Beautiful spring weekend for enjoying these family events in Austin, April 27-29

If ever there was a beautiful weekend to head outdoors with the kids this would be one. Try your hand at the City nature Challenge at local parks, or try out a new playground with our guide of the best in Austin.

Find more events for the family with our list:

City Nature Challenge. Find things in nature and record and share what you find. Friday-Tuesday. Get help at these events: 3 p.m. Friday, JJ Seabrook Greenbelt; 9 a.m. Saturday, Mabel Davis District Park; 3 p.m. Saturday, Willowbrook Reach; 3 p.m. Sunday, Gracywoods Neighborhood Park.

Victor Clark spends Monday afternoon with son KaRon, 2, at Lake Park in the Mueller Development, Danielle Villasana/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Game Chica Conference. For girls ages 9 to 18. Learn how to design video games with experts from Austin technology companies. $15, includes lunch. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. HomeAway at the Domain, 11800 Domain Blvd. No. 300.

“Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote.” Pancho Rabbit goes through a dangerous journey with little help from his guide. 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $8-$12. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. $3 adults, $1 children.

“Disney on Ice: Reach for the Stars.” Mickey and friends in a star-studded extravaganza. $15-$50. 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park.

Thinkery. Sensory Friendly Hours. Free breakfast tacos from Hat Creek Burger Company and a free screening of “Trolls” at the Alamo Drafthouse Mueller. 8 a.m. Sunday. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Toybrary Austin. Firetruck visits. 10:30 a.m. Friday. $7. Family concert and picnic. 5 p.m. Saturday. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.

Safe Baby Academy. Learn how to care for your baby. 9 a.m. Saturday, CommUnity Care Clinic, 2901 Montopolis Drive.

Fairytale Tea Party. Dress in princess attire, play games and make crafts. Free. 10 a.m. Saturday. Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg Lane.

Thinkery. Seed Paper Making. Ages 4 and up. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Zach Theatre presents “Goodnight Moon.” The classic children’s book comes to the stage. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through May 27. $18-$24. Kleberg Stage, 1421 Riverside Drive.

Thinkery. Namaste and Play: Sense-ational: 9:45 a.m. (2-year-olds), 10:45 a.m. (3-year-olds), Fridays, through May 11. $20 a class, $140 for the series.

Thinkery. Baby Bloomers: Spring has Sprung. Learn about light. 9 a.m. Saturday. For birth to age 3. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.




World Dance Day. Noon Sunday, Central Library.

That’s My Face Film Series: “The Making of Claudia Rankin.” For young adults. 6:30 p.m. Friday. Free. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

Barnes & Noble Events: 11 a.m. Saturdays, story times at all locations: “Scientist, Scientist, Who Do You See?” 11 a.m. Saturday.

Tween Anime Club: “Sgt. Frog.” 2 p.m. Friday, Twin Oaks Branch.


Plan ahead: What are you doing this spring break in Austin? We’ve got your family events calendar

Spring break is coming— a time when kids are screaming for joy at all the possibilities of fun; a time when parents are left trying to find a one-week camp for their kids, cobbling together care or trying to keep everyone entertained and away from screens all week long.

RELATED: How to get teens off screens and reading a book this spring break.

Austin, which gets overwhelmed by South by Southwest this week, does have things for kids to do all week, most of which have no South by Southwest tie-ins at all.

Check out a few of these:

See bull riders and the people who try to keep the bull away from the rider at Rodeo Austin. Mark Matson/Rodeo Austin 2014


Rodeo Austin. Watch the pigs race, the bull riders, barrel racers and more. $5-$8 fairgrounds admission, $20-$36 rodeo seats. March 10-24. Expo Center, 9100 Decker Lake Road.

Sherwood Forest Faire. Travel back in time to merry ol’ England with this fair. 10 a.m. to dusk, March 10-12, March 16-18. $12-$22. 1883 Old U.S. 20, McDade.

Kids Fest. Little Yoga House presents this two-day event. Enjoy musical acts, art projects, coding games, films, a family photo booth and Lego animation. Free. 1:30-3:30 p.m. March 13-14.The Little Yoga House Clarksville Location, 1211 Parkway.


123 Andrés aka Andrés Salguero plays Rock & Read at the Domain.

Thinkery. Unofficial SXSW Event: Kids’ Music Showcase. Kids’ music, plus hands-on activities. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 10. Free with admission. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

MyMusicRx + YOU WHO! Rock Show for Kids at the Fader Fort’s new location. 10 a.m.-noon March 15. $25 adults, $30/day of show; free children 10 and younger. Benefits the Children’s Cancer Association. 1501 E. Seventh St.

Bill Childs of Spare the Rock on KUTX presents these fun music for family events:

“Hello Dolly! A Tribute to Dolly Parton.” Celebrate Dolly Parton’s music with Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship, Red Yarn, Jon Langford, 1-2-3 Andres, Ms. Kat, Que Pastas, SaulPaul and more. 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 16. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. $3 adults, $1 children.

Rock & Read at the Domain. Musicians include the Hoots, 1-2-3 Andres, the Que Pastas, Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship. 2-5:30 p.m. March 17. Free. Domain lawn by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dillard’s.

KUTx live broadcast kids’ music lineup. The KUTx live broadcast at the Four Seasons during South by Southwest will feature children’s music between the sets each morning. Red Yam and JareBare, March 14. Ms. Kat and SaulPaul, March 15. Laura Doherty and 1-2-3 Andres, March 16. Lucky Diaz & The Family Jam Band and Sugar Free Allstars, March 17. $5 for a wristband for the kids-only stage. $15 for the adult stage. Four Seasons Hotel, 98 San Jacinto Blvd.

Music and Movement. 11 a.m. March 12, Pleasant Hill Branch of the Austin Public Library.

Austin Ukestra. 1 p.m. March 11, Recycled Reads Bookstore.


Circus Chickendog has shows all week.

Circus Chickendog’s “1001 Tricks in 1 Hour!” See the original show with rescue dogs. 1 p.m. March 12-16, 10:30 p.m. March 17. $15, free for children younger than 3. The Institution Theater, 3708 Woodbury Drive.

“Nugget and Fang!” ArtsPower’s musical about a shark and a minnow that get along. $9-$12. Noon March 10. One World Theatre, 7701 Bee Cave Road.

Zach Theatre presents “Goodnight Moon.” The classic children’s book comes to the stage. 2 p.m. Sundays. $18-$24. Kleberg Stage, 1421 Riverside Drive.

Bubble Guppies Live!: “Ready to Rock.” The Nickelodeon cartoon comes to the stage. $19-$29. 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. March 11. Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.


“Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Fox Searchlight

Alamo Drafthouse. Kids Camp: “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”: 10 a.m. March 10-15, Lakeline. 10:25 a.m. March 11, 10:30 a.m. March 12-15, Mueller. “The Iron Giant”: 12:45 p.m. March 10, 4 p.m. March 11, 7 p.m. March 13, Lakeline. 1:15 p.m. March 10, 4:15 p.m. March 11, 7:15 p.m. March 13, Slaughter Lane. Noon March 3, 6:30 p.m. March 4, 7:30 p.m. March 7, Village. “All Dogs Go to Heaven”: 10:15 a.m. March 10-15, Slaughter Lane. 9:30 a.m. March 17-18, Lakeline. “Back to the Future”: 1:15 p.m. March 17, Slaughter Lane.

Saturday Movie Matinee, “Despicable Me 3.” 2 p.m. March 10, University Hills Branch of the Austin Public Library.

Women’s History Month Film Series: “Wonder Woman.” 3:30 p.m. March 12, Old Quarry Branch.

Family Movie Night. “Jumanji”: 4 p.m. March 13, Cepeda Branch. “Robots”: 4 p.m. March 15, Cepeda Branch.

Friday Movie Matinee: “Sing.” 3:30 p.m. March 16, Old Quarry Branch.


Asian American Resource Center. Indian American Children’s Literature: Celebrate Indian literature with stories, crafts and games. Free. 2-4 p.m. March 18. Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Road.

BookPeople 10:30 a.m. story times: Brand New Books: March 10. Colors of Spring: March 12. Heartsong Music: March 13. Ms. Staci: March 14. Princesses and Warriors: March 15. Luchador Legends: March 16. Lucky Day: March 17. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Barnes & Noble Events: 11 a.m. Saturdays, story times at all locations: “The Magician’s Hat”: March 10. “The Gingerbread Man and the Leprechaun Loose at School”: March 17.

Teen Book Club. “Bunker Diary”: 3 p.m. March 10, Central Library.

NBTween Book Club. “The Girl Who Drank the Moon”: 4 p.m. March 14, Howson Branch. “The Nest”: 6 p.m. March 15, Spicewood Springs Branch.

The Third Floor Corridor: Teen Harry Potter Club. 2 p.m. March 18, Central Library.


Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum has hands-on crafts all week. LAURA SKELDING / AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2013

Williamson Museum. Hands on History. Learn about the founding of Williamson County as the county celebrates 170 years, plus make a craft of the county namesake. Free. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 10. Williamson Museum, 716 Austin Ave., Georgetown.

Blanton Museum of Art. Look. Think. Make. Drop in and make art every Thursday. Noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free on Thursdays. Blanton Museum of Art. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Bullock MuseumSpring Break at the Bullock. Hands-on activities, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 12-16. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Crafternoon. 2 p.m. March 14, Cepeda Branch. 2:30 p.m. March 14, Carver Branch. 3 p.m. March 12, Dove Springs Recreation Center.

Perler Bead Saturdays. Noon March 10, University Hills Branch.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden Family Day. Learn different forms of exercise as a family, plus make art. Noon to 4 p.m. March 11. Free. Umlauf Sculpture Garden, 605 Robert E. Lee Road.

Thinkery. Take Apart Art: Ages 4 and up. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. March 16-18. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Contemporary Austin. Art Free for All. Explore Laguna Gloria and make art at this open house. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 10. Free. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St.


The Colossal Robotic Hand is open at the Hill Country Science Mill.

Texas Museum of Science and Technology. This Cedar Park museum and planetarium will close after March 18. Currently you can see the exhibit “Amazing Butterflies” and do the TimeWalk, journey through the Precambrian and Jurassic eras and into the Holocene period. $18-$12. 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park.

Hill Country Science Mill. Robot Mania. Special hands-on activities. March 12-16. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City.

Tween STEM Lab. Electric Sculpture with Squishy Circuits. 3 p.m. March 16, Cepeda Branch.

Teen Tech Week: Robot Petting Zoo: 2 p.m. March 11, Central Library. “Ready Player One”: 2 p.m. March 12. Pi Day: 1:30 p.m. March 14, Central Library. Bristle Bots: 2:30 p.m. March 15. Stop Motion Animation: 2 p.m. March 16, Central Library.

Thinkery. Cow Eye Dissection: Ages 4 and up. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. March 10-12. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Curiosity Cube. Get a hands-on science experience at MilliporeSigma’s mobile science lab. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. March 10. Downtown Austin Farmers’ Market, 422 Guadalupe St.


The Easter Bunny will be at Hill Country Galleria and other malls around town.

Other fun

Toybrary Austin. Spring Break Staycation Party with Spunky Kids: 10:30 a.m. March 15. $10. Daddy and Me Playdate: Let’s Go Fishing: 10:30 a.m. March 17. $10. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.

Tabletop Tuesday. Games to play. 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Central Library.

“PAW Patrol” Party. 10:15 a.m. March 16, Carver Branch.

Easter Bunny photos. Noon-6 p.m. March 18. Hill Country Galleria Central Plaza. Free, but photos available for purchase. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, Noon-6 p.m. Sundays, Barton Creek Square. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, Noon-6 p.m. Sundays, Lakeline Mall, Round Rock Premium Outlets,

Caring Bunny. For kids with special needs and sensory disorders and their families. 9-10:30 a.m. March 18. Barton Creek Square and Round Rock Premium Outlets. 10-11:30 a.m. March 18, Lakeline Mall. Free, but you need to register,

Yes, Austin kids can try a winter Olympics sport in Central Texas. Here’s how

You and your children have been watching the Olympics. Now they want to become the next Nathan Chen, Shaun White or Mikaela Shiffrin. Do you have to move to Colorado to get them involved in winter sports?

We don’t have a ski mountain in our backyard, but you can do some of the Winter Olympic sports here.

Zoe Chandler, 7, and Alexandria Ligon, 10 stretch out while practicing their skating at the Chaparral Ice skating rink. Kelly West AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2007

Here are some lessons we found:

Figure Skating

No snow needed here for this indoor sport.

Chaparral Ice is starting its next eight-week Learn to Skate session Feb. 27. Take one 25-minute class a week, plus get five free public skating sessions and unlimited additional public skating sessions for $5 each. Most classes are Tuesday or Wednesday nights or Saturdays, and the classes are $145 if you register by Feb. 25. Chaparral teaches everyone from age 3 to adult.

If your kids aren’t quite sure if they’re ready for a regular class, they can do a introductory Learn to Skate session at 2 p.m. each Saturday (register by 1:45 p.m.). They have to be 6 or older and have never taken a class before. Younger kids can take a $10 private lesson on Sundays.

Chaparral is also offering a Blizzard Blitz spring break program March 12-16. Lessons are 10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Monday-Friday, followed by a free skate. $120. Or you can do the more extensive Camp de Champs, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 12-16 for $295, which includes lessons, skating, art projects and more. These programs are for ages 5-13.

Once kids do the Learn to Skate program, they can start Figure Skating lessons. Chaparral Ice, 2525 W. Anderson Lane. 512-252-8500,,

Hockey players work on skating drills during practice at Chaparral Ice. American-Statesman 1999


At Chaparral Ice you can start with the regular Learn to Skate session, or a Learn to Skate session that is specific to hockey. The next eight-week session begins March 4 and is held at 2:15 p.m. on Sundays. Those classes are $150, but you also need the equipment, which is about $175 for all of it once you’re learning to play and not just learning to skate. More advanced classes and adult classes also are on Sundays. If your child isn’t sure about hockey, you can schedule a free one-time Give Hockey a Try session by calling the rink.

For kids ages 4-8, The Dallas Stars and Mike Modano have started the Little Rookies Program. The four-week sessions are at 2:30 p.m. Saturdays beginning March 24 and includes all the equipment for your use and a jersey to take home. Those sessions are free. 

Chaparral Ice, 2525 W. Anderson Lane. 512-252-8500,,

Nihal Kyasa, 14, and Aidan Tran, 15, try curing for the first time at Chaparral Ice on Jan. 28. Contributed by Santosh Kyasa


The Lone Star Curling Club holds $20 Learn to Curl sessions for children and adults. The current sessions are sold out, but you can go to to be notified when the next sessions open up.


OK, we don’t have snow here, but you can try out snowboarding at the Texas Ski Ranch. You can practice on an artificial half-pipe, slopes and banked turns. The lessons are $69 for an hour lesson for one person, $39 for each additional person, up to four people. You get a private lesson for an hour then an additional hour to try out what you’ve learned. Texas Ski Ranch, 6700 N. Interstate 35, New

Roar like a dinosaur and more family fun in Austin, Feb. 2-4

This weekend is going to be what we love about winter in Austin. Sunny, highs in the 60s, possibly hitting 70. It’s a great weekend for doing things with the kids. Here are 20 events to get you started.

Louis Montanez, 9, plays on a mammoth rib cage cast in bronze at the Austin Nature and Science Center. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
  1. Austin Dinosaur Day. Find activities at Zilker Botanical Garden, Texas Memorial Museum and Austin Nature & Science Center. Saturday. Admission rates apply.
  2. Las Aventuras de Enoughie (The Adventures of Enoughie).” This bilingual puppet show teaches kids about kindness and is a collaboration between Zach Theatre, Teatro Vivo, Glass Half Full Theatre and the Kindness Campaign. 2 p.m. Sunday. More shows through February. Sign language, visual captions and sensory-friendly show Sunday. $14-$16. Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River St.

    Bryce Hohertz, 7, of Dripping Springs, and his brother Cole, 5, look through spectroscopes to observe the spectrum of light at WeatherFest at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2016
  3. Bullock MuseumSeveral events coming up. H-E-B Free First Sunday: Weather Fest: Free family fun around the museum with the theme. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.
  4. Neill-Cochran House Museum. Sunday Funday. Create pop-up books. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free. 2310 San Gabriel St.
  5. Suminagashi Fabrics. Ages 4 and older. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Saturday snf Dunfsy. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.
  6. “The Wazir of Oz.” A Bollywood-style version with music by the Sacred Cowgirls. $12-$8. 11 a.m. Saturday. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St.
  7. Faerie tea parties. Dress for the fairies and drink tea, eat mini cakes and go explore the fairy lands. 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $20. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. Register online at
  8. Hideout Theatre Presents: Improv for Kids. Join the cast in creating the story. 11 a.m. Sundays. $5. Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress Ave.
  9. Zach Theatre presents “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Head to Narnia in the C.S. Lewis tale. Various times through Feb. 25. $18-$24. Whisenhunt Stage, 1510 Toomey Road.
  10. BookPeople events: W. Stone Cotter reads “Saint Philomene’s Infirmary for Magical Creatures” at 2 p.m. Saturday.  BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.
  11. Toybrary Play in Nature: 10:30 a.m. Fridays. $10. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.
  12. BookPeople “Keepin’ It Weird” story time. 10:30 a.m. Saturday. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.
  13. Thinkery. Exploring Seasons. 9:45 a.m. 2-year-olds, 10:45 a.m. 3-year-olds, Fridays. $20 per class, $140 for the series. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.
  14. Barnes & Noble Events: 11 a.m. Saturdays story times at all locations: “I Am Harriet Tubman.”
  15. Baby Bloomers. All about Senses, 9 a.m. Saturday. For birth to age 3.  Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.
  16. World Play Your Ukulele Day: Free Lesson. 1 p.m. Friday, Recycled Reads Bookstore.
  17. “Anasasi and the Golden Box of Stories.” Ages 5 and older. 3:30 p.m. Friday, Yarborough Branch. 2 p.m. Saturday, Hampton Branch.
  18. Alamo Drafthouse PBS Kids “Pinkalicious & Peterrific.” 10 a.m. Sunday and Saturday, Mueller.
  19. Saturday Family Movie. “Lego Ninjago Movie.” 1 p.m. Saturday, St. John Branch.
  20. Bow Wow Reading with Bonnie. 11:30 a.m. Saturdays, Yarborough Branch.