Exploring the Little Stacy-Blunn Creek Greenbelt-Big Stacy Super Park

 Thursday, April 17, 2014

Months ago, when a giant cedar sculpture materialized in my neighborhood park, I was introduced to the City of Austin’s TEMPO temporary public art program. The idea of big, touchable art in public spaces--especially parks--was so appealing that I set a goal to visit all eleven exhibits. And then I promptly forgot. 

Fast forward to last week when the city submitted (gasp!) the TEMPO Closing Celebration for posting to the Free Fun Calendar. Now I had a deadline. My resolve renewed, I set out Friday morning intent to see them all. But, alas, I never got past the first stop because my son and I whiled away our entire morning at the Little Stacy-Blunn Creek Greenbelt-Big Stacy super park. The city classifies these gems in the heart of the Travis Heights neighborhood as two distinct parks with a greenbelt in between, but they definitely have the feel of one linear park. 
The tot and I started out at Little Stacy Park, where the trees immediately caught my attention. Majestic! Grand! Spectacular! Live oak trees bigger than any I’d ever seen in Austin. And shade--glorious shade--blanketing most of the park, including the large playground. There were a couple of nice playscapes; plentiful swings; a cute little playhouse; and, my little guy’s favorite, a huge yellow turtle for climbing and riding. Other features included tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts (with a kid-sized goal on one end); water fountains; a covered pavilion (which made a great stage for an impromptu toddler songfest); and restrooms (but bring your sanitizer because there’s no soap). Little Stacy is bordered on one side by an alley and on the remaining sides by a smallish one-way street, so it was very quiet and traffic was minimal. Mind you, we were there on a Friday morning in Spring. I expect it’s a lot less peaceful in summer when the wading pool is open.

After walking two loops around Little Stacy, I was ready to give up on finding the TEMPO piece that was advertised to be there. Moms at the playground looked at me like I was nutty when I showed them a photo from the TEMPO website and asked where to find the sculpture. Suffice it to say, I don’t think TEMPO has been promoted as well as it could’ve been but the fact that the sculpture actually isn’t in Little Stacy Park probably doesn’t help. Eventually, a kindly dog-walker pointed us in the right direction, toward Big Stacy Park.

The walk from the farthest end of Little to Big Stacy is just under a mile. Other than a quick crossing of the creek on East Side Drive, the rest of the walk wiggled through the Blunn Creek Greenbelt on a part concrete, part crushed granite trail, meandering through the trees and skirting Blunn Creek. Where to begin describing the delights of the Greenbelt? I knew we were in for a treat just a few minutes into our hike when we came upon a tunnel going under Monroe Street. My fearless toddler sprinted ahead of me to test its acoustics, which were pretty terrific. 
The area near the tunnel was one of the most easily accessible parts of the creek. It’s a great little spot to sit for a spell or to splash and throw rocks in the surprisingly clear and chilly water. (Blunn Creek is fed by six springs!) Climbing the hill on the far side of the tunnel, we finally found the first piece of Melissa Borrell’s “Glo-Wave,” a three-part sculpture (spaced out over a city block) that made for a few fantastic games of peek-a-boo. My little guy had a good time crawling on and through the art, though he sincerely believed it was built out of larger-than-life toilet paper.

Not far past the tunnel was a cute little wooden bridge, perfect for noisy stomping, followed by the one street crossing (at Woodland Avenue) required to get from one park to the other. There is a crosswalk and speedbump but no stop sign, so do keep a close eye on the kiddos there. Which leads to my favorite thing about this whole linear park setup...the Greenbelt is bound on one side by East Side Drive (buffered most of the time by trees and a steep hill) and on the other side by the creek (mostly fenced off from the trail). It felt refreshingly safe to let my 3 year-old run ahead a bit and explore at his own pace because the narrow nature of the Greenbelt kept him confined. (Shhh...don’t tell him he wasn't free.) Other high points of the Greenbelt: rustic, metal markers identifying the various types of trees; several wide open spaces ripe for running and kite flying; oodles of wildflowers; lots of very bold and brawny squirrels; and a moontower. I'm considering hosting a get-together here just so my invitations can say “Party at the Moontower!”
As the trail neared Big Stacy Park there was a cool, old bridge to cross the creek one last time. There were no railings there and the drop was sizeable, so this may be an exception to that run-free business I was gushing about, depending on the size of your little adventurers. Honestly, after all the fun we had along the way, our arrival at Big Stacy Park was pretty anticlimactic. The “big” is a misnomer since it’s quite a bit smaller than it’s counterpark (ha!). There’s a spring-fed swimming pool (free and open year-round) and a small, shadeless, fenced playground. There was a larger playground adjacent to the park but it was unclear whether it belonged to Big Stacy or to Travis Heights Elementary next door. Restrooms are located inside the pool area. Juan Deleon’s “Frozen Flow” sculpture, the TEMPO piece we had journeyed there to see, was actually the highlight of Big Stacy for us. My little man climbed all over, ran across, lounged on, and jumped off of its plywood ripples until I lured him away with the promise of lunch.
If you set out to experience the Little Stacy Park-Blunn Creek Greenbelt-Big Stacy Park trifecta, I recommend beginning your adventure at Little Stacy. There’s plenty of (mostly shaded) street parking and lots of fun to be had. When the wading pool opens for the season (see schedule here) I imagine a full day could easily be spent there just alternating between the pool and playground. If you have a jogging stroller, it’s worth your while to bring it along for the trek to Big Stacy and back. After all his romping, my kiddo had to piggyback it most of the way back to our car. It was a great workout if that’s your thing but a stroller might be less strenuous. There is street parking along East Side Dr, as well as a small lot at Big Stacy, if you’d rather start in a different spot. And if the public art intrigues you, get there soon. Both “Glo-Wave” and “Frozen Flow” are set to be de-installed in June.

Little Stacy Neighborhood Park 

Tip: The park is not really on Alameda Drive. You’ll need to turn off of Alameda onto East Side Drive to get there.
1500 Alameda Dr
Austin, TX 78704

Big Stacy Neighborhood Park
700 E Live Oak St,
Austin, TX 78704




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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Healthy Kids Day at YMCA Branches

 Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More than 1,500 YMCAs across the country are taking part in Healthy Kids Day by hosting family celebrations this spring.  Visit a Y branch near you to take part in these free community events, which are sure to be filled with fun, active play and educational opportunities for kids of all ages.



While Healthy Kids Day is officially April 26, 2014, dates of local celebrations here in Austin vary. Check below for information on your YMCA branch's Healthy Kids Day happenings!

The schedule of events:

Saturday, April 19
Saturday, April 26
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 25-27
Saturday, May 3

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Giveaway: Mama's Pampered Night Out


Hey mamas, Bump Club Austin invites you to celebrate Mother's Day early! On Thursday, April 24, 2014, from 7 - 9 p.m., join other local moms (and moms-to-be) for a night of sips, sweets, and style. Take some time for yourself and enjoy an evening of pampering at BLO Blow Dry Bar in The Domain.  

Tickets for this fun mama's night out are $25 and can be purchased online.  

Free Fun in Austin has two free tickets to BLO: Beautiful Ladies {Night} Out to give away! Enter below for your chance to win tickets for you and a friend to attend for free.  If you opt in for the Bump Club Austin email newsletter, you will get an additional entry!

By submitting the form below, you are agreeing to the Sweepstakes Official Rules.  One winner will be selected using random.org on Monday, April 21, 2014 and notified by email. 

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

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Relaxing at Ski Shores Cafe - Plus GIVEAWAY!

My fellow moms, you know that hour in the late afternoon when the kids are going bananas and your oldest is whining about homework being too hard, and your middle child has just eaten all the snacks in the house but complains that he's utterly starving, and your youngest didn't take a nap and has been awake since 5 a.m. so he's whining and crying about absolutely everything? (Sigh) And you just want everyone to RELAX and CHILL OUT! And your mind wanders into a fantasy land where you are lounging in the sand, sipping a margarita in the sun by the waterside? Are you with me here? Oh please tell me that this is not just MY life.

Well, if sneaking off for an adult beverage in a tropical locale is not in your near future (not in mine either), you can look to what's best available at providing that relaxing vibe here in our own hometown. And that, for me, is Ski Shores Cafe.





Ski Shores Cafe has been offering up casual fare in a relaxed Lake Austin atmosphere since 1954. Located on the waterfront (near Emma Long Metropolitan Park), you can expect to see just as many customers arrive by boat as by car. Ski Shores recently underwent some renovations, and my family and I were excited to go for lunch last Saturday afternoon to see what's new. While its location is not exactly in my neck of the woods, its slight distance -- and the fact that it's not part of our usual routine -- makes a trip out to Ski Shores feel like we're doing something special. It's a little adventure, and it makes us feel like we've just gone on a teeny tiny mini-getaway. Even the drive out there on the beautiful winding hillside (from 2222, take City Park Rd. until you reach Pearce Rd.) makes us feel like we're far from our central Austin neighborhood.



When you arrive, you're greeted by huge shady trees, thatched roofs, and casual picnic tables. This places is both kid and dog friendly. There is a game room by the bar (bring your change for the arcade games), and there is a fenced-in playground around back. My boys were really happy with the new addition -- a sandy area where kiddos can dig and play while moms and dads can recline in the lounge chairs. Oh, I loved that!









You can expect comfort food on the menu -- burgers, fish tacos, fried pickles and fried okra, and kid's meals, too.
The kids pointed out turtles by the water's edge and loved watching the boats and jet skis go by. The hostess was sure to point out the fire pit for making s’mores and noted that family movie nights happen every Friday at dusk. (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will be playing this Friday, Apr. 18, 2014). You can also check out live music every Saturday and Sunday starting at 4 p.m. Be sure to keep up with their Facebook page or event calendar on their website for the latest news and movie schedules. 

Of course, dining at Ski Shores isn't free (although the vibe is priceless), but they are giving Free Fun in Austin readers a chance to win a $50 gift certificate! 

To enter for your chance to win, simply fill out the form below. By submitting the form, you are agreeing to the Sweepstakes Official Rules. One winner will be selected using random.org on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 and notified by email.

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

Ski Shores Cafe
2905 Pearce Rd.
Austin
, TX, 78730
(512) 346-5915 


Freelance web producer, Heidi Okla is mom to three boys (ages 4, 6, and 8), and can't pass up any opportunity for fun family adventures.
Heidi covers theatre, health and beauty topics on Austin's LiveMom.com. And you can browse her literacy-focused kids activities on her blog, Read 'Em and Leap.



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Free Demo Classes with The Biscuit Brothers


Curious about what it would be like to take classes or attend summer camp with The Biscuit Brothers?  Try a free demo class at The Biscuit Brothers Fine Arts Farm the week of April 21-26, 2014!

The schedule:   
  • Monday, April 21 at 9 a.m. - "Mommy Monday" (recommended for mommies who are 1-9 months pregnant)
  • Tuesday, April 22 at 9 a.m. - "Hula Experience" Parent Edition    (recommended for ages 2-5)
  • Wednesday, April 23 at 9 a.m. - "Wellness Wednesday" (recommended for newborn - 4 months)
  • Friday, April 25 at 9 a.m. - "Fit Friday" (recommended for babies who can hold their head up on their own)
  • Saturday, April 26 at 10 a.m. - "Hula Experience" (recommended for kids of all ages)
To sign up for the classes email dusty@biscuitbrothers.com or stop by the Fine Arts Farm to sign up in person.

To learn more about individual classes visit The Biscuit Brothers' website

Fine Arts Farm
6036 W US Hwy 290
Austin, Texas

Katey writes about activities for families and children at Having Fun at Home. You may also enjoy posts Katey has written about exploring the New Braunfels Railroad MuseumBee Cave Sculpture ParkSweet Berry Farm Barton Creek GreenbeltLady Bird Johnson Wildflower CenterLongview ParkAustin's Superlative Landmarks, the Elisabet Ney Museum, and Oakwood Cemetery. She has also written about taking kids to explore fun Austin stores like Callahan'sThe Natural GardenerNature's TreasuresZookeeper, and the Asian Supermarket.

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Earth Day 2014 Freebies and Events


Tuesday, April 22, 2014, marks the 45th annual Earth Day around the world! The global theme this year is Green Cities — taking measures in cities like our very own to create sustainable communities in all applicable ways, including making "smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public."

Here's something I didn't know, and maybe you didn't either: April is actually Earth Month here in Austin. And here is something cool: the City of Austin's Office of Sustainability offers its own FREE mobile app called rethink/ that is designed to help you and your family make sustainability a priority in your everyday choices — and could save you money, too. Be sure to check out the Office of Sustainability's other tips and resources for Austinites who want to protect and preserve our beautiful city.

Here are some ways to celebrate this year's Earth Day with your family and loved ones.

Earth Day 2014 events:
  • Earth Week at St. Edward's University — April 21–25. Earth Week 2014 is FREE and open to the public. This year's program includes a Wild Basin management workday, a native plant hike, a tour of the Student Garden led by Students for Sustainability, a green technology workshop, free coffee from Jo's Coffee when you bring your own cup, and much more. Most of the events will take place at the St. Edward's University campus, 3001 S. Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78704.
  • Earth Day celebration at DogBoy's Dog RanchApril 21–25, 7 AM–6:30 PM: DogBoy’s Dog Ranch is hosting a week-long Earth Day celebration at their office at 2615 Crystal Bend Dr. in Pflugerville. Drop off used electronics in the recycling bins provided in their office. Also accepting gently used and clean donations for Austin Pets Alive!
  • Green Team at the Thinkery — April 22, 11 AM–1 PM: The City of Austin's Office of Sustainability's Green Team will be demonstrating how easy and fun it is to go green, and giving out FREE prizes. The Green Team's website will have regularly updated info.
  • Greener Choices Earth Day Festival at ACC Riverside — April 22, 10 AM–7 PM: Austin Community College's Renewable Energy Student Association presents this festival at the ACC Riverside campus at 1020 Grove Blvd. Admission is FREE (there is a suggested donation of $5) and includes live music, a kids' area, many workshops, and a keynote address by former Austin mayor Will Wynn. View the festival flyer here.
  • Butterfly Festival in Wimberley — April 26, 10 AM–4 PM: Come to the EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens for a day of fun. The festival features the live release of butterflies; opening ceremonies at the Veterans Memorial Plaza; displays of butterfly art; carnival games and crafts; concessions; live music; and more. Admission is FREE. Donations are gratefully accepted and concession/game tickets may be purchased. 
  • Earth Day Festival with the Austin Public Library — April 26, 12–6 PM: Earth Day is every day at the Austin Public Library. Join the City of Austin, the Austin Public Library and local organizations at the Mueller Browning Hangar, 4550 Mueller Blvd., for sustainability information and inspiration in the form of live music, entertainment for kids, food trailers and more. This event is FREE and open to the public. For more information, click here.
Earth Day Freebies:

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TCBY at Schlotzsky’s Grand Opening Event

 Tuesday, April 15, 2014


TCBY is now at Schlotzsky’s! Visit any of the Austin area locations listed below on Saturday April 19, 2014, from 2-6 p.m. for sweet treats and fun prizes! The first 50 people to purchase a TCBY treat get FREE Schlotzsky’s for one year! 

TCBY will open in the following Austin-area restaurants:
  • La Frontera – 2700-B Parker Drive, Round Rock, Texas
  • Parmer – 500 Canyon Ridge Drive, Austin, Texas
  • Sunset Valley – 5601 Brodie Lane, Sunset Valley, Texas
  • Maconda Park – 13201 FM 620 North, Austin, Texas
  • Lamar – 218 S. Lamar Blvd, Austin, Texas
For more information, visit the Schlotzsky's blog.

*Minimum $5 TCBY purchase to be made after 2 p.m. in-store only. Valid only at locations above. Free sandwich offer valid for persons 18 years or older. 52 small The Original sandwiches; one sandwich each week for a year beginning April 19, 2014 and ending April 18, 2015.

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2014 Tax Day Freebies


Arby's - Print a coupon for FREE Curly Fries on April 15 here

Chili's - Get a FREE appetizer or FREE dessert with the purchase of an adult entrée, through April 17, with this coupon.

Corner Bakery Cafe - Get a FREE Homemade Soup with any entrée purchase, through April 27.  Claim your coupon on Facebook and it will be emailed to you.

Denny's - Buy one entrée, get one FREE through April 20, with the purchase of two beverages and this coupon.

Great American Cookies - Get a FREE cookie on April 15.  No coupon necessary.

Papa Murphy's - Get a large 1-topping pan pizza plus a large FAVES pizza for $10.40 on April 15 with this coupon.

Schlotzsky's - Visit participating Schlotzsky’s on Tax Day, April 15, and enjoy a FREE small The Original® sandwich with the purchase of a 32oz. drink and a bag of chips. This offer is good ALL DAY LONG on Tax Day. No coupon needed. Limit one free sandwich per person, per visit. Click here to find the Schlotzsky’s restaurant nearest you.

Sonic - Enjoy Happy Hour prices (half price drinks and slushes) all day on April 15.

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Cinderella Kids Musical in Georgetown

 Monday, April 14, 2014


WATCH Homeschool Co-op Drama proudly presents the musical Disney's Cinderella Kids on Saturday, April 26, 2014.  There will be 40-minute performances starting at 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Admission is free.

First Baptist Church, Georgetown
1333 W. University Avenue
Georgetown, Texas

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Grand Opening of Hutto's Little Free Library


Hutto is opening a Little Free Library in The Hutto Square this month.  Celebrate the grand opening on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 3 p.m. with refreshments and book sharing! Stop by with a book to donate and find a book to take home for free. 

The Hutto Square Little Free Library is a box full of books which members of the community can exchange freely, without the constraint of due dates. If you borrow a book and love it, keep it! If you have a book you would love to share, drop it off. Sharing books is a wonderful way to connect to your community and support literacy at every age.

For more information, visit the Facebook page or call 720 841-4277.
136 Holmstrom St.
Hutto, TX 78634

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Shakespeare at the Market: Much Ado About Nothing


After several successful bi-annual productions of Shakespeare at the Farm, hosted at East Austin’s urban Rain Lilly Farm, Present Company is expanding their presence and their mission to revitalize the art of theatre by bringing free, professional productions off the conventional stage and into unexpected locations in the community – i.e. your local grocery store. 

Present Company, in partnership with Whole Foods Market, presents Shakespeare at the Market: Much Ado About Nothing, to be performed on the rooftop of the downtown Austin flagship Whole Foods Market. The event will run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, with seating at 6:30 p.m., April 18 - May 11, 2014. Each performance will begin at 7 p.m. 

Promoting the philosophy of accessible and sustainable art, Shakespeare at the Market will be a free event, with an educational and entertaining pre-show (“The Shakespeare Field Guide”) before the performance. Guests are encouraged to arrive early, bring a blanket or short chair, and stop by the prepared foods department at Whole Foods Market to pick up a picnic tailored for the event. 

“This partnership with Whole Foods Market has deep anthropological roots,” said Stephanie Carll, co-artistic director of Present Company. “Street theatre was and is still what many communities utilize to educate, deliver news and information, and entertain – and it usually occurs in the heart of the community: the marketplace.” 

While the performances will be free, attendees will have the opportunity to donate to Present Company at the event or at the registers of the downtown Whole Foods Market store.  Guests are encouraged to RSVP for the play here.

For more information, please visit the Present Company Theatre website

Whole Foods Market- Downtown
525 North Lamar Boulevard
Austin,TX 78703

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Giveaway: Tickets to Listen to Your Mother Austin 2014



Hey, you! If you're a mother, or wish you were, or if you have a mother, or had one — basically, if you're human on this earth, it's time to get ready, folks: The Listen to Your Mother Show is set to make Austinites laugh, sigh and tear up (or outright bawl) once again this Mother's Day. Twice this year, in fact: The show's popularity in previous years led its directors to expand it to two performances in 2014, on Thursday, May 8, and Saturday, May 10. (Mother's Day is Sunday, May 11, this year.)

And you could win two tickets to one of the performances! (More on that in a minute.)

LTYM National Director
Ann Imig
Listen to Your Mother has grown exponentially in the few short years since its inception. The creation of stay-at-home-humorist Ann Imig, the first show premiered on Mother's Day 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Imig's purpose was to give motherhood a microphone through live readings by local writers — mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts — of their original essays about all aspects of motherhood (or, according to the LTYM national site, "the beauty, the beast and the barely rested" of motherhood).

Wendi Aarons and
Elizabeth McGuire
The next year, the show expanded to four other cities, including Austin. (I had the honor of being a cast member in the 2012 Austin show, its second year in our fair city.) For three years, the Austin show was co-directed by the wonderful Wendi Aarons and Elizabeth McGuire before they handed the reins to this year's directors, local bloggers and writers Heather King, Kristin Shaw and Leigh Ann Torres (hey, you guys know Leigh Ann from right here on Free Fun in Austin! And I'm proud to know her from when she was one of my fellow cast members in the 2012 LTYM show).

Leigh Ann Torres,
LTYM Austin 2014 Co-director
In 2014, just four years after that first show in Madison, the show has expanded to a national series of locally produced shows in 32 cities across the country. To me, this illustrates the power of the focus and message of Listen to Your Mother, which is just so affirming. I mean, is there anyone more anonymous than a mother? Quite literally, moms live to serve; when we're doing our job well, we're doing it in a way that allows our children to shine as we fade into the (messy) background. If we're lucky, our own mothers committed this same selfless act for us. It's kind of what it's all about.

Kristin Shaw, LTYM Austin 2014
Co-director
And yet, as anonymous as motherhood can feel — as thankless and chaotic and unrelenting and freaking hard as it can be, and dang it, it just does not pay enough — is there anything more profound? My own experience of motherhood so far has taken more twists and turns than I ever could have predicted; it has broken my heart and borne me up on the greatest, deepest love I could never have imagined until I experienced it. However one might feel about motherhood, it is life-changing. That was why I wrote my piece for the 2012 LTYM show; I wanted to add my voice to those others who were finding ways to put this intense, insane experience into words.

Heather King,
LTYM Austin 2014
Co-director
I loved attending the 2013 show as an audience member. You can really tell it's a show produced by mothers — they thought of everything, including little packets of tissues for audience members to use when they're getting a little worked up. (Fair warning: Some of the essays could make you laugh so hard that things come out of your nose, while others might make you ugly-cry.)

Here is something else rad about the show: 10% of LTYM's ticket proceeds are donated to non-profit charities; here is a list of past years' causes by city. Here in Austin, St. Louise House and Any Baby Can have benefited from LTYM ticket sales donations. So there you go: Listen to Your Mother is a show with both a heart and a conscience.

So as a Mother's Day treat this year, buy a couple tickets for yourself and your mama, or your daughter, or your sister, aunt, mother-figure or mom-friend... Or just buy one for yourself, and go sit in solo wonder as this year's cast takes you on a journey that is sure to be hilarious and poignant, difficult and sublime, heartwarming and heartbreaking, just like motherhood itself.

You can also try your luck in our Free Tickets Giveaway drawing — you could win two tickets to the show! Just fill out the form below to be entered into the drawing; be sure to specify which showing you'd like to attend (Thursday evening or Saturday afternoon). By submitting the form, you are agreeing to the Sweepstakes Official Rules. One winner will be selected using random.org on Monday, April 21, 2014 and notified by email. 

More info on the show, the writers, buying tickets and more:

Thurs. May 8, 2014 at 7 PM
Sat. May 10, 2014 at 3 PM
1900 University Ave.
Austin, TX 78705 [map]

$15 general admission

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


Hey, that's me!
in the 2012 LTYM Austin show
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 kids, toddler Pearl and baby 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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UT Seeks Middle School Students for Focus Group


The University of Texas at Austin Prevention Research Lab is looking for focus group participants for an Outdoor Media Study. The lab's research assistants are recruiting participants age 11 to 14 who are currently enrolled in middle school. 

The purpose of the Outdoor Media Study is to discover what kids think about outdoor food and beverage promotion. The information collected in this study will be used to create programs to help students understand how advertising influences their behavior and programs to reduce youth obesity. 

Participation in the study involves attending an hour-long focus group in Belmont Hall on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Youth participants will receive $20 and parents will receive $12 for parking and transportation.

Contact utprlab@gmail.com for more information.

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Top 5 FREE Weekday Events (Apr 14-18, 2014)

 Sunday, April 13, 2014



  1. Texas Community Music Festival - Monday, April 14 and Wednesday, April 16, from 5:30-9:00 p.m. Enjoy live music on the patio and let kids play on the giant playground. Monday performances include The Blue Diamonds, Las Gabacha-chas, and Poor Yorick. Wednesday performances will include Classics ‘N Jazz Brass Quintet, Austin Polka Band, and Austin Jazz Band. Family friendly and FREE! Central Market, 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.
  2. Community Easter Egg Hunt - Thursday, April 17 at 4:00 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to hunt for the thousands of Easter eggs hidden around the Huston-Tillotson University campus. The hunt features a $500 scholarship prize egg, prize eggs for school supplies and gift certificates, and eggs with candy and coins. Children will gather in the Mary E. Branch Gymnasium for a brief meaning of Easter story time before joining their age groups and beginning the hunt. FREE! Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St, Austin.
  3. Farmer Fred's Garden Spring Carnival (San Marcos) - Thursday, April 17, 6 - 9 p.m. Free admission, free carnival games with prizes and candy, Bunny pictures ($3), train rides ($2.50), and concessions available for purchase. Egg hunts will be in 4 age groups: ages 1 - 3 at 6:15 p.m., ages 4 - 5 at 6:45 p.m., ages 6 - 9 at 7:15 p.m., and ages 10 - 12 at 7:45 p.m. FREE! San Marcos City Park, 170 Charles Austin Dr, San Marcos.
  4. Big Sing - Thursday, April 17 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Conspirare presents the last Big Sing of the season, in collaboration with Fusebox Festival. Big Sing is a popular community event where the audience is the choir, all under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson. The Big Sing is open to all, regardless of musical training and experience. Through a fun, no-pressure group singing experience, audience members learn basic vocal technique, experience the body as an instrument, and sing as one with hundreds of others. FREE! Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, East End Arena, 1156 Hargrave St, Austin.
  5. Easter Egg Design Contest and Dye-O-Rama - Friday, April 18 from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to compete for prizes with their Easter egg designs. In addition, everyone can learn the art of Ukrainian or Psyanky egg dyeing. Eggs and supplies will be provided to all participants. Parents are asked to chaperone their youngsters at this event. FREE! Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin.
For more family friendly events happening this week, check out our Free Fun Calendar!

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What's Up? Weekly (Apr 14 - Apr 18, 2014)


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

Happening All Week

Anne Frank: A History for Today (Georgetown) - Monday, April 14 - Thursday, April 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday, April 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This Anne Frank traveling exhibit (presented in both English and Spanish) is open for public viewing during normal library hours. FREE! Georgetown Public Library, 402 W 8th St, Georgetown.

Monday

Baby Bloomers - Monday, April 14 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. From butterflies to beetles and spiders to silkworms, this Baby Bloomers is all about BUGS! They are creepy and crawly and VERY cool. Children age 0-3 and their families are invited to explore the world of bugs. This Monday, Rupert Reyes of Teatro Vivo is happy to bring bilingual storytime to Baby Bloomers. Cost: Members $2.50 each / Non-Members $4.50 each. All people attending, regardless of age, must purchase a ticket. Purchase a ticket online as limited walk-up tickets will be available. The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave, Austin.

Mr. Will's Music Class for Kids - Monday, April 14 at 10:00 a.m. Mr. Will sings classic and original songs just for kids. Check him out upstairs in the Buzz. FREE! Whole Foods Bee Cave, 12601 Hill Country Blvd, Austin.

Signing Storytime at Kaleidoscope Toys (Round Rock) - Monday, April 14 at 10:00 a.m. Join the Baby Signing Time revolution. This class is geared for children 0-5 years and their parents. Amy from the Signing Connection will lead this storytime that incorporates classic children's books to help you learn basic American Sign Language signs. RSVP appreciated (but not required) by calling 512-388-5048. FREE! Kaleidoscope Toys, 110 N IH 35, Ste 375, Round Rock.

Storytime with Dr. Candra - Monday, April 14 at 11:00 a.m. Dr. Candra will captivate your children with a variety of stories and related crafts. FREE! Brilliant Sky Toys and Books, 701 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Ste D-480, Austin.

Sensory Day at the Thinkery - Monday, April 14 from 3-7:00 p.m. The Thinkery extends a special invitation to learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or other sensory disorders to explore the Thinkery with their families. The galleries will be modified to reduce extra stimuli and ticket sales will be limited to reduce crowding. All ages are welcome and therapists are welcome to join their families or children, free of charge. Cost: Members $5.00 each / Non-Members $8.00 each. Children under 24 months free. Purchase a ticket online as ticket sales will be limited. The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave, Austin.

Lego Lab - Monday, April 14 at 3:30 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. FREE! Recommended for ages 5 and up. APL - Howson Branch, 2500 Exposition Blvd, Austin.

Lions & Tigers & Toys Storytime - Monday, April 14 at 4:00 p.m. Storytime and games every Monday. All ages welcome. FREE! Lions & Tigers & Toys, 4301 W Wm Cannon Dr, E-220, Austin.

Texas Community Music Festival - Monday, April 14 from 5:30-9:00 p.m. Performances by The Blue Diamonds, Las Gabacha-chas, and Poor Yorick. Family friendly and FREE! Central Market, 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.

Free Karate Class (Del Valle) - Monday, April 14. Ages 3-12 years from 6-7:00 p.m.; ages 12 to adult from 7-8:00 p.m. FREE Karate class with Instructor Frank Selvera, a sixth-degree black belt. Elroy Library, 13512 FM 812, Del Valle.

Game Night at Cafe Ruckus - Monday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. Meet a lot of cool people, enjoy a tasty beverage, and play, play, PLAY. 
Sorry, Connect 4, Battleship, Fluxx, Ruckus - The Game, and more. 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.

Big Band Bash (Lakeway) - Monday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. Put on your dancing shoes and bring your own beverages and snacks. Enjoy big band music from the 17-piece Republic of Texas Big Band, featuring David Cummings and Lisa Clark on vocals. FREE and open to all ages. Lakeway Activity Center Ballroom, 105 Cross Creek, Lakeway.

Tuesday

Breakfast and Crafts with the Easter Bunny - Tuesday, April 15 from 9-10:30 a.m. Bring the kiddos for complimentary breakfast and crafts and snap some photos with the wily rabbit. FREE! Whole Foods Domain, 11920 Domain Dr, Austin.

Free Admission to Pet Sounds - Tuesday, April 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Charles Long's Pet Sounds will be installed outdoors at Laguna Gloria. Titled after the 1966 Beach Boys album of the same name, these playful sculptures in bright, candy colors begin as railings and morph into luscious, playful blobs that engage the viewer with murmurs, vibrations, and strange sounds when touched. FREE! The Contemporary Austin, Laguna Gloria, 3809 West 35th St, Austin.

Armstrong Community School Storytime - Tuesday, April 15 at 10:30 a.m. Come sing songs with Walter Tragert, one of the talented Early Childhood Development faculty members from the Armstrong Community School. FREE! BookPeople, 603 N Lamar, Austin.

Story Time with Princess CJ - Tuesday, April 15 at 11:00 a.m. Storytime plus general play time before and after the reading. FREE! All Things Kids @The Domain, 3220 Feathergrass Ct, Austin.

Free Admission to The Jones Center - Tuesday, April 15 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Contemporary Austin, The Jones Center, 700 Congress Ave, Austin.

Peter Rabbit Storytime - Tuesday, April 15 at 11:00 a.m. FREE! Pottery Barn Kids at Barton Creek Square, 2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin.

Music with Mr. Will – Tuesday, April 15 at 11:30 a.m. Rock out with local children’s singer, “Mr. Will” Dupuy. FREE! Brilliant Sky Toys & Books, The Village at West Lake (360 and Bee Caves Rd), 701 S. Capital of Texas Hwy Suite D-480.

Lego Lab - Tuesday, April 15 at 3:30 p.m. (Windsor Park) and at 5:00 p.m. (Manchaca Road) 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. FREE! Recommended for ages 5 and up. APL - Windsor Park Branch, 5833 Westminster Dr, Austin. APL - Manchaca Road Branch, 5500 Manchaca Rd, Austin.

Discovery! Madrone Canyon Trail Hike - Tuesday, April 15 at 4:30 p.m. The Discovery hand-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, explore the Madrone Canyon Trail with Master Naturalist Patricia McGee. Parents are required to attend this hike or be in the library. Children 8 and under MUST be accompanied by their parent or guardian. A liability waiver is required by all participants. FREE! Laura's Library, 9411 Bee Cave Rd, Austin.

PJ Story Time - Tuesday, April 15 at 6:15 p.m. Wear your pajamas, have some milk and cookies, then snuggle in for bedtime stories at PJ Story Time. All ages are welcome. FREE! Lake Travis Community Library, 1938 Lohmans Crossing, Austin.

Pajama Storytime - Tuesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. Come cuddle at the Westbank Library! Kids of all ages, get comfy in your favorite pajamas, grab your sleepy toy and come for the best bedtime stories ever. Milk and snacks provided. FREE! Westbank Library, 1309 Westbank Dr, Austin.

Wednesday

Whole Foods Kids Club - Wednesday, April 16 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.

Mommy & Me Lego Class - Wednesday, April 16 at 9:00 a.m. FREE Mommy & Me Lego class. Stay and play for $3 afterwards. Toybrary Austin, 7817 Rockwood Ln #101, Austin.

Whole Foods Storytime - Wednesday, April 16 from 9:30-10:30 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.

Itty Bitty Playtime & Yoga - Wednesday, April 16 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.

Tiny Tails to You Storytime - Wednesday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m. Friends from Tiny Tails to You will be reading stories and introducing some of the cutest, softest, most adorable little creatures in Austin. What a wonderful way to make new friends. FREE! BookPeople, 603 N Lamar, Austin.

Purly Gates Music Show (Pflugerville) - Wednesday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m. Purly Gates Show provides an interactive music experience for young cowboys and cowgirls of all ages. This uniquely energetic and creative singer accompanies herself on guitar, banjo, accordion, ukelele, harmonica, and umpteen odd or home-made instruments. Her musical styles range from mostly folk and swing, to country, a touch of blues, bluegrass, or even an occasional rap. And she may do a little story-telling between songs, if the time is right. FREE! Pflugerville Public Library, 1008 W Pflugerville St, Pflugerville.

KinderDance Class - Wednesday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m. (for 2-year-olds) and at 11:00 a.m. (for ages 3-5). KinderDance encourages children to have fun and gain a love for learning by associating it with something that comes naturally — movement, music, dance, and fitness! Experience a FREE sample class. Rattan Creek Community Center, 7617 Elkhorn Mountain Trail, Austin.

Paint Me a Story (Georgetown) - Wednesday, April 16 at 11:00 a.m. Community storytelling and art lesson with Miss Melanie and Honey! Ideal for preschoolers and their caregivers. FREE! All Things Kids in Georgetown, 703 S Main St, Georgetown.

Yoga in the Park - Wednesday, April 16 at Noon. Yoga Yoga is proud to offer an all level Hatha Yoga class to participants at Yoga in the Park. Please bring your own yoga mat to class. FREE! Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe, Austin.

Construction Zone - Wednesday, April 16 at 1:30 p.m. (Homeschool Edition) and at 4:30 p.m. (Afterschool Edition) Science + engineering + art! Hear a story and build stuff! Enjoy a reading of Me and Momma and Big John by Mara Rockliff, then build with a real architect using LEGO architecture bricks. Recommended for ages 5 and up. FREE! APL - Faulk Central Library, 800 Guadalupe St, Austin.

Downton Abbey Tea Time - Wednesday, April 16 at 2:00 p.m. Gather to watch an episode from season four, drink a cup of tea, and enjoy some good company. FREE! Lake Travis Community Library, 1938 Lohmans Crossing, Austin.

Anime Club - Wednesday, April 16 at 3:30 p.m. Kids ages 12 and up gather to watch and discuss anime films. This month: Sword Art Online (PG-13) FREE! APL - Southeast Branch, 5803 Nuckols Crossing Rd, Austin.

Tiger Woman, A Puppet Show - Wednesday, April 16 at 3:30 p.m. Literature LIVE! presents Tiger Woman from the book by Laurence Yep, a Bunraku style puppet show based on a traditional Chinese story. This is the tale of a greedy old woman who will not share her food with a beggar; but when the old man turns out to be a wizard, he teaches her a lesson in generosity. Recommended for ages 5 and up. FREE! APL - Hampton Branch, 5125 Convict Hill Rd, Austin.

After School Craft (Kyle) - Wednesday, April 16 at 4:00 p.m. This after school craft is intended for children four to nine years of age. Materials provided. FREE! Kyle Public Library, 550 Scott St, Kyle.

Reading Dog - Wednesday, April 16 at 4:30 p.m. Handler Holly with Dog Chula will be at Laura's Library to read with kiddoes or visit with them. Pre-readers and readers are welcome. FREE! Laura's Library, 9411 Bee Cave Rd, Austin.

Community Night at The Thinkery - Wednesday, April 16 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 dollar donation. The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave, Austin.

Texas Community Music Festival - Wednesday, April 16 from 5:30-9:00 p.m. Performances by Classics ‘N Jazz Brass Quintet, Austin Polka Band, and Austin Jazz Band. Family friendly and FREE! Central Market, 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.

Family Movie Night: Hook - Wednesday, April 16 at 6:00 p.m. When Captain Hook kidnaps his children, an adult Peter Pan must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy. Rated PG. FREE! APL - University Hills Branch, 4721 Loyola Ln, Austin.

Krispy Kreme Family Night - Wednesday, April 16 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.

Austin Community Drum Circle - Wednesday, April 16 from 7-9:00 p.m. X8 Drums, Austin-based musical instrument manufacturer, is hosting a free facilitated community drum circle. This is a family friendly event. Drums will be available for those who do not have them. All ages welcome! FREE! The VORTEX Theater, 2307 Manor Rd, Austin.

Thursday

Third Thursday at The Blanton - Thursday, April 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. In addition to offering free admission, The Blanton is open late and offers a variety of activities from yoga to live music. Find the complete schedule of events here. FREE! Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E Martin Luther King Junior Blvd, Austin.

Story Time with Princess CJ - Thursday, April 17 at 11:00 a.m. Storytime plus general play time before and after the reading. FREE! All Things Kids @The Domain, 3220 Feathergrass Ct, Austin.

Free Noon Concert - Thursday, April 17 at Noon. Take a 30-minute lunchtime break with Mary K. Shanahan & Rudy Davenport performing the Music of Holy Week. FREE! Central Presbyterian Church, 200 E 8th St, Austin.

Yoga in the Park - Thursday, April 17 at Noon. CorePower Yoga strengthens, balances, detoxifies, and exhilarates the body and mind. CorePower Yoga classes will have you moving, breathing, and sweating. 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: Silly Storytime (Cedar Park) - Thursday, April 17 at 3:30 p.m. Each Thursday, kids in grades K-5 meet to explore a set of rotating programs. This week it’s Silly Storytime. FREE! Cedar Park Library, 550 Discovery Blvd, Cedar Park.

Community Easter Egg Hunt - Thursday, April 17 at 4:00 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to hunt for the thousands of Easter eggs hidden around the Huston-Tillotson University campus. The hunt features a $500 scholarship prize egg, prize eggs for school supplies and gift certificates, and eggs with candy and coins. Children will gather in the Mary E. Branch Gymnasium for a brief meaning of Easter story time before joining their age groups and beginning the hunt. FREE! Huston Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St, Austin.

Lego Lab - Thursday, April 17 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. FREE! Recommended for ages 5 and up. APL - University Hills Branch, 4721 Loyola Ln, Austin.

LEGO® Minifigure Speed Build Challenge - Thursday, April 17 at 5:00 p.m. See who can build the most LEGO Minifigures in one minute. The fastest builder will win a Build a Minifigure 3 pack. Open to children ages 6-14 only. FREE! LEGO Store, Barton Creek Square, 2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin.

Anime Club - Thursday, April 17 at 5:00 p.m. Kids ages 12 and up gather to watch and discuss anime films. This month: Prince of Tennis (Rated All ages) FREE! APL - Carver Branch, 1161 Angelina St, Austin.

Yappy Hour on the Patio - Thursday, April 17 from 5-7:00 p.m. Enjoy live music by Ryan Desiato on the dog-friendly patio. FREE! Whole Foods Domain, 11920 Domain Dr, Austin.

Music on Main Street: The Carper Family (Round Rock) - Thursday, April 17 from 6-8:00 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and the entire family to hear all-female acoustic trio The Carper Family. Visit the variety of dining options on Main Street or pack a picnic basket to enjoy the evening of fun and music. FREE! Prete Main Street Plaza, 221 E Main St, Round Rock.


Farmer Fred's Garden Spring Carnival (San Marcos) - Thursday, April 17, 6 - 9 p.m. Free admission, free carnival games with prizes and candy, Bunny pictures ($3), train rides ($2.50), concessions available for purchase. Egg hunts will be in 4 age groups: ages 1 - 3 at 6:15 p.m., ages 4 - 5 at 6:45 p.m., ages 6 - 9 at 7:15 p.m., and ages 10 - 12 at 7:45 p.m. FREE! San Marcos City Park, 170 Charles Austin Dr, San Marcos.

Big Sing - Thursday, April 17 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Conspirare presents the last Big Sing of the season, in collaboration with Fusebox Festival. Big Sing is a popular community event where the audience is the choir, all under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson. The Big Sing is open to all, regardless of musical training and experience. Through a fun, no-pressure group singing experience, audience members learn basic vocal technique, experience the body as an instrument, and sing as one with hundreds of others. FREE! Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, East End Arena, 1156 Hargrave St, Austin.

Live Music at Central Market Westgate - Thursday, April 17 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Armed with the music of the legendary bands of Speedy West, Jimmy Bryant, Billy Jack Wills, The Texas Troubadors, and Spade Cooley, the Bordertown Bootlegers set out to blaze a new trail in Western Swing. FREE! Central Market Westgate, 4477 S Lamar Blvd, Austin.

Live Music at Central Market North - Thursday, April 17 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Blackbird 3 plays a lively mix of hard-bop, blues, gypsy world music, New Orleans, Latin jazz, and soul groove jazz, but BB3 is best known as a hard swingin' jazz trio heavily rooted in the bebop and post bop traditions. FREE! Central Market, 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.

Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt & Movie in the Park (Round Rock) - Thursday, April 17 at 7:15 p.m. When the park is dark, your flashlight will be your guide to candy, eggs, and prizes. Bring your flashlight and basket to search for eggs in the treat-filled hunt ring and then stay for the FREE Movie in the Park featuring Rise of the Guardians! Shine your light to find the golden eggs you can redeem for a special prize basket. Cost: $5.00. Registration is required. Old Settlers Park, 3300 Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock.

Unplugged at the Grove - Thursday, April 17 at 8:00 p.m. This year marks the 21st Anniversary of KGSR's Unplugged at the Grove. Bring the family down to hear some Outlaw-Folk-Americana from The Dirty Boys. FREE! Shady Grove, 1624 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.

Friday

Yoga Story Time - Friday, April 18 at 9:30 a.m. Join in a Story Time Yoga adventure every Friday at 9:30! Stretch, read and breathe. All ages are welcome. FREE! The Little Yoga House, 1211 Parkway, Austin.

Interactive Story Time (Round Rock) - Friday, April 18 at 9:30 a.m. (0-18 months) and 10:30 a.m. (19 months - 4 years). Interactive story time gets little ones moving. From hopping around to one story to using scarves to animate another, everyone has a great time. FREE! BabyEarth, 106 E Old Settlers Blvd, Ste D100, Round Rock.

Fun Fridays: The Que Pastas - Friday, April 18 at 10:00 a.m. Sing! Dance! Play! Fun Fridays is a fun musical and entertainment hour featuring local Austin musicians The Que Pastas. Complimentary refreshments will be served. FREE! Millie & Mox, 5145 North FM 620, Ste B110, Austin.

Spanish Book Reading at Preescolarte - Friday, April 18 at 10:00 a.m. Join Ms. Susy and Ms. Aileen for Spanish books, Spanish songs, and some fun art. FREE! Preescolarte, 8305 W Hwy 71, Ste 100, Austin.

Pinballz Easter Egg Hunt - Friday, April 18 at 10:30 a.m. Children ages 12 and under are invited with their parents to bring their baskets and hunt for colorful, prize-filled Easter Eggs. Each egg has special prizes with the top three golden eggs having 100, 250, and 500 prize ticket amounts inside to cash in for the fun redemption prizes of your choice. FREE! Pinballz Arcade, 8940 Research Blvd, Suite 100, Austin.

Easter Egg Design Contest & Dye-O-Rama - Friday, April 18 from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to compete for prizes with their Easter egg designs. In addition, everyone can learn the art of Ukrainian or Psyanky egg dyeing. Eggs and supplies will be provided to all participants. Parents are asked to chaperone their youngsters at this event. FREE! Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin.

Williamson County Courthouse Tours (Georgetown) - Friday, April 18 at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. In celebration of the Williamson Museum’s 10th anniversary, FREE guided tours of the historic county courthouse will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays throughout February. Tours are free, last about 45 minutes and are handicapped accessible. Tours begin at The Williamson Museum, 716 S Austin Ave, Georgetown.

Reading Dog - Friday, April 18 at 3:30 p.m. Handler Neel and Dog Joey will read with kiddos or visit with them. Pre-readers and readers are welcome. FREE! Westbank Library, 1309 Westbank Dr, Austin.

Free Play Gaming - Friday, April 18 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Free play gaming using one of the library's video game consoles and a variety of games that could include Mario Kart, Rock Band, Dance, Dance Revolution, and many other favorites. FREE! APL - Twin Oaks Branch, 1800 S Fifth St, Austin.

Eddie Dickerson Bluegrass Concert – Friday, April 18 at 4:00 p.m. Growing up in a musical family, Eddie Dickerson began learning the violin at age five. He was introduced to many styles of music like Bluegrass and Country and enjoys sharing his talents. FREE! Lake Travis Community Library, 1938 Lohmans Crossing, Austin.

Friday Family Films: Rio - Friday, April 18 at 4:00 p.m. A comedy-adventure that centers on Blu, a flightless macaw who acts more human than bird. When Blu, the last of his kind, discovers there's another, and that she's a she, he embarks on an adventure to magical Rio. There he meets Jewel and a menagerie of vivid characters who help Blu fulfill his dream and learn to fly. Rated G. FREE! Laura's Library, 9411 Bee Cave Rd, Austin.

Shakespeare at the Market: Much Ado About Nothing - Friday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m. Promoting the philosophy of “accessible & sustainable art,” Shakespeare at the Market will be a FREE event, with an educational and entertaining pre-show (“The Shakespeare Field Guide”) before the performance. Guests are encouraged to arrive early, bring a blanket or short chair, and stop by the prepared foods department to pick up a picnic tailored for this event. A suggested donation of $10-20 is encouraged for those who are able to support. Guests are encouraged to RSVP here. Whole Foods, 525 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.

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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