Austin, TX is a city that's known for its fun-loving spirit. But what makes it especially fun for families is that you can do so many activities together. From outdoor excursions to great food and music and a culture like no other, there's something to look forward to for everyone!
If you want to enjoy Austin with your family without sacrificing excitement, this blog post is for you. Christy has compiled a list of her favorite family-friendly Austin activities so that you can spend time exploring and enjoying one of America's most vibrant cities with your loved ones.
Whether you're a local or just visiting, here are five activities suitable for all ages that have kept Christy and her family coming back to Austin time and time again.
Taking her kiddo to the Thinkery
If you're in Austin with your family and looking for a fun, educational activity that everyone can enjoy, you should definitely check out the Thinkery
. The Thinkery is a hands-on museum where kids and adults can play with exciting technology and learn about science, the arts, and math. There are always new interactive exhibits, so it's never a dull time!
The exhibits at the Thinkery range from simple activities like playing in the sand or exploring colors to more complex ideas like building your own robot or launching water rockets. There's also a small cafe where you can grab snacks or drinks while your kids explore.
Christy loves taking her kiddo here because it's an excellent way for them to learn about new things while having a blast.
Going canoeing on Lady Bird Lake
Another of Christy's favorite things to do with her family is to visit Lady Bird Lake. The lake is named after former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, who contributed significantly to beautifying the artificial river. It's such a relaxing way to spend the afternoon with your family, and it gives you a chance to really explore Austin's captivating scenery.
One of the best things about Austin is its incredible outdoor spaces, and Lady Bird Lake is no exception. With miles of trails and stunning city views, this lake is a great place to go hiking, biking, fishing, paddle boarding, and even bat-watching!
However, Christy's choice of activity is canoeing with her family. Motorized personal boats have been outlawed on the lake, making it a perfect haven for safe canoeing and kayaking for the entire family. You can rent canoes
and kayaks by the hour at an affordable price from several vendors near Zilker Park.
Going to the Austin Zoo and riding the train
The Austin Zoo
is located southwest of the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve and has over 300 animals representing over 100 species worldwide. The zoo itself is beautiful and well-maintained. There are plenty of places for kids to run around and play while you explore the different exhibits.
The zoo also has special events throughout the year, including Boo at the Zoo and Wild Lights at Christmas time, which are both great ways for families to get out of their routine and experience something new together!
The zoo also offers an incredible 20-minute train ride that allows you to take in the beautiful backdrop of the Texas Hill Country. You'll also get to see some of the rescued exotic animals up close! It's a unique experience that Christy's family loves every time they visit.
Going to the Splash Pad at the Buda Amphitheater
Christy's family also loves to cool down during the hot southern summer at the splash pad
located at the Buda Amphitheater in Buda, TX, just 20 minutes outside of Austin.
If you've never been to a splash pad, it's essentially a spray fountain for kids. The water is usually kept relatively warm, and there are no sharp edges or potentially dangerous things for little ones to fall on.
The water shoots out from different heights, so teenagers and toddlers alike can enjoy their time. It's also a great way for families who don't have access to pools or lakes to enjoy some water fun on their own terms!
Splash pads are great for families because they're usually free and don't require special equipment or preparation—just bring your bathing suits and towels! Christy loves this splash pad because it has plenty of space for kids of all ages and abilities and lots of room for parents who want to sit and supervise while still getting their feet wet.
Enjoying free live music concerts at Southpark Meadows
Southpark Meadows is located just south of downtown Austin and hosts free concerts every Friday night in the summer months. The venue has a large lawn where attendees can spread out blankets and enjoy their picnic dinners while listening to great music. Also, try out the variety of food trucks nearby if you'd like to grab something before the show!
The Grove at Southpark Meadows
hosts a variety of musical performances, from local bands to touring acts, and it's free! You can't beat a price like that for a night out with your kids that includes live music and entertainment. The location is easy to get to, and their parking options are nearby.
The venue also has a stellar sound system that brings the show right into your lap! It's like being on stage right next to your favorite artist.
Christy loves these concerts because of the laid-back vibe and fantastic music selection. She also enjoys relaxing on the grassy hillside with her family as they take in some great performances.
We hope you enjoyed Christy's list of her favorite family-friendly Austin activities. Whether you're in town for a weekend getaway or considering moving to the city, these activities will make your trip unforgettable.