The Ultimate Guide to Austin: Top 10 Kids’ Activities That Will Make Their Visit a Blast

Welcome to Austin, Texas—a city that hums with vibrance, artsy vibes, and a dash of thrilling adventure! We’re incredibly excited to open the lid off some of the best activities for kids in this trending city. Whether you’re a local looking to entertain youthful visitors, or sightseers looking for family-friendly attractions, this list will have you covered. So grab your notepad, folks! Here are the top 10 kids’ activities in Austin that will add lasting highlights to your trip.

1. Feel the Thrill at Austin’s Park n’ Pizza

Austin’s Park n’ Pizza, centerpiece of Austin’s playful scene, is a dazzling playground filled with a multitude of indoor and outdoor activities your kids will absolutely love.

  • Indoor fun: Beyond its front gates, you’ll discover a 3,000 sq ft Arcade bursting with over 100 games. Let your kids discover old favorites like pinball and air hockey; or maybe something new, like virtual reality!
  • Outdoor adventures: Venturing outdoors is just as exciting. You’ll have a hard time pulling your kids away from fast, curvy go-karts, challenging mini golf courses, splash-happy bumper boats, and the precision-tuned batting cages.
  • Delicious food: After the fun is done (if it ever gets done), the family-friendly park serves some mouthwatering food at the on-site pizza parlor. Kids can indulge in their favorite pizzas, cooked to perfection, and a broad selection of beverages.

2. Dive into Fun at the Barton Springs Pool

Nestled in Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool is a local gem that ranks high on our must-visit list.

  • A massive pool: This nature-studded outdoor swimming destination spans over three acres, providing ample room for swimming, wading, or just splashing about.
  • Learning experiences: Introduce your children to the pool’s unique ecosystem and the ongoing conservation efforts through informative displays. It’s an ideal way to fuse education with recreation!

3. Experience the Wonders of Nature at Zilker Park

Sitting pretty on 350 acres, Zilker Park is a haven of diverse attractions.

  • Stay close to nature: In the Zilker Botanical Gardens, kids can admire an array of greenery, waterfalls, and streams. Colorful butterflies are often sighted in the garden, adding to the enchanting experience.
  • Train rides and more: The Zilker Zephyr miniature train offers a fun-filled ride across the park, presenting stunning views of the surroundings.
  • Cultural assimilation: Known for hosting outdoor concerts and theater performances, the park is a fantastic hotspot for catching Austin’s cultural pulse.

4. Explore the Wonders of the Universe at Austin Nature & Science Center

The Austin Nature & Science Center is a playground for curious young minds craving insights into the Universe.

  • Interactive exhibits: Housed within the sprawling Zilker Park, this center offers an awe-inspiring collection of hands-on exhibits. It encourages children to learn about nature, geology, archeology, and the vibrant variety of Texas’ animal and plant species.
  • Dino Pit: Undoubtedly, the most popular spot is the Dino Pit. Young archeologists can ‘excavate’ dinosaur skeletons and fossils for a real-life Jurassic Park experience!

5. Step into History at The Texas State Capitol

Imprinting a historical note on your children’s vacay, a visit to The Texas State Capitol is unmissable.

  • Interactive visitor center: Children can immerse themselves into the past, perusing rich details of the Capitol’s architectural nuances and Texas’ political history. A medley of exhibits, films, and artifacts add depth to their understanding.
  • Outdoor explorations: Take a leisure stroll on the Capital grounds that cover 22 acres and house several contemporary and historic monuments.

6. Engage in Creative Play at Thinkery

Enrich your child’s Austin journey with a visit to Thinkery — a museum where education meets fun!

  • Innovative exhibits: The interactive exhibits at Thinkery have been designed to align with children’s interests. A Light Lab, a Maker Workshop, and a Kitchen Lab are just a few to pique their curiosity.
  • Infant-friendly: Thinkery hasn’t forgotten Austin’s youngest citizens. Baby Bloomers space is filled with age-appropriate fun for the under-three crowd.

7. See the Incredible Bats at Congress Avenue Bridge

The Congress Avenue Bridge bat spectacle is an iconic event that Austin takes pride in.

  • Bat-watching: Over 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats fly from under the bridge each night from March through November to hunt for food. It’s a uniquely entertaining sight appealing to kids and adults.
  • Learning about bats: The community-friendly event is also an opportunity for kids to learn about bats and the critical role they play in our ecosystem.

8. Visit the Storybook Capital of America

Visit Brentwood Social House, a kid-friendly coffee shop within a charming, European-style house.

  • Reading sessions: For families with book-loving children, the delightful upstairs playroom has a great collection of books. Regularly held storytime sessions transport kids into enchanting story realms!
  • Food and games: Besides delightful narratives, Brentwood Social House also offers delicious kid-friendly treats and a range of board games to keep your kids entertained.

9. Relish Delicious Ice Cream at Amy’s Ice Creams

After a fun-filled day, there’s nothing better than a sweet treat to refresh your little troopers. Amy’s Ice Creams is sure to gratify their taste buds.

  • Ice cream aplenty: Amy’s presents over 350 rotating flavors with a host of unique and traditional concoctions. Vegan and dairy-free ice cream options are also available, ensuring every child finds something they love.
  • On-site demonstrations: Besides serving delicious, creamy scoops, Amy’s offers exciting demonstrations where kids can watch ice cream being made on-site—an extra treat!

10. Close Encounters with Animals at Austin Zoo

The adventurous journey would be incomplete without an exciting rendezvous with animals at the Austin Zoo.

  • Wildlife viewing: With over 300 animals from 100 different species, the zoo offers many engaging encounters. The chance to see, and sometimes touch, animals from big predator cats, birds, and reptiles, to adorable farm animals, is thrilling for all.
  • Animal feeding and train ride: Your kids can feed the animals and enjoy a fun train ride through the picturesque hills in the area. The Austin Zoo’s charm is sure to leave your little ones awestruck.

Whether it’s extraordinary adventures or educational outings, Austin offers an enchanting mix of all. The city’s perfect blend of fun, learning, and exploration offers an unforgettable journey for young globetrotters. We hope our list of Austin’s top 10 kids’ activities helps you craft a memorable and thrilling itinerary. Enjoy your visit to this beautiful city and the lasting memories it will offer!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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