- Holiday Model Train Exhibit (Round Rock) – Friday, January 2 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturday, January 3 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. These are the last two days of the exhibit. Watch up to four trains running simultaneously through city scenes, snow village scenes, oil fields, a farm scene, and an animated carnival. FREE admission; $5 to operate a train for 10 minutes. ArtSpace, 231 E. Main Street, Round Rock.
- Mozart’s Light Show – Friday, January 2 – Sunday, January 4 from 6 p.m. to midnight. This is your last chance to catch the FREE holiday light show. The show will start at the top of each hour and lasts almost 15 minutes. See a video of the show here. Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin.
- Staci Gray Kids Show – Saturday, January 3 at 10 a.m. Enjoy a FREE (indoor) concert for kids! Staci Gray is an Austin-based children’s performer who has mesmerized children all over Texas. Her original music gets children to sing, dance and be just plain silly! Strange Brew, Lounge Side, 5326 Manchaca Rd, Austin.
- Animal Mornings at Millie & Mox – Saturday, January 3 at 10 a.m. Tiny Tails to You Petting Zoo will bring chicks, chinchillas, bunnies, hedgehogs and more for children to hold. In the past, this event has been very popular, so expect a line. Millie & Mox Children’s Boutique, The Quinlan Crossing Shopping Center at Steiner Ranch, 5145 North RM 620, Suite B-110, Austin.
- Drawing Salon at Elisabet Ney Museum – Saturday, January 3 from 10 a.m. – noon. Using Elisabet Ney’s sculptural works as inspiration, participants will develop observational and conceptual skills through unique drawing exercises. The Museum will provide all required materials, and trained staff members will offer constructive advice and guidance. FREE and open to the public. (Note: This event appears to be geared towards teens and adults, rather than small children.) Elisabet Ney Museum, 304 E 44th St, Austin.
- Saturday Movie Matinee: The Iron Giant – Saturday, January 3 at 2 p.m. See a FREE screening of The Iron Giant (PG). A boy makes friends with an innocent alien giant robot that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy. Austin Public Library, Windsor Park Branch, 5833 Westminster Dr, Austin.
- Public Art Tour: Formalism vs. Conceptualism – Sunday, January 4 at 11 a.m. Join Landmarks, the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, for a FREE, themed walking tour exploring modern and contemporary sculpture on campus. See works by Anthony Caro, Willard Boepple, and Sol LeWitt as your docent discusses movements that emphasized balance and rhythm over subject. Meet at Joel Perlman’s “Square Tilt” in front of the Perry-Casteñeda Library on 21st and Speedway on Sunday, January 4 at 11 a.m. For more information, contact [email protected] Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL) 101 21st St E, Austin.
- Free First Sunday at Bullock Museum: La Belle’s Legacy – Sunday, January 4 from 12-5 p.m. Enjoy FREE exhibit admission all day during Free First Sundays, held the first Sunday of every month. Families can explore the Story of Texas through three floors of exhibits that showcase artifacts from around the state. Special family programming from 12-3 p.m. will focus on what it’s like to be an archaeologist. Find out what it took to uncover the ship La Belle through hands-on activities and art-making, perfect for families with kids ages five and up, and meet special guests from the Texas Historical Commission. Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave., Austin.
- Umlauf Family Day – Sunday, January 4 from 12-4 p.m. Join the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum for FREE family fun in the New Year! The schedule: 12:30 Yoga; 1:00 Story Time; 1:30 Sculpture Demo with Texas Society of Sculptors; 2:00 Music by Armstrong Community Music School; 2:30 Kakizome: the first calligraphy of the New Year presented by Japan-America Society of Greater Austin; All day: Design a calendar, Sculpture Safaris and more! Admission is FREE. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road, Austin.
- Sunday Funday at the Neill-Cochran House Museum – Sunday, January 4 from 1-4 p.m. Every first Sunday of the month the Neill-Cochran House Museum will be open to the public for FREE from 1-4 p.m. Each Sunday will include an activity highlighting a theme that embodies both the history of Texas and the Neill-Cochran House Museum. The theme on January 4 is New Year’s Resolutions and Noisemakers. Walk-through tours of the house will also be available. Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin.
Bonus fun on the cheap:
- What’s the Story Steve? – Saturday, January 3 at 10 a.m. Move Your Tale and ColdTowne Theater collaborate to present this fully improvised, interactive journey through a story of the audience’s making. Volunteer to be a part of the show or enjoy from your seat. Arrive early as seating is limited. Pay what you wish. ColdTowne Theater, 4803 Airport Blvd., Austin.
- Afternoon in the Garden: Water World! – Sunday, January 4 from 1-4 p.m. Enjoy a family activity, FREE with Garden entry ($1 – $3). How do plants survive underwater? Discover the special traits of plants that grow inside the water world. Visit the smallest plant in the world and learn how fast it can cover a lake. Conduct experiments to see how water moves through our aquifer and our world. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
- The Magic Flying School Bus: A Science Adventure – Sunday, January 4 at 2 p.m. Sundays in January and February, Flying Theater Machine presents The Magic Flying School Bus, a new improvised comedy for kids. You’ll be led by a fun-loving teacher into a new scientific subject each week along with the intellectual student, the nervous student, the class clown, the athlete, the misfit, and anyone else you might meet at school. This week, you’re invited to go on a magically scientific journey to learn about dinosaurs. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online. The Hideout, 617 Congress Avenue, Austin.
You may also be interested in:
Children age 0 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to sing, dance, bounce and play with TuneBugz! RSVP to check out a FREE demo class:
South Austin at Balance Dance Studios
(South Lamar across from Central Market)