Meet the Posada Family: Families in Downtown Austin

Meet the Posadas, a very vibrant, very musically-inclined family who LOVES living in downtown Austin. They are raising their two teenage sons in a high-rise, and find that they never have a bored moment! They love the music venues downtown, and want to do all they can to encourage live music to stay in downtown Austin.

1) What do you (you and your husband) do professionally?
Tammy is a stay at home mom and in charge of our son’s home school curriculum. I am a wealth manager with mostly west coast clients plus some local.

2) How old are your children?
We have two boys 13 and 15.

3) Why did you choose to live in a high-rise?
I raised two?now adult boys in the burbs and regret it somewhat. I was raised in the city. So we decided either DT or country living for us. Skip the middle ground – the suburbs. My older sons agree.

We chose the Austonian for ability to combine units, the pool area, dog area, the large exercise room, ping pong and pool table, yoga room,ballroom and the in-house movie theater. All of these things combined to replace our suburban home completely. The views of the downtown and the Capital are amazing. No yard work or maintenance.

4) What do you love about raising your child in an urban setting?
All the things there are to do within walking distance. Restaurants, UT, Moody Theater,?Long Center, new rowing center, the lake and much more. There is never a dull moment. They have many interactions with neighbors around the pool and dog area in the?building which has made them quite adept socially.

5) What would you improve?
Need more and better Chinese and other Asian restaurants (the thing we miss about the west coast) and fewer chain steak houses. Keep the music venues from disappearing, please.

6) What are activities that your child does at home for fun?
The youngest is a musician and plays the guitar and piano. He is in a local band. The oldest boys loves technology. For him programming and sound and video recording (mostly of his brother’s performance) are fun activities.

(Editor’s note: Here’s a video of the youngest’s, Gabe’s, band on YouTube:

7) What are your family¹s favorite activities Downtown Austin outside of your home?
We walk to breakfast, lunch, or dinner most days. We have tickets to some event every week.

8) Overall, how family-friendly do you think your building is? Why or why not?
There are few children here in the building. True. The boys music activities are their primary social outlet. They have no problem getting kids from the surrounding areas to come?DT and hang with them. Their friends love to be DT. Unfortunately, a high rise has no place for band practice. So, we go to homes in the burbs for that. The home school community is very large and there are dances and such to help with the social.

We think that socializing a child is having them interact with people of all ages and not just their peers. So, it works out just fine. They are very mature as a result.

9) Where does your child go to school? Why did you choose that school?
The boys started homeschooling last year and we wish we had started earlier. They have more time for their interests and get their work done without distraction or disruption from others. School is year round for them and anywhere we travel. A laptop and internet connection is all they need most of the time. We considered private and public schools, but chose to give home schooling a chance and it has been wonderful. There are many tutors available DT with UT nearby.

10) How do you find activities for your child?
Through music venues for performances – open mics, teen venues. Austin Homeschoolers Association. The play tennis in South Austin and exercise here in the workout room. The building has plenty of common area seldom used for boys to stretch their legs in.

Some decor in the boys’ room.

11) With your children being at or near driving age, how do you handle car-related issues?
Three parking spaces is plenty here. My wife and I keep only one car here. They have little interest in driving. Our 15 year old could get his permit, but wonders why he would want to. I suppose that will change when they meet more girls. My sons would like to encourage teen girls to talk their parents into moving DT. Ha ha.

Meet the Morin’s, Raising a Family in Downtown Austin

Paul and Adriana love living in downtown Austin with their 11-year old daughter Isabella, who they describe as “the light of our life.” Read below to learn about what they do for fun, what they think of their building (Towers of Town Lake), and what they think about raising their child in downtown Austin.

1) What do you do for a living?
Response: Paul is an Attorney and runs his own practice in downtown Austin and I am a Legal Secretary and assist him.

2) How old is your child (children)?
Response: Our daughter and the light of our life is Isabella. She 11 years old.

3) Why did you choose to live in a highrise (or just downtown if you are not in a highrise)? What building do you live in (if applicable)?
Response: It Paul’s idea to move downtown since his office is there. We live at Towers of Town Lake.

View of Town Lake from The Morin’s Condo (Snow Day In Austin)

4) What do you love about raising your child in an urban setting?
Response: We have really enjoyed the diversity in downtown living. There is so much to do and see.

5) What are activities that your child does at home for fun?
Response: She loves to draw and read and hang out with her friends at home.

6) What are your family’s favorite activities Downtown Austin outside of your home?
Response: We love to walk the hike and bike trail accross the street and take in the beautiful Town Lake scenery. We love to see the bats fly out from under the Congress Bridge. We have gone conoeing and fell in love doing this.

7) Overall, how family-friendly do you think your building is?
The staff are kindest and helpful staff. We have been blessed with the new friends we have made. The staff has seen our daughter grow up and treat her like they would treat their own children. Paul, Isabella and I have made life long friends. The residents are also the nicest group of people. They are well aware of children living in the building and are really warm towards our little ones. Sweetest Residents.

8) Where does your child go to school? Why did you choose that school?
Response: Bella attends Mathews Elementary in the Clarkesville area. This school was designated as her school and we could not have asked for a better A rated school. The entire Mathews Staff and Principal, Mrs. Amy Kinkade, who will retire this year and will be sorely missed are the best. We chose this school for its diversity. We have learned so much from the many cultures of many of the students. Mathews holds an International Festival every year to celebrate the nationality of the student body. It is a celebration we all look forward to every year. Every Teacher Bella has had since Kindergarten have had a great influence on Bella. She has learned so much from each one of her teachers throughout her tenure at Mathews Elementary and treasures everything she has learned from each them.

Paul and Bella at Mathews School Function

9) How do you find activities for your child?
Response: Through Mathews News Letters sent home every Wednesday and or Announcements made at the school. We have found many things for Bella to do.

Meet Jade, Paul, and Lark: Families in Downtown Austin Condos

Meet Jade, Paul, and Lark.  Jade and Paul are two entrepreneurs raising their 6-year old in a condo in Downtown Austin.  They love what Austin’s Urban Core has to offer.  Read about their experiences in this post!

1)    What do you do professionally?
My husband, Paul Adrian, and I are the founders of an Austin-based video technology start-up. latakoo is the fastest way to send video over the Internet with a one-click compression app for Mac, Windows & iOS and simple web interface to manage and share video. Enterprise solutions include collaboration groups, access control, integrations & private video sharing. Current customers include NBC, Nexstar Broadcasting, and other broadcast and public relations professionals.

2)    How old is your child?
Our daughter Lark is 6-years-old.

3)    Why did you choose to live in a highrise?
We love living in the core of a city. We’ve always chosen to live in or near downtown when we could manage it. We think downtowns have a heart and soul that cannot be replicated in the suburbs. Austin, of course, has a pulse it’s very own and you can really feel the energy downtown. We want our daughter to be surrounded by people of different cultures, ethnicities, and languages. We think community is about embracing different types of people and learning from them. We want her to feel confident about managing life in the city. Her grandparents live in the Texas Hill Country so we have profound love and respect for the ranch life as well.

4)    What do you love about raising your child in an urban setting?
Every weekend is an adventure that’s just around the corner, whether it’s taking in a road race, browsing an art gallery, enjoying a festival, or just walking over to the farmer’s market and meeting new people and trying new things. Music is everywhere. You can’t go for a walk anywhere near Sixth Street without hearing the pulsing sounds of live music coming from each open door. We also really enjoy being close to the Austin Children’s Museum and we were heart-broken to hear they have decided to move. We think that’s a bad decision for Austin. A children’s museum located in the heart of the city means that families get to experience a whole lot more than the museum – they can plan a day of downtown activities. At least Ballet Austin is still here. Our daughter takes classes at Ballet Austin, we attend shows, and we’re planning to soon try some of the adult classes.

5)    What would you improve?
I would keep and promote as many family-oriented places and activities. I so wish for a park with playground equipment nearby. It pains me that many of the high-rise apartments in downtown Austin don’t offer three bedroom apartments or if they do, the prices are so out-of-reach for a young, middle-income, family. Rents for two-bedroom apartments are already cost-prohibitive for many families. Then, if you add parking on top of it (which most apartments charge, but condos often don’t), it becomes impossible to live in downtown. When that happens, you eliminate a whole group of people from downtown.

6)    What are activities that your child does at home for fun?
We’ve been lucky to arrange play dates as we have friends who live nearby. Children who visit usually love the high-rise element of our living space. Lark and her Dad (who were both avid gardeners when we lived in a house) have also cultivated an herb garden on our balcony. She waters the herbs and tends to them daily. One of Lark’s favorite places in our apartment is her art center, located right in front of the 10-foot glass window (it doesn’t open, so maybe it’s just a “glass wall”) to downtown. She loves to play and draw and watch people walk by, but she most enjoys all the animals that go for their walks. I say animals because one day we saw a pig being walked on a leash!

7)    What are your family’s favorite activities Downtown Austin outside of your home?
We absolutely love our proximity to Lady Bird Lake Trail. Both Paul and I go for runs on the trail. Lark and our sweet miniature schnauzer, Lucky enjoy walks on the trail. On the weekends, we always visit the Farmer’s Market. We often walk along the creek to get a cup of coffee or go to Whole Foods. We’ve established restaurants that have become our “go-to” places. While we wish downtown restaurants were more kid friendly (most don’t even offer a kids’ menu), we have found that all of them will pull something wonderful together for our daughter. Cru is our favorite nearby place. Our daughter inhales the goat cheese beignets at Cru. The staff is really kind and attentive. Most of the restaurants with outside seating are also very canine friendly. Lucky is always treated to a fresh bowl of water and lots of attention.

8)    Overall, how family-friendly do you think your building is?
I don’t really have any scientific numbers on our building so I hesitate to characterize it. Our building doesn’t seem to be overly family-friendly. We see kids every now and then, but it’s pretty rare. Our building appears to be heavily populated with young, working, professionals and students. We have run into a number of young entrepreneurs and that’s really encouraging considering our life path.

9)    Where does your child go to school?  Why did you choose that school?
Our daughter attends Mathews Elementary School. Like many parents, we struggled on the choice for school. Because of the culture and values, we looked very closely at several Montessori programs that gave us every indication they would be fantastic for our daughter. We also considered cost, our proximity to her at all hours, and diversity. We spoke to a lot of people and did a lot of research about school grades and culture. We decided on Mathews because of the school’s reputation for strong teachers, administrators, and high-achieving students. The school is also known for the international community within its’ student population. That’s very important to us.

10) How do you find activities for your child?
Our school, the trail and downtown, all offer loads of nearby activities. We haven’t been bored a day since we moved here!

Jade took this photo on a run of the trail.

Family-Friendly Things to do in Downtown Austin Today: Sunday, February 3, 2013

Enjoy some family time today, you deserve it (and your kids need it!).  Today, instead of the same boring routine of TV, iPads,  or video games, try mixing it up with something that is fun (and possibly educational) – try a TOUR!  (And we KNOW it’s Super Bowl Sunday, but who says you can’t get a little outside time before camping out in front of the TV for several hours?)

Tour The Texas State Capitol, FREE

This is probably something you haven’t done in a while, but it’s a fun, free, and interesting way to kill some time.  On Sundays, they offer free tours from 12noon – 3:30pm. Click here for more information and tour guides. Tours last about 45 minutes.

Duck Tours by Austin Duck Adventures, Adults – $25.95, Kids 3-12 – $15.95

Satudays and Sundays at 11am, 2pm, and 4pm, Duck Tours load up you and about 50 fellow tour seekers in an “unsinkable, US Coast Guard Inspected, Hydra Terra vehicle,” where you are guided through downtown Austin and Ladybird Lake.  Tours started at the Austin Visitor’s Center at 209 East Sixth.  Check out the Austin Duck Adventures website for more information and to purchase tickets.

Rocket Electric Bike Tours, $35+/person

Offering a variety of Tours that last 3-4 hours, Rocket Electrics knows how to pedal party in a family-friendly way. The bikes aren’t of they standard variety – read more here. Though these tours probably aren’t for the super young (at least in terms of riding the bikes – that’s probably best suited for families with teenagers – though you should call for age restriction information), they are so. much. fun.  The owners, Nicole and John, are great, too. Best part is, if you like your experience on the tour, you can actually BUY one of the bikes, too! Rocket Electrics is located just south of downtown (in the Amli South Shores), and most of their tours focus around the downtown area.

Austin Segway Tours, $55+

While pricey, this is something that every family should probably do at least once. There are a variety of tour options, too – all centering around downtown Austin.  Check out their website for full information.  We recommend calling for age restriction information, too.

Family Friendly Events in Downtown Austin: 1/26/2013 and 1/27/2013

The weather has been phenomenal this week.  Don’t let you or your kids miss out on the outdoors before the heat gets overwhelming.  Walk, bike, or Car2Go to one of these family-friendly events in downtown Austin this weekend.

Butterfly Family Day at The Bullock Museum, 1/26/2013 11am-3pm, FREE

The Bullock will play host to a plethora of FREE family activities revolving around butterflies.  You and your kids will learn about flora that support butterflies while making butterfly related crafts like a butterfly garden and other art.  You’ll also be treated to a screening of Flight of the Butterflies in 3D (beginning at 11:30am).  More information here.

Children’s Art Bazaar at The Wet Whistle (East Austin), 11am-5pm, FREE

Our friends at the uber-hip The Wet Whistle in East Austin (at the corner of MLK and Chicon) are holding a small children’s fair of sorts at their splendid coffee shop / corner store.  Enjoy an art bazaar and children’s craft corner among other delightful surprises.  Check out their Facebook Page to learn more about the shop.

Improv for Kids at The Hideout Theatre, 1/27/2013 at 2pm, $8 for tickets

The Hideout Theatre at 617 Congress Avenue will be performing an interactive show where the actors ask the audience for ideas to use in improvising their scenes. Always tons of fun for the little ones.

Family-Friendly Events in Downtown Austin: January 19, 2013 – January 20, 2013

It’s the weekend again, and your kids are desperately trying to do something fun!  They want to be outside, enjoying the weather, spending time with you!  Do yourself (and them) a favor and help them explore the city they live in!  Here are a couple of close by attractions happening this weekend.

Zilker Botanical Gardens has a couple of things going on this weekend.  Today at 2pm, they are hosting a Faerie Tea party, where children can delight in flower-wreath making and mini-cupcakes. $10 per child.  Tomorrow, you can go back to ZBG to build a hidden habitat a la the Forts & Faerie Homes event. $2 for adults, $1 for kids.

Call 974-3888 with questions.



Help your kids learn one of the most challenging and strategic games there is, all while enjoying the beauty of a downtown Austin park.

Visit Brush Square today for Giant Chess.  It’s free, it’s fun, and you might just learn something!

Family Friendly Events in Austin: January 6, 2013

Today!  From 1pm – 5pm, our friends at the Austin Bike Zoo will be giving FREE Butterfly Bike Rides at The Wet Whiste, a very darling convenience store concept in East Austin – at the corner of MLK and Chicon.  Bring your little one to enjoy the wonders of machine / human artistry!


While not technically downtown, the event is downtown accessible AND Austin Bike Zoo is headquartered in Downtown Austin in the Rainey Street District. One of our sister blogs about Downtown Austin Real Estate is a sponsor of ABZ, as well!

Family Friendly Events in Austin: December 28, 2012 thru December 30, 2012

Christmas vacation is coming to an end! Toys have been unwrapped, Christmas dinner has been eaten, and now its time to get the little ones out of the condo! But what to do? Never fear – has your curated guide for 3 kid-friendly things to do in downtown Austin this weekend!

Storytime at BookPeople! Come to our favorite independent book-seller, BookPeople on Lamar in downtown Austin to be entertained.  Story time starts at 11:30am on Saturday, December 29th, and is free!

UT Mens Basketball plays Rice University on Saturday (12/29) at The Frank Erwin Center.  Tip off is scheduled for 1pm.  And, best part – tickets are only $3! Yes, $3!  General Admission and Mezzanine Level tickets are available.  Buy tickets here.

The Hideout Theatre‘s last performance of The Flying Theatre Machine Presents: Monster Families will be held this Sunday at 2pm.  This is an interactive show where the actors ask the audience for ideas to use in improvising their scenes.  Tickets are $8, and there were only 9 left as of the posting of this blog.

Family Friendly Events in Downtown Austin This Weekend: 12/21/2012 through 12/23/2012

It’s cold outside, but you’re getting sick of your kids being cooped up in your condo, in front of the computer playing games. What’s a downtown Austin parent to do? Well, with a little creativity and / or a few bucks – you can keep your kids entertained with some fabulous experiences this weekend. Here are some curated picks about what’s going on in downtown Austin this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Delight in the story of Junie B. Jones, a smart and spunky first-grader.  She, along with her friends, embark on an amazingly entertaining adventure revolving around a Secret Santa gift exchange, and understanding the true meaning of the joy of Christmas.

It’s so much of a fun time, you (and your kids) may not even realize that there is embedded an important lesson about choices.

The show runs tonight and tomorrow – so get your tickets now!  Ticket prices range from $8-$10, depending on your age.

Buy tickets here.

Disney comes to Austin this Sunday, in the form of three 1-hour concerts (1pm, 4pm, and 7pm).

Several recognizable Disney favorits (Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Buzz Lightyear to name a few) will be performing family favorites from soundtracks from the movies.

Visit the Frank Erwin site for more info about the show and to buy tickets.

Photo by Lars Plougmann

The Farmers Market in downtown Austin is the place to go to buy ingedients to make a delicious holiday treat. This Sat., it’s also the place to make a memory with your little one.  12/22 will be Santa’s last day at the market.
He’s not locally-sourced, but we’ll forgive him.
Pictures with Santa are from 10am-12pm.  More information about the AFM downtown here.

Don’t forget to check out our post from last week, too – as there are some events that were posted last week that are ongoing throughout this weekend, as well.

Meet Cruce, Rachel, and Crucie: Raising a Family in a Highrise

Meet Cruce and Rachel.  They love raising their 4 and a half year-old son Crucie in downtown Austin.  They live in The Shore Condos, a newer highrise in the heart of The Rainey Street District.  I interviewed them to get some insight on the why, the what, and the how of raising a child downtown.

AUF: Tell me what you both (you and Cruce) do professionally.

Family: Cruce: Entrepreneur, runs a content management and content marketing consulting firm called Simple [A], specializing in all things web content. He works from home, in our live/work condo, integrating work and family. Rachel: Parenting consultant and educator, part-time lecturer at UT, mom to Crucie.

AUF: How old is Crucie?

Family: 4.5 (we moved into the condo when he was about 18 months)

AUF: Why did you choose to live in a highrise?
We knew we wanted to live in a condo for a few reasons – low maintenance, loved the idea of shared living, liked the idea of being downtown, the proximity to everything we wanted to do, and believed that a downtown condo would appreciate in value very quickly.

AUF: What do you love about raising your child in an urban setting?

Family: EVERYTHING. The first “drawback” most people cite is not having a yard. It’s true, we don’t have a yard. In exchange we have Lady Bird Lake. We literally traded a one-hour-lawn plus pre-fabricated playscape for fishing on the lake, collecting pecans and sticks, riding bikes along the trail, picnicing while watching the bats, hiking, and countless other adventures – all in our “back yard”. We love the community, the amenities, the easy walking access to good food and activities. We love the simplicity – living small and teaching our son that experiences are more valuable than things.

AUF: What is one thing you would improve?

Family: Can’t think of much. I would say the price, but I’m glad our property is appreciating. Noise can sometimes be an issue being next to the Rainey Street District, but in our particular unit, we have been mostly immune to the club scene.

AUF: What are some activities that Crucie does at home for fun?

Family: We have very few toys. We mostly do activities and have adventures. We cook, garden on the porch, paint, create art, tell stories. We’ve flown on airships and broom sticks, built jet packs, and gone “camping” in the condo. We read, read, read. We play with play doh, water, popcorn, beans, and rice. We build with large blocks. And although it may not sounds like fun, we do lots of cleaning – Crucie loves to spray windows, scrub the floor, and help fold laundry.

AUF: Overall, how family-friendly do you think your building is?

Family: Super family friendly. The staff are so nice to Crucie. We get at least four good mornings and hellos on our way to the car each morning to go to school. Ben lets Crucie clean the pool with him and always shows him how whatever cool machine he has works. The pool is PERFECT for children, it’s where Crucie learned to swim. And our community of neighbors are friendly and always smiling.

AUF: What are some of your favorite activities to do in Downtown Austin outside of your home?

Family: We live across from the Mexican American Cultural Center (the MACC). We usually join in on whatever city supported festival is taking place. We also love their museum and art displays. We love to explore Lady Bird Lake and the hike & bike trail. Jim Jim’s Water Ice is a nice nearby treat. Also close by, East Austin has a huge number of eating-out options, including amazing food trailers. We watch the bats, we eat local food in the Rainey Street District, and we bike. The Convention Center is a stone’s throw, and we’ve watched the Texas Rollergirls play roller derby there. We can walk/bike to the library, and we love to drive Car2Go Smart Cars to zip around town.