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Urban Air Trampoline Park

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Urban Air Trampoline Park

Laura Standefer, Senior Trampoline Correspondent

March 27, 2019 

Jumparoo at Urban Air Trampoline Park is a special time for kids five and under. It allows for littles to burn all that energy without being trampled by older kids. Plus, parents can join in on the fun for free! 

 

When I first heard about Urban Air, I thought it would be YEARS before I would be able to pay a visit with my little one. However, Friday mornings from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. are Jumparoo Toddler Time, which is only for children five and under. We went today with some other neighborhood moms and kids, and it was legit. For $9, my kid played, ran, jumped, and danced for almost two hours. The best part? I got to play too! My friend and I may or may not have been recently reprimanded for jumping at another similar establishment… But here, parents are included in the price during Jumparoo hours and I took full advantage. While my child was rubbing his eyes, yawning, and crying for a nap, I was all like, 

“Please, kid, just five more minutes!”

Then, just when I think I couldn’t like Urban Air any more, they opened a second location near Cedar Park. This one is even more visually stimulating than the last one we went to and includes a mini ninja warrior obstacle course and an indoor zip line. Plus, this location even has a concession stand with food and beer for grown ups! I’ve often dreaded going to many of these “jumpy places,” but Urban Air has me asking, “Is it Friday yet?”

Volunteering with Kids

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Volunteering with Kids

Lyndsay McLeodSenior Pro Tips Correspondent

March 18, 2019 

Austin has a plethora of wonderful volunteer opportunities that you can participate in with your kids. Volunteering is beneficial to all parties involved, but especially children.

“Studies have shown that volunteering helps you to develop patience, compassion, empathy, leadership, and communication.”

And you know what else? Volunteering just makes you feel good!
There’s really nothing better than that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you see your kiddos making a difference in someone else’s life. We’ve put it the legwork for you and compiled a list of the many magnificent opportunities around our beautiful city that will not only enhance your own life but the lives of others as well.

All of these agencies offer you and your family the opportunity to serve and give back to your community. Many of them rely on volunteers to continue their work our community. By getting yourself and your family involved you have the ability to have a positive impact on somebody’s life. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Austin Child Guidance Center:

This agency helps to improve the mental health of children and their families through early intervention, diagnosis, and treatment to help develop the emotional skills to face life’s challenges. Volunteer opportunitiesrange from playing with children as they wait for their appointment to providing special event support.

Click here for more information on the Austin Child Guidance Center. 

Mobile Loaves & Fishes:

Mobile Loaves & Fishes volunteers hit the streets 7 nights a week, 365 days a year to provide food, clothing, hygiene products and other life-sustaining items to our homeless neighbors who are struggling to survive.  There are several different areas of opportunity to volunteer such as Truck Ministry or their Community First! Village.

Click here for more information on Mobile Loaves & Fishes.

Central Texas Food Bank:

This is a great opportunity to bring the whole family along and help fight food insecurity.

Click here for more information on the Central Texas Food Bank. 

Partners in Hope:

Partners in Hope is a Lake Travis ministry that connects people who desire physical, emotional, and spiritual help with people who will help.  Unlike ministries that organize a crisis response to a housing emergency, Partners in Hope helps families by working to improve living conditions, walking through a season of life, and empowering them to transform over time.

Click here for more information on Partners in Hope.

Generation Serve:

This program offers a variety of volunteer options for both young children as well as teens. Several of the opportunities are done alongside their peers without the supervision of a parent or guardian.

Click here for more information on Generation Serve. 

Fig Leaf Clothing Program:

Micah 6 of Austin offers street dependent youth a place to come for a snack or meal as well as take advantage of programmatic resources such as jobs club, expressions through art and occasionally guest speakers. 

Click here for more information the Fig Leaf Clothing Program. 

Sunday Supper:

Micah 6 Youth Center provides a safe environment for youth to relax and enjoy a hot, home cooked meal, something they may not otherwise have access to.

Click here for more information on Sunday Supper. 

Miracle League:

This is a baseball league for individuals between the ages of 4 and 19 that don’t fit into “regular” recreational leagues. Volunteers are needed for “buddies” and coaches.

Click here for more information on the Miracle League. 

STARRY:

STARRY nurtures children, strengthens families, and restores hope through counseling, family support, foster care, and adoption.

Click here for more information on STARRY.  

Urban Roots:

This organization offers individual volunteering or can help organize a group volunteer event. Urban Roots works to provide struggling families with fresh produce grown on their farm.

Click here for more information on Urban Roots. 

Meals on Wheels:

Meals on Wheels offers more than just meal delivery service! They have several active programs such as HOPE, a collaboration between Meals on Wheels and the Central Texas Food Bank, PALS, a program providing assistance in caring for the pets of elderly and disabled homebound clients, and Groceries To Go, which provides grocery delivery to clients who can cook for themselves but have no reliable or consistent help with grocery shopping.

Click here for more information on Meals on Wheels.

Brown Santa:  

This program provides assistance to underprivileged children and their families in Travis County and senior residents of local retirement centers in Travis County.

Click here for more information on Brown Santa. 

Cedar Rock Railroad

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Cedar Rock Railroad

Laura Standefer, Senior Train Correspondent

March 4, 2019 

Cedar Rock Railroad provides north Austin suburbs with a mini zephyr of their own.

The first time I had even heard of Cedar Rock Railroad was when I was invited to go with my neighborhood moms group. I was surprised to hear there was another train themed place in the area. Like many toddlers, my baby brother went through a train phase when he was little and I probably enjoyed it as much as he did. We grew up in Austin and, to this day, one of my favorite memories was going downtown and riding the Zilker Zephyr with my family. I was excited to experience something similar with my son, closer to our home.

I was skimming through the Evite and noticed that Cedar Rock Railroad had a Leander address. At first, I was disappointed, and almost didn’t attend because…

“I have to confess. I usually turn down plans if it requires 30 minutes in the car with my kid.”

To my surprise, I learned that it actually isn’t far from Round Rock at all. Just a few miles north of Sam Bass Road, I could get there in less than 15 minutes! Therefore, I decided to join the other moms and I’m so glad I did.

Lots of stuff to point at on this train ride!

We took the 10-15 minute train ride around the park, and then the kids spent the rest of the time climbing on a wooden train and walking through Cedar Rock’s “Pflooterville” (think mini Wild West). Even if your little one is just now entering the crawling, walking, or climbing stages you could kill some serious time here. Plus if they’re under one, they’re free! Older kiddos (3+) can enjoy the Little Locomotive Chase ride on their own afterwards.

 

Since CRR is so close, affordable, and fun, it has quickly become one of my favorites. While the area isn’t huge, they have several picnic tables and a concession stand with several snacks and drinks to choose from. I highly recommend packing up your family and giving Cedar Rock Railroad a try. All aboard!

Click here for more information on Cedar Rock Railroad.