When my husband immigrated to the United States, we knew we wanted to raise our children to be proud of their Uruguayan roots. Though we eat my husband’s cultural food and align to his customs all year, Latin Heritage Month (LHM) is a special time to expose our kids to other Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries’ traditions. Austin has several opportunities to celebrate LHM from September 15 to October 15, 2023.

Whether you identify as Latina/e/x/o or an ally, this is the perfect time for Austin families to embrace the rich culture and traditions of the Latin community. From delicious cuisine to lively music and colorful festivals, numerous kid-friendly activities exist during this month-long celebration.

Here are some ideas to make this Latin Heritage Month unforgettable!

1. Explore Delicious Cuisine:

One of the best ways to experience Hispanic culture is through its mouthwatering cuisine. Austin has a thriving food scene with numerous Mexican and Latin American restaurants. Try a family taco night, explore the food trucks along South Congress Avenue, grab empanadas, or visit traditional bakeries for sweet treats like pan dulce. 

Here are some of my family’s favorite places to eat:

As you embark on your culinary adventure, don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Sazón Latin Food Festival on October 15 from 11 am to 6 pm. Hosted at Ani’s Day and Night, this festival promises a gastronomic journey featuring over 20 Latin food vendors representing the best flavors from the Caribbean, Central, and South America. From savory to sweet, there’s something for every palate. So, gather your friends and family for a day of delectable treats and live music. And yes, save room for dessert!

2. Attend Festivals and Celebrations:

Latin Heritage Month brings a plethora of festivals and celebrations to Austin. Keep an eye on events like the ¡Viva México! Independence Day Celebration occurs mid-September. I would also recommend saving the date for post LHM for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) events in late October and early November. These festivals often feature live music, folkloric dance performances, and delicious food, providing a fantastic cultural experience for the whole family. 

 For an enriching experience celebrating Latin heritage, don’t miss Thinkery’s Community Spotlight “Mi Familia – Latine Heritage Event, on September 19, 4 pm – 6 pm. This free, family-friendly gathering promises an afternoon filled with art-making activities, music, dancing, community resources, and more. It’s a beautiful opportunity for your family to engage with the local Latin community, learn more about their vibrant traditions, and gain a deeper appreciation for the diversity. 

Toybrary is hosting a great event for families to celebrate, as well. Enjoy authentic cuisine, dance and more!

3. Enjoy Live Music and Dance:

Music and dance are integral parts of Hispanic culture, and you can introduce your children to these art forms through live performances. Check out local venues that feature Latin bands, salsa dancing, or mariachi bands. The lively rhythms and colorful costumes will captivate your family’s hearts.

Check out LuLu’s, a Latina mother-and-daughter-owned restaurant and cocktail bar. Lulus often hosts free dance socials with Monica Landois, also known as “Dance with Monica ATX” on Instagram. LuLu’s is kid-friendly till 6 pm. Check out their website or Instagram for details on events.

4. Explore Local Artisan Markets:

Hispanic culture is known for its vibrant and intricate artwork. Explore local artisan markets or craft fairs to discover handcrafted jewelry, textiles, pottery, and more. You can also engage your children in art activities inspired by Hispanic traditions.

One of my favorite local artisan companies is Las Ofrendas. This vibrant business is owned by TK Tunchez, and her shop has many handmade multicultural accessories, stationery, and home goods designed or curated by TK herself! She also recently opened a mobile retail bus on South Congress called Lunita. This unique shop offers an on-site shopping experience, amplifying the intersectional Latinx creative micro-business community with over 30+ makers and creatives to highlight, in addition to their own Las Ofrendas brand. They showcase intersectional Latinx, BIPOC, and Queer art and bring visibility and economic empowerment to the Austin creative community in the South Congress neighborhood. TK also hosts a market called Frida Fridays, which has year-round events and markets. Check out her Instagram or website to learn more.

5. Attend Workshops and Storytelling Sessions:

Many libraries and community centers in Austin organize workshops, storytelling sessions, and special events during Hispanic Heritage Month. These engaging activities are not only informative but also tailored for children. For instance, on September 21, there’s an opportunity to attend the LBJ Hispanic Heritage Month Keynote featuring Dolores Huerta at the LBJ Library. This event will shed light on the contributions of Hispanic leaders and their profound impact on American society.

You will want to attend the Family Movie Matinee screening of Encanto on September 24, 2023, from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm at the Little Walnut Creek Branch (835 W. Rundberg Ln.). Gather the family for a special “Encanto” screening to celebrate Latin Heritage Month. Enjoy free popcorn and lemonade as you watch this charming movie with subtitles in Spanish. It’s a fantastic way to introduce your children to Latin culture through film.

6. Volunteer and Give Back:

Encourage your children to learn about the importance of giving back to the community. Participate in volunteer opportunities that support local Hispanic organizations or initiatives. It’s a wonderful way to teach your kids about the values of unity and helping others. Haute Spot is hosting a fundraising event for Cultura Brasil Austin, a non-profit education and culture promotion organization. Tickets range from $10-$75, ages 10 and under are FREE. Brazilian food, music, dancing, and culture will be shared and is family-friendly. Here are a few more Latin-owned non-profits where you can volunteer or donate:

Latin Heritage Month is a fantastic opportunity for Austin families to celebrate the rich and diverse culture of the Hispanic community. With a wide range of family-friendly activities available, you can immerse your children in cultural traditions, food, music, and history while creating lasting memories together. So, grab your calendar, plan your outings, and get ready to enjoy a month filled with enrichment and fun in Austin, Texas.


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