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 aren’t going to ACL Fest October 1-2, then you are probably looking for fun things to do far far away from the crazy crowds. Well you are seriously in luck, because Round Rock is being invaded by bull riders and giant monster trucks for an event like no other. It’s the TRAXXAS Monster Truck Destruction Tour! See incredible 10,000-pound, car-crushing giants compete in racing, wheelie contests, and then rock the house with amazing freestyle action. With names like BIGFOOT, SON OF BEAST, OLD SKOOL, and TUFF GUY you know these guys mean business.

In addition to the trucks, catch the nation’s top bull riders competing against the largest professional athlete in the world: the America Pro Rodeo Bucking Bull!

Fans can meet the drivers, riders, and bullfighters and see the trucks and bulls up close at the pre-event autograph pit party.

When: Saturday, October 1st @ 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 2nd @ 2 p.m.

Admission: Tickets start at just $10!

Location:
Dell Diamond
3400 E. Palm Valley Blvd.
Round Rock, TX 78665

Big things are happening in your life all the time—things you really want to remember. There are birthday parties, housewarmings, weddings, showers, going-away happy hours, and holidays with the fam. Since research shows that we can’t be in the moment and take a photo of it, too—wouldn’t it be nice to put down your iPhone and let someone else capture it all for a change?

A new local company called Kandid.ly wants to disrupt the stressful process of hiring a professional photographer and make the experience much easier for everyone, while also making better photography more accessible. The site lets you compare local photographers, ranging in style and price, and then book them at a price that works for you.

Kandid.ly verifies their photographers’ identity, making it safe for you to connect with them. They also use a secure service to process your payment and the photographer gets paid only when you receive your photos.

There are basically infinite ways to use this service, but a few came to our mind right away:

Idea # 1: Your next party, birthday, or corporate event.

 

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Kandid.ly captured by Rodney Martinez

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Kandid.ly captured by Cassandra Klepac


Idea # 2: Portraits for dating profiles and LinkedIn

 

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Kandid.ly captured by Cassandra Klepac

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Kandid.ly captured by John Marcus


Idea # 3: Adorable photos of your pets!

 

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Kandid.ly captured by Kayla Snell

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Kandid.ly captured by Kathryn Reilly


Idea # 4: Personal paparazzi. Beyonce has one, why shouldn’t you? – #squadgoals #weekendwarriors

 

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Kandid.ly captured by Josh Lona

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Kandid.ly captured by Kayla Snell


Idea # 5: Because you really don’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime shot: Engagement photos!

Kandid.ly captured by Liz Moskowitz

Kandid.ly captured by Cary Noel

It’s hard to believe, but ACL Fest is coming up on its 15th year. The 2016 edition will take place September 30-October 2 and October 7-9 in Zilker Park. (Check out the full lineup here.)

To celebrate, the organizers of the epic live music festival have announced several improvements that will make us spectators much more comfortable. We’re talking family entrances, more shade, better restroom facilities, added perks to the Platinum Ticket, a new Austin Kiddie Limits experience, and a wine bar, just to name a few. Here’s a complete guide to what you can expect.

Comfort, Shade, and Flushable Toilets for Everyone!

ACL Festival is opening up the park so fans have more space, and making sure there’s plenty of shade to go around. The Rock Island Stage has been relocated for better crowd flow, and new spaces have been opened for fans to relax at Rock Island and in the southeast end of Zilker Park. There fans will find even more shade and easy access to Austin Kiddie Limits, along with new amenities including the Miller Lite Game Hall and Wine Down, ACL’s new wine bar. Grabbing a bite at ACL Eats and a cold one at the expanded Barton Springs Beer Hall will be more comfortable with added shade and picnic tables to take a load off between performances.

A welcome new addition in 2016: improved restroom facilities! This year, every restroom in the park will be upgraded to environmentally friendly, flushable toilets.

Finally, they have made it easier to cool off and stay healthy. Fans will find more CamelBak Hydration Stations providing free water and misting stations throughout the park. In addition, bodegas will sell snacks, fresh fruit, trail mix, and festival must-haves like sunscreen, ponchos, socks, eye drops, allergy meds, and more.

Family Perks

Austin Kiddie Limits  has a new home under the lush, shaded southeast end of Zilker Park. Kids and their parents can enter through the new Family Friendly Entrance located off Barton Springs Road, in between the Barton Springs Entrance and Robert E. Lee Road, in addition to stroller-friendly family lanes at both main gates. When families register for Tag-a-Kid this year at the Family Friendly Entrance or the Info Tent just inside the main gates, each child will receive an RFID-enabled wristband. In the event that a child is separated from their parent, they have a reliable and fast way to reunite them.

VIP Life Gets Even Better

New amenities have also been added to the Platinum Ticket. The luxury, air-conditioned Platinum Lounge has relocated to a tree-filled oasis in the southeast end of Zilker Park, with direct access to the VIP Grove. Platinum ticketholders can skip the line at the main gates and enter through their dedicated entrance on Barton Springs Road and they can enjoy lunch and dinner prepared daily by celebrity chefs and special wine tastings. Plus complimentary lockers, complete with phone charging, and exclusive viewing areas in front of stages. Platinum Tickets are still available here.

If you want to get even fancier, the first-ever Feast Under the Stars will take place between Weekend One and Two on Thursday, October 6 at Zilker Park. Six award-winning chefs will prepare a locally sourced five-course meal. This exclusive event will feature select wine pairings for each course, while the chefs reveal the creative approach to their dishes. Tickets are limited and available now.

If you haven’t cemented your fest plans yet, it’s not too late for you. 1-Day Sunday General Admission Tickets for both weekends are still available, as well as 1-Day & 3-Day VIP Tickets and 3-Day Platinum Tickets. Happy festing to us all!

If you’ve been looking for a fun way to teach kids about giving back to their community, this inspiring event is the answer. Mark your calendar for the 5th Annual CC4C Micro Marathon on Sunday, September 25th!

It is estimated that 350 million people worldwide suffer from a rare syndrome and more than half of them are children. This community lacks a unified voice, as only 15 percent of rare diseases have organizations that can provide support. Endless hospital stays and doctor’s visits drain them emotionally and physically and the rareness of their conditions often leaves these families isolated. That’s where Cheyanna’s Champions 4 Children (CC4C) comes in.

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The organization was established to bring hope, help, and inspiration to families of children suffering from a rare or undiagnosed medical condition. CC4C provides a network of support both financially and in the medical/research community. Each child is matched with a celebrity teammate who uses their platform to bring awareness and advocacy to rare and undiagnosed medical conditions.

This 2.62 mile walk/run is a family event that brings in high schools, families, and celebrities from all over Austin to inspire these children to their finish line. There are over 15 High School Teams involved this year. So put on those walking or running shoes and join in the inspiration!

Online registration is open now! Click here to sign up. You can also register at the event.

When: Sunday, September 25th

Schedule:

8:30 a.m. – Check In/Registration

9:30 a.m. – Walk/Run

10:30 a.m. – Closing & Awards

Location:

Hill Country Galleria (in front of Whole Foods)

12700 Hill Country Blvd.

Bee Cave, TX 78738

 

Pflugerville’s Movie Night In The Park is a summer tradition where the audience sings along to an awesome soundtrack.
Dress up like Danny, Sandy, the T-Birds, Kenickie, or any of the other cast members, and enter the costume contest before the movie! Children can enter, too. I’m really hoping for some miniature pink ladies!

Dogs are allowed, but must be on a leash at all times. There will be food for sale or you can bring your own picnic. There won’t be alcohol for sale, but you may bring it to the park (no glass containers).

When: Tonight, September 2nd

Time: 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Location:
Green Red Barn, Heritage Park
901 Old Austin Hutto Road
Pflugerville, TX 78660

 

 

Jared Ficklin is a partner and the chief creative technologist of the local firm called argo design. He is also a bit of a pragmatic dreamer and has become an evangelist for a mass transportation vision that he co-created. The project is known as Wire Austin and has been creating a steady buzz since 2011 when Ficklin and his colleague Michael McDaniel did a TEDxAustin Talk that received a standing ovation from the audience. If you’ve cursed the traffic gods while sitting parked on I-35 this week, it’s definitely worth a watch. 

The gist is this: Imagine a gondola system, similar to what you are used to seeing at a ski resort, that takes riders high above the congestion and capacity woes of Austin’s roadways. Ficklin and his team believe that a climate-controlled urban cable system could not only be the answer to many of our problems, it could be an attraction for tourists, and a pioneering investment in our collective quality of life.

As highway improvement projects stretch on forever, and previously sleepy neighborhood streets become busy routes for drivers avoiding the main arteries, Ficklin thinks we should look to the sky for the next big thing. We wanted to know more … much more! So we called him up. 

365: So what is urban cable? 

Jared Ficklin: Well urban cable is a kind of mass transit similar to what you would ride at a ski area—cars that ride on a cable, which is hung on towers and they go on a loop. We call them detachable high-speed gondolas. They clamp onto the cables, and when they get to a stop, they are lifted off the cables and go to a platform which is perfectly level, where the passengers get on and off. So you can imagine in a stack of six cars with one coming every 30 seconds from one end, and one leaving every 30 seconds from the other end—the cars are big enough to hold 10 people and some climate-control equipment—so it’s this continuous system. It’s basically aerial ropeways, greatly elevated for application in urban settings.  It has the capacity of about 25 buses per hour in each direction. That’s like a bus stopping every 40 seconds.

Where has this been successful?

The case study most people point to is Medellín, Colombia. They deployed a three-line system and they are working on a fourth line to add to it. Their version of the suburbs, places where low-income families live, are very tightly packed and dense. There was no eminent domain to add roads and run busses. If they were going to put in transit, they would have had to tear down a whole bunch of houses. So instead they put in urban cable and they could hop over a lot of people’s houses just using these towers. It revolutionized their system and it functions as a true mass transit system there, three lines that come together at a central hub. Throughout South America it’s been quite popular. It’s also deploying in Europe and Asia. We have some small forms of urban cable in North America, but a true urban cable line that would approximate mass transit really hasn’t been deployed yet.

Why is Austin a good candidate for something like this?

We’re just big enough to feel the problem but not big enough to afford the traditional solutions. We also have river, greenbelts, and freeways in place and all of the eminent domain has been claimed. These are very expensive things to work around when adding mass transit. Urban cable can cross all of these things nearly for free. So it’s a way to add mass transit on the routes that we already use. All it needs is a straight shot. We have a few streets in this city where we could run these. South First is one of those streets. It’s a nice straight shot from Slaughter right into Downtown. You could jog over the river and then ride it right down Guadalupe until you meet the corner of campus. We could build this with a very good cost profile.

Is that the pilot line you have proposed?

Yes, recently we’ve been looking at a pilot line called Wire One. It has the potential to serve basically all of those people who live south of the river. It’s a route we couldn’t achieve any other way. South First is one of our four major north-south arteries. We could add a fifth right above it with urban cable. Because it’s above the street, it doesn’t remove any supply from the street. If you put something like surface rail, you are actually removing supply from the street. People could still leave their house the way they do now—you can build parking garages at certain retail areas—and head into Downtown. A good 30,000 people do that every day. These days the congestion line starts at Ben White, a good 25 minutes from City Hall. On a bad day it could be worse and five years from now it’s going to be way worse. It could be basically the same journey people already take—start at home, park in a garage—with one extra step of getting on urban cable. 

Where does the proposal stand right now?

There is a citizens group that is working with city officials to try and get this in action. But ultimately we do need to convince the city to invest in this form of mass transit. We need the citizenry to agree with us, because we all may need to pay for it.

How much would it cost?

Well I can say this about cost: I’m not trying to be competitive here, but we all know what surface rail costs, so I will use it as a comparison. I actually believe that to solve the transportation crisis in Austin, we need to add supply whenever and wherever we can. For each route we want to achieve, we should look for a technology that best matches the need. We shouldn’t think in terms of only roads and only trains. There is no single solution to traffic. But surface rail lays out at about 100 million dollars per mile and I think we could get twice the mileage with urban cable. Some cities have done it for far less than that—some have done it for around 13 million per mile. But I think for the climate in Austin and the commuters we have, we are going to spend for a more luxurious system. We need climate control; we need stops that are civic in nature; we need an up time of 19 hours a day; and we are hoping we’ll need a high capacity for this thing and those attributes will make it more expensive. But the fact that we are only doing construction where there is a stop and a tower, and we are going to cross the freeways and the rivers for free, and the fact that you actually just couldn’t put anything else on South First, means that this is a very sensible thing to do from a cost perspective. And I think when the tourists are in town, there is a certain number who are going to jump on a ride it just for the experience.

It does seem like this has an appeal beyond just getting from place to place. Most mass transit systems aren’t fun to ride.

This is what our tourism needs. I think it was recently proclaimed that we have a festival economy—people are coming to experience our culture, and traffic and congestion are a threat to that. Urban cable would get people around, and be a real mass transit system, but it goes up in the air and over the river, and there are beautiful views. Everyone is going to take that selfie and a lot of people will pay just to get on it while they are here. It will become the thing to do in Austin. There are a lot of cities considering this and I think there is this feeling of well, who is going to go first? That also makes it pretty exciting. 

And other than it just being cool, what are some reasons people might be quick to adopt it?

I think the fact that it isn’t on a schedule and the pilot route is on a route that everyone can imagine using and is growing in popularity. The fact that someone could walk out their door and be downtown in 22 minutes, people are going to start doing that. Another thing that urban cable has is an amazing amount of predictability. In other words, it’s always going to be that same amount of time between gondolas. 

What is the biggest challenge about getting this off the ground? 

I just got back from the New Cities Summit in Montreal and we were discussing just this: What are the barriers to entry for North America? Familiarity is one. You can’t call up your sister city and say, “Hey! How was implementing this?” There is no lobby because there are only two urban cable companies. And no one is quite sure about the funding yet. The good news is those are all surmountable barriers, but it’s going to happen at the speed of civics. We have a policy of figuring out what’s best for the commuter, rather than figuring out what makes sense for the city.

If people like the idea, what can they do to help?

Right now they could write their city council member and ask them to consider urban cable. If they saw a good show of support from the public, I think it would happen. It’s a good time for folks to rally around something like this.

They should also like Wire Austin’s Facebook page. That’s how they will learn more and hear more in the future. In about a month’s time we’re going to be releasing the vision. Right now we’re just talking about it. 

Above: A rendering of the Wire One pilot route. Image courtesy argo design. 

Now in its 58th year, Zilker Theatre Productions is proud to bring you Shrek The Musical. This is one of the most anticipated events in Austin every summer. The outdoor venue at Zilker is perfect for an evening under the stars, and once the sun goes down, the weather is much more bearable.

Don’t forget to bring a blanket, a loaded picnic basket, a cooler (no glass), bug spray, and anything else you need for a wonderful evening under the Austin sky. Unfortunately, no pets are allowed.

If you’re worried about rain, call the hotline at 512-479-9491 to get updates on the status of the show.

To learn more check out our tips for getting the most out of your experience.

Admission: Free

Parking: $5.00 per car

When: Thursday-Sunday – August 13th

Time: 8:15 p.m.

Location:
Zilker Hillside Theatre
2201 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

 

The only thing cooler than a movie in the park is a movie in the pool! It’s that time of year again, when Deep Eddy brings you Splash Movie Nights. Tonight, gather all your Jedi friends and enjoy an amazing summer activity that will be quintessentially Austin.

Summer Movie Schedule:
June 25: Star Wars – The Force Awakens
July 9: Raiders of the Lost Ark
July 23: Zootopia

Time: Dusk (around 8 p.m.)

Admission fees cover both the movie and pool entry for the day:

FREE Infant (under 12 months)
$1.00 Child 1 to 11 years
$2.00 Junior 12 to 17 years
$3.00 Adult 18 to 61 years
$1.00 Senior 62 years +

And if you are looking for more fun this weekend, check out our Weekend Top Picks!

Location:
Deep Eddy Pool
401 Deep Eddy Avenue
Austin, Texas 78703

 

Shakespeare at Ramsey Park is in full swing! This is the second weekend of The Winter’s Tale, the company’s fifth production of a community-friendly Shakespeare play in the park. It’s performed with minimal props, costumes, and lighting, focusing on storytelling and the rich language of the Bard.

This is a fun experience that the entire family will enjoy. Grab your chairs or a blanket to sit on, pack a little picnic, and come out and enjoy some theater in the park!

Admission: Free

When: Thursday – Saturday through June 25th

Time: 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Location:
Ramsey Park
4301 Rosedale Ave
Austin, Texas 78756

Photo Credit: Something For Nothing Facebook Page

Quilting is an art form that has seen exciting changes in the last decade, with constantly evolving techniques and contemporary designs. Don’t miss your chance to see award-winning quilts that showcase the outstanding creativity and innovation happening today at the 2016 Capital of Texas Quiltfest. It’s Austin’s largest quilt show and it only comes around once every other year!

Visitors can check out hundreds of fantastic quilts and fiber art works and shop at more than 65 vendor booths. There will be free demos, door prizes, a silent auction, a grand prize raffle quilt, and educational exhibits for all to enjoy.

When: September 16-18

Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sunday from noon – 5:00 p.m.

Admission: $8 in advance, $10 at the door

Location:
Palmer Event Center
900 Barton Springs
Austin, TX 78704