The Texas Book Festival will take place on Saturday, Nov. 4 and Sunday, Nov. 5 with tons of free, family fun for all ages! At this annual event, authors and book lovers take over the grounds of the Texas State Capitol to share the joy of reading. These two days are packed with hands-on kids activities, entertainment, food, book signings, story times, author sessions and a whole lot more. Plus, attending the fest is FREE!

You can browse the entire Festival Schedule on the Texas Book Festival website, but below we’re highlighting some events that sound super cool for families to check out.

Texas Book Festival takes over the Capitol grounds for 2 days of excitement

–> Read Me a Story Tent: Youngest readers can join some award-winning authors and illustrators, including Matt de la Peña, Leslea Newman, Dan Santat, Javaka Steptoe and many more, in this tent on Congress Ave. A new story will be presented every half hour! Check out festival schedule to view the lineup of storytimes.

–>  ¡Ahora Si! Tent!: Enjoy bilingual storytimes in the ¡Ahora Si! Tent! Join authors Juana Martinez-Neal, Monica Brown, Cynthia Leonor Garza, Jorge Argueta, Francisco X. Stork, F. Isabel Campoy, Theresa Howell, and Rafael López for sessions that celebrate stories in English and Spanish.

Listen to storytime in the Read Me A Story Tent & ¡Ahora Si! Tent!

–> Activity and Entertainment Tents: As usual, you can plan on a great line-up of entertainment as well as plenty of hands-on activities for kids both days of the Festival. Check out the full schedule of entertainment, and the list of happenings in the Activity Tent. Here’s a few highlights:

  • Saturday, 10-10:45 a.m. — Magician Kent Cummins, Entertainment Tent
    Want to learn some magic? Come be amazed by the fantastic Kent Cummins, an author, speaker and entertainer who showcases his lifelong love of magic to audiences around the world.
  • Saturday 12-12:45 p.m. — UT’s Mariachi Ensemble, Entertainment Tent
    Bring your dancing shoes, the Texas Marichi band is coming! Also known as The Mariachi Paredes de Tejastilán, the UT Austin Marichi Ensemble will be performing in the entertainment tent at noon on Saturday.
  • Saturday, 4-4:45 p.m. — Sculpt Your Own Pet, Activity Tent
    Join Las Comadres to sculpt your own pet inspired by Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown! Mold clay into a new parrot friend, just like Frida.
  • Sunday, 11-11:45 a.m. — Draw with Adam Rex!, Activity Tent
    Join Adam Rex, author of Nothing Rhymes with Orange, for a fun drawing activity featuring fabulous and fantastic fruits! Draw with Adam, then follow him to the Read Me A Story Tent where he’ll read his new book!
  • Sunday, 11-11:45 a.m. — Puppet Theatre, Entertainment Tent
    Do you love puppets? The Hand to Mouth Puppet Theatre will be creating and performing their popular puppet and shadow puppet shows for the audiences delight.
  • Sunday 3-3:45 p.m. — Big Don, Entertainment Tent
    This children’s hip-hop artist is the perfect combination of educational and fun! Big Don teaches children about a wide variety of subjects such as conjunctions, nouns, food groups, and the importance of safety first!
  • Sunday, 4-4:45 p.m.– Paper Cupcakes with Kat, Activity Tent
    Who doesn’t enjoy making cupcakes? Join author Kat Landtroop, writer of There is No “I” in Cupcake, to create your own paper cupcake work of art!

Plenty of entertainment for kids of all ages!

–> Author & Illustrator Sessions: In addition to the fun events geared towards families on Congress Ave, you’ll also find many popular children’s authors and illustrators presenting at locations across the Festival grounds. Click here for the full schedule and for details about each session.

  • Saturday 11-11:45 a.m. — We Love You, Mac Barnett! Location: Capitol Auditorium
  • Saturday 1:15 – 2 p.m. — Raid of No Return: Nathan Hale and His Hazardous Tale! Location: Capitol Auditorium
  • Saturday 12:30-1:15 p.m. —  Katherine Paterson and Peter Sís In Conversation Location: First United Methodist Church
  • Saturday 1-1:45 p.m. — The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid with Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis Location: Omni Hotel Ballroom
  • Saturday 2:30-3:15 p.m. —  Illustrating American History with Kadir Nelson and Don Tate Location: Capitol Auditorium
  • Sunday 11:-11:45 p.m. — Bad Moods, Be Gone! with Lemony Snicket
    Location: House Chamber
  • Sunday 12:30-1:15 p.m. — The Wonderful World of William Joyce Location: Capitol Auditorium

Meet your favorite authors & illustrators!

–> New This Year:

  • Next Chapter Middle Grade Tent: Don’t miss Andrew Clements, Margarita Engle, Gene Luen Yang, Ellen Oh and many more authors talking on panels about everything from being funny on the page to dealing with family drama to being an inclusive friend, reader and citizen.
  • H-E-B Children’s Tent: Kids! Be a Buddy, Not a Bully!: Join the H-E-B Buddy League by always showing kindness, respect, courage and inclusion instead of teasing and bullying. See a live performance of the new H-E-B Buddy League Training Academy, a high-energy show with song and animation at the Texas Book Festival on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. at the H-E-B Children’s Tent on Congress.

Don’t miss this year’s new tent for middle grade readers

–> So Much More: This is just a small sample of what awaits at Texas Book Fest! Be sure to check out the official website for the full schedule of events as well as information about getting to the festival, parking, maps, food vendors and more. You can also follow the Book Fest on Facebook and Twitter for news and updates.

We can’t wait!