School is out! And with so many great activities for kids, it’s easy to see why Austin is such a great vacation spot for families. Here is our list of top five family friendly things to do in Austin this summer.
Alliance Children's Garden. Courtesy of City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department.
1. Play in Austin’s Parks
Let the kids roam free at one of Austin’s many green spaces. Alliance Children’s Garden is a two-acre playscape with play experiences for visitors of all ages and abilities. Hang out while the kiddos jump on the backs of larger-than-life salamanders, traverse the climbing walls and net, perform on musical elements and more. You’ll find another favorite park less than ten minutes down the road. Families could spend a whole day just in the Zilker Park area. Explore the Zilker Botanical Garden, Austin Nature & Science Center and UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum. Paddle around Barton Creek or Lady Bird Lake on a canoe or Kayak from Zilker Park Boat Rentals. After your big adventure, stop by the nearby food trailer park, The Picnic, and eat from one of the several food trucks.
Barton Springs Pool. Credit Cindy Bolanos.
2. Cool Off at a Swimming Hole
Fed by natural springs that keep the water a refreshing 68-degrees year-round, there's no better place for families to beat the heat than Barton Springs Pool, also located in Zilker Park. The huge Deep Eddy Pool is the state’s oldest pool and offers a more traditional public pool experience for lap and recreational public pool experience for lap swimming and recreational swimming in the center of Austin.
South Congress Avenue. Credit @liz_granados_.
3. Stroll Around South Congress
Families love visiting South Congress Avenue. Head to the colorful strip of restaurants, shops and murals for the afternoon. Some kid favorites include Big Top Candy Shop, Uncommon Objects, Amy’s Ice Creams, Home Slice and Torchy’s Tacos. When it starts to get dark, head north towards the Congress Avenue Bridge to see the 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge at dusk (April- October.)
Courtesy of Thinkery.
4. Escape the Heat in Mueller
Another area of town that has many options for families is Mueller. Head indoors to explore Austin's children museum, the Thinkery. Here, kids can enjoy play-based, hands-on exhibits and programs six days a week. Then, head across the street to the Mueller Lake Park and playground to run off some extra steam. For lunch, enjoy food and a movie at Alamo Drafthouse. Also within Mueller are many restaurants, shops and a Sunday farmer’s market.
Lake Travis Zipline Adventures. Courtesy of Lake Travis Zip Line.
5. Delight in a Lake Day
In the hot summer months, head to Lake Travis for a family adventure on the water. Lake Travis Zipline Adventures will take your and your kids on a thrilling journey through Texas' picturesque Hill Country. Pack a picnic, rent a boat and relax on the water. Austin’s Boat Tours has a huge range of options from speed boats to pontoon rentals, jet skis to party barges. End the evening at The Oasis for a family-friendly dinner and an amazing sunset.
Courtesy of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions.
6. Vacay at a Resort
Spend some quality time with the family at one of these tucked-away gems and lakeside retreats for adventure, fresh-air and fine dining for the whole family. Splash around at America’s largest indoor waterpark in Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. The authentically African-themed resort brings a number of options for family fun, including wet and wild adventures at the indoor waterpark and arcade games and rides in their indoor theme park. The all-under-one-roof experience offers world-class dining, a luxurious spa, live entertainment and diverse shopping experiences. Sink into spacious and luxurious accommodations with lavish beds and charming Southern décor at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa. Golfers, novice to pro, will love the four spectacular onsite championship golf courses and kids have their own resort pool complete with waitstaff to bring family-friendly snacks. Omni Barton Creek recently underwent an extensive renovation which included the addition of a new resort tower with sweeping views of the Hill Country, an expanded pool-scape, a new tennis complex, a new golf clubhouse and additional golf course renovations. Additional highlights includes seven restaurants, including a coffee shop, pool grill, seafood restaurant and a Bob's Steak & Chop House.
Want more info on things to do in Austin with your family? Check out our other resources on the Austin Insider Blog.