Have you seen those t-shirts around town that say,”Welcome to Austin. Please don’t move here.” ? Those are my favorite!
It’s not that we don’t want our city to grow, but we are scared that our beloved weird-ville may turn into just another suburban metroplex…another “Pleasantville”, and that is NOT okay! That’s why we Austinites, must do our part to keep it weird and it starts with raising “weird kids”.
Here’s a bucket list of weird things to do with the kiddos that makes our city great! Weirdos unite…
Weird Festivals, Concerts & Events
- Eeyore’s Birthday
- Keep Austin Weird Fest
- Blacklight Run
- SXSW & ACL
- Airstream Summer of Love Road Tour
- Turkey Trot
- Zilker Kite Fest (March)
- Camp Shakespeare Comedy of Errors
- First Thursday on SoCo
- Austin Reggae Festival
- Color Run
- Old Pecan Street Festival (Sept 27/28)
- Austin Gorilla Run (Jan)
- XGames Austin (June)
- Austin Chocolate Fest (TBD)
- East Austin Studio Tour (Nov)
- Austin Ice Cream Fest (Aug 9, 2014)
- Blues on the Green (every summer)
- Austin Sound and Symphony
- Roller Girl’s Derby
- Austin Art Car Parade
- Bat Fest
- Dragon Boat Fest
- Louisianna Swamp Thing & Crawfish Fest (April)
- Rodeo Austin
- Concerts at The Backyard
I know I’ve likely left off some of the best here, but our city is crawling with unique eateries and fantabulous grub for the foodie in all of us and it would be near impossible to cover them all!
- Spider House Cafe: quaint coffee shop and dive featuring open-mic nights and poetry readings. This is a great spot to people watch.
- Amy’s Ice Cream: Always check the board for today’s unique flavor and question of the day and love your server’s bizarre commentary while they prepare your cone. Often you’ll have no idea what they’re talking about.
- Trailer Park Eatery
- Lucy’s Fried Chicken: get the fried deviled eggs and the sweet tea pie & don’t be surprised when your waiter is wearing a leopard print bodysuit just because he can.
- Homeslice Pizza: let your kiddo pick the name they want the pizza order under and laugh together when the cook has to shout out, “Pizza for Chewbacca? Pizza for Chewbacca is ready!”
- Lucky Robot: the soy sauce is served in R2D2’s belly and your waitresses are dressed like Japanese school girls.
- P Terry’s
- Pharra’s: one of my favorite hidden gems offering delicious, authentic Greek food, hookah, belly dancing, and balancing swords on your head. Your kiddos will love running around outside in the open garden dining, but call ahead because it fills up fast!
- Galaxy Cafe
- Wahoo’s Tacos
- Mighty Cone: if you had told me one of the best meals in Austin comes served in a paper cone like the one at your dentist’s office I would’ve laughed, but I genuinely crave a Crunchy Avocade Mighty Cone with their yummy, funky slaw fairly regularly.
- Gordough’s: a doughnut with peanut butter or bacon? Need I say more.
- Rutamaya Coffee House
- Nutty Brown: free concerts on Wednesday nights and kid-friendly, equipped with sandboxes
- Bouldin Creek Cafe: you will undoubtedly check off some things from the “I Spy” list below here at Bouldin. The service here is amazing so don’t be thrown by the outward appearances. Order the blueberry corn cakes with fresh tomatoes, a coffee you never imagined, and then play board games with the kids before leaving with a unique piece of artwork you just had to have from their display walls.
- Mellow Mushroom
- Juan in a Million
- Franklin BBQ
- Flip Happy Crepes
- Dirty Martins: I love the odd shape of the building and the fact that a great burger comes from a place with “dirty” in the title
- Veggie Heaven: the wait staff is notoriously rude, which I find quite humorous
- Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery: this is place to visit late night with your spouse or friends or bring the kids when you’re on the hunt for the best warm glazed donut ever invented
- Love Balls Bus
- Hey!…You Gonna Eat or What?
I walked past a certain store the other day on 2nd Avenue and was genuinely offended because it was a chain! I gasped in horror! What makes our city so unique is the seemingly endless amount of locally owned and operated stores and boutiques that cater to an Austinite’s innate desire to stand out, and for some of us, showcase our weirdness. Here are some of the fun stores to take the kiddos who like the weird…
- Lucy in Disguise
- Uncommon Objects
- Monkey See Monkey Do
- Toy Joy
- Terra Toys
- Book People
- Buffalo Exchange
- Big Top Candy
- Roadhouse Relics
- Off the Wall
Weird to-do and see
There are so many great places to visit in Austin from the chic and trendy, to the laidback & chill, to the straight-up, wait-up, what the H was that? Take your family on a tour of the weird and have your cameras ready! There’s no doubt you’ll find a weird adventure in your own backyard.
- Campbell’s Soup Can at the Zachery Scott Theatre
- Atomic City, 1700 San Antonio St.
- Movies with Austin Sound and Cinema
- Tooth Tree, 3404 Kirby Ln.
- Peter Pan Mini Golf
- Museum of the Weird on E. 6th
- Neverlandia, 305 W. Milton St.
- Polka Dot Lawn, W. 29th and Glenview
- Hey, How are You? wall aka “Jeremiah”
- Graffiti Park, 1100 Baylor St.
- Austin Bike Tour
- Deep Eddy Pool Movie Night
- Austin Duck Tour
- Sparkly Park
- Master Pancake Theater at Alamo Drafthouse
- Falkenstein’s Castle
- The Thinkery
- Pinballz Arcade
- Spunky Monkey, 2213 S. 1st.
- Yard Dog
- SUP the lakes
- Westlynn Gorilla (is now MIA…look for him and report back)
- Try to find the painted guitars
- Try to find the painted cows
Play “I Spy” with your kids while you people watch outside at Docs or Homeslice and teach them to appreciate the weird people in Austin! Things you may find…
- Sleeve tattoos
- Toddlers in yoga gear
- Face piercings
- Fishnets or printed leggings
- Spiked shoes
- Handlebar mustaches
- Colored hair or neon wigs
- Men in thongs
- Dogs dressed like their owner
Our city is filled with weird, quirky, unique, and downright odd places, people, and things and I LOVE it! I mean, where else can you take a stroll around the lake with a fresh, cold-pressed juice and run into a full grown man dressed as a gorilla and wave hello as though it’s completely normal? Or, go to dinner and have a red Power Ranger offer to buy you a drink (and it wasn’t Halloween). Where will a girl with a mohawk and sleeve tattoos serve you “peanut-butter and honey sammich” ice cream with a bubbly smile on her face? Where will you see a banana in a kayak or a deer driving a convertible? All of these are pulled from personal experiences in my beloved Austin. I heart the weird!
What’s your favorite “WEIRD” thing to do in AUSTIN?!!!