August Kids and Family Activities in Austin
Summer is flying by! It is hard to believe that the kids will be back in school within a few weeks (this is a welcome idea to some of us work-from-home parents)! To help you get the most out of the remaining weeks of summer, check out Enriched Family's August roundup of kid and family activities happening in the Austin area. As always, this list is not exhaustive, but includes a sampling of events and activities that caught my eye that I wanted to highlight. Additional good sources for activity lists are included at the end of the post.
(Please note, the following is provided for informational purposes only; the information is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes, and no guarantees are made.)
Featured Event: Join Enriched Family at the Big Latch On - North Austin!
Details: The Global Big Latch On takes place each year at registered locations around the world, where people gather together to offer peer support and latch their child on at the same time (thus The Big Latch On!). Mark your calendars to join us in North Austin on August 4, 2018 for a family-friendly event celebrating and supporting breastfeeding.
The Big Latch On - North Austin 2018 is hosted by Babywearing International of Greater Austin, with support from BareMama LLC. Doors open at 9:45am to give you plenty of time to get registered, meet some of the great local organizations, and get ready and comfortable to “latch on” by 10:30am. Then stay and enjoy snacks, the company of friends, and chat with local organizations and companies. There will be a play area for the toddlers and activities for everyone! Please stop by the Enriched Family table and say hi!
When: Saturday, August 4th at 9:45am. The count will begin promptly at 10:30am, so plan to arrive a little early to get registered and comfy before then.
Where: Anderson Mill Limited District Community Center, 11500 El Salido Pkwy, Austin, TX 78750
Cost: Free for participants!
Free Summer Camps Provided by Austin Parks & Recreation
Details: Yes, you read that right! Austin Parks & Recreation's Summer Playgrounds Program is a "free drop-in program for children to participate in fun, supervised, outdoor activities during the summer months. Summer Playgrounds staff provide quality recreational experiences that promote healthy living, character building, and teamwork through collaborative and active play." You still have this week to take advantage of this offering! Camp sites are open until August 3rd: M-F from 9am-5pm for kids ages 6-12 and M-F from 9am-1pm for kids ages 4-5. Activities include:
- Organized sports
- Arts and crafts
- Games and outdoor activities
- Teamwork and character building
- Fitness and nutrition lessons
Dates: Monday, June 11 - Friday, August 3, 2018
Where: Various park sites across Austin. See complete list here.
Registration: Registration is required on your child's first day of attendance. Summer Playgrounds program is now set up to take online registrations via the Parks web page. Please type either 922842 or 923842 under Activity Number Search and you will then be directed to the various playground sites. Please be advised: As a safety precaution, participants are required to wear closed-toed shoes every day before they are signed into the program and recommended to bring a reusable cup or water bottle.
Contact: Call (512) 974-3922 or email here.
Camp Open Houses & Tours
Details: Still need some summer camp options for the dog days of summer? Check out Camp Doublecreek, which features horseback riding, all kinds of sports, miniature golf, swimming, baby animals, arts and crafts, archery, tennis, tumbling, a playscape, and many other games and activities for children ages 4-14.
When: Open houses are held Saturdays in August - August 4th and 11th, from 10am-12pm.
Where: Camp Doublecreek campus in Round Rock, 800 Double Creek Dr, Round Rock (camp provides transportation for campers to Round Rock from 13 locations in Austin)
*Received the Austin Family Magazine 2017 Readers' Poll Favorites Award for “Overall Fun” in camps category
Free Educational/Cultural/Fun Activities
Details: Now in its sixth year, All Summer Long is a series of free community events happening through September on the H-E-B Terrace at the Long Center. Featuring trendy trailer food, local music, classic movies on an outdoor screen, dance lessons, and more—there’s no cooler place to spend your summer than Austin’s Front Row! All ages. August events:
- Trailer Food Tuesdays, Aug 7 @ 7pm. Music lineup: Bidi Bidi Banda + Superfónicos.
- Rhythm On Stage, Aug 9, doors open @ 7pm. Bollywood Dance Night – RSVP here.
Where: Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704
Details: The Austin Duck Derby is a rubber duck race benefiting the Austin Boys and Girls Club Foundation. Join in the family friendly festival on the lawn just south of the Congress Avenue Bridge to celebrate and watch the event live. In 2017, more than 17,000 ducks “raced” on Lady Bird Lake and the fastest ducks won fantastic prizes for their ducks' adoptive parents. This year, the 5th annual event, there will be 20,000 ducks available for adoption -- they sold out last year so be sure to buy yours quack-ly to not miss out!
When: Saturday, August 4, 2018. Festival: 10:00am - 12:00pm. Duck Race: 11:00am.
Where: Ann Richards Bridge | Lady Bird Lake
Cost: Free! However, if you want to "adopt a duck," they are available for purchase starting at $5 for a single duck.
Details: Kick off the school year with Girlstart’s Back to School STEM Saturday! Join Girlstart for free and exciting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) hands-on activities for the whole family at the Girlstart STEM Center in Austin, Texas. Reminder: Chaperones are required. Adults must stay with their children throughout the event. Hands-on STEM activities include:
- Air Cannons
- Ooey Gooey Slime
- LED Bracelets
- Foam Rockets
- Ring Wing Gliders
- Bee Hummers
- Laser Blasters
- Virtual Reality Experiences
- Mini-Planetarium Star Shows
- And more!
When: Saturday, August 25th, 2018, anytime between 9:30am-12:00pm
Where: The Girlstart STEM Center, 1400 W. Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78757
Cost: Free and everyone welcome. RSVP today!
Details: Westbank Libraries is partnering with Austin Senior Resource Alliance to present a year-long series of candid conversations with local experts focusing on the specific concerns faced by senior adults and their families. Join in on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10:30am at Laura’s Library to be part of the conversation. The Tuesday, July 24th talk will focus on "The Truth About Liquidating the Extra “Stuff.”
When: Tuesday, August 28th, 2018, 10:30am-12:00pm (and the fourth Tuesday of each month, from 10:30am-12pm)
Where: Laura Bush Community Library, 9411 Bee Caves Rd, Austin, TX 78733
Details: “We Moved To Austin, Now What?!” will be a 2-hour morning mixer and will offer transplants to Austin insight from a 4th generation native, Cara Keenan, on what makes Austin tick. Stop in and enjoy the chance to learn from and chat with longer-term locals and a life-long local who has helped newcomers integrate themselves, their careers, and their families in Austin. Guests will enjoy 2 hours of free childcare (limited spots available), complimentary mimosas, coffee and snacks against the backdrop of The Hive's relaxing, farm-like atmosphere. RSVP here. If you would liked to register your child(ren) for care, go to this link and use the coupon code TRANSPLANT to take advantage of Cara Keenan's generous offer to cover the cost of childcare for 2 hours. *There are a limited amount of spots for childcare so please only register your child if you know that you will need it, and let us know if your plans change and we should open the spot for another child.
When: Saturday, August 4, 2018, 10am-12pm
Where: The Hive Austin, 10415 Old Manchaca Road , Austin, TX 78748
Details: Celebrate 60 Years of the Zilker Summer Musical! This summer, Zilker Theatre Productions (ZTP) journeys back to the 1950’s — the era of the first Zilker Summer Musical — with the Elvis-inspired All Shook Up! All Shook Up, set in 1950’s Middle America, is a new twist on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The ZTP Team can’t wait to share this toe-tapping, hip-shaking musical comedy – featuring 24 Elvis hits – as well as lots of laughs, love songs, and leather jackets.
When: Thursday - Sunday, July 6 - August 18, 2018 at 8:15pm
Where: Zilker Hillside Theater, 2206 William Barton Drive, Austin, TX 78746
Details: Play * Shop * Learn * Adopt * at the 8th Annual Austin Pet Expo. Feel free to bring your pet to this all indoors event! (Please note that all pets must be on a fixed lead or in a carrier with proof of age-appropriate vaccinations, please). What can you expect at the Austin Pet Expo?
Tons of exhibitors
Fabulous prize giveaways & fun for both the two-legged and four-legged
Adopt! Dozens of rescue groups and a petfinder.com mega-adoption event
Discounted vaccinations, microchipping and heartworm & flea preventatives
Free nail trims
- Pet activities
- Live entertainment, obedience demonstrations, author readings/book signings
- The latest & greatest pet products
- Learn about pet care, volunteerism, grooming, pet behavior & training, traveling with your pet, how YOU can make a difference, different types of pets/breeds, veterinarian FAQ, fun activities for you & your pet
- And more!
When: Saturday, August 4th, 2018 (10am to 5pm) & Sunday, August 5, 2018 (11am to 4pm)
Where: Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker Ln, Austin, TX 78724
Cost: Advanced tickets available online for a discount: $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 5-17 (children under 5 are free). Individual tickets, as well as two day passes, are available for purchase here.
Details: Celebrate back to school and cool off at The Hive Austin with some amazing slides and water toys, a food truck, snow cones, movie night, and live music!!! Professional Photo Shoot will be available! There will be a fun luau / back to school backdrop and a professional photographer ready to capture the excitement of your little ones, full with props and other fun stuff! $8 includes a photo shoot (unlimited kiddos) and 3 digital images emailed ~10 business days after the event.
When: Saturday, August 25th, 2018, 4-9pm
Where: The Hive Austin, 10415 Old Manchaca Road , Austin, TX 78748
Cost: $10 ticket, available here, includes entry for a family of 4 and 2 drink tickets. Each additional child is $2.
Details: What will you see at Bat Fest this year? 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerging from under the bridge at dusk, 2 stages with live music, more than 50 arts & crafts vendors, delicious food and drinks, fun children’s activities, a bat costume contest and other bat activities. Check out the event website for schedule, event details, and parking info.
When: Saturday, August 18th, 2018, 4pm-midnight (*Because bats are wild animals, it is hard to predict exactly when the emergence will begin, but the flight usually begins between 7:00–8:45pm)
Where: Congress Ave Bridge, 100 South Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704
Cost: Admission is $15 early bird while they last, $20 cash at the gate. Kids 8 and under free with an adult.
Details: Coding classes, henna art, stage summer camp, dance & music classes, free baby play dates, and more! Toybrary Austin is a toy lending library and kids' birthday party venue that also offers drop-in childcare in Austin, TX.
Where: Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane, Austin, TX 78757
Cost: Varies. See website for details.
Details: The award-winning, annual Woodland Faerie Trail features Faerie Homes and Gardens created by Austin area gardeners, architects, artisans, businesses, clubs, families, school groups, and others. Explore the abodes of the faeries and gnomes along the Woodland Faerie Trail through the escarpment pathway and see who is home. All Faerie Programs at Zilker Botanical Garden are available through online registration only. Register here.
When: 2018 Woodland Faerie Trail Exhibit opens May 26th, 2018 and closes August 10th, 2018
Where: Zilker Botanical Garden: Escarpment Woodland Trail, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78746
Cost: Free with Garden entry (Garden entry is $3.00 per person; Austin residents are $2.00 per adult, $1.00 per child [ages 3-12] and seniors [ages 62 and older]) and open during regular hours (9:00 am to 6:00 pm; last entry at 5:30 pm).
Details: Welcome to Alamo for All - a movie program for young families and guests with special needs. All shows starting before 2pm on Tuesdays follow Alamo for All rules, with more shows on the weekends at Lakeline and Slaughter Lane. Schedule may vary during holidays. At sensory-friendly Alamo for All shows:
- Lights are turned up and sound is turned down
- All ages are welcome (including infants)
- Talking and noise is allowed and guests can move around
- Latecomers are admitted
- Adaptive technology is welcome (but no other electronics, please)
When: All shows starting before 2pm on Tuesdays at various theaters, with more shows on the weekends at Lakeline and Slaughter Lane.
Where: Various Alamo Theaters, check out some top movie picks for kids here.
Details: The Long Center with Do512 and Alamo Drafthouse present Sound & Cinema, a part of All Summer Long at the Long Center. Grab your friends and family and come experience the cool vibes on the Long Center’s front lawn—live and local music combined with classic movies and cult films projected onto the Drafthouse’s giant, inflatable outdoor screen. August events:
Wednesday, Aug 1, “Mean Girls” Ft. Go Fever
- Wednesday, Aug 15, “O Brother Where Art Thou” Ft. Rattlesnake Milk
When: For each event, food trucks will open at 6pm, music begins at 7:30pm, followed by the film screening after sunset.
Where: Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704
Details: This intimate festival celebrates the beautiful storytelling and unique, and yet still universal, perspective of talented African American filmmakers. Capital City Black Film Festival (CCBFF) is a Texas film festival based in Austin, the Capital of Texas. The festival’s goal is to bring together talented African Americans involved in media and the film industry. The festival’s main goal is to provide burgeoning Black filmmakers from across the nation an opportunity to showcase their work in Austin – one of the top cities in the United States for independent filmmakers. CCBFF also educates filmmakers on the vast resources available to them in Austin. The festival will screen feature films, documentary/feature films, short films, documentary/short films and music videos. As one of the fastest growing festivals in the southwestern region of the country, CCBFF is thrilled to present a slate of more than 50 films on five screens this year. The film ratings will range from G through the maximum of R. List of 2018 films here.
When: The 6th Annual Capital City Black Film Festival is set for August 30 – September 2, 2018. Various times - see list of 2018 films here.
Where: Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas 78701
Admission: Varies. A Festival Pass is available for purchase by attendees and will give you access to all festival events (passes start at $50). A Session Pass is available for purchase by attendees for access to specific events, screening sessions or panel discussions.
Details: Paramount is excited to host this series for families that will spark the imagination and inspire a new generation of classic movie lovers! The Family Film Festival will consist of nine weekend matinee screenings beginning on June 3rd that will further the Paramount's mission to support film education and bring treasured film history to audiences of all ages. August showings include:
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (Sunday, Aug 5 at 1pm)
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Sunday, Aug 19 at 1pm)
When: The nine weekend matinee screenings run June 3 - August 19
Where: The Paramount Theater, 713 Congresss Avenue, Austin, TX 78701 (parking information here)
Admission: Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for kids aged 12 and under, available here.
Details: Austin has changed a lot over the past decade, but one tradition you can always count on is the Paramount Summer Classic Film Series, now in its 43rd year. They are presenting more than 110 films this summer, so look forward to more well-preserved film prints and dazzling digital restorations, romance and laughs and thrills and more. Escape the unbearable heat (another Austin tradition that isn’t going anywhere) and join in for a three-month-long celebration of the movies! Check out the list of films and showings here.
When: The film series runs May 24th-September 1
Where: Paramount and Stateside Theaters, 713 Congresss Avenue, Austin, TX 78701 (parking information here).
Admission: Tickets are $12 (for information on tickets and special pricing packages click here)
Museum Exhibits and Programs
Details: The Asian American Resource Center is proud to host works from artists Dan Pham (The Banana’s Identity Cookbook), Lauren Chai (A Place in this World), and Matthew Koshmrl (Dokdo, Lone Island). In their vibrant paintings, artists Lauren Chai and Dan Pham explore the duality of identity as Asian Americans. Incorporating motifs derived from their lives, Pham’s the Banana’s Identity Cookbook and Chai’s a Place in this World expresses the desires of finding balance between two worlds. These exhibits are part of the Asian American Resource Center’s Community Art Exhibition Program.
Dokdo, Lone Island, Matthew Koshmrl: The goal of Dokdo-Austin is to bring the island of Dokdo to Austin, Texas. The dispute of Dokdo is ongoing and still very present in modern Korean popular culture. Every year thousands of Koreans make the eight-hour journey by boat for a mere 15 minute visit to the symbolic island, before getting back on the return ferry to the mainland. Dokdo can be found in children's textbooks, in in the lyrics of Kpop songs, and often used as a political tool by politicians. The irony of the small island is that it is less than 50 acres, has no inhabitants, no exploitable resources, and no tangible importance. More than anything else, the significance of Dokdo is purely symbolic, a vestige of the dark period in Japanese/Korean history. And yet, each year thousands of Koreans go through great lengths to visit and pay homage to the island. Now, we are bringing the island to Austin, Texas.
Museum/Location: Asian American Resource Center, Ballroom, 8401 Cameron Road, Austin
When: The exhibit will be on display July 13 to September 23, 2018 (open M, Tu, F, Sat, 9am-5pm; W and Th, 9am-9pm)
Admission: Free and open to the public.
Details: Below is a sampling of the permanent exhibits currently on view at the museum:
- Juneteenth Gallery - A celebration of freedom, the Carver's core exhibit is dedicated to the history and evolution of Juneteenth. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is a holiday that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19th, 1865, and more generally the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South. Through a combination of visual and interactive activities, every day is Juneteenth at the Carver Museum!
- Children's Gallery - The Children’s Gallery, entitled Let’s Pretend Dr. Carver!, is a hands-on look at famous African-American scientists and inventors. Children can learn about some of history’s most creative minds while seeing that they, too, can achieve great things when they put their own minds to work. All visitors are invited to become an inventor for a day!
- Families Gallery - This permanent exhibit on Austin African-American families highlights 10 families who have contributed greatly to the Central Texas landscape. From the area’s first black settlements to some of this generation’s strongest community leaders, this interactive gallery explores the history of Austin’s African-American community and allows guests to present their own family stories for all to see.
When: Permanent exhibits are open to the public during regular museum hours (M, T, W, & F - 10am to 6pm; Thursdays - 10am to 9pm; Saturdays 10am to 4pm; Closed Sundays)
Where: George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center, 1165 Angelina St., Austin, TX 78702
Cost: Free and open to the public.
*If you and your family enjoy exploring Austin's many fantastic museums, check out Do512 Family's list of free times to visit Austin museums.
Theatre and other Performances
Details: Zach Theatre presents Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Synopsis: Be Our Guest! This “tale as old as time” follows Belle, a book-smart and adventurous young woman and Beast, a formerly dashing young prince cursed by an enchantress. If the Beast cannot learn to love and be loved in return, he and his household including Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and Chip will be trapped forever under the spell. The Broadway smash hit showcases a merry, award-winning score with such favorites as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Gaston,” and “Be Our Guest.” This delightful family musical enchants and transforms hearts of all generations. Age recommendation: Six and up. Run time: Two hours and 40 minutes including one intermission.
When: July 11 - September 2 at various times (matinees and evenings).
Where: Zach Theatre, 202 South Lamar Blvd
Tickets: Start at $30, available here.
Details: Zach Theatre's Theatre for Families presents the Improv Showcase, part of their Performing Arts School Summer Productions, and performed by students in ZACH’s Programs. Come see a brand new show every night. Students create characters, stories and plots all based on some suggestions from the audience!
When: Friday, August 3rd at 7pm & Saturday, August 4th at 2 and 7pm
Where: Zach Theatre, 202 South Lamar Blvd, Austin
Tickets: $11, available here.
Details: According to the Long Center website: "The Summer Stock Austin program is unique for a number of reasons. First of all, there is no tuition fee for our college and high school participants who are selected solely on the basis of their demonstrated talent, promise, and character. Second, as part of a 'stock' company, each of our participants performs, designs, builds, and assists with every aspect of a theatrical production. Finally, our participants have the opportunity to work side by side with University faculty as well as theatre professionals from Austin and around the country. Our high school students get a taste of theatre at the college level, and our college students gain entry into the world of professional theatre. To our knowledge, this is the only program of its kind in the United States." 2018 Summer Stock Season (for all ages):
- The Music Man, July 20-August 11 (matinees and evenings)
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: A Musical Comedy, August 1-August 11 (matinees and evenings)
- Rob1n, July 24 - August 11 (matinees and evenings)
Where: Long Center - Rollins Studio Theater, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704
Tickets: Start at $33 (except for Rob1n, which starts at $18) and are available for purchase at the individual show links above.
Details: Zach Theatre's Theatre for Families presents Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona, part of their Performing Arts School Summer Productions, and performed by students in ZACH’s Programs. Synopsis: Young Proteus only has eyes for his hometown sweetheart, Julia. But on a trip to Milan, he gets one look at the lovely Silvia . . . and dumps Julia in a heartbeat. Two problems: Silvia is his best friend’s girl, and Julia won’t be dumped that easily. Stir in some bandits, an outraged father and a bad-mannered dog, and it’s friend versus friend in a wild tale of romantic rivals.
When: Friday, August 10th at 7pm & Saturday, August 11th at 2pm and 7pm
Where: Zach Theatre, 202 South Lamar Blvd
Tickets: $11, available here.
Also, check out these sites for lists of community activities for kids and families in the Austin area:
Happy exploring Austin's many offerings with your families! Please feel free to send us local kid and family events to: hello[at]enrichedfamily.com.
Enriched Family is a unique, custom research and consulting business dedicated to providing families with the information, tools, and systems they need to live more organized and joyful lives. Services include: Custom family-focused research (child care, education, health and wellness resources, camps, and enrichment activities), family organization solutions (stuff and systems), and productivity consulting for busy professional parents (planning and prioritizing, productivity coaching, and time management coaching). I offer a free, 20-minute initial phone consultation to all new clients to discuss matching your needs and priorities with my services. I invite you to check out my services and click the "Let's Get Started!" button below to contact me with any questions.