something new every time.

Here are some Texas Capitol Facts:

  • It is the largest state capitol building in the United States
  • In 2007 it was ranked the 92nd “America’s Favorite Architecture” place by the American Institute of Architects, in the 2008 poll it was ranked the #1 State Capitol.
  • 17 monuments surround the Texas Capitol
  • Central Air Conditioning was installed in 1955

They offer FREE guided tours that are generally 45 minutes and are available during the following times:

Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Sunday, Noon – 3:30 pm

Parking is available in the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage at 1201 San Jacinto located between Trinity and San Jacinto Streets at 12th and 13th streets. Parking is free for the first two hours and $1.00 for each half hour thereafter

http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/tspb.htm

Ice skating is one of those activities that really helps me embrace the season! Yesterday we blogged on Ice Skating at Whole Foods but that isn’t the only place you can slide on some skates and take on the ice.

Barton Creek Resort also sets up a great ice rink and proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas Foundation. They have skating, s’mores, lights and more fun!

Happy Christmas Eve, check out our Austin rendition of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas!

When: now – January 4th

Location:
Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa
8212 Barton Club Drive
Austin, Texas 78735

http://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/austin-barton-creek/things-to-do/resort-activities/holiday-lights-ice

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the town
Not a creature was stirring, not even  Mack Brown.
The stockings were hung by the Longhorn with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The hipsters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of mustaches danced in their heads.
And mamma in her yoga pants, and I in my boots,
Set out to listen to live music, just for the hoots.

When out on the stage there arose such a bang,
I stopped on my bike to see where it came.
Away from the show I flew like a flash,
tore off my Ray Bans and combed my mustache.

The glow of the city in new-fallen rain
,
Made me smile to think of water the lake shall gain.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a hippie old driver, so lively and thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
Faster than impostors from Cali they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the Clock Tower! to the top of Frost Bank!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash to the swanky Westlake!

As plastic bags that blew in the wind used to fly,
When they face an obstacle, like Mount Bonnell in the sky.
Straight up to the top is the course they flew,
With a sleigh full of trailer food, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a moment, I heard up above
The ringing of bells, a sound that I love.
As I puffed on my E-cig and turned around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came into Austintown

He was not dressed in fur, from his head to his foot,
Its central Texas y’all, he’s in shorts and a cowboy boot.
A bundle of tickets he flung from his pack, ACL and Fun Fest
And let’s not forget about South by Southwest.

I looked into his eyes and saw him as a friend,
I didn’t want our short time together to come to an end.
He was so merry and full of holiday cheer
,
I went to the kitchen to pour him a Craft Beer

.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his fingers,
And it filled the room with a smell that lingers.
Politely I said “don’t you know this Austin!
If you must smoke, forgive me, but please go to Boston!”

He was chubby and plump, Gourdoughs he has been,
I said I’ll take you to yoga, just tell me when.
I’ll show you Austin, I’ll show you it all,
From the trails, to the campus even the art wall.

I sat there and watched him, so quickly he works,
He said “I’m skipping Dallas, I don’t mess with those jerks.
”
And just like that it was time to say goodbye,
He said “Hook ‘em Horns,” while I tried not to cry.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a Yeehaw,
And away they all flew, I couldn’t help but stare in awe.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to y’all, and to y’all a good-night!”

 

written by my talented sister Ali Owen.

If you are one of those people that has all your jobs done before Christmas and is looking for something to do to get in the holiday spirit, ice skating at Whole Foods is exactly what you’re looking for!  While the rink is not exactly huge, the entire experience is still pretty enchanting.

Admission: $10 (per session /includes skate rental)

When: today, December 23rd – January 10th 

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location:
Whole Foods Downtown
525 North Lamar
Austin, Texas 78703

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/events?store=6606

Photo Credit: http://www.cvsherman.com

Today is the second annual Dreidel Tournament! Players or all age are welcome to come out and join the holiday fun.

They’ll have a craft station where you can make your own repurposed dreidel out of an egg carton.

Admission: free

When: today, December 21st

Time: 1 pm

Phone: 512-974-7400

Location:
Recycled Reads Bookstore
5335 Burnet Road
Austin, Texas 78756

http://library.austintexas.gov/event/dreidel-tournament-65326

Each year there seem to be more and more decorated trees along 360. It’s one of those things that makes Austin unique and eclectic all at the same time.

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The story goes that this tradition began over ten years ago with just one tree, decorated under the cover of night by a local family.  Each year more and more decorated trees pop up from mid-November through Christmas.

You can always participate and decorate your own.  If you don’t have the time to do it before Christmas, be sure to take the time to drive down 360 and appreciate the trees!  It’s really fun!

The tree decorations have just as much variety and spark as the city’s residents.  Currently there are more than 100 trees decorated with everything from traditional ornaments, candy canes, and garland, to funky trees sporting flamingos, rainbows, Barbie’s, and more.

Important: After New Year’s make sure to go “un-decorate” your tree.  We don’t want litter everywhere.

I love how we manage to keep “Keep Austin Weird,” one day at a time.

Location:
Loop 360
 They come in batches, Spicewood Springs has a bunch.

Photo Credit: http://www.penick.net/digging/images/2010_12_16/XmasTrees360_7.JPG

I absolutely love the Capitol holiday tree (and Menorah).  Make sure to go after sundown as the tree changes colors and does various light shows. You can get some really great photos with the Capitol in the background.

While you’re there I’d recommend scrolling the Capitol grounds. I love walking the Capitol grounds at night; there is something pretty majestic the building being lit up at night. It’s definitely worth the stroll on the grounds.

When: now – New Years

Location:
The Capitol
1100 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701