Austin Family & Kids' Activities in the Time of Coronavirus
Get creative and cure cabin fever
By Katherine McNevins,
4:10PM, Mon. Mar. 16, 2020
Spring break is extended, many of us are working from home, and you’re probably looking for ways to keep the kids occupied. Most of the places they could usually go are closed, so here’s a few ideas for family fun and some projects the young'uns can work on at home.
APL Virtual Library
With social distancing being encouraged and the libraries being closed for now, now's a great time to get familiar with Austin's virtual library. They've got audiobooks, movies, music, ebooks, and magazines; get details and explore the titles on the library's website.
Art Garage Pottery To-Go
UPDATE: As of March 24, Art Garage is temporarily closed due to the shelter-in-place notice.
Spark creativity with pottery and craft kits from Art Garage, now offering delivery and pottery to-go. They've got tons of crafting options to keep the whole family entertained, and you can even get a pottery kit to work on at home, then drop off the masterpieces for firing and pick them up when they're done.
11190 Circle Dr.
Austin Justice Coalition Art & Essay Contest
A contest for young men of color grades 3-12 in Travis, Williamson and Hays counties. Winners from each division will receive a $75 award and an award-winning book of their choice. They’re also looking for community members to participate as volunteer judges; find details and apply online through April 1.
Don’t Mess With Texas Art Contest
Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation invite Texas students in kindergarten through 12th grade to submit their best litter prevention-inspired artwork to be considered for the Don’t Mess With Texas calendar, with the top 14 designs featured. Each winner will also receive a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 tablet, a Buc-ee's gift basket, their artwork framed and returned, and the opportunity to share the work on websites and social media. Teachers representing student winners will receive a $100 H-E-B/Central Market gift card. Submissions must be postmarked by April 24.
Lights, Camera, Safety PSA Contest
The city of Austin's Safe Routes to School program invites seventh and eighth grade students to create their very own public service announcement (a short educational video) showing how to walk, bike, and roll to school safely. The winning filmmakers get Alamo Drafthouse gift cards, and their video will be shown in middle schools across Austin. Get all the details and submit your entry online by March 30.
Keep Texas Beautiful Youth and Educator Awards
Nominations are being accepted for the Keep Texas Beautiful Youth and Educator Awards, which recognize the efforts made by youth and educators working to improve and beautify their communities. Nominate a person or group, such as your favorite scout, student group, educational nonprofit, teacher, school ... the possibilities are wide open. Applications are due April 3.
Yoga With Adriene
Local YouTuber and multiple "Best of Austin" winner Adriene Mishler has enough online classes to keep you busy through an extensive quarantine. There are videos specifically for kids and teens, and targeted sessions for any ailment you might be experiencing (anxiety, anyone?).
Studio Satya Online Yoga Classes
Local yoga studio Satya has live and recorded classes available online so you can get the exercise and meditation we all so desperately need right now. Donate any amount to get access, and keep your eyes peeled for short free classes coming soon via Instagram.
Children's Books With Jayda MarieLocal YouTuber Jayda Marie has been uploading videos of herself reading books for children, and so far has read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies, and more. It's basically a virtual storytime at the library!
Girlstart STEM at Home
Nonprofit Girlstart has been empowering girls in science, technology, engineering, and math for decades, and they've made some of their programming available for use at home. Kids can learn about plate tectonics, light refraction, and so much more via fun, hands-on activities with household items. They aim to add new activities daily for livestreaming via their social media channels, so keep an eye out for that.
Escape to 1800s Texas
Updated 3/26: Pioneer Farms' General Store is still open for limited hours on the weekends to sell handmade soaps and fresh eggs by the dozen, but all other operations are suspended until April 13. In the meantime, follow them on Facebook and Instagram for fun facts, livestreams of the farm, prairie trivia, archive exploration, and more. Their website has a bunch of fun games and crafts to keep the family entertained at home, which, as they point out, is how the pioneers in the 19th century often lived.
VentureLab Entrepreneurial Curriculum
Austin-based nonprofit VentureLab has entrepreneurial skills training available online for kids from elementary to high school age, aimed toward developing STEAM, design, creative, and collaborative skill sets. Their mission is to help create the next generation of innovators and encourage the type of thinking we need to overcome the crisis we face today, so now is a great time to spark your child's interest in problem-solving and build their skills.
Bead It Jewelry Kits
Bead It has been providing Austinites with classes, jewelry supplies, and more since 2002. Now they're offering jewelry-making and meditation & crystal kits available to purchase online and work on at home. There's a beginner's box designed for ages 5 and up and several more options, and owner Ashley Schor is also available to create special orders based on your needs, because everyone can benefit from some meditation and a creative outlet right now. See the contact info on the website if one of the kits doesn't suit you.
Find more activities on our Community Events page.