It begins. Summertime, otherwise known as “Constant Air Conditioning Season,” is a challenge for parents. The school months keep your kids adequately occupied, leaving summertime as a comparatively wide-open, unstructured challenge. Summer camps can be a recreational relief, but not everyone heads to the YMCA. That said, summertime in Austin brings in unique opportunities for family fun. If you’re not heading to Schlitterbahn, Six Flags or summer camp, make time to hit up these fun Austin activities.
June 5, Ninth Annual Amy’s Ice Cream Trick Olympics
This one goes against the whole “don’t play with you food” thing. But, it’s for a great cause, and the results are extremely sweet. At the Amy’s Ice Cream 9th Annual Trick Olympics, scoops (Amy’s name for their servers) flip, toss and twirl ice cream in a fundraising effort for CASA of Travis County.
With juggling, aerobics, magic and other tasty tricks up their sleeve, scoops from across Texas compete in the Best Solo Trick, Best Team Trick and Trick Decathlon categories. Just be sure to supervise ice cream night at your house more closely from here on out.
June 7, Alamo Summer Kids Camp
You either loved or hated summer camp. Me, I despised outdoor camps. Forced to swim in lakes and build gimp friendship bracelets? If only the Alamo Drafhouse had their Summer Kids Camp back then, it would have eradicated five percent of my bad childhood memories. But, I digress.
Many Austin theater chains hold similar camps, but the Drafthouse pulls out classics like The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Land Before Time, filmed in Austin Spy Kids and, a favorite in my household, Madagascar (all hail the New York giants). Save on sunscreen and impede embarrassment by hitting the Drafthouse. Movies are free — and complementary air conditioning is served.
June 8, Round Rock Mini Maker Fair
Notice how used cereal boxes and scotch tape get more playtime than the majority of the kiddos plastic toys? The imagination makes more great things than Mattel. If you have a maker in your midst, then you’re probably aware of Make: Magazine, and their Maker Faires.
Maker Faires are gatherings of Do-It-Yourself-ers that make things and inspire creativity. Sponsored by TechShop, The Round Rock Mini Maker Faire is a small gathering of tinkerers with big ideas. Full of demos and interactive workshops, your small engineer is sure to get great ideas.
June 12, Children’s Day Art Park
My least memorable summer camp experience involved an arts and crafts class where the camp counselors ignored us campers in favor of listening to Eddie Murphy: Raw. You can be assured that a visit to the Children’s Day Art Park will involve more art than F-bombs.
Held several Wednesday mornings at Symphony Square Amphitheater, this musical camp features dancers, magicians, crafts and music ranging from the Biscuit Brothers to the Austin Symphony. This is a free (and popular) event, so plan on arriving early.
June 21, Sky Candy’s “The Circus” at Scottish Rite Theater
No wheel of death. No whip-bearing tiger trainers. This circus places the spotlight on aerial acrobatics. Seeing as this is a production of Austin’s aerial dance and performance company Sky Candy, you’ll spend plenty of time looking up at “The Circus”.
Set in 1890, the show follows a young girl who runs away to join the circus, and gets more than he bargains for. Weaving puppetry, live period music and theatrical magic, “The Circus” is bound to make you re-think what a circus can be, and maybe inspire your kids to take flight with Sky Candy.
June 22, Keep Austin Weird Festival and 5K
There’s a certain bliss to being 5-years-old and not caring that rain boots and shorts don’t match. Weirdness is something that should be celebrated throughout childhood, and if we’re lucky, adulthood. After all, the younger generation will decide if Austin maintains its “weirdness.” There’s no better starting point than the Keep Austin Weird Festival and 5K.
The 5K features crazy fun stops (many involving alcohol, so be wary parents) and Austin craft vendors, local food and family friendly activities will let you wash in the weird. Of course there’s live music, and big-time headliners like Erin McCariey, The Whigs and Shiny Toy Guns won’t disappoint.
Children are our future, so let's show them as much as possible about this town.