Originally a weekend-long music festival to showcase local talent, South by Southwest quickly attracted national and international attention. Now bands and fans come from all over, and the week-long music festival fills the city with music – in venues, parking lots, parks, neighborhood backyards, food trailer parks, and rooftops. And there’s more than just music. Continuing to expand, SXSW now encompasses a film, comedy, and interactive festival that span nearly two weeks.
While there are wristbands and detailed schedules of events for professionals and music or film aficionados, for families looking to experience good music and interactive fun on the cheap, unofficial events are held throughout the city. The key can be knowing the right resources to consult and which direction to head out.
Check these online sites for schedules of kid-friendly and kid-focused events:
SXSW Music with Kids
For those who simply like to happen upon good music while wandering, hit up South Congress Avenue. Bands play up and down this trendy, funky stretch, dubbed SoCo. Meander between the outdoor stage at Jo’s Coffee (South x San Jose) on the north end, and explore music-filled alleyways and shops all the way to Magnolia Café at the south end of the strip. Downtown, local radio station KUT hosts morning parties at the Four Seasons Hotel, where admission gets you a breakfast taco and coffee along with a great lineup of artists.
SXSW Create and SXSW Gaming Expo
For the tinkerers, gamers, and technology fans in your bunch, SXSW organizes two events that you’ll want to check out. SXSW Create offers workshops, demos, and vendors who provide the materials and know-how to help you hack electronics, build circuits, create sustainable art, program robots, and design your own fashion. At the Gaming Expo, you’ll find enthusiastic gamers of all ages exploring various stages and open play areas. Single-day and weekend wristbands are available to experience all that is new, exciting, and innovative in the world of makers, programmers, and video game designers.
Check website for admission fees, wristbands, and free events