Austin Kids Draw – Do Art

I have to be honest. I used to think having kids make macaroni necklaces was a type of babysitting, just a way to keep kids busy and out of trouble. But I became Noel’s Step-Mom when she was six and I saw the art she created and how she developed and grew over time and art gave her a space to express her ideas and create something new. There are practical advantages too, like learning shapes and colors, improving hand-eye-coordination and stimulating the imagination. Also, when my girls are making art, they tend to stay busy and out of trouble. 🙂

There are many arts-and-crafts blogs that give ideas for what you and your kids can create at home. The Crafty Crow, One Pretty Thing and Wee Life are a few of my favorites. Austin Kids Draw is something different. This page lists places and events unique to Austin where your kid can create art while seeing part of the city and being around other kids.  While some of these places have outdoor spaces, they all create the art indoors, so they are a good idea for bad weather days. Some places are open 9-5ish on most days, others are special events, usually on a Saturday. This page starts with a calendar to give a general idea on timing, then a map, so you can choose a place near you, and then descriptions, so you can get an idea if this is the right experience for your kids. If you are thinking, Kids in a Museum and/or With Scissors, Are you Crazy? then check out that link to tips on making it work.


Do Art Calendar

This calendar below shows the weekly regular activities for each day.

Most Days 9-5ish Austin Children’s Museum – Design Center
9-5ish Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – Little House
Saturday 10:00-11:00 Improv for Kids – Move Your Tale
11:00-3:00 Lakeshore Learning Arts and Crafts
noon-4:00 (Second Saturday only) Second Saturday for Families – Laguna Gloria


6:30 Well’s Branch Community Library Arts and Crafts


6:00 Wells Branch Community Library Arts and Crafts

Do Art Map

Click on the red pin for more information about an event. Click the ‘description’ link from there for more even information.

Do Art Descriptions

This section provides basic information and a description of the event so you can decide if it is right for you and your kids.

Austin Children’s Museum – Design Center
01/2010 post
201 Colorado St     472-2499
Museum Hours     $0-$6.50
back to calendar     back to map     See 01/2010 post
Austin Children's MuseumThe Austin Children’s Museum has includes a Design Center, where kids can user their imagination and recycled materials like spools, corks, used CDs, cardboard, yarn, cardboard boxes and fabric to create something new. My girls especially like the paper press that cuts paper into robots and flowers. Young kids will mostly enjoy using scissors and playing with the glue stick, while older kids can create some amazing pieces with the cool variety of raw materials. The Design Center closes 30 minutes before the museum closes, so go here first if you arrive late in the day.  You can also check out the Austin Children’s Museum craft blog for craft ideas you can make at home.

Second Saturday for Families – Laguna Gloria
3809 W 35th St     458-8191
Second Saturday, noon – 4     $5-$10
back to calendar     back to map
Laguna GloriaLaguna Gloria hosts Second Saturdays for Families, where kids can create an art project inspired by the current exhibit. The activities are often led by a local artist. This space feels like more serious than arts-and-crafts, with fancier materials and suggested themes. It feels like more of a match for elementary-age kids and older, but my younger kids still have fun. Once a quarter, there is a yoga class for the whole family from 1-2. Check the web site for the yoga schedule and details on the project and artist. A bonus of this event is that there is so much to do in the same location. The studio is located on Lake Travis, with decks in the back that overlook the lake. There are walking trails and an ampitheater of sorts along the lake. The Laguna Gloria Museum is right there, and the surrounding landscaped grounds with cool plants and sculptures, are great for exploring and running around. (The Austin Museum of Art – Laguna Gloria is also listed on the See Art page, here.)

Lakeshore Learning Arts and Crafts
Saturday 11-3     free
9828 Great Hills Trail     241-2885
back to calendar     back to map
Lakeshore LearningLakeshore Learning is a teacher’s supply store, but you don’t have to be a teacher to have fun there.  They have Free Crafts for Kids every Saturday from 11-3. The crafts are easy to do, fun to make and they use some interesting materials, which are for sale, of coarse. The store has a lot of temptations for kids in general. I talk with my girls before hand to let them know if we are going to be buying things or not. The crafts are well designed to work for different ages. They are simple enough for pre-schoolers and still interesting enough for elementary-age kids.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – Little House
Center Hours     $0-$8
4801 La Crosse Ave     232-0100
back to calendar     back to map
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower CenterI love when art and nature hang out together and this one of my favorites. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Museum promotes the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes. It is located on the very south end of town, near the Veloway. The kids can see plants and flowers, explore the walking trails and climb up the three-story tower to get a view of South Austin, and maybe even downtown, if it is a clear day. Then they can head through a kid-sized door into the Little House, where they can read, draw, play with puzzles and look at nature displays. Sometimes there are special activities like leaf printing, recycled paper making, gourd birdhouse construction and eco-pot making. Check their calendar for event information.

Improv for Kids – Move Your Tale by  Move Your Tale at Coldtowne Theater
Saturdays 10am-noon     donations
4803 Airport Blvd #C     809-0017
back to calendar     back to map
Move Your TaleMove Your Tale is an improv troupe that does performances and classes for kids. On Saturday mornings, the grown-up performers do improv with kids providing the input and contributing to the story on stage. They even have a real-live dog named Steve who participates. It is fun to see the kids’ personalities highlighted through the experience. A super fun bonus is that the improv is just as funny as what happens at night for grown-up audiences, but no babysitter is required. I wasn’t sure if this counts as Seeing Art or Doing Art, since the kids are the audience viewing the performance, but they also participate. I’ll count is as Doing Art for now. The improv troupe takes breaks between class sessions, so check their web site for dates before heading out.

Wells Branch Community Library Arts and Crafts
Tuesdays 6:30 and Wednesdays 6:00     free
15001 Wells Port Dr.     989-3188
back to calendar     back to map
Wells Branch Community LibraryWells Branch Community Library is unique, as far as I know. They have a sink in their kid’s room, which implies that you might need to wash your hands, which allows for getting messy with arts-and-crafts. I like a library that is willing to get a little messy. Tuesday nights have Kinder Crafts, process-oriented art projects designed for kids 3-7, followed by story time. Wednesday nights have more sophisticated artistic creations. Kids under 8 are still welcome, but they will need help from an adult. The librarians set out books related to the art project that the kids can check out. I also like this option because a lot of library kids’ events and story times are during the day, during the week. It’s nice to have an option for families with two working parents.