Summer Fun

The best kids events in town guarantee you'll beat summer boredom

The best kids events in town guarantee you'll beat summer boredom

Bubblepalooza Austin 2013
Bubblepalooza returns in June to The Long Center. Photo by Jon Shapley
little girl kissing brachiosaurus at Erth's Dinosaur Petting Zoo
Kids can get a hands-on lesson with some big, friendly dinos at Erth's Dinosaur Zoo at The Long Center. Photo courtesy of The Long Center
kids and family performing at Flying Theater Machine at The Hideout Theatre
Keep their imaginations active this summer with Flying Theater Machine, an improv show geared towards children at The Hideout. Photo courtesy of Flying Theater Machine/Facebook
Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins animated sequence
Enjoy free screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse for their Alamo Kids Camp series, featuring films such as the Disney classic, Mary Poppins. Photo courtesy of the Alamo Drafthouse
book cover of Hardworking Honey Bee
Learn about bees at Toybrary Austin with a reading from the authors of Hardworking Honey Bee and samples of honey and lemonade, provided by SweetBee Lemonade. Photo courtesy of
Bubblepalooza Austin 2013
little girl kissing brachiosaurus at Erth's Dinosaur Petting Zoo
kids and family performing at Flying Theater Machine at The Hideout Theatre
Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins animated sequence
book cover of Hardworking Honey Bee

Bored kids? Not in Austin. From free movies and rock shows to bubbles and improv, here are the top picks for kid-friendly events that will make this the best summer ever.

Alamo Kids Camp: Free movies all summer
This is the season of big summer blockbusters, but options for kid-friendly films are slim. Thankfully, the Alamo Drafthouse offers a series of completely free screenings for families throughout the summer. Tickets are available at the box office on the day of each screening on a first come, first served basis. We suggest using the money you saved on tickets to treat your kids to a morning milkshake (it's vacation after all). 

On tap for June, the Alamo Kids Camp will present screenings of the colorfully animated Curious George, the live-action Disney classic Mary Poppins and the single greatest film of the ‘90s, Space Jam.

Austin Civic Orchestra Presents "That '70s Concert!": Friday, June 6 – Saturday, June 7
Experience the Austin Civic Orchestra performing in the open air at Zilker Hillside Theater. This free concert is also the perfect chance to educate your kids about the grooviest decade, with performances of classic tunes from Led Zeppelin, The Who and soundtracks from famous films such as Star Wars and Saturday Night Fever. As a special bonus, one lucky raffle winner will get to conduct the orchestra for their performance of “Stars and Stripes Forever” to close out each show.

Flying Theater Machine Presents Wonderland Improv for Kids: Sunday, June 8 – Sunday, June 29
Your kids’ imaginations will get the workout they need this summer as Flying Theater Machine presents a hilarious and dynamic improv comedy show that's catered specifically for kids and their families. To help tell the story of a hero swept away into Wonderland, it's up to the audience to decide what the magical world looks like and who exactly lives there, with members of the audience invited up on stage to help create the colorful cast of characters.

The Long Center Presents Scooby-Doo Live! - Musical Mysteries: Sunday, June 8
Scooby-Doo and his friends in Mystery, Inc. are called in to solve the case of a troublesome ghost haunting a theater. Join the gang of Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred as they try to crack this case wide open, while solving puzzles, escaping crazy ghosts and chowing down on Scooby Snacks along the way.

The Long Center Presents Bubblepalooza: Saturday, June 14
This event is perfect for every child and child-at-heart. Bubblepalooza is more than a free event where you get to blow as many bubbles as humanly possible, it's also a day of listening to music, creating chalk art and just having a blast. And as an added bonus to the Long Center's day of free play, enjoy a visit by ERTH's Dinosaur Petting Zoo's friendly dino guest, the T-Rex.

The North Door Presents the Girls Rock Camp Showcase: Saturday, June 14
Your kids don't have to miss out on experiencing live music in Austin. This group of talented young girls learned an instrument, formed a band and wrote an original song in just one week. Come out and support these rockers as they perform in the first Girls Rock showcase of the summer.

The Long Center Presents Erth's Dinosaur Zoo Live: Tuesday, June 17 – Sunday, June 22
This petting zoo is more than 65 million years in the making. Using masterful puppet recreations from Erth Visual & Physical of Sydney, Australia, Erth's Dinosaur Zoo guides families through a tour of pre-historic Australia and provides kids with a chance to personally meet the dinosaurs. The life-like creatures are not only a thrill to see, they also teach us about the diverse wildlife that once called our planet home.

Meet the Author - Hardworking Honey Bee at Toybrary: Wednesday, June 18
Continue learning about the natural world with the fascinating lives of bees. Meet the authors of Hardworking Honey Bee, a scratch-and-sniff aromatherapy book for kids, and learn the story of local 9-year-old Mikaila Ulmer, a young entrepreneur who launched her own line of lemonade in Austin stores, BeeSweet Lemonade. While learning about bees, guests can enjoy a few samples of lemonade and honey as a special summer treat.

Cedar Park Rodeo: Friday, June 20 – Sunday, June 22
The Cedar Park Rodeo returns for another weekend of professional rodeo performances including bareback riding, mutton busting, bull riding and plenty more. If you want to raise your kids to be proper Texans, you can't go wrong with a display of exciting rodeo action.

Hill Country Galleria Independence Day Festival: Saturday, June 28
Forget about waiting until July, because you can start celebrating America's birthday with a free Independence Day celebration at Hill Country Galleria. Spend the day shopping from 75 local art vendors, while you listen to live music from Quiet Company, Dale Watson, Residual Kid and more. You can also eat delicious barbecue and festival foods and have fun with fair rides and games. It all comes to an end with two fireworks displays, including a 9 pm show for kids who have an early bedtime.