Often regarded as one of the fastest-growing big cities in the US, the capital of Texas is also considered as one of the best places to live in for young professionals and families with children alike. If you’re moving to Austin, besides excellent job opportunities, great music scene, and delicious food, you’ll also find lots of things to do in Austin with kids.
Also known as ATX, Bat City, The Capitol City, Hippie Haven, and Silicon Hills, this is the place that has a little bit of everything for everyone. If you’re planning to make a home for your family in the capital of Texas, you can rest assured that your life will be packed with exciting events, good vibes, and plenty of opportunities for personal growth.
It’s no secret that ATX is a hotbed for technology, innovations, and startups. It’s a special place with an appealing culture, breathtaking nature, and spots for outdoor recreation. In addition to a highly educated workforce, no personal income tax, and more affordable housing compared to the coastal metropolises, this might be a perfect place to raise kids.
If you’re wondering about kid-friendly things to do in Austin, we have a few suggestions you may find interesting. Keep reading and find answers to the question of: Where can I take my family in Austin?
Is Austin Family-Friendly?
With temperate weather, an abundance of greenery, and a thriving arts community, the Capitol City looks like an ideal location to raise children. As a bustling metropolitan area, it boasts top-notch parks, kid-friendly museums, zoos, and unique attractions, such as underground caverns and Mexican free-tailed bats that nestle under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Watching them flying out from under the bridge is a truly fantastic sight to behold, for adults and children alike.
Besides new spots worth visiting, ATX has plenty of family-oriented eateries known for good food and a calm atmosphere, ranked as the best restaurants in Austin. If you’re a newcomer, some insider tips, such as – children eat free on Tuesdays – might come in handy during the adjustment period.
Here’s Why ATX Might Be a Better Option for Raising Kids Than Houston
Yes, Houston is well-known as an excellent place to raise a family and offers plenty of attractions and spots where toddlers can enjoy themselves. But, if you prefer a smaller and cozier environment with perfect weather, Bat City might be your best bet.
Here are several more reasons why living in Austin might be better than living in Houston:
- As we already mentioned, the weather is just right here. In Houston, dealing with sticky Gulf Coast humidity every day and the chance of hurricanes might be frustrating.
- With its scenic natural beauty, ATX will provide you with incredible spots to spend leisure moments with your loved ones, such as the banks of Colorado River, Mount Bonnell, Zilker Park, and Hill Country.
- As one of the most pedestrian- and bike-friendly cities in the US, ATX is a perfect place for exploring the city on foot (or bicycle).
- ATX is an outdoor-focused city – kayaking, fishing, hiking, biking, and jogging are just some of the many recreational options.
- As the most populous urban area in Texas and the fourth largest metropolis in the nation, Houston is quite a huge city, while Bat City has the feel and vibe of a small town.
- ATX is friendly, laid-back, and relaxed. Simply put, it’s a place where even CEOs wear flip-flops and casual clothes.
Where Can I Take My Family in Austin?
Are you looking for fun things to do in Austin with kids? If so, you came to the right place. ATX is a city where parents enjoy a good time, as well as their children. Whether you’re in search of beautiful picnic sites, an opportunity to connect with nature, or play a round of mini-golf, the Capitol City has it all. And sometimes, just spending several days in a luxurious setting with your young ones and boosting your energy might be enough.
Austin Has Some Family-Friendly Hotels If You Need a Getaway and a Reunion
When it comes to summer doldrums, there are ways to keep the midsummer blues at bay. You can book a room in one of Austin’s hotels and go on a memorable family staycation. Luckily, ATX is packed with several hot spots that will provide an exciting experience for children, such as scavenger hunts, horseback riding, swimming in a pool, kayaking, hiking, archery, and live music.
If a weekend getaway sounds like a perfect option for you and your loved ones, consider staying at some of these hotels:
- Four Seasons Hotel
- Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa
- Lakeway Resort and Spa
- Lone Star Court
- Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa
Don’t Miss Zilker Metropolitan Park
If you ask locals about the most-beloved family spot, they will definitely recommend the iconic Zilker Park. This 350-acre park is a place where Austinites take part in Hike and Bike Trail, sports fields, or come to feel the unique holiday spirit during Trail of Lights. There are plenty of things to see and do in Zilker Park:
- Barton Springs Municipal Pool
- Botanical Garden
- The Zilker Train
- Hillside Theatre
- McBeth Recreation Center
- Zilker Nature Preserve
Go to West Zilker Park and Visit Austin Nature & Science Center
The site hosts family events, homeschool groups, adventure programs, and environmentally focused camps. With its mission to provide practical experienced exhibits and recreational activities, the Austin Nature & Science Center is a place where your children will be entertained for hours.
Your 10-Year-Old Kid Will Enjoy It Here
This museum is unique in one aspect – apart from being admission-free, kids here are encouraged to touch and explore things. They can enjoy both indoor and outdoor exhibits, including a dinosaur pit. It’s an excellent spot for older children to excavate fossils and be active participants of a small zoo or a butterfly garden.
Visit the Texas Toy Museum
How would you like to see some retro toys, vintage toys, or console video games from the past together with your little ones? If so, the Toy Museum is an excellent place for children’s education and entertainment. Besides, teenagers can have a good time practicing hands-on activities, like vintage video games.
Have an Unforgettable Time at Epic Fun
If your kid prefers action, Epic Fun might be the right choice. This indoor play place offers activities that appeal to all age groups, including parents. If you decide to drop by for fun or organize a birthday party, you should expect adventures such as laser tag, a ropes course, mini bowling, arcade games, and climbing walls.
Don’t Miss the Favorite Place of Nature Lovers – Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
In case you and your children prefer outdoor activities and enjoy being surrounded by nature, paying a visit to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will probably be one of the best experiences you’ve ever had. Visitors have a chance to enjoy beautiful botanical gardens that demonstrate how native plants can sustain the health of the land and support wildlife.
If You’re in for Something New – Try the Escape Game
Have you been thinking about a live 60-minute adventure? You can pick your theme and then finish your mission in under an hour. The Escape Game is a unique experience designed for families, couples, friends, or corporate groups. If you have older children, ages 13 and up, this might be a perfect chance to spend some quality time with them while searching for lost gold or breaking out of prison. It is a place where everyone can become a hero, at least for a couple of hours.
Visiting Thinkery Is One of the Top Things to Do in Austin With Toddlers
Young scientists might fall in love with this place due to lots of fun and interactive exhibits. Your toddler will be exposed to STEM-based topics (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in a friendly and fun way. And don’t worry if your baby is too young – Thinkery is adapted to all ages, from babies to teens.
Watch South Congress Bridge Bats
When the city has a nickname such as Bat City, you can bet there’s an interesting story behind it. Yes, bats really like Austin. This city is home to the largest bat colony in North America. And there’s no better way for your children to learn about the natural world that surrounds them than watching the bats fly.
Nearly 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats reside under the South Congress Bridge from March to November. Night, or even better, dusk is a perfect time to enjoy their spectacular air acrobatics.
Additional Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Austin
When it comes to things to do with kids in Austin, you’ll find an inexhaustible source of energy and ideas all around the city. There are plenty of activities you can do together every single day, regardless of the age of your child. And if you’re looking for more ideas, we’ve put a list of several suggestions you should check out as soon as possible.
11 Awesome Things to Do With Kids
#1 Climb to the Top of Mount Bonnell
You need to climb up 102 stairs to reach the top and enjoy a fantastic view of Lake Austin.
#2 Peter Pan Mini-Golf
You shouldn’t miss this ATX landmark which includes a 70-year-old school for mini-golf courses.
#3 Alamo Drafthouse
If you’re a movie buff, come and enjoy dinner and a movie all at once.
#4 Visit the Water Park at Volente Beach on Lake Travis
If you like slides and pools for lounging and splashing, this spot will be a real revelation for you and your children.
#5 Austin Aquarium
Your toddlers will have a chance to feed and touch many species in the aquarium learning about life cycles, natural habitats, and migration patterns of fishes, birds, and reptiles.
#6 Austin Zoo
By interacting with rescued and rehabilitated animals of all kinds, toddlers can learn a lot about mammals, primates, and wild cats in Austin’s zoo.
#7 Boggy Creek Farm
The Farmhouse is one of the two oldest still-existing houses in ATX where you can find fresh veggies and fruits, while your children can enjoy watching many different kinds of animals.
#8 Austin Rock Gym
For all those who prefer indoor rock climbing, this venue will provide a lot of fun. And it’s recommended for kids from the age of four and older.
#9 Bullock Texas State History Museum
You and your kiddos can learn many interesting facts about the State of Texas here.
#10 Chaparral Ice
An ideal site for some ice sport fun and the only National Hockey League regulation-sized rink in the area.
#11 Pioneer Farms
It is a group of original homesteads that portray a living history of Central Texas pioneer life through the 1800s. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the property (former homes of a horse doctor, governor, lawyer, outhouse, and encounters with native wildlife).
Move to ATX and See Why It’s One of the Best Places to Raise Kids in the Lone Star State
The popular Bat City is an appealing place for families for several reasons. Besides its live and dynamic music scene, excellent universities and schools, some of the best neighborhoods in Austin, historical sites, and museums, people like being here due to plenty of kid-friendly attractions, events, and places.
So, if you’re planning to get professional moving services and relocate to Austin, this guide can help you prepare a list of must-do family activities after settling down. Young parents will enjoy it here due to the city’s affordability and tight-knit community, while kids will have a happy and fulfilled childhood.