The day time is quite charming at the Austin City Limits Festival. It seems to have a different crowd that the night does. You can usually find a lot of families milling about in the Austin Kiddie Limits section. Yes, that’s right, ACL has a special area just for families so kids can enjoy the festival in their very own way.
As you walk in under the colorful arch you’ll see activities to your left and right that immediately beg for attention. As I walked through the area I found interactive music activities from KLRU’s PBS Kids, bags to decorate and even a hip hop workshop.
As I made my way around the loop I found a stage with kid friendly bands strumming away on their guitars complimented by the drum circle happening with little rhythmic players across the way. The area was sponsored by Lifeway, a company that makes healthy snacks for families. They gave out free treats, swag and had a large wall for kids to paint with colorful murals. Perhaps the best part were the restrooms that were provided. Not your typical portable bathrooms that lined the festival walls, these were much more family accessible in a nice trailer.
But perhaps you have no need to go to the Austin Kiddie Limits section of the park. Without a child in tow there isn’t much appeal. That’s while you’ll find someone like me at ACL Eats. This is my favorite area to hang around because the best of Austin’s food scene is right in front of you, ready to be devoured. You can choose from Chi’lantro’s kimchi fries or brisket nachos from Salt Lick. And of course you’ll find other Austin hot spots like Juice Land, Amy’s Icecream and Trudy’s. But one of our favorite spots this year happened to be Sno Beach Austin. We all know how brutal the Texas heat can be, especially when there’s not much shade to save you from the sun’s direct rays. That’s why a refreshing cold treat is the perfect way to cool down. Here you won’t find your typical sno-cone. Instead, Sno Beach is known for flavored shaved ice that sits on top of icecream, and, wait for it, is topped off with cream. It’s a little bit of heaven in your mouth on a hot day. The best part is you don’t have to be at ACL to experience them. You can find a food truck in the city anytime.
Apart from the food, the various vendors and the Fest Store, you’ll want to stop by the craft section. Why? Because has shade and is the perfect place to do something fun while listening to music from a stage nearby. This year festival goers could make their own flower crowns or tie dye an article of clothing of their choice. As I walked by I could see t-shirts and underwear (this was a popular choice for some reason) hanging out to dry with colorful new patterns. The inner DIY fanatic in me was extremely excited to have this option available.
So yes, of course there’s music at ACL and that is the main reason people by tickets but it isn’t the only one. There is so much to do and see. Families are welcome with kids getting in free. The Austin Kiddie Limits section is usually open until dark. That’s when a new crowd tends to come in. The many families you once saw are replaced with young adults but there is one spectacular thing about staying until sunset- the amazing, ever-growing Austin skyline.