Austin, Texas is an outdoor lover's paradise and a super kid-friendly city, making it the perfect getaway for families with kids of all ages. While your Austin family vacation might not be raging at all the music venues, there are still so many things to do, see, eat and listen to that are totally kid-friendly and cool for the parents too. Get inspired with these 20+ top family-friendly attractions in Austin and start planning your trip today!

Free Kid-Friendly Activities

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Family of four with two young daughters hold hands and smile at camera in front of postcard mural that reads Greetings from Austin Texas
Greetings From Austin Mural. Credit to Monet Hambrick.

1. Explore South Congress Avenue
From Big Top Candy Shop to Amy’s Ice Creams, there is something delicious to taste on each block.

2. Find Photo Ops at Iconic Murals
Located all around the city, murals are a fun way to explore new areas. Have the kids “be on the lookout” for street art while you discover Austin.

3. See Bats at Sunset
1.5+ million Mexican free-tailed bats call Austin home from March through late October. See their nightly flight near the Congress Avenue Bridge. Travel tip: the best view is from lake level, so rent a kayak and paddle over there to see them in action.

4. Hike the City
The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail skirts along Lady Bird Lake through downtown for 10 miles. The views of downtown are some of the best and you’re never too far from the river, plus the trail is well maintained and easier on strollers and children's bikes.

5. Picnic in Zilker Park
Pack a homemade picnic or grab burgers and shakes from Sandy's Hamburgers and spread out on a blanket at Zilker Park. When you're finished enjoying your picnic explore Austin's beloved downtown park and play a round of frisbee golf, let the pups run in the large open field, or head to the playground.

Outdoor Activities for Kids

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Image of a crowd of people standing around a pond with green lilly pads.
Courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

6. Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs Pool is a must for families traveling with kids. The three-acre natural spring-fed pool is the perfect setting to spend half a day or cool off after a long day in Zilker Park. The crisp water is so refreshing and there is plenty of room to spread out and relax.

7. McKinney Falls State Park
Located within Austin city limits are smooth limestone pools and picturesque waterfalls that are perfect for swimming or hiking.

8. Mount Bonnell
With only 102 stairs to the top, even little kids can make it to the peak of one of the highest viewpoints in the city. Travel tip: While you’re in the area, stop by Mayfield Park and Preserve to catch a glimpse of the beautiful peacocks that roam the grounds.

9. Lady Bird Lake
Rent a kayak and fishing pole and spend a day on the lake teaching your kids how to fish. Definitely an activity for the memory books.

10. Austin Zoo
Nearly all of the animals at the zoo are rescues, making Austin a leader in research and rehabilitation. Your children will love seeing them all, too!

11. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
A true joy for all flower lovers, there’s always something in season at the Wildflower Center.

12. Peter Pan Mini Golf
This kitschy mini golf spot will delight the kiddos and spark a bit of childhood wanderlust in the parents. Peter Pan Mini Golf is BYOB, so adults don't forget to bring your favorite drink.

13. Alliance Children’s Garden
Just south of Downtown Austin, Alliance Children’s Garden is one of the coolest parks in Austin. From musical equipment and rope towers to a splash pad and rock wall, Alliance Children’s Garden is fun for the whole family.

Indoor Activities for Kids

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Adults and children walking through an interactive exhibit at Bullock Museum.
Courtesy of Bullock Texas State History Museum.

14. Thinkery
Kids will love exploring the multiple interactive exhibits at the Thinkery in the Mueller neighborhood. Stop by any day of the week or check their calendar ahead of time for special community hours or baby bloomer day.

15. Bullock Texas State History Museum
The Bullock Museum tells the “Story of Texas” through a fantastic selection of exhibits spread over three floors. Find an incredible IMAX theater on the first floor showing educational movies on a variety of topics.

16. Texas Science & Natural History Museum
Travel back in time at the Texas Science & Natural History Museum. Walk among the fossilized animals that once inhabited the state, learn about diverse Texas wildlife and the shifting environment over the past 600 million years.

17. Austin Central Library
Austin’s Central Library is the crown jewel of the Austin Public Library system with six floors of books, stunning art installations, pristine outdoor spaces, a shady rooftop deck and more to explore. Hang out and read a book or check the library events page for fun happenings for all ages. Travel Tip: This totally free activity is perfect for a hot summer day or a rainy afternoon!

Family-Friendly Breweries

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Image of people sitting at picnic tables at Meanwhile Brewing with an outdoor stage to the right.
Courtesy of Meanwhile Brewing.

18. Meanwhile Brewing
For an outing the entire family will enjoy you have to check out Meanwhile Brewing in South Austin. While those 21 & up enjoy the wide variety of taps, let the kiddos explore the backyard playground and soccer field, afterwards everyone can enjoy tasty bites for the five onsite food trucks.

19. Family Business Beer Co.
Family is the focus at Family Business Beer Company just a short drive from Austin in Dripping Springs. Load up the whole family (even the pup!) and enjoy a day in the Hill Country with a playground for the kids and more than a dozen craft beverages for the adults.

20. Austin Beerworks
Austin Beerworks has a turf play area outside perfect for keeping the little ones entertained while you enjoy one of their many brews from the tap room. 

21. Jester King Brewery
Bring the family to West Austin to enjoy drinks and delicious food at Jester King Brewery. A mascot of sorts at the brewery, stroll the property and visit the goats.

22. Vista Brewing
Spend the day exploring Vista Brewing’s sprawling property just a short drive south of the city. The large outdoor space provides little one’s space to roam and explore the treehouse-like play area.

Need more awesome ideas for your Austin getaway? Check out our 3-day Family Fun Itinerary!