SXSW Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX


For those of you who are not heading out of town during Spring Break, we’ve put together some ideas on the best ways to have the most family fun in Austin during Spring Break 2017!

Live Music

It’s SXSW time, which means there are plenty of options to hear some live music in Austin. If you’d like to catch some live music but have your kids in tow, there are several family-friendly options. 365 Things Austin (Family) is a proud sponsor of:

See more of 365 Things Austin Family’s Top Picks for Family-Friendly (official and unofficial) SXSW events here.

Where to Eat in Austin

First and foremost, fuel up one of Austin’s 10 Best Coffee Shops for Families.

Looking for family-friendly dining options this spring break? Our Kid’s Eat Free list will help save you some cash.

How about taking a Taco Tour of Austin? Check out the 14 Best Places to Eat Tacos for some inspiration.

If you opt out of traffic and SXSW crowds, you can always make it a pizza and movie night with these Pizza Delivery options in Austin.

Eat like a local or eat like a tourist if you’re a local…. here are some Austin restaurants to cross off your foodie bucket list during SXSW. Kristy has rounded up her favorite Favor places for more delivery options.


Head to the Long Center on Monday (March 13) night for an outdoor screening with Cartoon Network.

Yee Haw, y’all! It’s time for Rodeo Austin. There’s enough stuff happening at the Rodeo to keep you busy all week long.

Eat, drink and sing at Musicians for Microcredit while alleviating poverty around the world at Whole Foods in the Domain on Saturday and Sunday, March 17 & 18.

Road Trip, Anyone?

Load up the kids in the car to explore 5 Lone Star parks that prove everything is bigger in Texas!

Day trips are fun, too!

Outside Adventures

Parks are always a safe bet for fun for all ages. Mueller Lake Park is one of our favorites. Have you been yet?

Get out on the water! The Rowing Dock is open all week long for Spring Break fun. Here are more options to kayak or canoe in Austin.

Pack a picnic and take the kids (and the dog) out for a hike. Here are the Top 5 Tucked Away Hiking Trails in Austin.

Need more breathtaking views? Climb to top of Mt. Bonnell. Or head over to the 360 overlook, also known as Pennybacker Bridge.

Sad that you aren’t jetting off to some tropical destination? Take the kids to watch flights take off and land at the ABIA Family Viewing area.

If you have any train lovers in your family, spring break is the perfect time to hit up all of the trains for kids to ride in the Austin area.

If you’re a tourist or a local, it’s always fun to take a photo in front of one of Austin’s many murals around town.

Explore some caves around Austin… maybe you can spot a bat or two, as well.

Indoor Options

There is a chance that it may rain at some point during Spring Break. For that reason alone, we have a backup plan for some indoor activities.

Indoor Rock Climbing is an adventure that kids both big and small will enjoy.

Put the bumpers up at one of Austin’s many bowling alleys.

Perhaps art, history and culture are on your radar this week? Be sure to explore one of Austin’s many museums.

Never fear, there are plenty of Indoor Play Places for fun all week long in Austin.

Happy Spring Breakin’!

The 3rd Annual Do512 Family Picnic is happening at the Midway Food Park on Tuesday, March 14th, and the whole family is invited to come out to listen live music, eat some good food and have a great time!


3-3:40 pm: Puppets & Folk Songs w/ Red Yarn
4-4:40 pm: Magician Black Bert
5-5:40 pm: Mama K & The Shades
6-7 pm: Kupira Marimba

Dock & Roll Diner
Revolution Vegan Kitchen
Beirut Austin Food Trailer
Celia Jacobs Cheesecake Experience
Stony’s Pizza
Uncle Louie G’s

Magic Show
Face Painting
Arts & Crafts

What: Do512 Family Picnic
When: Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Time: 3-7 p.m.
Where: The Midway Food Park,1905 S. Capital of Texas Highway, Austin
Cost: FREE (Must RSVP, one for each family)

Close out Spring Break with a family-friendly concert and book festival featuring local and national musicians and authors! Families are invited to come celebrate music and books at this year’s Rock + Read at The Domain on Saturday, March 18, 2017, from 2-5:30pm.

Join us on the lawn between Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dillard’s for live music, readings by local children’s and young adult book authors, crafts, giveaways and lots of fun! This is a FREE event for kids of all ages.


2:00 The Que Pastas
3:00 Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band
3:30 The Deedle Deedle Dees
4:00 Little Miss Ann
4:30 Joe McDermott Kids Music
5:00 Sugar Free Allstars

AUTHOR LINEUPAdvertisement

Susan Kralovansky
Emma Virjan
P. J. Hoover
Christina Soontornvat
Jessica Lee Anderson

Stop by the craft-making tent to make a book marker, jump on one of the Springfree Trampolines that will be set up throughout the Domain II, get your child’s face painted, take picture in the photo booth provided by Capital Pediatric Group, have your caricature drawn, win giveaways, and more!

Thanks to our sponsors, The Domain, Austin Diagnostic Clinic and Springfree Trampoline, for making this event possible.

When: Saturday, March 18, 2017 • 2 – 5:30 pm

Where: Amy Donovan Plaza in The Domain, Austin

Cost: FREE!

The 2017 SXSW Film Festival kicks off this Friday (3/10). Here are five films we’re looking forward to seeing.


Article by Chris Allen for 365 Things Austin



Directed by Giancarlo Esposito

Two words always catch my eye in film– Giancarlo Esposito. The world surely recognizes him as the suave and sinister Gus in Breaking Bad. But his cinematic bona fides reach back decades with performances in films like Fresh and The Usual Suspects. Here he takes the helm with a film about a suicide-showcasing gameshow- a prescient plot given the current popularity of dystopian themes and our maddening media culture. I’m curious to see if Esposito’s thespian genius translates to the director’s chair. James Franco co-stars.



Directed by John Carroll Lynch

Prolific character actor Harry Dean Stanton (over 100 film and TV credits) stars in the world premier of Lucky– playing an atheist in a desert town. If you need cinematic signposts to get an idea of Stanton’s long career- it spans from 1967’s Cool Hand Luke to the upcoming reboot of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (Lynch also features in Lucky). And he played a judge in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The director has characterized the film as a “love letter” to the 90-year-old actor, and to be honest my interest in this film so far begins and ends with his prime role. Stanton’s weathered features and poet’s demeanor has been stealing scenes for decades. As for the story, the press release describes our main character a man who has “out-lived and out-smoked all his contemporaries” and is “thrust into a journey of self-exploration, leading toward that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment.” Deal me in.



Directed by Michael O’Shea

An official selection at Cannes, Michael O’Shea’s debut feature already has sizable buzz among film intelligentsia. Set in New York, this vampy genre thriller featuring a modern adolescent with a thirst for human blood and a collection of horror films seems to be shooting for high-brow philosophical statement regarding larger themes of alienation and urban decay. And perhaps looks to claw the gothic genre back from the clutches of more mainstream gory blockbusters. I hope so. Because many cinematic classics (think Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark) featuring archetypal bloodsuckers contained as much social commentary as carnage.



Directed by Max Pugh and Marc J. Francis

To escape momentarily the hectic, eclectic madness of SXSW, I look forward to spending 90 minutes with some Zen Buddhists from rural France. Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, Walk With Me follows well-known Vietnamese Buddhist monk and author/peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh and his followers for a few years as they do their thing- namely, trying as politely as humanly possible to convince us that all suffer so might as well be nice to each other. A generalized understatement I confess. Perhaps I’ll leave the theater with deeper understanding.


NOBODY SPEAK: The Trials of a Free Press

Directed by Brian Knappenberger

The broader debate of celebrity privacy versus a public’s right to know is highlighted here through the prism of the strange and bizarre saga of Hulk Hogan, a sex tape featuring the wrestler and his friend’s wife, and a multi-million-dollar court judgment that brought down a media juggernaut. The case also introduced to American culture the venture capitalist lawsuit sponsor. As a media junky, I look forward to seeing Knappenberger’s take on this multi-pronged tale. Whether you get kicks watching exploitative media take their medicine or are a defender of unfettered free speech, this film is sure to provoke response.


SXSW Guest Pass

Looking for something fun to do with kids during Spring Break? It just so happens that this little festival called SXSW is going on at the same time with loads of family-friendly events taking place – many that do not require a badge! We’ve narrowed down the list to include some of our favorites that you won’t want to miss. Note: Some events do require that you RSVP or have a SXSW Guest Pass.

SXSW Create

Friday, March 10 – Sunday March 12, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

SXSW Create is a 3-day event at the Palmer Events Center that gives families a chance to experience the hardware hacking and maker arm of SXSW. This year’s event offers more space, more fun, and even more hands-on excitement. From 3D printing to drones to biohacking and much more, this community event showcases the disruptive solutions that are shaping our future. Open to the public with SXSW Guest Pass.

Youth Animation Workshop

Saturday, March 11, 10:30 am to 3:30 pm

Participants will use their imagination to create miniature worlds using handmade animation techniques such as stop-motion and paper cut-out animation with award-winning Animator, Jeanne Stern. ASoF will provide a pizza party lunch, snacks and beverages throughout the duration of the workshop. Attendance is limited to 18 students, and open to ages 10-18 years old.

Cartoon Network Film Screening

Monday, March 13, 8:00 to 9:00 pm

Join Cartoon Network for new content from The Amazing World of Gumball, We Bare Bears, Ben 10 and Teen Titans Go, and a big surprise, all on the lawn of The Long Center! Free with SXSW Guest Pass.

Do512 Family Picnic


Tuesday, March 14, 3:00 to 7:00 pm

This family-friendly event features live music and entertainment from Magician Black Bert, Mama K & the Shades, Kupira Marimba, and Folksongs & Puppets w/ Portland’s Red Yarn. Food trucks and activities for the kids. Free with RSVP.

Family Music Meltdown



Wednesday, March 15, 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm

365 Things Austin Family Top Pick! The annual free family-friendly concert at the Pan Am Hillside in East Austin includes a stellar lineup of artists including Red Yarn, El Tule, The Deedle Deedle Dees, Riders Against the Storm, Ralph’s World, Strumero, and Groundwork Music Orchestra. Activities for the kids range from jumping on Springfree Trampolines to art activities with the Creative Action, nonprofits showcasing what they do in the community, and more. Food trucks will be selling concessions but picnics are welcome, too!

KGSR Live Broadcasts

Wednesday, March 15 – Saturday, March 18, 6:00 am to 10:00 am (Saturday 8:00 am to 12:00 pm)

Spoon, Hanson, Jimmy Eat World, The New Pornographers are just a few of the musicians performing at this annual SXSW event. The first 300 guests to arrive will enjoy a free breakfast while listening to live broadcasts by official SXSW artists at the W hotel in downtown Austin. Performances will be held in the Great Room on the 2nd floor of the W. Your $5 donation to the Make-a-Wish foundation of Central and South Texas gets you entry.

KUTX Live at the Four Seasons

Wednesday, March 15 – Saturday March 18, 7:00 am to 10:30 am (Saturday 8:00 am to 11:30 pm)

The annual live music broadcast features 20- to 25-minute sets, held in the Lobby Lounge, as well as candid interviews, with performers including: Spoon, The Black Angels, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Real Estate, and many more. Cost is $10 per person, $5 for ages ten and under, which includes a complimentary breakfast taco and all-you-can-drink coffee. All event proceeds benefit the Seton Shivers Cancer Center.

South by San Jose


Wednesday, March 15 – Sunday, March 19, noon

South By San José returns to the Hotel San José and Jo’s parking lot with live music, local vendors and good times. Music starts at noon each day, and the party is always and forever free to attend.

Lucy’s Fried Chicken Revival

Wednesday, March 15 – Sunday, March 19; noon – 6:40 p.m. daily

Head over to Lucy’s Fried Chicken on South Congress for five days of lip-smacking fried chicken, ice cold drinks and an unbeatable line-up of the very best of Texas and Americana music! Free, open to the public and family-friendly.

MyMusicRX You Who Rock Show for Kids

Thursday, March 16, 10 a.m. – noon

The 5th Annual MyMusicRx + You Who Rock Show for Kids, will take place at Fader FORT and features family-friendly music by Shakey Graves, Sara Watkins, Y La Bamba, Baskery, Sky Katz, and Red Yarn. Breakfast tacos, bubble machines, giant owl mascots and a special art guitar craft zone powered by Epiphone. Tickets: $25 adults, kids 10 and under are free.

Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion

Thursday, March 16 – Saturday, March 18; times not available yet

This 3-day event takes place on the roof of Whole Foods downtown, right next to the playground!  The family-friendly all-ages music festival features over 40 performers on two stages.

SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake

Thursday, March 16 – Saturday, March 18; times not available yet

This SXSW official event is a series of free outdoor concerts for all ages at the Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake. Tip: It can be crowded, and the only food allowed in are food and beverage items for kids under 5 years of age. Free with SXSW Guest Pass.

SXSW Gaming Expo

Thursday, March 16 – Saturday, March 18, 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm

The SXSW Gaming Expo is a 3-day event at the Austin Convention Center where gamers can meet celebrities, watch live gaming tournaments, learn about new games in the market and the history of old ones, play a variety of games, and compete in a tournament, and have some fun at a cosplay tournament. Suitable for older children. Must have a Gaming wristband ($25) or a SXSW badge.

Willie is for Everyone: A Family-Friendly Willie Nelson Tribute Show


Friday, March 17, 10:00 am to 2:30 pm

365 Things Austin Family Top Pick! Local favorites come together at the Austin Scottish Rite Theater for a special family-friendly tribute concert celebrating Willie Nelson! An amazing lineup of local and national bands includes: Nakia, The Barton Hills Choir with Ray Benson, Ralph’s World, Red Yarn, The Que Pastas, Jon Langford, Beth Chrisman, and more! Don’t miss out on the professional hair-braiding station to get that signature Willie look, courtesy of Avenue Five Institute. Adults, $3, $1 for children under 12.

Girls Rock SX Day Show

Friday, March 17, 12:00 am to 10:00 pm

Stop into Cherrywood Coffeehouse for this all-day show featuring female performers. The outdoor area is a great place for kids to play while you relax and take in the music.

Peelander Fest

Friday, March 17, 12:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Peelander-fest hosts a free, all-ages show, all day at Spiderhouse Cafe & Ballroom. Acts from as far away as Japan and Poland, as well as locals, will be performing at the show, which ends with a performance by the headliner, Peelander-Z.

Rock + Read


Saturday, March 18, 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm

365 Things Austin Top Pick! Close out spring break 2016 with the last free concert in our Unofficial SXSW family music series! The live music and book readings by local children’s and Young Adult book authors will be on the lawn at the Domain. Kids and adults of all ages will hear favorites such as the Que Pastas, The Sugar Free Allstars, The Deedle Deedle Dees, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Joe McDermott, Riders Against the Storm, and Little Miss Ann. Kids of all ages will enjoy storytime with local authors reading from their books, a book mark-making station, local vendors, and jumping on Springfree Trampolines for an afternoon of fun!

World Music, World Stories Backyard Concert

Saturday, March 18, 1:00 pm to 6 pm

A day of music, stories and culture from around the globe is taking place at The Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City. Tribu Baharú from Bogota, Colombia, Los Texmaniacs from San Antonio, Texas, Analogix from Fukuoka-shi, Japan, and Hanato Chiruran from Tokyo, Japan will perform in the backyard with the Texas Hill Country as the setting. The concert is free with admission to the Science Mill: under 3, free; ages 3-18 (or with student ID), $8.50; adults, $10; seniors (65+) and military, $8.00.

Tacos + Tunes


Saturday, March 18, 8-11 am

Come enjoy Hat Creek breakfast tacos, coffee, kids’ activities, and music by Anthropos Arts outside of our Domain Whole Foods Market store. Tunes + Tacos is a free event with no RSVP needed, but open donations to Whole Planet Foundation are welcome. Their mission is poverty alleviation through microcredit loans in the U.S. and around the world.

If you’re in town for SXSW, it’s the perfect time to think like a local. With the help of our friends at Favor, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best local food and drinks you have to try while you’re in Austin.

Haven’t heard of Favor? They’ll make crossing off the items on this list a breeze! Download the app and they’ll deliver while you’re waiting in line to see your favorite bands.

1. Breakfast Tacos – Veracruz All Natural

Veracruz migas

On a typical Saturday morning in Austin, people wait hours for a taste of these breakfast tacos. And for good reason—they’re the bomb.

2. Pizza Via 313


Who would have thought you’d find Detroit-style pizza in Austin? Thick crust and rich marinara sauce. This is a must try in Austin.

3. More Pizza Home Slice Pizza


Did we already mention pizza? Come on, we know you can’t get enough. If deep dish isn’t your thing, try the city’s thin crust pizza go-to, Home Slice.

4. Smoothies and Fresh Juice Juiceland


Feeling a little burnt-out from awesome showcases and free drinks? Grab a smoothie from Juiceland. It’s the best detox in town!

5. Healthy Prepared Meals Snap Kitchen

Snap Kitchen Pork

If you need something a little more substantial than a smoothie but you still want to eat clean, Favor will deliver you homemade, healthy meals from Snap Kitchen.

chameleon cold brew

Photo credit:

Waiting in lines during SXSW and mustering up enough energy for Hype Hotel is not possible without iced coffee. Try this local favorite cold brew coffee, Chameleon. We can’t live without it.

7. Late Night Cravings P. Terry’s Burger Stand and/or East Side King


You can’t go wrong with a burger from P. Terry’s or some Thai Chicken Kara-age from Asian fusion food trailer, East Side King to finish off the evening. No regrets.

Happy South by-ing, y’all! And remember, if you make the rookie mistake of forgetting things like sunscreen, or a phone charger, Favor’s got your back.

It’s one of our favorite times of the year in Austin, Texas. Free food, free drinks, live music, and lots of visitors. That’s right – it’s South by Southwest.

You may have noticed a lot of buzz around local Austin company, Favor recently. And that buzz certainly isn’t slowing down for SXSW. They’ve teamed up with SouthBites Trailer Park, dating app – Bumble, and Car2go.

Free deliveries and free swag were plentiful this weekend from Favor, but the fun’s not over just yet. Check out some of the awesome giveaways Favor is doing for the remainder of SXSW.

Monday 3/14

Favor has teamed up with car2go to present you free deliveries. 12 – 2 pm

Tuesday 3/15

Favor has a pretty sweet sponsorship this year with SouthBites Trailer Park. Go check out some of the best local food and while you’re at it, treat yo self to a free massage (on Favor). 6 – 10 pm

Thursday 3/17

Free deliveries once again! Courtesy of car2go and Favor. 12 – 2 pm
Get stamped with tattoos on demand at the SouthBites Trailer Park. 12 – 6 pm

Saturday 3/19

There’s so much barbeque to eat, yet so many sxsw things to do. Get your fill of both, because Favor will deliver you some of Austin’s best barbecue (Salt Lick) from 11 am – 2 pm.

Check out Favor for more information. Don’t miss a beat and follow their sxsw moves on Snapchat – @Favordelivery

You just can’t pull off a successful SXSW 2016 without a special family-friendly tribute concert to David Bowie! As Bowie himself sang in “Starman,” we will indeed “let all the children boogie” at the Scottish Rite Theater on Friday, March 18, 2016!

This show is not-to-miss! The lineup includes:Advertisement

  • Two-time Austin Musicians of the Year Riders Against the Storm
  • Legendary Jon Langford (Waco Brothers, Mekons, Wee Hairy Beasties)
  • SXSW showcasing band David Wax Museum
  • ACL favorites Barton Hills Choir feat. Charlie Sexton
  • Austin singer-songwriter Nakia (performing a song or two with the choir)/li>
  • Latin Grammy winner Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band (doing at least one Bowie song in Spanish)
  • America’s greatest teaching rock band The Deedle Deedle Dees (with Austin native Red Yarn joining in)
  • Dad-and-sons force of nature Rockaroni & Cheese
  • Local family music stars Joe McDermott
  • Groundwork Music Orchestra
  • Laura Freeman’s Hey Lolly Band
  • National favorite The Pop Ups

Each act will do one or two Bowie songs along with a short set of their own numbers. If you come hungry, enjoy local food trucks Emojis Grilled Sandwiches and sweet treates from Flavorlicious.


What: LMNO SHOW Presents All The Children Boogie: A Family-Friendly Tribute to David Bowie

When: Friday, March 18 , 2016, from 11 am – 4 pm

Where: Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th Street

Cost: FREE! No SXSW badge required, subject to capacity limits.

Thanks to Springfree Trampoline for generously sponsoring this one-of-a-kind, family-friendly David Bowie Tribute Concert.

Mark your calendars to attend YOU WHO Rock Show for Kids, the fourth annual daytime concert benefiting MyMusicRx, the flagship program of the Children’s Cancer Association, on Thursday, March 17, 2016.

Austin families are invited to rock out with:

In addition to the lineup, there will be a pre-show kid’s craft zone and giant owl mascots.


Tickets do tend to sell out for this show – it’s recommended to purchase in advance. 100% of ticket sales will help MyMusicRx deliver the healing power of music to kids facing cancer and other serious illnesses, including locally at Dell Children’s Medical Center. Be sure to bring blankets or chairs as this event takes place in an outdoor tented area.

When:    Thursday, March 17, 2015. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.  

Where:   Main Stage at The FADER FORT Presented by Converse, 1101 E 5th Street (between San Marcos and Waller), Austin, TX 78702. LIMITED parking is available at 5th & Waller.

Cost: Advance tickets are $20/adults or $25/day of show. Kids 10 and under are FREE but do require a $0 ticket. A VIP family-of-four-pack is available for $120 and includes complimentary breakfast, concert t-shirts, raffle tickets, and a special swag bag filled with sponsor gifts. Tickets are available online at concerts from national recording artists complete the MyMusicRx experience.

Mark your calendars for March 20, 2016, from 1-5:30 p.m. to attend one last family music showcase to close out Spring Break / SXSW 2016!


Rock + Read is a FREE book and music fest happening at the Domain’s Amy Donovan Plaza. Both kids and adults will enjoy a great lineup of musicians with local author storytimes and related activities happening in between sets in the BookPeople Storytime Tent.

The Music Lineup:

Local Author Lineup:

Additional activities include Easter crafts for the kids, jumping on one of the Springfree Trampolines that will be set up throughout the Domain II, and local vendors!

Thanks to The Domain, Austin Diagnostic Clinic and Springfree Trampoline for making this event possible.

When: Sunday, March 20, 2016

Time: 1 – 5:30 pm

Where: 3220 Amy Donovan Plaza, The Domain, Austin

Cost: FREE!

Register to win a VIP bag stocked with swag and snacks! 100 lucky winner’s will receive bags that will be available for pickup on-site during Rock + Read.