10 Fun Things To Do With Kids in Austin, Texas

Austin is a great city for families. With plenty of things to do, it can be hard to know where to start! Here are 10 family-friendly activities that will keep everyone entertained. From exploring the Texas Capitol and Zilker Park to swimming in Barton Springs and riding the Austin Steam Train, there's something for everyone in this list. So grab your kids and get ready for some fun!

We fell in love with Austin the first time we ever visited before even having a child. A couple of months after our visit, we decided to move here bacuase we saw the potential to have a greta quality of life living here as a couple and once we decided to become a family! 

The weather in Austin is typically pleasant all year so it's no wonder most people love being outdoors here. The city and its surroundings offer so much nature and things that you can do outdoors together. What to do in Austin when it's cold? For those not-so-great days with rain or low temperatures which are rare, there are great places to visit that will keep you comfortable indoors. 

Whether you are looking for an activity to get some energy out or you are in the mood to discover and learn something new together as a family, you'll have plenty of options in Austin. Check out our list below and pick your favorite experience to have with your kids!

family activities in Austin, Texas

family Friendly things to do in austin

1. Visit the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum 

This family-friendly museum is the perfect place to explore art and nature. With over 20 acres of gardens and more than 100 sculptures, there's plenty to see and do. The kids will love running around and exploring all the different artwork.

things to do for families visiting Austin - Umlauf Sculpture Garden

To make it even more interesting, kids can. do a scavenger hunt! Just grab the sheet at checkin and start looking for the sculptures in the photos. Check them off as you find them while walking around!

We visited in late winter and the gardens were understandably quite bare but it was still peaceful and pretty. I can imagine that during the late Spring it will look gorgeous and the weather would make it the perfect time to visit. Our trip here was on a Thursday and for a while we were the only ones there!  If you want to have the place mostly to yourself, go on a weekday!

2. Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool 

This natural spring-fed pool is a great place to cool off on a hot day. The water stays nice and cool all year! It's also the perfect spot for a family picnic. Though they do not allow any food inside the pool area, you can enjoy their picnic area outside before you head in. Just pack some sandwiches and drinks and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the sun.

family friendly activities in Austin - Barton Springs Pool

The pool is a fair size and has stunning views of downtown Austin in the distance. There is a diving board for kids and adults to jump off of and areas where you are allowed to use floaties. 

It can be a very popular spot on hot summer days (which there are a lot of here in Texas!) but if you visit towards the late summer months or even early fall you'll enjoy a more peaceful atmosphere. 

3. Explore The Lady Bird Wild Flower Center

This beautiful center is dedicated to the preservation of native plants and wildflowers. It's the perfect place for a nature walk or hike. And kids will love getting up close to all the different flowers and plants.

Lady Bird Wildflower Center - fun for kids in Austin

We happen to visit late winter after there was a freeze in Austin so the wildflowers were not as awesome as they usually are. This is a great place to see Texas Bluebonnets in March and April.

The area is pretty spread out and there's even a play structure for kids to climb and get some exercise on in the middle of all the exploring!

4. Have Fun At At The Park

With more than 350 acres of parkland, Zilker Metropolitan Park is a great place to spend a day outdoors. The park offers hiking trails, a playground, a swimming pool (yeah the Barton Springs Pool we mentioned above is within the park!), and much more.

family picnic at Zilker park

Waterloo Park: With one and half miles of parkland, Waterloo Park is part of a massive project that is set to finish in 2026. Once complete, it will have 35 acres to its name and will consist of bridges and trails leading all visitors through the Austin downtown area! The park offers a playground, creek, and even a waterfalls!

Whether kids are in strollers or scooters or bikes, they will enjoy this peaceful neighbor to the city!

Waterloo Greenway and Park - Austin Texas family things to do

Visit Mayfield Park and Preserve. This beautiful park is home to peacocks, ducks, and butterflies. Kids will love feeding the animals and exploring the gardens.

travel tip: After visiting Mayfield park, head over to Mount Bonnel for a short hike up to some stunning views!

5. Take a walk or bike ride around Lady Bird Lake

This scenic lake is perfect for a family stroll or bike ride. You can also rent a canoe or kayak and explore the lake at your own pace.

Hike and Bike Train in Austin - perfect family activity

No matter which section of the trail you decide to explore, kids will enjoy spotting some wildlife (turtles!) along the way and the views are absolutely gorgeous! There are so many great places to take photos along this trail so make sure to have your camera handy!

For a fun family outing, take a picnic lunch and rent a boat! There are retro boats and even donut-shaped ones that are covered to give you some relief from the Texas sun! The boats are slow moving so they are perfect for the whole family to enjoy!

6. Explore the Texas State Capitol

Take a tour of this historic building and learn all about Texas government. Kids will love seeing the beautiful architecture and learning about how laws are made.

7. Visit A Museum

Austin Nature and Science Center: This hands-on museum is perfect for kids. They can explore the different exhibits, touch fossils, and even pet some live animals. There's also a planetarium where you can learn about the night sky.

LBJ Presidential Library: Located on the University of Texas campus, this library is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Lyndon B. Johnson. The museum offers interactive exhibits, a research center, and an outdoor sculpture garden.

Blanton Museum of Art: The Blanton Museum of Art is one of the largest university art museums in the country. With more than 17,000 works of art on display, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Austin Nature and Science Center: The Austin Nature and Science Center is a great place to learn about the environment and wildlife. With interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, kids will have a blast while learning about the world around them.

8. Take a ride on the Austin Steam Train

All aboard! The Austin Steam Train offers a variety of family-friendly rides through the Texas Hill Country. Choose from themed rides like the Wild West Rail Adventure or the Easter Bunny Express.

9. Explore the Natural Bridge Caverns 

Take a tour of these amazing caverns and see stunning stalactites and stalagmites. The caverns are also home to bats, so kids will love seeing these creatures in their natural habitat.

Natural Bridge Caverns - Austin, TX

The tour through the caverns is fascinating for both adults and children. The guides explain some very interesting facts about this place and take you through so many different formations throughout the caverns. There are even small underground pools with the clearest water we've ever seen! It's incredible how far down you can travel through these caverns. Though the path can be steep in some areas, it's not a strenuous activity and it is even stroller-friendly!

10. Spend the day at the Exotic Resort Zoo

This zoo is home to more than 500 animals from all over the world. Kids will love seeing all the different animals and learning about their habitats. There's also a playground and petting zoo, so there's plenty to keep everyone entertained.

Exotic Zoo Resort near Austin - family things to do

What Will You Do With Your Family In Austin?

So there you have it! These are just a few of the many family-friendly activities Austin has to offer. So pack your bags and come on down for some fun in the sun! For a fantastic family resort, check out Omni Barton Springs and make your trip to Austin the most memorable!

Austin is a great place for families to visit with kids. There are plenty of things to do and see, both indoors and outdoors. You can explore the city’s history at the State Capitol or learn about science and nature at one of the many museums. If you’re looking for some fun outdoor activities, head to Zilker Park or Barton Springs Pool.

And if you want to get up close and personal with some animals, check out the Peacocks at Mayfield Park. What will you do when visiting Austin with kids? 

So, would you say Austin a family-friendly city? With all these great places to see and activities to experience for kids, we'd say it's one of the best! 

By the way if you want some more family travel inspiration check out our Guide To Costa Rica For Families and Fun Family Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen.

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Taiss Nowrouzi

About the Author

Taiss Nowrouzi

Hi! I'm just a California girl addicted to travel and adventure with a passion for art and dance on the side. Born in Iran, but I consider myself a citizen of Earth, adhering to the belief that "The world is but one country and mankind its citizen." I strive to make a positive impact on everyone I meet and learn as much as possible from them. My degree out of college is in Marketing. However, I entered the hospitality business at an early age and worked my way up to hotel management. After about 13 years in that industry (5 of which I was a hotel assistant manager), I made the decision to move to Thailand and leave the 9 to 5 grind behind. My husband and I set off for a life of living abroad and hopes to continue traveling the world, just 3 months after our wedding. It all started with the two of us, along with our cat, together in Thailand. Can't wait to see where life takes us next!

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