Austin with Kids
Austin, Texas is the perfect place to travel with kids! It's hard to think of a place in the city that doesn't cater to children in this great town! Here's a list of our most favorite activities, festivals, and places to eat with kiddos in tow while visiting the Live Music Capital of the World! One of the must-dos while in town is checking out the bats on S. Congress! You can easily hang out on the bridge right before dusk, but we especially love the boat cruises to see the bats. We've had really great experiences with Capitol Cruises. The tour guides are always very engaging and knowledgeable about Austin history, and you get a front row view of the bats emerging from the bridge. Our daughter was mesmerized with the amount of bats living under the bridge. It's a very relaxed evening and you can also BYOB! I definitely also recommend walking around and checking out the fun shops and eateries on S. Congress. Big Top Candy Shop is a must visit with kids! Another must do while in Austin is visiting the downtown public library. The building is absolutely stunning, and there's even a restaurant named Cookbook that serves recipes from cookbooks in the library! My favorite thing to do is grab a hot London Fog from the café and read with my daughter in the children's area or up on the rooftop, which overlooks Ladybird Lake. We also especially love Austin for all of the breweries and wineries that cater to families. While the list is way too long to share all of our faves, you can't go wrong with Meanwhile Brewing! Their playscape is huge and beautiful, they have tons of really delicious food trucks, and the ice cream truck Besamé on site is the best ice cream in town! Austin has some really incredible parks as well! The Alliance Children's Garden and Pease Park are two of the best! Both have fantastic playscapes, as well as splash pads! If you head to Pease Park, be sure to check out the Tree House! It's quite the highlight! Some other great outdoor activities include Peter Pan Mini Golf (which is also BYOB), Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, hiking the Barton Creek Greenbelt, and swimming at Deep Eddy Pool or Emma Long Park. For those extra hot afternoons, you can't go wrong with a trip to The Thinkery. This children's museum blows all the others out of the water! It's two stories of nonstop fun, plus a really neat outdoor climbing area. It's also across the street from a great little park and located in the cute Mueller neighborhood, so you could make an entire day of just this fun area! If you're looking for yummy treats nearby, check out Lady Quackenbush! Be sure to get reservations to The Thinkery in advance. The Thinkery validates 2 hours of free parking in the garage behind it. Another favorite for those hot afternoons is the Alamo Drafthouse! There are several locations in Austin. You can sit back and enjoy a movie with drinks and food delivered directly to your seat throughout a movie. We especially love the reclining seats at the S. Lamar and the Slaughter Ln. locations. Their themed showings with props and movie-themed foods are always extra fun! If you're looking for a live show, ZACH Theatre and the Scottish Rite Theatre both put on children's plays regularly! We also can't seem to get enough of the Museum of Ice Cream! There are endless tastings of ice cream, cotton candy, and more! Each interactive room has a different theme giving more than enough photo ops! The sprinkle pool is always our favorite part of the museum! Good luck finding that coveted golden sprinkle! If you're looking to attend a fun event while in town, the Zilker Kite Festival is a sight to be seen! The spring festival boasts day-long activities for all ages, including the traditional kite flying contest and showcase, and MossFest, a children’s music concert. Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival held in October is one of the events we most look forward to each year! Children aged 8 and under can enter for free without a ticket. In the past, they've dedicated an entire section to a festival for the kids, called Kiddie Limits, with food, kids' music, activities, and air conditioned portable potties! The Austin Trail of Lights in December is another city tradition not to be missed! With over 2 million lights in 150+ displays, food trucks, carnival rides, and the most magical 155 foot Christmas tree made from lights, it's the ultimate family event! Be sure to take a spin under the giant Christmas tree! Another option while in town is to attend a Texas Longhorns football game or an Austin FC soccer game! Favorite Kid-Friendly Restaurants: Sour Duck: You can't go wrong with any of the pastries, coffees/teas, or cocktails here! Better Half: The breakfast sandwich and cauliflower tots are drool worthy! Phils's Ice House: This is our daughter's favorite! I am slightly obsessed with their "78704" Burger and the fried green beans! Phil's locations share a building with Amy's Ice Cream, so it's a win-win! Via 313 (Oak Hill location), Pinthouse Pizza, Home Slice (north location) and Love Supreme: All delicious pizza spots that are casual, loud, and kid-friendly! Home Slice and Love Supreme both have areas where the kids can run around. Easy Tiger (S. Lamar location): We love this space for their large kid's play area, freshly baked pastries and breads, and yummy drinks! Loro - This place is like two of the greatest restaurants in town, Franklin Barbecue and Uchi, got married and had a baby! Their happy hour is phenomenal. The Crunchy Sweet Corn Critters and Smoked Beef Brisket are not to be skipped! Tiny's Milk & Cookies: The cookies are incredible, the brownies are decadent, and the sausage biscuit is like an upscale version of the McDonald's sausage biscuit. You won't be disappointed! Fareground: This food court hosts some of the best restaurants in Austin! There's often live music, and there's a great hill that kiddos can roll down to burn off some energy! Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden: Coffee, drinks, food trucks, a chicken coop, a coy pond, and plenty of space to run around! What's not to love?! There's honestly so much to love in Austin! Whether you're coming for fun, food, or festivals, you're sure to have a great time! Trying out some of our favorite spots? Let us know in the comments what you loved best!