Spring break is not during SXSW. Embrace it, parents
No need to avoid driving around Austin and catching up on events this year
Parents, get excited. This year's spring break is not during South by Southwest. What does that mean? It means that you can actually enjoy your town and the activities in it. Many museums and event centers have programming just for this occasion.
Here are five things to check out during spring break.
See more March events in our calendar, and find more online at austin360.com.
1. Stop and smell the roses. It's a great time to explore the Zilker Botanical Garden and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. And to start spring break, the Zilker Botanical Garden is offering Dinosaur Day. Dress as a dinosaur, go on a scavenger hunt and more. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 16. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. austintexas.gov/zilkerbotanicalgarden
The Wildflower Center will offer Carts in the Garden with ready-made activities. 1-2 p.m. March 18-22 in the Family Garden. You can also learn about owls at What a Hoot noon to 2 p.m. March 23. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org
Spring Break is also a wonderful time to head to the garden center and start your own garden.
2. Play games. SXSW Gaming Expo lets kids (and adults) explore new games, play in tournaments and more. $25-$49. 11 a.m. 6 p.m. March 15-17. Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St. gaming.sxsw.com
You also can attend a Video Game Coding Workshop. 2 p.m. March 19, St. John Branch of the Austin Public Library. We're also a fan of getting a new deck of cards or trying a new board game during breaks.
3. Explore a museum. If you haven't seen the Blanton Museum of Art's new "Words Matter: Latin American Art and Language" or "Kambui Olujimi: Zulu Time" exhibits, this would be a great time to do so. Blanton Museum of Art, 200 Martin Luther King Blvd. blantonmuseum.org
The Bullock Museum's Spring Break at the Bullock Museum will happen from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Explore a different topic each day: Bird's Eye View, Monday; Shapes & Symbols, Tuesday; Creative America, Wednesday; History Detectives, Thursday; Fly High, Friday. Thursday is also Science Thursday at 10 a.m. Bullock Museum, 1800 Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com
Farther afield, the Science Mill in Johnson City offers two weeks of spring break activities. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 12-15 and March 19-22. Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City. sciencemill.org
The Thinkery will offer Tinkering Take Homes to teach you to make light boxes. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 18-24. Pollution Solution Think Lab will also happen during spring break. For ages 4 and up. 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. March 16-18. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org
4. See a movie. The Alamo Drafthouse revives its Kids Camp showings of "Matilda." 10 a.m. March 18-21, Lakeline and Mueller. The library is showing "Stuart Little," 3:30 p.m. March 22, Carver Branch; and "Penguins of Madagascar," 3 p.m. March 17, Little Walnut Creek Branch. It's also a great time to catch up on new releases in theaters or stream some that you haven't seen yet.
5. Hear a story. Starla Michelle Halfmann reads "Alphabet Kingdom " at 2 p.m. March 23 at Book People. During spring break, the 10:30 a.m. BookPeople story times will be: Keep Storytime Weird, March 16. Once Upon a Storytime, March 18. Luchador Legends, March 21. Music with Miss Ariel, March 22. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com
At the library, Literature Live! Presents: "Tiger Woman." 11 a.m. March 20, Ruiz Branch, and 2 p.m. March 23, Little Walnut Creek Branch. Your local library also is a great place to stock up on books to keep kids reading all break long and not saying, "I'm bored."
Rock + Read pairsmusic from Red Yarn, Riders Against the Storm, The Not Its! and Koo Koo Kanga Roo, with stories read by authors Scott Fitzgerald, Jason Gallaher and Kat Kronenberg. There will be crafts, trampolines, haircuts, book-signings and more. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 16, The Lawn at the Domain, near iPic Theaters. TheDomainInAustin.com
Bonus: Don't forget the rodeo is in town. Rodeo Austin begins March 16 and doesn't end until well after school is back in session, March 30. Gates open at 10 a.m. each day. See the animals, watch the cowboys at work, ride the carnival rides and more. $8-$5 fairground tickets; $20-$175 rodeo tickets. 9100 Decker Lake Road. rodeoaustin.com