With Austin Kiddie Limits, ACL has created an environment for parents and children to enjoy family-friendly music.

By Krisna Menier

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Everyone from 8 to 108 owes themselves a moment to take in all that Austin Kiddie Limits has to offer. ACL has created an environment for parents and children to enjoy family-friendly music on the Austin Kiddie Limits stage. While you’re listening, feel free to make some arts and crafts to remember sharing these memories with your kids. Children ages 8 and under get a free pass into the festival (two per adult).

Here are some quick tips on how to get the most out of Austin Kiddie Limits for next year.

Young ears are sensitive

Bringing a pair of noise-reducing ear protectors for each child is a must. Loud music can be both painful and scary for them. Order earmuffs on Amazon or check with you favorite local retailer. (They’re not expensive.) While you’re at it, grab a pair of earplugs for yourself and prevent a week of post-fest ringing.

Hydrate

Although festivalgoers are not permitted to bring water into the venue, there are free water-filling stations throughout the park. Bring a hydro pack or water bottle for each family member. It will save you money and greatly reduce festival waste. My son personally loves his own camelback, and he doesn’t have to stop what he’s doing to take a drink.

In addition to water bottles, essential family items include:

  • hats
  • sunscreen
  • gum
  • wet wipes
  • picnic blankets
  • light snacks (carrot sticks, apple slices, granola bars, etc.)
  • ponchos
  • IDs (for the adults)
  • Band-Aids
  • hand sanitizer
  • flushable wipes
  • sunglasses
  • tickets
  • cash

Remember the walking

Some children relish a long walk, but others wilt in the heat. If your kiddos are smaller or have lower energy levels, remember that strollers are permitted at the festival. They may not always be convenient, but much like Disney World, they can be the difference between departing in the early afternoon or making it to 7 p.m. Don’t forget to take advantage of the Kiddie Limits Lounge, where kids can take a break from the noise and relax from all the activities while coloring a Kidzapalooza coloring page or enjoying a book in the shade.

Be safe and Tag-A-Kid

Stop by the Tag-a-Kid kiosk at the Family Friendly Entrance or at Guest Services. Parents can register their kids with the festival and receive an RFID wristband. In the event that a child gets separated from their parents, this is a reliable and fast way to reunite.

Plan your dining

Like water, festivalgoers are not permitted to bring food into the venue, and festival food tends to get expensive…fast! The festival lists participating restaurants on the food pages to get an idea of what is available. If possible, there are some wonderful restaurants around Zilker Park to choose from before entering through the gates. There are also popsicles and Tiff’s Treats available in the Austin Kiddie Limits area. Remember to take advantage of off-peak hours (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.) for shorter lines.

Take advantage of the activities (your kids will thank you)

Whether you’ve taken your kids before or not, you’ve likely seen the Austin Kiddie Limits area on the festival grounds. This is the epicenter of child activity in the park. In addition to kid-friendly bands, the area also has popsicles, a pottery painting station, a drum zone for hands-on music and an art mural wall. There’s also a photo booth to remember all your fun festival memories.

Know when to call it quits

When you push the kids past their limits, the person who really suffers is you. If you have multiday passes, consider setting up a pick-up with a sitter in the evening so you can enjoy the headliners in peace. This will require some walking on your part, but the logistics of getting back into the festival is worth the hassle to get the kids home and you to the headliner you’ve been waiting for. (Austin Kiddie Limits closes at 6 p.m. each day.)

For more information, visit aclfestival.com/kids.

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