October 2019 Kid and Family Activities in Austin
Oh, hello October! Is time moving super fast or am I just trying to keep up?! At a certain point I just had to stop and wrap up this blog post as October is one of those months in Austin when there are so many fun, family-friendly events happening. Get out there and enjoy the slightly cooler weather (predictions of 80-something degrees! I will gladly take it.) with your families. Hope Enriched Family's roundup of kid and family activities gives you lots of ideas to fill your family calendar.
First, don’t miss the highlighted event this month - Boofest on October 19th! Enriched Family will be tabling at the event. Please stop by and say hi! Overall, there are a ton of free fall festivals, community fairs, and cultural/artistic events this month such as the AFS Cultural Diversity Event, Austin Babywearing Community Fair, Dougherty Arts Center Community Engagement Day, Kids Ball, Spooktacular, South Austin Family Fall Festival, and the Texas Book Festival. And that’s only the free stuff! You can also catch the Austin Symphony’s Halloween Children’s Concert, Boo at the Zoo, or visit one of the many pumpkin patches in the area. A couple new features this month - I have included a quick roundup of some camps operating on the October 14th and/or 15th school holiday, as well some October parent supports events. Enjoy and please share the list with your friends!
*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.)
Highlighted Event: Boofest 2019!
Details: Join Enriched Family at family-friendly event, Boofest! For the past 4 years Jack's Mom in Austin has hosted an annual "Boofest" celebration to encourage safe community options for Trick or Treating, as well as an opportunity for the community to come together and get to know what Austin has to offer parents with young children. This year, the event is also hosted by Austin's Family Friendly event organizer, Shadoe Lee with Keep Austin Young and the inspiring new Austin blogger Christine Dawe, The Fussy Mama.
There will be live music by the Other Other Brothers, face painting, balloon animals, a food truck, a bounce house, as well as a costume contest for all ages.
Enriched Family and other great businesses and organizations will be tabling at the event. We cannot wait to see you ghouls & boys there! Stop by our table for some tricks or treats!
In need of a camp for the October 14th and/or 15th School Holiday? Enriched Family has you covered!
Music Camp? Armstrong Community Music School is offering music day camps on October 14th at its Westlake area location.
STEAM Camp with a special focus on art? Figment Creative camps are held in SW Austin on Brodie Lane. Morning, afternoon, and extended care are offered on October 14th.
Don’t need a full camp, but want to enroll your kids in a stimulating class? Launch Code is offering free coding course demos on October 14th. Programs such as Minecraft hacking, HTML website design, and more!
Details: Join Partners in Parenting (PIP) and The Riveter as they tackle the personal and practical side of working as a new mom or dad. Jessica Burleson, Executive Director of PIP, will moderate discussion with Jessica Gaffney (Women@Austin and Pro Mama) and Naya Weber, IBCLC (Its More Than Milk Lactation Services) on the realities of life as a working parent. Participants will leave having developed priorities for their new identity as working parents and will have a practical guide for establishing balance and rhythm post-baby.
5:30-6:00pm: Mocktail & Mingle
6-7pm: Discussion, Priority Setting, & Writing Your Practical Guide to Work Post-Baby
Food: Light appetizers will be provided.
Parking: Parking is available first come, first serve in the lot near the Riveter building.
Swag! All participants will receive a goody bag with resources and items to support the work/baby journey.
When: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 | 5:30–7pm
Where: The Riveter: Austin, 1145 West 5th Street, Austin, 78703
Cost: $10; tickets here.
Details: Come nurture your mind, body, and spirit in this six week series with Kim Borchert, Chelsea Greenwald, and Ashley Heisler of Lillian June Wellness.
When: October 10, 17, 24, 31 & November 7 and 14 | 10am
Where: 8500 N. Mopac Expy #813, Austin, 78759
Cost: 9 hours @ $75.00; tickets here.
Free Educational/Cultural/Fun Activities
Details: The AFS Austin community is a vibrant mix of returnees, host families, and volunteers who believe in the power of intercultural learning. AFS Austin is committed to the ideals of intercultural learning as a path to a just and peaceful world. Come and join in a celebration of diversity in our community. Featuring: exchange students from different parts of the world who will share stories about their countries. There will also be raffles, cultural auctions, food, drinks, and lots of other fun surprises. This is a free event for the entire family!
When: Saturday, October 26th, 2019 | 1–4pm
Where: Pangea Lounge, 1211 E 6th St., Austin, 78702
Details: Visit with many local organizations, play games, and participate in Door Prizes and the Silent Auction full of family prizes. Every adult who attends will receive one free ticket for the Door Prizes! Participate in the "Carrier Walk" every hour throughout the event (think cake walk but for a baby carrier!). Babywearing Educators will be available to help with any questions you may have and offer fit checks for your personal carrier. They will also have their lending library available for you to view. There are some amazing prizes for the giveaways and silent auction! This event is free and open to the public. See the Sponsor Page to view all the vendors and a list of the organizations who donated prizes and items for the Silent Auction.
When: Saturday, October 12, 2019 | 11am-4pm
Where: St. Richard's Episcopal Church’s Parish Hall, 1420 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock, 78664
Details: Try free art activities, enjoy music and food, join in fun and games, and let Dougherty Arts Center know what you think about the arts in Austin. For more information, call 512-974-4000 or email DACInfo@austintexas.gov.
When: Saturday, October 26, 2019 | 1-4pm
Where: 1110 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, 78704
Details: Celebrate Halloween with Creative Action and White Ghost Shivers at the eighth annual Kids Ball! The event will be filled with music, dancing, creative (and sustainable) arts workshops and some friendly family competition! Creative Action will provide a variety of interactive activities including creative reuse costume-making stations, a shadow puppet photo BOOth, three legged races, and a mummy obstacle course. All activities will be focused on sustainable creativity and will be made from recycled/reused materials in conjunction with Creative Action's focus on sustainable creativity.
When: Saturday, October 26, 2019 | 5–8:30pm. Event Schedule:
5-7pm: Activities, games, and dancing with a playlist brought to you by young people.
6-8:30pm: White Ghost Shivers takes the stage!
Where: Central Market, 4001 North Lamar, Austin, 78756
Details: Enjoy live music, food trucks, pumpkin-inspired crafts and more at the Thicket brought to you by Keep Austin Young and South Austin Moms. This bi-annual event is designed by parents for parents.
When: Saturday, October 12, 2019 | 10am-3pm
Where: Thicket, 7800 S 1st St., Austin, 78745
Details: Calling all aliens, Martians, and astronauts to land your rockets at the Bullock Museum’s annual FREE family-friendly Halloween celebration. Join the Bullock Museum in partnership with Girlstart for spacey hands-on STEM fun for the whole family. Plus, explore the Museum's exhibits after hours at this FREE event.
Be among the first 100 kids at Spooktacular and get a FREE spooky tote bag that's great for trick-or-treating!
Blast off to explore space with Girlstart. Light up your night and create LED Halloween bracelets, launch rockets across the plaza, create solar system headbands, make ooey gooey slime, program Ozobot robots, explore the Apollo moon-landing missions, get an up-close look at different Mars rovers with augmented reality, and have fun with bodacious Boo Bubbles!
Dance, sing, and get spooky with live music from Staci Gray.
Defeat the dark side in an interactive Jedi experience with costumed lightsaber performance club, Saber Guild.
Create reflective headgear sure to shine with Smudge Studios.
Say Cheese in your Halloween best at the photo booth.
Explore the museum exhibits, including Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration and Cowboys in Space and Fantastic Worlds.
When: Friday, October 25, 2019 | 5-8pm
Where: The Bullock Museum, 1800 Congress Ave., Austin, 78701
Details: The Texas Book Festival is FREE to the public. One of the largest and most prestigious literary festivals in the country, the annual Texas Book Festival features 300+ nationally and critically recognized adult and children’s authors, 100+ exhibitors, local food trucks, family activities, and countless opportunities to meet authors and fellow book lovers. They are a nonprofit organization. Book sales at the Festival support the two day event and their statewide school and library programs.
When: Saturday, October 26th | 10am-5pm & Sunday, October 27th | 11am-5pm. View the full schedule here.
Where: The Texas Book Festival is held in and around the grounds of the State Capitol Building in Austin.
Details: It’s creepy, crawly and so much fun it’s spooky! Your little ghost or goblin will help haunt the Long Center for the Performing Arts for the Austin Symphony’s annual Halloween Children’s Concert. This exciting concert features frightfully fun symphonic music that is stimulating for young eyes and ears (ages 2–10). The entire family is invited to dress up in their favorite costume and enjoy “boo-tiful” music with the Austin Symphony Orchestra! This season’s featured piece will be selections from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake with narration by Austin storyteller, Bernadette Nason. Other fun pieces will be performed that will keep you and your entire family entertained. This concert is a wonderful chance for you to introduce your children to the wonders of live orchestral music. The hall will be decorated top to bottom to enhance your little one’s concert experience. Concert is at 3:00pm and will last approximately one hour.
When: Sunday, October 27, 2019 | 3pm
Where: Dell Hall at The Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Dr., Austin, 78704
Cost: Tickets are $10 for children/$15 for adults. Tickets available here.
Details: Boo at the Zoo is a fun-filled evening for ghosts and goblins of any age. Come dressed in your Halloween finest (no adult masks, please) and enjoy a Zoo-wide event including the Zoo bedecked in Halloween spookiness, nocturnal animals, an eerie train ride, and unlimited passes through the mansion.
When: Weekends, October 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, and 26, 2019 | 6:30-9pm
Where: Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary, 10808 Rawhide Trail, Austin, 78736
Cost: Adult and child tickets are $17.50 each (children under two are free). Call 512-288-1490 to book your tickets. Tickets to certain special items within Boo at the Zoo have limited seating. Check the website for train times and children’s show times. Children’s show is not included in ticket price, $3 additional.
Details: Family-run Sweet Berry Farm is lovely and offers a wide range of activities for families. The girls and I like to make a visit each fall and always have a wonderful time -- the girls have made colored sand necklaces, jumped on a bounce pad, explored the seasonal kid corn maze, taken pictures in the pumpkin patch, checked out the amazing goat "house," and sampled pumpkin ice cream. From September 21st-November 10th, the farm will be featuring the “Harvest of Fall Fun.” Enjoy hayrides, corn mazes for all ages, pumpkin painting, scarecrow stuffing, face painting, horse rides (weekends only), flower picking, sand art, a barrel train, and a berry bounce!
When: Open weekly, M, Tu, Th, Fr, and Sat from 8:30am-5:30pm; Sundays 11am-5pm; closed Wednesdays.
Cost: No entry or parking fee. Just pay for your pumpkins or any activities that you want to do. Prices for activities listed here.
Where: Sweet Berry Farm, 1801 FM 1980, Marble Falls, 78654
**Can’t visit enough pumpkin patches? Check out Do512’s list of pumpkin patches around Austin.
Details: Looking for a cool co-working space with childcare? A fun place to meet up for playdates with your kids? Or maybe get your happy hour on? All this and more is available at The Hive. Feel free to come sans kiddos OR reserve a spot in the supervised childcare area for only $10/hr. Productivity here we come! There is a beautiful cafe area and lounge where any and all are welcome to visit or work at no charge. The Hive hosts a wide variety of events monthly. October events include Saturday Morning Kids Live Music Series (Saturdays at 9am, music starts at 10am); Third Saturdays at The Hive: The Other Other Brothers (Saturday, October 19th | 10am); and Live at The Hive Saturday Night Music Series (Saturdays, 5pm; music starts at 6pm). Check the Hive events page on Facebook for details, including cost (if applicable), and more events.
Also, don’t miss The Hive’s 2nd Anniversary ParTAY! (Saturday, October 26th | 4-8pm)
It will be a party to rock all parties! Face painting, balloon animals, bounce house, live music, drink specials, and more!
When: Various events in October.
Where: The Hive Austin, 10415 Old Manchaca Road, Austin, 78748
Details: MasterChef Junior Live! is coming to Austin. This all-new production brings the culinary hit TV show MasterChef Junior directly to you LIVE! Featuring head-to-head cooking competitions with past MasterChef Junior all-stars and fan favorites, Q&A sessions, and an overall immersive audience experience fun for all ages. Bring the whole family to see MasterChef Junior Live!—it’s a guaranteed recipe for a good time! All ages.
When: Saturday, October 12, 2019 | 7pm
Where: The Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Dr., Austin, 78704
Cost: Tickets start at $29.50; available here.
Details: Music Classes with Miss Ariel (October 9, 16, 23, 30); Free Baby Play Date (October 8, 15, 22, 29); Free Chinese Class (October 11, 18, 25); Canciones Spanish Concert (October 19); Date Night Child Care (October 5, 12, 19, 26); Reptile Show (October 12); Curious George Visit! (Oct 5); Come Make a Halloween Ghost! (October 10); Come Make a Halloween Popcorn Shaker! (October 22); Austin City Ballet Class (October 17); FOAM Party! (October 24); Fairy Party! (October 26); Bubblefest with Milly McSilly! (October 29); Halloween Party! (October 31); and more! Toybrary Austin is a toy lending library and kids' birthday party venue that also offers drop-in childcare in Austin.
Where: Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane, Austin, 78757
Cost: Varies. See website for details.
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, Mueller, 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, Mueller, and Slaughter Lane.
Where: Lakeline, Mueller, and Slaughter Lane Alamo Theaters; check out some Alamo for All movie picks for kids here.
Details: Austin Parks Foundation's (APF) Movies in the Park is a free series of films presented in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Rolling Roadshow. For over 10 years, APF has brought movies to neighborhood parks across Austin ensuring Austinites of all backgrounds have access to free outdoor entertainment. APF will be visiting nine different parks this year, so head out to grab some food from the food trucks and enjoy a night under the stars and in front of the screen. Movies start at dusk and will be showing monthly through October 2019.
When and where:
Friday, October 17, 2019 | 6:45pm - Film: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (PG-13) | 157 minutes. Duncan Neighborhood Park,
900 W 9th St., Austin, 78703.
Trivia begins at 6:45pm, movie starts at 7:30pm
Details: Mobile Loaves & Fishes is thrilled to partner with Austin’s iconic Alamo Drafthouse to present the most exciting movie experience in town. The Community Cinema presents free weekly screenings throughout the year – and you’re always invited! They regularly host guided tours of the Village so come have a blast and learn about the Community First! Village too. The Community Grille (staffed by Community First! neighbors earning a dignified income) serves up hot food, concessions, snacks, and drinks. The Community Cinema & Amphitheater is a place where film, family, and fun come together at Austin’s coolest outdoor venue. Nestled into the Community First! Village countryside, the outdoor cinema and amphitheater has room for hundreds to catch a show under the stars. Grab chairs and a blanket, bring family and friends, and enjoy these special screenings.
When: October films:
Friday, October 11, 2019 | 6:30-9:30pm - Film: Toy Story 4 (G) | 1h 40min
Friday, October 18, 2019 | 6:30-9:30pm - Film: The Monster Squad (PG-13) | 1h 19min
Friday, October 25, 2019 | 6:30-9:30pm - Film: Hocus Pocus (PG) | 1h 36min
Where: Community First! Village, 9301 Hog Eye Rd., Austin, 78724
Admission: Free, however a $5 donation would be highly appreciated.
Museum Exhibits and Special Programs
Details: Visit scenes of traditional life and nature in India by artist, psychologist, yoga teacher, and author: Shruti Mehta. Using oils, watercolor, and mixed media, the artist captures visions of life’s simple pleasures while growing up in a multi-generational household.
When: Exhibit on display October 4 through December 14, 2019. During Center hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday: 9am to 5pm
Wednesday and Thursday: 9am to 9pm
Where: Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd., Austin, 78754
Details: Curated by the GRAMMY Museum®, Motown: The Sound of Young America is the first major museum exhibition to embrace all facets—music, culture, and politics—of the 1960s biggest sounds in soul. Visit the exhibition at the LBJ Library to explore the evolution of the label, view personal artifacts from some of its biggest artists, and do your take on some of Motown's biggest hits.
When: Exhibit on display through January 26, 2020. Open daily from from 9am-5pm.
Where: LBJ Presidential Library, 2313 Red River St., Austin, 78705
Admission: Adults - $10; seniors (62 and over) with valid ID - $7; former military with valid ID - $5; college students with valid ID - $3; Youth 13-18 - $3; children 12 and under - free.
Details: MAKE and DO together at Community Night! Every Wednesday, Thinkery stays open late for families to discover new ideas and learn together. Enjoy the exhibits and educational programs facilitated by staff.
When: Wednesdays in October | 4–8 pm
Wednesday, October 23rd Community Night Spotlight: Native American Heritage
During Community Night Spotlight evenings, Thinkery shines a light on a unique aspect of the rich diversity that makes Austin such an amazing place to live, play, and learn with educational activities facilitated by staff and special community presenters. On October 23rd, join in for a playful evening in celebration of the histories, cultures, and the artistic and scientific contributions of individuals and families of Native American heritage.
Where: 1830 Simond Ave., Austin, 78723
Cost: Admission to Thinkery is FREE on Community Nights, but donations are welcome! There is no pre-registration for admission. In order to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for all guests, Thinkery has a set number of visitors that can be allowed into the museum at any one time. Guests will be admitted on a first-come, first served basis.
*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 Jungalbook, adapted by Edward Mast, based on the Mowgli stories of Rudyard Kipling. Adventure awaits in a jungle where danger lurks in every tree and only the brave dare enter! This energetic and creative reimagining of the timeless tale ignites imagination and propels the audience through a world ruled by the wild. When her parents are killed by Sherakhan, the young Humancub is raised by wolves, under the protection of her friends Bagheera and Baloo. In this tale of loyalty and betrayal, they must find the courage to face this challenge and choose their fate under the consequences of jungle law. Age recommendation: 5 and up. Run time: 60 minutes with no intermission.
When: Through November 10, 2019 at various times (mostly matinees).
Where: Zach Theatre, 202 South Lamar Blvd., Austin, 78704
Tickets: Start at $19, available here.
Details: Back by popular demand! Two sisters try to reunite on the Day of the Dead. Along the way Rosita keeps getting lost, but she miraculously finds her way to Conchita through familiar sounds, sights and smells. Kids of all ages will love the rhyming bilingual dialogue and touching images. Based on the award-winning children’s book Rosita y Conchita by Erich Haeger and Eric González.
When: October 12 – November 2, 2019 at various times (mostly matinees).
Where: Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W 18th St., Austin, 78701
Tickets: General (ages 12+) $15; Children (2+; ages 2 and under are free) $10; 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, coaching, 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 family systems, including meal planning, household schedules and division of labor, daily routine and chore lists for kids), and small business consulting (goal planning, productivity & time management coaching).
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