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.
A dinner cruise under the stars on Lady Bird Lake is a pretty romantic option for Valentine’s Day. Add the Downtown skyline as a backdrop and you have the ultimate dinner setting.
Capital Cruises is offering two options for those who want to take to water this Valentine’s Day.
Option 1) Valentine’s Public Cruise
This cruise includes a menu of Whole Wheat Linguine Pasta (Chicken or Shrimp) from the Hyatt Regency Austin and complimentary wine and dessert.
Cruise Times: 6:00-7:30pm or 8:30- 10:00pm
$133.26 per couple
Option 2) Private Cruise on a Duffy Boat
I’ve personally rented their Duffy Boats before, and absolutely loved them. Romantic is an understatement. They have such a cozy feel to them. If the weather proves chilly on your special day, they can enclose the boat and put a small heater on board to keep you toasty. You can choose to bring your own food and drinks or enjoy one of their private dinners.
I have to say that Top Golf has been one of my favorite new ‘things to do in Austin’ this year, and from what I’ve seen on Instagram, a lot of Austinites are loving it just as much as I am.
This weekend is the PGA Championship (The last major golf tournament of the year). To celebrate, Top Golf Austin is hosting a ‘Last Call Legends’ knockout-style tournament. You can check out all the details here: http://topgolf.com/austin/play/the-classics/
Bragging rights are up for grabs along with cool prizes and sweet swag for participating.
ProTip: since you’ll be there nice and early, try out the chicken and waffles, they’re the Wheaties of Top Golf. They’ll also have a Bloody Mary bar setup to help calm those pre-tournament jitters.
If you’d rather just compete against your family and friends, they’ll have regular tee rentals available as well. This place is seriously one of my favorites!
Admission: $28 single entry
$56 double entry
When: Sunday, August 11th
Time: 8:00 a.m.
2700 Esperanza Crossing
Austin, Texas 78758