If you are in AISD and surrounding districts you may have got a full week holiday. Thanksgiving dinner is probably planned or ready to happen! Did you know that although it is a huge holliday, only the United States celebrate it in this unique way? Let’s find a little bit more about where this tradition comes from.
Everyone agrees that the first thanksgiving can be traced back to an autumn harvest feast in 1621 shared by the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians. It was a particularly hard year for the colonists and the indians helped them out, in return the pilgrims invited them to a feast when at the end of their first successful corn harvest. The feast was not just one day but three!
In ATX Kids Club we do educational field trips every day, but did you know we strive for more than just fun? These are some of our goals!
The day is almost upon us! Those who have supported us in the past know what they are in for: a fun-filled evening enjoying Lady Bird Lake and the Austin skyline while mingling with other like-minded individuals. To our newest supporters, here is what you can expect:
The Capital Cruise's flagship will take us on a nice ride around Lady Bird Lake. We will get close to Congress bridge and hear the bats. The second floor is best to appreciate the skyline. There is something about the water that makes you feel at peace, and maybe even more generous than usual.
We will also have plenty of refreshments. Have some wine while meeting many interesting persons. From board members to other supporters we have found out that we attract many amazing people.
Purchase raffle tickets in advance and get ready for the live auction! This is the first time we do a full live auction. Last year we found out that people had much more fun with it than the silent auction. Practice lifting your paddle as fast as you can to win the amazing prices we have for this year.
There is still time to purchase your tickets if you haven't done so already!
Don't forget day light savings ends on November 4th!
Check out photos from previous years
Technological advancement seems like an everyday thing. All of our smartphones have cameras, all we have to wonder is how good of a camera it is. Not long ago we were arguing whether digital media was going to replace printed media. A long time a go, people were glad to replace hand written books with the very first printed ones. We are very lucky to have one of those early prints downtown. Not so long ago we were exploring how to take pictures using just one dark cube. One of the first photographs is also in Austin. The Gutenberg Bible is the crown jewel of the Harry Ransom Center.
Gutenberg created molds that went through a press which created the Gutenberg bible. All of the letters had to be created from scratch and then put together to create those molds. The very fist letter designs, now called fonts, were supposed to look like written letters. They have evolved to be more sleek and easier to read in small screens. Everyone should take a look at this more than 500 year old book.
Ever since 2010 the Harry Ransom Center became the home to the first photograph. It is sealed in an oxygen-free case to protect it. This photograph was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce around 1826. He started playing with lithographic printmaking (or hellography) because he couldn't draw properly. Instead, he used chemical reactions from a photosensitive surface.
This museum has many interesting information but you have to learn about it before bringing kids in. It is not very interactive, so you must engage them with data and invite them to imagine what life was like when we didn't have what we are so used to now. This is a great opportunity for them to realize that some things weren't always there, but they can also imagine things that will come after.
Also known as Graffiti park is still standing at the top of 12th street near Lamar. Against all odds (and news) of its relocation at the beginning of the year, the structure is still there for you to visit. The area will be demolished to build apartments and will be relocated to a bigger place in east Austin. There is no definitive date yet so visit while you can.
We recommend visiting on a dry clear day. It's not the easiest to get around, but it is worth it. You can climb all the way to the top to enjoy the great view of the Austin Skyline. While you do so, enjoy the local graffiti artists. They are always changing so snap a pic to save your memories.
This is one of our favorite outdoor museums. It is very interactive as it works like a scavenger hunt where kids find life-like dinosaurs hidden behind trees and fossils next to rocks. The amazing Brachiosaurus is an 85-foot long statue that amazes us. We can only begin to understand how truly massive these animals were.
They offer a picnic area right next to the digging pits. We love to enjoy our food there. Then we play around in the dinosaur shaped playground.
The Dinosaur park is located on Cedar Creek, Texas and is open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10:00 am to 4:00pm. Make sure to get there by 3:30 if you want to enjoy most of it before they close!
I met Tammy and ATX Kids Club in 2015. I connected with her mission right away, because just as many kids in Austin, I had lived in this city for many years but was barely aware of all that I was missing.
At our first meeting she told me, “Every kid should be able to know and enjoy their city.” That first summer that I worked as a camp counselor (aka Field Trip Leader) made it clear that she was right. Kids became more aware, they were able to identify places and bus routes. Many of our campers had experienced field trips through school, but the fact that we had to walk to bus stops and create our own routes to get to places made them more interested in the destinations. Trekking through the city in the middle of Texan summer is no easy task, but as I saw my stamina increase, so did the kids. Each day, we became stronger. I was particularly amazed by a then 4 year old, Lily, who struggled through her first day, convinced that she couldn’t walk anymore, and within days became one of our most fearless explorers, encouraging others along the way. She is still joining our adventures today (3 years later) and loves it.
Our schedule of adventures has been evolving each year with great input from our campers & families. Our summer theme weeks help kids associate different places and how they connect together. They also help them focus on a specific topic they find interesting. I personally love diversity week, which focus on minorities. We visit the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Mexican American Cultural Center, African American Heritage Center, Community First! Village (for the homeless), and many others. Kids immediately start looking at their city with other people’s needs in mind.
As someone that has lived in North Austin, I felt detached from the rest of the city. When I first moved here almost 5 years ago, it took me 2 buses and an hour and 40 minutes to get downtown. I missed many events and places my first two years. Through ATX Kids Club, I was able to learn how to use the bus system and through its improvements I have become more acquainted with the city. Taking bus 803 has now allowed me to cut my commute time by 1 hour! ATX Kids Club couldn’t do what they do without CapMetro and their continued improvements each year.
Now that I live even further away from the city, I wish ATX Kids Club could expand to every single park in Austin. Buses definitely connect us with the city, but it is programs like this that encourage people to get outside and take advantage of what is so wonderful about Austin: its people and its culture.
We are one month away for our Annual Adventure cruise fundraiser! Once again Capital Cruises will take us on an amazing trip around Lady Bird Lake. We will enjoy the view of our amazing city while we support what we love most, the ATX Kids Club mission. Tickets are on sale now! Don’t miss the opportunity to help us reach more children. Everyone should be able to enjoy their city! This is why I invite you to join us on this year’s Annual Adventure Cruise Fundraiser. Hear more about this amazing program and help us grow it!
This summer we found an amazing activity for our children. Kids love to climb. They always try to find good trees to do so. Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that requires of smaller rock formations, either natural or artificial. The Austin Bouldering Project has such artificial formations. Since the formations are not very tall you don’t really require ropes or harnesses, and they are surrounded by soft floor that will break the fall, just in case.
Bouldering challenges our kids in many ways! Some of them started forgetting their fear of heights so they could have a little bit more fun. They took gradual steps sideways and up. Others found out just how strong they really were and how hard work brings results! We loved looking up and watching them try to figure out what their next step was going to be.
We usually began in the children area, but they soon required more challenging grounds. Even our camp counselors had a blast and lead the fearless exploration with their example!
During the summer we learned the importance of no-kill shelters in Austin. We visited Austin Pets Alive! And the Austin Animal Center. Both of them have the goal to find a forever home to any pet regardless of age, health, species or breed.
The Austin Animal Center is run by the government but it works with programs and partnerships that help it achieve its goal faster. It even works together with Austin Pets Alive! And Austin Humane Society. Not all dogs and cats are found in the shelters, but most of them are in the foster program. Foster animals are the ones that have temporary homes with amazing people that are willing to keep them safe and healthy until they find their home. This is one of the best ways to help shelters, especially during march through june when they overflow with puppies and kittens.
Everytime we visit, we want to take all of the animals with us!
Mexicans celebrate their country’s independence from Spain on September 15th. The MACC keeps that tradition alive with their “Viva Mexico” celebration next Saturday. Attendants will have a taste of food and folklore that surrounds mexican culture. The center is open year round and is dedicated to the preservation, creation, presentation and promotion of the cultural arts of Mexican Americans and Latino cultures.
We have been there many times and absolutely love it! We usually take a sort hike from or to the center which is conveniently located on the path of the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike trail right next to Rainey Street. When we arrive through the trail the first thing we see is the Tejano Music Legends sculpture. It depicts the Perez brothers playing the saxophone and the Ramos brothers engaged in song.
We also love the Caminos Legacy Murals. It was commissioned as a community arts mentorship project lead by J. Muzacs. Many teenage students in the Caminos program painted the mural. It depicts the vibrant community they live in as well as their perspective on the future of their own culture.
The center is open from Monday to Friday from 10am-5:30pm and Saturdays from 10am-4pm unless there is an event. Other amazing activities to look forward to is their open invitation to create Dia de los Muertos altars. Check out their web page for more information.