Archive for May, 2009

Our first exclusive deal! Download your Texas Rib Kings coupons today!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

If you haven’t heard of Texas Rib Kings until now, I won’t hold it against you. It’s probably one of the best kept secrets in Austin. They only have one location tucked in the Furniture Row shopping center at the corner of Burnet and 183 – next to Sherlock’s Baker Street Pub. We’ve been enjoying their award winning bbq for years and we still go back – at least once a month.

It’s excellent bbq – even if they give you a plate instead of butcher paper. And, if you go for lunch and get the lunch special, you have to add a beef rib. It’s a must. I’m getting hungry just typing this up.

Well, the kind folks down at Texas Rib Kings have agreed to give us a couple of exclusive coupons for our visitors to download and use. One is a kids eat free deal (with adult purchase) and the other is 20% off your next meal. So click the link below, print out your coupons and go get your grub on! I wouldn’t steer you wrong.

Click here to download your Texas Rib Kings coupons »

Thank you, Austin, TX!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

A big thanks to everyone who has visited the site and passed it on. We’re glad that you’ve found our site useful and we hope that it’s helped save you a couple of bucks here and there.

New categories have been added

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

We’re working hard on improving our listings, and Austin Family Deals has added some new categories! We now have listings for indoor fun, sports venues, and theme parks. I’m sure we’ll be adding more as our list grows, but our goal is to keep it easy to find great local deals.

Also, we heard from a couple of you that some offers have changed. Don’t worry! We’re hard at work updating our listings to make sure they’re up-to-date.

Things to do with the kids this Memorial Day

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Here’s a short list of things to do with the kids in Austin this Memorial Day. I’m sure there’s more, but this should get you started!

Austin Zoo
http://www.austinzoo.org

With more than 300 animals across more than 100 different species, Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary is a private, non-profit zoo rescuing animals and serving the Austin community. We always love going out to the zoo to see the animals and have a picnic.  And, it’s for a great cause! All the animals at the Austin Zoo are rescue animals, and if you haven’t been, you’ll be amazed at the variety of animals, including lions, tigers, bears, lots of different kinds of monkeys and primates, wolves, and a petting zoo.

Open daily from 10:00am – 6:00pm (No entry after 5:00pm).

Book People – Peter Pan Story Time
http://www.bookpeople.com/index.php?com=coe&view=detail&id=1126

It’s J.M. Barrie’s birthday this month!  He imagined one of the most loved and rascally characters in all children’s literature, Peter Pan!  In honor of his birthday, we’re reading stories all about pirates, rambunctious boys, crocodiles and anything else found in Neverland.  In particular, we’ll be reading How I Became a Pirate along with other wonderful stories to make you think happy thoughts.  Come and clap your hands for the fairies and for great stories!  Today at 11:30AM.

Rock’N River Family Aquatic Center
http://www.roundrocktexas.gov/pools

Folks in Round Rock can head over to the City of Round Rock’s outdoor pool, Rock’N River Family Aquatic Center. The center opens Memorial Day weekend, Saturday May 23 – Monday May 25. Operating hours are 12 noon – 6 p.m. They’ve got a lazy river, crazy slides, water playground, tunnel showers, water cannon, tipping frogs, floor geysers and zero beach entry play area.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden
http://www.umlaufsculpture.org

The Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum is located near Zilker Park in Austin, Texas, and features sculpture by 20th century American sculptor Charles Umlauf and other contemporary sculptors, several of whom were Umlauf students at the University of Texas. Kids love this trip. My daughter’s 3rd grade class just went to the sculpture garden on a class field trip and had a blast! Highly recommended.

Volente Beach
http://www.volentebeach.com

Volente Beach on Lake Travis offers a number of exciting rides, water playground, lazy lagoon, sandy beach and more. Check their web site for special promotions. Starting Saturday May 23rd, Volente Beach is open every day from 11 am – 6 pm.

We’ve gone mobile!

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Austin Family Deals has launched a new mobile version of the site. Mobile device users are now sent directly to http://m.austinfamilydeals.com to view a simplified version of our site with complete access to all our listings, location information, maps and advanced search. In addition, iPhone users may now add an icon to their Home Screen by bookmarking our site and choosing Add to Home Screen. This will automatically launch Safari and open our web site.

We’re on Twitter!

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Austin Family Deals is now on Twitter – ausfamilydeals. Follow us to get up-to-date announcements and blog entries on your phone.

Gone batty

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

I’ve lived in Austin nearly all my life, but I haven’t been out to see the bats make their nightly egress from under the Congress Avenue bridge over Lady Bird Lake. It’s one of those uniquely Austin things that you’ve got to do, and I’m hoping to take the kids at some point this summer. It’s fun and it’s free – so there’s no reason not to go.

From what I understand, Bat Conservation International Bat interpreters are present Thursday through Sunday nights in the months of June, July and August. So, it should be educational as well as fun. Parking is available in the Austin-American Statesman parking lot after 6 pm ( at 305 South Congress Avenue ). The Statesman Bat Observation Center is adjacent to the Congress Bridge, giving visitors a dedicated area to view the nightly emergence.

The Austin-American Statesman also has a fun, interactive site set up with all kinds of great information about the bats. Check it out here.

Don’t forget the sunscreen

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Summer is upon us. The calendar says we have nearly a month to go, but this is Texas. With the days already noticeably longer and the temperatures rising, my family is spending more time out in the sun. At times, we can go through a bottle a week of BullFrog. We’re going to need more sunscreen soon, but prices are rather scary in this shaky economy.

The Mama Drama blog over at the Austin-American Statesman has a blog post today about sunscreen for kids. They bring up some good points about unnecessary chemicals, natural Vitamin D production, and price/value comparisons at local retailers. It’s definitely worth reading in preparation for the coming summer months.

Read the “Sunscreen: So many choices, such tiny bottles” post here »

Avoiding the Dreaded Restaurant Meltdown

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

As parents, we’ve all been there. You’re tired, the dishes are piled up, and you don’t feel like cooking. You pile the kids in the car and run down to your local family restaurant. Before you know it, your kids are running around, yelling, screaming, throwing tantrums, and generally misbehaving. Why, oh why, we ask ourselves, does it have to be my kid that is making everyone miserable. Some parents try to ignore the kids – which just makes everyone else angry. Others make themselves (and their kids) miserable trying to corral their wayward children.

It doesn’t have to be that way if you can remember a few simple things before you head out the door:

  1. Kids are full of energy – tire them out a little
  2. Be prepared for boredom
  3. Teach them manners

Issue #1 is where the problem starts. As a parent, you should know that trying to get a child to sit quietly for any length of time is a frustrating descent into madness. Kids are little dynamos. That energy has to come out somehow, so they wiggle, make noise, and run around. They just can’t help themselves. It’s up to you to help them and it’s not even that difficult to do. You can nip that one in the bud by doing any of the following before heading out to the restaurant:

  • Stop by a playground on the way to the restaurant and let your child run around for at least 10 minutes – longer if you have time.
  • If the restaurant has a playground, let your child play while you’re ordering.
  • Park as far away from the restaurant as you can. If it’s safe enough (not in an open parking lot), let your child run around outside the restaurant before going in.

If there’s any other physical activity your child likes that will allow them to release a little energy before having to sit, do it. Be careful though. You can go too far and make your child over-tired. This is worse than just being full of energy, and just about the only way out is through a crying, screaming fit until the child finally succumbs to sleep.

If your child does misbehave, take them outside for a couple of minutes. They may need to run around a bit more, or they may need to understand that bad behavior will get them removed from the rest of the family. Or, they may just need a couple of minutes to throw their tantrum and get themselves back under control. Either way, your fellow patrons will be very appreciative.

Once your child has been allowed to vent some energy, you will be amazed at how quiet and compliant they will be. Your child will happily sit and play with the kids menu and crayons, or their favorite toy. Be prepared for boredom though. If you know your child won’t be completely entertained by the kids menu provided by the restaurant, then bring something that you know will entertain them – extra blank paper, a stuffed toy, a Game Boy/DS or other mobile game device.

Lastly, give your child the tools they need to behave at a restaurant before you go out. That means teaching them to behave at home the way you want them to behave at a restaurant. Now as parents, we’re exhausted at the end of the day and we just want to go the easy route and let the kids be themselves. But if your child is used to running around screaming at home and you don’t correct them, you can’t expect them to know how to behave when you go out. So don’t forget to teach your children basic table manners. It’s never too early to start, and you’ll be glad you did.

With a little work and a little planning, you and your fellow diners will have a much better dining experience. You’ll notice a pleasant change around the dinner table at home too.

Freebirds – Fill the Foil

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Freebirds is now offering a BOGO deal. Offer ends May 25, 2009. Dine in only. Equal or lesser amount. Click here to view the offer. Print it out and take it with you on your next visit.