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Growing up weird: Kid-cool activities for November

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Dia De Los Muertos Photo by Kelly Schneider
Austin Photo Set: Events_Austin Fan Fest_Nov 2012_updated map
A map of Austin Fan Fest downtown. Courtesy of Circuit of the Americas
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Austin Photo Set: News_Kelly_viva la vida_Oct 2011_family
Austin Photo Set: Events_Austin Fan Fest_Nov 2012_updated map

The eleventh month of the year doesn't get enough love. While Thanksgiving is by no means a second-rate holiday, time can blow through November faster than leaves across your backyard. Families can make the most of November by enjoying some unique activities that provide some culture, fitness and excitement. Before the turkey talk, pigskin and Black Friday madness, enjoy Austin at its outdoor best. 

November 3: Formula Run and Kid’s Dash

Unless you drive an Formula 1 car, you won’t be stepping on the track of the Circuit of The Americas too often. However, you’ll be able to take those hair-razing turns at an easy pace during the Formula Run and Kid’s Dash, held by RunTex. Runners will be able to run the 3 1/2 mile track two weeks before the track’s big debut. At 9:00, the Kid’s Dash will let little ones speed down two turns. This is neat way to get a peek at the much-buzzed track, as well as give runners of all abilities a unique 5K run. NOTE: Keep an eagle-eye out for the last guy to finish the run... it’ll be your humble contributor.  

November 10: Domain Christmas Tree Lighting

There’s something ironic about the city’s first Christmas tree lighting taking place in a un-Austin mall. Still, the Domain has grown on Austin residents, and the lighting of their 40-foot tree has become a tradition in its own right. There is plenty of family fun, crafts and entertainment for kids to enjoy. Performances by Jack Ingram, Lex Land (finalist on NBC’s The Voice) and “Outside Voices” from Riverbend Church will lead up to the big event. With Santa making an appearance, the Domain tree lighting is a fine way to get some holiday spirit until the Trail of Lights flickers on again in a few weeks. 

November 10: Austin Barkitecture

Architecture has gone to the dogs — and it's for a great cause. Local designers, builders and architecture firms take their design expertise and scale it down to a canine-friendly size at Austin Barkitecture, presented by Animal Lovers of Austin. Designer dog houses overtake 2nd Street from 12 to 4 p.m. in this family and dog friendly event. Each of these designer dog houses will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to various animal rescue and other Austin animal welfare programs. 

Weekends until November 25: Texas Renaissance Festival

Huzzah lords and ladies! Austin ‘tis only a short distance from stepping back into the past at the Texas Renaissance Festival. This immersive experience will give kids a journey into the days of blacksmiths, armoring, broom and making. It’s not full-on authentic, with an assortment of spinning rides (Ye Olde Tilt-O-Whirl) providing some modern-day thrills; however, even a few hours spent honoring simpler times will give families an appreciation for the days of yore. Plus, a live joust will make the latest Xbox game seem tame by comparison. 

November 17-19: Austin Fan Fest

With Formula 1 Racing set to descend upon Austin, it’s possible that boys will get a severe case of racing fever. While attending the actual races may be a financial and logistical nightmare, the Austin Fan Fest has activities that will get their little motors running. The Austin Fan Fest will roar into downtown with music, parties, a kids zone and plenty of interactive F1 activities. If you’re willing to brave the downtown streets, this will be a fun experience for your little racers to experience the excitement of F1 without the expense of the three day ticket.  

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