Have kids, will SXSW

Whenever the subject of South by Southwest comes up in conversation among my fellow moms, there are sighs. Wistful looks.

Then there are the moms who are used to taking their children anywhere who don’t see SX slowing them down.

I’m probably somewhere in between. Like some other moms I know, this year I am taking advantage of free childcare (thanks, Mom!) to head to Maria’s for SXSTaco on Friday afternoon. We’ll see how long I last.

I do think SXSW is doable for moms and kids, if you keep a few things in mind:

  • Set reasonable expectations. This will NOT be the same as SX pre-kids. You should have a Plan B (Peter Pan Mini-Golf, anyone?)
  • Choose open air venues. Anything indoors is most likely too loud for little ears. Plus, the outdoor venues give your little ones more room to roam and give you a place to put down a blanket or your gear. I did Jo’s when my son was a year old and it was definitely doable — parking was easy (OK, easier) around noon and of course it’s in the middle of the action to be able to explore other venues.
  • Have a plan for parking. If you can take a bus to the venue, you don’t have to worry about parking. If not, budget extra time to find a spot and be prepared to do some walking.
  • Bring plenty of supplies. Of course, you want to make sure you have snacks and drinks, and don’t forget sunscreen!

Here are some (free!) shows you might consider if you have your kids in tow:

Wednesday the 17th

A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock and Roll at Threadgill’s South: 11am – 6:30 pm

South by San Jose at Jo’s on South Congress: starts at noon

Thursday the 18th

Music by the Slice at Homeslice – South Congress: noon – 7:30ish

South by San Jose at Jo’s on South Congress: starts at noon

French Legation Museum’s Lawn Party – just east of IH-35 and downtown: 1pm-7:30ish. Two stages.

Friday the 19th
AdvertisementGirls Rock Austin at Cafe Mundi on E. 5th: 12 – 6pm

Music by the Slice at Homeslice – South Congress: noon – 7:30ish

South by San Jose at Jo’s on South Congress: starts at noon

French Legation Museum’s Lawn Party – just east of IH-35 and downtown: 1pm-7:30ish. Two stages.

Saturday the 20th

Auditorium Shores – gates open at 11am. This is the token “official” SXSW show for families.
12:00 pm Walter T and the Rated G’s
1:00 pm Big Don
2:00 pm Daddy A Go-Go

Music by the Slice at Homeslice – South Congress: noon – 7:30ish

South by San Jose at Jo’s on South Congress: starts at noon

French Legation Museum’s Garden Party – just east of IH-35 and downtown: noon – 8pm

Sunday the 21st

South by San Jose at Jo’s on South Congress: starts at 11am

….and if there is just no way you can swing it this year, you can always tune into the live broadcasts on KGSR and KUT which will be happening all week.

Did I forget anything?

Written by: Nicole Basham

About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".

7 Comments on Have kids, will SXSW

  1. We are bringing our 2 year old to the Mess With Texas party on Saturday:

    http://mwtxparty.com/

    It is not kid music – but, it does promise to be good adult music!

    And then there is a Texas Rollergirls exhibition at 2pm at Pan Am Park (Pan Am Park, 2100 E. 3rd St, Austin TX) – I will be there with skates on!

  2. what an awesome one-stop-shopping list! i’m SXSW impaired, so this is a HUGE help to me. now i just have to get brave enough to tow the kids down there. i know they would LOVE it…i just have to get ME out of my comfort zone (and maybe ask dad to take a 1/2 day off on friday to come with!).

  3. There is a free show at Guero’s on Wednesday, March 17 from 2pm – 8:30pm, in their outdoor “grotto” area. It is local musicians who all are booked by the same booking company (my sister’s!). Anyway, there are usually a lot of families there. It is also a benefit for Caritas, btw.

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