While much of the country is still thawing out from the winter, spring in Austin is sunny and mild, making it the perfect time of year to visit with your kids. Here are some of our favorite family-friendly ways to celebrate the season!
Credit Monet Hambrick.
Visit a Park
Soak up the sunshine while taking your kids on a hike! There are many trails and parks in the Austin area, but some of our favorite family-friendly parks are Zilker Park, McKinney Falls State Park, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, and Pedernales Falls State Park. Alliance Children's Garden is a two-acre park within Butler Park built for kids of all ages and abilities. Watch you kiddos climb on larger-than-life insects and animals or run through and on play mounds modeled after the Texas Hill Country.
Attend a Sporting Event
Spring means baseball is back in swing! Round Rock, just north of Austin, is home to the AAA minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers, the Round Rock Express. Their season runs from May through September. Other exciting sporting events this season include the start of AG Rugby's season at Bold Stadium and Austin FC home games at Q2 stadium.
Check Out Austin's Urban Bat Colony
Mexican Free-Tailed bats have given Austin a nightly show since 1980, after the renovation of the Congress Avenue Bridge. Beams under the Congress Avenue Bridge make the perfect home for these 1.6 million bats from late March to early fall each year. Starting around sunset, the bats ascend to the sky for their nightly meal. Be sure to arrive early to secure a watching spot, both the bridge and the Statesman Bat Observation Center can get busy (especially on weekends). Read our bat watching guide for more information on this one-of-a-kind attraction.
Courtesy of Lake Travis Zip Line Adventure.
Day Trip to the Nearby Texas Hill Country
Want to explore the countryside? There is so much to see and do just outside of Austin. Take a day trip to witness the wildflowers in bloom near Fredericksburg, take a dip in a swimming hole near Wimberley, explore Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown or go horseback riding in Boerne. Read our list of 16 Road Trip Spots Worth a Stop.
Take a Tour
Austin offers many different tours to help explore the city. See the city from an open-top Sprinter van with a 90-minute panoramic tour by AO Tours. Go for a high-flying adventure over Lake Travis with the Lake Travis Zipline Adventures. Take the kids out on the water with the exciting, educational Austin Duck Adventures, an amphibious tour of downtown Austin and Lake Austin aboard one of the unsinkable Hydra Terra vehicles. Many more tours and activities can be booked online.
ABC Kite Fest. Credit Wonder Twin Productions.
Fest with the Best
Some of Austin’s most iconic events take place in springtime. ABC Kite Fest is the nation's oldest kite festival. Rodeo Austin's private youth events will be held throughout March. The Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farm hosts regular events and workshops throughout the season. The annual, family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day Festival hosts live music from both Austin and Ireland. Circuit of The Americas will welcome race fans with the NASCAR Cup Series. Find more events on our website.
Attractions for Kids of Every Age
An Austin tradition since 1948, kids love Peter Pan Mini Golf on Barton Springs Road. Pick from two fun 18-hole courses… or play both. Cash only! Located in Dripping Springs, Dreamland is another fun-for-all spot. Challenge your family to a round of mini golf or pickleball, spend time on an outdoor walking trail, listen to live music and peruse their outdoor art exhibit. Bouldin Acres is a great hangout for the parents who want to let their kids run free while they sip on drinks. With arcade games, a playground for kids, a pickleball court and delicious food and drink, everyone will be happy hanging out!
Credit Pierce Ingram.
Find (and Photograph!) Bluebonnets
Bluebonnets and other spring wildflowers can be found all over the Austin area, but only for a short time so take your kids’ photo with the iconic flowers while they are still blooming. Stop by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and read about more of our favorite spots.
Make Rainy Day Plans
Sporadic spring showers aren’t uncommon from March 'til May so it’s good to have some back up plans up your sleeve when the weather doesn’t go accordingly! Catch a movie and order some food at the Alamo Drafthouse or the IMAX Theatre at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Or for more interactive fun, head to Austin's children museum, Thinkery, for exhibits that are designed to entertain and educate young minds.
Contributed by Visit Austin Marketing Intern, Marissa Saenz. Marissa is a Public Relations and Mass Communications student at Texas State University. As a native Texan, she has travelled all over Texas, but still continues to come back to Austin. In her free time she enjoys finding the best local restaurants or huddling up in her room to play video games.