July Activities for Kids and Families in Austin
Summer is on! Check out Enriched Family's July 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.)
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." Camp sites are open 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 (*no camp on Wednesday, July 4, 2018)
Where: Various park sites across Austin. See complete list here.
Registration: Registration is required onsite 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 recommend bring a reusable cup or water bottle.
Contact: Call (512) 974-3922 or email here.
Camp Open Houses & Tours
Open House: Camp Doublecreek Open House
Details: Check out Camp Doublecreek for your summer camp needs. Camp Doublecreek features horseback riding, all kinds of sports, miniature golf, baby animals, arts and crafts, archery, tennis, tumbling, a playscape, and many other games and activities for children ages 4-14.
When: Saturdays in July - July 7, 14, 21, and 28, 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
Details: See Girlstart in action and join them for a tour of Girlstart Summer Camp in your community. Learn about their summer programs, hands on activities, and see how you can get involved in helping inspire girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Join Girlstart for an exclusive, behind the scenes tour of Girlstart Summer Camp. RSVP here. Camps are for incoming 4th - 8th grade girls. Austin summer camp tour dates in July:
Wednesday, July 11th, 9:30-10:45am
Friday, July 13th, 2:30-3:00pm
Where: The Girlstart STEM Center, 1400 W. Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78757
Free Educational/Cultural/Fun Activities
Event: All Summer Long July Events
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. July events:
Where: Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704
Event: H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks
Details: Spend this Independence Day with 100,000 of your closest friends! Central Texans will hurry to claim their grassy spot with the Austin Symphony Orchestra (ASO) this July 4th for the largest Independence Day Celebration in the state. Tens of thousands of families will be decked out in red, white, and blue and heading down to Vic Mathias Shores (formerly Auditorium Shores) this July 4th for an amazing event complete with a fireworks display over the city skyline backed by symphonic patriotic classics. The H-E-B Austin Symphony 41st Annual July 4th Concert and Fireworks is planned, produced, and performed entirely by the Austin Symphony, with the help of its generous sponsors.
When: Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The ASO will perform at 8:30 p.m., followed by “mile-high” fireworks at approximately 9:30 p.m.
Where: Vic Mathias Shores (formerly Auditorium Shores), 900 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704
Cost: The event is free and open to the public.
*If you are looking for additional locations to view July 4th fireworks, check out Do512 Family's list.
Event: Senior Living Truth Series
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 55+ Senior Living Options."
When: Tuesday, July 24th, 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: 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: This July, LIGA MX soccer returns to Dell Diamond for the fourth year when the Tigres take on Pachuca! Buy your tickets today for this friendly international match.
When: Sunday, July 8, 2018, at 5:00pm
Where: Dell Diamond, Highway 79 at 3400 East Palm Valley, Round Rock, TX 78665
Cost: Adult tickets start at $35 (kids 10 and under can receive a $15 general admission ticket with a paying adult, only at the Round Rock Express box office). Tickets available here.
Details: Folk tales, drumming, dancing, and singing! Toybrary Austin is a toy lending library for children ages 6 months to 5 years old.
When: Friday, July 27th, 11:15am-12pm
Where: Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane, Austin, TX 78757
Cost: $12 per child admission at the door
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).
Event: Alamo for All
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. Oh those summer nights! In partnership with the Alamo Drafthouse and Do512, grab your friends and family and come experience the cool vibes of Sound & Cinema 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. July events:
Wednesday, July 11 - “Wayne’s World” Ft. Billy King & The Bad Bad Bad
- Wednesday, July 25 - “Grease” Ft. Huggy & The Feel Goodz
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: 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. July showings include:
- Mary Poppins (Sunday, July 1 at 1pm)
- Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Sunday, July 8 at 1pm)
- Annie (Sunday, July 22 at 1pm) - Stateside Theater
- Superman (Sunday, July 29 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 three-month-long 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
Program: Blanton Family Programs
Details: Family Programs at the Blanton are designed to promote slowing down, encourage close looking, inspire curiosity, and foster positive interaction and collaboration between children and adults. Join in for an array of multi-generational programs that engage children and adults in active exploration of art and the world around them. Look, talk, and create together this summer while enjoying guided family tours and drop-in art making.
- Drop-In WorkLAB Studio (all ages) - Wednesdays, July 11, 18, and 25 | 10am-2pm
Extend your museum visit! After exploring the galleries, come across the plaza to the WorkLAB Studio to create art in response to specific works on view, discovering more about the themes and materials that the artists used. Each week will feature a new work of art. Check-in at the museum’s Visitor Services Desk to receive required wristband for studio entrance. Program included with Admission. WorkLAB space is limited to 30 makers. Please anticipate an average wait of 20 minutes after you sign up at the door.
- 3ft Deep (Ages 3-5) - Tuesdays, July 3, 10, 17, and 24 | 10:15-11:30am
Designed especially for preschool children and their caregivers, 3ft Deep programs promote imaginative thinking, social-emotional growth, and expressive use of language. A Blanton educator will introduce a half-hour gallery activity followed by a process-focused art project in the WorkLAB studio. All activities emphasize creative and interpretive processes inspired by Reggio Emilia approaches, as well as adult-child collaboration. Space is limited to 12 participants (children and adults). Registration is strongly encouraged as space is limited. Online registration begins at 3pm, one week prior to program date. If a class is full and you would like to add your child to a waitlist, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Artists & Authors (Ages 5-7; K-2nd grade) - Thursdays, July 5, 12, 19, and 26 | 10:30-11:15am & 11:30am-12:15pm
Two creative worlds collide! Artists and Authors are thirty-minute literary adventures through the museum, weaving together storytelling and works of art. Each tour is designed to foster curiosity and conversation between adults and their children by encouraging close-looking, creative thinking, and imagination. Two tours are offered each week; artwork and book selection changes each week. Space is limited. Tour tickets available at the Visitor Services Desk thirty minutes prior to tour time.
- Deeper Dives (Ages 8-10; 3rd-5th grade) - Fridays, July 6, 13, 20, and 27 | 10-11:30am
Ready to dive right in to a 90-minute experience with your child? Deeper Dives encourages adult and child interaction around close looking, guided conversation, and related art-making activities. Each week will focus on a different theme from works on view in the permanent collection galleries and special exhibitions. Space is limited to 15 participants. Preregistration is strongly encouraged as space is limited. Online registration begins at 5pm, one week prior to program date. If a class is full and you would like to add your child to a waitlist, please email email@example.com.
- Free-Diving (Ages 11-14; 6th-8th grade) - Fridays, July 6, 13, 20, and 27 | 1-2:30pm
Freediving gives adults and pre-teens/teens an opportunity to make connections with global cultures, meet and collaborate with new friends, and find inspiration in unique places. Each week will focus on experimenting with a specific art technique while engaging with artworks and ideas related to permanent collection galleries and special exhibitions. Space is limited to 15 participants. Preregistration is strongly encouraged as space is limited. Online registration begins at 5pm, one week prior to program date. If a class is full and you would like to add your child to a waitlist, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museum/Location: Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Austin, TX 78712
Admission details: All children must be accompanied by an adult to participate in family programing. Programs included with Admission fee ($9 adults; $7 seniors; $5 college students; $5 youth 13-21; children ages 12 and under are free). Admission is free on Thursdays.
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.
Join in the community exhibit reception, Friday, July 13, 2018, 6-8pm, to meet the artists and get a first look at the exhibits! Refreshments and light snacks will be served.
Museum/Location: Asian American Resource Center, Ballroom, 8401 Cameron Road, Austin
When: Exhibit Reception is Friday, July 13, 2018, 6-8pm. 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
Permanent Exhibits at the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center
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: Combining stunning National Geographic natural history footage with an original symphony and theme created by Emmy- and BAFTA-nominated Bleeding Fingers Music, featuring composers Austin Fray and Andrew Christie, Symphony for Our World is a breathtaking musical journey through some of the planet’s most incredible wildlife phenomenons. Driven by a five-part composition performed live by the Austin Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Austin, Symphony for Our World pairs artistry with nature as it brings viewers from the depths of the sea, up to the coastlines, onto land, through mountains and finally into the sky. Each environment will be accompanied by a different orchestral movement, resulting in a powerful musical tribute to the beauty and wonders of our wild earth. All ages.
When: Saturday, July 28, 2018 at 8pm.
Where: Long Center - Dell Hall, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704
Tickets: Start at $29, available for purchase here.
Details: From the brilliant minds of Allen Robertson and Damon Brown comes the premiere of another exciting, family-friendly musical. A modern day re-imagining of a legendary hero. She’s the world’s greatest thief with a soft spot for anyone facing injustice. She’s putting together a crew to pull off a risky $20 million heist that could change her community forever. But it turns out that robbing from the rich to give to the poor makes the rich a little upset. And being hunted by a corrupt Sheriff with a psychotic streak can really put a damper on a girl’s social calendar. Welcome to a world where car chases, sword fights and the craziest of cons can always use a hip soundtrack. Where a girl in a green hoodie will change the world. All ages.
When: July 24-August 11; various times
Where: Long Center - Rollins Studio Theater, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704
Tickets: Start at $18, available for purchase 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.
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