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

It’s festival season in Austin. And this one definitely qualifies as weird.

Austin Jugglefest is back for its 22nd year. As you might guess, there’s a lot of juggling – games, demonstrations, shows, people on unicycles, that kind of thing.

The big show will be The Public Show tomorrow tonight at 7:30. The Public Show will showcase performers from all over the world and is a great event for the whole family (ages 5 and under are free).

For more fun happening around town, check out our Weekend Top Picks.

When: today – Sunday

Cost: $10 1-day pass

Texas School for the Deaf
1102 South Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78704

I’m sure most of us know someone running in the marathon this morning, and they need our support! Having run a marathon and cheered on my friends, I can say that all the random people cheering for you is very motivating and much needed.

So go support your favorite runner! And if you don’t have any favorites, go support everybody!

Does anyone have any good signs? A few of my favorite are, “(Persons Name) is kicking asphalt,”  and “Dear Stranger, you are my hero.”

Road closure warning — make sure to look at the map because a bunch of roads will be closed this morning.

I was reading the spectator information on their website and I found this section/paragraph interesting.
“University of Texas Intramural Fields, 51st and Guadalupe (Mile 22)Mathematically, the marathon is “almost over”, but DO NOT shout that at the runners, because physically and mentally, it’s just not. The average marathoner will still have 40 to 45 minutes of running left. Most are now going further than they have ever run in their training. Bodies are low on fuel, and most runners have found the infamous “wall”, right as they head into the long hill up 51st. There’s a large water stop that will join you to up the noise and positive energy levels. The best access is from inside the course’s loop, from Lamar, or from outside the loop via Airport Blvd, down 53rd.

When: today, February 15th

Photo Via: Livestrong Austin Marathon Facebook Page

There’s a new tool online for anyone looking to explore the great outdoors in Texas. Hipcamp launched officially in Texas yesterday, and their innovative site allows you to browse hundreds of amazing campsites throughout the state with unprecedented ease.

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time (often during the work-day) exploring Texas Parks and Wildlife’s website, dreaming about the upcoming weekend, and whether the possibility of a last minute trip to Big Bend is somehow in the cards.

Enchanted Rock State Park

Enchanted Rock State Park

Hipcamp makes these explorations even more engaging, with beautiful photos and witty content written by a “tribe” of people who simply love to camp.

The site also makes it easy to search by region or to filter by preferred activity or attribute. Meaning that if you’re looking for a campground “close to Austin; with a waterfall,” you can get there in a few clicks. Yes, that’s a real thing. Check out this description and photo of Colorado Bend State Park on Hipcamp:

Once you find your spot amongst the seven campgrounds, let the wilderness shenanigans begin! Give the reins to a local, and opt for the Gorman Falls Tour which lasts up to two hours and will take you on a 1.5 mile hike to see lush waterfalls and flora. Or be your own guide, and check out the Gorman Falls Trail, a combined 26 miles of mountain biking goodness. Explore further and your options multiply from caving to whitewater rafting along 16 miles of Class I-II rapids on the Colorado River, a great place for beginners. Colorado State Park truly is a mecca for exploration, how will you spend your time here?

Colorado Bend Hipcamp


I’ve already got a long list of new places to explore, and with highs in the upper 70’s this weekend, it might be camping season sooner than you think.

Featured image by Sarah Vaughn,

Austin’s official band, The Austin Symphonic Band, has a one of kind concert coming up. The show will be the first at AISD’s new Performing Arts Center in Mueller, which is a pretty spectacular venue. Excellent music, plus a cool venue, sign me up.

You may be familiar with the Austin Symphonic Band from their annual Mother’s Day Concert at The Capitol, or their Father’s Day Concert in the park. Both events are very popular each year, and this is a great opportunity to check out the band in an acoustically-perfect environment!

Inside AISD's brand new Performing Art's Center

Inside AISD’s brand new Performing Art’s Center

The February concert, Tributes, will feature the world premiere of Frank Ticheli’s new work Dancing on Water which will honor the Austin Symphonic Band’s conductor, Richard Floyd. Other selections that will be performed were written as tributes to persons, places and events.

As an added treat, Frank Ticheli will be present to discuss his new work and will also conduct the concert.

Frank Ticheli courtesy of Graham Lindsey/ Wavelength Media

Frank Ticheli courtesy of Graham Lindsey/ Wavelength Media


AISD’s new performing arts center just had its Grand Opening last week, so this is a fantastic opportunity to check out the new state of the art venue. Following the concert, there will be a reception with coffee and cake.

Admission: Adults $10, Students/Seniors $6

When: February 7th

Time: 8 – 9:30 pm


AISD Performing Arts Center
1500 Barbara Jordan
Austin, Texas 78723



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)

Photo Credit:


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.

Top Notch Hamburgers
7525 Burnet Road
Austin, Texas 78757


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.


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

Barton Springs Pool
2101 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

Photo Credit:

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

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

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

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.