With its excellent dedicated kids area, Austin City Limits Festival makes the prospect of bringing even small children to the fest plausible. Here are a few pro-tips to help get the most out of Austin Kiddie Limits.
They have snacks and drinks: Every parent knows you ignore the unpredictable grumblings of little tummies at your own peril, but ACL Fest doesn’t let you pack in the life-saving Tupperware full of cheese puffs and a sack of juice boxes. Rest assured, AKL has you covered with free healthy snacks from the fest’s sponsors. Kind bars, frozen Lifeway kefir pops and juice drinks from Daily Greens were all among today’s offerings.
You need a kid to get in: Sorry freeloaders, I know I just wrote “free snacks and drinks” but all adults entering AKL must be accompanied by a child.
Some popular activities take time: Almost every kid wants colorful rock star hair and airbrushed tattoos, but those lines move fast. If they want to do a videoke video of themselves performing a pop song (hint, they do) knock it out early. As the afternoon wears on, the wait times can get quite long. The drum circle is awesome and usually has no wait and there’s a mural kids can jump in and paint on at any time.
Your little rocker might not want to rock: Look, we all want our kid to be the one in front of the stage breaking it down like a YouTube star, but fests can overwhelm even the most gregarious kids. Bring ear plugs/headphones — even the AKL stage gets loud — and don’t worry if your kid just wants to chill. The fest has a little tent and teepee village with ample reading materials if your little one needs a hideaway story time break. Also, to the right of the entrance is the AKL beach, a giant shaded sandbox where the ten and under faction of our crew camped out for the better part of the hour. The good news for parents? You can clearly hear the adjacent Miller Lite stage from the beach.
Allow an hour for drop off. If you’re fortunate enough to have a caregiver willing to swoop in to take your little ones as Kiddie Limits closes at 4:30 p.m., congratulations you win! But be aware the walk from the back entrance near Kiddie Limits to the pick up spot on the other side of the Mopac foot bridge is a long one for little legs. Also, expect traffic to be slow and substantial. Expect to spend about an hour on the drop off and plan your evening accordingly.