Austin Kiddie Limits Spotlight: Tim Kubart

Before I heard Tim Kubart’s new CD, Home, I had never listened to a children’s music album all the way through. I was blown away with the smart lyrics that are appropriate for a small child and still fun to listen to for an adult, and the catchy, multi-dimensional music. 

My six-year-old is addicted to it, and we listen to (or watch the video for) “Breakfast Club” every day before school these days.

ACL with Kids had the opportunity to meet Tim while at ACL in October, and he told us a little more of his story:

* * *
When Tim was in college at Fordham, he enrolled in a class called “Women in Theology”, and a service project was required of the students. Tim picked a homeless shelter for women and children and worked in the nursery; he loved kids and found it to be a natural fit for him. He began making up and singing songs to the kids, and the director of the homeless shelter asked him to stage a small concert for the children. He wrote a song called “The Octopus Song”.

Tim said, “Within a minute, I knew what I wanted to do with my life.”

Since then, Tim taught preschool, did some acting and moonlighted as a session musician, and played birthday parties for the kids of P. Diddy, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, among other big names.

Tim also hosts the only live morning show for preschoolers, "The Sunny Side Up Show,” on NBCUniversal’s Sprout channel. With his buddy Chica the Chicken, Tim sings songs and performs skits live every day, 365 days a year. Some of his favorite visitors include OK GO, Lentil the Dog, Matt Lauer, Wrangler the Dog, and the First Lady, Mrs. Obama. Tim made his Sprout debut in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013, and has appeared in NBC's PSA campaign "The More You Know."

“I want people to know that although it’s under my name, it’s a huge collaboration,” Tim said.
“I write a lot with Matt Puckett from Mother Falcon and we have been writing together since the beginning. I’m so lucky that I get to do this thing with my best friends.”

His new album, Home, the first since “Anthems for Adventure” in 2013, is a pop-based collection of songs based on Tim and Matt’s childhood memories and resulting wisdom.

“We tried to make the album sound very now,” Tim said. “We listened to music that’s on the radio and tried to get it to sound like current music.”

Tim lists his influences as fellow ACL player Justin Roberts; also The Muppets and Jim Henson, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift. Growing up, he says he listened to Weird Al and Blink 182. 

Tim continues to play shows for kids and families almost every weekend, and leads music classes and birthday parties. He is a professional actor and voiceover artist, with credits on primetime television, soap operas, and numerous national commercials and campaigns. He has played the leading man in a web series for both CosmoGirl and

He is also a working actor and musician, most notably as the house bass player for America's Got Talent, performing live from Radio City Music Hall to 12 million people nationwide.
Tim lives and rides his bike in Brooklyn.

His mission in work and in life is to spread kindness and joy, and to encourage others to do the same.  When we see the faces of the kids listening to his music, it's clear he is succeeding. 


Austin Kiddie Limits 2015: Weekend One Highlights

It was a GORGEOUS weekend, and we packed in as much action as we could. The weather was great, and when we arrived on Friday morning, the park was just beginning to come alive.

The Austin Kiddie Limits area is fantastic for families. It's a little haven for kids and parents in a smoke-free, relaxing, and less-crowded environment. The entire section was festooned with ribbons, streamers, and bright colors and activities for the kids and parents alike.

There was plenty to do, with ceramic painting, crazy hairdo stations, the instrument petting zoo, a drum circle, bean bag toss, and karaoke. The Q Brothers and some of their friends set up a Hip-Hop station and let the kids scratch on the turntables while they made up a free-form rap on the subject of whatever the kids requested. Most impressive moment: they used the word "palindrome" in a rap about the topic "racecar". Pretty clever, eh?

Hip-Hop workshop with the Q Brothers and friends

The talent in the Austin Kiddie Limits is crazy good. As in, better than anything on the radio or satellite stations for kids. This is excellent-quality music with above-average musicians, singing lyrics that are not only appropriate for kids, the lyrics teach and uplift.

Tim Kubart, along with two of his best friends and backed by Mother Falcon, was one of the fan favorites, bringing kids and parents to their feet. They sang songs from Tim's new album, Home, and their set was over too quickly.

Tim Kubart with Mother Falcon

The very talented Justin Roberts also stopped by to say hello to us, and he was thrilled to be in Austin for the first time.

Justin Roberts with LiveMom's Catherine Prystup

Ooh, and did you know there are free snacks in the AKL area? Lifeway provided frozen kefir pops that tasted like sherbet. We may or may not have requested a second serving. And KIND bars offered a new salted caramel product.

The Land of Nod set up several teepees, blankets, and books for a lovely respite area for the kids to chill out. I kind of wanted to crawl inside one of the teepees and take a nap, myself. 

The Land of Nod's TeePee area

Big Don, a local favorite, was kind enough to spend a little time with us after his show on Saturday afternoon. His mission is to create music that kids love, and as an ambassador for Hip-Hop music. 

"Hip-Hop has a negative connotation, and I want to change that," Big Don said. "Kids are smart. Start when they're young and give them character-building words, and they remember." 

Big Don rocks the stage.

Are you attending ACL on Weekend 2? Don't miss Big Don, the Q Brothers, Mister G, and EmiSunshine on Friday; School of Rock, Mister G, EmiSunshine, and the Pop-ups on Saturday; and School of Rock, Q Brothers, Motown Pete, and the Pop-ups on Sunday. 

Have fun!


ACL Kiddie Limits Spotlight: Big Don

Hey Austinites - did you know that award-winning hip-hop musician Don Robinson (Big Don) is based right here in our wonderful city? He is a member of the Austin music hall of fame, and has been part of the Austin music scene for 22 years. 

Big Don's charismatic style and charm is legendary! Catch him on the Austin Kiddie Limits stage on Saturday, October 3; Sunday, October 4; and Friday, October 9. He was kind enough to grant us a preview interview before his show tomorrow. 

What has been the most exciting gig you have performed so far? 

We have performed at ACL on the kids stage twice before and it is always a super exciting environment! Playing a festival like ACL that is really the biggest gathering of a local community is always amazing to us.

Who is a fan of your music that you never expected to have? 
College kids! We actually have a huge following among kids in their 20's who identify with the contemporary sound that we bring to the production of our music. The messages are obviously aimed at kids between the ages of 3 and 9 years of age, so when college kids approach me about how they dig the sound, it's pretty flattering.

What do you love about performing in Austin? 
Austin is one of the best communities on the planet for getting together an having a good time whether it's the annual Kite festival or many of our world-famous music festivals like ACL and South By Southwest. People here really love to embrace getting together and sharing everything the city has to offer with family.

What is the best thing about being a musician for children? 
There is absolutely no better feeling than being able to make a child smile. We played one of our performances at the Austin Children's Hospital. Getting those kids up, smiling and dancing and being able to forget about being sick for even a brief amount of time was really special to us.

What are your some of your favorite songs that are not kids' music? 
Well, being a musician I am influenced by everything from James Brown to Michael Jackson. I simply love Pop, Soul and Hip Hop Music! My favorite song of all time is "Dancing Machine" by the Jackson 5.

What's your favorite restaurant in Austin? 
Chuy's is my favorite restaurant on earth. There just is nothing better!

Welcome back to the ACL stage, Big Don!

Sat, Oct. 3rd | 1:00 - 1:25 PM
Austin Kiddie Limits

Sun, Oct. 4th | 1:00 - 1:25 PM
Austin Kiddie Limits

Fri, Oct. 9th | 12:30 - 12:55 PM
Austin Kiddie Limits


ACL Kiddie Limits Live: Justin Roberts

And we're here! ACL is in full swing, and we are listening to and interviewing some of our favorite artists while we're on site. 


Did you know that Justin Roberts was in school getting an advanced degree in Theology when his first album started to take off? He had been a preschool teacher and decided to make a children's CD on a whim. While he was studying, he played occasional gigs for his professors' children, and he realized that his heart was in the music.

Justin finds inspiration from his own childhood memories and finds a personal connection to help him create his music. He has nine CDs in his repertoire now, and he is constantly looking for ideas and thinking about topics as they come up.

"I am a big fan of lyrics," Justin said. "So I like artists like Loudon Wainwright, Nick Lowe, and Joni Mitchell. Musically, I like Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys."

Speaking of the legendary Brian Wilson, Justin had a chance to play for him once, and Brian asked Justin to play a particular song again just for him. And then asked him to play it a second time, and then a third. On the third round of the song, Brian started harmonizing with Justin and creating his own version of the song.

Recently, Justin wrote the lyrics and music for a musical in Chicago, and watched it come to life. And he is working on a second picture book that is scheduled for released in 2017.

Listening to Justin play is like no other kids band you can think of - it's funny, and catchy, and sophisticated. And, of course, fun. Catch him again this Sunday, October 4, at 4 PM on the Austin Kiddie Limits stage.


Bill Childs: ACL Picks

Bill Childs is producer of Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, a syndicated family music radio show distributed by PRX.  You can listen to Spare the Rock locally here in Austin every Sunday at 6 p.m. on KUTX. On Spare the Rock Records, he’s also released three benefit compilations of music for kids, including Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti, which has raised over $75,000 in relief for Haiti. Bill also co-produces many family-friendly music shows in Austin including the upcoming Hush Hush Music Bash happening on October 3rd, from 4-7pm. 

As usual, ACL has sneaked up on me, doubly so because I'm going the second weekend. But still, there's lots to see and here are some picks of acts that might be of particular interest for families!

First of all, the Austin Kiddie Limits stage is packed this year, albeit almost entirely packed with male performers.

Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players is as good as it gets in music for families -- ludicrously catchy songs with a direct line to the brain of kids and adults alike. Also on the first weekend's bill, Tim Kubart's new album "Home" is pure pop goodness, and to see him with Mother Falcon will be extra great (note that you can see them for free on Saturday 10/3 at the Hush Hush Music Bash at the Domain!

On the second weekend, Mister G, recently nominated for a Latin Grammy, will bring his bilingual fun to the stage (and keep an eye on Spare the Rock's Facebook and Twitter feeds for your chance to see him Thursday morning in a special exclusive in-studio at KUTX). Also on the second weekend, the Pop-Ups will bring their infectious electronic fun to the AKL stage. And finally, Emi Sunshine, a 10-year-old from Tennessee, will mix some Appalachian music in.

Longtime local favorite Big Don will get everyone dancing with his positive hip hop. And finally, Residual Kid and the School of Rock will each show your kids that they, too, can rock.

Outside the family area, the Tito's Handmade Vodka stage may be the best place to camp out as a family. Rhiannon Giddens of Carolina Chocolate Drops is mesmerizing, El Tule will get you all moving, and Kali Uchis will give the kids a great introduction to modern soul.

Elsewhere, the Decemberists' early evening set on Sunday is promising; there's a lot more humor to be found in their live shows than you might expect, and I've found that kids enjoy the storytelling that characterizes many of their songs.

But for me, a huge amount of the fun of ACL when my kids were littler was walking around and discovering what struck their fancy, especially on the smaller stages. I still remember walking back from getting a taco with my daughter, then probably 10 or 11, and seeing Frank Turner, whom I'd never heard of at the time, on the Austin Ventures stage. She said, "We should go watch that!" and he's been an absolute favorite of both of ours ever since. So go and explore!


ACL 2015 Eats: better than your average festival food

My mouth is watering already... the food at ACL is going to be the best of the best in terms of festival food. Austin is famous for good food, and the crowds coming to the city to visit during ACL will not be disappointed with the choices. 

If you are bringing the kids, here are some of my personal favorites:

Amy's Ice Creams - Team Mexican Vanilla all the way. Nobody makes vanilla like Amy's. (For gluten free kiddos, all of the ice creams are GF except for the Oreo flavor)

Austin's Pizza - Regular and GF pizza, and pizza rolls

Children of the Kettle Corn - Creepy logo, awesome vegan/ GF kettle corn (popped in soybean oil)

Frank - The hot dogs and sausages are the bomb, and their waffle fries are GF

Freebirds World Burrito - Mmmm, fresh-made chicken, steak, or vegan tempeh burritos

GoodPop Popsicles - Hibiscus Mint, Watermelon Agave, Coldbrew Coffee, all vegan (except the coffee flavor) and GF

Hat Creek Burger Company - If you are a vegetarian, you're in luck - Hat Creek serves Hot Dang burgers, chock-full of beans and cashews (NUT ALERT!); their cheeseburgers are excellent and the chicken flashers are GF. 

P. Terry's - The secret weapon at P.Terry's is the oatmeal cookie. Super yum. Start with a burger or veggie burger with some fries and go all out.

Skull & Cakebones - I haven't tried them yet, but their delicious-sounding cupcakes are vegan, which means that my egg-allergic son can have one. I love them already.

Torchy's Tacos - Torchy's queso is one of my favorite things in town. And it's good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not that anyone really needs that much queso.

Trudy's - MINI STUFFED AVOCADOS. Say no more.

The full list of eateries is listed here, or go to the ACL site for more details. 

Amy's Ice Creams
Austin's Pizza
Burro Cheese Kitchen
Chi'Lantro BBQ
Children Of The Kettle Corn
East Side King
Freebirds World Burrito
GoodPop Popsicles
Hat Creek Burger Co.
Lonesome Dove Western Bistro
Maine Root Beverages
Mighty Bird
P. Terry's Burger Stand
ShadeTree Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
Skull & Cakebones
Southside Flying Pizza
Stubb's Bar-B-Q
Tamale Addiction
The Mighty Cone
The Peached Tortilla
The Salt Lick BBQ
The Woodshed Smokehouse
Tiff's Treats
Tinos Greek Cafe
Torchy's Tacos



ACL 2015: What can and can't I bring into the festival?

All passholders are allowed to enter and exit the festival as needed up to 3 times per day. You must be scanned upon exit at the gate in order to re-enter that same day. Passholders and their belongings will be searched upon entry and every re-entry to the park.

Guests and their belongings are subject to search upon entry or re-entry. If you don't have a bag, look for the "No Bag" line at the entrance. If you are bringing a bag in, you'll be searched in the other lines. 

  1. Baby Strollers
  2. Backpacks (Standard school sized. No frames or camping gear)
  3. Purse
  4. Binoculars
  5. Blankets, Sheets, Towels
  6. Cameras - only nonprofessional photos and video cameras will be allowed, and must be without equipment attachments such as selfie sticks, tripods, and monopods
  7. Empty CamelBak water bottles and hydration packs, and plastic or aluminum water bottles
  8. Portable/collapsible chair (Individual seat only; no double wide or connecting chairs)
  9.  Umbrella (Hand-held ONLY and no bigger than 42 in. when open)
  10. Water - you may bring two factory sealed bottles of water and refill them throughout the day at our free water filling stations
  11. Totems, rage sticks and flags under 12 ft. tall are allowed for way-finding among friends. Items that are deemed to be unsafe, inappropriate, or are being used for purposes other than intended may be confiscated on site.
  1. Aerosol containers, including sunscreen and personal beauty products
  2. Any and all professional audio recording equipment
  3.  Professional cameras (SLR, DSLR) and professional recording (photo, video, audio) equipment (NO large professional detachable zoom lenses, stands, monopods, tripods, attachment sticks (selfie sticks) or other commercial equipment.
  4. Any and all professional video equipment. No video recording will be allowed
  5. Drones or any other remote flying device
  6. Coolers of any kind. (Exceptions may be made for medical use)
  7. Framed backpacks
  8. Hammocks
  9. Glass and metal containers of any kind
  10. Illegal and Illicit substances of any kind
  11. Non-collapsible chairs
  12. Outside food or beverage (including alcohol) of any kind, except 2 factory sealed bottles of water (up to 1 liter each)
  13. Pets (except service animals)
  14. Professional radios or walkie-talkies
  15. Selfie sticks
  16. Skateboards, scooters, bicycles, wagons, carts or any personal motorized vehicles
  17. Smoking is not allowed in all Austin parks, including Zilker Park
  18. Tents, canopies, or shade structures of any kind
  19. Unauthorized/unlicensed vendors are not allowed. No unauthorized solicitation and materials including handbills, flyers, stickers, beach balls, give-aways, samples, etc.
  20. Weapons or explosives of any kind
  21. Fireworks
  22. Large chains or spiked jewelry
  23. Bicycles inside festival grounds (free parking is available near festival entrance)
  24. Carts of any kind (including Red Wagons)

For additional questions about allowed and prohibited items, e-mail
Children at ACL Festival.

Locker Rentals & Chair Check

Entertainment Lockers will have rental lockers available near the Lady Bird entrance, along with phone chargers. Complimentary chair check will be available there, too until 8:30PM each night. They go fast, so reserve yours now before they sell out.


Austin Kiddie Limits activities: from punk hairdos to video karaoke to the kiddie lounge

Austin Kiddie Limits countdown, kid style:  two more wake-ups! 

The Austin Kiddie Limits area is open 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of both weekends, it’s jam-packed with activities and music of all kinds. 

"My number one tip is to take kids on Friday afternoon/early evening and then leave them home with Grandma the rest of the weekend. Fridays never seem as crowded, the grass is fresh and not muddy, the bathrooms cleaner, and the crowd not as drunk/hungover."
- Writer/ Photographer ElizabethMcGuire

"Friday is the best day to take kids. We like to be there when it opens and head straight to Austin Kiddie Limits. There are usually some free food samples for the kids, and plenty of opportunities for face painting and small arts projects. The layout is very good-- it's somewhat closed off so you don't have to worry too much about escape artists. I recommend taking a stroller for kids and/or gear; even when our kids are walking the stroller carries our goods. Take empty water bottles for the kids as they have free water fill-up stations. We also pack noise-canceling headphones and a soccer ball for them to kick around between bands. Everyone has always been really nice to the kids there, and we have always felt welcome. That being said, we do get them out of there early. There are some things I'm not quite ready to discuss with them." 
- Austin-based yogi Andy De Waal

Ready? Line up the artists you want to see, and in between, take the kiddos to these fun activities:

Stop by and make a donation for a nice cold cup of lemonade. All money raised goes to the nonprofit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which funds research for childhood cancer. The Austin Kiddie Limits lemonade stand has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the cause in the past.

Need a break? Go here to sit down, relax and paint your own ceramic magnet.

Join your kids in these interactive musical activities that involve drumming all day long. Together, you can play some rhythm games, try out various percussion instruments, and create high energy drum beats. 

Does your kid want a pink mohawk? Check. Gelled-back hair? Check. Rock star hair? Check. Let them try it out here. 

The Q Brothers will teach kids how to scratch, beat box and rhyme, and offer a CD for you to take home with your budding star's vocals. 

Cool down with Lifeway ProBugs Kefir for Kids and frozen Kefir Push Ups, all made with Lifeway’s kefir. Don’t miss fun, kid-friendly giveaways, or the opportunity to contribute to the giant art mural.

Your rockers can pick a song, grab some props, and stand in front of a green screen and sing to the camera. They'll get to take home a copy of the recording. 

The only animals here are the rockin' kids - encourage them to pick up a guitar, bass, drums, keyboards. They are also offering a Rookies program where kids can play with others, even if they have no musical experience!

Because every kid in Austin needs a (temporary) tattoo!

Tepees, beanbags, and a relaxing ares to get some shade and kick up your feet with some reading material, or color a special bookmark designed by artist Michelle Romo to take home. 

Drink your greens! Daily Greens will donate 10 cents from each bottle sold in-store to the Whole Kids Foundation® to help fund school gardens, salad bars and nutrition education programs for teachers and staff.

Take a break from the heat and sun and let the  kids play in the sand and build a sandcastle. You can grab a seat and relax in the shade while still hearing some of your favorite music.

Grab an instrument and get your photo taken!

At this booth, adults can register their children with the festival and receive a wristband. In the instance that a child gets lost, we have a way to unite them with their parent. Many times, the booth also serves as a meeting place for many kids and adults when and if they get separated from each other.

A small, private room where nursing and expectant mothers can go to change a baby’s diapers, breast feed or have privacy to use a breast pump. The Family Services space is shared with the Tag-A-Kid space in the Austin Kiddie Limits area at the festival. It closes at 5PM daily.


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