If you’re sticking around Austin during Spring Break, you’re faced with a decision — to embrace events associated with the SXSW Festival or avoid it altogether. While we totally get the mindset of those who want to flee from the crowds, we are personally super excited to dive right in to all the action. I mean, how lucky are we to have the chance to be exposed to SO MANY awesome bands, tech geniuses, gaming creators, speakers, etc. right here in our own hometown?

We’ve done some research to find the most family friendly events happening during SXSW. Take a look at all that awaits. There are plenty of cool happenings for you and the kids.


Family Friendly Events During SXSW 2015:

–> Friday, Mar. 13:

SXSW Gaming Expo @ Palmer Events Center, Mar. 13-15, 12-8 p.m.
The gaming Expo is free and open to the public with Guest Pass wristbands, which can be found here. The expo combines well-loved elements of geek culture with the cross-console video game world.

SXSW Create @ Long Center, Mar. 13-15, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
From 3D printing to drones to biohacking and much more, this community event showcases the disruptive solutions that are shaping our future. Experience all the mind-expanding and hands-on fun, for FREE!

Rock the Lot @ Austin American Statesman Mar. 13-14, 4 p.m. – midnight
Rocking out in the shadow of the Congress Avenue bridge during SXSW weekend, food trucks and tents will be on site, locally brewed beer for sale in our beverage tents plus iced cold sodas and water. Friday’s music headliner is The Dirty River Boys.

–> Saturday, Mar. 14:

Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Party @ Bangers, Mar. 14, 6:45 p.m.
oin Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at Bangers on Rainey for an unforgettable free party (no rsvp needed)! Check out performances by Marimba Superstar Sarah Ortiz, the skateboarding Sowle Sisters, Austin-based trio and rising musical stars Charlie Belle and finish it all off with a cut-loose dance party DJed by DJ Lauren LaRose.


> Continuing events:

–> Sunday, Mar. 15:

SXSW Eco Light Garden @ Republic Square Park, Mar. 15 – 21, 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Swing by the park to see new installations that play with light, sound and geometry. The Eco Light Garden is free and open to the public.


Photo from the SXSW Facebook Page – Past Eco Light Garden

> Continuing events:

–> Monday, Mar. 16:

SXKids @ The Little Yoga House, Mar. 16-21, 1 p.m.
Kids can enjoy free music showcases open to all ages and will take place either on the front lawn or in The Little Yoga House studio.


> Continuing events:

–> Tuesday, Mar. 17:

The Octopus Project! And Friends! @ Spiderhouse Cafe & Ballroom, Mar. 17, noon – 7 p.m.
Join the Octopus Project, Peelander-Z, Paper Lions and many more bands at this free day show for all ages. RSVP here.

Uberpong VS TOMS All-day PingPong Extravaganza @ TOMS Roasting Co., Mar. 17, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
All day ping pong, delicious TOMS coffee and giveaways. No badges or RSVPs required.

> Continuing events:

–> Wednesday, Mar. 18:

Family Music Meltdown @ Pan Am Park, Mar. 18, 3 – 7:30 p.m.
Admission and parking are free at this event that features lots of children’s entertainers, including Big Don, The Jellydots, The Que Pastas, Gina Chavez, Ralph’s World, Koo Koo Kanga Roo and The Not­Its. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Keep up with all of the latest event info on the Family Music Meltdown Facebook page. And get the schedule of events here.


KGSR Live Broadcast @ W Austin, Mar. 18 – 21, 6 – 11 a.m.
For a $5 donation to the Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas, you’ll enjoy 4-hours of exclusive, live interviews and performances from featured SXSW artists, and the first 300 guests through the door each morning will receive a complimentary breakfast treat. Artists on this day include Jamestown Revival, Bob Schneider and more.

 — 3rd Annual HOPE ReCreate @HOPE Outdoor Gallery, Mar. 18, 10 a.m.
Check out live mural artwork by 40+ artists (local and national). HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) Campaign and Spratx will be at the event slangin’ merchandise, art materials, and apparel.

 — Waterloo Records Day Party @ Waterloo Records, Mar. 18 – 21, 12-6 p.m.
Free shows, all ages, no wristbands required. Autograph signings after the shows. Lineup includes AWOLNATION, Will Butler, Twin Peaks & more.

 — Freebirds Stage @ St. Vincent de Paul Auditorium, Mar. 18 – 21, noon – 7 p.m.
Free shows, all ages, no wristbands required. Lineup includes Whiskey Shivers, Sol Driven Train. Two Tons of Steel and more.

 — The Yard @ La Barbecue, Mar. 18 – 19, noon – 7 p.m.
The Yard is a FREE, all-ages, outdoor music showcase presented by The Most Definitely and Wind-up Records. It’s hosted at an 18k sq/ft outdoor space in the heart of Austin that’s occupied by one of Austin’s top barbecue spots, La Barbecue. Music lineup includes
Safia, Urban Cone, Spirit Animal and more.

 — Unofficial South X San Jose @ Hotel San Jose, Mar. 18 – 21, starts at noon
Free and open to all ages. Music lineup includes
Golden Dawn Arkestra, Not in the Face and more.

> Continuing events:

–> Thursday, Mar. 19:

Do512 Family Picnic @ The Midway Food Park, Mar. 19, 2-8:30 p.m.
Note, this event was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was moved to Thursday due to rain.
We’ve teamed up with It’s Time Texas to bring your family a fun and relaxing day of music and kids activities at Midway Food Park. Music from Wino Vino, The Tontons, The Suffers, Boss Street Brass Band, Austin School of Rock, The Groundwork Music Orchestra. PLUS a magic show with Magician Black Bert from Fantastic Magic Camp, balloon animals, face painting and other kid-friendly activities and games. Free! RSVP here.


3rd Annual Rock Show for Kids @ the Fader Fort, Mar. 19, 10 a.m. – noon
This morning Rock Show for Kids will benefit MyMusicRx, the only “kid-prescribed” in-hospital and online music medicine program in the nation. One hundred percent of proceeds will help fund MyMusicRx’s bedside and online programs that deliver the healing power of music to seriously ill kids and teens. Enjoy art activities and a great music lineup including The Zombies, The Heartless Bastards, Best Coast and more. $20 for adults, kids 12 and under are free. Buy tickets in advance online here. Enter to win a pair of tickets here!


 — CAT vs. OWL Indie Rock Showcase @ Cherrywood Coffeehouse, Mar. 19, 12 -10 p.m.
All ages show, no cover and beer, wine & food will be for sale in Cafe. Lineup includes Something Sneaky, And the Kids, Kristen Ford and more.

The IFC Fairgrounds @ Palm Park, Mar. 19 – 21, 4 – 10 p.m.
art state fair, part carnival, this outdoor music event features some of the most buzzed-about bands at SXSW performing alongside rides, food, carnival games and kick-ass giveaways. Free with RSVP here. Music lineup includes Twin Peaks, Rubblebucket, Jukebox the Ghost and more.

 — She Shreds @ ​Casa de Reyna, Mar. 19, noon
She Shreds Magazine is bringing 40 bands from all over the world with, of course, some of the most amazing shredders ever. Better suited for teens. Free and open to the public.

 —  SXSW Outdoor Stage with Spoon @ Auditorium Shores, Mar. 19, 5 p.m.
Enjoy a free night of music that’s open to the public with free Guest Pass wristbands. Spoon is headlining with Charles Bradley, My Jerusalem, and more.

 — Flatstock @ Austin Convention Center, Mar. 19-21, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Presented by the American Poster Institute (API), Flatstock 48 will display the works of the world’s top gig poster artists. The show will feature posters of varying styles, colors and techniques for sale by the very artists who created them. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands.

> Continuing events:

–> Friday, Mar. 20:

 — Music By the Slice 10th Annual Charity Day Party @ Home Slice Pizza, Mar. 20 & 21, starts at noon
Enjoy some great bands, hot pizza, cold drinks, and big time fun for the whole family! The event is free, open to all ages, and no RSVP is necessary. All proceeds benefit Urban Roots, a youth development organization that uses food and farming to transform the lives of young people and inspire, engage, and nourish the community. Music lineup includes Paper Lions, The Tall Trees, Geographer and more.


 — Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion 2015 @Whole Foods, Mar. 20 & 21, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
An Amazing 2-Day Live Event on the Whole Foods Rooftop Plaza during featuring over 30 artists. Free with RSVP here. Music lineup includes
The Zombies, Big Data, Sheepdogs, X Ambassadors and more.

 — Brunch on the Balcony @ Joe’s Crab Shack, Mar. 20 & 21, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Enjoy brunch on outside on the patio while listening to live music from The Ton Tons, The Suffers, Gringo Star and more.

 — Amigos Internacionales Showcase @ Guero’s Taco Bar, Mar. 20, noon – 9 p.m.
International friends are getting together for tacos and tunes. This show is free, all ages, everyone’s invited. RSVP here.

 — Backyard Party @ Kebabalicious, Mar. 20, 1 – 11 p.m.
Free, all ages Americana/Blue grass showcase with kebabs and beer. RSVP here. Music lineup includes Clark Paterson, Joe Ben Clark and more.

 —  SXSW Outdoor Stage with Ryan Bingham @ Auditorium Shores, Mar. 20, 5 p.m.
Enjoy a big night of music that’s open to the public with a free Guest Pass wristband. Ryan Bingham is headlining with Jackie Green, Luther Dickinson and more. Gates for this showcase will open at 3 p.m.

> Continuing events:

–> Saturday, Mar. 21:

 — Rock & Chalk @ The Domain II, Mar. 21, 3 – 7:30 p.m.
Children of all ages are invited to rock out and celebrate the arrival of spring on the newly completed lawn area in Domain II. Kids will enjoy a chalk art zone and other free activities throughout Domain II, including music lessons, a musical instrument petting zoo, temporary tattoos, costumed character appearances, a dance contest with prizes, giveaways and more. Music presented by Austin Diagnostic Clinic, includes The Que Pastas, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, The Jellydots and more. Free!


—  SXSW Outdoor Stage with Intocable @ Auditorium Shores, Mar. 21, 6 p.m.
Enjoy this all-Latino showcase that’s open to the public with a free Guest Pass wristbands. I
ntocable is headling with Bomba Estéreo, Compass and more.

> Continuing events:

–> Sunday, Mar. 22:

—  2015 Mad Tiger Festival  @ Mueller Lake Park Outdoor Amphitheater, Mar. 22, 1-5 p.m.
Take the kids for some high-energy fun at this free party featuring really entertaining bands, food, art activities and toys. Music lineup includes Peelander-Z, Mother Falcon, Riders Against the Storm and more. Free with RSVP here.


We hope you have tons of fun at these events!