Free Family Friendly Things At SXSW


Family friendly isn’t the first thing that might come to mind when talking about SXSW but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Finding FREE events to attend isn’t hard to do, finding family friendly SXSW events on the other hand is. So, if you’re a parent who wants to catch some shows but your kid is home for spring break, this one is for you!

Bookmark this page because we will be continually updating the list!

Here are the best FREE family friendly things at SXSW

1. Pi Day at North Italia

Tuesday, March 14 | 12 to 4 p.m. | North Italia, 415 E. 7th Street

The team at North Italia will be dishing out FREE food and drinks (3,141 slices of pizza…get it?!). The commemorative Block Party will also feature FREE tattoos and entertainment including an epic BMX stunt show, and more on Pi Day. The pizza they will be handing out is locally made Pi Day special Texas BBQ Brisket pie! They will also have mini budinos, charcuterie cups, mocktails, and more. 

Oh, and those free tattoos? Wearing your heart on your sleeve is encouraged at this party…especially if it’s in the form of a pizza tattoo! 10 limited-edition, free tattoos (option to make a $3.14 donation to a nearby homeless shelter) will be available for a select number of guests.  

Finally, while pizza is always worth celebrating, the North Italia gang couldn’t let pizza have all the fun on Pi Day! Each guest will be going home with a bag of fresh pasta, which North Italia makes in-house daily.

North Italia Pi Day

2. Community Concerts at Lady Bird Lake

Thursday, March 16 through Saturday, March 18 | Doors at 2 p.m., Shows from 3 to 7 p.m. | Lady Bird Lake Stage
The SXSW Community Concerts at Lady Bird Lake feature three-days of concert events that are free, family-friendly and open to the public. Bring a picnic or enjoy food from local food trucks and beverages in The Beer Garden

Thursday, March 16 – KUTX Rock The Shores

  • 3 p.m.  Lucky Diaz 
  • 3:30 p.m.  Mega Ran 
  • 4 p.m.  Red Yarn & Aaron Nigel Smith 
  • 4:30 p.m. SaulPaul
  • 5 p.m. Jonny Langford and the Silver Sands Roustabouts + Rosie Flores 
  • 6 p.m. Thao Nguyen

Friday, March 17

  • 3:30 p.m. Baba Kuboye
  • 4:30 p.m. AJ Smith
  • 5:30 p.m. The Zombies

Satruday, March 18 – Honk!TX
(Performances in alphabetical order)

  • Blowcomotion!
  • Dead Music Capital Band
  • Mazel Tov Kocktail Hour
  • Minor Mishap Marching Band 
  • Moon Tower Brass Band
  • Yes Ma’am Brass Band

3. Kendra Scott Flagship Store Celebrates SXSW 2023

March 10 through 12, 17 and 18 | Various Times | Kendra Scott Flagship Store, 1701 S Congress Avenue
The Kendra Scott Flagship store on SoCo is welcoming everyone to join them for exclusive pop-ups, gifts, live music, experiences, drink tastings, and more! No badges required.

Schedule is as follows:

Friday, March 10
ALL DAY | Frose Friday at Sips & Sweet
4 to 7 p.m. | Dry styling/hair tinsel with purchase and DJ on the Patio

Saturday, March 11
ALL DAY | $3 Beers, Mimosas, & Seltzers at Sips & Sweets
12 to 5 p.m. | Throwing Shade hat customization and free chain stitch tote customization with any $100 Purchase
1 to 4 p.m. | Complimentary Aura Readings by Carrie Moss with any $175+ purchase
3 p.m. | Live Performance by THEBROSFRESH
3 to 6 p.m. | Dry styling/hair tinsel with purchase

Sunday, March 12
ALL DAY | Swirl Sunday at Sips & Sweets
12 to 5 p.m. | Free chain stitch tote/bandana customization with any $100 Purchase
1 to 4 p.m. | Live music on the Patio

Friday, March 17
ALL DAY | Frose Friday at Sips & Sweet
1 to 4 p.m. | Complimentary Aura Readings by Carrie Moss with $175+ purchase
3 to 6 p.m. | Dry styling/hair tinsel with purchase
3 to 6 p.m. | DJ on the Patio

Saturday, March 18
ALL DAY | $3 Beers, Mimosas, & Seltzers at Sips & Sweets
12 to 5 p.m. | Throwing Shade hat customization and free chain stitch tote customization with any $100 Purchase
1 to 4 p.m. | Complimentary Aura Readings by Carrie Moss with any $175+ purchase
3 p.m. | Live Performance by Sir Woman
3 to 6 p.m. | Dry styling/hair tinsel with purchase

Sunday, March 19
ALL DAY | Swirl Sunday at Sips & Sweets
12 to 5 p.m. | Free chain stitch tote/bandana customization with any $100 Purchase
1 to 4 p.m. | Live music on the Patio

4. Flatstock 84 

March 15 to 17 | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
Presented by the American Poster Institute (API), Flatstock 84 will display the works of the world’s top gig poster artists. The show provides a way for talented artists to present their varying styles, colors and techniques, and for the audience to purchase fine poster art and meet the creators. Flatstock is free and open to the public as well as all SXSW registrants.

5. Jo’s Coffee | Amazon Ads

March 10 through 12 | From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. | Jo’s Coffee at Hotel San Jose, 1300 South Congress Avenue
Start your morning off right with a cup of Jo’s on Amazon. Stop by early while the pots are still full. Enjoy any of the following beverages courtesy of Amazon Ads (while supplies last):

  • Drip coffee 
  • Cold brew
  • Turbo: Jo’s signature sweet, creamy coffee drink with chocolate & hazelnut 
  • Belgian Bomber: Iced Turbo mixed with Cold brew
  • Hot & Iced Tea: Black, green, or hibiscus

6. Renegade @ SXSW

March 16 through 18 | 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Marriott Downtown, 304 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Moontower Hall
Renegade Craft, the leading independent craft and design fair of today, introduces emerging & established creative small businesses to its widespread audience, championing symbiotic, sustainable, and inspiring shopping and selling experiences. Expect to find a thoughtful curation of 100+ artists and doers from all over the country.

7. Sheraton BackYARD

Multiple Dates and Time for Shows with No Cover (see below).

  • KUTX The Breaks – Wednesday, March 15 with DreTheGr8, J Rich Tha Don, Kina Love, Skylar T, LHF Lil Ke, J. Mill, Stassney, Skateland, Tribe Mafia and Alesia Lani
  • EQ Austin – Thursday, March 16 with Lara Price, Daniel Fears, Nemegata, Grace Sorensen, and We Don’t Ride Llamas 
  • Austin Music Foundation (AMF) / ATX THE NEXT – Friday, March 17 with Sami & The Engine, Poet Hawkins, The Dead Coats, Jake Lloyd, and El Combo Oscuro
  • EQ Austin & Latin Music Coalition – Saturday, March 18 with Michi Sanz, Destiny Navaira, Como Las Movies, Shiela, and Shrt_Lyf

8. DAWA (Diversity Awareness and Wellness in Action)

Tuesday, March 14 | Stubb’s, 801 Red River Street
This year will mark the second annual collaboration between DAWA and SXSW, and the inaugural launch of Vision:8291. Since 2019, DAWA’s mission is to celebrate and empower Austin’s BIPOC community through direct financial assistance and culturally relevant, health-centered programming. Performances by Caramelo Haze, CP Loopy, J Soulja, The Tiarras, and Urban Heat.

9. SXSW EDU 2023 Expo

Wednesday, March 8 | From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
South by Southwest EDU® now in its 13th year, opens the doors to its Expo for free to the public on March 8, 2023. All, including local students, educators, entrepreneurs and more, are invited to come experience the conference and festival’s central hub where a variety of organizations gather to network and share their innovative ideas. At locations such as the Evidence Pavilion, Startup Village, Next Stage and Meet Up Village, you’ll have the chance to connect with professionals in the education space from around the world while interacting with more than 60 one-of-a-kind exhibits and presentations on a range of topics impacting how we learn, teach and engage.

10. Roku City

Saturday, March 11 to Sunday, March 12 | 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. | The Riley Building, 315 Lavaca Street
The two-day pop-up is inspired by Roku City, the brand’s TV- and film-inspired screensaver that’s become somewhat of a viral sensation with its streaming audience. The purple-hued cityscape is full of nods to classic Hollywood images and, according to internal data, 2 in 3 Roku users would take a trip to Roku City if offered.  The interactive experience will take shape inside a multi-story building in downtown Austin with features including:    

  • Roku City Style Shop for people to choose a new look featuring creative, purple accents perfect for their journey to a new world.    
  • Roku City Rooftop Diner where guests can reserve a booth via OpenTable and find their favorite movie and TV meal references within the diner’s pop-up menu 
  • Roku City Park to take a stroll under the trees, monster-watch and sip Roku City’s finest coffee.   
  • Best Buy Home Theater Experience to sit back and relax while checking out the latest Roku devices available at Best Buy and new Roku Originals and entertainment on The Roku Channel.   

The purple-hued city will be open to the public.

11. Austin City Limits Radio Live Morning Broadcasts

March 15th – 18th | Hotel Van Zandt, 605 Davis Street
Join Austin City Limits Radio for our annual Live Morning Broadcast during SXSW, presented by Dell Technologies, March 15th, 2023 through March 18th, 2023 at Hotel Van Zandt. We host the original and longest running broadcast during SXSW! For a $5 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, you’ll enjoy 4-hours of exclusive, live interviews and performances from featured SXSW artists + early morning Iron Wolf Ranch & Distillery specials (for guests 21+!) 

12. The Future Of Food

Friday March 10th – Saturday March 11th | SXSW Center, 1400 Lavaca Street
The Future of Food is an event series built to create interactive, memorable, and meaningful experiences that both inspire and educate the public about their influence as food consumers, and provide measurable benefits to our partners and supporters.

Joined by the universal need for food security, we bring together communities from around the world who were previously siloed by political divides, business sectors, and socioeconomic realities.

Together we strive with our partners and sponsors to make The Future of Food the most accessible, diverse, and innovative event focused on future food systems in the world in order to foster collaboration that creates real social impact, both locally and globally. 

13. eMLS Cup Presented by Coca-Cola Zero Sugar & TikTok

Sunday, March 12 | ACL Live, 310 W Willie Nelson Boulevard

The eMLS Cup is back for another year! Join Austin FC and their supporter’s group in cheering on Austin’s own eMLS Player ‘xVerde’. You can also expect a post-party concert, free drink tickets, limited edition eMLS giveaways, and more! RSVP HERE.

14. Women That Rock Day

Tuesday, March 14 | 12 to 4 p.m. | Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River Street

Join Women That Rock during SXSW 2023 for a special Day Party Showcase at Austin’s incredible Cheer Up Charlies! Women That Rock presents an all-female and nonbinary lineup, plus a vendors market featuring local ATX makers, pop-up vintage shop, braid bar courtesy of Urban Betty Salon, sparkling prebiotic soda from Mayawell, ice cream by Goodpop and other fun freebies! All ages welcome.

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Featured photo via SXSW