Presenting… Austin Kids Draw! with Giveaways!

Growing Up Austin - Austin Kids DrawAustinKidsHike and AustinKidsDance were launched last year and good things come in threes, so please welcome the latest addition to the GrowingUpAustin family…

Austin Kids Draw! where you can See Art and Do Art with your kids in Austin, Texas

Kids and art are a great mix because they make for a day that is more active than watching TV and more creative than super-organized activities. And, just like with hiking and dancing, Austin is just about the greatest city on earth.

Did you know that in one location you can participate in arts-and-crafts led by a profession artist, then walk outside and hike along Lake Travis, then drop into a museum to see a great-for-kids-size exhibit, then play duck-duck-goose on the front lawn? Not to mention the peacocks just next door? I don’t think that kind of action happens just anywhere. The range is impressive too, from the very traditional Blanton Museum of Art to the live improv performances for kids where the kids participate along with a real live dog named Steve.

The See Art and Do Art pages provide a calendar, maps and descriptions to help you find the right experience for you and your kids.

And if that weren’t enough, there are my two favorite giveaways of all time, each with brilliant especially-for-kids art and worth more than $90 each!  Enter a comment anywhere on to enter. You can enter more than once, as long as your comments say something real. 🙂 Read below for more info.

Giveaway #1  – Deadline tonight, February 6, at midnight!

– 1 Custom silhouette art piece of your child done in person this week by Karl Johnson of Cut Arts
– 1 Women’s Growing Up Austin t-shirt
– 2 Kids’ Growing Up Austin t-shirts
– 1 Austin Go Local discount card

Giveaway #2 – Deadline Thursday, February 9, at midnight!

– 1 Adventures of You and I customized kids book by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit at UnderConsideration
– 1 Women’s Growing Up Austin t-shirt
– 2 Kids’ Growing Up Austin t-shirts
– 1 Austin Go Local discount card

(Comments entered on Monday that don’t win Monday’s giveaway will automatically be entered in the second giveaway.)


Silhouette Art by Karl Johnson of Cut Arts

Karl Johnson is in Austin this week to meet with kids, check out their profile and then use a simple pair of scissors to create a unique representation that captures each child’s look and personality. Each cutting is an original, one-of-a-kind work of art that is signed by the artist. Check out this video to see him work his magic. From February 7-12, Karl will be at Austin businesses to meet with kids and to create their portrait for just $25. Be the winner of Giveaway #1 and you can get yours for free! Check out this page for days and locations. Note that you will need to make an appointment ahead of time. (This giveaway is closed tonight, so the winner will have more available appointment times to choose from.)


Adventures of You and I Customized Kids Book by UnderConsideration

Adventures of You and IThe Adventures of You and I is a brand new kid’s book with dinosaurs, deep-sea diving, a circus, space travel, a distracted ogre, a toy store and Your Kid. Each book is customized with the name, gender, hair, skin and favorite color of your kid and your kid is along for the adventure on every page.  Each book is printed individually and hand-bound, to create something special that will be treasured for a long while. The book is illustrated by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and written by Armin Vit, both world-wide experts in graphic design and founders of UnderConsideration.  Be the winner of Giveaway #2 and you will get one book for free, custom-made for Your Kid.


Women’s Growing Up Austin T-shirt

Growing Up AustinWinners of both giveaways will get a limited edition Growing Up Austin t-shirt with fitted cut and pretty scoop neck!


Kids’ Growing Up Austin T-shirt

Presenting Austin Kids DrawHow many interactive kids t-shirts do your kids have, where they get to draw on it and not get in trouble? To celebrate the completion of the Austin Kids trilogy – Hike, Dance and Draw – kids get their very own t-shirt (sizes 2T – Youth M). This isn’t your everyday t-shirt, kids get to find all the hiking, dancing and/or art related words with the included fabric marker. My favorite word in the crossword is wowza. I just like how that word sounds. Both giveaway winners will get two kids t-shirts.


Austin Go Local Card

Go Local AustinI love my Go Local Austin card. I keep it in my essentials-only wallet with my debit card and use it just about as much. And what is not to like? You get to support local businesses and save money at the same time! Did you know you can buy Go Local cards at H-E-B now? They are still just $10, but both giveaway winners will get one for free.

That is all for today! I hope you like the new site! Have a great week!

Art and Mystery at Bouldin Creek

Sometimes I get giddy about how much I love Austin, like when I used to be in love with Shaun Cassidy when I was a kid and he was a Hardy Boy. Here is a good example. I was walking with my brother, Sparkles and Buttercup to Torchy’s Tacos on South First the other day when we ran into random mosaic art built into a bridge over Boudlin Creek  at 402 El Paso Street.

I love mosaics because they are three-dimensional and have a texture that you can feel with your hands. They have cool colors and different materials like glass, mirror, ceramic and metal. This mosaic didn’t seem planned by a master city planner as part of an overall design, it felt organic and natural and a little bit rebellious. Not that I don’t like super-planned art, I just like some of both. The art is by Stefanie Distefano and there are other year-round Yard Art places in town. (The Yard Art Tour has many more locations, it happens in April.) So, this art is unique, but it isn’t unique in Austin to be this unique. (Does that make sense?)

But that isn’t all that happened that day.

On the way to eat tacos, the creek was clear.

On the way back, the creek was muddy.

We decide to investigate the mystery.

Just upstream, there is a tiny trail, unmarked and unofficial, so we hold hands and head that way. After a short walk, my brother sees it, run-off from a neighborhood dumping into the creek. So we follow the muddy water flowing beside the curbs to see where it leads.

We made a right turn at the next street. Then we crossed the street. Then we found it.

It was bizarre to see water bubbling through asphalt and cement. The same water that can flow harmlessly through our fingers, can break through the streets that hold up our cars. It ends up the heat is causing more water pipe breaks in the city, because the ground is shifting.

Yes, the city is too hot. But, with Austin’s random art and random hikes, not to mention Damn Good Tacos,  it’s worth it.

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The Beast Behind the Secret Door

Elizabet Ney Austin, Texas

I’m not sure how it happened, but the girls ended up in their super pretty princess dresses an hour before it was time to leave for the Halloween party. I wasn’t sure how to keep them busy and clean at the same time.

Then I remembered the castle.

Elisabet Ney - Austin, Texas

An hour was the perfect amount of time to see the castle and how perfect that they were dressed as princesses and we could finally find out if there was a Beast living there.

Sparkles, Buttercup and I played at Shipe Park during the summer and you can see the Elisabet Ney museum from there. Sparkles thought it looked like a castle and she wondered if a Beast lived there, like in Beauty and the Beast, her very favorite movie of all time.

So we went to the castle, dressed like princesses. Sparkles asked the docent if there was a beast living in this castle and she said “No.” Sparkles looked disappointed then the docent looked confused.

Sparkles and Buttercup looked at all the sculptures and asked questions like “Why is that man asleep?” and “Whose baby is that?” Well, these were sculptures of people who were dead, but I told them they were just sleeping and the Mommy was in the next room.

They liked climbing the stairs and seeing the houses in the neighborhood from the 2nd story windows. A friend met us there and with the extra help, we were able to climb a skinny spiral staircase to a tiny room with a secret door. Maybe there was a beast after all…

It was a great Halloween adventure. Thanks Elisabet Ney. Thanks Austin, Texas.