Keep Lil’ Austinites Weird: A Guide to Raising Weird Kids in Austin

Have you seen those t-shirts around town that say,”Welcome to Austin. Please don’t move here.” ? Those are my favorite!

Keep Little Austinites Weird, Austin Moms Blog

Photo Credit: Kong Screen Printing

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…

Keep Little Austinites Weird, Austin Moms Blog

Weird Festivals, Concerts & Events

Keep Little Austinites Weird, Austin Moms Blog


Weird Restaurants

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.Keep Little Austinites Weird, Austin Moms Blog
  • 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.Elizabeth at Gordoughs
  • 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
  • Bacon
  • Juan in a Million
  • Franklin BBQ
  • Flip Happy CrepesFlip 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?

Weird Stores

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…


Keep Little Austinites Weird, Austin Moms Blog

  • Lucy in DisguiseInflatable Unicord Head
  • Uncommon Objects
  • Monkey See Monkey Do
  • Toy Joy
  • Terra Toys
  • Book People
  • Tyler’s
  • Buffalo Exchange
  • Big Top Candy
  • Roadhouse Relics
  • Wanderland
  • Moxie
  • 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.

Keep Little Austinites Weird, Austin Moms Blog

  • 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

Weird People:

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…

Keep Little Austinites Weird, Austin Moms Blog

  • Mullet
  • Sleeve tattoos
  • Toddlers in yoga gear
  • Face piercings
  • Fishnets or printed leggings
  • Mohawk
  • 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!

Keep Little Austinites Weird, Austin Moms Blog

What’s your favorite “WEIRD” thing to do in AUSTIN?!!!


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3 Responses to Keep Lil’ Austinites Weird: A Guide to Raising Weird Kids in Austin

  1. Janna July 9, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Great list! I love taking the boys to EAST in the fall. Last year, as part of EAST, they participated and built race cars for the Bkue Genie Danger Derby. Think pinewood derby, but with art cars of all imaginable shapes and sizes (Dr Whos TARDIS, Spock riding the Enterprise, Miey Cyrus bent over witha spring loaded butt that tweaks). The cars race down a track from the roof of a building, have to jump through a ring of flames, go under and anvil and through a saw blade. Almost none of the cars survive. The massive destruction in AWESOME and food trucks and hot chocolate abound. See their FB page for pix.

  2. Jo July 29, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    There are so many wonderful places and events on this list! I did not know all of these! But can SXSW really be considered weird at all when Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga sponsored by Dorito’s came and played? And corporations rent out nearly every bar in town? I fear it has way jumped the shark for locals. I love the list of restaurants and food trucks and events! How about Sound & Cinema at the Long Center? And Improv at the Hideout and around town? Thanks for the list!

  3. Carly Ferguson January 27, 2017 at 8:28 am #

    Very impressive list, AMB! I have one more unique activity to add to the list for kids AND it’s FREE! I am the founder of Spunky Kids Austin and also a fellow mommy to a three-month-old son. Spunky Kids’ mission is to support Austin’s Youth in achieving active bodies, active hearts, and active minds. We offer a wide variety of active-play programs designed by a Youth Exercise Specialist and certified Texas educator (me!) including fitness-infused birthday parties, energizing summer camps, and funky themed group classes. What’s more, I am hosting a series of free community events revolved around running (or jogging, walking, power walking) and reading! The event is called Run.Read.Repeat and is designed to inspire and motivate teen girls to be their best selves physically, socially, and emotionally. Our first novel will be Courage to Soar, an inspiring #truestory about fellow Texan and Olympic gold medalist, Simone Biles. All participants are encouraged to shop small and support Texas’ largest independent book store, BookPeople in the heart of downtown Austin. Run.Read.Repeat will meet late Sunday mornings at the end of each month by Austin High on the Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail. The first of the series will begin Sunday, March 5. Runners/walkers/meanderers of all levels are encouraged to attend! Please RSVP to [email protected] and pass on the word to anyone who might be interested! Please note that female participants must purchase their own book and must be accompanied by an adult guest of choice. What a great way to spend some quality time feeling good and exercising our minds! I look forward to hearing from you, fellow #weirdos! Check us out at or like our brand new Facebook page @spunkykidsatx

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