Family Friendly Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX
Family friendly events in Austin, Texas are an ongoing occurrence. There are always great family friendly places and events to attend!

If you’re looking for a fun fitness activity to do with friends and family, nothing beats the Color In Motion 5K. This is unlike any race you have run before: As you sprint, jog, waddle, or stroll along the course, you’ll be splashed with bright colors that transform a group of ordinary runners into a moving rainbow! All ages and experience levels are welcome. If you can’t beat your loved ones in the speed department, see who can come out of the race looking the most vibrant, covered head to toe in color.

How many times have you paid to run a boring 5K with nothing more than a lame T-shirt and warm Gatorade? Why not color outside the lines while being active, social, and a little wacky? CIM5K gives you all these benefits plus unforgettable memories. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds from the race will benefit the Central Texas Food Bank. Come on out and make a splash!

Cost: $25-50 (Use code “365” for a 10% discount!)

When: June 11th, starting at 8 a.m.

Location:

Round Rock Premium Outlets

4401 Interstate 35 Frontage Rd.

Round Rock, TX 78664

ColorInMotion5K.com/austin

 

X Games Austin, which runs June 2-5 at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), is all about watching the world’s best action sports athletes from more than 20 countries compete in BMX, Skateboard, and Moto X events— but there is so much more to explore. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide to maximizing your 2016 experience.

Why It’s Unmissable

This will be the last year to catch the X Games in Austin, and they are really going out with a bang. This year Moto X Freestyle and Best Trick, two competitions that have never been held in Austin, return to the games for the first time since 2013.

Another reason you can’t stay home: Music at X Games Austin will feature two epic nights highlighted by G-Eazy, currently exploding on the charts, and blink-182, who hasn’t played in Austin in more than 10 years!

Getting There

Tickets start at just $29 this year, the most affordable they’ve been in three years. Amazingly, that low price still buys fans access to all sports and festival elements. To buy yours, click here.

They’re also offering shuttles from downtown, which will save you the headache of traffic and finding a safe ride home. X Games ATXPRESS shuttle passes are $35 per day or $99 for Friday-Sunday competition days. The price includes coach bus transportation from the X Games Shuttle Hub at the Austin Convention Center in Downtown Austin to the Circuit of The Americas.

A Handy Guide to X Games Austin

Getting Around

This year there will be plenty of interactive opportunities for the whole family, with six different themed villages offering free activities for ticket holders. The fun includes interactive games, concessions, athlete meet ‘n greets, giveaways, and more. Here’s a rundown of what each one has to offer:

GALLERIA

A central retail hub with large-scale sponsor activations, the Galleria will include an interactive scooter park, virtual reality experiences, mini ramp, remote control boats, airstream photo booth, treasure hunt, graffiti art, spin art, food court with local Austin food trucks, professional Slackline competition and demos, vendor shops, and much more.

SOUR PUNCH NEXT X PARKS  

Fans can try to become the next X Games superstar by trying out one of the professionally designed skateboard street and BMX dirt interactive courses. Fans will also be able to test their skills on the Sour Punch obstacle course and race their friends on the remote control truck track. While in the Sour Punch Next X Parks, be sure to check out the extreme dock jumping dogs during the Ultimate Air Dog shows, offered daily.

TORCHY’S TACOS PLAYGROUND

Fans can compete with friends in a game of pop-a-shot basketball, soccer penalty kicks, or baseball toss and soar to new heights while bungee jumping or defend their turf on King of the Hill. Back by popular demand, YouTube star Twiggy the waterskiing squirrel will return to X Games Austin for daily performances, plus spectators can sample Torchy’s Tacos and get a custom Torchy’s airbrush tattoo while in the Playground.

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VERT VILLAGE

Centered around the X Games Skateboard and BMX Vert competitions, Vert Village will also offer daily pro vert demonstrations and a vertical wind tunnel for fans to experience skydiving first-hand. Other features include “Learn to Vert” sessions where spectators can learn to ride the same vert course used by the pros, a large shaded area to relax and listen to DJs spinning daily, and entertaining sponsor activations.

GAMING SHACK  

X Games invites gamers of all skillsets to come out to compete in the X Games Austin ESL Challenge where gamers will battle it out for amazing prizes in this open eSports tournament. Fans will also be treated to classic video games in the Gaming Shack Arcade where Pac-Man is still king.  

SOUND FACTORY

The Sound Factory will feature a lineup of musical artists from Friday to Sunday, June 3-5, that will take place at the Sound Factory stage located at the acclaimed Austin360 Amphitheater. Don’t miss X Games musical performances by Logic and G-Eazy on Friday, June 3, and All Time Low and blink-182 on Saturday, June 4. Tickets for the concerts are available at www.xgames.com.

For more information, go to www.xgames.com or follow X Games on Twitter.

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If you thought the Domain, North Austin’s city-within-a-city couldn’t get any bigger, the highly anticipated entertainment district known as Rock Rose has started to open—bit by bit. With a plethora of restaurants, bars, boutiques, and more already open or set to open in the near future, here are some of the highlights.

Already open:

Lavaca Street Bar is the northern version of the popular downtown sports bar, only 2,000 square-feet larger. Featuring skee ball, pool, and 40 screens plus a video wall, this is the perfect spot to catch a Rangers or Spurs game while you enjoy a sandwich from Turf n’ Surf Po Boy.

Need a new pair of tan leather boots? A bar of beard soap? Just a cup of coffee or a glass of whiskey neat? Weathered Coalition is part mountain lodge bar and part men’s boutique, featuring rugged yet elegant menswear and accouterments.

The third Austin location of Corepower Yoga is now open. The nationwide chain of studios has a stated mission of  “intensity for the body, presence for the mind,” combining the intensity of core workouts with the mindfulness of yoga.

Featuring classic Irish, Scottish, and Welsh food and drink, Jack & Ginger’s is already a prime spot for both lunch and dinner. With more than 50 taps plus a selection of whiskies from across the pond, you can’t go wrong at this locally owned pub.

More than a run-of-the-mill café, Two Hands Coffee prides itself on serving customers only the best, hand-selected coffee beans, the most freshly squeezed juices, and the tastiest craft ales and lagers.

Coming soon:

Now taking reservations for June, Viva Day Spa is opening its third location at Rock Rose for spa packages, facials, hair removal, nail care, and services for men, too.

Named one of the “50 Best New Restaurants in America” in Bon Appetit magazine, South Austin’s Sway will soon bring its delicious brand of modern Thai made for sharing to the northern reaches of town at Rose Rose.

Get your thin crust on at Salvation Pizza, a dog-friendly, beer-garden-style parlor on 34th Street set to open its second location at Rock Rose soon.

 

 

If you’ve been downtown, heck, if you’ve waited patiently in traffic on South Congress as would-be photographers clog the center of the street, their cameras pointed north at the spectacular view, you’ve seen the Texas State Capitol. It’s the focal point of this beautiful city—an ornate building full of history, symbolism, and maybe a few ghosts. You’ve probably admired the exterior and walked around the grounds, but when was the last time you took an official tour? Here’s a primer for Texans, transplants, and tourists alike.

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When the Texas State Capitol was completed in 1888, it was the seventh largest building in the world. Now, of course, knocked way off that list, the home of the Texas Legislature and the Office of the Governor is still the sixth-tallest state capitol in the country, and, at 308-feet-tall, is actually taller than the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

In 1983, the 68th Texas Legislature created the State Preservation Board in order to preserve, maintain, and restore the Capitol, which was later designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. In 1993, the Capitol grounds were expanded north, and from 1995-96 the south grounds were restored. Today, visitors can explore the building for free, seven days a week. A new tour leaves from the South Foyer every 20 minutes.

The best way to tour the Capitol is to allow yourself a couple hours. You can take a guided tour of the actual building, which takes about 30 minutes, walk around the 22-acre Capitol grounds, and stop by the adjacent Bullock Museum, and learn about how Texas became what it is today. Of course, self-guided tours are allowed from 7 a.m.- 10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. weekends. Stop in the Capitol Grille for lunch or dinner if you have the time.

In addition to the normal tours, groups of 10 or more can take specialty tours, including Women in Texas History, The Texas Revolution, Texas Veterans Tour, and Rest in Peace, a tour centered around the urban myths and ghost stories of the Capitol offered around Halloween.

If you haven’t been inside since elementary school, it’s time for a field trip.

 

Being the hip hippie town that it is, Austin boasts a plethora of farmers markets within the city limits—so many, in fact, that picking just one to visit on a weekend can be daunting. If you’re on a quest to eat better and fresher, here is a list of five markets where you’ll never go wrong:

Texas Farmers Market at Mueller

Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

4550 Mueller Blvd.

Listed by the Austin Chronicle as the top farmers market in Austin the last two years, Texas Farmers Market features dozens of local favorites. You can find everything you need to throw a legendary dinner party here. Grab a baguette from Easy Tiger, dried pasta from Gourmet Texas Pasta, olive oil from Texas Hill Country Olive Company, some Texas Gulf shrimp from K&S Seafood, and get those dull knives sharpened by Assured Sharp. It’s a one-stop shop.

Springdale Farm

755 Springdale Rd.

Wednesdays and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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Formed in 2009, this family operated farm in East Austin grows more than 75 vegetables. The indoor farm stand is currently featuring chicken and duck eggs, fennel, and collared greens, plus handmade spa products, like soap, body butter, and scrubs, made right on the farm.

Boggy Creek Farm

3414 Lyons Rd.

Wednesday thru Saturday, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Boggy-Creek-Farm

Opened in 1992, Boggy Creek is the first urban farm in East Austin. The market stand, in addition to featuring farm-fresh pink beauty radishes, sugar snap peas, and French sorrel, also sells one-of-a-kind products like fermented cowboy kimchi, wild mustang green grape jam, and smoke-dried tomato bean dip, all from Larry’s Commercial Kitchen.

Sustainable Food Center East

Tuesdays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

2921 East 17th St.

The main draw of this farmers market is Johnson’s Backyard Garden, a 1,000-member community supported agriculture (CSA) operation. On Tuesdays, you can pick from some of the freshest vegetables you’ll ever eat, from bok choy and rainbow chard to golden beets and daikon radishes. JBG even has an extensive veggie guide, with storage and culinary tips for every product.

Green Gate Farms

8310 Canoga Avenue

Tuesdays, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 10 am. – 2 p.m.

Sustainability is key at Green Gate Farms, they have a farm stand built entirely from found items in and around an old shed in East Austin. Located in what is considered a food desert, Green Gate Farms provides some of the only organic food in the neighborhood, including seasonal vegetables like heirloom tomatoes and a wide variety of meat, from chicken and beef to bison and mutton.

Photos: Jason Neff

Deep Eddy began as a simple swimming hole in the Colorado River, but has evolved into one of the most important landmarks in Austin. The concrete pool we know today was built in 1915 when A.J. Eilers bought the land surrounding what is now known as Deep Eddy. It became a swim resort in the 1920s, and was bought by the city of Austin in 1935, becoming a public swimming pool the next year. Spend a day at the pool and in the surrounding neighborhood and you’ll see why this area is one of Austin’s oldest treasures.

Magnolia-Cafe-Austin

Start your day across the street from the pool with breakfast at Magnolia on Lake Austin Boulevard. Get a big plate of the Love Migas—essentially your normal, everyday migas, except smothered in creamy queso. Since you’ll want to wait the requisite 30 minutes before your swim, order another cup of coffee before heading down to the pool.

Change in the historic bathhouses, built during the Great Depression and reconstructed after a mudslide in 1935. Here you’ll start to get a sense of the iconic Austin atmosphere of Deep Eddy, which is the oldest swimming pool in the state of Texas.

Greg Walling Ad

Walk on down to the pool. If you have kids in tow, you’ll want to park your blankets over on the right side, where the kiddie pool is easily accessible. If you want to take a dip in the deep end, head left. Here’s where you’ll find college kids sunbathing and old Austin hippies playing acoustic guitars. If aquatic exercise is your thing, the swim lanes at Deep Eddy are immensely popular. Show up early enough to get in a couple laps before the line forms.

Once you’re ready to head out, take a quick detour at the top of the steps for a snack at Jim-Jims. Grab a soft pretzel, or if it’s hot out (it’s always hot out) try a cherry water ice to cool down. You’ll be so glad you did.

Deep-Eddy-Cabaret-Austin

Finally, no trip to Deep Eddy is complete without a stop at the adjacent watering hole named for the pool: Deep Eddy Cabaret. Until recently it was a cash-only, beer-only joint, but new ownership has brought the bar into the 21st century, adding payment by plastic and booze, while retaining its idiosyncratic classic Austin charm. Cap off your day with an ice cold Lone Star, or perhaps a Deep Eddy vodka cocktail, as you flip through the old jukebox still filled with country classics from Waylon, Willie, and Merle—God rest his soul.

Here is one of our favorite Real Estate listings in the neighborhood.

2308 W 8th St Austin TX 78703-print-067-65-8th-4200x2803-300dpi

For more information on Downtown Austin real estate contact Greg Walling of Moreland Properties

 

SpringFest, the annual event put on by the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce, is always a blast—and now, with the lake full for the first time in ages, there is really something to celebrate! The 9th-annual festival, presented by St. David’s Emergency Center, will take place on Saturday, April 30 at the Hill Country Galleria. As they like to say in Lake Travis: “It’s the biggest time in the smallest town!”

Stroll and shop unique artisan vendors, let the kids run wild in the KidZone, and check out kid-friendly performances and live music all day in the amphitheater. With all of that water in Lake Travis, be sure to stop by the BoatExpo to see the latest and greatest in watercraft. And check out the popular Craft BrewHaus and WineStomp where you can sip local and regional craft beers and wines.

Bruce and Kelly looking at each other

When: April 30,  10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: The Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave

Cost: Admission and parking are totally free!

And here’s our advice: Make the most of the fest and stay for the weekend. Visit LakeTravisSpringFest.com for overnight accommodations more information.

For updates about the event, like and follow the fest on Facebook at facebook.com/LakeTravisSpringFest.

 

Austin is full of sprawling green spaces and beautiful scenery, but no destination compares to the mecca of outdoor fun: Zilker Park. It’s comprised of 351 acres that were donated to the city in three parts by a local banker named Andrew Jackson Zilker. This included the surrounding spring-fed pool now known as Barton Springs. These days the park is regularly bustling with festivals, performances, and holiday celebrations. For locals, it’s an essential part of living the good life in Austin. Here are the things you don’t want to miss.

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For the Kids

Do you have kids? Kids love trains, trees, and kites. If it’s the first Sunday in March you’ll want to take your little one to visit the Zilker Kite Festival where you’ll revel in hundreds of colorful kites dotting the big Texas sky. If you find yourself looking for an activity on a December evening, take the tykes to see the magnificent 155-foot-tall Zilker Tree, lit up bright with more than 3,000 lights. If it’s literally any other time of the year between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., take a ride on the Zilker Zephyr, a miniature train that takes a 20-minute tour of the park.

zilker zephyr

 

Nature

Do you enjoy plants and outdoor sculptures? It sounds like the Zilker Botanical Garden and Umlauf Sculpture Garden are for you. At the botanical garden, check out the rose, cactus, and herb gardens, plus the butterfly and escarpment trails. Opened in 1991 with pieces donated by sculptor Charles Umlauf, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum is a xeriscaped garden filled with a waterfall, streams, and, of course, dozens of bronze and stone sculptures at which to look at and ponder life peacefully.

Cooling Down

Do you like to swim? This is a trick question, because everyone likes to swim. Barton Springs Pool is a three-acre, spring-fed pool that is consistently between 68-70 degrees. Now this may seem frigid, but if there’s a better cure for a hangover in 100-degree weather than a dip in the springs, we haven’t found it yet. It’s open most days, except for a large chunk of Thursday, when this federally protected habitat is methodically cleaned. The endangered Barton Springs Salamander is thankful for this.

barton springs

Lastly, there’s some recent good news and bad news in regards to Zilker Park. Bad news first? You know those parking meters that have sprung up all over the East Side in the past year? They’ve made their way to Lou Neff Road at the northeast end of the park as of March 5. The good news is, these meters are seasonal, meaning they’ll coincide with festival season, and turned off after Labor Day, according to KLBJ.

KGSR has released their line up for the 23rd season of Unplugged at The Grove. This is Austin’s longest running free concert series! It’s a pretty great line-up.

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Admission: Free

When: Thursdays – August 25th

Time: 8pm

Location:
Shady Grove
1624 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

http://www.kgsr.com/unplugged-2016

April 7 SWEET SPIRIT
April 14 EMILY WOLFE
April 21 IAN MOORE
May 5 DIRTY RIVER BOYS
May 19 CHARLIE MARS
June 9 HARVEST THIEVES
June 16 ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO
June 23 RAY WYLIE HUBBARD
June 30 JAMES MCMURTRY
July 7 SHANE SMITH & THE SAINTS
July 14 THE REVEREND HORTON HEAT & DALE WATSON 
August 4 THE DAMN QUAILS
August 18 THE ROCKETBOYS
August 25 JACKIE VENSON

Opened in May 1971, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library is a repository and exhibition of documents, photographs, audio recordings, and personal artifacts from one of the most interesting presidencies in our nation’s history. Located on the University of Texas campus, the LBJ Library is a fascinating destination for locals and visitors alike—more than 100,000 people pass through its doors each year.

Between the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, and the counterculture movement of the 1960s, the library gives both a snapshot of Johnson’s presidency and the context necessary to understand its importance.

Of the more than 45,000 personal objects donated by the Johnson family, visitors can view clothing worn by the president and first lady at the 1964 inauguration, antiques and visual art masterworks owned by the family and their friends, and the desk where LBJ was sitting when he signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

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Several permanent exhibits opened on what would have been Lady Bird Johnson’s 100th birthday in December 2012, including a 7/8 scale recreation of Johnson’s Oval Office, the Johnson Presidential Limousine, and an entire exhibit dedicated to the assassination of JFK on November 22, 2963.

Current temporary exhibits include Hats Off to LBJ!, an in-depth look at the headware worn and given to the First Family and the public museum debut of the letter of condolence LBJ wrote to Martin Luther King’s widow Coretta Scott King in April of 1968 after the Civil Rights leader was assassinated.

The LBJ Library also serves as an events space for symposiums , lectures, and interviews featuring guests like MLB Hall of Famer Hank Aaron and Bob Woodward, who helped uncover the Watergate scandal as an investigative journalist at the Washington Post.

Above, from top: LBJ Library photo by Charles Bogel; LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton