A dozen things to do in Austin, TX with kids!
When we vacation, I’m into research and prepping. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with attractions when you are counting down the days ’til you take off.
Here’s the thing, no matter how many kid friendly articles I read featuring this stop and that stop for the littles, I was PLEASANTLY surprised at how truly accommodating it is for them.
When I think of Austin I think of food trucks, bars o’plenty, culture for days, and obviously it’s overall notoriety for being “weird”. It definitely was all of those things…but then throw in the kid friendly environment and it’s a winner for the whole family.
There are literally loads of places to experience with the kids, which makes a family trip all the better when everyone can have fun.
Here’s some great noteworthy stops we personally experienced:
- The Thinkery – A wonderful children’s museum with exhibits for toddlers to teens. This place was so clean and modern and just downright wonderful. From farm exhibits to water play to the amazing outdoor playground, you can’t beat it. Price per person is reasonable @ $10.00 for admission, children 2 and under – free.
- Toy Joy – A super colorful and quirky toy shop located in downtown Austin. My kids are big into rare and unique toys, this place definitely fit the bill. You’ll find a little bit of everything there from: new and popular toys, to the retro stuff, and a plethora of out of country faves like Sanrio. The staff is also incredibly friendly and relaxed, which makes for a really fun time in such a cool environment.
- Mt. Playmore – My kids love the idea of an indoor play center where they can kick their shoes off and run around like crazies. It did rain while we were in Texas so indoor fun was in order. This place truly has the biggest playscape I’ve ever seen, keeping with the “everything’s bigger in Texas” theme. My kids absolutely loved it here, and I loved the cleanliness and how well kept it was. When they weren’t climbing, they were playing the arcade games or grabbing a bite at their little restaurant. There was also a toddler area with soft toys and ride-ons which was really great for our 23 month old.
- Zilker Park – You can literally spend the whole day here exploring the different areas. It’s best to familiarize yourself with the map, we had sort of a difficult navigating around. However this place is equipped is a great park where you’ll find festivals, live music, a spring you can swim in, a playground for the kids, botanical gardens, nature center, and the list goes on…
- The Picnic (Food Truck Park) – If visiting Austin taught me anything, it showed me how to eat and try the unusual. I was so excited to literally have a cool and unique food option around every corner (no hangry debates necessary). If you into a food truck experience in one of the coolest foodie cities in the U.S., check this place out. Food ranges from Italian to Greek to the sweetest little cupcake place, something for even the pickiest of people. It was sprinkling when we traveled, but that didn’t stop us, the picnic tables have a rain proof covering atop to keep your heads dry and bellies full!
- Cow Tipping Creamery – While the buzz is all about Amy’s Ice Cream in Austin, I truly feel like this place is underrated. We did try Amy’s but we must have missed the awe factor. I feel like CTC is the way to go. I’m not an ice cream expert, but I do dabble…quite…frequently. This one gets my vote! If you are as into S’mores as I, their “Gimme S’more” Stacker (sundae) is for you.
- Cathedral of Junk – Take a stroll through an attraction that make you understand Austin’s weird side. You’ll find a little bit of everything to make up this huge sculpture: bikes, toys, guitars, recyclables, building materials, signs, car parts. You’ll want to all ahead and make an appointment, but it’s worth fitting into your schedule. The owner does require a small donation ($10 or so) to take a tour of his masterpiece, but that’s a small price for what you will take away from this place after visiting.
- South Congress Bridge Bats – Check out the nightly display as the South Congress bats take flight. This usually occurs every summer night from 8 – 9p.m. and can last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. Who can resist a completely batty story (I couldn’t resist) to tell their friends when they return home?
- Dino Park – These incredibly realistic dinosaurs will have you thinking you traveled back to the prehistoric days. This unique outdoor museum features static statues ranging from the smallest to largest Dinosaurs situated amongst their habitats. This is not only a fun and mesmerizing experience for the little ones, but they will even learn a little something.
- South Congress Ave (SoCo) – Great little strip of shops, galleries, and yummy treats that’ll have you in and out exploring for hours. One of my husbands favorite beard guy gets his coffee on this part of town, so you might even run into someone you consider a celebrity.
- Urban Air Trampoline Park – This place is ideal when the kids need to go jump off some of energy for the afternoon. My toddler and 7 year old had a ball jumping to their hearts content. And yes, us adults found ourselves partaking in some friendly jumping contests as well. There are dodgeball arena’s, free jump areas with wall-to-wall trampolines, foam pits, toddler jump, slam dunk areas, and even an urban warrior course…need I say more?
- Hat Creek Burger Company – If you are new to visiting Texas, you may have never heard of this burger joint before. This is a great go-to if you’re looking for food the kids are familiar with a different face. All of their locations offer outdoor playscape for the kids, so you can continue to grub down while they go wild. It offers a great incentive for the kids to eat well…and did I mention they offer beer? It’s a win, win.