Kid Activities in Austin That Are Also Parent Friendly
With summer now in full effect, kids are home all day, every day. We know that it can be hard to find ways to stay busy that will entertain them and you. So, we came up with a list of family-friendly things to do during the summer that you wouldn't mind doing either.
1. Thinkery - Austin Children’s Museum
Thinkery is the new Austin Children’s Museum which (finally) offers some fun for parents too.
Included in the evolution is a new evening series, called Thinkery21, for adults 21 and up where you can grab a drink, do hands-on activities, watch live demonstrations and visit original exhibits.
Thinkery also has fun activities lined-up for kids of all different ages, including 1-day workshops, short interactive classes, story time, birthday parties and more.
For admission prices and location information, you can go here.
2. Peter Pan Mini Golf
This golf course off of Barton Springs is a perfect for the whole family. For less than $10 each, you and your kids can golf one or two of the 18-hole courses. And the best part? It’s BYOB (just no glass) making this enjoyable for the parents as well as the kids.
The course has just been renovated including new additions, as well as newly painted characters. You can rent the picnic area and get your name on the front sign - both free of charge.
For more information, you can go here.
3. Bob Bullock State History Museum
The Bob Bullock Museum is destined to be a family favorite with multiple exhibits, free music in July and an IMAX theatre that has 2-D and 3-D capabilities.
Included in the exhibits are a 1968 display and a “When Austin Got Weird” exhibit. The history buff of the family is also sure to be entertained with a Texas history museum area and the Texas Spirit Theater, with 4-D special effects.
To check out rates and other information, go to their website.
4. Deep Eddy Pool
One of the most austintatious things to do in the summer is to go to Deep Eddy Pool at Eilers Park. This historic pool was man-made and is the oldest swimming pool in Texas, that stays at a nice 70 degrees year round.
This is a great spot for the family, with a lap pool for adults and a wading pool for the kids. Deep Eddy also offers swimming lessons and family movie nights and has a concession stand on-site.
For pool hours and other information, visit the Deep Eddy Facebook page.
5. Austin Zoo
The Austin Zoo has always been a family favorite and for good reason. All of the animals are rescued, including three orphaned black bear cubs that have just made a home at the zoo.
The zoo has more than 350 animals to look at, and optional 15 minute train ride and even offers wild photography classes.
For a more interactive experience, there are educational shows on the weekends, story time on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a petting corral that will open in August.
To see all of the special events offered, you can go here.
6. Zilker Zephyr Train
We all know and love Zilker Park, home to the Kite Festival and Blues on the Green, but Zilker’s miniature train provides another fun activity year-round.
The Zilker Zephyr is a 20-25 minute train ride, going through tunnels and under bridges around the park, Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake.
The prices are low too, just $2 for kids and $3 for adults. There is also a concessions stand next door which comes in handy in case you have to wait in line.
You can go to their Facebook page for hours of operation and more information.
7. Austin Duck Adventures
If you don’t want to have to chase your kids around, the duck tour is perfect for you. The tour starts on land in downtown Austin as a bus and then turns into a boat on Lake Austin.
The tour is 75 minutes long and goes by the State Capitol Building, Bob Bullock Museum and the Governor’s Mansion.
For prices and schedules, click here.
8. Austin Steam Train
For a nice, air conditioned family activity, the Austin Steam Train is the perfect option. There are a couple different options to choose from, depending on how long you want to keep the kids entertained.
The rides range from 3 hours long to 6 hours long and there are four classes of passenger cars to pick from.
The train has child friendly rides like the “Day Out With Thomas,” coming in September, and also offers adult-friendly rides such as a murder mystery ride and a wine tasting night.
To purchase tickets and to get more information, you can go here.
9. Austin Sailboat Rentals
Whether you have an active family or you just want to do something out of the ordinary, Austin Sailboat Rentals offers a variety of options.
There are a lot of boats to choose from including: sailor sailboats, kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, sea cycles, electric boats and tandem boats.
If you choose to stay on land during the day, there are also scooters, bikes and tandem bicycles available for rent.
To make a reservation and to look at prices, go to Austin Sailboat Rental’s website.
10. Texas Memorial Museum
The Texas Memorial Museum is the perfect place to bring kids on a hot summer day. Included in the air conditioned museum is a kid paradise: a room filled with real dinosaur fossils.
If your child is really into dinosaurs, there are real dinosaur tracks outside the museum and a full-sized gift shop inside.
The museum also offers guided tours, weekend family programs and even a Family Fossil Fun Day.
To look at a directions map and to view prices, you can go here.
11. Wild Basin Stargazing
Another great way to beat the heat, is a nighttime stargazing tour. For around $5 each, you and your family can join the Austin Astronomical Society for special astronomy tours at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.
During the day, the society also offers sun viewing, indoor telescope observing and astronomy talks and crafts. You can even set up a “star party” for your child.
You can go to the Astronomical Society’s website to see more specific prices and schedules.
12. Union Underground Bowling
A great place for the whole family to go is right on the UT campus. The Texas Union offers underground, glow-in-the-dark bowling that is open to all ages.
The Union also has 13 billiards tables, air hockey, poker tables and big screen TV’s.
If someone in the family needs to get some work done, there is also a laptop lounge available, as long as you bring your own internet cable.
For questions regarding hours and prices, you can go here.
13. Lake Travis Zipline Adventures
Zip-lining is a great summer activity to do with energetic kids. Lake Travis Zipline Adventures lets you go across canyons or over the lake.
There is also a “Night Flight” offered where you can zip line in the moonlight.
For a real weekend getaway, you can lodge in one of the cabins available, which includes a 10% discount on the zip lines.
Kids fly free with the purchase of an adult ticket. To check out prices and schedules, you can go here.
14. Painting With a Twist
A great way to do something different in the summer is to take a painting class. The BYOB studio offers multiple classes, including kids classes and family classes.
If you’re looking to avoid take a break from your kids, you can even take classes just for adults.
To look at all of the different classes and rates, go to their website here.
15. Austin Helicopter Rides
For the more adventurous family, a helicopter ride over downtown Austin is the perfect summer activity.
Austin Helicopter Tours has 6 tour options, 3 charter flights or custom flights available, including drop off and pick up at almost any location.
Included in the different options are flights over downtown Austin, Lake Travis or stops at the Oasis Restaurant and Flat Creek Winery.
You can go to Austin Helicopter's website to view prices and other tour options.