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Kid-friendly activities in Austin

We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that Austin has to offer — complete with art classes, animal encounters, and outdoor fun.

Kids standing in front of a table at the Thinkery.

Kids can learn hands-on at the Thinkery.

We’re not kiddin’ around. From major attractions like the Thinkery to hidden gems like the Dinosaur Trail, there’s something in the Capital City for children of all ages. You’ll have no trouble entertaining the youngsters with this list of 26 kid-friendly activities around the 512.

🎨 All about the arts

UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum, 605 Azie Morton Rd. | 🎟️ Family memberships available
This outdoor sculpture garden is filled with more than 200 whimsical bronze sculptures, paintings, and drawings.

Hideout Kids, 617 Congress Ave.
The comedy theater’s 27-year-running “Family Maestro” improv show is performed by adults and children. Kids will remember contributing ideas to help build the scenes.

The Contemporary Austin - Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St.
Kids can roam the museum’s expansive outdoor grounds while taking in sculptures and natural beauty. The museum also offers free art workshops once per month.

The Austin skyline as seen from a hill at Zilker Botanical Garden

Scope in Austin skyline views at Zilker Botanical Garden. |

Photo by @tanodddot

🌳 Great outdoors

Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd. | 🎟️ Family memberships available
Keep an eye on this downtown garden’s event calendar, because they often host kid-centered activities.

Austin Nature & Science Center, 2389 Stratford Dr.
Your kiddos will be able to take on hands-on activities related to nature and the environment. As a bonus, admission is always free.

Pease Park, 1100 Kingsbury St.
Between the trails, a playground, and a basketball court, there’s plenty for families to do in this Central Austin park. Kids will remember the Treehouse and its floating net.

Inner Space Cavern, 4200 S. I-35 Frontage Rd., Georgetown
Walk through 10,000 years of history at this cave, which features rock formations and prehistoric animal bones. Kids will remember the Saber Tooth Zip Ride.

A view of the Congress Avenue Bridge from the Statesman Bat Obervation Center

The Statesman Bat Observation Center is a go-to spot for bat-viewing.

Photo by ATXtoday

🦁 Animal encounters

Austin Zoo, 10808 Rawhide Trl.
All the animals at Austin Zoo — which include tigers, foxes, monkeys, and reptiles — are rescued.

Bat watching, Congress Avenue Bridge
Partake in a classic Austin experience by seeing the world’s largest urban bat colony emerge downtown. Pro tip: Learn more about these critters and plan your visit using our guide.

Texas Trail Rides, 9606 Farm to Market Rd. 1826
See the Texas Hill Country the most Texas way possible: on horseback. Instructors are available for adults and kids alike, regardless of their skill level.

The capitol building, as seen from the grounds

The Texas Capitol offers free tours regularly.

Photo by ATXtoday

🧠 Educational activities

Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave.
Take a walk through Texas history — tours of Texas’ Capitol building are free to the public.

Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave.
Little ones can take a break from touring Texas history exhibits at this museum’s IMAX Theatre and Texas Spirit Theater.

BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.
Keep an eye out for kid’s book readings on this store’s events calendar.

Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Dr.
Tour 19th-century spaces, or learn new skills like archery, banjo, or blacksmithing at this North Austin gem.

🎳 Indoor adventures

Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. | 🎟️ Family memberships available
This childrens’ museum offers hands-on exhibits related to kinetics and electricity.

Museum of Illusions, 11010 Domain Dr., #100
The newly opened Museum of Illusions offers ~70 mind-bending exhibits. Kids will remember the rotating, light-up tunnel room.

Museum of Ice Cream, 11506 Century Oaks Terrace, #128
These colorful, treat-inspired exhibits will inspire the playfulness in kids of all ages.

People swimming in Barton Springs Pool, with trees behind them framing the skyline.

Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool — it stays 68-70 degrees year-round.

Photo by @ginna_smith

🏖 Splash around

Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, 3001 Kalahari Blvd., Round Rock
Soak up the sun in the outdoor waterpark or avoid the rays at its indoor counterpart. You won’t want to miss this report’s 80,000-sqft arcade, either.

Barton Springs, 2201 William Barton Dr.
This natural wonder is between 68º and 70º year-round, making it a perfect pit stop on a hot Austin day.

Deep Eddy, 401 Deep Eddy Ave.
The oldest swimming pool in Texas ranges from 0-8 ft deep, and is surrounded by grassy lawn.

A kid put-putting in front of a dinosaur statue.

Trex the T-Rex is a great cheerleader. | Photo by Ted McCoy @_t__e__d_

⛳️ Get moving

Peter Pan Mini Golf, 1207 Barton Springs Rd.
This family-owned spot has been a staple on Barton Springs Road for more than 70 years. Kids will remember the larger-than-life animal sculptures at every hole.

Lake Travis Zipline Adventures, 14529 Pocahontas Trl., Volente
Thrill-seekers will love taking a ride on the longest zipline in Texas — make sure to spend some time on the beach when you visit.

COTA Karting, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd., Del Valle
Kids 12 and under can participate in “Kiddie Karting”, but big kids will enjoy an adult race around 15 high-speed corners.

A view of Mount Bonnell from above

It only takes 15 minutes to hike up Mount Bonnell, but the views are worth staying an hour for.

Photo by ATXtoday

🥾 Hit the trails

Mount Bonnell, 3800 Mount Bonnell Rd.
This short hike — which is considered to be one of the city’s oldest tourist attractions — ends with an unforgettable view.

The Dinosaur Park, 893 Union Chapel Rd., Cedar Creek
Watch out: you just might see a life-sized dinosaur on these trails.

McKinney Falls State Park, 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy.
Take a dip, explore an early Texas homestead, and walk along limestone ledges at Travis County’s only state park.

Ready to visit these local attractions but don’t know where to start? We’ve created this handy map so you can find all of these featured activities.

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