Top Five Activities at Laguna Gloria’s Second Saturday for Families

Growing Up Austin - Laguna Gloria

I can’t decide which of the many parts of Second Saturdays For Families at Austin Museum of Art’s Laguna Gloria location (11-3, $10 per family) is the best, there is so much to choose from.

5. Arts-and-crafts – It isn’t your everyday arts-and-crafts when the project’s theme is influenced by the current art exhibit and a professional artist is there to share ideas. This Saturday, June 9, the kids will build dancing wire sculptures and learn about balance, parts of the body and the way they fit together.

4. Move Your Body – Now and then, there is a free yoga-type class for the kids, so you can exercise your body and your mind. This Saturday, Miss Joan, with Creative Dance Adventures, will lead a dance class at 1pm.

Growing Up Austin - Laguna Gloria

3. Move Your Mind – The Laguna Gloria museum is perfect for kids because there is art indoors and out and it is right-sized for their attention span.

Growing Up Austin - Laguna Gloria

2. Hike the trails – You can walk the pretty trails behind the museum, through the trees and along the shore of Lake Austin. Sometimes you will even find an art piece hidden within the trees.

1. See the birds – Walk a few steps East and you’ll be in Mayfield Park where you can see pretty gardens and real-live peacocks.

Growing Up Austin - Laguna Gloria

My girls and I enjoyed all of this the other day, but after all that, they had the idea to play Duck-Duck-Goose on the front lawn. I didn’t know you could play Duck-Duck-Goose with only three people, but I imagine you can do a lot of things, if you don’t get caught up in the details.

I enjoyed doing both with my girls that day, the fancy art and the silly running in circles. If this sounds like fun, check it out this Saturday. Also check out for more ideas on Seeing Art and Doing Art with your kids.


Austin Kids Recommended – May 18 – 24

Welcome to Austin’s tiniest kids’ calendar with just a few carefully selected activities during the coming week, usually hiking, music and art-related.

West Austin Studio Tour
Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20, 11am – 6pm
This is the first year for the West Austin Studio Tour, a spin-off of the popular East Austin Studio Tour, where Austin artists invite you into their studio to meet them in person and see where they work. I love this for kids because it is art, but art that moves and talks and interacts with you, while also being free and outdoors in great weather.

Lex Land at Central Market – North Lamar
Sunday, May 20, 12:30 – 3:00 pm
I like Lex Land because she plays a mixture of French cabaret jazz and Parisian pop and because she started in opera and ended up on The Voice. Some would say her music is too complex for kids, but I think kids can handle it just fine.

Nature Nights at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Thursdays in the summer, 6:00-9:00pm
Nature Nights include interactive presentations, hikes with experts in their fields, and nature-ish arts and crafts. Besides that, you can check out the 8-foot-tall flower art sculptures of Logan Stollenwerk and if you need one more reason, it’s free.

If you have an idea for a future edition of Austin Kids Recommended, send it to If it is included, I’ll include a link to your site.

The Texas State Capitol for Toddlers

There are so may great things about Austin, it almost doesn’t seem fair that we also get to be the Capitol of Texas. The Texas State Capitol building was first built in 1888 and it had significant renovations and extensions in the 1990s.

Top 5 reasons why my little girls like the Texas State Capitol:

1. The rotunda is round and tall, in layers, up to a domed ceiling, which makes them run in circles with their arms spread wide open.

2. There are lots of stairs that are fun to climb up and down.

3. Besides the stairs, there are the elevators, and they take you underground which is a little scary, but exciting at the same time.

4. When you walk in the hallways underground, you can see bushes above you, through windows in the ceiling, when everyone knows bushes are supposed to be on the ground and how is it possible that there is dirt ABOVE your head?

5. If you stop by the Sergeant-at-Arms office (2W7), the staff will give you a free sticker.

Top 5 reasons why I like the Texas State Capitol:

1. The building is air-conditioned and heated, out of the rain, open generous hours and free. (That is five reasons in one.)

2. The building’s classic architecture if beautiful. (Buildings are art too, so I included the Capitol in, here.)

3. The experience is art and exercise in one, with all the stairs and long underground hallways.

4. It is a good experience when extended family is in town. People of every age will find something different to see and think about.

5. Our country’s democracy is messy and difficult and frustrating, but I am amazed like-a-little-kid that democracy is only a few hundred years old and I get to live in the country that invented it. In my small ways that my girls might not understand at all, I try to share this enthusiasm with them.

When my girls are older and have a longer attention span, we’ll take the official self-guided or guided tour.

One important thing to know – in the rotunda, on the upper floors, where you can walk around the circular dome, the railings are historically accurate. This means they don’t meet current safety standards. The rails are far enough apart that a kid can get through. If your toddlers are monkey-like, you will need to stay very close to them or don’t go to the upper floors of the rotunda.

I hope you get to enjoy the Texas State Capitol with your kids!