Free Stargazing at UT: Fall 2014

 Monday, September 1, 2014


With UT back in session, the Astronomy Department's free public Star Parties are returning to campus, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Nights this fall.




Fall semsester schedule:
September 3 to October 29, 2014
8:00 - 10:00 p.m.

November 5 to December 3, 2014
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.


(No viewing November 26 due to the Thanksgiving holiday)

Every Wednesday night while UT is in session, the Department of 
Astronomy sponsors free public star parties on the top roof of Robert Lee Moore Hall, which is located at the southeast corner of Dean Keeton (formerly 26th street) and Speedway. Once you reach RLM, take the elevators to the 17th floor and then follow the signs to the stairs up to the telescope.

Click here for map to RLM and nearby parking garages. All ages are welcome, but younger children should be under adult supervision at all times. Viewing times change throughout the year so please check this page for current times before planning your visit. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancelation information. (This line is updated approximately 30-45 minutes before the scheduled start time.)





Fall semester schedule:
September 5 to November 1, 2014
8:00 - 10:00 p.m.

November 7 to December 6, 2014
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

(No viewing November 28 and 29 due to the Thanksgiving holiday)

Please note - there will be no public viewing at the Painter Hall Telescope on
nights when there is a UT home football game. Not all games have a start time set as of the start of the season, so please check the schedule before planning your visit.


Every Friday and Saturday while UT is in session, the Department of Astronomy hosts free viewing on the Painter Hall Telescope. Both Friday and Saturday nights are open to the general public. Painter Hall is located at the corner of 24th street and Inner Campus Drive, just to the north of the UT Tower.

Click here for map to Painter Hall and nearby parking garages. All ages are welcome, but younger children should be under adult supervision at all times. Viewing times change throughout the year, so please check this page before planning your visit.

Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancelation information. (This line is updated approximately 30-45 minutes before the scheduled start time.) 

To get to the telescope, take the elevator to the 5th floor and exit to the left. Follow the 5th floor hallway to the end and take the stair case through the double doors on the left. Once you reach the 6th floor, go to your right and follow the signs up to the telescope.

If you are interested in bringing a small group of 15 or fewer, you may come to any public viewing night without prior arrangements. If you plan on bringing a group of more than 15, please notify Lara Eakins at least two weeks in advance to avoid having too many groups show up on the same evening.

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Adult Craft Night at Manchaca Road Branch


Missing craft night? Well, miss it no more! Join Austin Public Library for the Manchaca Road Branch’s inaugural adult craft night and make monogrammed tote bags... for free! This no-sew craft is perfect for beginners and experts alike.

WHAT: Adult Craft Night - Tote Bags
WHERE: Manchaca Road Branch
WHEN: Wednesday, September 3, 2014, from 6-8:30 p.m.
WHO: Adults interested in crafting.

Adult Craft Nights will be held at Manchaca Road Branch the first Wednesday of each month from 6-8:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the Austin Public Library website.

Manchaca Road Branch
5500 Manchaca Road
Austin, TX 78745

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Journey Through Latin America with Michael Nigro


Join the Austin Public Library to hear guitarist and music teacher Michael Nigro perform a classical guitar concert celebrating Latin American music and composers. This concert will brighten your spirit and is certainly not one to miss! 

Known for his engaging commentary and expressive playing, Michael Nigro will be performing works by Jose Luis Merlin, Antonio Lauro, Isaac Albeniz, Maximo Diego Pujol, Jorge Cardoso, and many others. The finely crafted concert will take place Friday and Saturday, September 5 and 6, 2014 at two branches of the Austin Public Library. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. 

Faulk Central Library, 800 Guadalupe St., 512-974-7400
Friday, September 5, 12 Noon-1 PM.

Manchaca Road Branch, 5500 Manchaca Rd., 512-974-8700
Saturday, September 6, 12 Noon-1 PM.


Michael Anthony Nigro is an Assistant Professor of Music at Vanguard University. He has performed across the Unites States and abroad, giving concerts and master classes for numerous universities, performing arts centers, guitar societies, libraries, and museums. As a recording artist, his discography includes a total of five CDs, including Homage to Piazzolla, Guitar Sudamericana and A Journey through Latin America.

For more information, visit the Austin Public Library website or call 512-974-7400.

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8th Annual Zilker Clothing & Book Swap


On Saturday, September 6, 2014, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Zilker Elementary School will host the 8th annual Zilker Clothing and Book Swap. This is a free community event. 


Bring any clothes (kids or adults), backpacks, shoes, and books that you no longer use. Then, you can "shop" for free from what others brought! Anything left over will be donated to charity. 

For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

Zilker Elementary School
1900 Bluebonnet Ln
Austin, Texas 78704

You may also be interested in the Back to School Kids' Clothing Swap at HOPE Farmers Market on Sunday, September 7 at noon. This swap is an even exchange - bring an item, take an item. Children's clothing from newborn to size 12 will be accepted.

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Giveaway: Capital of Texas QuiltFest Tickets



Raffle quilt: "Fiesta"
Attention, crafters, quilters, and anyone who likes free fun! Austin is an especially crafty city, and quilting definitely isn't just for Grandma anymore. These days, quilting is a thriving industry, and more than 4,000 people will prove it September 12—14, 2014, when they visit the 2014 Capital of Texas QuiltFest, hosted by the Austin Area Quilt Guild at the Palmer Events Center.

QuiltFest is giving away tickets and a parking pass to not just one, but two lucky winners! Each winner will receive two tickets for the event plus a one-day parking pass. (Each prize has a total value of $27.)

At this family-friendly event, there's something for everyone, including over 400 quilts displayed and 65 vendors selling a wide variety of goods, from fabric to sewing machines to jewelry and more.


Door prizes will be announced throughout the weekend, and there will be a boutique featuring gorgeous handmade items, all under $40, made by members of the Austin Area Quilt Guild. There will be a silent auction, in which people can bid on quilt tops, fabric bundles and more, and live demonstrations throughout the weekend that highlight various techniques and methods of quilting.

There's even a fun children's area that includes a scavenger hunt for the kids to find clues throughout the quilt show and win a ribbon of their own to take home. They can also create an art quilt block and learn more about quilt-making.


The 2014 Raffle Quilt will be on display at the event, and attendees can purchase tickets to win. This quilt, called "Fiesta," was hand-appliqued and then expertly quilted by members of the guild; see a photo of "Fiesta" above (the red quilt at the top of this post).

What: Capital of Texas QuiltFest
When: September 12–14, 2014 (Friday & Saturday from 10 AM – 6 PM, and Sunday from 12 PM – 5 PM)
Where: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704
How much: Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door; children under 12 get in FREE

To enter the QuiltFest giveaway, simply fill out the form below. By filling out the form, you are agreeing to the Sweepstakes Official Rules. Be sure to "Like" the Austin Area Quilt Guild on Facebook to receive a bonus entry in the giveaway! One winner will be selected using random.org on Monday, September 8, 2014, and notified by email.

If you cannot see the form below, please visit the original post to enter





Catherine A. Morris is a writer as well as a once-and-future teacher, musician, jogger and triathlete living in southwest Austin, Texas. Yes, most of her former passions and pastimes have given way, at least for now, to her current, main passion and pastime: caring for her two toddlers, Pearl and Zephyr. Pearl and Zeph make Catherine and her husband laugh (and cry) on a daily basis, and give Catherine plenty of good reasons to seek out free, fun activities to keep everyone alive, engaged and happy from one moment to the next.

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Top 5 FREE Events (September 1 - 5, 2014)

 Sunday, August 31, 2014


Thanks to KXAN for sharing our picks for this week's top five free events:

  1. Austin Free Day of Yoga - Monday, September 1. All day long, participating studios across the Austin area offer FREE classes as an opportunity for people of every age and fitness level to try yoga for the first time; experience a new style of yoga; visit a new studio; or take a class from a new instructor. View schedule and locations here.
  2. LEGO Mini Model Build - Tuesday, September 2 at 5:00 p.m. Learn how to build a cool LEGO Racing Plane and take it home – for FREE! One per child. Event is open to children ages 6 to 14 only. Quantities are limited to approximately 250 per store and offer is good while supplies last only. Arrive early if possible as there will be a line. LEGO Store, Barton Creek Square, 2901 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin.
  3. Beer Garten Social: The Wit and Wisdom of Ann Richards - Wednesday, September 3 at 6:00 p.m. The Austin History Center invites you to celebrate the birth of Texas’ 45th Governor. Esther’s Follies will stage a variety show honoring Texas’ last female governor. There will also be music and a performance by a thespian student. In addition to the stage show, there will be fun family activities, birthday cake, a table-top exhibit celebrating the life of Ann Richards, and other surprises. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. FREE! Scholz Beer Garten, 1607 San Jacinto St, Austin.
  4. Wine Down Wednesday - Wednesday, September 3 from 6-8:00 p.m. Event stations will be set up in four designated locations throughout the shopping center, each serving a different wine selection paired with small bites and live music from local Austin artists. Guests are encouraged to sign in and pick up an event guide at the registration table near Amy's Ice Creams. FREE! The Arboretum, 10000 Research Blvd, Austin.
  5. Starry Nights at Girlstart (RSVP) - Thursday, September 4 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Girlstart's new STEM Studio and Mini-Planetarium is a unique space for families to explore astronomy. Enjoy mini-planetarium star shows and out-of-this-world activities for all ages. FREE but RSVP is required here. Girlstart, 1400 W. Anderson Lane, Austin.
For more than 50 events happening around Austin this week, check out What's Up? Weekly (September 1 - 5, 2014)

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What's Up? Weekly (September 1-5, 2014)


Wondering what's up around Austin this week? Here are some of the exciting events featured on our Free Fun Calendar!

Happening All Week

Kids Yoga Classes - Monday, September 1 - Friday, September 5. View class schedule here. FREE! The Little Yoga House, 1211 Parkway, Austin.

Heartsong Music Classes (RSVP) - Monday, September 1 - Friday, September 5. View class schedule and RSVP here. FREE! Heartsong Music, 2700 W Anderson Ln, Austin.

Kids Yoga and Fitness Classes (RSVP) - Monday, September 1 - Friday, September 5. View class schedule and RSVP here. FREE! The Rhythm Studio, 12129 Ranch Rd 620 North, Ste 310, Austin.

Monday

Austin Free Day of Yoga - Monday, September 1. All day long, participating studios across the Austin area offer FREE classes as an opportunity for people of every age and fitness level to t
ry yoga for the first time; experience a new style of yoga; visit a new studio or take a class from a new instructor; or share yoga with friends and family. View schedule and locations here.

Storytime with Dr. Candra - Monday, September 1 at 11:00 a.m. Dr. Candra will captivate your children with stories, songs, dances, and games. FREE! Brilliant Sky Toys and Books, 701 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Ste D-480, Austin.

Story Time with CJ the Explorer - Monday, September 1 at 2:00 p.m. Enjoy the play zone before and after the reading. FREE! All Things Kids @The Domain, 3220 Feathergrass Ct, Austin.

Game Night at Cafe Ruckus - Monday, September 1 at 7:00 p.m. Sorry, Connect 4, Battleship, Fluxx, Ruckus - The Game, and more. Meet a lot of cool people, enjoy a tasty beverage, and play, Play, PLAY. Everyone who wins a board games gets a prize from Toy Joy. Family friendly - all ages welcome! FREE to play. Cafe Ruckus, 409 W 2nd St, Austin.

Tuesday

Storytime and Crafts - Tuesday, September 2 at 9:30 a.m. Little ones, 
2-5 years old, will enjoy a new story each week, followed by crafts related to the story. FREE! Whole Foods Domain, 11920 Domain Dr, Austin.

Free Admission to Laguna Gloria - Tuesday, September 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Laguna Gloria, 3809 West 35th St, Austin.

French Legation Museum Children's Storytime - Tuesday, September 2 at 10:00 a.m. Join in an exciting 30 minutes of reading and play on the museum grounds. Feel free to bring snacks, blankets, and your imagination. FREE! French Legation Museum, 802 San Marcos St, Austin.

Heartsong Music Storytime - Tuesday, September 2 at 10:30 a.m. Enjoy a mellifluous storytime with friends from Heartsong Music. They'll be leading a music lesson intended for little ones aged 0 to 5. FREE! BookPeople, 603 N Lamar, Austin.

Chinese Bilingual Storytime (Round Rock) - Tuesday, September 2 at 10:30 a.m. This program, geared for ages 3 and up, celebrates Chinese culture with stories, fingerplays, and songs in both English and Mandarin. FREE! Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main St, Round Rock.

Music with Mr. Will – Tuesday, September 2 at 11:30 a.m. Rock out with local children’s singer, “Mr. Will” Dupuy. FREE! Brilliant Sky Toys & Books, 701 S Capital of Texas Hwy Suite D-480, Austin.

Discovery! Mad Science - Tuesday, September 2 at 4:30 p.m. The Discovery hands on program explores all sorts of different topics, including science, literature, and much more, especially designed for older kids (fourth grade and up). This week, Mad Science will present some tricks to get children excited about science. FREE! Laura's Library, 9411 Bee Cave Rd, Austin.

LEGO Mini Model Build - Tuesday, September 2 at 5:00 p.m. Learn how to build a cool LEGO Racing Plane and take it home – for FREE! One per child. Event is open to children ages 6 to 14 only. Quantities are limited to approximately 250 per store and offer is good while supplies last only. LEGO Store, Barton Creek Square, 2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin.

Pajama Storytime - Tuesday, September 2 at 7:00 p.m. Feel free to wear pajamas to this family storytime featuring stories, songs, rhymes, games, crafts, and other activities. Children of all ages welcome. Seating is limited; please arrive a few minutes early to gain entrance. FREE! APL - Willie Mae Kirk Branch, 3101 Oak Springs Dr, Austin.

Wednesday

Whole Foods Kids Club - Wednesday, September 3 at 9:00 a.m. Join Tina for a great story and crafts for the kids. FREE! Whole Foods Arbor Trails, 4301 W. William Cannon, Austin.

Whole Foods Storytime - Wednesday, September 3 at 9:30 a.m. Enjoy a story reading, an activity, and a snack. All ages are welcome and parents can participate, too. FREE! Whole Foods Mezzanine, 525 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.

Music Forever Music Together Sample Class (RSVP) - Wednesday, September 3 at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. Join the fun for lots of singing, dancing, moving, grooving, and music-making. FREE but space is limited. RSVP is required here. Oak Hill United Methodist Church, 7815 W Hwy 290 West, Austin.

Itty Bitty Playtime & Yoga - Wednesday, September 3 at 10:00 a.m. Itty Bitty Playtime & Yoga is a playful, educational, and relaxing time for babies and toddlers up to 18 months. Learn new ways to connect with your with your baby through movement, stretching and song. Complimentary juice and coffee served. FREE! Millie & Mox, 5145 North FM 620, Ste B110, Austin.

Music Bats Class with Gene from the Que Pastas - Wednesday, September 3 at 10:30 a.m. Based on the idea that music makes every day a little better, The Music Bats encourages young children and their caregivers to spread their wings through music and play. Through sing-alongs, dancing, and hands-on time with instruments and props, Music Bats wants kids and their families to learn one thing in the class: music=fun. FREE! ($10 suggested donation per family.) Toybrary Austin, 7817 Rockwood, Suite 101, Austin.

Yoga in the Park - Wednesday, September 3 at Noon. Yoga Yoga is proud to offer an all level Hatha Yoga class. Please bring your own yoga mat to class. FREE! Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe, Austin.

Lego Lab - Wednesday, September 3 at 3:00 p.m. With LEGO, you can build anything you can imagine and tell any story you can dream up. Come to the Lego Lab to hear, see, make, and create different stories, all while building with LEGOs provided by the Library. Recommended for ages 5 and up. FREE! APL - Southeast Branch, 5803 Nuckols Crossing Rd, Austin.

Community Night - Wednesday, September 3 from 5-8:00 p.m. At the Thinkery, science and families play side by side. Every Wednesday the Museum stays open late for families to discover new ideas and learn together. Cost: Admission is by donation only, with a suggested $1 donation. The Thinkery, 1830 Simond

Beer Garten Social: The Wit and Wisdom of Ann Richards - Wednesday, September 3 at 6:00 p.m. The Austin History Center invites you to celebrate the birth of Texas’ 45th Governor. Esther’s Follies will stage a variety show honoring Texas’ last female governor. There will also be music and a performance by a thespian student. In addition to the stage show, there will be fun family activities, birthday cake, a table-top exhibit celebrating the life of Ann Richards, and other surprises. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. FREE! Scholz Beer Garten, 1607 San Jacinto St, Austin.

Adult Craft Night - Wednesday, September 3 from 6-8:30 p.m. Join the Manchaca Road Branch’s inaugural craft night. This month, participants will make monogrammed tote bags. This no-sew craft, using fuseable webbing, is perfect for beginners and experts alike because you can keep it simple or take it to the next level. FREE! APL - Manchaca Road Branch, 5500 Manchaca Rd, Austin.


Krispy Kreme Family Night - Wednesday, September 3 from 6-8:00 p.m. Kids can decorate one FREE doughnut each, plus enjoy crafts, balloons, paper hats, coloring sheets and more. Krispy Kreme, 701 E Stassney Ln, and 12586 Research Blvd, Austin.

Texas Radio Live - Wednesday, September 3 from 6-8:00 p.m. Texas Radio Live brings you the very best Texas music with performances from Texas musicians. This week, hear music by Chris King and Micky and the Motorcars. FREE, but donations to support the KDRP Radio Mission are appreciated. Guero's Oak Garden, 1412 S Congress Ave, Austin.

Wine Down Wednesday - Wednesday, September 3 from 6-8:00 p.m. Event stations will be set up in four designated locations throughout the shopping center, each serving a different wine selection paired with small bites and live music from local Austin artists. Guests are encouraged to sign in and pick up an event guide at the registration table near Amy's Ice Creams. FREE! The Arboretum, 10000 Research Blvd, Austin.

Thursday

Free Admission to The Blanton - Thursday, September 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. FREE! Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E MLK Jr Blvd, Austin.


Free Noon Concert - Thursday, September 4 at Noon. Take a 30-minute lunchtime break to hear Arnold Yzaquirre on guitar. FREE! Central Presbyterian Church, 200 E 8th St, Austin.

Yoga in the Park - Thursday, September 4 at Noon. CorePower Yoga strengthens, balances, detoxifies, and exhilarates the body and mind. No matter your age, strength, or flexibility level, CorePower Yoga meets you where you are. Please bring your own yoga mat to class. FREE! Wooldridge Park, 900 Guadalupe St, Austin.

Explorers Club (Cedar Park) - Thursday, September 4 at 3:30 p.m. Each Thursday, kids in grades K-5 meet to explore a set of rotating programs. This week, it’s Crafty Kids. FREE! Cedar Park Library, 550 Discovery Blvd, Cedar Park.

Karaoke - Thursday, September 4 at 4:00 p.m. Celebrate going back to school with a jam-packed hour of karaoke. Get your vocal chords ready and get set to sing and dance the day away. FREE! APL - Carver Branch, 1161 Angelina St, Austin.

LEGO Pictionary for Tweens (Round Rock) - Thursday, September 4 at 4:30 p.m. Just when you thought LEGO play couldn't get any more awesome...This LEGO game is like Pictionary, but instead of using pen and paper, players will use LEGO building pieces. Recommended for Tweens ages 8-12. FREE! Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main St, Round Rock.

Starry Nights at Girlstart (RSVP) - Thursday, September 4 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Girlstart's new STEM Studio and Mini-Planetarium is a unique space for families to explore astronomy. Enjoy mini-planetarium star shows and out-of-this-world activities for all ages. FREE but RSVP is required here. Girlstart, 1400 Anderson Square, Austin.

Pfamily Pfun Night (Pflugerville) - Thursday, September 4 at 6:00 p.m. Bring the kids to paint wooden peg dolls based on popular fairy tale characters. Ages 5 and up. FREE! Pflugerville Public Library, 1008 W Pflugerville St, Pflugerville.

Upcycle This - Thursday, September 4 from 6-8:00 p.m. Drop-in for this fun crafting workshop. Bring something to work on or participate in this month’s upcycled craft: Mexican Folk Painting on paper bags. All supplies provided, just bring your imagination. FREE! Recycled Reads, 5335 Burnet Rd, Austin.

Yappy Hour on the Patio - Thursday, September 4 from 6-9:00 p.m. Enjoy live music on the dog-friendly patio. FREE! Whole Foods Domain, 11920 Domain Dr, Austin.

Canine Soldiers: Military Service Dogs - Thursday, September 4 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Learn about the work of canine soldiers today and during World War II and watch excerpts from the documentary-in-progress, Canine Soldiers. Panelists will discuss the critical role dogs play in the military, how dogs are trained and paired with their handlers, as well as how dogs are selected, trained, and rotated. Community members who attend should come away with a deep appreciation for the role handlers, trainers, and canine soldiers play. FREE! APL - Carver Branch, 1161 Angelina St, Austin.

Live Music at Central Market North - Thursday, September 4 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. All-female acoustic trio The Carper Family Band play Americana and Bluegrass tunes. FREE! Central Market, 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.

Live Music at Central Market Westgate - Thursday, September 4 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Titan Saxophone Quartet. FREE! Central Market Westgate, 4477 S Lamar Blvd, Austin.

Pajama Storytime - Thursday, September 4 at 7:00 p.m. Feel free to wear pajamas to this family storytime featuring stories, songs, rhymes, games, crafts, and other activities. Children of all ages welcome. Seating is limited; please arrive a few minutes early to gain entrance. FREE! APL - Manchaca Road Branch, 5500 Manchaca Rd, Austin.

First Thursday on South Congress - Thursday, September 4 from 7-10:00 p.m. First Thursday is a popular monthly event that takes place along South Congress Avenue. It is basically one big block party, and it is perfect for all ages. All of the stores that normally close early stay open late, many stores have special sales, and some of the restaurants and bars have drink specials. FREE! South Congress Ave from Barton Springs Rd to Elizabeth St.

Unplugged at the Grove - Thursday, September 4 at 8:00 p.m. This year marks the 21st Anniversary of KGSR's Unplugged at the Grove. This week, Ray Wylie Hubbard performs. FREE! Shady Grove, 1624 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.

Friday

Yoga Story Time - Friday, September 5 at 9:30 a.m. Join in a Story Time Yoga adventure where participants will stretch, read, and breathe. All ages are welcome. FREE! The Little Yoga House, 1211 Parkway, Austin.

Fun Fridays - Friday, September 5 at 10:00 a.m. Sing! Dance! Play! Fun Fridays is a fun musical and entertainment hour featuring local Austin musicians. Complimentary refreshments will be served. FREE! Millie & Mox, 5145 North FM 620, Ste B110, Austin.

¡Vamonos! Classical Guitar Music of Latin America in Concert - Friday, September 5 at Noon. Hear guitarist and music teacher Michael Nigro, k
nown for his engaging commentary and expressive playing, perform a classical guitar concert celebrating Latin American music and composers. Family-friendly and FREE! APL - Faulk Central Library, 800 Guadalupe St, Austin.

Story Time with Princess CJ - Friday, September 5 at 2:00 p.m. Enjoy the play zone before and after the reading. FREE! All Things Kids @The Domain, 3220 Feathergrass Ct, Austin.

Lego Lab - Friday, September 5 at 4:00 p.m. With LEGO, you can build anything you can imagine and tell any story you can dream up. Come to the Lego Lab to hear, see, make, and create different stories, all while building with LEGOs provided by the Library. Recommended for ages 5 and up. FREE! APL - North Village Branch, 2505 Steck Ave, Austin.


Live Music at Central Market North - Friday, September 5 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Americana and Browngrass from Sour Bridges. FREE! Central Market, 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.

Live Music at Central Market Westgate - Friday, September 5 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Rockabilly and Country from Ruby Dee & The Snakehandlers. FREE! Central Market Westgate, 4477 S Lamar Blvd, Austin.

Mr Johnny's Family Music Night - Friday, September 5 from 7-10:00 p.m. Parents can enjoy a great meal on the huge outdoor patio while the kids jump, dance, and play along to music with Mr Johnny's Family Band. There's plenty of bubbles, balloons, and interactive fun for all. Special guests The Que Pastas will join in the fun. Open mic for little ones, additional music by Amber & Nick, and great food available for purchase, too. FREE! SeƱor Buddy's Backyard Restaurant, 8600 Hwy 290, Austin.

Movies in the Park: The Lego Movie (Cedar Park) - Friday, September 5 at 8:00 p.m. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs for a picnic and movie in the park. Concessions will not be available. Rated PG. FREE! Elizabeth Milburn Park, 1901 Sun Chase Blvd, Cedar Park.

Check out the Free Fun Calendar for even more ways to fill your week with fun.



In her life before kids, Emily held jobs as a zookeeper, a middle school teacher, and a tour bus driver in the wilds of Montana--not one of which prepared her for the adventures of motherhood. Now she’s living the good life in Austin with her husband, two sons and a Great Dane. When she’s not off gallivanting with her boys, you might find Emily baking up a mean batch of cupcakes, recalling obscure 80s song lyrics, or dreaming of peace and quiet.

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Weekend Top 10 FREE Events (Aug 29 - Sep 1)

 Thursday, August 28, 2014

  1. Will Taylor & Strings Attached at Central Market North - Friday, August 29, from 6:30 - 9 p.m. Enjoy FREE live music on the patio, while kids explore the huge playscape! Central Market, 4001 North Lamar, Austin.
  2. Back to School Festival - Saturday, August 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entertainment for the whole family, healthy meals for kids, FREE backpacks and school supplies, and more! This festival is sponsored by El Mundo. FREE! Delco Center, 4601 Pecan Brook Drive, Austin.
  3. Alamo Kid's Club: Neverending Story 2 - Saturday, August 30 at 11 a.m. See a FREE 35mm screening of The NeverEnding Story II. The movie begins at 11 a.m., but be sure to arrive early to snag your free tickets! Toy Joy will be on hand with games and prizes. Alamo Kids Club screenings are for children age 3 and up and their adults. Infants will not be allowed in the theater. Alamo South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar Blvd, Austin.
  4. University Co-op GameDay with Vince Young - Saturday, August 30, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Experience the excitement of UT Longhorns Football GameDay at the first Co-op GameDay Tailgate party of the season! Co-op GameDay is a FREE event, open to all, which will feature fun activities including: an autograph signing with Vince Young, facepainting, a football fan photo booth, dunk tank, food trucks, Horns Illustrated football trivia tent, and loads of Longhorns prize giveaways. University Co-Op, 2246 Guadalupe St., Austin.
  5. Anti-Bullying Talk and Taekwondo Class - Saturday, August 30 at noon. This FREE class will go over some of the basics of Taekwondo. It will start with stretching and warming up, followed by stances, block, punch and kick. The class will end with an anti-bullying talk. This class is for school age children, 5 years old and up. Loose clothing is recommended. Call 512-371-8989 for more information. Maximum Taekwondo & Yoga, 6929 Airport Blvd. Suite 146, Austin. 
  6. Noche de Folklor - Saturday, August 30 at 7:30 p.m. Join the Roy Lozano Ballet Folklorico de Texas School of Dance and Adult Performing Company for a FREE show at Zilker Hillside Theater. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs. FREE! Zilker Hillside Theater, 2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
  7. Dog Days of Summer at HOPE Farmers Market - Sunday, August 31, 2014, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Celebrate mutts, pups, best furry friends, and pooches this Sunday at HOPE Farmers Market's Dog Days of Summer Event! FREE! Plaza Saltillo, East 5th and Comal Street, Austin.
  8. Long Center Open House - Sunday, August 31, from noon - 4 p.m. Enjoy all-access backstage tours, special ticket offers, FREE performances, kids’ activities, food and more! Be introduced to Founding Resident Companies Austin Lyric Opera, Austin Symphony Orchestra and Ballet Austin as well as Resident Companies Austin Shakespeare, Conspirare, Pollyanna Theatre and Tapestry Dance Company. At this FREE Open House, visitors will be treated to previews from the upcoming seasons of Austin’s premiere performing arts organizations. Live performances will take place throughout the day in both the Rollins Studio Theatre and Michael & Susan Dell Hall. Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin.
  9. Really Really Free Market - Sunday, August 31, from 1 - 3 p.m. Head to the Really Really Free Market for a special blend of recycling and community building. It is an excellent resource for crafters looking to re-use and upcycle, as well as for folks and families in need of a new wardrobe. There will be thousands of clothes - all sizes, all styles - all absolutely FREE! Bring a friend and bring your own bags, because you're bound to find some great stuff. Chestnut Community Park, 2207 East 16th St (at Chestnut St), Austin.
  10. Splash Jam (Cedar Park) - Sunday, August 31, from 5 - 9 p.m. The event kicks off with a washer tournament at 4 p.m. with the rest of the event starting at 5 p.m. Admission is FREE.  Live music and inflatables will be FREE. Fees apply for face painting, food concessions, mechanical bull, carnival games, hamster balls, quad jump, super slide, rock wall, caricatures, spinner ride, and Milburn Pool (1-8 p.m.). The event will end with a fabulous fireworks display. Elizabeth Milburn Park, 1901 Sun Chase Blvd, Cedar Park.
And one bonus event for Labor Day:
  1. Free Day of Yoga - Monday, September 1. Participating studios across the Austin area will offer FREE classes for people of every age and fitness level!  You can see the Free Day of Yoga schedule online or download a copy (pdf). If you're on your phone, check out the mobile version of the schedule. (For even more FREE yoga coming up this week, check out the schedule of free classes for babies on up at The Little Yoga HouseThe Rhythm Studio, and Millie & Mox.)
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Free Fun Date Night Edition (August 28-31)


Thursday, August 28

KGSR's Unplugged at the Grove is back this Thursday with a performance by Dale Watson. Known as the originator of "alt country", Dale is an old school favorite for his stubborn attachment to vintage country music. Please note, additional free parking is available at Bicycle Sports Shop and at the southeast corner of Barton Springs & Lamar. Show starts at 8pm. (Shady Grove, 1624 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78704)

Soul Thursdays at The Blackheart with ROXY ROCA and Mrs. Glass
This dynamite duo of bands is kicking off their new residency every Thursday at the Blackheart by serving up lots of booty-shaking and feel good soul. These acts are high energy with talented front men who don't disappoint. Show starts at 9pm. (The Blackheart, 86 Rainey, Austin, TX)

W Austin's ON DECK Series 
Last one of the season! Escape the summer heat with FREE access to the WET Deck Thursdays this summer, during their ON DECK series. From 5:00pm til sunset, relax and enjoy music from the W house deck DJ. Show up early (between 5-6pm) to enjoy complimentary bites from TRACE, and chair massages from the AWAY Spa. Click HERE to RSVP. (W Hotel Austin, 200 Lavaca Street, Austin)

Maggie Maye Comedy Night in the Whiskey Lounge
A great evening with half stand up + half talent show = full of laughs. Doors open at 9pm in the Whiskey Lounge at Rattle Inn. The show stars Roxy Castillo, David McQuary, Evan Eggers, Rachel Streitman, Kelsey Caine, with a special appearance from BBoy Queso. (Rattle Inn 610 Nueces Street, Austin)


Friday, August 29

Nutty Brown Cafe: More y Mas
As part of the KOKE FM FREE Concert Series at Nutty Brown Cafe, More y Mas will be playing 7-10pm. Great way to start your 3-day weekend off with a dash of Latin flare. The night will be swingin' with not 1, BUT 2 saxophones. (Nutty Brown Cafe, 12225 Highway 290 West, Austin)

Sofi Lopez Quartet at Parish Underground
A regular at East Side Showroom and jazz clubs near and far, Sofi will be playing a FREE show at the Parish Underground. The quartet's latest track, "Black Orpheus" (written by Luis Bonfa) can be heard on the San Antonio Jazz radio station, KRTU 91.7. Doors open at 7pm, show starts 8pm. (Parish Underground, 214 E 6th Street, Austin)

Saturday, August 30

SURE THING comedy show will being joining the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival this Saturday at the original Austin Java 8pm. Headliners include performers seen on Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Letterman, and more, as well as the city's best comics on the rise, plus special out-of-town guests. Hosted by Duncan Carson and Brendan K. O'Grady. These events have been filling up quickly so be sure to get there early! Doors open at 7:30pm. (Austin Java Parkway, 1206 Parkway, Austin, TX 78703)

Sunday, August 17

Long Center Open House
FREE all-access backstage tours, special ticket offers, free performances, and activities such as a Camp Gladiator workout and Bollywood dance classes. Live and video introductions to the Austin Lyric Opera, Austin Symphony Orchestra and Ballet Austin as well as Austin Shakespeare, Conspirare, Pollyanna Theatre and Tapestry Dance Company. RSVP to win free tickets (worth $15K), but you must be present to win at 3pm. Event held noon-4pm. (Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Dr, Austin)

Living Room Live with Technicolor Hearts and Les Rav
These two dream pop acts are making a pit stop in Austin to provide a FREE show at the W Hotel as part of their Living Room Live series. Artsy and eclectic, critics describe the show as, "Riveting female fronted and piano driven, quirky chamber-pop group featuring dark, yet inspirational folk music that explores the central nervous system, the human heart and other curiosities." Show starts at 7pm. (W Hotel, 200 Lavaca Street, Austin)



Heather Schuck is the CEO of the children's lifestyle brand, Glamajama. When she's not scheming "glama" world domination or mentoring young designers, you can find her in her front yard chasing her three children with a garden hose. Connect with her at glamaLIFE or on Facebook.

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Free Family Fun Fest and Diaper Drive


On Saturday, September 13, 2014, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Austin Diaper Bank and City of Austin Parks and Recreation will co-host Family Fun Fest and Diaper Drive at Northwest Recreation Center. 

The Fest will be a free, rocking fun time for families, as well as a showcase of awesome local children's businesses!

Attendees can enjoy:
  • Classes for kids including hip hop dance, LEGOs, art, cooking, yoga, Mandarin and more. 
  • Performances by musicians, magicians and dancers.
  • Meet and greet with Austin Aquarium. 
  • Goody bags for the first 200 kids.
  • Giveaways.
  • A photo booth and selfie station. 
  • Lunch from the food trucks onsite. 
  • Alex Franco from MIX 94.7, broadcasting live from the event. 
Family Fun Fest is FREE to the public, but size 4 diapers or monetary donations to help Austin's babies are appreciated. 

For more information, visit the Austin Diaper Bank website or the Facebook event page.

Northwest Recreation Center
2913 Northland Dr.
Austin, TX 78757

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Dog Days of Summer at HOPE Farmers Market


Celebrate mutts, pups, best furry friends, and pooches this Sunday at HOPE Farmers Market's Dog Days of Summer Event!

On Sunday, August 31, 2014, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.:
  • Bring your dog to the Market to sample the treats and participate in the Open Call Dog Show at noon! Great locally-made prizes will be awarded!
  • Dog lovers can visit with Healthy Hound, Austin Dogtown, Pug Rescue Austin, Greyhound Rescue Austin, and participate in a doggie art workshop with CRAFT!
  • Thanks to Aquasana, there will be plenty of doggie water bowls to keep these canines hydrated!
  • AND - what about the music? Enjoy a toe-tappin', whiskey-lovin' mystery band performing under the name of The Blue Grastiff Band at 11 a.m., followed by the beloved The Parish Festival at 1 p.m.! 
For more information, visit the HOPE Farmers Market Facebook page or email anne@hopefarmersmarket.org

Plaza Saltillo
East 5th and Comal Street
Austin, TX 78702

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Giveaway: Social City Dash - Austin


Think you've got a solid social network? Well, here's your chance to prove it! Social City Dash - Austin is a one-day event where teams of two or more (two adults maximum, kids are free, families are always welcome) use social media to solve clues, overcome challenges, and 
complete tasks, while learning cool things about Austin. In a nutshell, the Social City Dash is "...a family-friendly, community-oriented, urban adventure race for the social media savvy."

Our friends at the Dash, as they call it, have given us 10 free team admissions to give away!

To enter your team in the Social City Dash for free, be one of the first ten to visit the event registration page and use the promo code freefun.

If the free spots have already been spoken for, Free Fun in Austin readers can register for 90% off through Saturday, August 30, 2014.  Register your team for just $9.80 (regular, full-price admission is $98)!


The Social City Dash will be held on October 18, 2014 in downtown Austin. Registration will begin at 11 a.m. The Dash begins at noon and will take most teams 2-4 hours to complete. The first few teams to complete the Dash will win cash and prizes! 


How does it work? Register your team for the Dash. Then, join other members of your community to test your social media prowess. Use your mobile device, your social network, and your noggin to follow clues about your city and possibly win prizes for your whole family. 

Although it's a family friendly event, here are a few things you should know prior to registration:

  • Participants must complete the Dash on foot
  • Public transportation is allowed when possible
  • Most physical tasks will be easy enough for the typical 7-year-old to complete
  • All teams are required to arrive on time with a smart phone capable of using the most popular social media apps
  • A complete list of the different social media used will be provided before the day of the Dash
  • Each team will determine their own route to complete the course
  • The #1 goal of the Social City Dash is to have fun
If you have any questions, or would like to nominate a local charity to partner with and benefit from the race, please contact:

Social City Dash
http://socialcitydash.com/
512-553-5639
dasher@socialcitydash.com
https://www.facebook.com/SocialCityDash
https://twitter.com/SocialCityDash

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Balcones Country Club Back to School Pool Party


Balcones Country Club invites the community to an Open House and Pool Party on Friday, August 29, 2014. Enjoy face painting, live music, bounce houses and pool games, from 5 - 8 p.m.  

This event is free, but donations will be accepted for Texas Advocacy Project Backpacks For Hope. The project is collecting new backpacks to give to shelters. Texas Advocacy Project provides free legal services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

For more information, visit the Balcones Country Club Facebook page

Balcones Country Club
8600 Balcones Club Dr.
Austin, Texas

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Giveaway: Registration for Love and Logic Parenting Course with High Five Parenting


Parenting — it's one of the toughest jobs you'll ever do, with the highest stakes, but also with the highest potential for joy... Well, maybe not so much joy in those moments when your kids are being defiant and talking back.

Enter High Five Parenting, a community of moms and dads who share Love and Logic® parenting principles from Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood by Jim Fay and Charles Fay, Ph.D. Rather than focusing only on discipline or consequences, these principles are about loving actions that help parents raise children who will develop into confident, capable and compassionate people.

And now, High Five Parenting is offering a giveaway! One couple will win FREE registration to attend a Love and Logic Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun!™ course. (This giveaway has a $150 value, and is subject to a minimum class size requirement. The winner of this giveaway can use their free registration for any future public or private class. Note that childcare is available at some locations, for a fee; the childcare fee is not included in the giveaway. All courses are held in Austin and surrounding areas — see below for dates, times and locations.)

Enjoying doing their laundry, thanks to Love and Logic!
This course explores effective skills to help parents raise respectful, responsible children and lower parenting stress.​ The course focuses on children from birth to age six, but the principles and techniques apply to children of all ages. Read what other parents are saying about the course.

The class focuses on the following principles:
  • Preserve and enhance the child’s self-concept.
  • Teach children to own and solve problems.
  • Share the control and decision making.
  • Offer empathy, then consequences.
  • Build the adult-child relationship.
Learn techniques to avoid power struggles and make parenting less stressful.
See the techniques in action. Private classes also available.

Contact High Five Parenting:
Ph. 512-784-5231
Email highfiveparenting@gmail.com

Be sure to "Like" the High Five Parenting Facebook page for a bonus entry in the giveaway, and join their e-newsletter for another bonus giveaway entry!






To enter this parenting course giveaway, simply fill out the form below. By submitting the form, you are agreeing to the Sweepstakes Official RulesOne winner will be selected using random.org on Sunday, August 31, 2014, and notified by email.

If you cannot see the form below, please visit the original post to enter






Catherine A. Morris is a writer as well as a once-and-future teacher, musician, jogger and triathlete living in southwest Austin, Texas. Yes, many of her former passions and pastimes have given way, at least for now, to her current, main passion and pastime: caring for her two toddlers, Pearl and Zephyr. Pearl and Zeph make Catherine and her husband laugh (and cry) on a daily basis, and give Catherine plenty of good reasons to seek out free, fun activities to keep everyone alive, engaged and happy from one moment to the next.

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