- America Recycles Day – Friday, November 15, from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Join UT as they compete to design the largest university-built Box Castle! Castle fort building will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Then, from 2 – 7 p.m. there will be a sustainability fair with entertainment and a recycling bin decoration competition. The University of Texas at Austin, Gregory Plaza, Austin.
- Austin Fan Fest – Friday, November 15, from noon – midnight, Saturday, November 16, from noon – midnight, and Sunday, November 17, from noon – 8 p.m. A FREE festival held in the heart of the Warehouse and 2nd Street Districts downtown, Austin Fan Fest will feature 12 activity zones spread across 12 square blocks. Head downtown to enjoy interactive and educational displays, racing simulators and unique experiential areas, six stages of live music, roving entertainment and talent, an X Games Sports Zone, activities for kids, and more! The KXAN Kids Zone is at 4th & Guadalupe, Austin.
- Alamo Kids Camp – Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17. FREE movies for children age 3 and up. Times vary by location. This weekend you can enjoy Chicken Run (Alamo Lakeline) or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Alamo Slaughter Lane).
- Fall Symphony Series- Saturday, November 16, from 6-8 p.m. Bring your picnic basket and blanket and enjoy the Austin Symphony this fall in historic Wooldridge Square. Playing popular big band tunes by the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Bert Bacharach, George Gershwin, and Oscar Hammerstein, the Symphony’s 16-member Big Band will bring back memories of a simpler time when performances in downtown gathering places were commonplace. The Symphony Series is a FREE community event brought to you through a partnership between the Downtown Austin Alliance and the Austin Parks Foundation, in partnership with the Austin Symphony, Friends of Wooldridge Square, and Austin Parks and Recreation Department. No parking, glass, or styrofoam is allowed in the park. Wooldridge Square Park, 900 Guadalupe Street.
- East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) – Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. EAST is a FREE, self-guided tour that champions the abundance of talent within Austin’s large and wildly diverse creative community. The public is invited to discover new artistic talent, see working studios, learn about artists’ tools, techniques, and inspirations, and support the arts community by building their collections and supporting local businesses. Exhibitions take place in established venues such as galleries, project spaces, theaters, and museums, whose objective is to exhibit visual art or performances. The EAST 2013 web app is a FREE mobile companion to the EAST catalog (catalogs are available at Austin Public Library branches, while supplies last). On Saturday, KLRU will host a FREE day party. For more family friendly options, check out this roundup of EAST Family Activities. EAST is also happening next weekend.
- Carnival O’ Pizza – Saturday, November 16, from noon – 7 p.m. Every year, Home Slice Pizza throws a big bash in support of Austin Bat Cave. The Carnival O’ Pizza is a fun-filled, family-friendly, FREE outdoor event. There will be music, there will be games, there will be pizza dough a-flying! Bring money for tickets to participate in carnival games and activities. 1415 and 1421 South Congress Avenue, Austin.
- Japan Fall Festival – Saturday, November 16, from noon – 4 p.m. Taiko drums, Japanese traditional and festive dance, traditional musical instruments, the beauty of the tea ceremony, Japanese martial arts, and Okinawan traditional dance. Visitors will enjoy a range of Japanese food and sweets, drink sampler, art and pottery collections, Yukata photo booth, calligraphy, an origami workshop, Japanese games and entertainment. Admission is FREE for kids under 18; $5 for adults. O. Henry Middle School, 2610 West 10th St., Austin.
- Diwali GivingFest – Saturday November 16, from 4 – 8 p.m. Celebrate Diwali, Festival of Lights. The FREE family friendly event will feature Bollywood music, Colors of India Fashion Show, AusIndian Idol competition, Indian Classical, Semi Classical & Bollywood dance performance, and more. Bring a blanket or winter clothes to donate to those in need. Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Road, Austin.
- FEAST – Frolic & Fun on the Farm – Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17, from 2 – 6 p.m. Head to Rain Lily Farm to enjoy children’s activities, including beekeeping, seed planting, hula hooping, and making a community art canvas. The farm and local food market will open at noon. Rain Lily Farm, 914 Shady Lane, Austin.
- ImprovEd Performance of Hamlet – Sunday, November 17 at 11 a.m. Join the ImprovEd troupe of youngsters as they mix Shakespeare’s verse and modern narration in this rousing tale of ghosts, love, revenge and angst. Bring camp chairs to enjoy this FREE performance by kids for kids. HOPE Farmers Market, Plaza Saltillo, 412 Comal St, Austin.
Bonus fun in the ‘burbs:
- Butterfly House Closing (San Marcos) – Saturday, November 16, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Help send the butterflies on their way south. See the progress on the butterfly bed, learn about the SMNC butterfly house, and see the life stages of these beautiful bugs. Admission is FREE for 12 and under; $1.00 for ages 13 and up. All children must be accompanied by a paying adult. San Marcos Nature Center, 430 Riverside Drive, San Marcos.
- Pfall Pfest Craft Show (Pflugerville) – Saturday, November 16, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. It’s the best place in town to start your holiday shopping or find those one-of-a-kind items for a special friend. Handcrafted items, baked goods, jewelry and glassware are just a few of the unique gift items to choose from. Shop right through lunch as food proceeds benefit the Senior Activity Center. Admission is FREE. Pflugerville Rec Center, 400 Immanuel Rd, Pflugerville.
- Santa Saturday at Lakeline Mall (Cedar Park) – Saturday, November 16, from 8:30 – 10 a.m. Kidgits and The Children’s Place team up to bring you the most anticipated event of the year… Santa Saturday! Kidgits members will delight in the magic of the season with holiday activities, a parade led by Santa himself and an ornament making craft and visits from Santa at The Children’s Place. The festivities start at 8:30 a.m. at the Santa set. Lakeline Mall, 11200 Lakeline Mall Dr, Cedar Park.
- Fall Nature Fest at Westcave Outdoor Nature Discovery Center (Round Mountain) – Sunday, November 17, from noon – 4 p.m. Celebrate the natural fall heritage of Westcave. Activities will include guided tours to the cave and grotto, birding opportunities, child friendly crafts, family oriented games, archery, dutch oven cooking and a pie contest! Regular admission prices are $5 per child (4-12 yrs), $10 per adult, or $25 per immediate family. But, you can get in to Fall Nature Fest FREE when you bring 1 non- perishable food item per person! You can also opt to bring a homemade pie to enter for the Pie Contest. Food will be donated to El Buen Samaritano Food Pantry. Westcave is located in southwest Travis County, approximately 45 minutes from downtown Austin. 24814 Hamilton Pool Rd., Round Mountain.
Bonus Events that Cost:
- St. Martin’s Day Cultural Story & Craft Hour- Saturday, November 16 from 4-6 p.m. Join the German Saturday School of Austin for a special workshop in celebration of St. Martin’s Day. Children ages 3 and up will enjoy an educational and entertaining session exploring the cultural aspects of St. Martin’s Day with interactive story, songs, music & crafts. Each child will build their own lantern or Laterne before joining a lit procession or Laternenumzug through our beautiful gardens. A small treat will await each child at the end of the procession. Advanced Registration is required. The cost of the workshop is $10/per student for members and $15/per student for non-members. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to participate free of charge. To register your child, email email@example.com or call (512) 467-4569. German Free School, 507 East 10th Street.
- Campfire Kids Nature Walk- Saturday, November 16 at 9 a.m. On Saturday, November 16th, families will meet at Mueller Park to help raise awareness about water conservation by exploring the ways that local wildlife need this resource for survival. Take a stroll by the lake to learn in an active and fun setting how our lifestyle choices are impacting water conservation, and to find out the steps we all can take to limit our usage in order to keep the water flowing and abundant for all. Individual tickets are $10 and family tickets are $20. Get excited for plenty of games, door prizes, and incentives! Mueller Lake Park, Simond Ave.
- Fifth Annual Fall Train Show- Saturday, November 16, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, November 17, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Kids get to be a Junior Engineer at our Famous ‘Kids Run the Trains’ Layout. Extra Large exhibit of Lego Trains, 7 – 9 additional Large Displays of Traveling Model Railroads, of various Scales. Over 60 Vendors from Texas, and some from Out of State, displaying on Over 300 tables, for you to Buy, Sell, or Swap, Hourly Drawings for Prizes, provided by our Vendors and local Sponsors, Silent Auction. Included with admission: Free Ride Ticket to the Landa Park Minature Train for all Children, age 5 and under and the New Braunfels Railroad Museum, located just a few blocks away, is open for extended hours during the show and is free. Admission: $7 adults, $2 child ages 5-17. New Braunfels Civic Center, 390 S Seguin Ave, New Braunfels.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Picture-2.png[/author_image] [author_info]Heidi Gollub loves exploring Austin and beyond with her 5 kids. For more local adventures for families, visit FreeFuninAustin.com. [/author_info] [/author]