What’s Up? Weekly: Austin Events Happening January 20 through 24, 2020

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Looking for things to do in Austin this week? What’s Up Weekly highlights some exciting Austin events featured on our Free Fun Calendar!

Have an event to add to the calendar? Submit it here.

Free Fun In Austin continues to highlight Austin area locations and activities that may not be available at this time. We encourage you to take all safety measures to keep yourself and your neighbors safe. It is our hope that the stories and features on this site will help inform your plans in the future.


MLK Community Celebration
Monday, January 20 | From 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. | UT Campus, MLK Statue on East Mall, and Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon Street
The Annual Community March celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy while uplifting diversity and multi-culturalism in the city. It kicks off with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus. At the conclusion of the program at the MLK Statue they will the south steps of the Capitol for a rally. After the Capitol program, the march will proceed to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where exciting activities are planned! The Capital Metro Buses are giving FREE local day passes but there will be FREE parking on the premises. For a pull schedule and parking locations click here.

Sapling Day Giveaway: Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, January 20 | From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon Street
Join TreeFolks at Huston Tillotson University for our fifth Sapling Giveaway of the season in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day! We will be giving away multiple varieties of saplings to the Central Texas community. There are no requirements to receive your free tree except to show up and pick your tree, and then promise to care for your tree for up to two years.


Early Literacy Play Group
Tuesday, January 21 | from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. | APL Willie Mae Kirk Branch, 3101 Oak Springs Drive
Playing is learning! Play is a great way to help develop and reinforce early literacy skills. This come-and-go program is designed to give caregivers and their children time to explore together. Toys, board books, and a weekly craft will be provided. Recommended for ages 5 and under.

Free Play Date 0-6 Months Old
Tuesday, January 21 | from 1 to 3 p.m. | Toybrary, 2001 Justin Lane
Have coffee and hang out with other new parents. This event is FREE for parents and babies between 0 to 6 months old.


Donation Based Storytime Yoga
Wednesday, January 22 | from 9:30 to 10 a.m. | Little Yoga House, 2700 West Anderson Lane Suite 229
Bring your kids of all ages (babies are very welcome) to watch their favorite stories come to life through yoga poses in this donation based class! If you’ve never visited our studio, this is a great way to get an idea of what kids yoga looks like! *please register online beforehand*

All Ages Story Time
Wednesday, January 22 | from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. | APL Willie Mae Kirk Branch, 3101 Oak Springs Drive
Storytime for children aged 5 and under and their parents, featuring stories, songs, fingerplays, rhymes, and crafts or other extension activities. Program length can vary. Programs begin on time, for best experience we recommend you do too! Please arrive a few minutes early to gain entrance. Note that in some locations, free tickets (available in the branch on the day of the program) will be required for admittance. Recommended for ages 5 and under.

Poetry on the Plaza: The Words of Daniel Johnston
Wednesday, January 22 | from 12 to 12:45 p.m. | Harry Ransom Center, 300 West 21st Street
Join to commemorate the birthday of late artist and musician Daniel Johnston. Musicians Tunde Adebimpe (TV On The Radio), Ethan Azarian Music, and Kendra Sells (BluMoon) will read and perform a selection of his poetry and songs, all just a block away from Johnston’s famed Austin mural “Jeremiah the Innocent,” that features the greeting “Hi, How Are You.” Presented in connection with the Hi, How Are You Project. Held on the plaza of the Harry Ransom Center. Free and open to the public. Light refreshments served.

Dirt Divas After School Club
Wednesday, January 22 | from 4 to 6 p.m. | Camacho Activity Center, 35 Robert T Martinez Jr. Street
Dirt Divas is every Wednesday at Camacho Activity Center for ages 3rd through 5th grade. Dirt Divas is an outdoor recreation and environmental education program for young girl participants that emphasizes women’s leadership roles in the outdoor recreation and environmental fields. Throughout the year, the DD program will introduce the participants to a variety of outdoor activities based around a central theme for each session. The program will promote sustainable practices through low-to-no environmental impact activities. Activities will range from nature-based arts and crafts, to kayaking, archery, service learning, snorkeling, outdoor cooking, and more. All activities will be lead entirely by women staff and each session will have at least one special woman guest leader from the community. All activities are designed to foster a safe space and promote inclusiveness.

Kids Music with Amber, Johnny and Sharon
Wednesday, January 22 | from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. | Central Market Westgate, 4477 South Lamar Boulevard
Join Amber, Johnny & Sharon for a wild array of streamers, bubbles, flying scarves, hoppin’ Dads, Moms and laughing kids. Energetic crowds co-create the show with scarf snowball fights, bug toss games, drumming, dancing, clapping, singing and high-fiving. Includes Amber’s “Conga Line”, “Sock Hop” and the new “Mama-Papa Jam” (Moms and Dads play drums, harmonicas, kazoos, flute etc.) Grab dinner in the cafe (kids eat free too!).


Books and Babies
Thursday, January 23 | from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. | APL Willie Mae Kirk Branch, 3101 Oak Springs Drive
A lapsit storytime program especially for non-walking babies 0-18 months and their caregivers.  Very short stories are interspersed with songs, rhymes, and fingerplays for babies and parents.  A brief playtime follows. Program length can vary. Programs begin on time, for best experience we recommend you do too! Please arrive a few minutes early to gain entrance. Note that in some locations, free tickets (available in the branch on the day of the program) will be required for admittance.

Thursday, January 23 | from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. | APL Willie Mae Kirk Branch, 3101 Oak Springs Drive
Drop by the library and make a craft while you search for books, movies and music. We’ve got paper crafts, easy sewing and more fun projects for the whole family. We provide the supplies; you provide the creativity. Program length is approximately one hour. All ages welcome.


Chinese New Year Festival
Friday, January 24 | from 4:30 to 7:15 p.m. | Reilly Elementary School, 405 Denson Drive

Welcome the Chinese New Year! You will be celebrating the Year of the Rat with dance performances, food, fun and so much more. FREE admission! Be sure to come out before all the food is gone! There will be fun for the whole family! * Bouncy House * Balloon Chinese Zodiac Animals * Calligraphy * Watercolor Painting * Chinese Knots * Photo Booth * Chinese Henna Tattoos * Raffle Prizes * Dumplings * Eggrolls * Lion Dance * Chinese Dance * Martial Arts * Music * And so much more!

UT Brainstorms: A Conversation on the Brain
Friday, January 24 | from 7 to 8:30 p.m. | Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium, 2313 Red River Street

The Department of Neuroscience at The University of Texas at Austin is excited to announce the topic for their next UT Brainstorms – The Student Brain: A Conversation About the Neuroscience Behind Effective Studying, with Dr. Michael Mauk! For more information and to RSVP, please visit:  UTBrainstorms.com (or Email: [email protected] / Phone: (512) 232-7594). The purpose of UT Brainstorms is to connect with the Austin community, and ultimately with the Texas community, to inform and educate about neuroscience research and the influences it has on our daily lives. We seek a two-way conversation where we share our expertise about the brain and we listen to what it means in people’s lives and to the challenges they face as it relates to the brain.  Attendance is free, and complimentary parking is available on-site at LBJ on a first-come, first-served basis.

Check out the Free Fun Calendar for even more ways to fill your week with fun Austin events.

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About the Author

Dani Dudek
Dani Dudek is an Emmy-winning marketer who has been active professionally in the entertainment industry for two decades. She has mastered the art of celebrity spotting across the country, but does so best in Austin, where she runs the website ATXGossip.com. With a special eye for even the most minor of celebs, she is basically Shazam and IMDB together in human form.
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