10 things to do this raining weekend in Austin with kids

You can read my weekend calendar blog, but aside from the organized events, here are 10 ideas to keep kids busy this long weekend.

Photo by Larry Kolvoord AMERICAN-STATESMAN....9/02/07....Afternoon rains disrupted activities at the annual Batfest on Congress Avenue Bridge Sunday, September 2, 2007. Jeri Davenport of Round Rock and her twin daughters, Cerise Redden, 10, left, and Cheyenne Redden came prepared with their umbrellas. Many Batfest visitors were caught in the rainstorm which shutdown the music stages and caused vendors to hunker down under tent canopies until the rain eased. Davenport said the girls had been to previous Batfests and she had not so they convinced her to come to this years' event. She said they brought their umbrellas and were determined to have fun in spite of the rain.
Jeri Davenport of Round Rock and her twin daughters, Cerise Redden, 10, left, and Cheyenne Redden came prepared with their umbrellas when rain hit. American-Statesman 2007

1. Plan and make a meal together. Haven’t gone grocery shopping and don’t want to brave the store in the rain? No worries. We bet you can scrounge up some ingredients that you have on hand. Get the kids involved to see how creative you can get. This is also the perfect time to teach kids how to bake a cake from scratch.

2. Make recycled crafts. Dig through your recycling bin and the junk drawer for some found objects. Bring out the glue, the tape, the markers, the glitter, the stickers, the paint. Bragging rights or prizes could be awarded. There could even be judges.

3. Get some exercise. Search the YouTube for yoga for kids and do a session together. Blow up a balloon, move out the furniture in your living room and play volleyball. Play hide and seek.

4. Make homemade Play-Doh. DIY Natural has this recipe: 

1 cup of flour (whatever kind you have on hand)

¼ cup of salt

½ cup of water

3 to 5 drops of food coloring

Mix together the flour and the salt.

Mix together ½ cup of warm water with a few drops of food coloring.

Slowly pour the water into the flour mixture, stirring as you pour. Stir until combined, then knead with your hands until the flour is completely absorbed. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour until it doesn’t stick at all.

Or make Goop, which is one part water to two parts corn starch.  Mix it in a zippered bag. Throw in some food coloring and get to playing.

5. Head to a museum. You might get slightly wet on the way in. The Thinkery, the Bullock, the Contemporary, the Blanton, or Texas Museum of Science and Technology are all perfect rainy day havens. You can also try a museum you might not have thought of, like these:


French Legation Museum

George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center

Mexic-Arte Museum

Williamson Museum

Neill-Cochran House Museum

Republic of Texas Museum

Capitol Visitors Center

6. Go see a play. It’s the last weekend for “Charlotte’s Web” at Zach Theatre and “The Little Mermaid” at Palace Theatre, and “Call of the Wild” is at Stateside at the Paramount while “The Odd Squad Live” is at the Long Center.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid.” The story of Ariel comes to the stage in this musical. $19-$30. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Palace Theatre, 810 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown. georgetownpalace.com.

Charlotte’s Web.” Aerial artists Sky Candy bring the spider to life. $16-$21. 2 p.m. Sunday. Zach Theatre’s Kleberg Theatre, 1421 W. Riverside Drive. zachtheatre.org.

Call of the Wild.” Theater Heroes bring Jack London’s story to life using projected illustrations as part of the Paramount Discovery series. $18. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. 2 p.m. Sunday. Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org.

Odd Squad Live.” The PBS Kids show comes to the stage. 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. $15-$32. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

Or create your own play or act out your favorite movie.

7. Hit the movies. If you haven’t seen “Sing” or “Moana,” we highly recommend them. This is a great weekend to see them. The Alamo Drafthouse is also showing PBS Kids’ “Ready! Jet! Go!” at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Or you can not leave the house and hold a moviethon in your house.

8. Bring on the books. Hit story time at Barnes & Noble or BookPeople on Saturday morning or go to the library and pick up some new books. Start a new series of books that you read aloud together. We love “The Magic Treehouse” for younger kids” and Harry Potter and Percy Jackson for older ones.

9.Bring out the board games and cards. Start with Go Fish and work your way up to poker (no betting… OK, maybe just pennies). Our new favorite board game is “The Oregon Trail” based on that computer game I played as a kid in school when they were teaching us how to program on an Apple IIc. We also love some “Apples to Apples” and that game that is about a bull and his excrement.

10. Hit the circus. The Shrine Circus is in town all weekend long at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park. You can also create your own circus by doing stupid human tricks for one another or teaching the dog a new trick.

BONUS: Embrace the rain. Put on the boots, the rain coat, the umbrellas and stomp in the puddles. Have a fenced-in private backyard. Turn bath time into a rain shower by bringing out the soap and shampoo. Have lots of warm towels at the ready inside.

Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at austin360.com/raisingaustin. She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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