Keeping Kids Weird

November's kid-cool local activities include fast cars, pizza and the Fresh Beat Band

November's Austin kid activities include fast cars and Fresh Beat Band

Fresh Beat Band Nickelodeon
Catch the Fresh Beat Band at ACL Live. Photo by Fresh Beat Band/ Nickelodeon
Austin Photo Set: jon_fanfest_f1_lounge 88_nov 2012_17
Drivers young and old can try their hand at racing during Austin Fan Fest.  Photo by Jon Shapley
Austin Photo Set: News_Carnival O'Pizza_kids
Chefs in training can try their hand at making pizza dough at the 8th Annual Carnival o' Pizza.  Photo by Jessica Pages
Fresh Beat Band Nickelodeon
Austin Photo Set: jon_fanfest_f1_lounge 88_nov 2012_17
Austin Photo Set: News_Carnival O'Pizza_kids

Between the sugar rush of Halloween and the days before Thanksgiving break, the middle of November can be trouble for those of us with kids. Keeping them occupied and educated as we sprint towards holiday time takes some creativity.

In the spirit of the season, give thanks for the fact that there are some great kid-friendly activities taking place in Austin this month. Take your pick of concerts, performances and carnivals fit for every family. Plus, we left off anything involving a turkey.

November 13 — The Fresh Beat Band
ACL Live 

Let’s face it - kiddie music isn’t for us. While our kids are bopping along, we're no doubt dubious about our own personal enjoyment of any kids concert. The Fresh Beat Band Live in Concert brings a pop sound that has fueled major popularity and captured young fans with their Nickelodeon show of the same name.

While far from something parents would actively listen to (when is someone starting a Radiohead for kids?), the Fresh Beat Band’s music is influenced by everything from pop, funk rock and rap. Judging from some of the stuff on the MTV Video music awards, a Fresh Beat Band concert may be the most tolerable pop stars our kids listen to. 

November 14- 17 —Austin Fan Fest
Downtown Austin

While the thrill (and noise) of Formula 1 may not be much fun for kids to experience at the Circuit of the Americas track, the excitement of F1 zooms downtown during race weekend at the Austin Fan Fest. Small and not-so-small racing enthusiasts can get a taste of the race with music, food, an X Games zone, a special kids area and plenty of interactive F1 activities.

Kids growing up here get to experience some unique activities. Like Longhorns football, ACL and SXSW, Austin is now a Formula 1 town. Make sure your kids get a taste of our “hometown culture" at the Austin Fan Fest

November 16 — 8th Annual Carnival o' Pizza
Home Slice Pizza

Pizza alone should be enough reason for kids to be interested in attending this event. Held at Home Slice Pizza on South Congress, the Eighth Annual Carnival o' Pizza doesn’t disappoint. Activities include carnival games, raffles, dough tossing competitions and music.

This is an event that enriches kids in more ways than one. In addition to experiencing a quintessential Austin celebration, this is also a benefit for Austin Bat Cave, a non-profit that provides free creative writing and tutoring to students in Austin. So head on down, grab some slices and entertain your kids while helping others across the city. Good job, you!

November 18 — The Empty Bowl Project
The Marchesa Hall & Theatre

This being Austin, chances are that a kid has participated in a protest march, social rally or 5K before their fifth birthday. Having a child clued into the world’s problems (beyond DocMcStuffin’s daily medical dramas) is something many Austin parents strive for. One of our town's biggest challenges is tackling its hunger problem. The Austin Empty Bowl Project is a great place for your kids to appreciate art while keying them into our responsibilities to bigger causes. Volunteers across the city craft ceramic bowls for sale and each $20 donation includes a bowl of soup. The proceeds benefit Meals for Kids and Kids Cafe. 

November 27 and various December dates —  A Christmas Story
Zach Theatre

Your kids know all the classic Christmas characters: the Grinch, Rudolph, Kevin McAllister, Buddy the Elf. But have they been introduced to Ralphie Parker?

There’s a good chance your kids haven’t seen this Christmas cult classic (its full 24-hour Christmas Day run on cable often conflicts with opening presents). The Zach Theatre puts on A Christmas Story, the classic tale of pink bunny pajamas, leg lamps and Red Rider BB guns. Shows run through December, so it’s the perfect treat for younger generations to appreciate the holiday antics. They may not understand what it means to stick your tongue on a cold flagpole in the frigid Midwest, but they’ll relate to young Ralphie as he tries to get to the magic of Christmas morning.