Fun in Austin Texas with Kids

Austin may be best known for its live music scene, BBQ and TexMex. But it is also a fun place to visit with your family. Austin is located in what is known as “hill country” in Central Texas. It is set among rolling hills full of trees and in the spring fields of Bluebonnets. The Colorado River runs through Austin. It provides three man-made lakes for boating fun and spectacular sunsets–Lake Travis, Lake Austin and Town Lake (renamed Lady Bird Lake). Here’s what to know to have a fun visit to Austin Texas with kids!

Although known best for its live music scene, spectacular lake sunsets are one of the many highlights of Austin, Texas
Although known best for its live music scene, spectacular lake sunsets are one of the many highlights of Austin, Texas

What to Do with Kids in Austin, Texas

Austin is the Texas state capitol and home to a rich Texas state history discoverable at the Bullock Museum. It is definitely worth a stop at the Bullock State History Museum.

Your children will want to spend their time at the Thinkery, Dell’s Children’s Museum.

From a young age our kids loved the Austin Zoo. The Austin Zoo is more of a rescue center than what you think of as a zoo. Located in southeast Austin, this is a fantastic place to build empathy in your children for a diverse variety of exotic animals.

Lady Bird Lake

A walk, run or bike ride around Lady Bird Lake is a good way to enjoy the sights while getting some fresh air. There are some fantastic farmers’ markets in the area that are worth visiting.

Book People

You might also see if there is a book reading/ signing going on at Book People while you are in town. We had the opportunity to hear Mo Willems at Book People and get a couple of books signed by him. It was a memorable experience.

Bats at Congress Avenue Bridge

If you don’t think it will frighten your kids, gather on a summer evening to see the world’s largest urban bat colony. They emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge downtown.

Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool

Zilker Park is a huge, 350+ acre, park offering a large variety of activities and festivals. There’s the Zilker Botanical Gardens, the Zilker Hillside Theater, a miniature train to transport your family around the park. a playscape, disc golf and a rowing dock. It is also home to the Barton Springs Pool. This three acre natural pool has average temperature of 68-70 degrees, ideal for year-round swimming.

Lakeline Mall

On a rainy day Lakeline mall has lots of fun activities for the kids.There’s a train that the kids can ride around the mall. A bouncy castle center is sure to keep them entertained and get them to expend some energy. There’s even a bungy jump. And, your kids are sure to beg to go to the Build a Bear workshop.


View of downtown Austin Texas from Lade Bird Lake
View of downtown Austin Texas from Lade Bird Lake

Where to Stay in Austin, Texas

For longer stays, renting a lake house is a great idea for families. But there are also a number of resorts that cater to families. Nestled in the Texas Hill Country, Lakeway Resort & Spa is one such resort. Featuring a children’s pool area with fun for all ages and a Kid’s Zone with supervised entertainment (that is complimentary during the resort’s daily happy hour). Both parents and kids will love it. The nearby marina provides a variety of boat rentals. Ideal for exploring 270 miles of scenic shoreline with scenic coves, springs and breathtaking limestone bluffs.

Our friends at Ripped Jeans and Bifocals also recommend Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa. It is a great place just outside of Austin to “get away from it all.”

lakeline mall, austin, texas
Lakeline Mall features a train, bouncy castle extravaganza, a plethora of coin operated rides by the food court and more

Family Dining in Austin, Texas

You will want to make sure to visit Chuy’s for some TexMex, and a “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirt. Rudy’s BBQ located in gas stations all over town is another must visit dining experience. County Line is yet another fantastic Austin BBQ joint. And, El Arroya combines Austin’s famous TexMex and BBQ all in one.

It is worth a stop at a Whole Foods Market for breakfast tacos or ramen. Many of the Austin Whole Food Markets have patios and even small playgrounds for the kids to run around. If you want to take in some lake view sunsets and aren’t concerned about the quality of the food The Oasis on Lake Travis is the spot with arguably the best views in Austin.

Austin is a large city with a smaller town feel and lots of unique areas and people. It is well worth a visit for a family vacation.

Where Else to Visit in Near Austin

Texas is a huge state, with very diverse cities and areas. There are beaches down on the southeastern coast. San Antoio offers the famous Riverwalk. And, there are plenty of cities for urban adventure. Dallas offers all kinds of fun for kids from amazing museums and botanic gardens to magical toy stores. There are some other unique places to visit for a family-friendly spring break in Texas.

Austin, Texas is probably best known for its live music scene, BBQ and TexMex but it is also a fun place to visit with your family. Austin is located in what is known as “hill country” in Central Texas. Find out where we like to stay, eat and play in ATX! #Austin #Texas #ATX #FamilyVacation #TexasTravel #Lakeway

Fun in Austin Texas with Kids

Liana Moore

Liana Moore is a third-culture kid with a hangover from those days that is a severe case of wanderlust. She is more comfortable driving the cliffs of Amalfi, Italy or the dirt roads of Costa Rica or attempting to decipher the street signs of Osaka, Japan than navigating the theme parks of Disney World. But she loves it all. She doesn't believe a vacation is complete without an adventure. Her husband and kids know well that "adventure" often is code for mishap or challenge and it usually results in a good story. They seek outdoor experiences whether in the mountains, on a beach or in the jungle of a tropical country. Her favorite vacation is... all the ones she hasn't yet taken, as well as those she plans on taking again. And, that list is so, so long. But she continues to extensively explore her home state of Colorado, spends lots of time wandering Texas, California, New Mexico, Costa Rica, Mexico, Norway and has even explored Kazakhstan.

One thought on “Fun in Austin Texas with Kids

  • March 13, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Love these ideas, we moved to the Austin area just over a year ago. BookPeople is one of my FAVORITE places to go here. So comforting and relaxing in there!


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