September seems to be the month where things disappear around Austin. The store shelves are cleared out of school lunch bags and accessories. Around campus, there’s no place to park. I-35 or Mopac? No place to go.
Thankfully, September has plenty family-friendly Austin activities. Get back in the school year swing by mixing in a visit to a few of these unique events.
We do our best to give our kids exciting cultural experiences. Zoos. Outdoor concerts. But, kids will be kids, and sometimes they’re simply more excited to see Lightning McQueen made out of thousands of LEGOs. The Lego Kids Fest, held at the Austin Convention Center, is a festival of the famous bricks.
Kids and adults will get a kick out of meeting LEGO Master Builders and taking part in many great activities. Lego bricks are great creative tools for boys and girls of any age. Get their imaginations working at this one-of-a-kind event, and save the trip to the park for a cooler day.
These days, the closest a child gets to a farm is peering at a particular Facebook game. Give the kids a glimpse into where Old MacDonald hangs out at the Fall Festival & Corn Maze in Bastrop. While there’s no chicken tending, they’ll be sure to enjoy dashing through the 5-acre corn maze or selecting the perfect pumpkin for painting.
Settled along the banks of the Colorado River, Barton Hill Farms is a short drive from Austin, but miles away from the familiar urban delights. With hay bails, live music and cold brews for the parents, a trip to the farm can be a treat for everyone.
Oh, the magical day every year when local Austin museums throw open their doors and invite culture-weary residents inside to discover their wonders free of charge! The annual Austin Museum Day is a great way for parents and kids to explore the excitement of any number of Austin museums.
Yes, you can go straight to the Austin Children’s Museum and call it a day, but you’ll be passing up an eye-opening day of fun. Start off at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum for some history lessons, then dash across the street to the Blanton Museum of Art for some art appreciation.
Visit the Mexic-Arte Museum’s annual Day of the Dead exhibit for some art and culture. Each museum usually provides special kid-friendly activities. Get up early and explore the day away.
It’s one of the few days you can take your kids to Sixth St. and nobody will call Social Services. In fact, the Pecan Street Festival draws plenty of families, kids, dogs and even that lady with the weird rodent-thing. The streets are lined with amazing arts and crafts, paintings, homemade jewelry, candles, puppets, clothes and almost anything else you can imagine.
There’s usually a music stage, a petting zoo and small kiddie rides. While it’s a great place to engage your little ones sense of wonder, it’s also a great place to tickle their (or your) taste buds. While there are dozens of booths selling everything from fried pickles to kettle corn, this open street festival is one of the few times you might be able to slip your kids a big fat pretzel at Easy Tiger or a burger from Casino El Camino (just be sure not to let them go inside, as the decor is questionable for those under 13).
Yes, you could say your local gym is a hairy man festival. But, the Hairy Man Festival, organized by the Brushy Creek Women’s Association, honors a different kind of hairy creature. Local legend tells of a Hairy Man that used to roam the shores of Brushy Creek, scaring children back in the 1800s.
The festival that bares his name serves to, perhaps, help the Hairy Man repent for scaring little ones. The $2 admission donation goes to various charities to assist the children of Williamson County. It’s a day of kids activities, arts and crafts and, yes, a Hairiest Man contest. Dads, our day may have finally arrived!
Avengers assemble! Actually, any spandex-clad superhero or costumed patron is welcome to assemble for a great cause at the CASA Superhero Run. This is an adults timed 5K and Kids 1K that features a costume contest, bounce house, obstacle course, photo booth and more. The event, held at Mueller Park, raises funds for CASA of Travis County and Williamson County.
CASA benefits abused or neglected children by empowering community volunteers to advocate for them in the court system. It’s a wonderful way for kids to help kids, and also a great way to get another use out of this year’s — or last season’s — Halloween costume. Show your kids what a true hero looks like by going to the CASA Superhero Run. Yes, they’ll even let you do the Christian Bale growly voice in your Batman outfit, too.