While there is never a shortage of exciting things to do with kids in Austin, not all are appropriate for that tricky toddler age. We have found some fantastic places perfect for locals and visitors looking to entertain their curious and energetic little tots. The list below includes a little bit of everything. From canoeing to museums, from rescue zoos with trains, we have something to keep the little ones entertained for the whole day and more.
Thinkery is a kid’s museum with interactive exhibits and plenty of fun. Thinkery exposes young minds to mathematics, science, and technology in a fun and approachable manner. The Thinkery is located in north Austin and has a small snack area and outdoor playground area that kids can enjoy on a beautiful day. You can also walk across the street and play at the Mueller playground.
The Bullock Texas State History Museum
Here the kids will learn the history of Texas since it has three floors of interactive exhibits and an IMAX Theater playing educational and a few current movies. The museum has many permanent exhibits that tell the story of Texas and along with a few traveling exhibits that get changed out anywhere from 3-8 months. The Bulluck also hosts family events, like storytime during the week, and every first Sunday of the month, they have Free First Sundays with crafts and local musicians for the family to enjoy.
Austin Nature & Science Center
This 80-acre nature center located close to downtown, it features educational exhibits. You’ll find fossil replicas, dinosaur tracks, and a wildlife exhibit, which includes native texas animals, birds of prey, and smaller reptiles. Take a lunch, and spend the day exploring and learning all about our local wildlife and more.
Storytime at BookPeople
BookPeople, is located in the heart of downtown Austin and is considered to be the largest independent bookstore. They have been hosting storytime for many years, and it is a must if you haven’t attended one with your littles. Held on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 10:30 am. They are geared more towards the younger crowd, but older kids can enjoy the teen section. Check out their calendar to see when Special events are happening like a petting zoo or local musicians.
Located in the heart of Austin and next to Lady Bird Lake, this fantastic park offers a day full of adventures. A large playground, trails for hiking, canoes, and kayaks for rent, soccer fields, sand volleyball courts, and the famous Barton Spring Pool that is open year-round and is always a cool 68 degrees. If you’re still looking for something to do, head over to the botanical garden, located across the street from the main park.
The Austin Zoo is a rescue zoo that is home to over 300 animals like lions, bears, monkies, wolves, and a reptile room. You will also find Peacocks roaming around freely and an area you can feed the goats and other livestock. Grab a small snack at the concession stand and take a trip on the zoo train that takes you on a little adventure around part of the zoo. This zoo is great for all ages and is great any day of the week, occasionally they hold a storytime, so it’s best to check out their website for special events.
Austin Central Library
The central library is located downtown with a whole floor dedicated just to children and teens. Here you can catch a storytime, play a life-size game of chess, read books out on the patio that has a great view of the lake, computers dedicated to their age-range and much more.
The Austin Aquarium invites families to visit hundreds of fish, reptiles, birds and other animals. Here you’ll find some hands-on exhibits where you can feed some of the animals, a small playscape and a cafe where you can grab a small snack. This outing will be educational yet fun and is great for all ages.
Austin Bouldering Project
Let the little ones burn off some of that energy at the Austin Bouldering Project, where kids can discover the joy of climbing under the supervision of their parents. Multiple rock walls are set up with padding for hours of entertainment.
Epic Fun is an excellent location for kids of all ages. There are age-appropriate video games for all ages, bumper cars that can be adjusted for toddlers to ride with parents, mini bowling lanes, rock walls, and a great indoor playscape. You will also find a cafe here where you can grab lunch or dinner. We are sure this will be a hit with the whole family.
Austin is a city with plenty to offer for your kids from history, education, and the culture of Austin. No matter the time of year there is something for all ages to enjoy.