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

The Austin Empty Bowl Project is an effort by locals to fight hunger, and with Thanksgiving being next week, it seems like a perfect way to help out.

They have hundreds of hand-painted bowls in countless shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Once you pick your bowl you can fill it will soups and breads donated by local restaurants and bakeries. They’ll have live music while you enjoy your lunch.

It’s a combination of so much that I love about Austin and a perfect way to spend your Sunday afternoon.

sl08-bowls

Admission: $20 donation goes to Capital Area Food Bank Kids Café (this includes your bowl and its fillings!)

The Capital Area Food Bank serves more than 31,000 meals to more than 2,950 kids per month.

When: today, November 23rd

Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Location:
Marchesa Hall and Theatre
6406 N. IH 35 #3100
Austin, Texas 78752

http://www.austinemptybowl.org/

Photo Credit: http://www.hungerisunacceptable.com/blog/tag/austin-empty-bowl-project/

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I used to think we waited until after Thanksgiving for welcoming Santa but I guess why not start the holiday fun today!

Today The Hill Country Galleria is having their 8th Annual Tree Lighting & Welcoming of Santa. They have an evening jam packed with fun. They’ll have everything from holiday carolers, face painters to fireworks and a free concert.

6:00p-7:00p – Holiday carolers & free face painting
7:00p-7:30p – Santa’s arrival in a parade down Main Street
7:30p – FREE firework show*
7:30p-9p – Holiday concert featuring The Vintage 15

If you are getting excited for the holiday check out our list of Top Holiday Picks for December!

When: today, November 20th

Time: 6 -9 pm

Location:
Hill Country Galleria
12700 Hill Country Galleria Blvd.
Bee Cave, Texas 78738

http://www.hillcountrygalleria.com/event/tree-lighting-and-santas-arrival-event/2145430135

Local ice cream favorite, Amy’s Ice Cream is celebrating their 30 birthday today!

To celebrate they’re giving away FREE ice cream this afternoon. They’ll be serving up tinies or smalls with one crush’n. Everyone has their own Amy’s preference but I’m a sucker for the Mexican Vanilla every single time.

When: today, November 18th

Time: 3-7 pm

Location:
Amy’s Ice Cream
Austin, Texas

https://www.facebook.com/amysicecreams

Photo: Amy’s Ice Cream Facebook Page

‘Tis the season for tree lightings, and the Domain is having a full day of fun and festivities at the annual Great Tree Lighting next Saturday.

Head up to the Domain to get into the holiday spirit and for a head start on this year’s shopping. They’ll have holiday activities including face painting, balloon twisting, caricature drawings, holiday crafts, and of course, photos with Santa. You’re never too old to sit on Santa’s lap in my opinion.

Once the sun goes down, the lighting ceremony will get underway. They’ll have recording artist Sunny Sweeny along with a youth choir singing songs of the season. There will also be a firework show after the lighting of the massive 40 foot tree!

The Domain Tree with Fireworks-1

All these festivities will surely have you caroling all the way home!

We’re giving away a VIP experience for a family of four. Family VIP access includes seating for the show, a gift for the kids, beer/wine/juice and light bites. Seating opens at 5pm.

To be entered to win, SHARE this post and tell us who you’d bring.

While you’re shopping, stop by Macy’s and write a letter to Santa and they’ll donate $1.00 for every letter received through Christmas Eve! http://wish.org/content/macys-believe-campaign

When: Saturday, November 22nd

Time: noon – 10:00 p.m.

Location:
The Domain
11410 Century Oaks Terrace
Austin, Texas 78759

http://www.simon.com/mall/the-domain/stream/the-domain-lighting-of-the-great-tree-1395568

Austin Symphonic Band, the group that brings us the free Mother’s Day Concert at the Capitol and the Father’s Day concert at the park is doing their first formal concert of the season later this month.

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They’ll showcase Dreamland, a wonderful and imaginative new work for wind band by the award-winning composer Michael Markowski. Also on the program will be a performance of Claude Smith’s stunning Fantasia for Alto Saxophone featuring the talented, local performing artist Elizabeth Rosinbum. Additionally, UT Masters Program student Alex Avila, Euphonium, will perform Philip Sparke’s Harlequin with band accompaniment.

We’re giving away free tickets to the concert. To enter follow them on Facebook, and tag who you’d bring with you as a guest.

It’s going to be a great night of live music!

Admission: Adults $10 / Student/Senior $6

To purchase tickets, click here.

When: Saturday, November 22nd

Time: 8 – 10 pm

Location:
McCallum Arts Center
5600 Sunshine Drive
Austin, Texas

http://www.austinsymphonicband.org/Schedule/details.php?id=140

 

Tonight Art & Soul Studio will be celebrating the arts at this month’s Art Outside event.

They’ll have music, food, demonstrations and art for sale.  Bikram Yoga East will be doing a yoga demonstration.

This event is for art fans of all ages!

Admission: free

When: today, November 10th

Time: 5 – 9 pm

Location:
Art & Soul Austin
3801 Berkman Drive Apt. A
Austin, Texas 78723

https://www.facebook.com/events/877366048953859/

Its Formula One Race Day! Even if you don’t have plans to go out the racetrack, there’s still plenty of FREE fun right downtown.

True to our ‘Live Music Capital Of the World’ title, the Fan Fest is has a solid schedule of bands including Dale Watson, Hearless Bastards and more.

The Fan Fest has much more than just music planned. There will be an interactive maze, driver appearances, trivia games, cooking demos, a go-cart challenge, race simulators, a zip line, an inflatable rock wall and much more.

If you want to immerse yourself in Formula One themed activities you can, but there will be plenty of other stuff happening to entertain you even if you don’t care about the race!

The Fan Fest is great for families and people of all ages.

When: today, November 2nd

Time:  noon – 8:00 p.m.

Location:
D
owntown Austin
Austin, Texas 78701

http://austinfanfest.com

It’s pumpkin patch time! Get your camera, because this is your fall photo opportunity. I can tell you from experience that pumpkin patches are fun for all ages. Halloween is tomorrow so we are running out of time to carve pumpkins.

The Travis Heights pumpkin patch is an Austin tradition, and one of the best places in town for photos and pumpkin buying. The pumpkins come in all shapes, colors and sizes. All of them have so much character. This will get you in the fall and Halloween mood like no other!

Let the pumpkin carving begin!

When: today

Time: noon – 7 pm

Location:
Grace  United Methodist Church Austin
205 East Monroe Street
Austin, Texas 78704

http://www.gracemethodistaustin.org/

It’s going to be a great evening for a movie in the park. It is not exactly Halloween but they’re encouraging viewers to get in the spirit a few days early and dress up for tonight’s showing of Beetlejuice.

Bring your dogs, picnic and lawn chairs for this evening under the Austin stars. I would also recommend bringing bug spray.

Admission: free

When: today, October 29th

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location:
Wooldridge Square
900 Guadalupe Street
Austin, Texas 78701

http://www.downtownaustin.com/events/4944/movies-park-beetlejuice

It’s Texas Book Festival time again! This is an absolutely fantastic event that is fun for the entire family.

This annual book-a-palooza was the brain child of former First Lady, Laura Bush. I think the coolest thing about the festival is that it gets people excited about reading and raises tons of cash for Texas libraries.  Since the fest started they’ve awarded over $2.5 million in grant money to state libraries. That is downright inspiring!

The festival will have everything from book signings, panel discussions, author readings, and more.

Check out the Weekend Top Picks for other events happening this weekend.

Admission: Free

When: today, October 26th

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Location:
The Capitol
between 10th
 & 11th
 Streets
Austin, Texas 78701

http://www.texasbookfestival.org/

Photo Credit: James Grayson Photography