Each year, we feel pretty lucky to be exposed to so many awesome bands, tech geniuses, gaming creators, speakers, etc. right here in our own hometown during the South by Southwest festival!
Wondering what events are cool to take the kids to? There are plenty! We’ve done some research to find the most family friendly events happening during SXSW. Take a look at all that awaits, and plan to make some exciting Spring Break memories with the kids.
–> Official SXSW Free Public Events:
The following events are free to attend with a Guest Pass. You can get your free Guest Pass online here.
— Cartoon Network on the Green @ Long Center Terrace
March 12, 6:30 p.m.
For the third year in a row, Cartoon Network presents a fun-filled family event open to all fans. Be among the first to watch the upcoming adventure series, Craig of the Creek, plus catch brand new episodes of favorite shows Ben 10 and Unikitty! And fans are in for a special treat with a never-before-seen look at Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, coming to theaters this summer. Bring a blanket so you can stretch out and enjoy the show!
— SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake
March 15 – 17, 4-10 p.m.
Free, all ages, outdoor shows return to the SXSW Outdoor Stage (located at 800 W Riverside Dr.) with three nights of entertainment.
— Flatstock Poster Show @ Austin Convention Center
March 15 – 17, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Presented by the American Poster Institute (API), Flatstock 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 talented artists who created them. You can stop in, browse and shop for cool concert posters and more.
— SXSW Marketplace @ Austin Convention Center
March 15 – 17, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
In its second year, SXSW Marketplace brings together local Austin boutiques and hand-selected national and global brands to create a unique shopping experience at the epicenter of SXSW.
–> Events & Parties Geared Towards Kids:
Parents are encouraged to bring their little rockers out to one of these events that are tailored to families.
— Do512 Family Picnic @ The Midway
March 13, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
If you’re going to take the kids to any party during Spring Break & SXSW, we hope it’ll be ours! We’re so excited about our 4th Annual Do512 Family Picnic, presented by Howdy Honda. Join us for a magic show, puppets, face painting, awesome food trucks and a great line-up of bands, including Circkus Funk (all the way from Colombia), High Waisted, and Red Yarn. BYOB! Suggested $5 donation at the door to benefit Upbring.
— Kids’ Music Showcase @ Thinkery
March 10, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Visit Thinkery for an unofficial SXSW event that includes hands-on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) music-related activities, plus live music for kids BY kids. Pop into the Backyard Events Courtyard to check out talented young performers taking the stage. Activities and music showcase are free with paid museum General Admission ($12 per person, free for children under age 2, and free for Members). Click here for the music line-up.
—Bubble Guppies Live! “Ready to Rock” @ Long Center
March 11, 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
While we’re not sure if the Bubble Guppies planned to be in town during SXSW or if this is just a coincidence, they are ready to rock out with your little ones in a big musical stage show. Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased online here.
— 6th Annual Kids Fest @ The Little Yoga House
March 13 & 14, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
This special annual festival includes live music, interactive tech, art, games and more activities for kids of all ages. Click here to view the line-up. Free, but please RSVP here.
— Spare the Rock Spoil the Child Kids Stage @ Four Seasons
March 14 – 17, performers at 8:30 & 9:30 a.m. Wed.-Fri.; 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. on Sat.
Enjoy kid-friendly (but parent-friendly, too) sets between the main-stage acts that are part of the KUTX Live Broadcasts in the hotel’s Lobby Lounge each day. Those interested in attending only the children’s shows may purchase a wristband for $5 per adult or child; benefits still include the above breakfast treats, however the wristband does not allow entry to the main stage.
— 6th Annual MyMusicRx + YOU WHO! Rock Show for Kids @ Fader Fort
March 15, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
MyMusicRx® will proudly present the YOU WHO! Rock Show for Kids, a family-friendly concert at the FADER FORT. MyMusicRx is the flagship program of the Children’s Cancer Association. YOU WHO! shows feature giant owl mascots, a craft zone, interactive dance get-downs, and a variety show format, with a cross-genre lineup of bands.
*Click here to enter to win VIP tickets!
— Hello Dolly: A Tribute to Dolly Parton @ Austin Scottish Rite Theatre
March 16, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Take the kids to a family-friendly tribute to none other than Dolly Parton! Presented by Live Mom with sponsorship from Springfree, you can count on great live music, and also lots of activities such Dolly-Do hair styling, putt-putt golf, and food from Emoji’s Grilled Cheese. Tickets are $3 for adults and $1 for kids 12 & under, available online here.
— Rock + Read @ The Domain
March 17, 3-7:30 p.m.
Head over to the lawn at the Domain to hear music from 123 Andrés, The Que Pastas, Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship, Red Yarn, Sugar Free Allstars, and El Tule, enjoy storytime with local authors reading their own books, a crafts, and a trampoline for jumping, too. Free!
— DJ Questlove #Breaks4Kids Dance Party @ Historic Scoot Inn
March 18, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Get your tickets fast for this fundraiser that benefits VH1 Save the Music with face painting, a photo booth, treats, and lots of dancing. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online here.
–> Events & Parties for All Ages:
— SouthBites Trailer Park
March 9 – 17
Want to try some new food during Spring Break? Stop by the SouthBites Trailer Park, presented by Favor. Located at 604 Driskill St., it’s a showcase of noteworthy food trucks form Austin and all over the U.S. Click here to view the full list of trucks you’ll find there.
— All the Friends Ball @ Spider House Cafe & Ballroom
March 11, All ages before 8 p.m.
This showcase is presented by KUTX 98.9 and Austin Creative Alliance featuring tons of music! Click here for the full line up. Free with RSVP.
— KUTX Live Broadcasts @ Four Seasons
March 14 – 17, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. Wed. – Friday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday
KUTX 98.9 will air four early morning broadcasts live from the Four Seasons hotel. These shows are a great opportunity to let your kids see some amazing music in a calm environment. Admission is $15 or $5 for children ages 12 & under, all on a first-come, first served basis, and includes a breakfast taco, granola bars and coffee. They’ve also added daily kids entertainment in the lobby at 8 a.m., thanks to Spare the Rock! Check the full lineup here.
— KGSR Live Broadcast @ W Austin
March 14 – 17, 6 a.m. Wed. – Fri. & 8 a.m. on Sat.
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. Click here for the full line-up.
— South X San Jose @ Hotel San Jose
March 14 – 17, starts at 12 p.m. each day
South By San Jose (SXSJ) is an annual festival concurrent with SXSW Music Festival in which the hotel parking lot is transformed into a live music venue with bands, local vendors and concessions. The event is always free and open to everyone. Click here for this year’s lineup.
— Piece Out Paint Day @ HOPE Outdoor Gallery
March 14, 12 – 5 p.m.
Visit Austin’s grafitti park to see 40 live artists, get info about the new outdoor gallery location, buy HOPE merch, and have some fun with a silent disco. All ages. Free!
— 8th Annual Lucy’s South by South Austin Fried Chicken Revival @ Lucy’s Fried Chicken
March 15 – 18, 12 – 7 p.m.
This annual series of day parties at Lucy’s South Austin location features 28 homegrown talents and favorite touring Americana bands in the world. No badge or wristband needed! Kid and family friendly.
— Peelander Fest 2018 @ Spider House Cafe & Ballroom
March 16, 12 – 7 p.m.
Free show for all ages with 2 outside stages with music from Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship, Manx, The Ghost Wolves and of course Peelander-Z, and food from East Side King.
— Kindnesspalooza @ Rio
March 17, 12 – 6 p.m.
This is a series of free live musical performances to promote anti-bullying efforts through kindness and The Kindness Campaign. In addition to musical acts, the event will include a photo booth, a magic mirror where people receive positive affirmation, and the “Art of Kindness”, where a local artist will be creating art with messages of kindness.
—-> Want to see these events organized by date? Check out the daily calendar! We’ll be adding more events as they are announced, and you can count on us to post Top Picks of the Day during Spring Break/SXSW.
There are just so many fun things to do! We can’t wait!