Weekend Top 10 FREE Events (Jul 25-27, 2014)

 Thursday, July 24, 2014

  1. Alamo Kids Camp - Friday, July 25, Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27. See Frankenweenie at Alamo Drafthouse Village (2700 West Anderson Ln, Austin), Annie at Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter (5701 W Slaughter Ln, Austin) or Rio at Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline (14028 N US Hwy 183, Bldg F, Austin). Verify showtimes before heading out as they frequently change. All Alamo Kids Camp screenings are FREE! Tickets are available at the box office on the day of the show, and seating is first come, first served. No children under the age of 3 will be admitted. Families with loud children will be asked to leave.
  2. Music Under the Star - Friday, July 25 from 6-9 p.m. This is the final night of the Bullock Museum's FREE summer concert series, Music Under the Star. Bring your camp chairs and blankets (but no coolers, please) and dance the evening away to the hottest sounds in Austin. Free parking is available in the museum's garage after 6 p.m. This week, hear Jason Roberts Band and Ray Benson & Milkdrive. Bullock Texas State History Museum's Lone Star Plaza, 1800 N Congress Ave, Austin.
  3. Dive In Movie (Kyle) - Friday, July 25 at 7 p.m. See a FREE screening of Surf's Up! Kyle Pool will close at 7 p.m. and all patrons must leave the pool. Pool staff will begin handing out admission tickets at 7 p.m., until all 230 tickets are handed out. One ticket per person, no exceptions (if you have children, please make sure they are in line with you at the time tickets are being handed out). The pool gates will reopen at 8 p.m. and only admit the 230 people with admission tickets. If you do not have a ticket, you will not be admitted. All regular pool rules apply to all attending, and maximum pool complex capacity is 230. Gates open at 8 p.m. and pool closes 30 minutes after conclusion of the movie. City of Kyle Pool, 1100 W Center St, Kyle.
  4. Children's Musical: Too Many Stories (Pflugerville) - Friday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. The Austin Scottish Rite Children's & Community Theater presents a new play celebrating storytelling and adventure. Kallie catches Sam and Bogus getting away with loot they’ve stolen from a department store. With the help of the children in the audience, a smart little girl outwits and exhausts the bad guys through story, music, and improvisation. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. FREE! Pfluger Park, 515 City Park Road, Pflugerville.
  5. Zilker Summer Musical: Oklahoma! - Friday, July 25, Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27 at 8:30 p.m. Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, this high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides a colorful backdrop for Oklahoma!, one of Rodgers & Hammerstein's most cherished collaborations. Read what to know before you go.  FREE! The City of Austin charges $5.00 per car for parking in Zilker Park. Zilker Hillside Theater,‎ 2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
  6. Classic Cartoon Community Cinema: Looney Tunes - Friday, July 25 at 8:30 p.m. Come be a kid again while enjoying free popcorn, cereal, and cartoons. Be sure to bring blankets, towels, or folding chairs. Seating starts at 8:30 p.m.; showing starts at around 9 p.m. Concessions are first come, first served until they run out. FREE! The Fellowship at Scofield Farms, 12424 Scofield Farms Dr, Austin.
  7. Alamo Kid's Club: Pete's Dragon - Saturday, July 26 at noon. Enjoy a FREE 35mm screening of Pete's Dragon (1977)(G). The movie starts at noon, but seating is first come, first served, so be sure to arrive early! Only children age 3 and up will be permitted to attend. Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, 320 E 6th Street, Austin.
  8. Tribute Day at the Wildflower Center - Sunday, July 27, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Enjoy exhibits and children’s activities all day. Play in the new Family Garden and participate in crafts, story time and more. Admission is FREELady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin.
  9. Austin Symphony Concerts in the Park – Sunday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m. Each Sunday, a different ensemble of the Austin Symphony will be featured at the Hartman Park, located on the grounds of the Long Center. This week, you can enjoy Big Band music. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and blanket and make it a group outing. FREE parking will be available at One Texas Center, located on Barton Springs Rd. at S. 1st Street. Paid parking will be available at the Palmer Garage for $7. Hartman Concert Park (directions), Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin.
  10. Movie Night at TOMS: 10 Things I Hate About You - Sunday, July 27 at 8:15 p.m. One thing you won't hate about movie night this month is the selection. Bring your 90s inspired outfits and kick back for a showing of 10 Things I Hate About You, starring young stars Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Rated PG-13. FREE! Read more about the Austin TOMS store here. TOMS, 1401 South Congress Ave, Austin.
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Free Children's Musical in Pfluger Park

The City of Pflugerville presents Musical in the Park on Friday, July 25, 2014.  Head to Pfluger Park to see the children's musical Too Many Stories performed by Austin's Scottish Rite Theater at 7:30 p.m. It's free! 

Face painting will be available for a small fee, starting at 6:30 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring their own picnics or to purchase cotton candy, nachos or pizza onsite. If you arrive early, kids will enjoy playing on the large, shaded playground in Pfluger Park. Bring your own lawn chairs or blanket.

About Too Many Stories:

The Austin Scottish Rite Children’s & Community Theater presents a new play celebrating storytelling and adventure. Written and directed by Susan Gayle Todd.

Kallie catches Sam and Bogus getting away with loot they’ve stolen from a department store. With the help of the children in the audience, a smart little girl outwits and exhausts the bad guys through story, music, and improvisation.

For more information, visit the City of Pflugerville website.


Free Indoor Fun for Babies in Austin

L to R: TuneBugz, Barnes & Noble La Frontera, Safari Champ, A Child's Garden of Language,
Mt. Playmore, The Rhythm Studio, All Things Kids, Tiny Tails to You at BookPeople

Summer in Austin can be tricky if you have a baby to entertain. Splash pads and shady playgrounds that were fun in June start to lose a little of their appeal when temperatures skyrocket in July. That leaves one only option if you want to leave home when it's 100+ degrees outside: find some air conditioned fun.

Several readers have asked for help in this department.  There aren't very many free, indoor playgrounds in Austin, so getting out requires a little creativity (and planning).  We've rounded up a few ideas for summer adventures with babies, but we hope you will add to the list by sharing your favorite indoor destinations in the comments!  

Storytimes at the Library
  • Austin Public Library - Toddler storytime, pajama storytime, bilingual storytime, and more!
  • Pflugerville Public Library - Enjoy Babytime, Mondays at 10 a.m. Bilingual storytime follows, Mondays at 11 a.m. 
  • Kyle Public Library - Baby Lap Sit, Baby Signing Time, puppet shows and more.
  • Cedar Park Public Library - Lap Sit Storytime is offered three times a week! See the calendar here
  • Laura's Library - Attend Infant Storytime, Mondays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. 
  • Round Rock Public Library - Babytime is a program specially designed for babies and their parent/caregiver. Babytime encourages language development and learning through stories, rhymes, and music. Each week, there will be a different theme in which baby and parent/caregiver will take part by listening to stories and rhymes, singing songs, and doing finger plays. Themes will be repeated every 6-8 weeks. The stories, songs, and rhymes will last approximately 15 minutes, after which toys will be brought out so that the babies and their parent/caregiver may play and interact with other babies and adults. See the calendar here.
  • Leander Public Library - On Tuesday and Friday mornings at 9:30, Baby & Me is a storytime and playgroup for children under 24 months and their parent! You're never too young to read!
  • Bee Cave Public Library - Join Ms. Laurie and the BEE for 20-25 minutes of stories, songs, and fingerplays every Friday at 10:30 or 11:15 a.m. Toddler Tales Storytime is geared for children ages 18 months to 3 years, and is held in Community Room A above the Library. 
  • Lake Travis Community Library - Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., bounce, sing, and clap with your child in their first library experience. This 20-minute program promotes parent/child interaction and includes a blend of books, finger plays and songs.
  • Wells Branch Community Library - Baby Bookworms is held Mondays at 11:15 a.m. 
  • Georgetown Public Library - Baby and Me, lapsit storytime for children 0 - 18 months, is held on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. Sing songs, hear stories, play, and enjoy time to talk with other parents and caregivers.
  • San Marcos Public Library - Toddler Story Time for ages 0-2 will start at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in July.
Storytimes Around Town
Toy Stores
Baby Stores
  • BabyEarth Round Rock - Babies can enjoy Zumbini, dance and music classes, The Signing Connection classes, playtime, concerts, and more!  There is always something going on at this great store. Some classes are free, while others have a fee.  See the schedule here
  • The Natural Baby Company - This local store frequently hosts cloth diapers and baby signing events.  Follow their Facebook page for updates.
Indoor Playgrounds
  • Lakeline Mall - Just in front of Dillard's (on the north side of the mall) is an enclosed, carpeted play area with a clubhouse and lots of low play structures. Great for tiny tots, but it can get crowded. Traffic might die down a bit after school starts in August. See a map of the mall here.
  • Safari Champ - Children under 12 months are free and parents get in free too! There's a small, enclosed baby and toddler area.
  • Mt. Playmore - Children under 2 get in free. Parents are $1.  There's a large toddler room that is separate from the main playground.
  • Millie & Mox - This children's boutique features many free indoor activities for kids! Try out a free Mama and Baby yoga class on Wednesday mornings or Fun Fridays, with music and dancing for your little ones! Click here for details.
  • Loco-motion Inflatable Play - Infants under age 1 are free and there is an enclosed baby and toddler play area. 
  • Wazoo's - Admission for children under 2 years and parents is free.  Only children age 3 and under may play in Toddler Town.
  • Chuck E. Cheese's - Free for all to enter. There are some small baby rides (which require tokens). The Round Rock and South Austin locations have toddler play areas which are free. The Round Rock and Arbor Walk locations have Sky Tubes, which bigger kids can explore for free.  If you plan to buy food or tokens, get coupons before you go. 
Free Classes
Animal Interaction
  • Tiny Tails to You - Let your baby hold a hedgehog or bunny at an event near you. Not all of their events are free, so be sure to look for a price. We like their free story times at BookPeople.
  • Pet Stores - Any pet store, anywhere!  Babies love them all! 
  • The Fish Gallery - On Thursdays this summer, through August 21, 2014, Fish Gallery Austin will host a free summer reading program from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Kids can enjoy a story, crafts, touch tanks, and a demonstration feeding in one of the large display tanks. If you'd rather avoid the storytime crowd, stop by this neat store at another time.
  • The Austin Aqua-Dome - Just north of 290 off of Manchaca is a cool fish store in the shape of a dome. You can check out the interesting livestock for sale (freshwater fish downstairs and saltwater fish upstairs) or just observe their amazing in-store reef tank set-ups downstairs. Outside are several ponds with koi fish and turtles which you can feed for $1 by buying a bag of food inside at the register.
  • Cabela's - Walk through this mega-store in Buda to see huge aquariums stocked with a variety of fish, giant taxidermy displays, and more. Read more about visiting the store with kids here.
  • Baby Day at Alamo Drafthouse - The Alamo Drafthouse offers Baby Day, for regular shows that start before 2:00 p.m, on Tuesday afternoons, excluding national holidays and special festival screenings. Infants are welcome to these shows and are allowed in for free. For Baby Day shows, the theater keeps the lights up a bit, and the sound down a bit. Babies are also welcome at Baby Day (Tuesday) screenings of free Alamo Kids Camp movies.  Note: Baby Day is only on Tuesdays at the Alamo Village, Alamo South Lamar, Alamo Lakeline and Alamo Slaughter.  
Have older kids?  You may also enjoy Free Indoor Family Fun in Austin and 25 Free Places to Play Indoors.

And of course, we share events happening around town every day on our Free Fun Calendar!


Summer Fest Seeking Teen Band Submissions

Calling all 13 to 18-year-old musicians!

Austin Recreation Center will host the #SoLongSummer Fest -- its first annual music festival for teens -- on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at Austin Recreation Center (time TBD). Entertainment will include teen band performances, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Roving Leaders video game contest, skate competition, and Totally Cool Totally Art project.

Musicians age 13 -18 are invited to submit an MP3 to ParksPrograms@austintexas.gov by Friday, August 8, 2014 to be considered as performers for the festival. Please include artist name, genre of music, website, and contact info with MP3 submission. File size should be less than 10MB. 


Fun and Sun at the Southpark Meadows Playground

 Wednesday, July 23, 2014

If you're like me, you've spent half this summer in search of places where your kids can play outdoors without everyone melting in the summer heat. On a recent sunny afternoon, I took my little ones to the playground at Southpark Meadows in hopes that it would offer both fun and shade for everyone.

According to my car's thermometer, the outdoor temperature was 97 degrees as we drove to Southpark Meadows. If you've never been to this shopping center located on the southbound side of I-35 at Slaughter Lane, be forewarned — it can be intimidating in its enormity. Seriously, I've been there many times, and I still have no idea where to enter the sprawling complex when I'm looking for, say, the Super Target. Which, you would think, would be easy to find, as its very name suggests a really big, well, target. But I've spent many frustrating minutes circling around the extensive Southpark Meadows parking lots, searching for my destination.

The Grove at Southpark Meadows; image from SouthparkMeadows.com
This girl doesn't care if it's hot!

Of course, you may be better with geography than I am, and if not, no problem — here's a handy map of the entire shopping center. (Gee, wish I'd known about that map a long time ago!) See that area, right smack-dab in the center, called the Grove? That's where the playground is located. It's surrounded by Jason's Deli, Waterloo Ice House, and several other restaurants, making it a great spot for families to visit, whether you're waiting for a table or enjoying your dinner on one of the restaurants' patios.

Like I said, when Pearl, Zephyr, their grandparents and I visited, it was 97 degrees out. And I have to admit, though much of the large playground is shaded by big, lovely oak trees... Man, it was hot out there. Not for the kids; they didn't care at all as they clambered all over the playscape and enjoyed bouncing in the spring-mounted fire engine. But for us older folks, ugh. Even sitting in the shade while we watched the kids play felt stifling.

Spring-mounted fire engine
There were at least two huge playscapes in the playground, and maybe more — the area is pretty big, and we didn't explore the whole thing. There are also other, smaller places for kids to play, such as the little spring-mounted vehicles. 

My kids are still little enough that I can't just let them run wild through the playground while I kick back with an Ice House margarita; I still have to be out there with them, making sure they don't tumble off the side of a slide or something. (Plus, according to the posted playground rules, kids must be accompanied by an adult at all times.) So, while I have high hopes that this playground will be a great spot for my family to visit again soon, I think we'll wait till the temperatures come down, at least a little.

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.


Giveaway: Adult Painting Class at Austin Artery

Artist Prayer Flags
The Austin Artery opened its doors this summer with a mission to nurture the creative heart of every person who entered the space. Offering classes and camps for adults and children, the Artery is dedicated to enhancing the lives of all people through art. 

Now, the Artery is giving away a FREE adult painting class to one lucky Free Fun in Austin reader! This giveaway has a value of $25–$80, depending on the class the winner chooses to take.

Classes for adults at the Artery tap into the spiritual side of life:
  • Introduction to Artist Prayer Flags (held Friday, August 15, from 8–10 PM) is all about creating something deeply personal to honor your own spiritual beliefs and practices.
  • Courageous Intuitive Painting (held Saturday, August 16, from 7–10 PM) will help participants tap into their intuitive selves in order to create a unique painting that reflects their vision.
  • Vision Board Class (held Friday, August 22, from 8–10 PM) uses meditation, group activity and individual work on a personal vision board to help participants get clear about how to design and set up their space, whether that's a new office, room, remodel, or new home.
  • Introduction to Watercolor Mandalas (held Saturday, August 23, from 7–10 PM) helps participants engage all their senses as they learn watercolor painting techniques and create mandalas that tell stories about their lives. Mandalas are geometric shapes that represent wholeness.
Courageous Intuitive Painting
The Artery will be offering more adult classes this fall (as well as a variety of kids' classes; check the listings to learn more). If you're interested in tapping into your creativity, spirituality or intuition, you won't want to miss this giveaway!

Contact or visit the Austin Artery:
4624 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78756
Web: www.theaustinartery.com
Phone: 512-968-4315
Email: TheAustinArtery@gmail.com

Be sure to sign up to receive the Artery's newsletters, and "Like" the Artery on Facebook — both will get you updates on classes and events as well as bonus entries in the giveaway!

To participate in the Austin Artery's adult painting class giveaway, simply fill out the form below. One entry per person, please.  One winner will be selected using random.org on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 and notified by email. 
Sweepstakes Official Rules.

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 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.


Free Apps for Summer: Learn Something New

Lazy summer days don't have to be brainless! Check out these free apps with your kids to learn something new.

BrainPOP Featured Movie (iOS and Android) and BrainPOP Jr Movie of the Week. (iOS and Android) BrainPOP is a subscription service, but each week, one movie is featured for free. Annie, the animated girl narrator, and Moby, a robot, teach kids about interesting topics ranging from science to history to culture. The content on BrainPOP is for ages 9-11 while BrainPOP Jr. is for 5-8. The free topics are often timely, like the featured movie about soccer during the last week of the World Cup.

Dualingo: Learn Languages for Free (iOS and Android) Learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English for free. Totally. No in-app purchases or ads. A pre-test puts you right into the appropriate level to start, and the level increases as you learn.

One Globe Kids - children's stories from around the world (iOS) With One Globe Kids, children can read and hear about kids' lives in other cultures, directly from the kids themselves, including a few phrases in their language. One story is available for free, and others require an in-app purchase.

Khan Academy (iOS) -- You're probably familiar with the amazing online resource, Khan Academy. The content is also conveniently available for free in an app. Kids (or adults) can watch lectures on math, science, arts and humanities, even computer programming.

Amanda Bindel is an Austin mom of two girls and reviews apps for Common Sense Media. Follow her on Twitter to read about more apps she recommends.


What to Know About Zilker's Summer Musical: Oklahoma!

First, I need to freely admit that I LOVE musical theatre! I especially love classic shows with songs that I've been singing for as long as I can remember. So I was pretty excited when Zilker Hillside Theatre Productions announced that this year's show would be Oklahoma!, one of Rodgers & Hammerstein's cherished shows. This is the 56th year that the Zilker Summer Musical offers Austinites high-quality entertainment for FREE. Oklahoma! runs Thursday-Sunday evenings in the park through August 16, 2014.

I had the chance to see the show this past Sunday, and it really surpassed my expectations. But I realize that not everyone is as personally enthusiastic as I am to head to the outdoor show. When I was initially looking for someone to accompany me, I heard several reasons why friends decided to pass on my invite -- heat, bugs, parking concerns, and even someone who firmly believes that "you get what you pay for" and questioned if a free show would be of good quality.

All of these are valid questions and reasons for hesitation, but I also think this production is truly worth your time and effort to get there! The quality of this show is top notch, and once there, you're sure to enjoy yourself. In attempt to help you plan ahead and make the most of your experience, I have rounded up some of the various questions I have been asked about attending the show. 

Everything You Want to Know About Attending Oklahoma! in Zilker Park:

What is the show about?

Oklahoma!, set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, tells the tale of Laurey Williams and her suitors, Curly McLain and Jud Fry, the spitfire, Ado Annie and her patient beau, Will Parker, and the ever tenacious and optimistic Aunt Eller. This landmark, Pulitzer Prize winning musical, takes us back to a time when the farmer and the cowman struggle to be friends, traveling salesmen hock their wares, and a trip to Kansas City is the hottest story in town.

Will I know any of the songs?
Yes! This show features the timeless Rodgers & Hammerstein classics "Oh What a Beautiful Morning," "The Surrey with the Fringe On Top," "I Cain't Say No," "People Will Say We're in Love," and of course, the title song, "Oklahoma!". Even if you've never seen this play or movie version, you will recognize some of the tunes.

Is there a cost for attending?
Zilker Summer Musical productions are FREE and open to the public. Zilker Theatre Productions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and can only provide this annual entertainment through contributions. So during intermission, you will be asked to donate what you can to support these shows.

What time does it start and end?
The show starts around 8:30pm. On the night that I went, intermission was around 10pm, and the show ended around 11:20pm. This of course, could vary slightly each night. And if you're worried about staying out too late, you might want also consider the fact that it takes a little while for all of the cars to exit the parking lot. However, if you know that you're going to wish to leave a little early, you can certainly plan to do so. Just sit on the sidelines or way back, and you can easily sneak out without troubling those around you.

Where is the Zilker Hillside Theatre, and where can I park? 
Beverly S. Sheffield Theater is located across from Barton Springs Pool. The parking entrance is located at 2201 Barton Springs Rd. within Zilker Park, with much of the parking in a dirt field. The City of Austin charges $5 per car for parking and there is limited handicapped parking in the lower parking lot closer to Barton Springs Pool.

Where can I sit?
Everyone is invited to bring their own blankets and folding chairs to sit on the grassy hillside and watch the show. Blankets may not be put down before 6pm and plastic tarps are not allowed. Full-height lawn chairs are only allowed along the walls at the top of the hillside, as they block the view of other patrons. Low-height, low-backed “beach chairs” and blankets are allowed in the section behind the lighting poles on the second level. Also note that there are some centrally located spots that are reserved for donors and cast members' families.

ADA accessibility allows for designated seating for audience members with special needs. The first level (stage level) will be available for these patrons. Please contact Zilker Theatre Productions at 512-479-9491 if you need any special assistance.

What can I bring?
Pack a picnic basket and/or cooler. A variety of drinks and snacks (including cotton candy and donuts) can also be purchased from the theater's concession stand (proceeds benefiting the production). Don't forget your bug repellant. And if you have any hand-held fans, you might wish to bring those, too, or anything that helps you stay cool in the warm summer temperatures.
- No glass containers are allowed.
- No smoking is permitted in the seating area.
- No pets are allowed in the seating area.

What is the bathroom situation?
There are port-a-potties on site as well as the restroom by Barton Springs Pool (although that building operates on pool hours.) There is also an air-conditioned bathroom for the actors that patrons can use for the night if they provide a $25 donation.

Is this good for kids?
Obviously, this is totally up to parents to decide if this is a good fit for their children. There were plenty of kids of all ages on the hillside the night that I was there. The beauty of a free, outdoor show is that you can certainly leave early if it's not working out -- or you can plan ahead to leave early if you know that they cannot stay up late enough for the show's end (around 11:30pm).  The storyline mostly focuses on love and romance. There is definitely that creepy "bad guy" portrayal in the character of Jud, but I but I think a lot of the dark themes would be over the heads of many young children. (Specifically, if you're curious, there are a few references to dancing girls and nude photos, talk of murder, a few words like "damn" and "hell".)

On Saturdays at 6:30pm, Zilker Hillside Theatre presents Lil' Ropers' Roundup! This looks like an adorable bonus activity to keep the kids entertained as you wait for the show to start. Kids will meet Oklahoma! characters "Gertie" and "Will" and have a chance to learn how to spin a rope and more.

What if it rains?
For information on the status of an evening’s performance, call the Zilker Theatre Productions Hotline at 512-479-9491. You can also check their Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.

Where to get more info?
For more information, visit the Zilker Theatre Productions website.

Zilker Hillside Theatre
2201 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78704

Don't forget!
Seeing Oklahoma! is one of the items on the Austin Summer Fun Checklist for Kids. Don't forget to cross it off your list, and post your Instagram photos of yourself out enjoying the show with hashtag #AustinSummerFun.

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 she is excited to be currently working on AustinSummerFun.com where you can find lots of ideas for keeping the kids busy this summer.


See a Free 35mm Screening of Pete's Dragon

 Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Alamo Kid's Club returns to Alamo Drafthouse Ritz on Saturday, July 26, 2014 with a free 35mm screening of Pete's Dragon (1977)(G).

The movie starts at noon, but seating is first come, first served, so be sure to arrive early!  Only children age 3 and up will be permitted to attend. 

For more information, visit the Alamo Kid's Club page

Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
320 E 6th Street
Austin, TX 78701


Free Frosty & $5 Wendy's Gift Card for a Song

With the return of the pretzel bun, Wendy’s is asking consumers to share their joy of being reunited with their beloved bun on social channels, using the hashtag #PretzelLoveSongs. 

On Thursday, July 24, 2014, from 5– 9 p.m., Wendy’s will set up a karaoke booth at one of its downtown Wendy’s restaurants (619 N I-35 at 7th St.). Fans who sing their pretzel hearts out will receive a $5 gift card to try Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger or Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich*. 

On Thursday night, consumers may get a chance to:
  • Create a music video singing a pretzel love song inspired by Wendy’s #PretzelLoveSongs campaign.
  • Share their music video on Facebook and Twitter with #PretzelLoveSongs.
  • Enjoy a free Jr. Frosty™ and receive a $5 gift card to use toward purchase of a Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger or Pretzel Pub Chicken*.
  • Invite pretzel fans all over to experience the #PretzelLoveSongs campaign and watch videos at http://WendysPretzelKaraoke.videobooth.tv.
Wendy’s® Restaurant
619 N I-35 (at 7th St.)
Austin, Texas 78702

*Sandwiches available at participating Wendy’s. Prices and participation may vary.

Image credit: Wendy's via Facebook


Teddy Bear Surgery at Austin Humane Society

Austin Humane Society will host its annual Teddy Bear Surgery on two Saturdays this month! Kids will get to take their stuffed animal to see the veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment, receive post operative care instructions and take a picture to document their day!

Bring your child and their favorite stuffed animal to this free educational event, sponsored by Jack Ryan Fine Jewelry, at the Austin Humane Society on Saturday July 26 or August 2, from 1 - 4 p.m.

This event is recommended for children ages 2-12, and they must be accompanied by an adult. Please make sure each child brings their own stuffed animal. Children and families are welcome to visit the animals after their Vet Visit.

Register to attend one of these dates, by clicking on the links below:
Visit www.austinhumanesociety.org for more information about the Austin Humane Society.

Austin Humane Society
124 W Anderson Ln 
Austin TX 78752


Free Jamocha Shake at Arby's on July 23

For Arby's 50th Anniversary, we are getting the gift!  On Wednesday, July 23, celebrate their big day with a free 12 oz. Jamocha shake!

Head over here to get your coupon. It will valid at participating locations, while supplies last, on July 23, 2014 only. One coupon per customer.

Thanks, Saving with Shellie and Houston on the Cheap!

You may also be interested in getting a free Frosty and $5 gift card from Wendy's on Thursday!


Giveaway: Free Registration to ACT Running Training Program

Attention, Austin runners — and walkers, and former runners/walkers, and would-be walkers/runners... Okay, just attention, everyone: If you're looking for a great training program in central Austin that will help you reach your personal goal, whatever that might be — whether you're wishing to try running for the first time, returning to it after a long hiatus, or itching to set a new PR in your next race — while connecting you with other athletes in a fun, supportive environment, you'll definitely want to enter this giveaway. Running coach Ashley Thompson is giving away one free registration to a fall training program with ACT Running! The winner of this giveaway can choose one of five programs being offered this fall, as follows:

• Become A Runner (0 to 5K, two sessions offered) — This training program is for absolute beginners or for those who are returning after a hiatus of three months or longer. If you're able to walk for 30 minutes, this group will help you Become a Runner, in ability and in spirit. By gradually increasing your distance and building walk breaks into the program, you'll discover that not only is a 5K distance (3.1 miles) within your reach, it is enjoyable, gratifying and quite possibly addictive. By committing to meet three times a week and log in your workouts on an online training site, you will be a part of a supportive team dedicated to your success. Since this group is about completing, not competing, there will not be a specific time goal. But by the time you graduate, you will be able to call yourself a Runner! There are two different Become A Runner sessions: The first session meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:00 – 7:00 AM beginning September 3and the second session meets Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:15 – 10:15 AM beginning September 2, 2014.

• Become A Walker — A walking group for all levels. Whether you're returning to fitness, looking for partners to add to your routine, working your way toward becoming a Runner, or just out to socialize, join fellow walkers three mornings per week for a 20- to 60-minute walk around beautiful Allandale. We'll warm up safely and gradually build endurance over time. Nothing melts away the miles like good conversation! Become A Walker meets Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:05 – 10:05 AM beginning on September 2, 2014.

• Intermediate 5K — For those who are comfortable with running 2–3 miles already, but would like to improve their speed and stamina. We work on your 5K training by eliminating walk breaks, increasing your distance and introducing quality runs. In other words: FUN! This group is all about comparing your times against yourself and improving with the help of a team. Workouts will be based on and adapted to each individual. NOTE: If you have never run or have not run consistently in the last 3 months, "Become A Runner" would suit you better. Intermediate 5K meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 – 7 AM beginning on September 2, 2014.

• Half-Marathon Training — For those comfortable with running 2-3 miles already but would like to increase their distance. Participants in this group will train for the Rock & Roll San Antonio 13.1 or the Decker Challenge. This 14-week program uses interval running (3-minute run : 1-minute walk) to build up to race distance. Training run paces will be approximately 10- to 13-minute miles. Participants will receive weekly training tips via e-mail, including suggested supplement training, and are welcome to participate in shorter weekday morning runs. Participants should have at least two months' base of running 10 miles per week and should be comfortable run/walking for 3 miles. The first meeting will begin with a 3-mile run. NOTE: The 10- to 13-minute mile pace is approximately 1–2 minutes slower than your 5K pace. Please contact Coach Ashley (actrunning@gmail.com) if you have questions about the training/race pace. Goal Race is not included, but a technical t-shirt is! Half-Marathon Training meets Saturday mornings (finish by 8:30 AM; starting times vary according to run distance) from September 6, 2014, through December 7, 2014.

All runs will meet at Ramsey Neighborhood Park (4301 Rosedale Ave, Austin, TX). The value of this giveaway ranges from $40 to $125, depending on the training program chosen by the giveaway winner.

About Coach Ashley:

Coach Ashley Thompson
A recreational runner turned coach, Ashley Thompson's approach to running makes the sport accessible to a wide range of people. Her passion is fostering a love of running while keeping clients injury-free. Her coaching philosophy is that less is more, and she believes in helping new, returning or long-distance runners avoid the most common mistake: doing too much, too soon. In order to do this, she guides her running groups in starting slowly, covering short distances and employing carefully timed walk breaks. In shop talk, her runners follow the rule of Training Adaptation and the Hard/Easy Principle. As a mother of two, Coach Ashley understands the challenges of fitting exercise into life. She is convinced that everyone is an athlete, and plans to help people run until they are 100 years old, rather than just blowing out spectacularly for one race. Coach Ashley follows the RRCA Coaching Code of Ethics.

Along with her ACT Running training programs, Coach Ashley also offers Individual Coaching for runners who want one-on-one coaching to help them get to the next level and reach their goal; and a Weekday Walk or Run Club for ACT Training alumni who want to maintain the progress they made in any of the training programs. The Walk and Run Clubs are also open to runners who are not alumni by special permission from Coach Ashley.

Check out the programs page for more information on all training options offered. For an at-a-glance view of upcoming training sessions, see the events calendar. And be sure to check out ACT Running on Facebook and "Like" the page for a bonus entry in the giveaway!

ACT Running
Web: www.actrunning.com
Email: actrunning@gmail.com

To enter this giveaway, simply fill out the form below. One winner will be selected using random.org on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 and contacted by email.  Sweepstakes Official Rules.

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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