Mother Earth Day Festival and Back-to-School Nature Bash. Hear Bill Oliver & the Otter Space Band, Hey Lollies Brass Bands, Ortega Superstars Choir, plus see pirates, science and watershed exhibits, solar-powered things, Austin Bat Refuge, magic and more. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 15. Free. Zilker Park near the Zilker Hillside Theater and Barton Springs. motherearthdayfest.com
Fit Kids Fest. Enjoy free activities such as trampolines, family workouts, yoga, climbing wall, cooking demonstrations, garden starter kits and more. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 16. Free. City Terrace, Long Center, 701 Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org
The Mermaid Aqua Faire. For the second year in a row, San Marcos is celebrating its favorite mythical beast: the mermaid. Long the unofficial mascot for the community southwest of Austin, the mermaid is part of the city’s history and will be highlighted with a parade from 10 a.m. to noon. It will feature the city’s Mermaid Queen (crowned at an event the night before, the Mermaid Society Ball). Following that is the fair with live music, an art market, food trucks and the Mer-Pet Fashion Show that your dog or cat can join. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 16. Free. San Marcos Plaza Park, 206 N. CM Allen Parkway. facebook.com/events/1103488599752038/.
Golftoberfest at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa. Celebrate Oktoberfest while playing golf on Omni Barton Creek’s award-winning courses. During every Saturday for the remainder of September, guests and locals can enjoy delicious brews from Rahr & Sons Brewing with plenty of bratwurst, sauerkraut and sausages and all the fixings. This weekend, Golftoberfest will be at the Coore Crenshaw Course. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 16. 8212 Barton Club Drive. omnihotels.com/hotels/austin-barton-creek/golf/golftoberfest.
24th Annual Texas Bamboo Festival. The Texas Bamboo Society Chapter of the American Bamboo Society, a nonprofit, is hosting its yearly fundraiser. There will be bamboo plants, bamboo crafts and poles for sale, as well as a silent auction and educational talks: bamboo maintenance at 1 p.m. on Sept. 16 and bamboo basics at 1 p.m. Sept. 17. Plus, you can talk throughout to bamboo experts. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 17. $1-$3 garden admission. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. zilkergarden.org.
Austin Museum Day. Many local museums have admission prices, but not so on Austin Museum Day. That’s your chance to spend all afternoon exploring a place you’ve never been before, whether that’s the Texas Music Museum, the Elisabet Ney Museum in the 19th century sculptor’s former studio or the Briscoe Center for American History. More well-known spots like the Blanton Museum of Art, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Bullock Texas State History Museum are also participating. There will be an Instagram contest on that day; participate for the chance to win a prize. Various times and locations Sept. 17. Free. austinmuseums.org/museumday.
Poetry on the Plaza. Anna Wright of Actors from the London Stage will read the work of contemporary British poets, and light refreshments will be served. Noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 20. Harry Ransom Center, 300 W. 21st St. Free. 512-471-8944, hrc.utexas.edu.
LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST
In this week’s episode of “I Love You So Much,” our culture podcast dedicated to all things Austin, Austin going-out expert Kelly Stocker joins us on a segment called Advice for Austines. When a listener writes in asking for ways to have a fun social life without breaking the bank, Kelly and co-hosts Omar L. Gallaga and Tolly Moseley give some practical recommendations for stretching your dollar while still enjoying Austin nightlife and events. James White, the founder of Austin’s Broken Spoke, talks about the legendary venue’s 53 years along with author Donna Marie Miller, who wrote a book about the long-running honky-tonk. Austin360’s Katey Psencik shares responses to an ode she wrote to Port Aransas, post-Hurricane Harvey. And in A Toast, we recommend some things you should be checking out. Every Friday, you can find a new episode of “I Love You So Much” on iTunes or at austin360.com/loveaustin360.
— Omar L. Gallaga