Family Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

Winter is a fantastic time to plant trees and enjoy them in the landscape. Head to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on Saturday, January 25th to celebrate Texas trees. 

Activities will include:

  • Family-friendly tree climbing (harness and ropes with expert arborists!)
  • walks and talks
  • s’more roasting, 
  • fort building,
  • native tree sale
  •  Educational demonstrations with Wildflower Center ecologists and arborists

Young explorers can learn, craft and explore all day! This year’s festivities will be centered around the special Fortlandia exhibition which closes January 26.

The Wildflower Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Winter Tree Fest activities (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) are all free with admission. Admission is always free for members!
Winter Tree Fest
When: Sat.,Jan. 25, 2020, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Blvd., Austin

Come celebrate everything feathered, furred, smooth, and scaled at Texas Memorial Museum (TMM)! The museum, located on the UT Campus, is hosting Texas Wildlife Day this Saturday, January 25. 

This family-friendly event is free and hosted by UT Austin scientists, TMM science educators, and members of the Capital Area, Good Water, and Lost Pines chapters of Texas Master Naturalists. The WILDcenter of Texas also will be on hand with live bird and snake ambassadors. Special presentations include Fishes of Texas at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Austin Bat Refuge at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

TMM is located on the UT campus and is known as the first science museum in Austin. Opened in 1939, the natural history museum features permanent exhibits of the state’s prehistoric life; gems, minerals, and meteorites; and native Texas wildlife.

Where: Texas Memorial Museum, 2400 Trinity St, Austin, TX 78705

When: Exhibits open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; activities run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost: FREE

Parking: Attendees can park at metered spots along Dean Keeton Street between San Jacinto and Red River or an on-campus parking garage for a fee. More information on parking here

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and his menagerie of animal friends have arrived at ZACH! Little ones will go wide-eyed with excitement as they recite along to their favorite Eric Carle classics like Brown Bear, Brown Bear10 Little Rubber Ducks, and The Very Lonely Firefly. Each story is brought to life by an array of faithfully recreated puppets that will enchant and engage both adults and children as they leap off the page and onto the stage.

Recommended for children 12 months and up.

When: January 18–March 8, 2020

Where: The Kleberg at ZACH, 1421 W Riverside Drive, Austin, 78704

Tickets: $19 (Youth) and $27 (Adult) available at ZACH’s box office – (512) 476-0541 x1, zachtheatre.org

The Giveaway: Win a family four pack of tickets to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar at ZACH Theatre, valued at approximately $92. Winner must be over 18  years of age. The prize can not be transferred and has no cash value.

There are two ways to enter to win:

1. Complete the form below.

2. Enter via Facebook and/or Instagram.

A winner will be chosen on January 17, 2020. The winner will be notified by email or contacted on social media. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to claim the prize.

Looking for a fun way for the kids to discover art? Head to Brentwood Social House on Saturday, January 11, 2020 for a painting class with a local artist.

Kids 5 and up (parents, too!) are invited to take part in a step-by-step painting instruction with local artist Emy Leviege. Kids will leave with a one-of-a-kind creation that they painted! The class is $20/person and includes all materials, including a 9×12 canvas. The first 10 kids will get a free apron! No experience necessary.

Please arrive 30 minutes early to order food and drinks (must be purchased at Brentwood Social House and not brought in).

To reserve your spot, text your name and the number in your party to (512) 922-6822. Cash/credit paid at the event.

What: Painting Class for the Kids

When: Saturday, January 11, 2020 from Noon – 2 p.m.

Where: Brentwood Social House, 1602 W. Koenig Lane, Austin

More Information: https://www.facebook.com/Paintwithcolor/

This list has been updated in January, 2020.

Winter can be a dreary time to be outside, even in Central Texas. And summer…. we definitely need an indoor option for playtime to stay out of the brutal Texas heat. On those gray days and those oh-so-hot days, it’s nice to take the kids somewhere they can burn off some energy.  But where? This comprehensive list, brought to you by Indigo Play, will help you find indoor fun for kids of all ages!

Indigo Play is a unique indoor playground that is fun AND educational! The 19,000 square foot center features:

  • A three-level play structure where children and parents will learn about the world. Explore the tombs of Egypt, navigate through Aztec temples, and slide down a giant American flag!
  • A completely separate baby and toddler area where the littlest ones can safely practice tummy time or explore all the sensory features.
  • An imagination play section with an adorable coffee shop, fire station and more!
  • Amazing birthday parties that will WOW your guests!
  • A bookstore with beautiful, educational books that make the perfect gift.
  • A relaxed atmosphere parents love!

Location: 13530 Research Blvd #102, Austin

More Information: https://indigoplay.com/

Indigo Play in North Austin

North

Main Event – Rock wall, video games, mini golf, laser tag, bowling and more.

K1 Speed – Indoor go karting

PlayMazing – Formerly CatchAir, PlayMazing offers bounce houses, climbing structures, and more.

Top Golf –  Indoor driving range. May not work well if it’s storming but not a bad place to play when it’s drizzling outside.

Urban Air Trampoline Park – Indoor trampoline park.

The Coop – Ball pit, rope climbing tube, magnetic wall, reading area, dress up items, tee pee with bean bags, quiet play space.

iFLY – Skydive inside their wind tunnel.

Dart ’em Up – Indoor Nerf foam dart arena.

Little Land Play Gym – An indoor playground with developmental equipment.

Mt. Playmore – Huge play structure with a large variety of obstacles for kids to navigate. Smaller kid area available as well.

Pinballz Arcade – Large selection of arcade games.

South

Altitude Trampoline Park – Trampolines, rock wall, foam pit, battle beam and more.

Blazer Tag Adventure Center– Laser tag and arcade.

Hoppin House – Inflatable playground.

LocoMotion Inflatable Play – Inflatable playground.

Epic Fun – Elevated ropes course, mini bowling lanes, arcade games, ballocity, bumper cars and laser tag.

Jungle Island Family Fun & Entertainment Center – Large play structure and arcade games.

The Jumpy Place (Kyle) – Inflatable playground.

Central

The Escape Game Austin – Escape rooms are sure to include riddles and puzzles but The Escape Game Austin takes it to a whole other level – every game takes you on an adventure.

BookPeople – Storytime and a nice tunnel for kids to climb through.

The Thinkery – Austin’s children’s museum, packed with daily activities and new things to explore.

Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex (MYEC) – Open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, MYEC offers skating, a movie theater, bowling, an arcade, and a food court.

Round Rock

Altitude Trampoline Park – Ropes course, recreation wall, trapeze swings, trampolines, and more!

Escapology – Solve the clues to bust your way out of this escape room! Several rooms to choose from.

IKEA – Drop the kids off at Smaland for 60 minutes of supervised playtime while you shop. See restrictions.

Pump It Up – Inflatable playground with open play times available during weekdays.

Jungle Movement – Indoor mixed martial arts gym. Non-members can play during open gym hours.

PlayMazing – Formerly CatchAir, PlayMazing offers bounce houses, climbing structures, and more.

Rock Sports Arena – Skating rink. Check their even calendar for open skate times.

Monster Mini Gold & Laser Tag – Mini golf course and laser tag.

Legion of Foam – Indoor nerf arena. (Only open to the public on Fridays from 5:30-7:30pm).

Pflugerville

Spare Time – Bowling, laser tag, and arcade.

Austin’s Park n’ Pizza – Bowling, rock wall, virtual reality, and arcade games, with additional rides outdoors when weather is nice.

Cedar Park

Inflatable Wonderland – Inflatable playground located inside Lakeline Mall.

Jumpstreet – Indoor trampoline park.

Almost Grown Play Cafe & Coffee Bar –  Coffee bar with open play area for children.

Some other indoor play ideas

Head to your local library for storytime and crafts.

Bowling with bumpers for the kids is always a fun rainy day activity.

Fast food restaurants have fun indoor playscapes for children.

Visit a local toy store. Kids can spend hours looking through all of the toys and many of the locations below have a play area or events to entertain the kiddos for a while.

Terra Toys – North

All Things Kids – Georgetown

Toy Joy – Central and Downtown

Learning Express – Bee Cave

Anna’s Toy Depot – South

Over the Rainbow – Central

The LEGO Store – South in Barton Creek Mall

Lions & Tigers & Toys – South

Feel like skating? Hit up Playland Skate Center or Chaparral Ice, both located in north Austin, to burn some energy. Austin’s Roller Rink in south Austin is a great option too.

And if you need some caffeine, check out our list of the 10 Best Coffee Shops in Austin for Families.

10bestcoffee

Pflugerville boasts more than 40 miles of hike and bike trails, and they want you to get out and explore them! Join the Pforty Mile Challenge to earn some cool swag and a discounted entry to the Deutschen Pfest 5K in May.

Simply walk, bike or run 40 miles on Pflugerville trails by January 31. Track your outings via MapMyRun.com or any other fitness app., and bring proof to the Pflugerville Recreation Center (400 Immanuel Rd.). Customize this challenge for your family. However you complete it, you must be outside and in Pflugerville! 

Where: Pflugerville Trails

Date: Through January 31

Cost: FREE

More information: https://parks.pflugervilletx.gov/parks-facilities/trails/pforty-mile-trail-challenge

 

Central Texas winters may not always feel wintry, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do wintry things! Ice skating is fun for the whole family and these two spots offer winter fun both indoors and out.

CultureMap Rooftop Rink at Whole Foods 

Ice skate in downtown Austin at Whole Foods’ flagship store! The rooftop rink is open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily (holiday hours vary). Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.  The rink is open through January 20. Select Monday nights are community nights. Half of all ticket sales will go to local charities. Visit rooftoprink.com for the schedule.  

Where: Whole Foods, 525 N. Lamar Blvd.

Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m., through January 20.

Cost: $12-$15

More information: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/store/event/ice-skating-plaza-1

Chaparral Ice

Chaparral Ice is an Austin institution, and offers public skating hours every day, as well as a variety of classes. Learn to skate, play hockey, or hone your figure skating skills. They also offer spring break and summer camps for the kids. Their in-house cafe offers a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. Standard admission is $10, kids 5 and under are $5; skate rental is $5. Check their site for hours and to sign an online waiver: https://www.chaparralice.com/public-skating

If you’re more of a spectator, check out their holiday ice show. Austin Holiday Wonderland takes place on Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 21 at 4 p.m. Tickets range from $12-27. Purchase tickets here

Where: 2525 W. Anderson Ln., Austin

Hours: Public skate hours vary by day

Cost: $10 standard admission; $5 for children 5 and under; skate rental $5

More information: www.chaparralice.com

Construct the gingerbread home of your child’s dreams at one of the many workshops happening around town this month. Whether you want to learn the chemistry behind candy-making or discover the art of engineering, there’s a workshop that’s right for you and your family.

Thinkery 

Thinkery offers four different workshops for you and your family to create and construct a unique gingerbread house. Choose from the classic workshop, Candy Chemistry, Seriously Sweet Structures, or a private workshop. Classes are available throughout the month of December. Registration does not include admission to Thinkery. 

When: Various Dates

Where: Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave, Austin, TX 78723

Cost: $5 per person

More information: https://thinkeryaustin.org/gingerbread/

Gingerbread Villas at Laguna Gloria

Design your very own candy home at The Contemporary Austin’s free monthly workshop. Create a house inspired by the architecture of the Driscoll Villa at Laguna Gloria. Reserve your spot here.

When: Dec. 14; 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

WhereContemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria location; 3809 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703

Cost: Free

More information: https://www.thecontemporaryaustin.org/event/second-saturdays-are-for-families-gingerbread-villas-2019/

Foodie-Kids

Frost and decorate a pre-constructed gingerbread house using piping bags, marshmallows, gingerbread people, and candy. And there’s hot chocolate!

When: Dec. 15, 21-23

Where: 3818 Far W Blvd #107, Austin, TX 78731

Cost: $40

More information: https://www.foodie-kids.com/product-category/holiday-workshops/2019-daycamps-workshops/.

Bake Austin

Children ages 8-14 years old will assemble and decorate a super fun gingerbread house and bake some gingerbread cookies from scratch. Royal Icing, fondant, and an assortment of candy will be used to fancy our gingerbread houses up to festive code. And to make this class even better we will tell tales of the history of gingerbread houses and finish by reading Handsel and Gretel!

When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 10 am – 2 pm

Where: 1706 E 38th 1/2 St., Austin

Cost: $50

More Information: https://www.bakeaustin.com/kids-classes.html

Come for the art, stay for the fun!

The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar celebrates 44 seasons of treating around 40,000 Texans and tourists to a fun, holiday shopping experience for art and live music lovers. The 2019 show allows attendees to meet and shop from nearly 200 artists and, enjoy local food, new interactive activities, and live music daily. This year’s music lineup is filled with 36 bands ranging from breakout musicians, touring singer-songwriters and Austin legends over 12 days.

Experience new additions to the event,including photo ops by local artists, kids coloring station, an art concierge service, a shopping scavenger hunt, and wishing trees all while listening to live music, sipping a craft beer or cocktail and enjoying food from local eateries.View a photo gallery of Armadillo Bazaar artists’ works and make plans with the 2019 music lineup.

What: Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

When: December 13-24

Where: Palmer Events Center, Austin, Texas

Cost: Single-day tickets are $10; Season Passes are $50. Free admission for children 12 and under.

More information at ArmadilloBazaar.com.

Fröhliche Weihnachten! The 24th Annual German Christmas Market Arrives this Weekend

This Saturday the German Free School will be transformed into a traditional German Christmas market, complete with handcrafted German ornaments and decor; German food, beer, and wine, and much more.

Hosted by the German-Texans Heritage Society, the Market is a truly unique shopping experience that features authentic hand-carved and hand-blown Christmas decor, Schwibbogen (decorative metal candle holders), nutcrackers, advent calendars and more. Shoppers can feast on traditional sausages, sauerkraut, pretzels, and stollen, then visit the beer hall for German beer and Glühwein (hot spiced wine), a holiday must!

The Market is fun for the whole family with entertainment and activities throughout the day. St. Nick will be there handing out gifts, too!

Parking is limited; ride sharing is encouraged.

When: Dec. 7; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Where: The German Free School, 507 E. 10th St., Austin

More Information: http://germantexans.org/events/christmas-market/