Things to do in Austin with Kids

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If you are traveling to Texas and looking for Things to do in Austin with Kids, you’ve come to the right place!

Things to do in Austin with Kids

We’ve lived in Austin for nearly 17 years, and I can’t believe I have not yet written a post on all the fun things to see and do while here! I had 2 people ask in one day what they should go and do and see and eat, so I’m putting this together for anyone who wants to know in the future. It’s become quite the hot travel spot, which I love. My kids are funny and see it as such a pain to go “downtown” I keep waiting for them to love the adventure as much as I do, but they are more homebodies.

I’ll first tell you the things that WE have done and loved, then share what I’ve heard others have loved as well.

What to do in Downtown Austin:

  • See the Austin Murals with a wall crawl, hopping around to fun spots. Click the link to see our favorites with pictures and a map for how to get there!
  • Cathedral of Junk–(see below) we love this unique spot, in someones home in their backyard, donations requested, but just a cool spot. Google it and maybe call ahead to make sure you get stop by.
  • Mt. Bonnell–this free hike is a great view of hill country in the city
  • Tour the Capital–we used to take family all the time when we first moved here. History and FREE!
  • Barton Springs–natural springs, same temperature all year
  • Zilker Park–also all lit up for the Trail of Lights at Christmas-time
  • Texas History Museum–You gotta go at least once, but I’m cheap when it comes to buying tickets for things
  • The Bats under Congress Bridge–(free) a family favorite, we like to wait on the bridge, but you can also get a boat tour, paddle board under the bridge, or wait on the lawn below the bridge. It happens at different times during the year, but sunset-ish.

Cathedral of Junk Austin Texas

Places to Eat in Austin

  • Torchy’s Tacos-Just delicious, you have to go. I hear people rave about the queso, I love the shrimp taco, and the fried cookie dough.
  • Chuys–I love to get the Mexi Cobb salad or the Panchos (an appetizer that makes a delicious meal) but either way, ask for Creamy Jalapeno that comes complementary when you ask, with chips. Happy hour before 7pm on weekdays you get free queso as well.
  • Gourdough’s Doughnuts–specialty donuts with fun toppings in a few locations downtown
  • Home Slice Pizza
  • Big Top Candy Shop
  • The Mighty Cone
  • Hopdoddy–mouthwatering Gourmet burgers with delicious homemade buns, but I love the Parmesean fries, and nutella pretzel shake
  • Le Cafe Crepe-our families favorite stop downtown. Sweet or savory crepes.
  • Bird Bird Biscuit–We just went here for the first time, and it was DELISH! I do love biscuits though. Small and simple menu.
  • Kellie’s Baking Co.–We found this from our Austin murals wall crawl, delish treats inside and fun photo opps in and out!
  • Food Trucks–so many to choose from, and different spots downtown have a handful of them.
  • BBQ (anywhere)–we also get Rudy’s, but it’s across the country now. I’ve never waited for Franklins, but I hear it’s the best.
  • Round Rock Donuts (North of Austin) In my opinion, these are the best donuts in the world! It was highlighted as such on a food network show at one point. If you are driving from Austin to Waco, which a lot of people do these days, it’s an easy stop off of the interstate, but a good 25 minutes north of downtown Austin. They also have CRAZY DELICIOUS sausage kolaches. Get the large, they are a better sausage and bread than their smaller counterparts. There is also a Texas sized donuts which is a fun instagrammable picture!

Click on the image below to go to the post I wrote all about the Austin murals

Things to do in downtown austin

Fun Things to do in Austin

I polled the community on this Instagram post, and asked for other suggestions about things to do in Austin with kids, and this is what was mentioned besides what I shared above:

**watching the bats fly at dusk (I prefer the I-35 overpass in Round Rock at McNeil to the Congress Street Bridge; not as scenic, but easier to get to and way less crowded)
**The Thinkery kids’ museum
**Texas Memorial Museum
**Wild Basin Nature Preserve & Trail
**Botanical Garden
**Lady Bird Wildflower Center
**Inner Space Caverns in Georgetown
**Longhorn Caverns near Burnet (about an hour northwest of town)
**Aquarena Springs in San Marcos (glass-bottom boat tour is awesome!)
**McKinney Falls state park
**taco crawl (try one taco at 4-5 places),
**Segway around the capital and across the over around Palmer Event Center
**lots of outdoor water holes (Bull Creek off 360, Blue Hole In Georgetown and Wimberley, UT campus tour, LBJ library, art galleries on south congress
**rent Lime Scooters and check out 6th St and South Congress , as well as try on cowboy boot and hats at Allen’s), [email protected] on TownLake.
**Mayfield Park & Laguna Gloria, right near Mt. Bonnell
**hiking up to the cliff that overlooks Lake Austin and the Pennybacker Bridge.
**The Cathedral of Junk
**browsing at Terra Toys
**browsing at Book People
**ice skating at Chaparral Ice
**hang out on cow statues and eat Amy’s Ice Cream at the Arboretum
***I do not recommend the Austin Aquarium…stinky, pricey, unprofessional (I witnessed an employee mistakenly put a crab in the wrong tank where it ate an urchcin)
**The original Schlotsky’ down by Zilker Park Oriental Garden.


I hope some of these suggestions help make your trip to Austin one to remember.



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