I’ve been to Austin before but never with kids. With a motto like “Keep Austin Weird”, it’s always been one of my favorite cities to visit. It has a lively culture, with plenty of outdoor activities to keep me busy. And since we have friends there with twin toddlers, I was looking forward to a totally different experience this time in Austin with kids.
Here is how we spent our weekend in Austin with kids:
Get out on Lady Bird Lake:
One of my favorite things for a city to have is close proximity to a body of water. And for Austin, that is Lady Bird Lake and the Colorado River. You have tons of options for how to experience the lake too: a small boat, canoe, or standup paddle board. Or, you can take a big boat as part of a larger group.
If you don’t want to get out on the water, there are tons of parks and bridges along the river to hang out with views. And if all you want to do is cool down, there are splash pads around the city for your little ones to hang out.
A visit to the Pumpkin Patch:
A fall visit to Austin with kids is a perfect time to head a bit outside the city to a pumpkin patch. In fact, we went for opening weekend of the pumpkin patch and corn maze at Barton Springs Farm. It was still very hot so later in fall would be best, but we had so much fun!
Not only did they have a pumpkin patch and corn maze, but tons more. There were several giant tube slides, which were Jimmy’s favorite. There was a petting zoo and a bunch of small games scattered throughout. And there were a few rides too which we had a blast on.
We also had some great options for lunch, but since we were in Austin, we went with BBQ. Jimmy isn’t usually a big meat eater, but he loved the BBQ food so much we had to get him a second serving!
Live music and Southern food:
For our evening activity, we ended up at Threadgill’s downtown for some outdoor live music. This was absolutely perfect for Jimmy. There was a live band playing — and Jimmy LOVES live music. And it wasn’t too crowded so the kids all had plenty of room to run and climb around. We were able to spend most of our evening here without worrying about transporting the kids from place to place. There was music, food, plenty of space, and even some games to play.
Our visit also happened to coincide with a benefit concert that night so I had a couple beers for a good cause 🙂 And the best part… I won an Apple Watch in the raffle for the night!
Austin Nature and Science Center:
The Austin Nature and Science Center is a mix of open air and indoor exhibits, which was nice, considering the heat. There are tons of educational opportunities for any age. Our favorite was the bats because it had a little cave for Jimmy to run around in.
The edge of the nature center also leads to a small hiking trail. Jimmy basically ran through it at full speed without falling (rare) so it’s definitely kid-friendly for all ages. On the other side of the nature center is a giant Dino Pit for kids to dig in the sand and brush off dinosaur bones. And next to that, kids can walk into the water stream under the bridge and cool down from the heat. No matter what your kids are into, the nature center has something for them!
We’re excited to come back to Austin again in the future with Jimmy, although next time it will probably be a bit later into the fall. The hot weather was very tough for me and although Jimmy didn’t seem to mind, I could tell it was pretty hot for him too!
What are your favorite things to do in Austin with kids?