Whether you’re a native, a newbie, or a tourist, Austin is jam-packedwith activities your whole family can enjoy together. Indoors, outdoors, artsy, educational, or just plain weird, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our go-to list of the ten most Austin-tastic things to see and do with kids in our city.
Bats! Austin proudly hosts the largest urban bat colony in North America. Approximately 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats call the Congress Avenue Bridge their summer home. Hundreds of people gather nightly to see and hear the bats’ emergence into the sky, where they will gobble literal tons of insects before returning to the roost. Viewing times vary depending on weather and other factors, so we suggest you checkBCI’s websitebefore heading out. See Nicole’s tips for bat-viewing successhere.
Street Art and Murals: You’ve almost certainly seen photos of Austin’s most famous murals–“Greetings from Austin” and “i love you so much” to name a couple–and those are practically obligatory souvenir photo ops. But don’t stop there! One of many beautiful things about Austin is that art can be found nearly everywhere you look. Our city is blanketed in street art of both the commissioned and the illicit varieties. Keep your eyes peeled as you explore and you’ll find photo-op worthy spots as unique as you are. To get the most bang for your buck (it’s free!) don’t skipHOPE Outdoor Gallery, a three-story, ever-changing, and always amazing art project.
Mt. Bonnell– Mayfield Park – Laguna Gloria (MY PERSONAL FAVORITE!!): This trifecta of outdoor fun is an unbeatable way to spend a sunny morning. Start with an early climb of the 100 stairs to the top of Mt. Bonnell. At 775 feet, the highest point in Austin offers a spectacular panoramic view of the city. Just a few minutes’ drive down the mountain you’ll find the entrance to Mayfield Park, a peaceful garden and nature preserve inhabited by dozens of peacocks. Right next door sits Laguna Gloria, the former estate of philanthropist Clara Driscoll. Now part of The Contemporary Austin, the lush grounds are open for the public to enjoy. Read aboutLeigh Ann’sandHeidi’sexperiences.
Cathedral of Junk: Looking to take a walk on Austin’s weird side? Don’t miss local yardist Vince Hannemann’s backyard ode to discarded treasures. Imagine a multi-story outdoor I Spy museum of times gone past. It’s like that, only weirder. You must call to arrange a visit and be sure to bring along a $10 donation for your group. Read about Heidi’s experiencehere.
The Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake: This 1.3-mile ADA-friendly boardwalk skirts the edge of Lady Bird Lake, connecting to the 10-mile Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail. The scenic path offers amazing views of the city, the lake, and the wildlife. Sunsets here are hard to beat. Read about Nicole’s experiencehere.
Texas Capitol+Downtown walking tour: You don’t have to be interested in history or politics to appreciate a visit to the Capitol. Whether you take a free guided tour of the building or wander on your own, you’d be remiss not to spend some time in the rotunda. The ceiling is breathtaking and the “whispering gallery” acoustics are a blast to play around with. The building, clad in distinctive pink granite, sits on 22 acres of grassy lawn with several hills ripe for rolling kiddos. TheCapitol Visitor Centeris worth your time, too. Several downtown guided walking tours begin at the Capitol. If you prefer to go the self-guided route, theHistoric Austin Tours app(for iPhone or iPad) can point the way. Read about Heidi’s experiencehere.
Thinkery: Designed for families to play and learn together, the Thinkery succeeds in being fun for kids and grownups alike. The STEM-based exhibits encourage creative problem solving through hands-on projects and tons of activities. It’s likely that the kids will end up wet, so a spare set of clothes may come in handy. Or just let them dry off at one of Austin’s coolestplaygrounds, right across the street. Read about Emily’s experiencehere.
Bonus (because you’ve gotta eat):Food trucks!No trip to Austin is complete without a meal at one of the city’s 1000+ food trucks. Unbelievable gastronomic adventures await even the pickiest of eaters. There are so many options–and most of them are always on the move–so your best bet is to ask a local or look to Yelp for advice. Whatever your taster’s up for, chances are you can find it nearby.
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""Jason has helped me with a couple of properties in the last year. He is a very easy person to work with. Jason has a sharp eye for what the potential tenant might look for in a property and brings in that perspective while evaluating properties. He is also very level-headed and offers unbiased advice all along the process. In that sense, he acts more like your partner and helps you avoid any pitfalls that you may not be thinking about. After the deal is done, real estate purchase is all about process and Jason understands the process very well and stays on top of things. I would unequivocally recommend Jason for your real estate needs.""