Interested in learning more about ZACH Theater’s acting classes and camps at the performing arts school? The event will include sample classes, performances from ZACH actors, craft activities, and more. FREE!
When: Saturday, January 7, 2017, 11:30 a.m. Where: BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin
We hope you are all feeling super this morning because today’s storytime is all about moods! We do hope you’re feeling happy, but just in case, we’ll be reading Today I Feel Silly and other moody tales to help us navigate our feelings. FREE!
When: Sunday, January 8, 12-4 p.m. Where: Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel Street, Austin
While the ability to fly may seem totally routine, there’s nothing quite like the experience of making something that can climb up into the air! Make hot air balloons and gliders using simple, household materials, extra thin plastic bags, string, straws, and birthday candles with the NCHM staff and volunteers guiding you through the process. They will also have plans for a few simple gliders with some pre-built examples to launch off of the historic balcony. FREE!
Read Earmuffs For Everyone! How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs, dance, play games with your family and design you own earmuffs. Storybook Dance Making consists of a warm up, game, reading, dance making, and mini-performance with your family. This class is ideal for families with children ages 4-8. Taught by a Dance Waterloo artist, this class is aligned with the National Core Arts Standards in Dance. FREE!
Celebrate all things Star Wars with the family at the Bullock Museum on Saturday, January 7, 2017! This free event will feature:
Hands-on activities with intergalactic arts and crafts
Snap your picture with your favorite Star Wars characters from Austin’s The 501st Legion
Make a Lego Star Wars masterpiece with Play Well TEKnologies
Commence your Jedi training in a Star Wars virtual reality experience with Austin Virtual Reality
Star Wars prize giveaways
Sign the Princess Leia memorial banner and check out her iconic memorabilia courtesy of Dragon’s Lair Comics
Make it a movie day and watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in IMAX® 3D on the biggest screen in Texas! Tickets are still available and can be purchased online or at the Museum’s ticketing counter. Screenings on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 1:00 p.m., 4:05 p.m., 7:15 p.m., and 10:20 p.m.
Come dressed for the Rebellion! Please note: large props are not allowed into the theater and must be stored in a visitors service locker or vehicle prior to showtime.
We don’t have many opportunities to see snow here in Austin, Texas. But at the Scottish Rite Theater, in the month of December, it’s guaranteed to snow a little bit! This Saturday is your last opportunity to watch SNOW QUEEN 2: Riddle of Eternity at one of the oldest theaters in town.
Gabby ventures into the virtual world of a video game called “Snow Queen 2: Riddle of Eternity” determined to reclaim her best friend Kyle who has fallen under its gaming spell.
Austin composer/musician Laura Freeman returns with this all new musical for young audiences just in time for the holidays. This modern-day take on the classic Snow Queen fairy tale deals with themes of friendship, climate change, and gaming. And who knows? It might even snow again at Scottish Rite as it did last year!
If you’re looking for something fun and festive this holiday season, the Long Center is the place to go. If you’re hoping for a night out with the family or a magical date night to remember forever, there are several events happening between now and the end of the year to choose from.
Ballet Austin’s Nutcracker, running through December 23rd
Of Mice and Music – A Jazz Tap Nutcracker, running through December 18th
A Swingin Christmas, December 20-22
Shen Yun – All New Performance with Live Orchestra, December 26-28
There’s a show for all tastes and ages happening at the Long Center! For more information on tickets and times, click here.
Where: Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin When: Various dates through the holidays
WHAT TO BUY
Any Odd Squad fans in your house? Experience gifts make for great presents, and tickets to see Odd Squad LIVE! at the Long Center on January 15, 2017 will be a sure hit!
Based on the PBS series, Odd Squad LIVE! is asking for your help in solving some oddness in your town. Team up with brand new agents Orian and Oleanna in this live, interactive adventure. With help from Ms. O back at headquarters, kids will put their STEM skills to the test and decode, decipher and unravel clues to stop villains like Father Time and Lady Terrible. Featuring an original script by the creators of Odd Squad and new music including songs by Soundcheck, Odd Squad: Live! is a laugh-out-loud, action-packed experience not to be missed.
Odd Squad is an Emmy Award-winning series about a spy organization run by kids that investigates anything strange, weird and especially odd. Each episode follows kid agents as they track down villains, stop odd creatures and help people with odd conditions like The Jinx or The Sing-Alongs. Odd Squad is a little Men In Black for kids, mixed with Airplane and elements of Get Smart. Also embedded in each episode is a math lesson aimed at kids 4 to 8, leading to the expression: Odd is the problem, math is the solution.
The show is best for all ages. Tickets start at $15 with an extra option of buying VIP passes that will get you in to meet the cast after the show. Find more information here.
WHERE TO GIVE
The weather is cooling down in Austin and there are many children in need of a warm winter coat. Coats for Kids distributes over 30,000 coats to local children, and they could use your help. If you have coats that you or your kids have outgrown, you can still donate them through 7 pm TODAY. Drop off gently used coats, all sizes including adult-sized jackets, at any local Jack Brown Cleaners location. If you miss the deadline to donate, you can sign up to volunteer on distribution day this Saturday, December 10th, or you can make a monetary donation online.
Donate $30 to celebrate Coats for Kids 30th anniversary and you’ll be buying winter coats for two kids!
A family four pack of tickets to see Odd Squad LIVE! on January 15, 2017. Performances available at 2 and 5:30 pm.
WHAT TO DO
The Hill Country Science Mill invites you to be a part of creating a monumental holiday mosaic. Join us at the Science Mill to be a part of the coolest mosaic ever made. Use your imagination and creativity to design your original piece that will fit into the 10×10 ft mosaic artwork. They supply the materials, you supply the artistic touch. Fun for all ages! Be sure to keep an eye on their Facebook page each day to see the the image come together. And while you’re there, explore the unique museum exhibits, customized avatar experience, interactive maker stations and our new 3D movie: Titans of the Ice Age.
When: December 19-23 and December 26-30 Where: Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City Cost: Free with admission
WHAT TO BUY Give the gift of dance this holiday season! Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness is passionate about helping you to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle. Their high quality classes appeal to the diversity of our community with an offering of classes that are current and cutting edge for the beginner to the more advanced participant, and they strive to provide a meaningful, enjoyable, and memorable experience every time.
HERE’S THE DEAL Purchase a gift certificate* to Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness and give the gift that lasts. Receive 15% off any gift certificate* amount with promo code 12days.
*Gift certificates, once purchased, never expire, and may be redeemed at Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness. A wide variety of dance & fitness classes for adults. Offer expires 12/18/2016.
WHERE TO GIVE
The Texas Baptist Children’s Home, located in Round Rock, serves and strengthens children and families in the midst of crisis by offering grace, stability, and support. Children, and single mothers with their children, who come to TBCH are often orphans of circumstance – lost, hurting, and hopeless, without a place to turn for help during their time of greatest need. The residential and community-based programs provide a safe home and a stable family environment where they can learn, grow, and ultimately experience a happy, healthy future.
Looking to make gift donations for the families at Texas Baptist Children’s Home. You can find their wish list for items here.
WHAT TO DO Build a Gingerbread House at Foodie Kids…. a sweet, completely edible gingerbread house! Kids will embellish freshly made, fragrant Gingerbread Houses with candies, cereals, marshmallows and Royal Icing. Gingerbread Men, Hot Chocolate and Warm Cider will be served. Recipes included. A wonderful family event! Thanks to Foodie Kids for making it easier than ever. No mess, no cleanup. They do it all.
When: December 10, 17 , 21, 22 and 23, 10-11 am
WHAT TO BUY Give the gift of looking good this holiday season. That’s right…. buy your friends and family gift cards to Birds Barbershop for the latest dos. Whether getting all gussied up for Aunt Pearl’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Party or just needing a trim to usher in the new year, a gift card would make a great present for friends and family members of all ages. With eight Austin-area locations, it’s convenient no matter which part of town you live in.
Here’s the DEAL: Buy a $25 gift card for only $20. Buy a $50 gift card for only $40. Gift cards must be purchased in the store.
WHERE TO GIVE Ballet Austin’s purpose is to create, nurture and share the joy of dance through classically innovative arts. But there’s so much more to what they do. Their community and education programs serve over 50,000 people each year. The Nutcracker School Showsprogram is one of these initiatives and brings 13,000 Central Texas elementary students to The Nutcracker each year. Its mission is to provide all children, regardless of financial capacity, the opportunity to see a live dance performance at a minimal cost. Teachers are provided with resources such as The Nutcracker Footnotes, a production-specific performance guide with pre- and post-performance details, activities and discussion points.
WIN A family four-pack of hair cuts at Birds Barbershop, any location, valued at $176 and a spot in a Gingerbread Workshop at Foodie Kids, winner’s choice of date unless the class is full, valued at $45.
With his Monday night performances at The Saxon Pub being a staple on many people’s calendars, Bob Schneider is about as Austin as Austin can get. He’s been awarded Austin Musician of the Year six times, he’s produced 18 albums, but many don’t know that this Austin-based musician is also an artist, author and dad.
For the past seven years, Bob’s been working on a creating a family-friendly album with his son Luc, now eleven-years old, that would appeal to music lovers of all age. This labor of love CD, I Will Find You No Matter What: The Songs of Luc and Bob Schneider, is now available to stream on Amazon for Prime members or available as as download. Filled with catchy, whimsical tunes, this album is a must-have for any little Austinite.
We had a chance to ask Bob some questions about living life in Austin as part of our ongoing Top Parent Picks Austin series.
365 Things Austin Family: What is your favorite thing about Austin?
Bob Schneider: I love the people in Austin. There is something about Texas and especially Austin. They call it ‘the friendly state’ for a good reason, it is! I travel all over the country and once you get to know people they are pretty friendly anywhere you go, but I feel like the folks in Austin are friendly and welcoming to strangers in a way that is unique.
365 Things Austin Family: Who are some new local bands/artists that you recommend?
Bob Schneider: I don’t get a chance to get out and see as much music as I like, and I’m constantly surprised by how great the music is still here in Austin. My favorite songwriter is definitely Danny Malone. As good as it gets for my taste, but you also have Lex Land who is a great songwriter and one of, if not the best singer I’ve ever heard.
365 Things Austin Family: What art galleries do you recommend visiting in Austin?
Well, I’m partial to Flatbed Press & Gallery, because I’ve done quite a few shows with them. It’s in a beautiful building off of MLK east of IH-35. They’ve always got something interesting up on the walls, and they have an amazing archive of print work from some of the best artists working in the medium. It’s a great place to go visit. The folks who run it are nice and there’s always someone printing in their shop. I have a lot of my work up at Yard Dog Gallery on South Congress as well, but that’s always been a go to for me in terms of checking out interesting art when I have friends in town. It’s in a great little area to walk around in with great restaurants and people watching.
365 Things Austin Family: Austin is known for its independent film community. Which filmmakers should we be watching out for in the future?
Bob Schneider: Bob Byington has been making films in Austin for years and he’s quietly building a loyal smart following for his understated and often hilarious movies. Kind of like a slacker Woody Allen. His movies keep getting better and I think he’ll be someone to look out for here in the next few years. Also, Owen Egerton, who’s been writing screen plays for years is starting to direct his own films. He’s an incredibly smart funny writer and a really good director. You may have also heard his name, because he’s part of Master Pancake Theater which has been selling out shows at the Alamo Drafthouse for years now and something I can’t recommend highly enough.
365 Things Austin Family: What do you like to do on a day off?
Would you like to win your very own I Will Find You No Matter What: The Songs of Luc and Bob Schneider? We’re giving away an autographed CD to one lucky reader! Leave a comment below by 9 am CST on Monday, October 3, 2016 for your chance to win. The winner will be notified via email and given 24 hours to respond. Must be at least 18 years old to enter. The giveaway holds no cash value and cannot be transfered.
About the author: Catherine Prystup, founder of LiveMom.com, is mom to three kids ranging in age from 18 to 4 years old. She enjoys exploring the city and helping to spread the word about the vast amount of family-friendly events and businesses in the greater Austin area.
Outdoor enthusiasts are pretty lucky here in Austin. We’re graced with scenic trails and beautiful views right in our own backyard (see: Town Lake (Lady Bird) and the Barton Creek Greenbelt).
For those who have ran the trail and hiked The Greenbelt countless times, we’ve put together a list of our favorite hidden gems in Austin that may not be on your radar. All the trails are free and are within a 30 minute drive from downtown. Check ’em out!
Surrounded by greenery and tall trees, this trail will take you to a different world; a world that is shaded and cooler (great for the hot, summer months). After climbing many stairs, your heart rate will soar and you’ll reach high levels of elevation that you wouldn’t find anywhere else in Austin. The trail is extremely clear and is impossible to get lost on. Make sure you stop at the creeks and waterfall to cool off. If you’re looking for a challenging hike, this ones got your name all over it!
Pro tip: If you’re a moderately-experienced runner, run the trail. It’s worth it!
Distance: 5.5-6 miles (round trip; no loop) Dog friendly: Yes Terrain: Mostly dirt, stairs, some water crossings
This neck of the woods is a popular spot for both hikers and mountain bikers. Comprised of a huge, 15-mile mass of land, Walnut Creek is an explorer’s dream. There are tons of unmarked paths, so you may get a little lost; but that’s more fun, right? With multiple winding paths and few obstacles, undertaking part of the trail is perfect for beginners. The hike offers plenty of overlooks, so don’t forget to stop and smell the roses on the way up. And of course, cool down in the beautiful creek on the way down.
Pro tip: Wear good shoes. The rocks can be pesky!
Distance: 15 mile loop Terrain: dirt, loose gravel, small and large rocks, tree roots Dog friendly: Yes; dogs must be on a leash
Located near The Emma Metropolitan Park, you may be lucky enough to see some wildlife on the drive up! This trail is a very cool, secluded spot where you’ll find a creek that runs along the trail. Although primarily flat, you will find parts of the trail that have moderate elevation changes as well as water crossings. This is the place to be one with nature; but, don’t forget that bug spray!
Pro tip: No, really, lather yourself in bug spray. Horse flies are not your friend.
Distance: 2.8 mile loop Terrain: Loose rocks, dirt, tree roots Dog Friendly: Yes
Referred to as the “country within the city,” St. Edwards Park is a perfect balance between finding peace and chasing adventure. Surrounded by forest-like areas, there are lots of hidden trails, great elevation, phenomenal views, a waterfall, and a creek. This trail has everything you need for a peaceful getaway and truly is the best of both worlds.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a more challenging trail with elevation, take the hill trail. Keep your eyes peeled on the way down and you will find a rope swing and swimming hole for all your adventure needs!
Distance: 2-4 mile loop (depending on the trail – hill or creek) Terrain: mostly dirt, rocks, gravel, and some tree roots Dog Friendly: Yes; dogs must be on a leash
Located off of Loop 360, you can access the preserve easily, making it a great spot for families and visitors to Austin. It’s a short trail comprised of multiple paths and terrain (dirt, large rocks, loose gravel, tree roots). There are some hills with relatively high elevation, and multiple overlooks that show off a great view of Austin. With a perfect, easy-to-get-to location, be sure to check out this trail for a weekend adventure.
Pro tip: Trails are marked very clearly, but here’s a trail map to help out since there are multiple networks of trails.
Distance: 2.5 mile round trip Terrain: Dirt, loose gravel, rocks, tree roots Dog Friendly: No
The Texas Rollergirls bouts are one of the most raved about “things to do” in Austin, and for good reason. This Sunday will be the first match up of their 2014 season!
Saturday is your chance to come out and see what all the fun is about. This is a very family friendly event, and fans are encouraged to come early and take pictures with the girls. Don’t miss out on the excitement!
Here is a fun video they made to get you in the rollergirl spirit!
To win a pair of tickets to Saturday’s games: share, comment or like this post & tell us who you would take. Winner will be chosen using random.org on Thursday.