Summer in Austin: Find weird, wonderful things to do with the kids

4:44 p.m Wednesday, May 24, 2017 Lifestyle
Erika Rich
Sound & Cinema returns to the Long Center next month. Contributed

It’s the unofficial start of summer! We’re ready to pack in the fun with the kids for the next three months. To help you, we offer suggestions on where to find that fun all summer long. For more on what’s happening in June, check out the Raising Austin column at austin360.com/raisingaustin. There you’ll also find suggestions of great new kids books to pick up and more ideas throughout the summer.

Now jump in and have fun.

5 ways we’re keeping it weird

It wouldn’t be Austin if we weren’t looking for something unique to do. Try these events.

1. Bubblepalooza. Who doesn’t love bubbles? This free event is all about making bubbles. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 3. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

2. Bricks and Blocks Bonanza. We know you love to build things, and the Thinkery lets you do that. Plus enjoy free Hat Creek Burgers and Lick ice cream.6-9 p.m. June 3. $15. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

3. International Mud Day. Why wouldn’t you want to celebrate all things mud? This year the Wildflower Center combines it with its free Nature Nights. 6-9 p.m. June 29, Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org

4. Austin Ice Cream Festival. Sure there’s chocolate and vanilla, but we bet there will be bacon flavor, too. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 12. $15. Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St. austinicecreamfestival.com

5. Celebrate all things pop culture. Barnes & Noble hosts Wonder Woman Day 10 a.m. June 3 in all of its stores and a special pop-culture story time July 29 with “Good Morning, Superman!,” “Be a Star, Wonder Woman,” and “Bedtime for Batman.” The library offers Captain Underpants and the Underwear Fair 2 p.m. June 5, Windsor Park Branch; 3 p.m. June 8, Southeast Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 28, North Village Branch; and hosts a Power Rangers Glow Party 3:30 p.m. June 14, North Village Branch; 2 p.m. June 29, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 2 p.m. July 17, Windsor Park Branch; 3 p.m. July 24, Howson Branch. Teen Summer Cosplay Camp at BookPeople is 1-3 p.m. June 21, June 23, July 19 and July 21. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com

4 ways to explore nature

1. Zilker Botanical Garden opens its Woodland Faerie Trail today. The trail is full of homes people have created for the fairies. Maybe you’ll see a fairy. The trail is open through July 30 during regular hours, and on June 9-10, you can see it at night from 8-10 p.m. for $6. Learn to make a home at the Forts and Faerie Homes Workshop, 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. June 24. $18. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. zilkergarden.org

2. Wildflower Center. It’s beautiful to explore the gardens, arboretum and prairie trails any time of year, but in summer, the free Nature Nights at 6 p.m. on Thursdays give us even more reasons to head here. Reptiles and Birds of Prey, June 8; Habitats, June 15; Pollinators, June 22; Water, Rocks and Mud, June 29. You also can find hands-on programs for preschoolers through its Sprouts program, 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and during the Nature Play Hour, 11 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org

3. Find a new-to-you park. We love the trails of Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park, 907 W. Slaughter Lane; the peacocks of Mayfield Park, 3505 W. 35th St.; the playground and Zilker Zephyr train at Zilker Park, which doesn’t look a day over 100, 2100 Barton Springs Road; the splash pad and hill to climb at Bulter Park, 1000 Barton Springs Road; and the accessibility of Play for All Park, 151 N. A.W. Grimes Blvd., Round Rock.

4. Texas Nature Challenge. Register your “team,” aka family, for this challenge and start exploring. One great stop is the Austin Nature and Science Center, where you can go on a scavenger hunt. Find more information and sign up at austintexas.gov/page/ansc-programs-exhibits.

7 great museums to explore

1. Bullock Museum. Yes, you might have been to the Bullock Museum before, but have you been there on Living History Days when people dress up as historical figures? The first one of the summer is 10 a.m. June 1. Also don’t miss the Free First Sunday events with themed programs: Road Trip, June 3; Red White and Blue, July 2; Game On, Aug. 6. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com

2. Blanton Museum. Each summer, the Blanton brings creative programs for different age groups that have you learning about art as well as making it: 3ft Deep for ages 3-5, 10 a.m. Tuesdays June 13-July 25; Artists and Authors, for ages 5-8, 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Thursdays, June 15-July 27; Deeper Dives for ages 8-12, 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Fridays, June 16-July 28. Plus you can make art in the WorkLab, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays, June 14-July 26; and families with kids ages 8-12 can go on a Family Art Quest, 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, June 14-July 26. Blanton Museum. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. blantonmuseum.org

3. Contemporary Austin. Explore modern art at the museum’s two locations: downtown and Laguna Gloria. You can even take classes there all summer. Its signature program for families is its free Families Create second Saturday of the month event 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Laguna Gloria. Exploradores Del Arte, June 10; Out of the Past, July 8; and Ice Painting, Aug. 12. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St. In June, you get a bonus family day with the opening of two new sculptures by Ai Weiwei 10 a.m.-noon June 3. Waller Creek Delta, 74 Trinity St., near the Boathouse. thecontemporaryaustin.org

4. Thinkery. Our children’s museum has come a long way. It’s brought down the prices of many of its programs. For the youngest among us (younger than 3), check out Baby Bloomers 9 a.m. Monday and Saturdays. Each month has a theme, and every week there are special performances. $5. We’re also looking forward to these $8 workshops for ages 4 and up: Shark Tank, 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m. June 3-4, June 17-18; Build a Better Boat, 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. June 10-11, June 24-25. July and August workshops haven’t been announced yet. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

5. Hill Country Science Mill. If you haven’t yet taken the one-hour drive to Johnson City to see this science museum, you’re missing out. It’s a true hands-on treasure. In June, kids ages 8 and older can also learn to turn Trash to Treasure and make art with artist McKay Otto. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. June 10. Free, but reserve your spot at programs@sciencemill.org. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City. sciencemill.org

6. Texas Museum of Science & Technology. The museum features a planetarium, dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, Egyptian artifacts and more. For children 5 and younger, its Wee-Searchers explores science through song and play at 9 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Science Saturday offers special themed programs, typically on the fourth Saturday of the month. Look at the stars in the parking lot at the Star Party, 9 p.m. Fridays. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park. txmost.org

7. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. When being indoors in a museum won’t do, you can explore art outside here. The Umlauf offers a monthly free themed Family Day , 10-4 p.m. June 11, July 9 and Aug. 13. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road. umlaufsculpture.org

14 great ways to see theater

1. “Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus.” You can’t see the Ringling Bros. anymore, but you can see this circus that includes animal puppets instead of animals. 7:30 p.m. June 6-8. $29-$89. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

2. “Clockwork Stories.” Flying Theater Machine presents this kids’ improv where you build a time machine. 2 p.m. Sundays through June 18. $5. The Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress Ave. hideouttheatre.com

3. “A Shoe Story: A Brand New Musical.” Summer Stock Austin presents this family theater show based on “The Elves and the Shoemaker.” It’s written by Allen Robertson and Damon Brown and directed by Robertson. 7:30 p.m. July 25; 11 a.m. July 28, Aug. 3-4, Aug. 8; 10 a.m. July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 11-12; 2 p.m. July 30. Tickets $17 and up. Summer Stock Austin also has one-day camps that include a performance Aug. 3, 4 and 8. $50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

4. “The Ragbag Shoes.” Pollyanna Theater presents this story of a girl who dreams of getting magical shoes but knows her father can’t afford them. For ages 4-10. 2 p.m. July 8, July 9 and July 15. $10.50-$13.50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

5. “The Wizard of Oz.” Zilker Summer Musical returns with adventure on the yellow brick road. 8:15 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays July 7-Aug. 12. Free, but donations welcome. Zilker Hillside Theatre, 2206 William Barton Drive. zilker.org

6. Literature Live Presents: “Wiley and the Hairy Man.” 2 p.m. June 5, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. June 6, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. June 8, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 2 p.m. June 12, Windsor Park Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. June 16, Terrazas Branch; 3 p.m. June 20, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 22, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 23, Yarborough Branch; 3 p.m. June 25, Manchaca Road Branch; 6 p.m. June 26, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. June 29, Milwood Branch.

7. Sandbank Shadow Factory Presents: “Rapunzel.” 3 p.m. June 5, Howson Branch; 3 p.m. June 6, Twin Oaks Branch; 3 p.m. June 11, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. June 12, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 20, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. June 29, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. June 30, Yarborough Branch; 6 p.m. July 3, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 3 p.m. July 10, Howson Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 12, North Village Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 25, Old Quarry Branch; 3 p.m. July 27, Southeast Branch.

8. Hey Lollies Present: “Iris Saves the Land of Black and White.” 6 p.m. June 5, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 7, Ruiz Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 13, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, Milwood Branch; 3 p.m. June 18, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p,m. June 25, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. July 3, Spicewood Springs Branch; 3 p.m. July 17, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. July 21, Yarborough Branch.

9. Literature Live! “Predicts the Forecast: Fantabulous Finger Fun.” 3:30 p.m. June 7, North Village Branch; 3 p.m. June 19, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. July 7, Terrazas Branch; 2 p.m. July 13, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 14, Yarborough Branch; 4 p.m. Aug. 1, University Hills Branch; 6 p.m. Aug. 3, Manchaca Road Branch; 3 p.m Aug. 4, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. Aug. 6, Faulk Central Library; 2 p.m. Aug. 7, Windsor Park Branch; 3 p.m. Aug. 19, Recycled Reads Bookstore.

10. Bernadette Nason Presents “Stone Soup.” 2 p.m. June 8, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 21, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. June 22, Milwood Branch; 3 p.m. June 27, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, Hampton Branch, 3 p.m. July 3, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. July 6, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 11, Cepeda Branch; 3 p.m. July 16, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 24, Windsor Park Branch.

11. Austin Opera Presents: Onsite Opera. 2 p.m. June 8, Milwood Branch; 2 p.m. June 13, Cepeda Branch; 3 p.m. June 15, Southeast Branch; 3 p.m. June 16, Yarborough Branch; 2 p.m. June 19, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. June 201, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. June 22, University Hills Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 27, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. June 29, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 30, Terrazas Branch.

12. Elizabeth Kahura Presents: Folktales for Africa. 2 p.m. June 8, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 21, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. June 27, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, Hampton Branch.

13. Surapsari: Japanese Mask Dance and Drama. 3 p.m. July 9, Manchaca Road Branch; 6 p.m. July 10, Carver Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 11, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. July 12, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 3 p.m. July 13, Southeast Branch.

14. Spotlight on Opera Presents: “The Coyotes and Rabbits.2 p.m. July 18, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. July 19, Hampton Branch.

6 great ways enjoy music

1. Austin Symphony Hartman Concerts in the Park. 7:30 p.m. Sundays through June 4-Aug. 27. Free. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

2. Austin Symphony Children’s Art Park. A different musician plays each week. June 7, Beto and the Fairlanes; June 14, Joe McDermott and the Teddy Bear Picnic; June 21, Stacy Gray; June 28, Laura Freeman, The Hey Lollies; July 12, April & Amy; July 19, Mr. Will Music; July 26, Nathalia. 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays June 7-July 26 except July 5. 50 cents per child. Symphony Square, 1101 Red River St. austinsymphony.org

3. Gustafer Yellowgold. A multimedia performance of music, colored-pencil animations and storytelling. 11 a.m. June 4. $6-$10. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. scottishritetheater.org

4. “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses.” All the music you love from the video game comes to the stage. 8 p.m. July 7. $19.50-$69.50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

5. H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert and Fireworks. Hear the symphony and then watch the sky light up. 8:30 p.m. July 4. Free. Vic Mathias Shores. austinsymphony.org

6. At the library. Random Acts of Harping. 1 p.m. June 4, Recycled Reads Bookstore. Mariachi Amor. 2 p.m. June 7, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. June 20, Cepeda Branch; 3 p.m. June 29, Southeast Branch; 2 p.m. July 6, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. July 10, Windsor Park Branch; 2 p.m. July 17, Spicewood Springs Branch; 3 p.m. July 18, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. July 20, Milwood Branch; 2 p.m. July 27, University Hills Branch. Austin Ukestra, ukulele group. 1 p.m. June 11, July 9 and Aug. 13, Recycled Reads Bookstore. Echo and the Bats. 6 p.m. June 12, Carver Branch. The Hoots. 3 p.m. July 2, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 6, Milwood Branch; 2 p.m. July 10, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 12, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. July 13, Pleasant Hill Branch.

9 great ways to see a movie for free (or very little)

1. Sound and Cinema. Watch a movie and hear a concert at the same time on the lawn of the Long Center. 6 p.m. June 21, June 28, July 19 and July 26. Movies to be announced. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

2. Paramount Summer Movie Classics. Show your kids all the great films you or your parents grew up on. “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” 1 p.m. June 17; “The Sound of Music” 2 p.m. June 24; “Iron Giant” 1 p.m. July 1; “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” 3:05 p.m. July 1, 4 p.m. July 2; “Swiss Family Robinson” 1 p.m. July 8; “The Wizard of Oz” 1 p.m. July 16; “Babe” 1 p.m. July 29; “E.T.” 1 p.m. Aug. 5; “Back to the Future” 3:30 p.m. Aug. 5, 4:10 Aug. 6; “The Parent Trap” 1 p.m. Aug. 13. $6-$12. Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org

3. Movies in the Park. Roll out the blanket and enjoy a free movie. “Sister Act” 8:45 June 1. Rosewood Park, 2300 Rosewood Ave. “Aladdin” 9 p.m. July 6. Patterson Park, 4200 Brookview Road. “Mighty Ducks” 9 p.m. July 13. Dick Nichols District Park, 8011 Becket Road. austinparks.org

4. Alamo Drafthouse Kids Club. Find movies like “Sing” and “Matilda” each morning at local Alamo Drafthouses. It’s a $1-$5 donation, but you should reserve your tickets online. Check drafthouse.com for the movie and showtimes. The Alamo Drafthouse also throws parties around new movie premieres. In June, celebrate “Cars 3” at 9 a.m. June 18 at Lakeline and 10 a.m. June 17 at Slaughter Lane; and “Captain Underpants” at 10:10 a.m. June 3 at Slaughter Lane. You also can watch PBS Kids shows at the Alamo; “Nature Cat: Ocean Commotion” plays at noon June 10-11, Lakeline.

5. Flix Jr. Flix offers $2 children’s movies at 11 a.m. Wednesdays. “Madagascar 3” June 7, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” June 14, “Night at the Museum 2” June 21, “Rio 2” June 28. 2200 S. Interstate 35, Suite B1, Round Rock. flixbrewhouse.com

6. Regal Summer Movie Express . 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Westgate Stadium 11 and Gateway Stadium 16. “Kung Fu Panda 3” and “Ice Age: Collision Course” June 6-7; “Trolls” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” June 13-14; “Monster Trucks” and “Penguins of Madagascar,” June 20-21; “Rio” and “Boxtrolls” June 27-28; “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Sing” July 4-5; “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “Rachet and Clank” July 11-12; “The SpongeBob Move: Sponge out of Water” and “The Adventures of Tintin” July 18-19; “Happy Feet Two” and “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” July 25-26; “Storks,” and “The Lego Batman Movie” Aug. 1-2. Tickets are $1. regmovies.com/movies/summer-movie-express

7. Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse . Offers $1 movies 10 a.m. Monday through Thursdays at Round Rock 8. “The Secret Life of Pets” June 5-8; “The Lego Batman Movie” June 12-15; “Trolls” June 19-22; “Shrek the Third” June 26-29; “Goosebumps” July 3-6; “The Iron Giant” July 10-13; “Hotel Transylvania 2” July 17-20; “Megamind” July 24-27; “The Angry Birds Movie” July 31-Aug. 3; “Sing” Aug. 7-10. cinemark.com/summer-movie-clubhouse

8. The Bullock Museum is offering its Summer Free Family Film Series: “Matilda” 2 p.m. June 3; “Alice in Wonderland” 2 p.m. June 10; “Black Cauldron” 2 p.m. July 1; “My Neighbor Totoro” 2 p.m. July 22; “Secret of Kells” 2 p.m. Aug. 5; “Where the Wild Things Are” 2 p.m. Aug. 12; Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com

9. The Austin Public Library. It’s free to see these movies. “Rogue One” at noon June 3, Carver Branch; “Trolls” at 2 p.m. June 3, Windsor Park Branch; 6:30 p.m. June 13, Twin Oaks Branch; “Doctor Strange” at 2 p.m. June 3, University Hills Branch; “Jurassic World” at 3 p.m. June 9, Old Quarry Branch; “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” at noon June 10, Carver Branch; “Moana” at 4 p.m. June 14, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. June 22, Old Quarry Branch; 6:30 p.m. July 11, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. July 13, Carver Branch; “Storks” at 2 p.m. June 15, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 27, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 27, Old Quarry Branch; “Pete’s Dragon” at noon June 17, Carver Branch; “Captain America: Civil War” at 2 p.m. June 17, University Hills Branch; “Independence Day: Resurgence” at 2 p.m. June 24, University Hills Branch; “The Secret Life of Pets” at 2 p.m. June 29, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 22, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. Aug. 10, Old Quarry Branch; “Sing” at noon July 1, Carver Branch; “Lego Batman Movie” at 2 p.m. July 1, Windsor Park Branch; 4 p.m. July 19, Cepeda Branch; “Inside Out” at noon July 8, Carver Branch; “Finding Dory at 2 p.m. July 8, University Hills Branch; “Jungle Book” at 3 p.m. July 7, Old Quarry Branch; “The Good Dinosaur.” 2 p.m. July 27, Carver Branch; “Beauty and the Beast” (2017) at 2 p.m. Aug. 5, Windsor Park Branch.

6 other not-to-miss events

1. RED Arena Round-Up. Family fun and inclusive rodeo play day with a petting zoo, bounce houses and mini horses. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 3. Free. Dripping Springs Ranch Park, 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs. redarena.org

2. Domain Northside Kids. Come to the lawn at the Domain Northside for activities for kids 18 months to 6 years old. Free. 10 a.m.-noon June 7. 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 2. Reservations required, domainnorthside.com.

3. Boldly Bookish Tour with Tara Altebrando, Sarah Tolcser, Emery Lord and Brigid Kemmerer. 7 p.m. June 7. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com

4. Carver Museum. Juneteenth. Music, food, games and more. Noon-4 p.m. June 17. Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

5. World Refugee Day. Celebrate different cultures. 11:30 a.m. June 17. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com

6. The Harlem Globetrotters. 7 p.m. July 7. $14-$104. H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. hebcenter.com

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