Friday, May 26, 2017

Hike and Splash at St. Edward's Park

If you feel like you know the Barton Creek Greenbelt like the back of your hand, maybe it’s time to check out one of Austin’s other great hike and splash trails. Tucked away on scenic Old Spicewood Springs Road, St. Edward’s Park is a lovely 80-acre gem that offers something for toddlers, teenagers, and even the family dog.

Beautiful Bull Creek 
The park’s primary appeal is that Bull Creek runs through it, providing spots for little ones to splash in the shallows and bigger ones to fly off a rope swing, jump from a small dam or hop across strategically placed rocks. Fishing rods and minnow nets are totally apropos, and a mid-creek picnic would be an ideal way to fritter away a summer lunch hour. 

Get “Lost” on a Hike
If you want to earn your dip in Bull Creek, St. Edward’s Park has about 3.5 miles of hiking trails that can easily be navigated in a way that suits the least motivated hiker in your group. There are two main paths: the Creek Trail and the Hill Trail. The Hill Trail is the tougher and longer of the two while the Creek Trail takes you exactly where you’d imagine—along Bull Creek.

Though the hikes don’t cover great distances, you’ll see lots of different scenery. From pretty wildflower-filled meadows and a giant cactus patch to limestone outcrops and steep, rocky but shady hills, there’s little chance of getting bored with the view.

Both trails are frequently marked with signage, but it’s possible to get somewhat “lost” as there are many offshoots from the main trail. Even so, if you take note of where you are in relation to Bull Creek, it isn’t difficult to find your way back to a main path. Whether you decide to hike both trails in total or simply walk the few hundred yards from your car to the creek, your family can have hours of fun at St. Edward’s Park.

Lay of the Land
The park is located west of 360 at 7301 Old Spicewood Springs Road. The short drive feels surprisingly, wonderfully rural given its proximity to the highway, and you’ll soon find a tiny parking lot on your left a few miles down. Just a bit further is the main (only slightly larger) parking lot, and cars can also park on the shoulder of the road if necessary.

Cost: Free
Hours: 5:00am to 10:00pm
Bring: Leashed dogs, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, water and snacks.
FYI: There are no toilet facilities in the park.

About the author: Jill Coody Smits is the author of Expedition Austin: A Kid’s Guide to the Weirdest Town in Texas. A freelance writer of many things, she lives south of the river with her husband, daughter and two four-footed sons. After nearly 20 years in Austin, she is still in love with this little big town.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Visit a Farmers Market

Some kids sleep in during the summer, but some keep their schedules the same, getting up early no matter the day. Take advantage of your early risers -- and support our hardworking farmers at the same time. Here are all the farmers markets in our area and when and where they are open.

Barton Creek Farmers Market at Barton Creek Square
Open year-round, rain or shine
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Barton Creek Square Mall parking lot
Mopac & Loop 360
3110 Fontana Dr.
Austin / (512) 280-1976

Bastrop 1832 Farmers Market
Open year-round
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Market Building
1302 Chestnut St. (by the railroad tracks, next to the Convention Center and across from City Hall.)
Bastrop / (512) 237-0553

Bastrop Producers Market 
Wednesday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
977 Hwy. 71W (between FM20 &Hwy 21)
Bastrop / (512) 308-9989

Boggy Creek Farm Stand
Wednesday – Saturday: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
August only: Wednesday & Saturday: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
3414 Lyons Rd.
Austin / (512) 926-4650

Buda Farmers Market
Open year-round
Saturday Market: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
121 N.  Main St. (across from Garcia’s Restaurant) 
Tuesday Market: 4 – 7 p.m.
767 Main St. (at Gray Gardens)
Buda / (512) 395-5775

Farmer George Market at Cedar Park
Open year-round
Wednesdays and First Sundays: COMING SOON

Farmer George Market at Republic Square Center 
Open year-round
Thursday: 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
900 N. Austin Ave.
Georgetown / (956) 286-7775

Farmer George Market in Round Rock
Open year-round
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
201 University Oaks Ctr. (behind TGIFriday’s)
Round Rock / (956) 286-7775

Farmer George Market at Sun City 
Open year-round
Tuesday: 9 a.m. – Noon
Sun City Social Center
2 Texas Dr.
Georgetown / (956) 286-7775

Green Gate Farms Farm Stand
Tuesday: 3 – 6 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
8310 Canoga Ave.
Austin / (512) 484-2746

HOPE Farmers Market
Open year-round, rain or shine
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Plaza Saltillo
East 5th & Comal
Austin / (512) 553-1832

Lone Star Farmers Market at Bee Cave
Open year-round, rain or shine
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Shops at the Galleria
12611 Shops Pkwy.
Bee Cave / (512) 924-7503

Pflugerville Pfarmers Market
Open May 2 – October 31, 2017
Tuesday: 3  7 p.m.
Green Red Barn at Heritage Park
901 Old Austin-Hutto Rd.
Pflugerville / (512) 990-6360

SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown
Open year-round, rain or shine
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Republic Square Park
422 Guadalupe St. (between Fourth and Fifth Streets)
Austin / (512) 236-0074

SFC Farmers’ Market at Sunset Valley
Open year-round, rain or shine
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Toney Burger Center
3200 Jones Rd.
Austin / (512) 236-0074

SFC Farmers’ Market at The Triangle
Open year-round, rain or shine
Wednesday: 3 – 7 p.m.
Triangle Park
4660 Triangle Ave. (46th & Lamar)
Austin / (512) 236-0074

Springdale Farm – Farm Stand
Wednesday and Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
755 Springdale Rd.
Austin / (512) 386-8899

Texas Farmers’ Market at Lakeline
Open year-round, rain or shine
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
11200 Lakeline Mall Dr.
Cedar Park / (512) 363-5700

Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller
Open year-round, rain or shine
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
4209 Airport Blvd. (at the Browning Hangar)
Austin / (512) 363-5700

Wolf Ranch Farmers Market
Open year-round, rain or shine
Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wolf Ranch Town Center
1015 W. University Ave.

Play Indoors at Catch Air

For parents with young kids, a too-hot summer days are as bad as rainy days. If you need a place for the kids to run around, try Catch Air, which now has two locations, Austin and Round Rock. On a recent rainy Sunday, my son and I decided to check out Catch Air Austin to get out some energy. We walked in the door and my son's face lit up like it was Christmas morning. So many things to see and do. We took our shoes off and were off to explore!

IMG_5812 (1)The first thing I noticed was how soft and clean the floors were. There is padding EVERYWHERE, which is very comforting for a parent with a daring and rambunctious child! Bouncing and jumping off things, there's no telling how many times he hit the ground, but the padding was always there!

There were so many interactive toys and games that kids can play, and I honestly had a blast as an adult. I usually never go inside the play gyms with my son, but this time I went on almost everything. The facility was clean, cool, and every where you turned there was a place to sit. So many times I find myself wanting to take a break, but still wanting to keep an eye on my son. Here, you have that option.

The layout is very wide open, so you don't feel confined. There are also specialty areas for all ages, so kids ages 1 to 12 are welcome. They have big party rooms and allow you to bring in your own cake for the celebration. It may not be raining much this summer, but when the heat starts getting in to the triple digits, Catch Air is the perfect place to go ...
Hello, A/C!

While Catch Air Austin has an underwater theme, Catch Air Round Rock is a space-themed indoor play place that includes slides, a ball pit, a separate area for babies and tots, a huge play structure that will keep kids busy for hours, a spaceship to explore, and more. Boasting a massive 15,000 square feet, Catch Air Round Rock is a kids' paradise!  



Catch Air Austin13450 US-183 #107, AustinPhone: (512) 697-8800Catch Air Austin Facebook page

Catch Air Round Rock1401 South IH-35, Suite 13, Round RockCatch Air Round Rock Facebook page

To learn more or book a party, visit

A Visit to the Austin Zoo

Full of shade-packed trees, the Austin Zoo is a sanctuary to animals that are rescued and, many times, rehabilitated. Set on 15-acres on the southwest edge of Austin, the zoo allows Austin families to get a close-up look at over 300 animals, representing more than 100 different species.

Many of the animals at the Austin Zoo come from other facilities that are being retired due to age, health or other issues; animals that were seized in animal cruelty cases; retired laboratory research animals; and individuals’ exotic pets they needed to rehome due to changes in the owner’s lifestyle or the inability to provide appropriate care for these pets. The mission of Austin Zoo is to assist animals in need through rescue, rehabilitation and education.

The Animals
Catch a glimpse of both exotic and domestic animals at the Austin Zoo, and learn about where they come from, what they like to eat, and what their natural habits are like. From longhorns to donkeys, goats and snakes, to the more exotic binturong, coatimundi, and the serval, the Austin Zoo gives one a glimpse of animal life both in America and around the world.

Be sure to purchase animal food ($2.50) in the gift shop to feed the goats, deer, sheep, llamas, and pigs.

Note: Check the schedule for daily keeper talks.

Zoo Tots
Every Tuesday from 11am to noon, the Austin Zoo offers a program designed for a parent/guardian and a child, ages 2-5 years old, to spend time learning together. Weekly classes will focus on a monthly theme, and participants will be able to visit animal exhibits to get the inside scoop on their care and life history, participate in hands-on activities such as crafts or science experiments. Take home a follow-up lesson to reinforce learning. The cost is an extra $5 for one parent/child, $3 per each additional child.

Ride the Train
Take a scenic 20-minute ride on the train to see some of the zoo’s off-display animals including emus, alpacas and longhorns. The ride can be somewhat interactive with your kids as the Zoo has placed art and items throughout the property. The cost is and additional $3, children under 2 are free.
Bonus: this train is covered so it would be a pleasant ride in the summer since the sun is partially blocked from shining directly down on you and your kiddos! Bonus: If you ride the train and visit with the animals at the Austin Zoo, you'll earn two checks on your 2017 Austin Summer Fun Checklist!

What You Need to Know Before You Go

Location: 10808 Rawhide Trail, Austin, Texas, 78736
Summer Hours: Open daily from 9:30am – 6:00pm with last admittance at 5pm.
Admission: $11 adults, $10 students, seniors and military, $8 children 12 and under. Group rates and annual memberships are available.
Food: Bring your own food and beverages or purchase drinks, snacks and shaved ice from the concession stand (Monday-Sunday, weekdays from 11am - 3 pm & weekends from 11am - 5 pm. There are many picnic benches under giant oak trees, offering lots of shade for hot summer months.

Go Fishing!

While nothing says “summer!” quite like dangling tootsies over a dock and casting a line, for many people the whole idea of taking kids fishing can be intimidating. There are just so many considerations here – do you need a license? (Not necessarily.) What kind of bait do you need? (French Fries.) And most critical of all, what do you do if your 3-year-old actually catches a flippin' fish? (Don’t scream and run.)

Tackling – pun shamelessly intended! – the subject for our 2017 Summer Fun Checklist, we've rounded up five locations for the newbie fishing family and seasoned pro alike – and per Texas Parks & Wildlife regulations children under 17 years of age and any person fishing from the banks of a state-park enclosed waterway, do not require a license.  Since many locations are catch & release, you won’t even have to lie to your kid about why you’re not going to be gutting their prized, 3-inch sunfish for dinner. A win! 

Moby Dick's
Don’t have gear? No worries with this privately-owned Cedar Creek fishing pond and camp, just southeast of Austin. Offering up lessons, pole rentals, party packages and even aid baiting that hook, Moby Dick’s is a hit for all levels and group sizes. And their “full service,” option includes a guide who will bait, untangle, and assist you throughout your experience. The pond is open 7 days a week and operated by reservations, so make sure to call ahead.

Where: 343 Pope Bend S, Cedar Creek TX. 
Contact: (512) 308-7577
Cost: $5 per hour for fishing; $20 per hour for full service; party packages available.

    Lake Pflugerville

Originally designed as a residential water source, Lake Pflugerville has become a water-play destination for many families in the greater Austin area.  Though fishing is a hot event year round, be sure to check out Kidfish the first Saturday each June, when the lake is fully stocked and prizes are awarded to kids 17 and under for their big catches.

Where: 18216 Weiss Lane, Pflugerville TX. 
Contact: (512)-990-6355
Cost: Free!

Neighborhood Ponds

Many neighborhoods in and around Austin boast wonderful ponds and sometimes even larger lakes just waiting to be fished! One great example is Mueller Lake Park in central northeast Austin. Getting super local by choosing a location where you live has many benefits – not the least of which is a short drive or even walk back to your own bathroom. Many of these ponds are catch and release only, so be sure to verify with local HOA’s or city websites before leaving with your catch. Fishing jail is no place for the weak.
Cost: Free! 

McKinney Falls State Park


Located within Austin city limits, McKinney Falls offers up ample fishing opportunities in addition to camping and hiking. Two creeks serve as your base of operations for bank fishing and the Onion Creek trail has an added benefit – its pathway is paved to allow for easy stroller and kid-bike access.

Where: 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway Austin, TX
Contact: (512) 243-1643
Cost: $6 per adult; children 12 and under are free.

   Southeast Metropolitan Park

Just minutes east of Austin-Bergstrom airport, the Southeast Metro Park stocks two ponds and has a covered dock to hide from that summer sun. The trail to catch and release fishing here can be rough & tumble at points – something to keep in mind for the youngest kiddos in your group. 

Where: 4511 TX-71, Del Valle, TX.
Contact: (512) 854-7275
Cost: Free!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

2017 Austin Camp Guide

Spring and summer break is just around the corner. Have you reserved space in camp programs for your kids? Our 2017 Austin Camp Guide has many options - from art to jewelry-making, to overnight camps, rowing, theatre and more!

American Academy of Robotics

ad-kid-picture-700x394 American Robotics Academy aims to excite, inspire and motivate children about the importance of robotics technology. Our hands-on classes offer an introduction to the fundamentals of engineering design, helping children understand “how things work.” Held in a friendly, sports-like atmosphere, students work in age-appropriate teams and learn how to design, build and test remote-controlled miniature robots. We use simple, motorized machines – all made from LEGO® bricks! – to demonstrate mechanical movements and other effects.  

Dates: June 12 through August 11, 2017  

Northwest Austin
Live Oaks Unitarian Church, 3315 El Salido, Cedar Park
Twin Creeks Country Club, 3201 Twin Creeks Club Dr., Cedar Park
Deerpark Middle School, 8849 Anderson Mill Rd., Austin  
Central Austin
Highland Park Baptist Church, 5206 Balcones Dr., Austin
Magellan International School, 7938 Great Northern Blvd., Austin
South Austin
Manchaca Baptist Church, 1215 Farm to Market 1626, Austin
Manchaca First Baptist Church-Oak Hills, 6907 Convict Hill Rd., Austin
Round Rock
Great Oaks Elementary, 16455 Great Oaks Dr., Round Rock
Ridgeview Middle School, 2000 Via Sonoma Trail, Round Rock  

Cost: Full day $325.00; Half day $175.00  


Contact: 512-844-2724  

Discount: 10% off with coupon LM9

The Art Garage

Here at The Art Garage, we are passionate about creating a space for children to experience art in a positive, encouraging, and engaging environment. We reach out to kids with themes and projects that relate to where they are in life…whether that’s a popular movie theme or an art medium that your child is most excited to explore. From there, our teachers construct a knowledge base by building on the weekly theme with connections to art history, art techniques, and awesome art projects.

Our Summer Camps are all lead by art educators, art education students and degreed artists. We all care deeply for art and have been gifted and trained with the ability to teach. Together we are a close team of teaching artists who include art history and fine arts instruction in every camp we lead. Our ratio is one teacher to every nine students, because every child craves individual attention no matter how much they thrive in the group!

We offer week long art camps from 10a – 2p. Additional care is available from 9 – 10a and from 2 – 6pm for an additional $6/hour per child. Aftercare includes games, movies, and crafts that are in line with the week’s theme.

Dates: Day camps each day during Spring Break and the week of July 3. The rest of the summer are week long summer camps.  

Location: The Art Garage, 11190 Circle Dr., Austin 78736

Cost: $239-$269  


Contact: 512-852-9900

Ashley's Playhouse

Ashley’s Playhouse is a drop-in childcare center for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. Their magical facility, loving staff and extended hours make it the perfect solution for busy families! Ashley’s Playhouse has an indoor two-story treehouse, acting stage, interactive EyePlay system, cinema room, outdoor playground and daily arts & crafts projects to keep your kids entertained for an hour while your run errands or all day! So whether you need help when school is out, for date night, or just because the kids love playing there- Ashley’s Playhouse has you covered!  

Dates: Year round Mon.-Thur. 7am-10pm, Fri 7am-midnight, Sat. 8am-midnight  

Location: Ashley's Playhouse, 13343 N. Hwy. 183, Suite 200, Austin  

Cost: One time registration fee of $40 per family and then an hourly rate applies. Infants under 18mo-$13/hour; Toddlers 18mo-3 years- $11.50/hour; Children 4-12 years- $10.50/hour. Siblings are 40% off.  


Contact: 512-872-2755  

Discount: 1⁄2 off registration and one free play hour per child on their first visit.

Austin Aquarium Summer Camp

Image credit: Amanda Bates Lee  

Stingray Camp
Hands-on learning with a husbandry staff member serving as your guide for three exciting two-hour camp days. Prepare animal diets and feed some of the aquarium’s most interesting residents including stingrays, seahorses, reptiles, birds, and even the giant pacific octopus! Find out which animals at Austin Aquarium are the ultimate masters of disguise in their habitats. Learn about the amazing diversity found in one of the most intriguing groups of animals in the sea, sharks!  

Shark Camp
Shadow a member of our animal husbandry team, gaining a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to take care of the amazing animals living at the aquarium. Learn about the necessity of providing enrichment for the animals in our care and have the chance to design and participate in an enrichment activity for the Giant Pacific Octopus! Perfect for aspiring marine biologists interested in learning about the complexities of caring for exotic sea creatures and understanding issues faced by marine life in their habitats.  

Sea Horse Camp
This experience is completely hands-on. Discuss life cycles of many animals including sharks and seahorses. Babies will be shown up close and behind the scenes. End with the children growing their own brine shrimp and taking them home.  

Dates: June 26-28 (M-W), 8:30-10:30am SeaHorse Summer Camp (Ages 4-7) ; July 10-12 (M-W), 8:30-10:30am Shark Summer Camp (Ages 13-18); July 17-19 (M-W), 8:30-10:30am Stingray Summer Camp (Ages 8-12)  

Location: Austin Aquarium, 13530 N. Hwy 183, #101, Austin  

Cost: $70 + Tax


Contact: 512-222-5586

The Austin Artery

The Austin Artery provides weekly themed camps with a focus on process over product. This encourages creative thinking, problem solving and autonomy. Weekly themes include: Sculpture, Recycled Art, Art & Architecture, Fiber Arts, World Art & Culture, STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art & Math), and Puppets. Camps begin daily at 9 am and last until 3 PM. Aftercare is available.  

Dates: Weekly through June and July

Location: Austin International School, 4001 Adelphi Lane, Austin  

Cost: $210 - $225  



Austin Rowing Club Summer Camps


Join the ARC coaches for an awesome week of rowing on Lady Bird Lake! ARC is offering two camps this summer "Junior Fun to Row" and "Novice Development Camp". Junior Fun to Row is open to kids who want to learn the basics of rowing, have fun on the lake and even hop into a kayak! Novice Development Camp is for young athletes who are looking to learn the basics of rowing, racing technique and possibly join the fastest growing sport in the nation!

Dates: June 12th-August 11th

Location: Waller Creek Boathouse, 74 Trinity St., Austin  

Cost: $350-$425  


Contact: 512-472-0726

Austin Scottish Rite Theater Summer Camps

Austin Scottish Rite Theater’s summer camps offer a week-long exploration of performance topics. At week’s end, campers present a showcase performance on the historic Scottish Rite Theater stage. 2017 summer camps will include Puppetry, Acting, Music, Stage Combat and Shakespeare.  

Dates: Camp Sessions run from June 12 - August 4
Actor's Up! (Ages 5 - Grade 4) - One- Week long Acting One: June 6/12 - 6/16 Acting Two: July 7/10 - 7/14
Puppets Up! (Ages 5 - Grade 4) - One- Week long Puppets One: June 6/26-6/30 Puppets Two: July 7/24-7/28
Dance Up! (Ages 5 - Grade 4) - One- Week long Dance One: June 6/26-6/30 Dance Two: July 7/10-7/14
Music Up! (Ages 5 - Grade 4) - One- Week long Music One: June 6/19-6/23 Music Two: July 7/17-7/21
Battle Up! (Ages 10-18) - One- Week long Stage Combat: July 7/17-7/21
Shake It Up! (Grade 3 - Grade 7) - Two- Week long Shakespeare: July 7/24-8/4 (excluding weekend)  

Location: Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 West 18th St., Austin  

Cost: $250 one-week camp, $500 two-week camp  



Discount: Scholarships can be offered on a case, by case, basis.


Girls Empowerment Network’s summer day camp, campGEN, serves girls in grades 3-8. campGEN girls participate in fun, interactive workshops during week long sessions that are designed to help girls feel more confident as they navigate girlhood. Girls will gain new skills, new friendships and a new sense of self!

June 26-30: Calm, Cool, and Creative
Calm, Cool & Creative- The camp will explore different ways to overcome stress, anxiety and daily pressures. Girls will learn the importance of self-expression and self-care. Activities include yoga, art and craft projects, healthy cooking, writing, storytelling and games.

July 10-14: Strong, Bold, and Assertive
Strong, Bold & Assertive- This camp will help girls find their strength and inner confidence. Girls will lean how to project a confident attitude and assert themselves when the time is right. Activities include role plays and skits, a fun community advocacy project and lots of games!

July 24-28: Relate, Motivate, Celebrate
Relate, Motivate & Celebrate- This camp is all about celebrating our differences and discovering our identity! Girls will learn about self- awareness, the importance of diversity and different cultures across the world. Activities include arts and crafts, guest speakers and special surprises.  

Dates: June 26th- 30th; July 10th-14th; July 24th-28th  

Location: 901 Trinity St., Austin  

Cost: $325  


Contact: 512-808-4044;

Creative Action Summer Camp


Creative Action Summer Camps are among the most popular in Austin! That’s because our camps are not just fun; they also offer children ages 5-14 enrichment curricula through our 4C principles of creative youth development. We aspire for our campers to be Creative Artists, Courageous Allies, Critical Thinkers, and Confident Leaders. Whether your child is a quiet, “behind‑the‑scenes” player or an outgoing, “center stage” star, there is a place in every camp to nurture their skill and talents!

Each week features a different theme sure to keep your child engaged and excited about coming to camp. Our Summer Camps take place in four locations around Austin. Join us for Movie Magic, Creative Cafe, Make a Scene!, Urban Gardener, Broadway or Bust, Save the Day!, Outside the Box, and Mad Lab for ages 5-10, and a trio of two-week The Studio camps for ages 11-14!  

Dates: Weekly beginning June 12th through July 24th  

Locations: East: Center for Creative Action, 2921 E 17th St., Bldg B, Austin North Central: First Cumberland Presbyterian, 6800 Woodrow Ave., Austin South: Eden Park Academy, 6215 Manchaca Rd., Austin St. Edward’s University, 3001 S Congress Ave., Austin (THE STUDIO, ages 11-14 )

Cost: $285-$510  


Contact: 512-442-8773;

Creative Side Jewelry Academy Young Metalsmiths Summer Camps


Creative Side Jewelry Academy, the top jewelry crafting and metalsmithing school in central Texas, is now offering week-long Summer Camps (ages 10-15). These camps will provide a safe and creative environment where kids have the opportunity to learn fundamental metalsmithing techniques using copper, brass and silver. The camp is led by professional artists and educators. Under their guidance, students will increase fine motor skills while learning to make sculptural jewelry pieces. They will learn sawing, riveting, filing, hammering, drilling, finishing skills, and much more. Students will create multiple pieces throughout the week and be encouraged to develop their own design skills.

The Creative Side family is excited and honored to open up this world of jewelry making and these ancient techniques to your budding artisan. The gratification the students receive after creating their own design from start to finish is irreplaceable. Creative Side will host an end of the week art show to be named and set up by the kids where parents and family will be invited to join us at the end of the day on Friday to meet the instructors, new friends and view their artwork on display. These kid-focused summer camps are open to ages 10-15. Metalsmithing and jewelry crafting takes a certain set of skills, level of maturity, and ability to focus and take instruction.  

Dates: June 19-23, M-F, 10am -2pm; July 24-28, M-F, 10am -2pm; August 7-11, M-F, 10am-2pm  

Location: Creative Side Jewelry Academy, 321 W. Ben White, #204 Austin, 78704  

Cost: $345 all materials included  


Contact: 512-799-0731  

Discount: Sign up for ALL THREE Summer Camps and receive 5% off total tuition. Use promo code SUMMERCAMP at checkout.

Crux Crushers Climbing Camp

Get ready for the most exciting summer break at Crux Climbing Center! Crux Crushers Camps will provide youth with a safe environment to explore their skills in rock climbing, while making new friends and building confidence. On top of it all, campers will participate in yoga, crafts, and fun games!  

Dates: Spring Break: March 13-17; Week 1 (Ages 6-9): June 19-23; Week 2 (Ages 9-12): July 10-14; Week 3 (Ages 6-9): July 24-28; Week 4 (Ages 9-12): August 7-11. All times are from 9am - 3pm.  

Location: Crux Climbing Center 121 Pickle Rd., Suite 100, Austin  

Cost: $300 - $350  


Contact: 512-931-3911

Fantastic Magic Camp


Fantastic Magic Camp – Teaching life skills and confidence through magic, juggling, and puppets to kids ages 5 through 12 in Austin, TX since 1993. All our camp sessions are held from 9am to 3pm, with optional Magic Camp Rehearsal Time from 3pm to 6pm for an additional $75 per week.

Imagine a place where…

Kids discover their unique inner Magic through learning magic tricks. Campers are surrounded by people who recognize and embrace their uniqueness. A shy girl learns to express herself through the actions of a puppet. Both the timid and adventuresome discover that they can master things they never dream't they could do, like making cards appear out of thin air or balancing on stilts.

Children get to engage in robust physical activity and games without ever worrying if someone will pick them to be on a team. Every day is filled with fun, laughter and lots of surprises. Everyone makes friends and learns to care for each other, because nothing else makes sense.

Fantastic Magic Camp was given the 2016 Best Camp Award for, "Favorite Small Local Camp" in Austin and was also voted “Most Uniquely Austin Business” by the Austin Chamber of Commerce in 2012.

Dates: March 13 – March 17 (one week Spring Camp); June 5 – June 9 (one week camp) ; June 12 – June 23 (two week camp); June 26 – July 7 (two week camp); July 10 – July 21 (two week camp) ; July 24 – August 4 (two week camp); August 7 – August 18 (two week camp)  

Location: Central Austin, 7500 Woodrow Ave,. Austin, 78757  

Cost: $590 for two week camps and $295 for our one week camp  


Contact: 512-988-3045

Discount: 10% off first camp registration and $60 off additional multiple sessions and/or sibling registrations for two week sessions, ($30 for one week sessions). Use discount code: LiveMom17. Expires: 08/18/2017

Groundwork Music Project Ukulele Summer Camp


Embark on a lifetime of musical skills with the Groundwork Music Project. Join us for a unique summer program at which kids learn ukulele, singing and more! Learn to strum, pick and play a variety of melodies. The session ends with campers joining the Groundwork Music Orchestra at a special concert event. All skill levels welcome! June 11th 10:00a.m. recital with Groundwork Music Orchestra at Cherrywood Coffeehouse 15 slots available for each class Groundwork Music Project can provide ukuleles for class time or one can be purchased at a discounted price.  

Dates: June 5-9; Kids aged 7-10 attend the 9:00am-12:00pm class; Kids aged 11-14 attend the 2:00pm-5:00pm class. Performance on Sunday June 11 10:00am at Cherrywood Coffeehouse.  

Location: Groundwork Music Project, 4201 Wilshire Pkwy., Austin  

Cost: $325 for pre-April 15th registrants, $425 for post-April 15th registrants. Sliding scale and scholarships are available by inquiry. The cost includes a book and CD.  


Contact: 512-669-2028

Jump! Gymnastics Summer Camps

Imagine a world where superheroes are real, pirates are friendly and every little girl is a princess. Grab your passport and join Jeremiah Frog as he embarks on an adventure through space and time. Camp Jump! offers 1-week half, full and extended day opportunities for children to explore their imaginations through theme-based curriculum featuring gymnastics, art exploration, interactive centers, social integration, dramatic play, yoga, music, and dance. Voted Austin Family Magazine's Most Fun Camp 3 times. Come find out why!  

Dates: June 5-August 18, Monday-Friday  

Locations: North Central: 2117 West Anderson Ln., Austin South Central: 2919 Manchaca Rd., #205, Austin  

Cost: Half Day, $220/week (9am-1pm); Full Day, $270/week (9am-3pm); Extended Day, $350/week (9am-6pm); Early Drop off, $50/Week (8am)  


Contact: 512-593-6226;  

Discount: Sign up for 4 weeks of camp to receive a $100 gift certificate towards anything at Jump! 10% sibling discount available.



Kidventure has been providing the finest Summer Day Camps and Overnight Camps in Texas since 1994. Kidventure runs an active and purposeful curriculum with activities aimed at serving the whole child, including science, athletics, art, team building, and more. Our goal, however, remains to simply help grow happy, healthy kids: We just choose do this through camp activities.

Austin Day Camp Locations:
Camp Rough Life: Rough Hollow Highland Village 903 Highlands Blvd., Lakeway
Camp Steiner: 12550 Country Trails Ln., Austin
Camp Sweetwater: 5348 Pedernales Summit Pkwy., Austin
Camp Westlake: Eanes Elementary, 4101 Bee Cave Rd., West Lake Hills  

Dates: June 5-August 18

Cost: $250 per week  


Overnight Camps Dates: Safari (ages 8-12) July 17- August 5; Echo (ages 13-16) June 17-July 9; Apex (ages 17-18) July 18-22  

Cost: $1195-$1725 Website:  

Contact: 512-263-8992

Sherwood Forest Summer Camp


How many of us wonder if we could have been really great at some type of craft or skill, given an earlier start? Sherwood Forest Summer Camp attendees have the opportunity to try their hands at many crafts and skills that are no longer widely taught. Maybe your child is a natural with a bow? Or perhaps they are made for the stage, but never had a chance to be in a play before. It is amazing what a child can learn without the distractions of the modern world. Campers may choose to sleep in Sherwood Castle (yes, it’s a real castle) or in one of the Merry Folks’ Pavilions (with nightly bedtime stories). We offer a healthy, kid friendly menu with options to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Our catering is performed by Brou HaHa, who has a solid history of serving patrons at Sherwood Forest Faire since its inception. All of our hands-on activities take place in our 23-acre medieval village.

Campers will be transported back in time to a world of knights, ladies, and a simpler way of life, while learning skills essential to daily living in the medieval era. No modern entertainment devices will be available.  

Location: Sherwood Forest Faire, 1883 Old Hwy 20, McDade
Dates: Grown Up Summer Camp: June 23-25; Youth Summer Camp: Session I, July 9-15; Session II, Jul 16-22; Session III, Jul 23-29

Cost: $795  



Discount: $50 discount for each of the following: *paying tuition in full and completing all preliminary paperwork by December 31 (Note: there is a reduced discount of $25 for doing so by March 31st, if you miss the first deadline) *each sibling after the first, if attending together *each week after the first, if a camper attends consecutive weeks *each new camper a prior attendee traps… err, gathers into the fold Discounts are cumulative, so you can qualify for more than one of the above discounts. More details available on our website.

Sky Candy Circus Sky Camp

Sky Candy Sky Camp image

Calling all kids ages 6 and up who want to run away and join the circus! Come fly high on the Silks, Trapeze and more at Sky Candy Circus Sky Camps!

Our highly trained and experienced circus teachers will show your kids how to soar on aerial apparatuses and excel in circus skills including juggling, hooping, tumbling, and more. The circus and performing arts are a great path to developing confidence, strength, coordination, flexibility, and body awareness.

Sky Candy offers circus camps during spring break and throughout the summer. Camps are divided by age, and there is an accelerated training camp for more experienced and/or focused youngsters. All camps run Monday-Friday 9am-3pm and feature a showing and photo op on the Friday of the camp at 2pm. The showing and photo op will be open to all parents and guests of camp participants. Aftercare and scholarships are available; e-mail Sky Candy Youth Program Director Lacy at for more details or with any questions about our Sky Camps or Youth circus programming.  

Dates: Spring Break Sky Camp: March 13-17th; Summer Camps run throughout the summer on the following dates: June 5th-9th, June 12-16th, June 19th-23rd, June 26-30th, July 10-14th, July 17-21st, July 31st-August 4th, August 7-11th, August 14-18th. All camps run 9am-3pm Monday-Friday.  

Location: Sky Candy Main Studio, 507 Calles St., #117, Austin  

Cost: $350


Contact: 512-800-4998  

Discount: Buy one Spring Break Camp, Get one Summer Camp 10% Off. Buy one camp registration for a child, get sibling(s) in for 10% off each. Please note that discounts cannot be combined. Scholarships are also available- e-mail for more information.

STEM Career Immersion Camp

Join the STEM Squad at Concordia University and become a scientist, engineer and programmer of the future! Dive into the adventure of a different STEM career each day as you explore the world of microbes with a microscope you build and take home, investigate clues to solve a crime, program robots to complete crazy challenges, and discover the wonders of e-textiles! Let the engineering design process be your guide as you have a fun and exciting adventure while creating and designing solutions to real-world problems. This camp includes a one-day field trip to the Science Mill in Johnson City.  

Dates: July 10th-July 14th  

Location: Concordia University Texas, 11400 Concordia University Dr., Austin, 78726  

Cost: $325  

Contact: 844-263-6405 ext. 1007

Summer Spark

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At Summer Spark day camps, your children come alive as they engage in weekly creative problem solving challenges. With packed schedules, powerful media everywhere, and performance pressure on schools, we believe that a fundamental component of a strong foundation is missing in the lives of many children today. The ability to tackle a problem with no set solution – to think creatively and flexibly, to struggle, fail, and try again, to test, revise, and reiterate. At Summer Spark, we strive to fill this gap. We are all about physical experiments, purposeful tinkering, messy construction. Creativity Unplugged.

Each week at Summer Spark features a different challenge which provides the opportunity to boost the 3Cs – creative problem solving, collaboration, and confidence. Whether designing a rollercoaster for a marble or building a car from recycled materials, campers apply creativity as they innovate, collaborate with peers in search of solutions, and gain confidence as they learn from set-backs. Summer Spark days are a careful balance between individual and group activity, and time for relaxation, reflection, and play. See what our families have to say:  

Dates: Weekly sessions from June 12th - August 25th available. Camp hours are 9am - 3:30pm with the option of extended hours from 8am - 9am (no charge) and 3:30pm - 6pm ($75/week)  

Location: June & July: Headwaters School (formerly Khabele), 801 Rio Grande St., Austin; August: Acton Academy West, 3423 Bee Cave Rd., Westlake

Cost: $350/ week  



Discount: Free Registration and Free Cancellation through May

Synergy Dance Studio

Preschool Camps (age 3-5), 9-12pm Extended hour available from 12-1pm, $190 Elsa and Friends Preschool, May 30-June 2 Trolls Preschool, June 26-30 Moana Preschool, July 31-August 4

Day Camps (age 4.5-10), 10-3pm, $260 Extended hours available 9-4pm Beauty and The Beast, June 5-9 Moana, June 26-30 Pop Star Party, July 17-21 Sing, August 7-11

Beginner to Intermediate Dance Intensives (age 7-14), $280 Extended hours available 9-4pm Designed for recreational and company dancers level beginner and intermediate. Triple Threat, June 12-16 10-3pm Jazz and Hip Hop, June 19-23 10-3pm Spirit Sensations (Drill Team), July 24-28 10-3pm

Intermediate to Advanced Dance Intensives (age 8-18), 12:30-5:30pm, $280 Previous dance experience is required. Designed for intermediate and advanced dancers. Boot Camp/ Stretch Intensive, May 30-June 2 (Tues-Fri) 12:30-3:30pm Ballet/Modern Intensive, June 26-30 Jazz and Hip Hop Intensive, July 10-14 Drill Team Intensive, July 31-August 4  

Dates: June through August  

Location: 3425 Bee Caves Rd. Suite C1, Austin TX, 78746  

Cost: $190-$280; Extended hours available upon request. $25 per hour for the week  

Contact:; 512-327-4130  


texARTSHalf Day, Full Day or Mini Camps in Musical Theatre, Acting, Singing, Visual Arts, Dance and more! Create a rewarding summer with new sessions beginning weekly! Or star in our Summer Musical Production of The Little Mermaid Jr. June 5 - 25 at TexARTS in Lakeway, Texas – the Lake Travis nonprofit for the visual and performing arts!  

Dates: Spring Break: March 13-17; Summer Sessions begin June 5th, and new sessions begin each week through August 18th  

Location: 2300 Lohman's Spur, STE 160, Austin  

Cost: $250 - $1100  


Contact: 512-852-9079

Van-A-Gogh-Go! Summer Art Camps


Van-A-Gogh-Go is a traveling art camp for 11-16 year old campers. We have three different exciting curriculums to chose from or add all three to your schedule for the ultimate art experience!

We’ll head out into the world for the early part of the day and be back to The Art Garage to create in the studio during the afternoons.

Campers can expect to bind their own art books, take a wheel-throwing class or try their hand at metal-smithing. They will visit museums and public art works; see iconic Austin and experience the beauty of the hill country. Campers can expect to swim at Deep Eddy, take a dip at Blue Hole or canoe Lady Bird Lake. We'll create with glass fusion, make mosaic artwork, create large scale paintings, tie-dye our own t-shirts and so much more. This camp will also include art history, art techniques, and the opportunity to reflect on our own work and the artwork of others. Van-A-Gogh-Go is lead by experienced and certified art teachers who love sharing the world of art! Our ratio is 6:1 or better, with a maximum of 12 campers per week.  

Dates: June 12-16; June 19-23; June 26-30; July 10-14; July 17-21; July 24-28  

Location: The Art Garage, 11190 Circle Dr., Austin, 78736

Cost: $445-$465  

Contact: 512-852-9900

ZACH Theatre Summer Camp

These exciting camps are for anyone who are ready to dive into their training. ZACH has camps in acting, dancing, and musical theatre where students have a lot of fun exploring skills!  

Dates: Spring Break: March 13 - 17; Summer Camps: Weekly beginning June 5th through August 17th

Locations: 1510 Toomey Rd., Austin; 12129 RR 620 N., Austin  

Cost: $275 - $350 per week  


Contact: 512-476-0594 x236