Things to do in Austin with Kids

Things to do in Austin with kids

Looking for some fun things to do in Austin with kids? Look no further! The city is full of exciting options for kids of all ages. Whether you prefer outdoor adventures, indoor fun, educational experiences, or delicious dining experiences, Austin has something for everyone. Let’s explore some of the best activities that you can enjoy with your kids in this vibrant city!

Nature Walks and Hiking Trails

Austin is truly a nature lover’s paradise, with an abundance of beautiful natural landscapes just waiting to be explored. One of the most popular destinations for families is the Barton Creek Greenbelt, a sprawling oasis that boasts scenic trails, lush vegetation, and hidden swimming holes. As you meander through the trails with your little ones, keep an eye out for native wildlife such as deer, birds, and maybe even a playful squirrel or two. This is not just a walk in the park – it’s an opportunity to instill a love and appreciation for the great outdoors in your children.

For a more immersive experience, consider joining a guided nature walk where knowledgeable experts can point out interesting plants, insects, and geological formations along the way. It’s a chance for your kids to learn about the ecosystem in a hands-on and interactive way, fostering a sense of curiosity and wonder about the natural world.

Water Activities at Austin’s Lakes and Pools

When the Texas heat becomes too much to bear, there’s no better way to cool off than by taking a dip in one of Austin’s refreshing lakes or pools. Barton Springs Pool, a beloved natural spring-fed pool located within Zilker Park, offers a unique swimming experience surrounded by lush greenery and limestone walls. The water remains a cool 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, providing a welcome respite from the scorching sun. Encourage your kids to splash around and explore the underwater world teeming with tiny fish and aquatic plants.

Another iconic water spot in Austin is Lady Bird Lake, a serene reservoir that offers a variety of water activities for families. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and embark on a leisurely journey along the lake, taking in the sights of the city skyline and the lush shores. Your kids will love the sense of adventure that comes with navigating the waters and discovering hidden coves and wildlife along the way.

Parks and Playgrounds in Austin

When it comes to open green spaces and fun-filled playgrounds, Austin has no shortage of options to keep your little ones entertained for hours on end. Zilker Park, a sprawling recreational area nestled along the picturesque Colorado River, is a favorite among families for its wide range of activities. Let your kids run wild in the expansive green fields, conquer the playground structures, and cap off the day with a ride on the beloved Zilker Zephyr miniature train. It’s a place where imaginations soar and memories are made.

For a more intimate park experience, head over to Mueller Lake Park, a hidden gem in the heart of the city. Here, your children can cool off at the interactive splash pad, climb, slide, and swing to their heart’s content on the playground structures, or enjoy a leisurely picnic in the shaded areas. The park’s vibrant atmosphere and family-friendly amenities make it a perfect destination for a day of outdoor fun and relaxation.

Interactive Museums and Exhibits

Austin is a vibrant city with a rich cultural scene, and it’s no different when it comes to providing fun and educational experiences for kids. In addition to the Thinkery and the Texas Museum of Science and Technology, there are other interactive museums and exhibits worth exploring. The Austin Nature & Science Center, for example, offers hands-on activities that teach children about the natural world around them. From wildlife exhibits to outdoor exploration programs, kids can learn while having fun.

Moreover, the Bullock Texas State History Museum is a treasure trove of information about the state’s history through engaging exhibits and interactive displays. Kids can immerse themselves in the past and gain a deeper appreciation for Texas’s rich heritage.

Indoor Play Areas and Trampoline Parks

When it’s time for some high-energy fun, indoor play areas and trampoline parks in Austin deliver excitement for kids of all ages. In addition to Urban Air Adventure Park, Altitude Trampoline Park is another popular destination known for its trampolines, foam pits, and dodgeball courts. These parks are not just places for kids to play – they are spaces where they can challenge themselves, build confidence, and make new friends.

Furthermore, Mt. Playmore is a massive indoor playground that features slides, tunnels, and climbing structures, providing endless entertainment for children seeking adventure and exploration. With designated areas for different age groups, parents can relax knowing their kids are playing in a safe and supervised environment.

Art and Craft Centers for Kids

Fostering creativity in children is essential, and Austin’s art and craft centers offer the perfect outlets for young artists to express themselves. Beyond the Art Garage, places like the Dougherty Arts Center provide a range of classes in various art forms, from sculpture to mixed media. These centers not only teach kids new skills but also encourage self-expression and confidence in their artistic abilities.

Additionally, the Contemporary Austin offers family art workshops where children can explore contemporary art concepts and create their own pieces inspired by current exhibitions. It’s a fantastic way for kids to engage with modern art in a hands-on and meaningful way, sparking their imagination and broadening their artistic horizons.

Science and Technology Centers

Austin’s science and technology centers provide educational and entertaining experiences for curious young minds. The Austin Science and Nature Center offers interactive exhibits, educational programs, and nature trails. The center’s knowledgeable staff are passionate about sharing their love for science and nature with children, sparking a lifelong interest in the environment and wildlife. Additionally, visitors can participate in hands-on activities like fossil digging and wildlife observation, making learning a fun and immersive experience.

Another must-visit destination is the Austin Planetarium, where kids can embark on a journey through the cosmos. The planetarium’s state-of-the-art shows transport young audiences to distant galaxies and teach them about the wonders of the universe. Interactive exhibits on astronomy and space exploration allow children to explore the mysteries of the cosmos firsthand, inspiring a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world beyond our own.

Historical Sites and Museums

Explore Austin’s rich history by visiting its historical sites and museums. The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a treasure trove of knowledge, offering a glimpse into the diverse and vibrant history of Texas. From interactive exhibits detailing the state’s pivotal moments to artifacts that bring the past to life, the museum provides a captivating learning experience for children of all ages. Young visitors can immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of Texas history, gaining a deeper appreciation for the events and individuals that shaped the state.

Step back in time with your kids and explore the various exhibits that showcase Texas’ cultural heritage. From the cowboy era to the Civil Rights movement, the museum offers a comprehensive look at the state’s evolution over the years. Engaging activities and guided tours make learning history an exciting adventure, allowing children to connect with the past in a meaningful way.

Libraries and Reading Events

Austin’s libraries are not just repositories of books but vibrant hubs of learning and creativity for children. The Austin Public Library goes beyond traditional reading programs to offer a variety of engaging activities that foster a love for literature. Storytime sessions transport young listeners to magical worlds, while book clubs encourage lively discussions and critical thinking skills. Workshops on writing and storytelling empower kids to unleash their creativity and express themselves through words, nurturing a lifelong passion for reading and learning.

Encourage your little ones to explore the vast literary landscape waiting for them at the library. With a diverse collection of books catering to every interest and age group, children can embark on literary adventures that ignite their imagination and broaden their horizons. The library’s welcoming atmosphere and dedicated staff create a nurturing environment where young readers can thrive and discover the transformative power of books.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Austin

Enjoy a delicious meal at one of Austin’s many kid-friendly restaurants. Places like Hat Creek Burger Company offer mouthwatering burgers, chicken tenders, and fries.
Check the list of top 10 restaurants in Austin here.

Austin’s Best Ice Cream Shops

End your day of fun and adventure with a sweet treat from one of Austin’s best ice cream shops. Lick Honest Ice Creams uses locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients to craft unique flavors that both kids and adults will love. Take a moment to indulge in a scoop or two of goodness.
Amy’s Ice Creams is a staple for families with its wide selection of homemade ice creams and toppings. Treat your taste buds while creating lasting memories. Read more about Amy’s Ice Creams here.

Cooking Classes for Kids

Why not get your kids involved in the culinary arts? Austin has cooking classes designed specifically for kids. The Kids Cooking School provides hands-on classes where children can learn essential cooking skills and create tasty dishes. Who knows, you might have a future master chef in the making!


With so many activities to choose from, Austin is a dream destination for families with kids. Whether you’re exploring the outdoors, engaging in educational experiences, or enjoying delicious food, there’s always something exciting to do. Start planning your next family adventure in Austin and create memories that will last a lifetime!

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