I like to keep it short and simple, because time is precious and we each need only one or two SXSW places to go with our kids anyway, right? But I’m getting pretty excited about some of these events, so I’m going to add ANOTHER Top 5 SXSW Kid-Friendly Events 2012 as a companion post to the Top 5 SXSW Kid-Friendly Events 2012 that I posted last week.
Editors note: This article was first published in GrowingUpAustin.com.
#5. Wonder Women! The Untold Story Of American Superheroines, a Benefit for GENaustin
Sunday March 11, 5pm – 7pm, Gallery Black Lagoon, 4301 Guadalupe Street
I like my girls being exposed to strong images of powerful women, even if they are imaginary. The documentary “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines” is premiering at the SXSW film festival. This event promotes the film and also benefits the Girls Empowerment Network (GENaustin). Snippets of the movie will be shown, the director, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, and producer, Kelcey Edwards, will answer questions and there is a superheroine/superhero costume contest. There will also be superheroine art on display, created by girls in GENaustin programs. At first I thought this event would be more for girls, but superheroines/heros are fun now matter what the gender, so I say bring boys and girls. This event isn’t specifically designed for kids, but with the variety of activities and they are welcome. There is a $5 suggested donation for GENaustin. (Thanks to Nicole from Live Mom for this tip. Check out her post on the ScreenBurn Arcade event.)
Wednesday, March 14, 2-6pm, Scholtz Garden, 1067 San Jacinto Blvd.
I bring my kids to see grown-ups play music a lot, so why not let the kids take the stage for a day? Dee Snider of Twisted Sister sends his daughter to School of Rock on Long Island because the kids learn more than just notes and chords, they learn how to play with other musicians and get out on stage in front of people. It makes sense to me! The Austin School of Rock is presenting this day party where their student bands will play. All ages are invited and there is no cover charge (although donations are appreciated). There are a few parking garages around Scholtz’s Garden that are a short walk.
Friday, March 16, 11am-7pm, 301 West Riverside Drive
Threadgill’s has a nice outdoor stage that is contained for the kiddos, with seats for sitting and room for dancing too. Fourteen bands play about 20 minute sets each and Amy’s serves free ice cream. There is a decent amount of parking and good food, if you want to eat lunch there. There is a $10 cover charge, but kids 12 and under are free. The Dang Fest Facebook page still had last year’s info at the time this was posted, so refer to the Threadgill’s site for more 2012 information.
#2. Rodeo Austin
Friday, March 9 – Saturday, March 24, Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker Lane
Now, this recommendation may not seem like part of SXSW, but most events I have recommended in the original Top 5 or this post is an official SXSW event and the rodeo meets all the criteria for grown-up live music in a kid-friendly venue. Rodeo Austin is held for two weeks every March, always overlapping with SXSW, at the Travis County Expo Center. They have mostly country and some times rock concerts on multiple stages; this year includes Sara Evans, Gary P. Nunn and Glen Campbell. They have a pro rodeo competition with steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding. The fairgrounds remind me of the last scene in the movie Grease, with Fun Houses, carnival games and cotton candy. They also have mini-roller-coasters, which were a big hit with niece and nephew when they were elementary-age. There is also a Kid’s Town where kids can ride a pony, visit a petting zoo and be a farmer for a day. The rodeo is an long-term commitment, because it is a bit of a drive out of town and parking takes a while. It can get pricey too. General admission is just $7 for adults and $4 for kids (under 2 are free), but parking is another $10 and the food, games, rides and concerts cost more. But for one day, once a year, it is worth it!
Sunday, March 18, 1pm-5pm, Springdale Farm, 755 Springdale Road
When I see music with my kids, it isn’t usually my favorite band, I wrote about that here. But sometimes, it all comes together. I really want to see Peelander-Z because I’ve never seen a Japanese Action Comic Punk band before. For their live shows, they wear colorful costumes reminiscent of Japanese Animation and they encourage participation from the audience, including dancing, karaoke and playing cow bells. Who wouldn’t want to see that? And there is more! Mother Falcon has a leader, Nick Gregg, who manages an always-changing crew of classical musicians, 10-20 of whom play each live show. Their music is a soundscape of strings, brass and drums with a modern sensibility. I don’t even know what that means, but I want to find out. If that isn’t enough for you, there is lots of shade, giant octopus balloons, clean toilets, space bowling, coloring with Toy Joy, chickens, tigers and food trucks. The show is free, but donations are accepted to benefit Anthropos Arts. This event is on the very last day of SXSW and would be a great way to close it out for 2012.
[Note - The SXSW Auditorium Shores shows on Saturday afternoons have been a regular kid-friendly SXSW event in the past, but they still aren't confirmed at this time. One contact at SXSW says they are not going to happen, another says they are still working on it, so if you are considering it, check the web site before you head out. The night-time shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Auditorium Shores are confirmed, but the night-time shows aren't very kid-friendly.]
That is all. I hope y’all have fun. And remember that AustinKidsDance.com provides information about grown-up live music in kid-friendly venues year-round, so check that out. Also, if you LIKE Growing Up Austin on Facebook or subscribe to an RSS feed, you will get regular updates. Have a great time!
About the Author: Carol Ramsey writes GrowingUpAustin.com and helps families find grown-up live music in kid-friendly venues at AustinKidsDance.com . She lives in Austin with her husband and three girls, 3, 4 and 15 years old.