On most weekends, you can find the Butler crew out enjoying an Abilene event. We love to do things as a family, and I think our kids enjoy it too. But sometimes you have to indulge in a good old fashioned date night. Right? Austin and I did just that this weekend. Actually we killed two birds with one stone and enjoyed both our family and a date night at the Abilene Philarmonic.

This weekend Abilene Philarmonic kicked off Oktoberfest with their Beer, Brats and Beethoven event. On Saturday afternoon, we loaded up the kids and headed to the Abilene Civic Center. We were welcomed by the smell of yummy German food and traditional polka music. We made our way to May Farm’s petting zoo. They were stationed on the front lawn of the civic center, and there was plenty of shade. This was the highlight of my kids’ afternoon. We spent about 45 minutes petting and feeding every animal. There were bunnies, chicks, a llama and a ferret. The baby goats stole the show in the eyes of the Butler boys. They could not stop loving on them. Then the boys wrapped up their time with a horseback ride. After we steered our crew inside for some food and music. There were two booths to choose from but we went with 1881’s beer cheese soup in a bread bowl and their giant soft pretzels. As we ate we enjoyed the polka music. The boys played a few games, and then we took them home. We purchased the food, but the rest of the event was completely free.



Everyone got cleaned up and the babysitter arrived! Austin and I returned to the Abilene Civic Center for the Beethoven Masterworks I concert. This was our first experience with the Abilene Philarmonic and we were extremely impressed. The music was excellent. As far as a date night goes, it was quiet, restful and relaxing. Those are three things that do not normally describe my day, so it was really enjoyable from a mom’s perspective. It was different than our typical date night too. We normally go out to dinner and call it a night! It was refreshing to do something unique.


The next concert will be, Masterworks II – Fairy Tales and Romance, on October 29th. Then they will be kicking off the holiday season on December 3rd with Pops I – Jazzing Up the Holidays. There will be a special family matinee at 3:00 P.M. It will be geared toward young children and will be a shorter performance. We are excited to take our boys for their first concert experience.

We also learned a little history while at the concert. The Abilene Philharmic has been a part of the local musical scene for the last 66 years. They were founded in 1950. Maestro Itkin has been serving as the Music Director and Conductor for the last 12 years. The philharmonic also plays a big role in our local education systems on both the collegiate and grade school levels. Every October they perform free specially programmed concerts for the local 3rd – 5th graders and approximately 7,000 students will be in attendance. We also learned about a new orchestra in town, The Civic Orchestra Abilene.  It is a new partnership between Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene Christian University, and McMurry University. Their first concert will take place at Cullen Auditorium at Abilene Christian University on November 3rd. You can find more information on their website.

Next time you are planning a date night, step out of the box and give the Abilene Philharmonic a try! Or gather the family and head to the family Pops matinee to ring in the holiday season. We hope to see you there!

If you would like to see a lineup of local events for this week, you can head to my personal blog, The Butlers’ Quarters. 

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