My Secret to Austin City Limits (ACL) With Kids – A Babysitter

 Austin City Limits Music Festival

I’m the blogger who encourages family experiences with live music all year ’round. Maybe I’ve hit my head or developed a split personality, because this year I’d rather leave the kids at home with a babysitter.

Here is what I’m saying…

ACL is high maintenance. It is hard to get there and back, you have to commit for a long day, it’s hard to pack just the right things and the food can get expensive.

I could go on.

The weather can be difficult, the crowds are intense, people smoke pot and/or drink too much and as we were leaving Austin KIDDIE Limits last year, on stage just outside the entrance, the announcer yelled as loud and clear as humanly possible, “DO YOU WANT TO HEAR SOME MOTHER F#$%#$% MUSIC!!!!!!!?!?!?!?!”

What am I, 1000 years old? It’s rock-n-roll, baby! It isn’t supposed to be pretty!

But, here’s the other thing I’m saying…

My kids don’t know the difference between live music on Guerro’s patio and live music at Austin City Limits. They like the activities at ACL’s Austin Kiddie Limits about the same as they like our neighborhood carnival. They don’t need AUSTIN CITY LIMITS. There are venues, bands, days and times that are more fun for them. (Have you checked out

And in a related opinion…

ACL is AMAZING for a parent WITHOUT her kids. I see live music with my kids, but in general, we aren’t seeing my most favorite bands. My most favorite bands play late at night, in a venue with standing room only and a concrete floor.  I’m almost 50-years-old now, you know. I can’t do that without needing to see a doctor the next day.

But, each day of ACL has a large number of great bands playing in the middle of the day where you can sit in a chair (bring your own) or a blanket. I’m not usually all about quantity, but it helps. In one weekend, I can hear several of my favorite bands and hear a dozen or so new bands that I’ll listen to all year ’round. Until the next time ACL comes around. Then I’ll go again. With and/or without my kids.

ACL is October 4-6 and 11-13 at Zilker Park. Weekend passes are still available for the second weekend. See the ACL web site for more information.

If you are going with your kids this year, check out a post I wrote last year with helpful tips for parents or tips from ACL here. Also check out this new site – ACL with Kids.