31 Fun Family-Friendly Things to Do in Austin with Kids
Austin is a fun place to live and raise a family. There are multiple activities to do here, and there’s something for everyone. There’s something for everyone, from parks and playgrounds to museums and zoos! Here are 31 fun things you can do with kids in Austin:
- Inner Space Cavern
Inner Space Cavern is located in Georgetown, Texas, and became public in 1959. It is a great place to take your family because it’s a cave that has been open to the public since then, so you can explore it together as a family. The cavern features hundreds of glow-in-the-dark stalactites and stalagmites, along with colorful lights that change colors throughout each visit!
Inner Space Cavern has two gift shops where you can purchase souvenirs like t-shirts or mugs (and don’t forget about their delicious food). If you’re interested in an indoor activity that won’t keep everyone up all night long but will still provide entertainment while they’re there (or after), check out some of these other fun things:
- Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms
Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms is a working farm located in Southwest Austin. It’s home to the National Ranching Heritage Center, which offers tours, exhibits, and educational programs about ranching from 19th-century settlers onward. The center also has an 18-hole golf course, allowing for cattle grazing on its property.
Open year-round with limited hours during winter months (9 am – 5 pm), Jourdan-Bachman offers plenty of activities for kids! For example:
Tractor rides are available any time; choose between three different routes around their sprawling grounds that include lots of fun interactions with the animals (sheep!) and additional activities, including hayrides through fields or even train rides across bridges! You’ll never see them running after them either since they’re led by professional cowboys who know what they’re doing—and you should, too, because it’s fun!
- Chaparral Ice
If you’re interested in a fun family activity that your kids will love, consider heading to Chaparral Ice. This 30-foot-high ice slide is the giant outdoor ice slide in the country, and it’s open from December through March. The only place you can slide down a hill on a sled made of ice!
The best part? You don’t even have to pay extra admission fees at Chaparral Ice—it’s included in your ticket price. So go ahead and bring along friends or family members who aren’t quite as into skating as you are; they’ll still have plenty of fun watching!
- Dart Bowl (Permanently Closed)
Dart Bowl is the place to go if you want to experience something new and fun. It’s a bowling alley that has been around since 1947! But don’t worry: it won’t be open forever. There are plans to demolish the building so they can build something else in its place, most a new bowling alley in Cedar Park, just north of Austin. So, it will be much easier for people living in that area to enjoy the fun and excitement at Dart Bowl.
If you’re interested in a splendid family-friendly attraction in Austin, look no further than Dart Bowl!
- Mount Bonnell
Mount Bonnell is a remarkable and must-visit place to enjoy the views of Austin, Texas. The trail is approximately 4 miles and takes you around Austin’s famous “hills,” steep slopes that help block wind from blowing through town.
Mount Bonnell has several different trails you can choose from:
- The Main Trail – This is the most popular route because it provides access to some of the best vistas in Austin. It starts at Mount Bonnell Lookout Tower, where you’ll find many picnic tables, restrooms, and an observation deck overlooking downtown Austin City Limits (ACL). You’ll see Congress Avenue on one side and Lady Bird Lake on another while enjoying fantastic views! This trail might be their favorite part if your kids like cliffs or cliff-like things!
- Red Top Trail – This trail begins at Redd Top Lookout Tower but travels 1 mile further down toward Barton Creek Greenbelt before ending up at ACL again, where everyone can enjoy more superb views before heading home!
- Laguna Gloria and Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve
Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve is a park in Austin offering many attractions, primarily Laguna Gloria, which is a museum and art center
Laguna Gloria is the former home of philanthropist Ima Hogg, who donated the land to the City of Austin. It’s now a museum with rotating exhibits that change every few months, plus it has an observation tower where you can see many great views of downtown Austin from above. The grounds also include gardens and sculptures by local artists such as Michael Mahaffey (the creator of “Lake Travis”). If you have nature-loving kids but don’t want them getting into trouble on their own (like if they’re scared), this would be an excellent place to explore! You’ll find outdoor play equipment like swingsets and slides nearby; there’s even a picnic table where guests can rest after eating lunch at one end while kids play together at the other end.”
- Patterson Park
Patterson Park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. It’s also one of the best places to take your kids on a warm day because there are several fascinating things to do at Patterson Park, including:
- Picnic shelters with tables and chairs
- Playground equipment for little ones (including swings, slides, and climbing ladders)
- A splash pad with fountains that spray water up to 15 feet high!
There is also an artificial turf field where kids can play soccer, baseball, lacrosse, or football.
- Texas Memorial Museum
The Texas Memorial Museum is the state’s official memorial to those who served or died during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It is in Austin, just a few minutes from the Capitol Building.
The museum is open for visits on Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am–5 pm; Thursday until 9 pm; closed Mondays. The average entrance tickets costs around Adults $12; seniors $10; children 6–11 years old $6; children five and under free (with paid adult ticket)
The museum has exhibits that tell stories about each branch of service—from soldiers’ letters home to artifacts like helmets made by prisoners of war—and there are also interactive displays where you can learn more about these wars firsthand! If you’re feeling adventurous, try out one of their guided tours!
- Pease District Park
Pease District Park is an excellent place for families to enjoy the outdoors. The park has lots of space for kids to run around and play, but it also has many benches to sit and relax.
The park has several activities that are perfect for family fun:
- Hiking trails with bridges, tunnels, waterfalls, and more
- Picnic areas are available with barbecue grills during the summer months (April through October)
- Playground equipment includes swingsets, teeter-totters, slides, and more!
- Texas Capitol
The Texas Capitol is a beautiful building that houses the state legislature and administrative offices. It’s also an excellent place to visit if you’re looking for fun things to do with kids in Austin!
The Texas Capitol is at 201 East 15th Street, next door to the State of Texas Library on Congress Avenue. It’s open Monday through Thursday from 9 am-5 pm, Friday from 8 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-5 pm, and Sunday 12Noon – 5:30 pm (closed Mondays). Admission is free, but donations are appreciated—they help keep this historical landmark running smoothly!
To get there, take I-35 south, then exit at Lamar Blvd; furthermore, about a mile down Neches Street from here and just off Interstate 35 between Cedar Park Road & Stassney Lane (about 1 mile).
- Austin Nature & Science Center
Austin Nature & Science Center is fun to visit with your kids. This museum has many exhibits and attractions, including a fantastic butterfly garden open year-round! This center also has several interactive displays where you can learn about the animals in our world through hands-on activities. You’ll love that you can bring your snacks to this attraction; there’s even an ice cream cart on site!
This attraction is open daily for visits from 10 am – 5 pm (closed on Thanksgiving Day). The Prices ( approximately) required for a visit are $6 adults/$5 seniors/kids under 12.
- Republic Square
Suppose you’re interested in a fun place to explore with your kids; check out Republic Square (also known as the Old Governor’s Mansion). It is at the intersection of East 7th Street and San Jacinto Boulevard. The square is home to several attractions that are sure to entertain children:
- The Texas State Capitol, built in 1888 by architect Thomas Jebsen, featured many original features, such as an impressive 200-foot dome and stained glass windows.
- In addition to being an impressive building itself, Republic Square also houses some exciting things like
- statues of Albert Sidney Johnston and Confederate Generals Robert E Lee
- monuments dedicated to notable Texans like George Washington Carver
- figures honoring legendary Texas governor Jim Hogg
- buildings like the Redwood Building, which once housed a post office until it closed in 1933
- St Edward’s University Baptist Church which dates back over 100 years!
- Zilker Metropolitan Park
Zilker Metropolitan Park is a large park in Austin, Texas. It is one of the most popular and most visited parks in Austin. It’s also known as the city’s largest park, comprising 100+ acres and an elevation change from 1 to 4 miles above sea level.
The Zilker Botanical Gardens open their doors to visitors daily from 9 am-5 pm during peak season (April-October). This beautiful area features many different types of plants as well as rest areas for those who want to get some fresh air before or after spending time at this classic attraction!
- Texas Toy Museum
The Texas Toy Museum is a fun and educational experience for kids of all ages. Located in Austin, this museum has over 2,000 toys on display—many of which are from the museum’s collection. The toys range from the 1950s – 1980s and include toy trains, toy military collections, cars and trucks (and even a few motorcycles!), and other fun playthings from around the world. Don’t forget your camera!
Open daily except for Mondays from 10 am-5 pm
- See Bats
If you’re excited about a memorable vacation at a great place to take the kids, check out See Bats! It’s an interactive exhibit at the University of Texas at Austin’s Brackenridge Field Laboratory. It features a colony of Mexican free-tailed bats and provides guests with more than just educational entertainment.
The exhibit is open every day from 7:00 pm until dusk, and admission is free (with reservations required). The best opportunity this exhibit offers is that you can get up close and personal with these creatures. You’ll be able to see and experience them up close, even touch them if you want!
- The Long Center for the Performing Arts
The Long Center for the Performing Arts is a performance venue located in Downtown Austin, Texas. It opened on July 1, 2012, and houses three theaters: The Paramount Theatre, which seats up to 2,700 people; The Moody Theater (also known as Cadigan Hall), which seats nearly 1,500 people; and Margaret Hunt Hill Music Hall with its 2-level mezzanine seating area that can hold from 200–250 guests per show.
Hines Interests L.P. built the Long Center for the Performing Arts at the cost of $146 million after being approved by voters during elections held in May 2007.
- Epic Fun
Epic Fun is a family entertainment center with over 40 rides, attractions, and games. It has been around since 1999 and is in Austin, Texas.
The facility offers rides for all ages, including the roller coaster called “The Beast,” which is America’s only custom-built inverted roller coaster; “Scream City,” an indoor kiddie coaster that resembles a haunted house; “Wild” water amusement park featuring wave pools, slides, and lazy rivers; bumper cars; bumper boats (for six months to 12 years old kids); batting cages; go-karts (with or without drivers); mini golf courses
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Wildflower Center is a famous nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving native plants and natural habitats through education, research, and demonstration. The Wildflower Center is on the University of Texas campus in Austin.
There are different exhibits at this center that all ages can enjoy: from toddlers to adults! Some examples include “Planting Tips,” which teaches children how to grow flowers; “Creating a Garden,” where kids can learn how to make their gardens; or even just exploring one of their many different exhibits (there are several).
- McKinney Falls State Park
McKinney Falls State Park is famous for its natural beauty offering many things to do, and you’ll never run out of things here. There are trails, a swimming hole, a playground, a museum, and even an animal center!
The area’s natural beauty has drawn people from all over Texas since it opened in 1927. The McKinney Falls Trail offers visitors an opportunity to see firsthand some of North America’s most impressive waterfalls at this popular attraction located just outside Austin on Highway 290 between Georgetown and Round Rock.
There are also other activities available within McKinney Falls State Park, such as
- camping or boating on Lake Travis
- fishing for trout
- kayaking down one of several streams that flow into Lake Travis
- birdwatching along one or more of its lakeside roadsides
- hiking trails through wooded areas like those found near Raven Creek Falls
On these hiking trails, visitors may find themselves surrounded by towering oak trees decked out in brilliant fall colors each year throughout the autumn months. Mainly because they thrive best within cooler climates than most other types elsewhere, such as Europe/Asia Pacific region(s).
- Dinosaur Park
Dinosaur Park is a family-friendly attraction in Austin, Texas. It’s located in the northwest part of the city and has lots of activities for kids to enjoy.
The park features dinosaur replicas and an interactive play area where kids can dig up fossils and learn about paleontology. Several exhibits will educate visitors about dinosaurs and how they lived millions of years ago! This park provides multiple options and favorite things to do with your family when visiting Austin!
- Cathedral of Junk
The Cathedral of Junk is a sculpture garden built entirely from found objects. It’s located in Austin, Texas, and was created by artist and collector Jim Czajkowski. The Cathedral of Junk has been featured on the Travel Channel and the History Channel.
It’s also been featured in many well-known movies, including The Break-Up and Dazed and Confused.
- Austin Aquarium
The Austin Aquarium is one of the most popular attractions in Austin. It’s located on Lady Bird Lake and has various exhibits that interest kids.
The central part of this aquarium is its ocean tank, which contains jellyfish and sea lions, among other creatures. There’s also an underwater tunnel where visitors can swim through a giant shark tank!
There are many more interactive exhibits at this aquarium, including:
- A butterfly garden with lots of different kinds of butterflies flying around as you walk along paths through it;
- An area where children can pet fish;
- A petting zoo featuring goats, chickens, and other farm animals (you may need to bring extra food for them if you go during feeding time).
- Austin Duck Adventures
Austin Duck Adventures is a great family activity that offers fun and educational tours. If you’re looking for an activity that’s both educational and entertaining, then this is the place to go!
The tour takes place on Lake Travis in the Texas Hill Country. It’s located just outside of Austin, so it’s ideal if your kids would like to spend some time exploring this beautiful area. The boat ride here lasts about 30 minutes and offers different activities like riding horses or petting farm animals while they’re being transported around by boat. There are also several stops along their journey where they can get off their ships and explore different areas along Lake Travis (including Barton Springs). This visit will give them plenty of chances to learn about all these fantastic places!
- Peter Pan Mini Golf
Peter Pan Mini Golf is a family-friendly mini golf course in Austin, Texas. It’s open year-round and has 18 holes for you to play on. The pirate theme will keep your kids entertained, as well as the pirate ship splash pool that lets them cool off when they’re done playing!
If you’re interested in something more engaging and active than just relaxing at home or the park, check out other fun activities for kids, like visiting the Library. The library is an excellent place for kids of all ages to spend time, especially on rainy days when there aren’t many other options. You can freely check books and movies or sign up for a children’s book club.
Thinkery is an interactive science museum that has fun for all ages, from toddlers to teens. The museum has exhibits that are designed to be educational and hands-on, with activities like doing your science experiments at the exhibit area or playing “Balls in a Bin” (a game where you try to knock over balls). Other minor activities include building giant robots using Legos or making origami animals from paper clips.
Thinkery is near downtown Austin, so it’s easy to get there on foot (less than a mile away), but if you want something more convenient, there’s another option: they have buses running around town every 30 minutes!
- South Congress Avenue
South Congress Avenue is a street home to many local shops and restaurants in Austin, Texas, United States. It is a significant thoroughfare and one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations.
The first hotel on South Congress was built in 1887 by Captain Dolan, who also owned another hotel nearby on North Congress Avenue (then known as East Seventh Street). The original name for this part of town was “Dolan’s Addition,” but it later became known as “South Downtown.”
In the 1920s and 1930s, South Congress Avenue was known as a “street of dreams,” with many bungalows designed by local architects. Many motels were built along this street by 1940. By the 1970s, South Congress had become a popular shopping destination for tourists and locals. Its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and other attractions is known.
- The Picnic
The Picnic is an outdoor playground and pool located in downtown Austin. It’s open seven days a week for you to take your family here any day of the week. You can also use the playground if you have children who like to play outside more than others. The Picnic Austin is also known for being very family-friendly!
The Picnic is a great family place to spend some time together. There are plenty of fascinating things for children and adults to do at this location so you won’t get bored quickly! The playground comprises different areas that cater to kids of all ages. There are also picnic tables that you can use if you want to enjoy some food while the kids play.
The playground is vast, so there’s plenty of space for everyone. There are slides, swings, and other things that kids can play on. It’s also an excellent place for parents to sit down and relax while their children play around them.
- Capital Cruises
Capital Cruises is a great way to see the city from the water. It’s a boat tour of Lake Travis, which offers beautiful views of downtown Austin and includes other attractions like Barton Springs Pool and Zilker Park. There are many different options for tours, so you can decide what kind of experience you want for your family!
The best part about this type of tour is that it’s a great way to see the city from a different perspective. You’ll be able to see landmarks and attractions you might not have noticed before, plus you get a chance to cherish the beautiful weather.
- Circuit of the Americas
If you’re a Formula 1 fan, Circuit of the Americas is the place to be. The facility hosts two significant races: Formula 1 and MotoGP. You can watch V8 Supercars racing or the Red Bull Air Race take off its runway.
If your kids are tired of racing around in circles, head to one of their other incredible attractions: Formula E (electric car racing) or MotoGP (motorcycle racing). Or, if they are keen to learn more about cars before heading back out on track later that evening, they can go hands-on at our Kids Track Day event!
- Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs Pool is the place to be if you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly activity that will excite your kids about nature. The natural swimming hole is located in Zilker Park and is fed by springs, making it one of Austin’s most popular tourist attractions. In addition to being open year-round, Barton Springs Pool also has an impressive amount of amenities, including:
- A concession stand with food options like hot dogs and ice cream
- Rental paddleboards (included)
- Kayaks available for rent at an additional cost
- Bullock Texas State History Museum
This History Museum is a great place to learn about Texas history, and it’s free. It has a good gift shop with many items from all over the state of Texas, including souvenirs and artwork by local artists. The museum also has a restaurant in its lobby, so if you’re looking for somewhere to grab lunch or dinner, this will be perfect!
If you have kids, this museum should be on your list of things to do in Austin with kids! It has a nice view of downtown Austin, and there are plenty of things they can do while they’re there: explore their exhibit rooms; climb inside old steam locomotives like “The Flying W” (pictured); or even stroll around outside observing all kinds of animals living at nearby Zilker Park Zoo.
There are so many fun things in Austin that kids and their parents can enjoy together. The city is full of beautiful parks, museums, and outdoor activities. We hope this list helps you find the perfect family attraction for your next trip!