Thursday, April 9, 2015

Touring West Texas

We recently took a Spring Break trip to West Texas with my sons' scout troop. A six hour drive from Austin will bring you to a countryside that is not only very beautiful but is also filled with things to do.  

Friday, April 3, 2015

Body Worlds at the New Texas Museum of Science and Technology

© Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS, Institute for Plastination, Heidelberg, Germany,
All rights reserved.
Our family has followed the progress of the Austin Planetarium for years now. For those of you who may not know, Austin is the largest city in the United States without a planetarium.  Hard to believe, I know!

So I was excited to hear that the Austin Planetarium was changing names to the Texas Museum of Science and Technology and opening a facility in Cedar Park. I was even more excited that their first project was to host the world renowned BODY WORLDS & THE CYCLE OF LIFE by Dr. Gunther von Hagens.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Teen Volunteer Opportunities!

Volunteering can be a great way to teach your kids the importance of giving back to the community.   And having a teenager, I now have learned it is also highly rated on college applications ;o)

But it can be somewhat difficult to find places that will allow teens to volunteer. I have reached out to a number of local organizations, and here are some opportunities I have learned about!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

South by Southwest Gaming Expo

This weekend (12pm - 8pm on Saturday and Sunday), there is a free Gaming Expo in the Palmer Events Center.  Parking is $8, but everything else is free!

The boys and I went last night and it was a lot of fun. Hundreds of game companies had their newest games available for trial. There were a lot of video games, but also some board games as well.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Explore UT

One of my all-time favorite events is happening this weekend, and it isn't just because I bleed burnt orange ;o).  

Explore UT! is the University of Texas' open house.  Many of the departments open up the doors and let you explore what they do.  The day is filled with interesting talks, experiments and hands on activities for all ages.

Go early, as the place fills up very quickly, and parking can be tough to find. Our favorite area was the UT Engineering buildings.  

Some of our don't miss events this year (based on what we enjoyed last year):

* ASME’s Rube Goldberg Machine: 20 Or More Steps to Erase a Chalkboard

* Engineer and build a balloon rocket that you can enter in a race the moon

* Design a building using toothpicks and marshmallows, and test it in earthquake conditions

* Learn how a radar gun works to measure or "clock" speed. You’ll be able to use a radar gun to test how fast a tennis ball travels when you throw it. (okay, oddly enough, my boys *loved* this and spent at least a half hour throwing the tennis ball!)

* Sample liquid nitrogen ice cream and observe flowers, bananas, a racquetball and filled balloons being frozen.

* Get a thermal look at life by taking your picture with an infrared camera, watching heat engines turn fans and power light bulbs (Another unexpected favorite!)

In addition, the Department of Theatre and Dance will present a free performance of MOVE! at 2:00 pm in conjunction with Explore UT. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Two things to do this weekend!

Looking for something to do this weekend (other than celebrate Valentine's Day?) Here is are two ideas!

● Grand Opening of the Johnson City Hill Country Science Mill
February 14th, 10 am – 6 pm

Fall in love with Science and join us Valentine's Day for the grand opening of the Hill Country Science Mill!

Enjoy a fun-filled day for the whole family!

Exciting and unique exhibits
Hands-on science activities
Great White Shark 3-D movie
Create a personalized avatar “science buddy”
Snack at the Lady Bird Lane Café

Proceeds from the Grand Opening will benefit the Science Mill's Scholarship Program, which will help defray the admission and transportation costs for field trips and enrollment in science programs and camps for qualified students.

● Austin Marathon
February 15th
Looking for something fun to do today?  How about cheering on the 5,000 marathoners and 11,000 half marathoners? Having run the marathon twice in the past, I can tell you that every cheering spectator is appreciated!  When I ran the race, my boys held up "Free High Five" signs, and had a great time spreading the love.  Seriously, runners would cross the road just to get a high five.  Or bring some jolly ranchers, oranges or bananas or even play the radio on high.  With 26.2 miles, these runners appreciate any distraction!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Looking for a great FREE family camp this summer?

I have heard wonderful things about this camp - but spaces fill up quickly (limit 30 participants). So if you are interested, check it out and sign up as soon as possible!

Age for participants is between 9 and 14 years old and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

FREE Family Clean Creek Camp Join your kids outdoors this summer for 3-4 days of outdoor adventure at Clean Creek Camp.  We'll explore in and around Austin's creeks and aquifer.  Groups with adult leaders are welcome!  

Watershed 4 Day Camp (Session A: June 8 - 11, 2015 - 9:00am-noon)

Hike and explore Barton Creek with a scavenger hunt challenge
Wade in the creek and find out how bugs tell us about water quality
Clean up and float on Lady Bird Lake

Learn green gardening for clean water

Watershed & Aquifer 3 Day Camp (Session B: July 14 -16, 2015 - 9:30am-noon)

Wade in the creek and find out how bugs tell us about water quality
Get down into the aquifer through a local cave

Paddle and clean up Barton Creek

For more information visit  or call 512-974-3540 

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