Everyone thinks of New York as the city that never sleeps, but as anyone from Texas will tell you, Austin puts it to shame. With festivals, music, parks, and events all year round, there is never a dull moment in Austin, and there’s absolutely no reason to hear every child’s favorite summer phrase, “I’m bored”.
- Safari Champ
Whether you want to drop your kids off or stay and play with them, they’re sure to love their time at the many playgrounds and activity centers.
- Zilker Park
With a playground, a mini train that circles around the park, themed botanical gardens, and plenty of space to take a break for a picnic, Zilker Park is the perfect place for children to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
On top of the normal activities that Zilker features, they also host a variety of events throughout the year from music festivals, to light shows, to cultural festivals.
- Austin Children’s Museum
The Austin’s Children Museum features innovative learning experience in areas of science and art that inspire creativity and provide hours of entertainment.
- Let them play their hearts out at Mt. Playmore.
At Mt. Playmore, there’s no need to wait around while your kids, have all the fun. With the largest indoor playground in Central Texas, Mt. Playmore features an 18 foot tall, 3000 square foot playscape designed for both kids and their parents! The company also has a toddler area and restaurant.
- Take the dogs to Barking Springs.
Just because your dogs aren’t allowed at Barton Springs doesn’t mean that man’s best friend can’t enjoy a nice swim as well! Just downstream from Barton Springs, the fence and ends and it opens up to a sandy beach welcome to all your furry friends.
- Get them jumping at Hop n Happy.
Hop n Happy is the perfect place for your kids to play on their many jumpy castles and dive in to the foam pit! Whether it’s for a birthday party or just an afternoon of fun, your kids are sure to be jumping with joy.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with some ice cream.
What better way to cool down than some ice cream?
Amy’s Ice Cream
Amy’s is an award-winning ice cream shop that has fourteen locations all over Austin and an endless selection of flavors and mixes.
Lick Ice Creams
Lick is known for it’s unique flavors. If you’re feeling adventurous, head out to try their cilantro lime, goat cheese thyme and honey, or Texas au lait. (If these aren’t for you, not to worry, they have some normal flavors too.)
And for vegans, they have dairy free options, too!
- Go go-karting.
Satisfy your need for speed at K1 Speedway where go-karts go up to 40mph.
- Check out some of Austin’s natural springs and pools
Krause springs has 32 springs on the property and over 115 acres to camp on as well as a butterfly garden, waterfalls, and a natural grotto for a nice weekend getaway or just a fun day trip.
Barton Springs is located on the grounds of Zilker Park and is filled with natural spring water that will definitely cool you down in the Texas heat. Take a break from swimming for some delicious snow cones or head over to enjoy all the activities Zilker Park has to offer.
Hamilton Pool is a gorgeous natural swimming hole where Hamilton Creek spills over the limestone to create a 50 foot tall waterfall.
Jacob’s Well is a deep rock well that’s known for being a cliff jumping spot. So if you’re a daredevil, head out to Jacob’s well and get your adrenaline rush as you jump off of a rock into the hole that’s 7 feet in diameter and 135 feet deep.
McKinny State Park
The state park is known for its swimming hole, hiking trails, and picnic areas as well as the small nature center that’s open on the weekends.
- Take a hike
It’s only a short five minute hike to one of the most beautiful views in Austin; Mt. Bonnel offers an amazing view over Lake Austin.
Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls
Bring your dogs out for this nice hike that ends at a beautiful waterfall.
- Enjoy Lady Bird Lake (aka Town Lake)
From sail boating to kayaking to paddle boarding, Town Lake has it all. We recommend SUP to rent your paddle boards and Austin Sailboat Rentals for a fun day of sailboating.
And if you’re not a fan of the water, you can bike or hike on the 10 mile loop around the lake.
- Trailer Food Tuesday.
Take a break from the week’s busy schedule and head out to Long Park for trailer food Tuesday where there’s endless amounts of delicious food and live music to enjoy!
- Go bowling at the Texas Union.
The University of Texas puts a unique twist on bowling with their underground, black light bowling.
- Play mini golf at Peter Pan Mini Golf.
Have some good ole’ family competition with a game of mini golf, featuring statues of some of your favorite fantasy characters!
- Go back in time with Austin’s steam train
- Check out the Cathedral of Junk.
The Cathedral of Junk is the epitome of keeping Austin weird. With over 60 tons of junk making up its frame, the cathedral is the ultimate backyard toy house.
- Take a Duck Tour
There’s no better way to see the city of Austin and learn about its hidden gems than to sit back and relax while this car-boat hybrid takes you on a tour of the city before splashing in to Lake Austin.
- Visit the zoo
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
The Austin zoo is home to nearly every type of animal you can imagine. As if that didn’t give you enough to look at, the zoo also has weekly shows like alligator feeding, bear cub training, and children’s story time.
- Check out the kite festival once a year
Every March, Zilker Park hosts a kite festival with food, booths, contests, and of course, kites!
In 2016, the festival is happening on March 6, so be sure to head out and enjoy the lost art of flying a kite.
- Go geocaching.
Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt?! Take out your GPS or cell phone and track down one of the hundreds of hidden treasures located all over the world. You can find the locations online or on an app on your phone, and get ready for a surprise – people will leave all sorts of treasures, so you never know what you’re going to find!
- Watch the bats.
Seeing thousands, possibly millions, of bats swarm from under the bridge truly is an amazing sight that your kids will never forget! The “show” starts every night at dusk, so bring a blanket and some snacks and relax for some free entertainment.
Also, the city of Austin hosts the Austin Bat Fest every year in August (this year it falls on Saturday, August 22, 2015). It costs $10 for adults and is free for kids, who will love the crafts, activities, and bat costume contest.
- Pick some local fruit.
Fun, and healthy!
Sweet Berry Farms is located just outside of Marble Falls and offers family fun with picking deliciously fresh strawberries and blackberries as well as a hayfield maze and a petting zoo. The best time to go is in the spring from as early as March to as late as June.
- Have a blast from the past at Pioneer Farms.
The farm has five themed parks; an 1840s Tonkawa Encampment, an 1860s German Immigrant Farm, an 1870s Texian Farm, an 1880s Cotton Planters Farm and an 1890s Sprinkle Corner rural village. Each park has tons of activities, shows, and shops that take you back to the 19th century and make you feel like a real pioneer.
- Get in the Christmas spirit with the Trail of Lights.
Every year when December rolls around, Zilker Park transforms in to a winter wonderland with thousands of lights that are sure to put even Scrooge in a Christmas spirit.
- Horseback riding, of course!