I often cruise online resources for free family activities in Austin. This is how I came across a summer concert series in nearby Sunset Valley. Sunset Valley is legally its own little town with its own city hall and police force, but it’s in the middle of Austin. They are hosting outdoor concerts every few weeks during the summer, so we decided to check it out last night.
The main draw was the featured group, a jazz sextet led by Butch Miles who I had never heard of but he has a Wikipedia article about him, so I guess that makes him cool. The major drawback – the time – the concert didn’t start until 7:30, and Hannah’s usual bedtime is 7. But we were in the mood for some live music and thought Hannah should have the experience.
The venue was great – behind their city hall, the musicians sat under a large porch and spectators sat in chairs or blankets on some very excellent grass. Along the back of this area are six large wooden porch swings; these were very popular and filled up fast. We opted for a blanket, though Hannah did try out some chairs.
She didn’t stay sitting anywhere for long. We took turns following her around as she meandered through the area. Luckily, at these events the audience is very casual and friendly, and they don’t mind toddlers wandering around mid-concert. Hannah enjoyed checking out the other toddlers there and attempting to take their snacks. She has also recently figured out buckles, so she was briefly entertained by the buckle on the backpack.
The jazz group was standardly formulaic – they would play a couple minutes of a song and then would all do solos. According to jazz listening etiquette, we would all clap after each solo which Hannah thought was fun. At the end of a song, she would say, “More! More!”
The music was great, the weather was surprisingly pleasant, and Hannah was happy walking around. At 8:15, we decided it was enough past her bedtime that we should head home. I think we’ll be adding more Sunset Valley concerts to our family calendar.