Family Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

There’s no denying that it gets hot in Texas during the Summer months. Can you imagine living without even a fan to help keep your house cool on those hot summer days? A simple fan can help bring relief from the heat to seniors living without air conditioning. On June 16, 2017, Austin’s favorite music, food and on-air talent will come together for Fans From Fans, an annual event that collects fans on-site and funds to buy fans for Austin-area seniors.

The Summer Fan Drive, which runs from May 1 – August 31 and is celebrating its 27th year, is a way to bring relief from the heat to over 6,000 Central Texas residents! This year, Family Eldercare will distribute it’s 95,000th fan to low-income seniors, adults with disabilities, medically fragile individuals, or families with children. To help support the Summer Fan Drive through fans and monetary donations, join Family Eldercare for the 18th annual iconic Fans From Fans event, formally ‘Fan Fare Friday’.

Join KXAN’s David Yeomans in the morning and Jim Spencer in the evening, along with a fantastic roster of local musicians from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Threadgill’s World Headquarters in downtown Austin. Drop off fans and funds and stick around for great food, kid’s crafts, live music, and fun for all ages. The party moves up north to Havovers 2.0 for Happy Hour from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Entertainment includes:

  • On-site donations of $15 or a new fan begins at 7 am
  • Pancake Pileup – 7-9 am
  • Kid’s concert with Hey Lolly Band (9am) and Big Don (10am)
  • AMD Gaming Stations – 9:30 am – 1 pm
  • Lunch concert featuring Scott Strickland of the Scott Strickland Band (Special Solo Performance!) – 11 a.m.
    Derrick Davis Band – 12 pm
  • Kid’s crafts activities from 8a-12p, include coloring, making maracas, a bounce house, a fire truck, and more!

What: Family Eldercare’s Fans From Fans
Where: Threadgill’s World Headquarters, 301 W. Riverside Drive
When: Friday, June 16, 2017
Time: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: Suggested donation of $15 or a fan
More Information: Fans From Fans website

This event is featured on the 2017 Austin Summer Fun Checklist for Kids. Check off three items out of over 60 fun events, activities and day trips to earn prizes. Click here for more details.

It’s summer time in Texas, and that means it’s time to plan your next Texas road trip with a little help from the Bullock Museum. Map your route to the best Texas roadside attractions and discover fun new games to play along the way.

In partnership with H-E-B, Bullock Museum offers FREE exhibition admission all day during H-E-B Free First Sundays, held the first Sunday of every month. Families can explore the Story of Texas through three floors of exhibitions that showcase artifacts from around the state. Special family programs from 12-3 p.m. combine art creation, exploration stations, and gallery activities.

Activities Include:

  • Show your love for Texas and create a personalized license plate.
  • Construct treasured Texas landmarks as you map your next road trip through the state.
  • Discover parks and outdoor spaces that make Texas fun to explore with help from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
  • Make a pit stop with Common Threads and enjoy a favorite Texas recipe to keep you energized on long road trips.
  • Park yourselves at Storytime and hear a tale of an adventure.

When: Sunday, June 4, 2017
Time: Noon – 5 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Location: Bullock Museum. 1800 Congress Avenue, Austin

More information:

Download your 2017 Summer Fun Checklist and start checking items off. A visit to the Bullock Museum gets a check mark and you can earn a discount to the Museum after completing three items on your Checklist! More details here.

Looking for ways to entertain your kids this summer? Worried about how to combat the daily cries of boredom? The 2017 Austin Summer Fun Checklist for Kids is packed with over 60 activities, events, and day trip recommendations to keep your family active in the Austin area all summer long. This FREE printable can be downloaded or picked up in the latest edition of Austin Family Magazine. It’s easy, free, and the kids earn prizes and discounts to local Austin businesses as they complete items on the checklist. See just how easy it is below!

How to Have Summer Fun

1. Print the 2017 Austin Summer Fun Checklist for Kids or pick up the more recent edition of Austin Family Magazine for an already printed copy.


Come to the Summer Fun Launch Party on June 10th, from 9 am to noon, at Whole Foods Market Lamar to pick up a copy of the checklist. Kids of all ages will enjoy live music by Joe McDermott, Lauren Diamond, Ms. Kat’s Music and Movement, and Big Wy’s Brass Band, craft activities, prizes and more. There will be free breakfast tacos (one per admission), free pretzels (limited availability) from Easy Tiger, free coffee from Chameleon Cold-Brew, Me & the Bees Lemonade samples, KIND Bars, and more. Tickets are just $5 for adults, $2 for children 13 and under, with all proceeds benefiting Whole Kids Foundation. Bring a food item to be donated to the Central Texas Food Bank and get a free child’s admission!

2. Pick activities to do all summer long.

3. Do activity.

4. Check it off the list.

5. Once you’ve done at least three activities on the checklist, you can earn prizes for even more Summer Fun!

6. Upload photos of you and your kids doing activities on the Summer Fun Checklist for a chance to win even more prizes including Chaparral Ice Skating Passes, free museum admission to the Bullock Museum, and more. Use #AustinSummerFun as the hashtag with your account set to public. We’ll be picking winners randomly all summer long.

What’s on the 2017 Austin Summer Fun Checklist?

Anytime Fun Includes:

  • Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool
  • Discover Dinos in Austin
  • Jump on a trampoline at Springfree Trampoline
  • Go indoor skydiving at iFly
  • Watch the Bats Emerge at Dusk
  • Ride the Train at the Austin Zoo
  • Play indoors at Catch Air
  • Visit Exhibits at Bullock Museum
  • Watch Friday night fireworks at Round Rock Express
  • Nerf war indoors at Dart em Up
  • Hike & splash at St. Edward’s Park
  • Explore Zilker Botanical Garden
  • Go fishing
  • Visit the animals at the Austin Zoo
  • Ice skate at Chaparral Ice
  • Get wet at Typhoon Texas
  • Get lost in a book at BookPeople
  • Visit a Farmer’s Market
  • Visit the Cathedral of Junk
  • Explore The Domain
  • Roller skate at Playland Skate Center
  • Eat a taco on a Tuesday
  • Kayak in Austin’s Waterway
  • Play at Joanne Land Park
  • Play Pinball, Pac-Man and more at an arcade
  • Visit an Austin Museum
  • Cool down with some ice cream
  • Join a summer reading program
  • Learn about the history of Austin at the Austin History Center

Or you can go to a few awesome Austin events this summer including:

  • Children’s Day Art Park
  • Blues on the Green
  • Summer Free Family Film Series at the Bullock Museum
  • Summer Fun Launch party at Whole Foods Market, Lamar
  • Taste North Austin at The Domain
  • Blues on the Green
  • Family Eldercare’s Fans from Fans Fan Drive
  • Juneteenth Celebration
  • Unplugged at the Grove
  • 4th of July Fireworks
  • Visit Whole Foods Market for Kid’s Club
  • Father’s Day Event at Catch Air
  • Zilker Summer Musical: The Wizard of Oz
  • Soar to new heights at Science Mill
  • Superhero night at Round Rock Express
  • … and more!

How about a day trip to explore other places that are still close to home?

  • Seguin
  • Salado
  • Waco
  • Lockhart
  • Gruene
  • Fredericksburg
  • Boerne
  • Johnson City
  • Texas State Parks Close to Austin

Check back here all summer long for more in-depth articles or follow us on Facebook and Instagram for tips and advice on navigating the summer months with kids.

–> Download the 2017 Summer Fun Checklist and start having fun! <–

Kids Obstacle Challenge is making a muddy splash in Austin and so should YOU! Run, jump, scale, and wade your way through the largest touring adventure and obstacle course event series for kids in the nation. The Kids Obstacle Challenge event series is coming to Austin on Saturday, June 10th at Dripping Springs Ranch Park with waves from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Designed for kids ages 5-16, the course offers 10-15 fun and challenging obstacles with lots of mud!

Kids Obstacle Challenge attracts thousands of active kids and their parents by inspiring and challenging kids while also forging family bonds through adventure and obstacles. Parents are invited to run for FREE with the purchase of a child’s ticket. Kids Obstacle Challenge is designed for kids to push their limits and reach new heights!

Challenges include:

  • A rope swing into a giant mud pit
  • Army crawl through tough terrain
  • Scale up rugged cargo nets
  • Slide into a muddy paradise

Prepare to Brave Your Adventure this summer and have some muddy family fun!

What: 2017 Kids Obstacle Challenge
When: Saturday, June 10, 2017
Where: Dripping Springs Ranch Park, 1042 Event Center Dr., Dripping Springs, TX 78620
Cost: $46 per child if purchased by June 9, 2017; $56 per child the day of event. Parents run for free!

To sign up your eager adventurer, visit<

Follow Kids Obstacle Challenge for more details:

Going to Maker Faire? Get Arty at the Outside Voice ARTtv Party!

If you’re heading to Maker Faire Austin this weekend, be sure and check out the pop up art party Outside Voice is hosting with Austin Tinkering School!

This will be Austin’s 6th Annual Maker Faire, an event that brings together all kinds of creative people like tech enthusiasts, educators, crafters, hobbyists and science clubs. The idea is to showcase invention, creativity and resourcefulness in a family-friendly environment. If you don’t know about them already, it’s the perfect opportunity to get to know Outside Voice, an online community that inspires kids and families to make all kinds of art by sharing how-to videos and showing off the cool stuff other people are making through their YouTube Channel ARTtv. From the Outside Voice perspective, art comes in many forms, including cooking, drawing, photography, painting, building, playing and stitching.

Pop Up Art Party

At Maker Faire, Outside Voice ARTtv will set up a large area for drawing, painting, collage-making and art lessons. They highly recommend you wear sloppy clothes, because the whole point is to make art without worrying about making a mess! They’ll also have some fun prizes and will be giving away their Outside Voice Drawing Zine, which has some fun ideas for creative summer projects.

Free Massages!

On Mother’s Day, the Maker Faire will have a special card making station, a banner for photo ops and (maybe best of all) a free massage station for all the mamas.

The 4-1-1 on Maker Faire Austin

Maker Faire will be held May 13 and 14 at Palmer Events Center. If you get tickets online ahead of time, you can save quite a bit as advance tickets are $11 for kids and $16 for adults while they’ll be $15 for kids and $23 for adults at the door. Purchase tickets here.

Learn more about Outside Voice ARTtv:



We’re giving away a 4-pack of tickets to the Mini Maker Faire! Complete the form below to win a 4-pack of tickets. All entries must be received by 10:30am CST on Friday, May 12, 2017.

About the author: Jill Coody Smits is the author of Expedition Austin: A Kid’s Guide to the Weirdest Town in Texas. A freelance writer of many things, she lives south of the river with her husband, daughter and two four-footed sons. After nearly 20 years in Austin, she is still in love with this little big town.

Do you have special plans to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 14th? Whether you are looking for gift ideas for mom, brunches, teas, mom and me classes and more, there’s a little something for everyone, with some events kicking off this weekend!

Nani, Maa & Me
Bring your kids in for a special cooking class to get hands on experience cooking a special Indian meal. This Intergenerational cooking class will be demonstrated by a SAIVA senior while you and your child work with another senior at your table chopping, mixing and cooking up a delicious Indian favorite.
When: Sunday, May 7th from 3-5 p.m.
Where: Sustainable Food Center, 2921 E. 17th St., Austin
Cost: $25

Mother and Me Tea
Celebrate mom while supporting the mission of St. Louise House to help single mothers to overcome homelessness in Central Texas. The Mother and Me Tea is a wonderful celebration of motherhood that takes place under the shade of the majestic oaks of the French Legation Museum. The event includes children’s activities, a program, and of course…tea!
When: Sunday, May 7th from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Where: French Legation Museum, 803 San Marcos St., Austin

2nd Street Social
Celebrate mothers, wives and sisters with exclusive offers throughout the 2nd Street District. Enjoy complimentary cocktails, a braid bar, makeup touch-ups, discounts and more.
When: Thursday, May 11th from 6-8 p.m.
Where: 2nd Street District, downtown Austin
Cost: Free

Moms Eat Free at Dang Kitchen
That’s right… be a hero and feed your mom for free! Moms get a free entree with the purchase of an entree (child’s meal counts as an entree), every Saturday.
When: Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Dang Kitchen, 9070 Burnet Rd., Austin
Cost: Free

Plant a Pot for Mom
If you can’t decide what to get mom for Mother’s Day, how about a plant potted by her lovely kids. Staff will be on hand to help pick out and design a special plant arrangement for mom. Orange juice, mimosas, and snacks will be provided.
When: Saturday, May 13th with two sessions available 9:30-10 a..m and 10:30-11 a.m.
Where: Round Rock Garden Center, 901 Sam Bass Road, Round Rock
Cost: Free

The Little Yoga House
Not interested in the typical Mother’s Day brunch? If you have younger kids in tow for whom a meal out can be more challenging than relaxing, The Little Yoga House is offering an alternative that is combining crafts, snacks and aerial yoga for an unforgettable Mother’s Day experience. The event starts with a 45 minute Mom & Child Aerial Yoga Class (Ages 6+). After class enjoy sips & bites from Curcuma Vegan Food Truck & KIND Bar while you and your child get creative with a take home craft project.
When: Saturday, May 13th from 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Where: The Little Yoga House, 2700 W Anderson Ln., #229, Austin
Cost: $55

Bring Mom to the Mini Maker Faire
Moms are the ultimate makers, right? Spend your day surrounded by creativity at the Mini Maker Faire. On Sunday, there will be a Mother’s Day card making station, free massages, and photo ops, too!
When: Saturday and Sunday, May 13th & 14th from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Palmer Event Center, 905 Barton Springs Rd., Austin
Cost: $11-$14; Parking is an additional $8. Purchase tickets in advance here.

Mother’s Day Market
Shop for mom from local vendors and whip up some D.I.Y.s at the walk-in Bath Soak Bar + Flower Bar. There will also be complimentary delicious Chameleon Cold-Brew to sip on as you shop and create!
When: Saturday, May 13th from 1-5 p.m.
Where: The Paper + Craft Pantry, 2511 E. 6th St., Austin
Cost: Free

Afternoon Tea at Alamo Drafthouse
Head to the movies to enjoy a screening of Austenland while enjoying tea and treats that includes three servings of tea and a plate of the following treats: Poached Salmon Mousse on English Cucumber, Blue Cheese Cracked Pepper Croissant, Chocolate Filled Pate a Choux Pastry. A vegetarian option is available.
When: Saturday and Sunday, May 13 & 14, 4 & 4:30 pm (Lakeline); Sunday, May 14 at 4:30 pm (Slaughter Lane)
Where: Alamo Drafthouse
Cost: $21.65

Chocolate Tasting at Delysia Chocolatier
Give mom a sweet treat this Mother’s Day with complimentary chocolate tastings and a free solid chocolate long stemmed rose (while supplies last).
When: Sunday, May 14th from noon – 5 p.m.
Where: Delysia Chocolatire, 2000 Windy Terrace #2c, Austin
Cost: Free

Hens & Chicks Mother’s Day Planting Party
Give your mother hen the gift she really wants, time with her chicks while crafting up some gorgeous succulent arrangements and maybe even sipping on some bubbly! Learn the ins-and-outs of succulent/cactus care and spread your creative wings!
When: Sunday, May 14th from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Succulent Native, 906 E. 5th St., Austin
Cost: $20-$45

Brunch at Olive & June
Olive & June will host a Mother’s Day brunch for guests to enjoy that will include a 4-course meal featuring crespelle, rigatone, a choice of grilled trout or pork tenderloin and ricotta cheesecake. Every mother will additionally be given a glass of complimentary Bellini.
When: Sunday, May 14th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Olive & June, 3411 Glenview Ave., Austin
Cost: $39 per person and $8.50 for kids’ pasta. Reservations may be made by calling (512) 467-9898.

Mother’s Day Brunch at The Driskill
Celebrate Mother’s Day with an elegant brunch buffet at the acclaimed Driskill Grill. Indulge in a multi-course meal mingled with traditional favorites and chef-inspired fare.
When: Sunday, May 14th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: The Driskill Grill, 117 E. 7th St., Austin
Cost: $89 per person, $39 for children ages 5-12; Reservations are required and may be made by visiting or by calling (512) 391-7162.

A Mother’s Day Celebration at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop
Purchase a table that seats 6-7 people and enjoy a delicious spread that will include cheese, charcuterie, sundry pairings, bread, croissants, almonds, olives, chocolates, wine and more while learning all about where the different products come from.
When: Sunday, May 14th, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, 500 Park Blvd., Austin
Cost: $250

Mother’s Day at Ella
This Mother’s Day, dazzle your mom with brunch and manicures at Hotel Ella. Reserve a table now for Goodall’s Kitchen’s prix-fixe three-course brunch, available from 10am-3pm. Menu highlights include a chioggia beet salad, crab benedict, and strawberry shortcake, plus a free mimosa for mom. Austin-based Nails Y’all will be available to pamper moms with free manicures and hand-painted nail art from 11am-2:30pm. Sign up for a time slot when you arrive for your brunch reservation.
When: Sunday, May 14th from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Goodall’s Kitchen at Hotel Ella, 1900 Rio Grande St., Austin
Cost: $45 per person; kids menu available for children 12 and under

The Contemporary Austin invites families to attend May’s creative workshop, inspired by the aluminum surface of Tom Friedman’s sculpture, Looking Up, at Laguna Gloria! Put everyday materials together to form a robotic work of art, then stop by our animation station to bring your metallic creation to life! This event is recommended for children ages 2-11 years old.


WHAT: Second Saturdays Are for Families: Recycled Robots

WHERE: The Contemporary Austin – Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria, 3809 West 35th Street, Austin

WHEN: Saturday, May 13, 11a.m. – 3 p.m.

Reservations are requested for family art-making workshops; reservations accepted beginning May 1. No reservation is necessary to visit The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria free-of-charge all day.

Family fun is scheduled for Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Y at the Park: Family Play Day! Kids will enjoy age-appropriate booths and games alongside their parents. Families will also get to participate in the Family Fun 1K Challenge/walk through Mueller Lake Park!

In addition to learning about YMCA programs, kids can jump from activity booth to activity booth (there will be over 15 booths to explore) learning about Summer Camp, Project SAFE, Early Learning Readiness, and more!

What: Y at the Park

Where: Mueller Lake Park, 4550 Mueller Blvd., Austin

When: Saturday, April 29, 2017

Time: 10 am – 2 pm

Cost: FREE!

Parking: Free parking is available in the garage behind the Thinkery.

If you have not yet been to an event at Creative Action, this Sunday would be a great time to check out their amazing, family-friendly events. Community Art Sundays is happening from 2-5 p.m. this Sunday, and they are empowering the community with practical, hands-on ways to celebrate and advocate for the art all around us!


Activities include:

  • Grab a slice of a one-of-a-kind custom cake made by the pastry wizards of Sideserf Cake Studio (featured on Food Network’s Texas Cake House)!
  • Leave your mark on a special, giant interactive ♥art installation
  • Design-your-own arts advocacy postcard—Creative Action will mail them to your representative!
  • Voter registration table
  • Musical performances and workshops by Grupo Massa, AllRhythms, and a youth music showcase
  • Nature crafts, garden tours, and ‘bee hotels’ with Sustainable Food Center
  • MamaLingua Spanish language learning app
  • ¡Por amor al arte! activity with Think Bilingual Austin
  • Meet The Princess of Plastic, “Polly Mermaid” 
  • Recycled art jewelry station and colorful still-life drawing sessions
  • Performance of “Araboolies of Liberty Street”—an interactive theatre experience exploring social awareness, teamwork, and diversity
  • Collaborative embroidery project for Creative Action Spark Schools
  • Meet Clifford the big red dog + try Smart Screen Time© Interactive Apps from KLRU-TV, Austin PBS!
  • Connect with and learn from local arts advocacy orgs like Austin Creative Alliance , Texas Cultural Trust and Texans for the Arts
  • Check out I Heart Justice Poster Show, a joint project of Texas Appleseed and AIGA Austin.
  • Free food, drinks, KIND Snacks, Bennu Coffee, and Oskar Blues Brewery Austin beer!

Wow! That’s a whole lot of family fun packed into just three hours. I’ll see you there!

What: Community Art Sunday
Where: Creative Action, 2921 E. 17th Street, Austin
When: Sunday, April 23, 2017
Time: 2-5 p.m.
Cost: FREE

For more information or to RSVP:

Bring the kids of all ages out to the annual Bike Rodeo, sponsored by the Pflugerville Police Department, on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

Activities Include:

  • Bicycle Registration
  • Safety Instructions
  • Riding Instructions and 8 different challenges
  • Police, Fire and EMS demonstrations all day
  • Child ID’s
  • Displays by Central Texas Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Pflugerville Fire Department onsite with truck

What: Bike Rodeo
When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Pflugerville High School Parking Lot, 1301 W. Pecan Street, Pflugerville

For more information: