Are you looking for family fun in Austin? There are so many things to do in Austin Texas with kids.
If you are looking for family activities in Austin, this is the right place!
Austin is one of my favorite places to visit, basically because my sister and her family live there. We have been many, many times!
There are so many things to do in Austin Texas with kids! In this post, we are going to list some of the best family activities in Austin. These Austin activities for kids will guarantee an Austin family fun vacation!
Let's explore some ideas to help you plan your next trip to Austin Texas with kids!
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1. Texas State History Museum
We made a stop at the Bullock Texas State History Museum! It is one of the most fun family-friendly things to do in Austin Texas with kids!
Family Fun in Austin – Our Experience
One thing we really enjoyed was the interactive 4D theater because we were able to watch a film about Texas. In the film, we were blown by the wind and poked by a rattlesnake. My kids loved it! The exhibits are hands-on! I would recommend checking it out!
Where to Park
There is a parking garage located off of 18th street. There is a fee of $15 to park.
The Bullock Texas State History Museum is open Monday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Special Family-Friendly Programs
The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a great place for family fun in Austin! There are special events that happen throughout the year and hopefully, if you are traveling to the area you will be around on one of these days.
Family Activities in Austin Texas
Little Texans (2-5 years) On the second Thursday of each month there is a hands-on program that incorporates movement and plays.
Storytime (2-5 years) On the fourth Thursday of each month stories and songs are used to teach young children all about Texas!
Science Thursdays- see demonstrations and experience hands-on activities from STEM experts from Central Texas Discover Engineering.
Living History Days – First Thursday every month meet Costumed volunteers representing Texas state history characters that will tell stories all about themselves.
Basically, if you are going to go to this museum Thursday is the most family-friendly day!
2. Zilker Park
One of the first things you need to add to your “things to do in Austin Texas with kids” list is Zilker Park! This park is gigantic! You could spend all day playing at the various playgrounds or enjoy the splash pad.
There is a train that takes you around the park. If you are looking for fun for kids in Austin, Zilker Park is your place. We are going to list a few family things to do in Austin that are located within Zilker Park.
- Austin Nature and Science Center
- Barton Springs Pool
- Botanical Garden
- Zilker Park Theatre
3. Austin Nature and Science Center
The Austin Nature and Science Center is free fun for kids in Austin.
Hours of Operation
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
This fabulous center is located on the northwest corner of Zilker Park. Parking is located under the Mopac overpass.
Austin For Kids – Activities at Nature Center
The fun Kids activities in Austin Nature Center include:
- Visitor Center – Explore a Central Texas Cave
- Dino Dig Exhibit – Sand Pit with replicas of dinosaur bones
- Wildlife Exhibits – Enjoy foxes, raccoons, and other native animals that are not able to make it in the wild. These animals are cared for by the center.
- Forest Trial -1/2 mile walking trail
- Birds of Prey – Observe owls, roadrunners, and hawks along the Zilker Nature preserve trail.
- Small Wonders – Listen for the bats that live under Congress Bridge
- Human Sun Dial – A fun stop to use your shadow to tell time.
This is one of the best free things to do in Austin with kids!
4. Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs is a great place to cool down in the summer. It is a man-made reservoir fed from natural spring water making the temperature 68 degrees. That is perfect for the hot temperatures Austin has in the summer.
This 3-acre pool is free from 5 am – 8 am and 9 pm-10 pm. During the regular business hours of 8:00 a.m -9:00 p.m. entry gates charge a fee.
Junior: (12-17) $3-5
Children and Seniors $2-5
Lifeguards are on duty during this time.
This is one of the best family activities Austin Texas has to offer!
5. Botanical Garden
There is also a botanical garden also known as the “the jewel in the heart of Austin” 26 Acres of beautiful themed gardens are located in Zilker Park. The gardens are open from 9:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. daily.
There is an entrance fee of $6 for adults and $3 for children and seniors.
This is a great are to enjoy and have some Austin family fun!
6. Zilker Park Outdoor Theatre
Zilker Park is a free family activity in Austin.
One of my favorite things to do in Austin Texas with kids is to go to Zilker Park's outdoor theater. Every summer they feature a play.
Outdoor Theater – Austin Family Fun
I really wanted to go see The Little Mermaid a few years ago but it was really hot! If you want a great seat you need to be there two hours before the show starts to place a blanket down on the hillside. The show usually starts at sundown or around 8:15. It is free to attend.
This is one of the best things to do in Austin with Kids!
7. Thinkery Children's Museum
My little kids love children's museums! The Thinkery is one of the best family activities in Austin for little kids. We love visiting!
We have a pass to our local children's museum which will allow us to get free admission when we travel. Check out my post on the ASTC Program and learn how you can get free admission to museums and gardens throughout the United States.
The Thinkery is located in an upscale area just northeast of the city called the Mueller District. It is a very safe area with many restaurants and a movie theater. The museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Family Fun in Austin
My little kids had a blast at the Thinkery! This museum is designed for younger kids, I would say if you are over eight it would not be a good fit.
8. The Mueller District
After playing at the Austin Children's Museum, you can catch a movie or eat dinner at one of the many restaurants around. This area provides great family entertainment in Austin!
Muller Lake Park
We decided to walk across the street from the museum and look at Muller Lake Park. I am so glad we did because it is full of turtles! There must be hundreds in the lake. We easily spotted 7-8 without having to look very hard.
This is one of the best things to do in Austin with kids and it is totally free!
There is also a playground that is located in this area. One thing I really liked about it is, it was very shaded! When it is 105 degrees outside this is really important! Most of the shade comes from trees. This is a great Austin kid activity.
9. Austin Murals
The Austin Murals consist of several paintings around downtown that you can take pictures in front of.
This is super popular right now! We wanted to go around town and capture lots of fun images but there was a parade going on so we couldn't get as many as we wanted.
Plus, children can only do so much, especially when it is so hot outside.
We were able to stop at the most famous mural and take a few shots! If you are visiting Austin with family, this is a fun family Austin Texas adventure searching for the murals downtown.
10. Best Things to Do in Austin with Kids- Hiking
If hiking is your thing, Mt Bonnell is a really fun hike! It may be one of the most beautiful places in Austin.
The hike was not hard, kids would enjoy this little adventure! Mt. Bonnell is the highest point in Austin at 775 ft. The overlook is worth the climb!
We were able to hike this and I would suggest doing this in the winter when the temperatures are much cooler than in summer.
Nearby is Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve which is known for having peacocks roam around!
If you are looking for family things to do in Austin, hiking is a great idea!
11. Austin Texas State Capital Building
The Texas State Capital Building is beautiful. If you can get a tour of it go for it. Capital tours are available 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday -Friday. On Saturday the times are 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Free fun in Austin
These tours are free and last about 30 minutes. There are specialty tours offered at certain times during the week such as Women in Texas History and Heroes of the Texas Revolution. Each month there may be more offered you can check by going to the Texas State Website.
Driving by and seeing it from your car may be all your little kids can handle and I think that is just fine as well! It still qualifies for the best things to do in Austin with kids list!
12. Congress Bridge and Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake is just south of downtown. It is a great place for recreational activities such as kayaking.
If your kids are older this would be a really fun family activity in Austin. There are also bike rentals all along the lake and paths to ride them on.
Congress Bat Bridge
A really cool place to visit at sunset is Congress Bat Bridge. Hundreds of Mexican Free-Tailed bats fly around!
The best time to see these bats are from early March until early fall. Be sure to face east as that is where the bats fly out from under the bridge.
This is one of the best things to do in Austin with kids!
Time for the Show
As the sunsets and the bats begin to fly out from under the bridge it really seems like they are putting on a show.
Usually, this begins right at sunset and can even last until 9:45 p.m. The duration of the show can be up to 45 minutes. Just a word of advice, be sure to arrive early to get a parking spot. It can get very crowded!
Hang out on Lady Bird Lake
There is also the option to view the bats from a riverboat cruise, the price is very reasonable. It is an experience worth having! The sunsets are beautiful and the show is fantastic!
This is one of the most popular things to do in Austin with kids!
13. Free Things to Do in Austin with Kids
Visiting Austin with kids is fun. But one thing that I think makes Austin such a great family-friendly destination is that so many things to do in Austin are free.
I wanted to make a quick list of free things to do in Austin with kids. Most of these Kid friendly Austin activities are located in Downtown Austin.
Free Things to Do in Austin with Kids
- Zilker Park
- Austin Nature and Science Center
- Outdoor Theater
- Congress Bat Bridge
- Austin Murals
- Texas State Capitol Building
- Mt. Bonnell
- Parks including Muller Lake Park
14. Visit Bucee's
Bucee's is the largest gas station in the World. And guess what?! It all started in Texas. Austin is home to several locations.
This gas station has everything you can imagine! Texas Bar-b-que, jerky, and so much more.
My kids love visiting and picking out all of the Buc-ee products! It is one of the best things to do in Austin with kids!
15. Family Activities in Austin TX – Food,
If your kids are older booking a food tour is a really good idea! Austin has some of the best food ever!
My teenagers love trying the best of any city we travel to. Most food tours will include brisket and breakfast tacos. These are staples in the Austin area!
If you are looking for family things to do in Austin, I highly recommend a food tour!
Things to Do in Austin Texas with Kids – Let's Go!
I hope this helps you plan your Austin with kids trip! As you can see there are many things to do in Austin Texas with kids!
Maybe when you thought of visiting Austin you only thought of the live music capital of the world but now you can see Austin Texas with kids is a good idea with lots of Austin attractions for family gatherings.
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