All in the Family
We have it good here, especially those of us with families. April is no exception, with events for relaxation, reggae and recycled clothing happening all month.
Here are our top picks for essential April activities for the kids (baseball and the circus included).
April 4: Round Rock Express Opening Night
I’m a huge baseball fan that’s been blessed with two wonderful children that are unable to sit through nine innings. An Express game is the perfect solution. When the Round Rock Express take the field on Opening Night of the 2013 season, fans can cheer on their team and take in plenty of activities for kids.
The kids zone has hoops, trampoline and rock climbing. Grab some general admission seats and let the kids roll down the grass berm while you watch the No. 1 prospect in baseball, Jurickson Profar, warm up for his big league debut. The Dell Diamond is the great place to catch a game, even if some members of your party haven’t caught baseball fever. Yet.
April 6 and 7: Austin Kid and Baby Expo
Parenting is an act of convenience. There’s always something to do. A place to go. Time to look up swimming lessons? Forget it. Fortunately, Austin has come up with a brief, yet helpful solution. The Austin Kid and Baby Expo puts almost everything a parent (current or expecting) needs in one spot.
Browse the Palmer Events center, where family-focused businesses will be setting up shop with their services. Find a dentist. Learn about local dance classes and camps. Discover locally handcrafted toys. Beyond booths, kids can take pony rides and watch magic shows and demonstrations. This is one of those something-for-everyone family events. If only they had them more often.
April 11-14: Here We Grow Again - Austin Spring Sale
I have T-shirts that are 15 years old. Kids, on the other hand, are lucky to have the same piece of clothing for 15 months. Parents face a constant cycle of purchasing and tossing out clothes. Keep the apparel budget under control by going to Here We Grow Again. At this huge consignment fair, you can sell clothes your kids have grown out of, and pick up new threads. The Here We Grow Again sale can be a good solution for the circle-of-life cycle of kids outgrowing clothes. Come to think of it, my old shirts all feature Mickey Mouse. Hmm. Outgrowing. Bad choice of words.
April 12-14: Zoppe Italian Family Circus
Juggling. Tightrope walking. Clowning around. Family life and circus life are often one and the same. Parents and kids will enjoy and even relate to the The Zoppe Italian Family Circus. Appearing at the Long Center, this traveling circus has its roots in Venice, Italy and its showmanship has entertained audiences for over 160 years. While it lacks, the glitz, pageantry and forced “Flaming Dome of Motorcycle Death” spectacle of Ringling Brothers, that’s not a bad thing.
This is the circus at its roots — acrobatics, animals and audience participation. This is a family-owned circus, not a corporate run show. In many ways, they’re facing the same ups and downs that we do. Some days we’re the clown, and some days we’re scooping up crap. Applause always appreciated.
April 19-21: Austin Reggae Fest
From the traveling cartoon-based stage shows, to smaller kid-friendly acoustical settings in coffee shops, there’s no shortage of kid tunes around Austin. Eventually, we find ourselves introducing kiddos to what turns us on. For fans of reggae, the Austin Reggae Fest is a three-day festival of Jamaican-inspired musical fun.
Not only does it fill Auditorium Shores with a festive atmosphere, it’s one of the primary fundraisers for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Kids under 12 are free with an adult. Also, be prepared to explain to any inquisitive kiddos what that odd herbal smell is. Small noses lead to many questions.
April 19-21: Moto GP
Maybe you’re raising a speed-demon. Does he burn the plastic-like rubber lining of his training wheels? Has she mastered Mario Cart? Are Hot Wheels too slow for them? MotoGP is the premiere motorcycle racing event, and it zooms into Circuit of the Americas for three days or action. These events have pit walks, chats with drivers and chances to see the action from the track’s tower.
Kids 12 and under get in free with an adult general admission ticket. It may get too loud for little ears, but an afternoon at MotoGP is sure to satisfy their need for speed.