Family friendly events in Austin, Texas are an ongoing occurrence. There are always great family friendly places and events to attend!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
755 Springdale Rd.
Wednesdays and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
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.
3414 Lyons Rd.
Wednesday thru Saturday, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sure, the food in Austin is unbelievable, the weather is wonderful (except maybe in the dog days of August), and the surrounding Texas Hill Country is gorgeous, but it’s the arts and culture that have put this place on the map. It’s almost impossible to see everything Austin has to offer; the city is pulsating with creative energy. But the 5th WEST Austin Studio Tour, held over two weekends in May, is a fantastic place to start.
On May 14-15 and 21-22, artists and artisans in West Austin open their studio doors for a free, weekend-long self-guided tour. Visitors will have the opportunity to speak directly with artists and get insight into the creative process as they explore studios filled with tools and artwork in the process of being created.
With more than 200 participants, there is an endless array of mediums to explore, including woodworking, photography, glassworks, stone carvings, metalworks, and more. Even if you visit just a few studios, and you’ll get a fully immersive experience.
A hybrid fundraiser and kickoff for the West Austin Studio Tour is slated for Friday, May 6 from 7-10 p.m. Called Due West, guests can peruse the WEST catalog before the general public while sipping complimentary Tito’s vodka cocktails or from a can of Austin Beerworks or Austin Eastciders, plus enjoy food from Uchiko and La Condesa. Ticket proceeds benefit WEST programming, and can be purchased here.
WEST is a product of Big Medium, a nonprofit whose mission is to advocate for contemporary art throughout the state. Learn about how you can get involved with Big Medium here.
Above: Last year’s Due West opening party. Photo courtesy Big Medium.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When: Thursdays – August 25th
1624 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704
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.
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
“Can you drive in those heels?”
I didn’t think much of the question—I can run a marathon in heels higher than the ones I was wearing when I walked into K1 Speed Austin. And I’d been in a go-kart before… how hard could it be? The answer, as it turned out, was K1 racing was hard enough for me to have to ask for help putting my helmet on, but not so hard that I had to curse my favorite boots.
I’m not exactly a speed demon; I’m more of a car-dancer which is probably the product of growing up in a city where ‘driving’ primarily consists of stop-and-go traffic on I-35. Naturally, getting behind the wheel of a K1 Speed European-style 20hp electric kart made me a bit nervous. With top speeds up to 45 mph, and a track with turns tighter than a Herve Leger bandage dress, this is definitely more thrilling than the amusement park go-karts I was expecting.
This Monday (Feb 15th), K1 Speed is hosting a special event, The Pirelli World Challenge Driver Shootout. Some lucky fans will be able to race with their favorite pro drivers and there will also be a meet and greet!
When: February 15th, 7-9pm
2500 McHale Ct.
Austin, Tx 78758
Article written by Dani Barrow for 365 Things Austin
123...85Next Page 1 of 85