Austin family things to do – we have 30 fun activities for kids in ATX.
We live in Texas and one of our favorite places to visit is Austin, Texas. Living in Dallas, our family road trip is only around 200 miles to Austin. It’s the perfect getaway for our family of 6.
While you may think of Austin as a party town (it is such a great party town) – but there is so much more to this happening destination! ATX is super fun for the whole family and we are sharing our favorite family things to do in Austin.
30 Family Things to Do in Austin, TX
While when you hear Austin, TX – you may think of party town (which yes, it is). The town offers a plethora of things for families to do.
From gorgeous parks for hiking, swimming and viewing the beautiful scenery to fun activities to do with children of all ages. Whether you are pushing a little baby around in a stroller, chasing a toddler – or bickering with a teen or tween, we’ve rounded up some family friendly fun for you and your crew to do while hanging in A-Town.
Here’s a list you won’t want to miss!
Austin Bats at the Congress Bridge
First on our list of family things to do in Austin is the BAT BRIDGE. The Austin Bats under congress bridge are quite the spectacle. Between March and November, gather around the Congress bridge at dusk and watch over a million bats fly south.
This is a free event and AMAZING. Before you say “YUCK! BATS!” – this is one of those bucket list items that is really a fun activity.
Pro tip from Digital Mom Blog’s SXSW Tips:
The Congress Bridge Bats – Watch over a million bats fly out from under the bridge. Yes, it sounds weird – but it’s amazing. My favorite location to watch the Austin bats is the top of the Ramada parking garage. We go get a Starbucks, and get parking validated. Go to the very top, sip your Starbucks and wait. The bats fly from March – November.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
In 2014, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center opened a family garden.
This place is gorgeous and your kids will love running around and playing in the pretty. Read more about the Lady Bird Johnson Family Garden
Food Truck Parks
When traveling with family, you know there will be lots of eating. Lucky for you, Austin has amazing food truck parks!
Austin has several food truck parks. Our favorite is in south Austin area. One of our recent finds is Gourdough’s – gourmet donuts. My son just didn’t know what to think (neither did I!) about this bacon donut. (The donut featured is The Flying Pig)
Texas State Capitol
It’s a history lesson every time we end up in downtown Austin at the Texas State Capitol .
With 351 acres of recreation, that includes a family friendly miniature train, your whole family will love this park that is located in downtown Austin. Learn more about Zilker Park
Austin Children’s Museum
We haven’t been personally to the Austin Children’s Museum, but friends have RAVED about this place. If you need to get your kids out and about, try out the children’s museum.
Learn more about Austin Children’s Museum
Barton Springs Pool
Located in downtown Austin, TX – right next to where the cool kids hang out is the amazing Barton Springs Pool.
Located within Zilker Park’s 358 acres lies Barton Springs Pool. The pool itself measures three acres in size, and is fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees, ideal for year-round swimming.
Learn more about Barton Springs Pool
Graffiti Park at Castle Hill
Bring your own spray paint and get ready to graffiti! UPDATE – Graffiti Park has since closed. This was such a neat community art experiment and great addition to our family things to do in Austin list. We are sad to hear of its demise.
We had so much fun here, but be sure to keep your toddler’s close. Our older kids loved climbing the concrete walls, next time we will leave littles at home. Some of the graffiti is graphic – but for the most part family friendly. This is a unique place to take photos if you are looking for a different setting than a normal park.
Where is Graffiti Park in Austin? Plug this into Waze:
1100 Baylor St, Austin, TX 78703-4922
The Green at the Capitol
Looking for a place to picnic or just let the kids run and chase squirrels? The green at the Capitol building is a great place to do just that.
Greetings from Austin Postcard Mural
You got to love a good Insta moment. Austin has plenty, but the Austin postcard mural wall is a photo stop must.
Located on the northwest corner of Annie & South First street (600 Block of West Annie, on the side of the Roadhouse Relics building) – you will find a huge Greetings from Austin mural styled like a post card. This epic photo op location is the best souvenir you can bring home! Note: The street is VERY busy and people park right in front of the mural often (it took us 3 visits before we got this shot!).
Willie Nelson Mural in Austin
Looking for another awesome photo op in Austin? This Willie Nelson mural (Willie for President!) is a must then. In true Texas fashion, we honor our beloved Willie.
This awesome Willie Nelson mural off south congress next to Homeslice Pizza and Jeni’s Ice Cream (which are 2 definite family things to do in Austin!)
Top Golf Austin
Where skee-ball meets golf. Even if you are not a golfer, you must try out Top Golf. They provide the clubs. Their food and drinks are very yummy, and you can eat and play making it a fun family activity
Learn more about Top Golf Austin.
Sunset at the Oasis over Lake Travis
Ask the waitress about the bell ringing at sundown. Our kids got to ring a huge bell as the sunset – they loved it! The food was reasonable and delicious. The drinks were even better than the food.
The beauty and tranquility is worth scheduling your weekend around watching the sunset at the Oasis! Bonus, the food and drinks at the Oasis restaurant are amazing. Double win!
Texas Bluebonnets in the Spring
If you are visiting Austin with kids in the spring, take part in the Texas tradition of Texas bluebonnet photos!
Best Places to Eat with Kids in Austin
Austin is filled with delicious places to eat with kids. When I say Austin is kid friendly, I mean it! Many restaurants even have playgrounds. What is better than the kids playing while the parents eat and enjoy a margarita?
Here are a few of our favorite Austin restaurants to eat with kids:
With numerous locations, Kerbey Lane is perfect for breakfast (don’t miss out on their pancakes! The special pancakes are soo good) and is a great kid friendly Austin option for food.
Who doesn’t love food trucks? There is a great food truck park off of South Congress that offers a place to sit and kids can wiggle. Bonus perk – with food trucks even picky eaters can find something that they will like!
Open 24/7 – Magnolia Cafe is hands down my favorite Austin restaurant. The chips and salsa (and order the queso with guac!) are amazing. The kids meals are very affordable. If you go to the South Congress location, eat outside to give kids room to move and play.
Magnolia Cafe is a locals favorite so try to go on off-hours to avoid a wait. But if you do wait, it is worth it! Their breakfast tacos are amazing, as well as their french toast!
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
Splurge and do dessert at Jeni’s Ice Cream. Now she has numerous locations thru-out the Austin area. This is a great place to take kids in Austin and sugar them up with an eclectic mix of ice cream flavors and mix-ins. My son ordered popcorn ice cream on our last visit to Jeni’s and you know what? IT WAS AMAZING!
Learn more about Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
17 More Family Austin Things to Do
Let’s not stop there, we have even more family things to do in Austin!
- Hike up Mount Bonnell
- Check out a Race or Event at Circuits of America
- Visit Zilker Botanical Garden
- Take the Kids to the Texas Military Forces Museum
- Watch a movie, grab a beer (not for kids) and some grub at Alamo Draft House
- Drive thru the Balcones
- Enjoy Nature at the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center
- Try your luck at Peter Pan Mini-golf (an Austin tradition!)
- Catch a glimpse of the Cathedral of Junk
- Pedernales Falls State Park
- Lady Bird Lake
- Dinosaur Prints in Leander, TX
- Take a Steam Train Ride
- Visit the Austin Zoo
- Tour the University of Texas Campus
- View the WEIRD at the Museum of Weird
- Watch Fish Swim at the Austin Aquarium
When family road tripping to Austin, TX – those are our favorite things to do and see. What have we missed? Leave a comment and let us know!