Enjoying SXSW 2017 With Kids

For you non-badge-holding Austinites, have no fear… there are many SXSW events, both official and unofficial, happening in Austin for both kids and adults. We’ve narrowed down the list of family-friendly activities during SXSW so you can get out there and enjoy all the fun happenings with your family. Note: Some events do require that you RSVP or have a SXSW Guest Pass.

SXSW Create

Friday, March 10 – Sunday March 12, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

SXSW Create is a 3-day event at the Palmer Events Center that gives families a chance to experience the hardware hacking and maker arm of SXSW. This year’s event offers more space, more fun, and even more hands-on excitement. From 3D printing to drones to biohacking and much more, this community event showcases the disruptive solutions that are shaping our future. Open to the public with SXSW Guest Pass.

Youth Animation Workshop

Saturday, March 11, 10:30 am to 3:30 pm

Participants will use their imagination to create miniature worlds using handmade animation techniques such as stop-motion and paper cut-out animation with award-winning Animator, Jeanne Stern. ASoF will provide a pizza party lunch, snacks and beverages throughout the duration of the workshop. Attendance is limited to 18 students, and open to ages 10-18 years old.

Cartoon Network Film Screening

Monday, March 13, 8:00 to 9:00 pm

Join Cartoon Network for new content from The Amazing World of Gumball, We Bare Bears, Ben 10 and Teen Titans Go, and a big surprise, all on the lawn of The Long Center! Free with SXSW Guest Pass.

Do512 Family Picnic

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Tuesday, March 14, 3:00 to 7:00 pm

This family-friendly event features live music and entertainment from Magician Black Bert, Mama K & the Shades, Kupira Marimba, and Folksongs & Puppets w/ Portland’s Red Yarn. Food trucks and activities for the kids. Free with RSVP.

Family Music Meltdown

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Wednesday, March 15, 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm

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The annual free family-friendly concert at the Pan Am Hillside in East Austin includes a stellar lineup of artists including Red Yarn, El Tule, The Deedle Deedle Dees, Riders Against the Storm, Ralph’s World, Strumero, and Groundwork Music Orchestra. Activities for the kids range from jumping on Springfree Trampolines to art activities with the Creative Action, nonprofits showcasing what they do in the community, and more. Food trucks will be selling concessions but picnics are welcome, too!

KGSR Live Broadcasts

Wednesday, March 15 – Saturday, March 18, 6:00 am to 10:00 am (Saturday 8:00 am to 12:00 pm)

Spoon, Hanson, Jimmy Eat World, The New Pornographers are just a few of the musicians performing at this annual SXSW event. The first 300 guests to arrive will enjoy a free breakfast while listening to live broadcasts by official SXSW artists at the W hotel in downtown Austin. Performances will be held in the Great Room on the 2nd floor of the W. Your $5 donation to the Make-a-Wish foundation of Central and South Texas gets you entry.

KUTX Live at the Four Seasons

Wednesday, March 15 – Saturday March 18, 7:00 am to 10:30 am (Saturday 8:00 am to 11:30 pm)

The annual live music broadcast features 20- to 25-minute sets, held in the Lobby Lounge, as well as candid interviews, with performers including: Spoon, The Black Angels, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Real Estate, and many more. Cost is $10 per person, $5 for ages ten and under, which includes a complimentary breakfast taco and all-you-can-drink coffee. All event proceeds benefit the Seton Shivers Cancer Center.

South by San Jose

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Wednesday, March 15 – Sunday, March 19, noon

South By San José returns to the Hotel San José and Jo’s parking lot with live music, local vendors and good times. Music starts at noon each day, and the party is always and forever free to attend.

Lucy’s Fried Chicken RevivalAdvertisement
Wednesday, March 15 – Sunday, March 19; noon – 6:40 p.m. daily

Head over to Lucy’s Fried Chicken on South Congress for five days of lip-smacking fried chicken, ice cold drinks and an unbeatable line-up of the very best of Texas and Americana music! Free, open to the public and family-friendly.

Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion

Thursday, March 16 – Saturday, March 18; times not available yet

This 3-day event takes place on the roof of Whole Foods downtown, right next to the playground! The family-friendly all-ages music festival features over 40 performers on two stages.

SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake

Thursday, March 16 – Saturday, March 18; times not available yet

This SXSW official event is a series of free outdoor concerts for all ages at the Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake. Tip: It can be crowded, and the only food allowed in are food and beverage items for kids under 5 years of age. Free with SXSW Guest Pass.

SXSW Gaming Expo

Thursday, March 16 – Saturday, March 18, 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm

The SXSW Gaming Expo is a 3-day event at the Austin Convention Center where gamers can meet celebrities, watch live gaming tournaments, learn about new games in the market and the history of old ones, play a variety of games, and compete in a tournament, and have some fun at a cosplay tournament. Suitable for older children. Must have a Gaming wristband ($25) or a SXSW badge.

Willie is for Everyone: A Family-Friendly Willie Nelson Tribute Show

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Friday, March 17, 10:00 am to 2:30 pm

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Local favorites come together at the Austin Scottish Rite Theater for a special family-friendly tribute concert celebrating Willie Nelson! An amazing lineup of local and national bands includes: Nakia, The Barton Hills Choir with Ray Benson, Ralph’s World, Red Yarn, The Que Pastas, Jon Langford, Beth Chrisman, and more! Don’t miss out on the professional hair-braiding station to get that signature Willie look, courtesy of Avenue Five Institute. Adults, $3, $1 for children under 12.

Girls Rock SX Day Show

Friday, March 17, 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Stop into Cherrywood Coffeehouse for this all-day show featuring female performers. The outdoor area is a great place for kids to play while you relax and take in the music.

Peelander Fest

Friday, March 17, 12:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Peelander-fest hosts a free, all-ages show, all day at Spiderhouse Cafe & Ballroom. Acts from as far away as Japan and Poland, as well as locals, will be performing at the show, which ends with a performance by the headliner, Peelander-Z.

Rock + Read

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Saturday, March 18, 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm

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Close out spring break 2016 with the last free concert in our Unofficial SXSW family music series! The live music and book readings by local children’s and Young Adult book authors will be on the lawn at the Domain. Kids and adults of all ages will hear favorites such as the Que Pastas, The Sugar Free Allstars, The Deedle Deedle Dees, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Joe McDermott, Riders Against the Storm, and Little Miss Ann. Kids of all ages will enjoy storytime with local authors reading from their books, a book mark-making station, local vendors, and jumping on Springfree Trampolines for an afternoon of fun!

World Music, World Stories Backyard Concert

Saturday, March 18, 1:00 pm to 6 pm

A day of music, stories and culture from around the globe is taking place at The Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City. Tribu Baharú from Bogota, Colombia, Los Texmaniacs from San Antonio, Texas, Analogix from Fukuoka-shi, Japan, and Hanato Chiruran from Tokyo, Japan will perform in the backyard with the Texas Hill Country as the setting. The concert is free with admission to the Science Mill: under 3, free; ages 3-18 (or with student ID), $8.50; adults, $10; seniors (65+) and military, $8.00.

Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2121 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded LiveMom.com out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

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