Need diapers? Save the date for Austin Diaper Day

The Austin Diaper Bank is planning on distributing 200,000 diapers to the public Dec. 8.

From 1-3 p.m. next Friday, you can get a package of 100 children’s diapers at Dove Springs Recreation Center, 5801 Ainez Drive.

Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center volunteer, Melinda Cook packs stacks of diapers for distribution on Thursday July 14, 2016 at the Austin Diaper Bank. The warehouse has expanded to a 1700 square foot building and does most of its distributions on Thursdays. Jessalyn Tamez / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

“The Austin Diaper Bank was recently blessed with large donations of diapers, and we want to give them to Austin area families who need them most this holiday season,” said Executive Director Holly McDaniel. “Our mission is to ensure that no child suffers because their family struggles to afford a sufficient supply of diapers to keep them clean and healthy.”

The bank estimates that 12,000 infants and toddlers in Travis County don’t have access to enough diapers. Diapers are not covered by federal assistance programs like SNAP (aka food stamps) and WIC (food and nutrition service).

The diaper bank’s typical distribution model is to give it to 40 community service organizations from Georgetown to San Marcos.  This will be the first time it’s giving diapers directly to the Austin public.

Since it was founded in 2013, the Diaper Bank has given more than a million diapers locally.

It also played a huge roll in relief efforts during Hurricane Harvey, giving 780,000 diapers to affected areas that first month.

Find out how to donate diapers of all sizes including adult sizes, wipes and diaper rash creams, or to donate money go to

Take in these Halloween family events around Austin

We love Halloween! How are you going to celebrate it with your family?

Here are some local events to take in this month before the big day:

Barton Hill Farms in Bastrop has a corn maze and other activities for kids to enjoy. Photos: Barton Hill Farms


Fall festivals

Robinson Family Farm Pumpkin Patch. Go through a corn maze, go on a hay ride, pet the goats and pick a pumpkin. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29. Free, but pay for each activities and pumpkins. 3780 White Owl Lane, Temple.

Barton Hill Farms. Corn maze, farm animals and more than 30 activities, plus pumpkin picking. 10 a.m.-8 pm. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays, through Nov. 5. $14, extra for pumpkins and face painting. 1115 FM 969, Bastrop.

Sweet Berry Farm. Hay rides, corn mazes, pick your own pumpkins and more. 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, through Nov. 8. Pay per activity. 1801 FM 1980, ​Marble Falls.

Elgin Christmas Tree Farm Fall Farm Fun. Explore a corn maze, hay bale maze and a crazy maze, plus go on a hay ride, visit animals and get a mini pumpkin to decorate. Big pumpkins to purchase. $7. Beginning Oct. 6. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-5:30 p.m. Sunday. Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 14-15, with special activities. Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, 120 Nature’s Way, Elgin.

Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm Pumpkin Hunt. Go hunting pumpkins, launch pumpkins, train ride, maze, mini golf, fishing pond pony rides and bounce house. $2.50 for each activity. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays in October. 242 Monkey Road.

Fall Family Fun Days. Enjoy raptor shows, snake shows, sheep shearing, corn shucking, apple cider making, live music, and lots of local vendors selling everything from fresh organic produce, eggs, honey, jam, and bread and more. $9-$3. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays in October. Crowe’s Nest Farm, 10300 Taylor Lane.

Halloween Carnival and Haunted House. 75 cent games, $1 haunted house. 5:30-8 p.m. Oct. 12. Metz Recreation Center, 2407 Canterbury St. austintexasgov

Pumpkin Carving. Free pumpkins based on household size, plus games, face painting and more. 11 a.m. Oct. 28. Saturday, Carver Center, 1165 Angelina St.

Boo at the Zoo. Dress up and enjoy the zoo with Halloween-themed activities. 6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October. $17.50. Austin Zoo, 10808 Rawhide Trail.

The Austin Zoo puts on Boo at the Zoo next month. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


Dress up for Littles. Kids ages 1-5 can play dress up in different costumes. 10 a.m. Oct. 2. Brentwood Social House, 1601 W Koenig Lane.

Domain Northside Kids. Come to the lawn at the Domain Northside for activities for kids 18 months to 6 years old. This month’s theme: Spooked. Free. 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 4. Reservations required.


Bullock MuseumSpooktacular. Come dress for Halloween activities. 5 p.m. Oct. 27. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Thinkery.  Monster Masterpieces. 9:30 a.m. 1-year-olds, 10:30 a.m. 2-year-olds, 11:30 a.m. 3-year-olds. Oct. 9. $20. Family Night: Halloween Hootenanny. Come in costume and ready for fun. $15 adults, $13 children. 6-9 p.m. Oct. 27. Whisks and Wizards. Make Halloween-themed food. For ages 4 and up. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Oct. 7-9, Oct. 21-22. $8. Costume Design. Make your own costume. For ages 4 and up. $8. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Oct. 14-15, Oct. 28-29.Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Texas Museum of Science & Technology. Science Saturday: HalloweenSTEAM. Noon-4 p.m Oct. 28. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park.

Toybrary Austin. Halloween Party with Slime! 10: 30 a.m. Oct. 26. $10 per child. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.


Alamo Drafthouse events. “Ghostbusters” Party. 7 p.m. Oct. 1, Mueller. “The Addams Family” Party. 4 p.m. Oct. 15, Mueller. “Goosebumps” with introduction by R.L. Stine. 4 p.m. Oct. 21, Mueller.

“Rosita y Conchita” is a bilingual Día de los Muertos play at Scottish Rite Theater.


“Rosita y Conchita.” See this bilingual Día de los Muertos play about two sisters who try to reunite. $8-$12. 11 a.m. Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 8, 14-15, 22 and 28-29; 1 p.m. Oct. 14-15, Oct. 22, Oct. 28-29. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St.

Ballet Austin’s “Not Afraid of the Dark.” See glowing ballet in the dark. $15. 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Oct. 21-22, Oct. 28-29. Ballet Austin Studio Theater, 501 W. Third St.


Austin Symphony’s Halloween concert brings spooky music to audiences. Credit: 2011 Austin Symphony Orchestra


Halloween Concert. Hear Halloween-themed music from the Austin Symphony. $14-$19. 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Oct. 29. Austin ISD Performing Arts Center, 1925 E. 51st St.



BookPeople Halloween-themed story times: Monsters are our Friends, 11:30 a.m. Oct. 7; Halloween Trick-or-Treat for Books, 10:30 a.m. Oct. 31. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Barnes & Noble 11 a.m. Saturdays story times at all locations:  “Mary McScary,” Oct. 28.

“Coraline” is at the library this month. Focus Features

At the library




Family Movie Night: “Coraline.” 6 p.m. Oct. 10, Twin Oaks Branch; “Ghostbusters: Answer the Call.” 3:30 p.m. Oct. 13, Old Quarry Branch.

Día de los Muertos. 4 p.m. Oct. 12, Twin Oaks Branch; 5 p.m. Oct. 23, Windsor Park Branch; 3:30 p.m. Oct. 27, Recycled Reads Bookstore; 4 p.m. Ruiz Branch, Oct. 31; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31, Dove Springs Recreation Center.



7 fun Austin things to do before school starts

Missy Woodard holds her son, Bryce, 3, so that he can see a snow corn snake at the Austin Pet Expo. Michael Gonzalez is holding the snake. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2014

1. Celebrate Austin’s weird and wild. See 15,000 rubber duckies floating down the river at Austin Duck Derby to benefit Austin Boys & Girls Clubs Foundation. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 5. Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge.

Or celebrate all things bat at Bat Fest4p.m.-midnight Aug. 19. $15 adults, free for children younger than 8. Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Ave.

And try out weird and wonderful flavors of ice cream at Austin Ice Cream Festival, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 12. $15. Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.

Maggie Barnett, 3, and her sister Brooke, 1, have fun with a giant duck on hand for the Austin Duck Derby in 2016. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

RELATED: Find more summer fun for families in Austin

2. Be blinded (not really) by science. Girlstart puts on Back to School STEM Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-noon Aug. 5. It’s free and you don’t have to be a girl to enjoy. Girlstart, 1400 W. Anderson Lane.

Carver Museum offers its Super Science Saturdays. 1 p.m. Aug. 12. George Washington Carver Museum. 1165 Angelina St. Texas Museum of Science & Technology tells you all about the sun (right before the eclipse) during Science Saturday, Noon-4 p.m. Aug. 19. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park. The museum also hosts Star Parties every Friday at 9 p.m. and Wee-Searchers for children 5 and younger, 9 a.m. Aug. 9 and 23.

Hill Country Science Mill is opening its exhibit the Incredible Ball Machine. Step inside a large ball track that you can control with levers and pulleys. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 16. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City.

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas is teaming up with the Thinkery for Community Night Aug. 9.Bring your favorite stuffed animal and take him through different interactive stations. Free, but it’s first-come-first-served beginning at 4 p.m. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

At the library, make a pinhole projector during Solar Eclipse Afternoon, noon Aug. 21 at Howson Branch, tweens explore STEAM with LittleBits Theme Park, 3 p.m. Aug. 2, Spicewood Springs Branch.

If you love dinosaurs, you can see “Jurassic Park” and see fossils and other science materials from UT Dino Museum. 7 p.m. Aug. 19 and Aug. 26. $25 a car, plus admission for more than 2 people. Blue Starlight Mini Urban Drive-in. 12419 Lowden Lane.

Dr. Katie Luke of the Humane Society assists Nathaniel Morales, 4, with Scooby Doo, who has two hurt feet during a teddy bear surgery. Ralph Barrera/AMERICAN STATESMAN 2011

3. Celebrate animals. The Austin Humane Society hosts events including story time, 2 p.m. Aug. 8, Humane Hero Hour with cats, 2 p.m. Aug. 1, the Austin Wildlife Rescue, 1 p.m. Aug. 5 and Teddy Bear Surgery, 1 p.m. Aug. 12. You have to register at Humane Society, 124 W. Anderson Lane.

See all kinds of different animals at the Austin Pet Expo. It’s free and you can bringbring your pet. Palmer Event Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20.

Don’t forget the Austin area has two zoos, Austin Zoo and Capital of Texas Zoo, the Texas Reptile Zoo, the Austin Aquarium and not far away are Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch and the Snake Farm.

Luke Keyes, of Austin Oddities was on hand to help kids and grown-ups in the art of super large bubble at Contemporary Austin’s Families Create program. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2015

4. Make art. This month at the Thinkery, the Kitchen Lab and Space 8 lab are all about art. Make Suminagashi Fabrics 11:15 a.m., 1:15 a.m. or 3:15 a.m. Aug. 5-6, Aug. 19-20. $8. Learn Printmaking Galore 11:15 a.m., 1:15 a.m. or 3:15 a.m. Aug. 12-13, Aug. 26-27, $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

At the Bullock Museum,Make it Tuesdays makes Texas Landmarks out of Legos,10 a.m. Aug. 1. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

At Mexic-Arte Museum, learn how to make cardboard relief prints like Ashley Mireles does during its free Family Day.Free. 1-4 p.m. Aug. 6. Mexic-Arte Museum, 419 Congress Ave.

Contemporary Austin’s Families Create free program is doing Ice Painting, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 12. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum will host its free Family Day 10-4 p.m. Aug. 13. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road.

The library also offers events for making art. This month, enjoy Crafternoon 3:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at Howson Branch; Family Craft Night, 6 p.m. Aug. 16 at Howson Branch; learn to sew at Sew Happy, 5 p.m. Aug. 1 at Manchaca Road Branch.

Andrew Cannata, Hannah Roberts and Jordan Barron perform in “The Wizard of Oz,” the 59th annual Zilker summer musical presented by Zilker Theater Productions. (TAMIR KALIFA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

RELATED: Find more family things to do in Austin in Austin

5. Enjoy theater. If you haven’t seen the Zilker Summer Musical yet, what are you waiting for? This year it’s “The Wizard of Oz” 8:15 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays through Aug. 12. Free, but donations welcome. Zilker Hillside Theatre, 2206 William Barton Drive.

Summer Stock Austin is bring a new musical based on “The Elves and the Shoemaker” from Allen Robertson and Damon Brown. “A Shoe Story: A Brand New Musical” shows 11 a.m. Aug. 3-4, Aug. 8; 10 a.m. July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 11-12; 2 p.m. July 30. Tickets $17 and up. Summer Stock Austin also has one-day camps that include a performance Aug. 3, 4 and 8. $50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

Austin Summer Musical for Children is presenting the “Jungle Book” 9:15 a.m. Aug. 12, 11 a.m. 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Aug. 12, 19 and 26, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Aug. 13, 20 and 27. It’s free. Boyd Vance Theater at George Washington Carver Museum. 1165 Angelina St.

Hideout Kids Presents “Once Upon a Whaa?!” 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays Aug. 5-27. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. $12-$8.

Literature Live! Presents: “The Fifolet” Louisiana pirate adventure, specifically for ages 8-12, 4 p.m. Aug. 1 at University Hills Branch; 6 p.m. Aug. 3 at Manchaca Road Branch; 3 p.m Aug. 4 at Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. Aug. 6 at Faulk Central Library; 2 p.m. Aug. 7 at Windsor Park Branch; 3 p.m. Aug. 19 at Recycled Reads Bookstore.

Dan Stevens as The Beast, left, and Emma Watson as Belle in a live-action adaptation of the animated classic “Beauty and the Beast.” Disney

6. See a movie for free or very little. The Alamo Drafthouse continues its Kids Club. In August, see “Speed Racer.” 10 a.m. Aug. 1, Aug. 3, Lakeline; “Jumanji,” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Slaughter Lane, 10 a.m. Aug. 4-10, Lakeline, 10 a.m. Aug. 11, Village; “The Secret Life of Pets,” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Mueller, 9:50 a.m. Aug. 4, 10 a.m. Aug. 5-10, Slaughter Lane, 10 a.m. Aug. 11-17, Lakeline; “Song of the Sea,” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Village, 10 a.m. Aug. 4-10, Mueller, 10 a.m. Aug. 11-17, Slaughter Lane; “Speed Racer,” 10 a.m. Aug. 11-Aug. 17, Mueller. The movies are for a $1-$3 donation. You also can see PBS Kids at the Alamo. “Ready Jet Go! The Moon and More,” 11 a.m. Aug. 20, Lakeline.

Head to Sunday School with the Austin Film Society’s children’s program. See the Lily Tomlin classic, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman, ” 1 p.m. July 30 and 6 p.m. Aug. 1; and Francois Truffaut’s tale of raucous children, “Small Change,” 11 a.m. Aug. 27 and 7 p.m. Aug. 30. $9. Austin Film Society Cinema, 6406 N. Interstate 35, Suite 3100.

At the Paramount Theatre, see “E.T.,” 1 p.m. Aug. 5; “Back to the Future,” 3:30 p.m. Aug. 5 and 4:10 Aug. 6; and the original “The Parent Trap,” 1 p.m. Aug. 13; prices vary. Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Ave.

Deep Eddy Splash Party Movie Night is showing “Moana,” 8 p.m. Aug. 5. Deep Eddy Pool. 401 Deep Eddy Ave. Pool admission applies.

At the Bullock Museum, see “Secret of Kells,” 2 p.m. Aug. 5, and “Where the Wild Things Are,” 2 p.m. Aug. 12. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse will show its last two weeks of $1 movies at Round Rock 8: “The Angry Birds Movie,” July 31-Aug. 3, “Sing,” Aug. 7-10.

Regal Summer Movie Express shows its last $1 movies at Westgate Stadium 11 and Gateway Stadium 16, “Storks,” and “The Lego Batman Movie,” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-2.

And the library is a great place to see movies for free. In August, see “Beauty and the Beast” (2017), 2 p.m. Aug. 5 at Windsor Park Branch, 4 p.m. Aug. 16, Cepeda Branch; “Sing,” 6:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at Twin Oaks Branch; “Wizard of Oz.” 3:30 p.m. Aug. 18, Old Quarry Branch; “Secret Life of Pets,” 2 p.m. Aug. 10 at Old Quarry Branch.

Kyle Scarbrough makes the sound of a firefighter using a firehose as he and his son Alden, 3, and Maggie McCreery, 7, play on the fire truck in the Zilker Playground. (TAMIR KALIFA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

7. Go outside. We know it’s hot. We get that. Head out in the early morning or at dusk for the least heat-exhaustion inducing experience. Explore new-to-you pools or water parkstry out a new playground from our list of top 25, plus some other great ones; go dinosaur digging at the Austin Nature & Science Center; check out the Wildflower Center and its Sprouts preschool program, 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and Nature Play Hour in the Family Garden, 11 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.



Check out these parks: The best playgrounds in Austin and Central Texas

[cmg_anvato video=”4123026″]

Didn’t your mother tell you to go out and play? But where?

In Central Texas we’re blessed with some amazing playgrounds. We went looking for the best ones. We considered shade and restroom availability, type of equipment and its condition, and the general vibe as well as safety. We ranked our top 25 and then offered some other gems to explore.

Did we miss your favorite? Tell us at

Remember, before you head to the playground, wear your sunscreenwear your bugspray and know how to play safely.

Joanne Land Playground in Old Settlers Park. Nicole Villapando/ American-Statesman

1. Joanne Land Playground in Old Settlers Park

Address: 3300 Palm Valley Blvd.

Area of Central Texas: Round Rock

Features: This includes one of the largest playscapes in Central Texas plus a smaller one that is interactive using an app. The playground offers multiple slides, multiple things to climb up, climb along, multiple sets of swings for all ages, a gravity slide that is like a zip line (though that’s been offline at the manufacturer’s request). There is so much to do here.

Shade: Some tall shade trees.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Medium. It’s a busy place, but the playground is in a compact space. There is the hazard of the lake to worry about.

Why we love it: This playground just opened this year. You’ll find features here that aren’t anywhere else in Central Texas. For parents, it’s got a beautiful, serene view of the lake and plenty of places to sit.

Bonus: If your kid somehow gets bored here, there are six other playgrounds in the park and the water park and pool.

Christian Acosta, 6, explores the playground at Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2015)

2. Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park

Address: 400 Grove Blvd.

Area of Central Texas: East Austin

Features: You’ll find so much to play on here with two big playscapes and many things to crawl on and in and around. Kids have plenty or room to run around and multiple things to climb on and swing from.

Shade: Virtually none. It’s a huge oversight on what would be a perfect playscape if it had shade structures. There are tall trees but around the edges.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Extremely low. This is one of the few fully gated playgrounds in Austin.

Why we love it: We love the variety of things to do here, the multiple places to sit and the dragonfly statues make us happy to sit under them. It’s a very whimsical playground.

Bonus: Plenty of fields both open and the sports variety are available in this park.

Brushy Creek Sports Park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

3. Brushy Creek Regional Trail Parks

Addresses: Creekside Park, 4300 Brushy Creek Road; Olson Meadows Park, 4200 Brushy Creek Road; Champion Park, 3830 Brushy Creek Road; Brushy Creek Lake Park, 3300 Brushy Creek Road; Brushy Creek Sports Park, 2310 Brushy Creek Road; Twin Lakes Park, 204 E. Little Elm Trail

Area of Central Texas: Cedar Park

Features: These six parks along Brushy Creek act as one big park. Each has its unique playscape, so you can hop from park to park. Creekside Park has two quiet playscapes by the pool with slides and bouncy cars and diggers. Olson Meadows two offers tree-covered playscapes, swings and horses to ride. Champion Park is dedicated to dinosaurs with large skeleton models to climb and a dinosaur dig that is shaded. Brushy Creek Lake Park has a large playscape and sand box, but is know for its big, gated splash pad. Brushy Creek Sports Park has the best playscape of these parks with tons of ropes and other things to climb on, plus it’s totally shaded. Twin Lakes Park is the site of the YMCA, so there isn’t a playscape that isn’t connected to the YMCA.

Shade: Most have some level of shade, some are completely shaded.

Restrooms: Yes! At every playscape.

Anxiety level: Very little. Because each playscape is small, it’s easy to watch children.

Why we love it: We love that each one has its own personality, but each is a great playscape on its own. When you spend the day moving up and down Brushy Creek Road, you’ll have very happy, yet tuckered out kids.

Bonus: Did we mention the amazing splash pad? And that there’s dinosaurs to crawl and on and dig for?


The playground at Central Market. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

4. Central Market

Address: 4001 N. Lamar Blvd.

Area of Central Texas: Central Austin

Features: Two big playscapes with plenty of things to climb on, slide down and climb under. Plus, it’s food-themed.

Shade: Big tall trees keep it in the shade most of the time.

Restrooms: Yes, inside the grocery store.

Anxiety level: Medium. It’s well-contained, and you can easily see your child playing. Watch out for the runner heading for the duck pond.

Why we love it: It’s become a great gathering spot for the community. Plus, you can get kids fed with real food, have a glass of wine and watch the kids play.

Bonus: Did we mention no hungry kids allowed?

Play for All playground in Round Rock. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

5. Play for All

Address: 151 N. A.W. Grimes Blvd.

Area of Central Texas: Round Rock

Features: This truly is a playground for all. It’s got many tactile things for kids with sensory differences as well as the ability for kids in wheelchairs to roll onto the playscape and other structures. There’s a lot to do here, but we especially love the miniature town with working stoplights, a library, a hospital, a fire station, a grocery store and gas station, a school and a car repair shop.

Shade: Yes, there are shade structures and trees.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Very low. It’s completely gated.

Why we love it: We love the variety of things to do. You can be a rock star in the music area or you can be the town doctor if you want.

Bonus: It’s a smart playground for kids with all kinds of needs.

Ramsey Park has been redone. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

6. Ramsey Neighborhood Park

Address: 4301 Rosedale Ave.

Area of Central Texas: Central Austin

Features: This park has been beautifully redone with different kinds of playscapes for all ages. There’s so much to climb on and crawl around. We love that the younger kid playscape is not the plastic lesser playground. Instead the little kids also have ropes to climb on and logs to conquer. While we miss the old big tall slide, a new, smaller slide fulfills that need.

Shade: Some. It could use more.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Very little. You can easily see where your child is.

Why we love it: It isn’t the same old playscape that can be found at every school and every other neighborhood around there. It’s a nod to nature and totally fun.

Bonus: The park also has a pool, tennis courts, a basketball court and a large field for soccer.

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

7. Lake Park Mueller

Address: 4550 Mueller Blvd.

Area of Central Texas: East Austin

Features: Multiple playscapes and multiple things to spin around in, bounce around in, spin from, make this a fun park. It set the trend in Austin for offering structures that go beyond the usual.

Shade: Yes. The trees love this park.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Medium. It’s a busy park, but it’s gated.

Why we love it: It’s good for all ages, but especially for older kids who might get bored at other playscapes, plus it’s across the street from the Thinkery and the Mueller Alamo Drafthouse and many new restaurants and stores.

Bonus: Oh, come on. We know you come here to feed the ducks.

Springwoods park has amazing trees that provide shade. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

8. Springwoods Neighborhood Park

Address: 9117 Anderson Mill Road.

Area of Central Texas: Northwest

Features: It has two large playscapes, but more importantly, it’s the setting of this playground. There are trees everywhere. Even though it’s right off Anderson Mill Road, you feel like you are in the middle of the forest. It’s a relaxing oasis with plenty of things to do including tennis, a walking trail, swings and a forest-theme playscape with a dinosaur and frog to ride.

Shade: Yes! The trees lower the temperature significantly.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Very low. It’s easy to watch kids in this quiet playground.

Why we love it: It’s all about the trees. You really feel away from the city here.

Bonus: Yes, you can ride a dinosaur.

Creative Playscape in Georgetown tells the history of Georgetown. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

9. Creative Playscape in San Gabriel Park

Address: 1003 N. Austin Ave.

Area of Central Texas: Georgetown

Features: This playground features one incredibly large playscape with multiple slides and things to climb on and a second nice-sized playscape, plus swings. It has some unusual features that you can’t get at other playgrounds.

Shade: Some. The trees really help.

Restrooms: Yes, in the recreation center.

Anxiety level: Low. It’s gated.

Why we love it: You can’t find this playscape anywhere. Plus you feel as if you’re going back in time as you step through the pavilion into an old-fashioned town.

Bonus: This playscape actually tells the history of Georgetown. It’s educational.

The playground at the Grove at Southpark Meadows. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman.

10. The Grove at Southpark Meadows

Address: 9500 S. Interstate 35.

Area of Central Texas: Far South Austin

Features: One very large playscape for the big kids has many different kids of things to climb up and move through. A smaller playscape for the littler kids isn’t too shabby, either. It also offers a little house, too.

Shade: Yes, there’s great trees here.

Restrooms: Yes, in the neighboring restaurants, but you have to be a patron.

Anxiety level: High. It would be very easy to lose track of your child or have her run off and not know which direction she went.

Why we love it: You can have dinner or ice cream and then go play. There’s also a stage where groups often entertain.

Bonus: Someone is always ready to play here.

Kyle Scarbrough makes the sound of a firefighter using a hose as he and his son Alden, 3, and Maggie McCreery, 7, play on the fire truck in the Zilker Park playground. (TAMIR KALIFA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

11. Zilker Metropolitan Park

Address: 2100 Barton Springs Road

Area of Central Texas: Central

Features: There’s a lot going on in a small space. You’ve got a whole sunken younger kids playground, a firetruck to climb on, a series of ramps that lead to slides in the large playscape that crosses over the Zilker Zephyr train. You can make music in the instrument section and swing on the swings. We know most longtime Austinites expected this playground to be No. 1. While there’s a lot to do here, the main playscape is really just a series of ramps to run up. We also saw a lot of wear and tear such as peeling paint that needs to be addressed. It really is beginning to feel dated. Play here for nostalgia’s sake.

Shade: Some from the trees, though it depends on the time of day.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: High. It is very easy to lose a kid here. Kids can easily climb over to the other side of the tracks without parents knowing. Plus, it’s often overcrowded and unmanageable. For kids who struggle with sharing or who don’t like sensory overload, this isn’t the place for them.

Why we love it: It’s all about the Zilker Zephyr train for us. Ride around the park in a miniature train? Yes, please.

Bonus: You can drink out of the head of a lion at the water fountain.


Katherine Fleischer Park has a cool playhouse. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

12. Katherine Fleischer Park

Address: 2106 Klattenhoff Drive

Area of Central Texas: Far North Austin

Features: This park in the Wells Branch neighborhood is an unexpected gem. The playground offers a lot of different types of playscapes, but our favorite is the miniature two-story house that feels like a treehouse.

Shade: Some. Trees keep about half this playground in shade.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Low. It’s a large area but easy to see kids.

Why we love it: It’s just got this amazing vibe to it, and where else can you play in a two-story house in the middle of a playground?

Bonus: This park comes with a miniature frontier town.

The cool rock wall at Southeast Metropolitan Park is one of the playscapes here. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

13. Northeast and Southeast Metropolitan Parks

Address: 2703 E. Pecan St., Pflugerville, and 4511 Texas 71, Del Valle

Area of Central Texas: Pflugerville and Del Valle

Features: We grouped these two Travis County parks together because they are very similar. They both have two sets of large covered playscapes in between ballparks that are by restrooms and concession stands. The playscapes have some great climbing structures. They also sit on cushy rubber surfaces that we love. No pebbles and no mulch to get into kids’ shoes.

Shade: Yes.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Very low. The playscapes are in a small area with easy sight lines.

Why we love it: We love that cushiony floor.

Bonus: The Southeast one has a large climbing wall in between the two sets of playgrounds.

The cool rock wall at Southeast Metropolitan Park is one of the playscapes here. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

14. South Austin Neighborhood Park

Address: 1100 Cumberland Road

Area of Central Texas: South Austin

Features: This large playscape at this recreation center has a lot of things to climb on, hang from and slide down.

Shade: Some, but not enough.

Restrooms: Yes, in the recreation center.

Anxiety level: Low. It’s easy to see kids and not overcrowded.

Why we love it: If you don’t know it’s here, you’ll be surprised by the number of different things to do.

Bonus: It’s got lovely fields all around it.

Little Zilker Neighborhood Park has been redone. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

15. Little Zilker Neighborhood Park

Address: 2016 Bluebonnet Lane

Area of Central Texas: South Austin

Features: This property, if you include Zilker Elementary, actually has three playscapes: one large one for big kids, one nice-sized one for little kids and the standard one that elementary schools often have. The two in the park are new and offer some fun things to climb on. Plus there are swings.

Shade: It could use more.

Restrooms: There are outhouses if the school isn’t open.

Anxiety level: Some. It’s right near the street.

Why we love it: It’s a great example, like Ramsey, of what a neighborhood can do to improve its park.

Bonus: Enjoy tennis courts, track and a covered basketball court on site.

Dove Springs District Park has a cool playscape and zip line. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

16. Dove Springs District Park

Address: 5801 Ainez Drive.

Area of Central Texas: Southeast Austin

Features: This is a lovely park with wood-themed playscapes. You can spin around on leaves, climb up tree trunks, cross a bridge to get to a different playscape. The thing that kids will really love is the zip line down the hill.

Shade: Not much.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Medium. It is a large area that encourages running.

Why we love it: Oh, it’s all about the zip line.

Bonus: It’s got everything a park needs: pool, tennis, basketball, recreation center, volleyball.

Harper Park in the Anderson Mill area has a playscape that looks like a forest. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

17. Anderson Mill Limited District Parks: Harper/El Salido/Pecan Creek

Address: 11008-11098 Lake Creek Parkway, 11500 El Salido Parkway, and Pecan Creek Parkway and Gungrove Drive

Area of Central Texas: Northwest Austin

Features: Harper Park has a large playscape with many things to climb, including trees, and swings including a bench swing. El Salido offers some unusual things to spin around in and swing from. We love the quaintness of Pecan Creek Park, which you might pass by and never see. All three are close together and offer different things to do.

Shade: Not much, except from trees and a shade covering at Pecan Creek.

Restrooms: Only at El Salido, which has a pool.

Anxiety level: Very little.

Why we love it: We love the variety of equipment and the little bridges to get to the playgrounds.

Bonus: We’re ready to climb the tree structure at Harper and swing on the bench swings.

Gustavo “Gus” L. Garcia District Park has a cool playground for climbing. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

18. Gustavo “Gus” L. Garcia District Park

Address: 1201 E. Rundberg Lane.

Area of Central Texas: Northeast Austin

Features: This park offers two large new playscapes with a lot to climb on. The big-kid one is well-covered by a shade structure. The little kid one looks like a dinosaur. It’s all about climbing and hanging from things here.

Shade: Some.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: None.

Why we love it: It has some different things to climb on. Did we mention the playscape that is a dinosaur?

Bonus: It’s new and fun.

Pease District Park has a large playscape. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

19. Pease District Park

Address: 1100 Kingsbury St.

Area of Central Texas: Central Austin

Features: Nice playscapes, but they are showing some wear. It does have big picnic tables, which makes it great for groups.

Shade: Some from the trees.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Very little. The playground is in one spot and easy to watch for kids.

Why we love it: It’s centrally located and there are a lot of things to do.

Bonus: This park comes with an amazing splash pad.

Mountain View Neighborhood Park has lots of shade and a great playscape. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

20. Mountain View Neighborhood Park

Address: 9000 Middlebie Road.

Area of Central Texas: Northwest Austin

Features: This park just feels amazing. It’s secluded and feels like an oasis that you climb up to. There’s a surprise at the top. It’s got great playscapes, including a tire swing, and plenty of different things to climb. It’s also got a nice pavilion with nice bathrooms.

Shade: Yes. The trees do wonders.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: None.

Why we love it: It feels a world away from the city.

Bonus: That tire swing begs for a ride.

Davis/White Northeast Neighborhood Park is a cool neighborhood park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

21. Davis/White Northeast Neighborhood Park

Address: 6705 Crystalbrook Drive.

Area of Central Texas: Northeast Austin

Features: This park has great equipment including a large playscape and a second playscape, and it is getting used. It’s also has a nice pavilion.

Shade: No.

Restrooms: Yes, but also portable toilets.

Anxiety level: Very little. It’s small and nicely contained.

Why we love it: The equipment is new and fun and we saw a lot of different kids climbing on it.

Bonus: It’s got all that new equipment without being overrun by kids.

Dick Nichols District Park now has shade over the playscape. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

22. Dick Nichols District Park

Address: 8011 Beckett Road.

Area of Central Texas: Far South Austin

Features: This playground offers a large big-kid playground that is now fully shade, which has improved it immensely, as well as a little-kid playscape with a car. It also has swings for big and little kids and a cool hanging obstacle course. It is showing some wear, though.

Shade: Yes.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Low.

Why we love it: The playscape is fun, but kids flock to that car as well as well as the dolphin that shoots water at you. It’s an old-school splash pad.

Bonus: There’s a pool and a beautifully wooded one-mile paved trail.

Rattan Creek Park is a private park with a tire swing and a rock wall. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

23. Rattan Creek Park

Address: Elkhorn Mountain Trail and Tamayo Drive.

Area of Central Texas: Northwest Austin

Features: This North Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 park is supposed to be for its residents only, but we doubt they’re the only people who play here. It’s beautifully shaded with a rock wall and two playscapes and a tire swing.

Shade: Yes, through trees and shade structures.

Restrooms: Yes, in the pool building.

Anxiety level: Very low.

Why we love it: It’s the woody shade and the different types of play equipment.

Bonus: Did we mention the rock wall playscape?

Tanglewood Forest Park has really nice playscapes. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

24. Tanglewood Forest Park

Address: 9801 Curlew Drive.

Area of Central Texas: Far South Austin

Features: Tanglewood Forest (not to be confused with Tanglewood in Northwest Austin) is run by a limited district, but it offers some of the best equipment for a small park. The playscapes are a great size and there are many sets of swings.

Shade: Not a lot.

Restrooms: Yes, by the pool.

Anxiety level: Very little.

Why we love it: We love the size of it and the variety of things to play on.

Bonus: Parents love the walking track around it. Kids will love the dinosaur to ride on.

25. Gillis Neighborhood Park

Address: 2410 Durwood Ave.

Area of Central Texas: South Austin

Features: This quiet little park has new equipment to play on as well as plenty of shade and restrooms. Plus, you can climb like a spider on a rope playscape.

Shade: Yes.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Some, but only in the parking lot.

Why we love it: It’s cute and quiet with unexpectedly amazing equipment.

Bonus: There’s a pool here, too.

More great playground gems

Try out these great playgrounds, grouped by area of town.

Northwest Balcones Neighborhood Park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman


Trailhead Neighborhood Park, 10984 Boulder Lane. It’s a sweet little park with a large playscape and a nice pavilion.

Oak View Neighborhood Park, 10902 Oak View Drive. This one is so hidden, you might miss the playscape, but that’s what makes it great.

Fritz Hughes Park, 3100 Fritz Hughes Park Road. This cute park just beneath Mansfield Dam has a nice simple playscape and a great picnic field.

Northwest Balcones Neighborhood Park, 10225 Talleyran Drive. It’s got two nice playscapes and a pavilion with restrooms.

Pickfair Pocket Park, 10904 Pickfair Drive. We loved crossing the bridge to get to this sweet little playground.

Robinson Park, 13308 Humphrey Drive. Stop by this cute park with two playscapes on your way to Rattan Creek Park.

Hubert C. Schroeter Neighborhood Park, 11701 Big Trail. You can’t see this playscape from the street, but walk through the path of native grasses, and it’s worth it.

Tanglewood Neighborhood Park, 2106 Tower Drive. This cute park includes nice playscapes and a bridge to a rustic trail.

Heritage Park in Pflugerville. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman


Far North

Buttercup. 411 Twin Oak Trail, Cedar Park. We found this cute park looking for another one. It’s got good shade and things to bounce on.

Tumlinson Park. 405 Tumlinson Fort Drive, Leander. This restricted park in the Block House Municipal Utility District has a large playscape, swings and a bouncy horse and motorcycle.

Heritage Park. 901 Old Austin Hutto Road, Pflugerville. You can learn about history here. You also can play on a shaded playscape or take advantage of the pool next to it.

Pfluger Park, Pflugerville. 515 City Park Road. Trust not your GPS. It will lead you astray, but once you get here, the park offers a great playscape, miniature houses and a gazebo.

Robin Bledsoe Park. 601 S. Bagdad Road, Leander. This park has a nice playscape as well as the city pool. Shade would be good here.

Dottie Jordan Neighborhood Park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman


Springdale Neighborhood Park. 1175 Nickols Ave. You’ll find large playscape and other things to climb. Some of the equipment has some wear.

Dottie Jordan Neighborhood Park. 2803 Loyola Lane. Kids will enjoy the variety of this playscape. It’s not the newest playscape, but it’s well kept up.

Lott Pocket Park. 1180 Curve St. This is one of those cute parks you might miss. It’s in the heart of East Austin and has good equipment and a splash pad.

Bartholomew District Park. 5201 Berkman Drive. You’ll find many things to climb on in this park’s play area including a train set. The splash pad is great, too.

Edward Rendon Sr. Metropolitan Park at Festival Beach. 2101 Jesse E Segovia St. This playscape sits in the middle of a large park off of the beach.

Eastwoods Neighborhood Park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman


Eastwoods Neighborhood Park. 3001 Harris Park Ave. This quiet park is worth a stop. It’s well-shaded, features two playscapes and a splash pad.

Tarrytown Neighborhood Park. 2106 Tower Drive. The Tarrytown area doesn’t have a big park, but this one is really sweet. The two playscapes are separated by a bridge.

Tom Lasseter-South Lamar Neighborhood. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman


Little Stacy Neighborhood Park. 1500 Alameda Drive. People who love this park love its shady grounds. Some of the equipment is new. Some of the older equipment probably should be taken out. There is a wading pool here, too.

Battlebend Springs Neighborhood Park. 121 Sheraton Ave. This is an unexpected surprise off South Congress Avenue. It has a big new playscape with a rock wall and things to spin around on.

Tom Lasseter-South Lamar Neighborhood. 3000 Del Curto Road. Del Curto Road is torn up, but once we found it, it was worth it. It’s a wooded oasis with a great whimsical playscape.

Garrison District Park. 6001 Manchaca Road. Garrison has two great playscapes that are nicely shaded.

Joslin Neighborhood Park. 2106 Cimaron Trail. Next to Joslin Elementary, this park sits in a big field and offers new equipment that you won’t find elsewhere.

Rollingwood City Park. Gentry and Nixon Drives. This playscape isn’t the largest, but it’s got a fun, modern merry-go-round where four kids can sit and then spin around.

City Park in Buda. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

Far South

Wildflower Park. 5000 Tiger Lily Way. Circle C does not have a great playscape in its metropolitan park. Skip it and find your way to this one. It’s got two new playscapes with shade structures.

Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park. 907 W. Slaughter Lane. People come to this park for the walking trails and disc golf, but it’s got a fun playscape, too.

Silk Oak Neighborhood Park. 3204 Silk Oak Drive. You have to know that this park, which links two neighborhoods, is there to find it. It’s got three playscapes, swings and a volleyball court.

A.B. Dittmar Neighborhood Park. 1009 W. Dittmar Road. This playscape feels like you’re climbing into a treehouse.

City Park, Buda. 204 N. San Marcos St. You come to this park for the wiener dog races and the fireworks, but you can come other times to play on this large playscape.

Franklin Neighborhood Park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman


Franklin Neighborhood Park. 4800 Copperbend Blvd. This playscape has so much for all kids to do. It would be the perfect park. What’s missing? Bathrooms that aren’t portable. That’s it.

Kendra Page Neighborhood Park. 2203 Blue Meadow Drive. This park has a fun bench that you and a friend can move back and forth on as well as two playscapes.

Fisherman’s Park in Bastrop. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

Far East

Fisherman’s Park, Bastrop. 1200 Willow St. You’ll come to fish and feed the ducks, but head into the gated play area for two great playscapes and a seat that spins. This park also has an extensive splash pad.

What are you doing this long Fourth of July weekend? Check out these family events in Austin

It could be a very long weekend if you don’t plan for the family fun. Check out our family calendar for July 4th weekend.

For more family events of the summer, check out our Summer events calendar.

Blanton docent Gary Kattner, right, reads a book for (left to right) Mandy Kutz, and daughter Effie, 3, Cate Bowman, 3, and mother Jillian Bontke Bowman during a story tour in the Blanton Museum of Art. Julia Robinson/ FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2014


Blanton Museum. Deeper Dives. Ages 8-12. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday. See the museum and make art. Blanton Museum. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Star Party. Look at the stars. 9 p.m. Fridays. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park.

Wildflower Center. Sprouts. Hands-on preschool program. 10 a.m. Fridays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

The Woodland Faerie Trail will be open all weekend except Tuesday.
Credit: Zilker Botanical Garden


Woodland Faerie Trail. See fairy houses on this trail. Through July 30. Free with admission. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road.


Alamo Drafthouse Kids Camp. Movies for $1-3 donation. “Iron Giant.” 10:20 a.m. Friday-Tuesday Lakeline.  “Muppets from Space.” 10:25 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. Monday-Tuesday, Slaughter Lane. “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.” 9:30 a.m. Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. Monday-Tuesday, Mueller.

“The Lego  Batman Movie” is at the library this weekend. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures


Free Teddybear Clinic. Help kids understand about doctors’ visits. 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Baby Earth, 06 E. Old Settlers Blvd., Suite D-100, Round Rock. RSVP at 844-279-3627.

Bullock Museum. Summer Free Family Film Series: “Black Cauldron.” 2 p.m. Saturday. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Thinkery. Baby Bloomers. For infant to 3. Learn about summer all month long. 9 a.m. Mondays and Saturdays. Special guests throughout the month. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Hill Country Science Mill. Soar to New Heights. It’s all about rockets and paper planes as you test out your creations. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. July 1. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City.

Wildflower Center. Nature Play Hour. Play in the Family Garden. 11 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Toybrary Austin. Date night babysitting. For ages 1-5. $25 first child, $10 siblings. 5-8 p.m. Saturdays. Toybrary Austin, 7817 Rockwood Lane, Suite 101.

“Jack & The Beanstalk.” The fairytale comes to the sage. Noon,  Saturday. $12. One World Theatre, 7701 Bee Cave Road.

“Iron Giant.” 1 p.m. Saturday. $10-$6. Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Ave.

BookPeople Story time. “Ninjas in the Night.” 11:30 a.m. Saturday. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Barnes & Noble Events: Saturday story times 11 a.m. at all locations: “Be Quiet!” Saturday.

Bow Wow Reading with Bonnie the Dog. 11:30 a.m. Saturdays, Yarborough Branch.

Saturday Family Movie: “Sing.” Noon Saturday, Carver Branch. “Lego Batman Movie.” 2 p.m. Saturday, Windsor Park Branch;.

That’s So Fandom: Video Game Animation. 2 p.m. Saturday, Yarborough Branch.


Thinkery. Cow Eye Dissection. For ages 4 and up. 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. or 3:15 p.m. Saturday-Sunday,$8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

“Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” 3:05 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday. $10-$6. Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Ave.

“Despicable Me 3” Party. 9:15 a.m. Sunday, Lakeline. 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Slaughter Lane.

From top left, Jennifer and Kevin Miller react as their daughter, Laurel, 4, center, takes part in an inertia game at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


Bullock Museum. H-E-B Free First Sunday: Red, White and Blue. Special family programs throughout the museum. 10 a.m. July 2. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

The Hoots. 3 p.m. Sunday, Manchaca Road Branch.


Thinkery. Baby Bloomers. For infant to 3. Learn about summer all month long. 9 a.m. Mondays and Saturdays. Special guests throughout the month. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Crafternoon. 2 p.m. Monday, Manchaca Road Branch.

Hey Lollies Present: “Iris Saves the Land of Black and White.” 2 p.m. Monday, Spicewood Springs Branch.

Magician John O’Bryant. 2 p.m. Monday, Spicewood Springs Branch.

Bernadette Nason Presents: Stone Soup. 3 p.m. Monday, Howson Branch.

Sandbank Shadow Factory Presents: Rapunzel. 6 p.m. Monday, Carver Branch.


Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse. Offers $1 movies 10 a.m at Round Rock 8. “Goosebumps.” Monday-Tuesday.

The crowds arrived in record numbers to participate in the Fourth of July firework celebration at Auditorium Shores and the Long Center. JOHN GUTIERREZ/ FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN


H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert and Fireworks. 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Free. Vic Mathias Shores.

Regal Summer Movie Express. $1 movies at Westgate Stadium 11 and Gateway Stadium 16. “The Secret Life of Pets,” and “Sing,” 10 a.m. Tuesday.

BookPeople Story time. Brand New Books. 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.




















Is Texas a great place to be a working dad? Not really


WalletHub, a financial site that loves to crunch numbers, released its 2017’s Best & Worst States for Working Dads report.

How did Texas do? Not great. We’re No. 38.

But what’s worse: In work-life balance we’re No. 51 (the District of Columbia is included).

We also had the highest percentage of uninsured males.

We tied for last place with South Dakota, Louisiana, Wyoming, North Dakota and Alaska for the highest average length of the work day (46 hours).

We were 48th in percentage of kids with dad present living in poverty.

And we’re 40th in having dads who are physically active and 33rd in deaths among males cause by heart disease. OK, dads, you can do something about that.

Things we did OK in: 

Median Family Income adjusted for cost of living: 21st

Unemployment rate for dads with kids younger than 18: 15th

Child care cost: 14th

Things we’re great at: 

Quality of child care: Third

Where are the best places to be a working dad?

  1. Connecticut
  2. Minnesota
  3. Vermont
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New Jersey

Where are the worst?

47: Louisiana

48: New Mexico

49: West Virginia

50: Nevada

51: Mississippi

How does this compare to working moms? WalletHub did the same study last month:

There we came in 33rd. We still got dinged on work-life balance, though not as bad. We did do well in day care quality and costs.




Is Texas a great place for working moms? Survey finds mixed results

Texas isn’t the worst state to be a working mom, but it certainly isn’t the best, says a new Wallet Hub survey. In fact, it came in No. 33.

Where would we have to move if we wanted to live in the best place for working moms? Vermont, which is lovely in summer and fall, but those winters and the spring that never comes — pass.

What’s Vermont have that we don’t have? Better day care, better work-life balance, better professional opportunities.

If you don’t like Vermont, Minnesota was No. 2, New Jersey was No. 3, Delaware was No. 4 and Connecticut was No. 5.

Is Texas a great place to be a working mom? (Credit: Eric Doggett)

Texas did great in day-care quality — we’re No. 3 — OK in child care costs (No. 13), great in median women’s salary adjust for cost of living (No. 10), and female unemployment rate (No. 17).

We’re OK in pediatricians per capita (No. 29), gender pay gap (No. 30), parental-leave policy (No. 37) and single moms living in poverty (No. 33).

What Texas employers need to work on: length of a woman’s workday (No. 49) and  ratio to female to male executives (No. 47).

We’ve been talking a lot about that work-life balance.

We’ve heard from Sheryl Sandberg about leaning in. Sandberg, the chief operating officer, will be in Austin in November for the Texas Conference for Women. 

We’ve also heard from author Lisen Stromberg, who talks about the way that women are crafting their careers in different ways that wouldn’t always be considered leaning in in her book “Work. Pause. Thrive.”

And, we’ve also been told that moms need to make their primary role motherhood and not outsource the parenting to another person and certainly not day-care by author Erica Komisar.


Austin named one of the best cities to raise a family

SmartAsset, an online financial resource company, named Austin No. 9 on its best places to raise a family chart.

It looked at cost of living, cost of child care, math and reading scores for students, high school graduation rates, age of the population and poverty rate. We tied with Corpus Christi. In fact, five of the top 10 were Texas cities with Fort Worth coming in at No. 3, Arlington at No. 4 and El Paso at No. 8.

Daniel McLean, 7, gets excited as he runs behind a kite with Julian Martinez during the 86th annual ABC Zilker Kite Festival on Sunday, March 1, 2015. Doug McLean, Daniel McLean’s father says that his son has charge syndrome and loves bright colors and the kite festival. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Daniel McLean, 7, gets excited as he runs behind a kite with Julian Martinez during the 86th annual ABC Zilker Kite Festival in 2015.(RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The top two cities were Fort Wayne, Ind., at No. 1, and Lincoln, Neb., at N0 2. Boise, Idaho ranked No. 5, Omaha, Neb., at No. 6, and Oklahoma City at N0. 7.

But really, who would want to live in Fort Wayne? It had cost of living and high high school graduation rates going for it.

RELATED: Austin only second-best city in Texas, according to Forbes

SmartAsset said this about Austin:

“Austin has many advantages to offer a potential family, including a poverty rate of only 14.5% and an unemployment rate of only 4.2%. The largest city in our top 10, Austin also has some good schools. The average proficiency rate in math and reading in Austin schools is 81.5%. One thing to keep in mind is that the population skews slightly older. Only 24.5% of its population is age 19 and under.”

RELATED: People are leaving Austin in droves, according to new report