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!

Austin, the monumental last work by renowned American artist Ellsworth Kelly is finally complete and open to the public. The building is now a cornerstone work of art in the Blanton Museum’s permanent collection.The museum is closed on Mondays but you can still walk around and take in the gorgeous exterior or make plans to tour this week. Share your experience by using #KellyAtTheBlanton.

Blanton Museum of Art
200 East Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Austin, TX 78701

It’s finally here: National Drink Wine Day! Not that we’ve been not drinking wine on the other days, but still—it will be more fun and official today. How will you be honoring this momentous holiday? We’ve got four words for you people: ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR!

Infinite Monkey Theorem be servin’ up $5 tap glasses + red cans, and $6 slushies.

When: Today, February 18th

Time: 2 – 8 p.m.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery
121 Pickle Rd #110
Austin, TX 78704

Has there ever been a town with as much love for animals as Austin has to give? We think not. Our rescue pets are family and we celebrate them at every opportunity. That’s why, of course, Austinites will finally get to celebrate Mardi Gras with their furry best friends, because Mardi Paws, the city’s first-ever dog Mardi Gras parade is upon us. Sponsored by the animal lovers at Grocery Pup, a company making insanely fresh and natural dog food right here in Austin, this parade is basically guaranteed to make you happy.

So what goes into a dog Mardi Gras parade, you might ask? Well everything. Just like the human version in NOLA, they’ll have a king, queen, and royal court who parade in little floats that are made from wagons. People and dogs in the parade will throw treats and beads to the crowd.

The theme for this inaugural year is “Saturday Bark Fever.” All floats will be disco-themed and attendees (of every species) are encouraged to dress like John Travolta walking into Studio 54.

Our king for the day will be Sebastian, who was rescued by Cutie PITooties and was fostered by Krista Allenby, owner of Ruff Adventures Dog Photography, at the end of September. When she first got Sebastian, he had severe mange and a skin infection. After just one month, he made a full recovery and was officially adopted by Krista. To celebrate his recovery and finding a new home filled with love, Sebastian has been crowned the King of Mardi Paws! Half of all proceeds from Mardi Paws will go to Cutie PITooties so they can rescue more pups like him.

Our original queen, Lil’ Kim, was rescued by Austin Dog Rescue in November from a shelter in Lockhart, and after multiple surgeries, she was close to being ready to be adopted. After appearing to be on the road to recovery, she developed a type of neurological disorder about a week ago, and her condition steadily worsened despite several visits to her veterinarian and the emergency room. With her passing on January 21, her furry foster brother and fellow Austin Dog Rescue pup, Kaxan, will ride in her honor as the Duke of Mardi Paws

All funds raised for Mardi Paws will be split 50/50 among the two organizations that rescued the king, queen and duke. Come out and have the time of your life for an incredibly worthy cause.

When: Saturday, February 10th

Time: 2 -6 p.m.

Lustre Pearl East

Can’t make it? Click here to donate to the cause and help spread the word on your social media pages.

The Annual Community March celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy while uplifting diversity and multi-culturalism in our city. The MLK Community March kicks off with a short program at the MLK Statue on The University of Texas campus.

We will then march to the south steps of the State Capitol for a short program and marchers will continue on to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where exciting activities are planned. All businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals are invited to march and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy.

When: Today, January 15th

Time: 9 a.m.

Click here for more information.

These days between Christmas and New Year’s are laaaaazy, but we like it that way. And since you officially have nothing to do, we thought it would be a good time to highlight a few non-holiday-related things to do in the city for when you have some serious time to kill. Your first stop, if you haven’t made it there yet, should be Austin’s new and glorious Central Library. For bookworms and architecture buffs, and really anyone with a pulse, it is truly something magical to behold. And this could be an ideal time to explore the almost 200,000-square-foot downtown building without all the crowds.

“We all thought of the building as this great portal,” architect David Lake told the Austin Chronicle in October, “… to knowledge, to the environment, to the culture—so in that way it’s by far the most public-spirited building we’ve done—not only in Austin but anywhere.” Go check out our city’s newest landmark for yourself. It will be time well spent.

Hours today: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.


710 W. César Chávez St.

The little elves at The Westin have erected a life-size gingerbread house in the hotel’s lobby! Take the kids and check out the sweetest new addition to Downtown Austin. And this isn’t just a photo op—you can eat inside the house! The house is available for lunch and dinner reservations at Stella San Jac and seats seven people. Just don’t eat the walls while you’re in there.

The Westin is donating 10% of all food and beverages sales from the gingerbread reservations to Back on My Feet Austin. This must-see attraction is made of real gingerbread and candy and will be on display for the entire month of December.

This space can be reserved in advance by contacting Kelsey Hart.

The Westin Austin Downtown
310 East 5th Street.
Austin, TX, 78701

As part of Hotel Van Zandt’s 12 Days of Christmas celebration, they’re creating an adorable holiday photo op for your pup—a picture with Santa Paws! So dress your little guy in his favorite Christmas sweater and head down to the Rainey Street District to make some memories. From now until December 14, there are all kinds of free events happening at the hotel, in what they call, “The Living Room.” It’s basically every great holiday activity packed into one place. Plus, each night there will be a roaring fire, vinyl holiday records playing in the background, a hot toddy bar, and light snacks for purchase.

When: Today, December 10th

Time: noon

605 Davis St.
Austin, TX 78701

We’ve done just about everything for Christmas in Austin, but we’ve mostly been limited to land activites—until now! Tonight is Austin’s first annual Boat Trail of Lights! Hopefully this has the makings of a longstanding tradition that will get bigger and crazier every year. Call that friend of yours with a boat and get organized. Decorate the boat (and/or your body) with holiday spirit and lights and meet under the 360 Bridge. Boaters will hit the lights at 6 p.m. sharp, and listen to holiday music.

Boaters and spectators will need to pay normal entrance fees at the bridge. The city can accept cash and checks only and it costs $15 for a truck and trailer, $10 for a vehicle, and $3 for anyone who walks into the park to watch the fun.

If you are planning on launching at the 360 Bridge, message the page Boat Trail of Lights and let the organizers know (this is important!). They need to make sure everyone isn’t coming at once.

When: Today, December 9th

Time: 6 – 8 p.m.

Lake Austin
Austin, TX 78701

You might already need a break from the Christmas hustle, and if so—we’ve got the perfect idea. Head to one of Austin’s true treasures, the Blanton Museum of Art, to check out their new temporary exhibition called The Open Road. It explores the photographic road trip as a genre and America as an imaginative resource, presenting the stories of photographers for whom the American road was muse.

This exhibition is on view in the Butler Gallery, located on the ground floor of the museum.

When: Now through January 7th

Open Today: 1 – 5 p.m.

Blanton Museum of Art
The University of Texas at Austin
200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Austin, TX 78712

It’s December and we are officially going crazy for Christmas in Austin. Ring in the season at this free, family-friendly event that celebrates the arrival of the holiday season and the joy it brings. Enjoy live music from local favorites like Riders Against the Storm, Jane Ellen Bryant, Charlie Faye and the Fayettes, Gina Chavez, and more.

They’ll also be a ton of great activities for the kids like face painting, ornament making, carnival games, and gingerbread decorating! Plus the big guy will be there—all the way from the North Pole.

When: Today, December 2nd

Time: 5 – 9 p.m.

1100 Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701