It feels like just yesterday I was galavanting around Austin, watching bands I had actually heard of, in an outfit I felt cool in, and staying out past 11 PM. With the birth of a child came the end of galavanting. Last year was our first SXSW with a baby and it did not feel cool getting kicked out of a bar because we brought our baby. Though your kids will not get in to Hotel Vegas (as we learned from experience), you don’t have to opt out of SXSW! There is plenty of music to see and fun to be had with your kiddos.

From what to bring to what to see to what to wear — here is the hip mom’s guide to SXSW 2017.

What to Bring

If you dare to make it downtown, or even on the outskirts, prepare for all possible disasters. The traffic will be jammed, the food lines will be long, and napping is not an option (unless your kid is a nap ninja). This is the music apocalypse people, prepare accordingly!

1. Baby Headphones – Every music fest mama knows your littles will need good ear protection so they can be rock n’ roll babies. Baby Banz are a must have for your fest best.

2. Baby Wrap – Lugging a stroller around town in crowds of people is not fun. If your little is little enough to wrap, that is the way to go. Our favorite is the Solly Baby wrap. You can wear a baby up to 25 lbs. The material is lightweight to keep you and baby cool. The best part? It comes in cute colors and patterns!

3. All the snacks – Just bring them all. Seriously. All of them.

4. Water Bottle – A heavy duty water bottle that will keep the liquid cool is a must for any fest baby. We love the Thermos water bottles that seem to keep cool all day!

5. Instruments – Bring kids instruments! It is even more fun for them when they can play along. SXSW Mom hack: use a pacifier clip to secure maracas to your kiddo.


6. Sunglasses – How else will your toddler shield their eyes from and look cooler than the SXSW hipsters? 

What to Wear

I don’t know about you, but the best compliment I’ve received lately is “you don’t look like a mom!” It’s not that I don’t want to look like a mom. I want to look appropriate and comfortable enough to be a mom while looking cool enough that if seen without a toddler attached to me, I might just look generally cool. Here is your hip mom SXSW style guide.


  1. Jumpsuit – You can’t go wrong with a cute jumpsuit that cinches at the waist.
  2. White Sneakers – Luckily Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are actually wearing comfortable footwear. While running around town with a toddler during SXSW, you’ll need proper shoes. These Puma sneaks were designed by Rihanna so you know they’re cool.           
  3. Backpack – A trendy alternative to the diaper bag. Instead of dragging your huge diaper bag around town, get a cute leather backpack. Use plastic baggies for organization.
  4. Neck Scarf – A neck scarf adds a little spice to your outfit. It also may come in handy if you forget wipes…
  5. Denim Jacket – Luckily for us 90’s babies, Kim Kardashian West has declared the jean jacket to be a trend. Throw one in your car for those cool SX nights as you try to wear them out before bed time. 

Now on to the fest…

Family Friendly Showcases

KUTX Live at the Four Seasons

Wednesday, March 15-Saturday, March 18 7 AM-10 AM

$10 per adult, $5 ages 10 and under

The Four Seasons 98 San Jacinto blvd

For You: An excellent array of indie bands AND coffee.

For Them: Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child has kids bands on deck between the main acts.

Bands You Might Know: Spoon, The Black Angels, and Black Joe Lewis

Bands Hip Moms Should Know: Temples, Real Estate, and Hurray for the Riff Raff

Waterloo Records Day Parties

Wednesday, March 15-Saturday March 18 12PM-7PM Free!

Waterloo Records 600A N Lamar blvd

For You: Bands friends will recognize in your Instagram pics.

For Them: Sweet treats.

Bands You Might Know: Jo Jo, Spoon, and Minus the Bear

Bands Hip Moms Should Know: Real Estate, Grandaddy, Future Islands

Cherrywood Coffeehouse Day Parties

Wednesday, March 15-Sunday, March 18 10AM-10 PM Free!

Cherrywood Coffeehouse 1400 E 38 1/2 st

For You: Coffee and beer.

For Them: Breakfast tacos and room to be a free range kid.

Lot’s of bands including a kids show Sunday, March 18 at 10AM featuring the Que Pastas.

South X San Jose

Wednesday, March 15-Saturday, March 18 Free!

Hotel San Jose 1316 S. Congress ave

For You: Rosé in a can.

For Them: A lot of dogs.

Bands Hip Moms Should Know: The Dove & The Wolf, The Drums, Cherry Glazer

KGSR Live Morning Broadcast

Wednesday, March 15-Saturday, March 18 $5

W Austin 200 Lavaca st

For You: Breakfast snack included with entry (and coffee available).

For Them: Breakfast snack. 

Bands You Might Know: Jimmy Eat World, Bob Schneider

Bands Hip Moms Should Know: Walker Lukens, Karen Elson, The New Pornographers

SXSW Outdoor Stage at Ladybird Lake

Thursday, March 16-Saturday, March 18 5 PM-10 PM Free!

Ladybird Lake Riverside dr & S 1st st

For You: Picnic blanket space and music beneath the sunset.

For Them: Snacks provided by you.

Bands You May Know: Prince Tribute feat. Wyclef Jean and more TBA.

Frenchie Smith Records Showcase

Thursday, March 16 2PM-9PM

Guero’s Taco Bar 1412 S Congress ave

For You: All the queso and micheladas.

For Them: All the queso and dogs.

Bands Hip Moms Should Know: Dr. Joe, Casual Strangers, and Jane Ellen Bryant

Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion

Thursday, March 16-Saturday, March 18 11AM-7PM Free!

Whole Foods Market Rooftop, 525 N Lamar Blvd

For You: BYOB from the Whole Foods market below.

For Them: Space to run around and lot’s of snacks.

Bands You Might Know: Hanson (yes that Hanson!), Kate Nash, and Modern English.

Bands Hip Moms Should Know: Deap Vally, JJUUJUU, and Night Beats


Kids Showcases

Think About Music with Spaghetti Eddie

Saturday, March 11, 10 am–1 pm, FREE for Thinkery members

The Thinkery,  1830 Simond Ave

Featuring: Spaghetti Eddie

The Little Yoga House Music Showcase

Monday, March 13-Friday, March 17th Free!

The Little Yoga House, Clarksville 1211 Parkway

Featuring: Mr. Simon, Joe McDermott, and more.

Do512 Family Picnic

Tuesday March 14 3PM-7PM Free w/ RSVP

Midway Foodpark 1905 S. Capital of Texas Hwy

Featuring: Kupira, Marimba, Mama K & the Shades, and more.

Family Music Meltdown

Wednesday, March 16 3PM-7PM Free w/ RSVP

Pan Am Park’s Hillside Theatre 2100 E. 3rd Street

Featuring: Strumero, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Gina Chavez, and more.

Willie is for Everyone: A Willie Nelson Tribute

Friday, March 17 10 AM-2:30 PM 

$3 adults, $1 kids 12 and under

Scottish Rite Theatre 207 W 18th st

Featuring: Little Miss Ann, the Barton Hills Choir, The Deedle Deedle Dees, and more.

Tunes & Tacos

Saturday, March 18 8:00 AM-10:00 AM FREE!

Whole Foods Market DOMAIN 11920 Domain Drive

Featuring: Breakfast tacos, live music, and kids activities


What are your favorite SXSW events with kids? 

The Hip Mom's Guide to SXSW | Austin Moms Blog


  1. Do not wear a jumpsuit! You’ll have to completely undress to pee in a porta potty while wrangling a kid! Wear a skirt 🙂

  2. You know it Carrie! Jumpsuits are not a god Orion for anyone! Unwrap baby’s sling ditch baby on dirty porta potty floor- nope skirt all the way!

  3. Hi Step and Carrie thanks for your comments. This was just a suggestion of an outfit I’m sure you will find something great to wear that is easier for a smaller baby. I have a toddler so jumpsuits are my thing 🙂



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