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!

The 5th annual Waller Creek Conservancy Creek Show is on! Take a stroll along the edge of the creek downtown and see how various artists have lit the way with their original work. It’s a newer Austin tradition and it’s a great way to kick off the holiday season. The location of the art is a little different this year—so take note!

In addition to the amazing art installations, attendees can check out the Creek Show Lounge with a bar and a diverse lineup of Austin bands at Symphony Square. Attendees can also participate in free activities and games for the whole family at the Doyle House and attend an Artist Talk from 6 – 8 p.m. on  Thursday, November 15 at CB’s Lounge at Stubb’s.

When: Friday, Nov. 11th – Saturday, Nov. 17th | 6 – 10 p.m. nightly in Austin.

Location:
Waller Creek between 9th and 11th Streets

Did you wake up thinking: Today would be a wonderful day to find a kitty friend? Well you are in luck! The Tarrytown location of Austin Pets Alive! is full so they are waiving adoption fees.

They’ll have both kitties with FeLV and kitties without FeLV for you to meet. Fosters and adoption counselors will be on hand to introduce them and let you know what it’s like to have a cat with Feline Leukemia in your family.

See you there! Mrow!

Time: noon – 6 p.m.

Location:
Austin Pets Alive Tarrytown Adoption Center
3108 Windsor Rd.
Austin, Texas 78703

It’s actually chilly in Austin and that can only mean one thing—Christmas is right around the corner! And nothing says Christmas in ATX more than our favorite holiday tradition, the Trail of Lights at Zilker Park. For its 54th year of merriment, the trail will run from December 10 – 23, with the first look for those doing the Trail of Lights Fun Run on December 1. You gotta Instagram yourself under the giant rainbow tunnel of lights or it didn’t happen.

Since it began in 1965, the Austin Trail of Lights has grown into one of the city’s largest events, attracting an average of 400,000 people per year. There are over two million lights, 65 displays, 30 food trucks, three entertainment stages, 50 private holiday parties, and interactive experiences throughout the park. Calendars for ticket availability, special programming, and online ticket purchases are here. We highly recommend the ZIP pass, which lets you cut the line and go through the trail an hour before the masses. Worth every penny!

There are a bunch of special nights to keep in mind. Click here for the complete rundown.

 

Grab your bestie (the furry one) and come out to the UT campus for the fourth-annual Landmarks Dog Walk! Landmarks has partnered with Blue Dog Rescue to present a docent-led public art dog walk. Dogs and owners will take a leisurely one-hour stroll around The University of Texas at Austin to appreciate some of its most stunning works of outdoor sculpture.

Bring your dog, a leash, and plenty of waste bags to Mark di Suvero’s Clock Knot near Dean Keeton Street and Speedway at 11 a.m. Don’t have a four-legged friend? Meet and greet some of Blue Dog Rescue’s most eligible canines!

Please make sure your dog is well-behaved around people and other animals and up-to-date on vaccinations. There will be plenty of water stops along the tour route, and each guest will receive a special Landmarks frisbee!

When: Today, October 7th

Time: 11 a.m. – noon

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Location:
Landmarks, The Public Art Program of The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Sta
Austin, Texas 78712

The good people at Austin Animal Center are trying to avoid using pop crates this weekend by waiving adoption fees on medium and large doggies! They are super full right now and also looking for fosters.

If you’ve been thinking about bringing someone special into your family, THIS is the perfect time to find them.

When: Today, September 16th

Hours: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Location:
7201 Levander Loop Bldg. A
Austin, TX 78702

Tonight’s Hartman Foundation Concert in the Park will be the perfect way to wind down the weekend. These weekly concerts are one of Austin’s true summer treasures. The city at sunset is a beautiful backdrop to the music. Don’t forget to bring a picnic dinner and a blanket!

Each week features a different ensemble of the Austin Symphony. They will play a variety of music, everything from jazz and light classical to pop selections and film scores. Tonight’s theme is brass and next Sunday it’s big band!

When: Today, August 19th

Admission: Free

Time: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Location:
Austin Symphony At The Long Center
701 W Riverside Dr.
Austin, Texas 78704

Austinites don’t just love our pets—we live for them! And we want to give them the very best. Humans in this town are all about the juice cleanses, nature walks, and organic food, so it’s only right that our animals get in on the action, too.

Kriser’s Natural Pet, otherwise known as “the Whole Foods for pets,” has just opened a brand-spanking new South Lamar location and they are having a party to celebrate! They’ll have free nail trims, raffles, and more. They’ll also be giving away fun-filled gift bags with poop bag holders, can lids, and a bunch of samples from their vendors.

Kriser’s opened its first storefront in Chicago in 2006 and has since spread to 47 locations throughout the country. Their natural pet foods are free of corn, wheat, soy, and by-products and their grooming products are gentle and non-irritating. You can shop knowing that they stand behind the treats, supplements, and pet supplies they feature and feel good about recommending each brand.

“The Austin pet community is thriving and we’re thrilled to continue our mission of helping pets live happier, healthier lives, naturally, with this second location,” said Brad Kriser, founder and CEO. “We’re excited to help even more pet parents care for their pets with education, outstanding products, and grooming.”

Whether your beloved furry friends need toys, food, supplements or anything else under the sun—you’ll find a huge selection here. Come meet the animal lovers at Kriser’s at the location and share that healthy, happy Austin lifestyle with your best pal.

When: Saturday, August 18th

Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location:
2330 South Lamar Blvd
Austin, Texas

If you take a drive just 20-ish miles west on Highway 71 out of Austin, you’ll reach one of the most picturesque spots in the entire state: Hamilton Pool Preserve. The swimming hole has been a popular spot for Austin residents and tourists alike since the ’60s, but was actually formed thousands of years ago when the dome of an underground river collapsed.

Now part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, the preserve is home to many rare and endangered species of plant and animals, including the golden-cheeked warbler bird and plants like canyon mock-orange and the chatter-box orchid. Visitors to the park are asked to be mindful of the efforts to preserve this natural wonder.

The natural pool and creek are natural, left untreated and pure for your swimming pleasure. The swimming area is surrounded by a tiny beach at one end and a massive, horseshoe-shaped limestone cliff around the rest. There’s even a waterfall opposite the beach, a much Instagrammed locale at the preserve. Because everything is natural, swimming at Hamilton Pool is sometimes off-limits due to high levels of bacteria. Updates are available every morning at 9 a.m. by calling 512-264-2740.

Unfortunately, as is customary, the “secret” of Hamilton Pool was unearthed in recent years, correlating with both the large growth in population and the influx of tourism as a result of the innumerable festivals and conferences inside city limits. Wait times to even enter the park reached into multiple-hours on weekends and particularly nice days, with a large majority of late-arrivers being turned away because the preserve had hit capacity.

To combat this, a couple of years ago the Travis County Parks Department implemented a reservation system for the busy season. A reservation is required if you want to visit the pool between now and October 31, 2018—and that goes for each and every day of the week.

To make your reservation, click here. But before you do, please note the following super important fine print:

“You make your reservation online by paying $11 with a credit card. You will also pay $15 per vehicle in cash for an entrance permit when you arrive at the preserve.  Credit cards are not accepted when you arrive at the preserve. Bring cash.

You can bring only one vehicle with each reservation. You can bring no more than 8 people with each reservation.

Your reservation receipt will be emailed to you very shortly after you make the reservation.

Reservation Periods: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

No entry after 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. All recreational activities end at 12:30 pm and 5:30 p.m.

All fees are non-refundable once you have paid them. The deadline to reschedule a reservation is midnight before your reservation. You cannot reschedule on the same date as your reservation.

Swimming is sometimes not allowed due to high bacteria. Swimming is NOT guaranteed with your reservation.”

Got all that? It may sound like a hassle, but we promise it’s all worth it! Get yourself a rezzy and make the most of this amazing spot.

Come explore one of Austin’s most beautiful treasures with your best friend! It’s Dog Day at Zilker Botanical Garden! The Garden is actually dog friendly every day, but this is an extra special day where the Garden is all about pups! Well-socialized, well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome, but they must remain on leash at all times. And, of course, dog owners are responsible for their dogs’ behavior… and for scooping up after them.

Here’s what you can expect:
• An adorable photo op with your dog,
• Learn about dog-friendly opportunities in Austin Parks and responsible pet etiquette that helps keep our Parks safe for all!
• Doggedly good amenities and things to dig into!

Dog bowls and cooling off stations will be available around the Garden and anyone with a dog will receive a doggie bag with a dog treat, pooper scooper bag, and a stylish bandana for your favorite canine!

When: Today, July 7th

Time: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Location:
Zilker Botanical Garden
Austin, Texas 78746

Dear cat people, we know dog people get a lot of attention in ATX, but let’s not worry about them today—because here’s an event that’s all about YOU! And your cat, of course. Because you really really love your cat. POP Cats is a two-day convention celebrating adorable felines, art, and pop culture and it’s heading our way Aug. 25 – 26. Mark your calendars, buy your tickets, tell your cat. Do what you need to do. POP Cats debuted last year at the Miami Airport Convention Center and the city was never the same.

After a successful inaugural event, the founders decided to expand the event to two days and explored the country for a perfect POP Cats 2018 location. They ultimately chose Austin because of the city’s adoration of its pet population and its vibrant creative community.

The meow-tastic press release describes the event as a “fun, immersive feline universe where humans can shop, learn, adopt, play, and connect with the spirited cat community.” What could possibly be better?

They’ll be music, entertainment, a play space for cats and their owners, and a curated line-up of feline experts and influencers. Plus cat-loving artists and vendors from Texas and around the world. They are all coming together to celebrate the splendor of cats and the humans that love them.

Austin Humane Society will be there with adorable kitties looking for their forever home. Austin’s own internet-famous tuxie cat, Turbo-Two Legs will be onsite with his mom, Chelsey Schmidt, to highlight the benefits of adopting disabled and special needs kitties.

 

Buy your tickets here!Onsite food, refreshments, and “cat-tails” will be available. Onsite parking is $8.

Cost:
Adult $20 | Child $10 | 10+ Groups $16
2-Day Tickets: Adult $32 | Child $16 | 10+ Groups $25.60

Can I bring my cat?
Yes! Cats are totally welcome! They must be current on their vaccinations (bring their records!). The also have to be on a harness or in a crate while walking the event. Only one cat allowed per group. Dogs are not allowed for obvious reasons—no exceptions.

When: Sat., Aug. 25 – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. & Sun., Aug. 26 – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Location:
Palmer Events Center
900 Barton Springs Rd. Austin, TX 78704