10 FREE Kid-Friendly SXSW Events

Eco Light Garden 2013
If our list of 100+ family-friendly SXSW options was a wee bit overwhelming, here are 10 fun ways you can enjoy SX with kids:
  1. SXSW Create – March 7 – 9, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Doing creative and revolutionary things with new technologies embodies the spirit of the SXSW Interactive Festival, and nowhere is this more evident than the diverse mix of activities at SXSW Create. From 3D printing to drones to biohacking and much more, this community event showcases the disruptive solutions that are shaping our future. FREE and open to the public. City Terrace of The Long Center. 
  2. SXSW Gaming Expo – March 7 – 9; hours vary. SXSW Gaming is an integral part of the SXSW experience. This diverse and widely popular array of events combines well-loved elements of geek culture with the cross-console video game world. FREE and open to the public. Guests age 13 and up will need free SXSW Guest Passes. Note: Some video games featured at the Expo are rated for adults, so you may want to keep this in mind if you have younger children. Palmer Events Center.
  3. SXSW Eco Light Garden – Saturday, March 8 – Saturday, March 15 at dark.  New installations play with light, sound and geometry. FREE and open to the public.
  4. Family Music Meltdown – Wednesday, March 12, from 5 – 8 p.m. FREE and open to the public, this showcase is presented by Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, Orange Wall Collective, Clamorhouse Kids, and the Thinkery. The showcase will take place at the Thinkery’s events courtyard, and parking is also free (while it lasts) in the garage behind the museum. Wednesday nights at the Thinkery are community night, where admission is by donation, so it’s a great time to check out the all the amazing programs, exhibits, and activities your kids will love. The Thinkery. 
  5. Flatstock 43 – March 13 – 15; hours vary. Presented by Vans and the American Poster Institute (API), Flatstock 43 will display the works of the world’s top gig poster artists. The event is FREE and open to the public. Guests age 13 and up will need free SXSW Guest Passes. In Exhibit Hall 4 of the Austin Convention Center.
  6. Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition – March 13, 14 and 15, from 12 – 8 p.m. The Fair will feature a curated selection of today’s finest independent Makers along with art installations, workshops, games, music, food trucks, booze, and more. Shoppers will find a variety of outstanding handmade goods at the Fair – ranging from cutting edge jewelry, stationery, clothing and accessories, to posters, housewares and much more. Browse this year’s line up of 185+ talented makers here. Expect a lively atmosphere at the fair, appropriate for all ages. FREE and open to the public. Guests age 13 and up will need free SXSW Guest Passes. Palmer Events Center.
  7. Pan Americana Festival 2014 – Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15, from 4 – 11 p.m. The City of Austin and Bellas Artes puts on this FREE show featuring artists from throughout the Americas. Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.
  8. Whole Lotta Fun: Musicians for Microcredit –  Saturday, March 15, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. A family-friendly showcase featuring Sara Hickman, The Que Pastas and more. FREE and open to the public. Whole Foods at the Domain. 
  9. Ginger Leigh’s Love on the Lawn Showcase – Saturday, March 15, from noon – 9 p.m. Central Market on North Lamar will host this FREE showcase, which features local artists such as the Jitterbug Vipers, Wendy Colonna, Patrice Pike, Carolyn Wonderland and more. Central Market North. 
  10. Mad Tiger Fest2014!! Featuring Peelander-Z Presents “Family event in Austin” – Sunday, March 16, from noon – 5 p.m. A FREE family event for kids of all ages with music, art, food, magic and toys at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard. RSVP at Do512, although this doesn’t guarantee admission, as there are space constraints. Donations accepted at door to benefit Anthropos Arts, Sim Foundation, and Diverse Arts. Kenny Dorham’s Backyard.

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