This one is for my music loving mamas! With the upcoming Austin City Limits Music Festival, I wanted to share some tips for you to have the most AMAZING weekend taking your kiddos to ACL!
I took my girls, for the first time, last year and am happy to share the excitement with all of you! At the time, my daughters were seven and 12. We drove our car and paid to park in a close by lot–that way–if things didn’t work out, we wouldn’t have too far to walk back. We arrived earlier in the morning, in order to have some time before it got too hot.
NEW FOR 2023: Planning on bringing your kid to Austin City Limits Festival this year? Children 8 and under are required to register for our Tag-A-Kid program to receive a wristband that will serve as their ticket into the festival! Click HERE for more details on entry requirements and the wristband registration process!
Additionally, make sure to check the ACL Maps, as there is a separate entrance for families with young children. This helps with getting in, going through security, and not having to worry about holding up other people. Think of it as a security line at the airport, but one just for families.
From the moment we stepped onto the festival grounds, the energy and vibes were absolutely ELECTRIC! My girls were pumped up and I was jazzed to introduce them to this iconic music experience.
The family entrance led us straight to Austin Kiddie Limits. This was a great place to start and get a feel for the day. Austin Kiddie Limits is super family-friendly. AKL has a dedicated Kid’s Stage, arts and crafts, games, face painting and more. Plus, this area has family friendly snacks, a security station to get special wristbands for the kids; in case they get lost. AND, quite possibly the most important thing you are going to get out of this blog is info about the restrooms in the Austin Kiddie Limits area. Differently from the normal port-o-potties by the regular stages, in years past the Austin Kiddie Limits bathrooms housed air-conditioned buildings. Yes, you heard that correct, air-conditioned bathroom buildings!!
Once we made the rounds through AKL, we found a spot in the shade and laid out our blanket by one of the main stages. This is where things kind of fell apart. My tween was enjoying the music and having a blast. However, my seven year old quickly got bored and wanted to go back to Austin Kiddie Limits. At this point, my husband and I decided to divide and conquer.
We met back up for lunch, and found a spot under one of the covered pavilions. The outdoor Austin eats food court was filled with local food trucks. And yes, both of my picky eaters found lots to snack on!
We then headed to check out the souvenirs. We chose to go to the air-conditioned, souvenir shop, as a way to beat the heat and have a little more flexibility with the girls while browsing. We grabbed souvenir t-shirts, to remember their first festival. I will recommend that if you are wanting to get merchandise for your kids, head to the gift shop tents early, as the small sizes sell out very quickly!
As the day wore on, so did the patience of my youngest daughter. She was hot and grew bored of “just listening to music.“So as the sun was setting over Zilker Park and the headliners were getting closer, we made the decision to head home.
My husband and I knew going for the first time with our kids, meant the biggest thing we would need to pack was patience. So we decided not to fight the cranky mood, and to call it a day while everyone was still happy.
In short, our trip to Austin City Limits with our kids was nothing short of SPECTACULAR! It’s a festival that celebrates the love of music, good food, and family togetherness. Just be prepared that the experience with bringing your children, will be different than an experience just going with grown-ups.
The last thing I will leave you with, is a packing list. With all festivals make sure to check out the latest list of things that are allowed or not allowed.
- Reuseable Water Bottles
- Hats & Sunglasses
- Blanket or Towel
- Cash & Cards
- Charging Block
If you’re considering a family adventure to Austin City Limits, DO IT!