Friends Posing for a Group Selfie at the Pennybacker Bridge Overlook

The Best Family Austin City Guide

Austin City Guide

Familydaysout.com has done ALL the hard work so you don’t have to by creating the ULTIMATE family guide to visiting Austin, to read, print and use!

We can't wait for you to read all about our "Top 9 Family Attractions" to enjoy in the vibrant city of Austin! Because this exciting and vibrant Texas city has a host of fun things to do with kids, we decided to list our Top 9 favorite things below, so you can enjoy them on your next family day out when you visit this amazing city! We also tell you our favorite things to do with kids for FREE in Austin, and if that isn't enough, you get to hear about our transport tips for getting around Austin, as well as some fun facts to impress your friends. Get inspiration for a great day trip from Austin and some famous faces that were born in this musical city! We want to make sure you don’t miss out on anything when visiting the iconic city of Austin.

So whether this is your first trip to "the Live Music Capital of the World", or you've lived within the city limits for years and just thought "I wonder what is there is to do near me", then keep reading, because we have the top things to do in Austin with kids, just for you!

ATX sign in downtown Austin, Texas

The actual recorded history of Austin began back in the 1830s when groups of Anglo-American settlers arrived in the state. Prior to that, nomadic tribes of Comanches, Tonkawas, and Lipan Apaches lived and hunted along the creeks. Later in the 1700s, the Spanish set up temporary missions on the banks of the beautiful Colorado River, but it was those Anglo-Americans who permanently settled, and named their town "Waterloo". In 1839, Waterloo became Austin and claimed the title of capital of the Republic of Texas.

Slowly swelling in size, Austin was rapidly transforming into a city by the late 1880s, schools were introduced around the same time, and electricity was thriving thanks to the construction of the Great Granite Dam on the Colorado River. Surviving the Great Depression of 1929, Austin continued to grow through the 1950s and 1970s, and today has moved from being a technically innovative city to a musical, cultural, vibrant, and thriving hub.

There are so many things to do with kids in Austin that you certainly will be spoilt for choice! It's an incredibly vibrant city with museums, live music, tours and so much more! You can find your wild side at Austin Zoo, or deep dive into your family day out at Austin Aquarium. Austin also has plenty of history to explore, with many museums and even Pioneer Farms where you can actually re-live history!

With so much to do and see in this amazing Texas city, you certainly won't be short of things to do with the family! So keep reading to find out exactly how YOU can spend your next family day out in the Music Capital of the World!

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Getting around Austin is super easy, thanks to Capital Metro - the city's multimodal public transit system. It's the easiest way to explore Downtown, as well as the greater regions.

Austin also features MetroRapid, which is the express bus service - part of Capital Metro. These can take you between North Austin and South Austin with ease!

Single tickets are as cheap as $1.25, with day passes only $2.50. You know the best part? Kids ride FREE! All children under 18 years ride free (K-12 students with valid ID) on all Cap Metro serivces. Go Austin!

Source and Image Credit: More information here: Capital Metro

Eating Your Way Through Austin's Hidden Gems!

You've enjoyed Austin during the day, so why not explore Austin at night (and meet the OTHER residents!) Austin Ghost Tours offer tours with historic ghost walks, shuddering stories of the past, and explorations of downtown & beyond!. You know what else we love? Kids under 6 years go FREE! Make sure you reserve!

Website: Austin Ghost Tours

Austin Ghost Tours

Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Austin

Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Austin Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Austin

1Austin Zoo

It's time to get WILD in Austin at this popular and very family-friendly zoo, home to over 350 animals, representing over 100 species, from all over the world!

What's great about Austin Zoo is that they have a particular focus on rescued or rehabilitated animals, so kids can learn all about how important animals are to the world, and how they are being cared for - and your visit helps directly support the animals too!

With train rides, keeper talks and so much more at Austin Zoo, it's definitely one for any family day out in Austin!

Are you excited to explore the LARGEST indoor play center in Central Texas? We hope so, because there is a LOT of fun to be had - and it has your name on it!

The actual playspace at Mt Playmore Indoor Play is a whopping 18ft tall, AND the equivalent of 3,000sq ft to play in, so kids - we hope you are just FILLED with energy, creativity and curiosity because there is play to be had! Did we mention they have the largest toddler-only play area in Austin too?

With an arcade to boot, AND plenty of opportunities for adults to play as well, Mt Playmore is ready to give you Texas sized fun during your Texas family day out!

With Austin Duck Adventures, it's not just the streets you can explore, it's the water too!

You'll see why they are one of Austin's top tours as you take on the amphibious experience around downtown Austin, then the beautiful Lake Austin in an unsinkable, US Coast Guard inspected, Hydra Teera vehicle!

The 75 minute tour takes you to Historic Sixth Street, Governor's Mansion, State Capitol Building and more! Don't forget to reserve your space!

We just LOVE an escape room, and if you do too, then Escape Game Austin is a great place to visit on your day out in this great city.

Escape Rooms are so much fun for the family. It's a chance for everyone to work together, solving puzzles and finding clues, and kids can really use those wonderful minds of theirs to unlock the door and complete the mission!

Recover priceless paintings in a heist, complete a daring prison break, or find the gold in the height of the Gold Rush - the challenges are waiting, but are you ready to take them on?

Opened only in 2013, Austin Aquarium allows you to explore the wonderful creatures of the oceans, lakes and seas all around the world, without having to leave the city (or get wet!)

In addition to coming face to face with fish, sharks, rays and corals, you can also meet lorikeets, macaws and reptiles, as well as experience animal talks and show too!

With birthday parties, behind the scenes tours & so much more to do and see at this Austin favorite, it's time to DIVE into your next family day out with Austin Aquarium!

For an adventure of a lifetime, check out Lake Travis Zip Lines, as they have the longest and fastest zipline in Texas!

Lake Travis Zipline Adventures features 5 different ziplines, taking you across lakes, amazing Texas scenery, and even offering a private beach to end your day on!

With your admission, you get all the equipment, plus a friendly staff to help you through the experience, and as they are the ONLY zip line in Austin, you might just want to add it to your family day-out itinerary!

Reading about history is one thing, but actually re-living history is another - and at Pioneer Farms you can spend your day back in the 1800s! It's a brilliant experience for the family.

This living history attraction allows you to experience the Blackland Prairies over 200 years ago. Set on 90 acres of stunning Texas woodland, there are also plenty of interactive activities for the kids, as well as fun themed areas where they can learn!

Did we mention the barn filled with adorable animals too? So rather than read about history - EXPERIENCE history at Pioneer Farms!

It's a day of learning at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, where you can learn all about - well, the great state of Texas!

This popular Austin museum is filled with over 700 original artifacts, with new artifacts always being added. Throughout the exhibits, you can uncover the events & people that shaped the state over the centuries - 16,000 years in fact!

From the Mexican Independence to the Civil War, Native American history, technology and so much more, the Bullock Texas State History Museum is a great way to spend your family day out in Austin!

Experience the new evolotion of the children's museum at Thinkery - where children and adults alike can play, explore, experiment and learn - together as a family!

A day at Thinkery is a day of imagination, innovation, and creative problem solving. It's a place where kids can learn all things science, technology, art, math and engineering, without even realizing they are learning!

The all-ages exhibits are perfect for touching, moving, exploring and plenty of hands-on fun, and there is even a garden-themed space for infants and toddlers too. A must-do for any family in Austin!

Famous Austinites

 Family Days Out: City Guide

Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke is an American actor & director, known for films such as Reality Bites & has been nominated for four Academy Awards!

 Family Days Out: City Guide

Stone Cold Steve Austin

One of the greatest wrestlers to ever grace the WWF is of course, Stone Cold Steve Austin, holding 19 championships throughout his impressive career!

5 Fun Austin Facts

5 Fun Austin Facts

Impress your friends with your amazing Austin knowledge!

  • Austin is home to North America's largest urban bat population!
  • Austin was completely underwater until the late Cretaceous era (The Cretaceous Era ended about 66 million years ago!)
  • Since 1963, Austin has celebrated the birthday of Eeyore, the fictional character from Winnie the Pooh, on the last Saturday of April!
  • Austin is home to America’s only Formula 1 race, the United States Grand Prix!
  • The city was originally called Waterloo when it became the state capital but was changed to honor one of the city's founding fathers - Stephen F Austin.

Top 5 FREE Things To Do With Kids In Austin

Look at the famous Congress Bridge Bats!

Look at the famous Congress Bridge Bats!

In a city of music and BBQ, who would have thought BATS would be the city's biggest attraction?

Every night, up to 1.5 million bats take to the skies from Congress Bridge on their journey to find their dinner (don't worry kids, it's not you...it's bugs!

Explore Zilker Park

Explore Zilker Park

This 351 acre oasis in Ausin is one of the most popular places to visit for locals and visitors alike.

Enjoy a picnic, swim in Barton Springs Pool, kayak in Lady Bird Lake - and Zilker Park is also home to the Austin Nature & Science Center too!

Hike or Bike the Butler Trail

Hike or Bike the Butler Trail

With the Colorado River an impressive feature of Austin, it would be a shame to not make the most of it.

The Butler Trail is a waterway pathway that stretches 10 miles along the river, offering a safe place for the family to enjoy the sunshine and scenic views!

Explore McKinney Falls State Park

Explore McKinney Falls State Park

Whilst adults have a small admission fee to McKinney Falls State Park, kids under 12 are FREE to enjoy the wealth of outdoor activities this stunning park has to offer.

Only 13 miles from the state capitol sees you surrounded by historic homesteads, fishing, swimming, hiking, can camping!

Tour the Texas State Capitol

Tour the Texas State Capitol

The State Capitol is one of the recognizable landmarks in Austin, so why not make time to take a look around it on a guided tour - for free!

Tours last around 30 minutes, and generally depart every 30 to 45 minutes during opening hours. An iconic experience during your Austin family day out!

A Fun Day Trip From Austin!

Only a short day trip away from the bright lights of Austin, is Fredericksburg - a true gem of Texas, and one that makes for a great family day out destination! Founded back in 1846, Fredericksburg began life when Baron Otfried Hans von Meusebach felt too many German settlers would arrive to New Braunfels, so he found a spot 80 miles northwest to accommodate everyone. Lands were cleared, lots were distributed, and Fredericksburg was born!

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There is so much amazing history in this town, so make sure you take the time to really explore it all. In 1848, Fort Martin Scott was established with a commissary, barracks and guard house, with 100 soldiers calling it home. In 1865, Jacob Brodbeck achieved powered flight - 40 years prior to the Wright Brothers (granted it didn't end well for the airship!). In the 1870s, Sunday Houses were established, where farmers and ranchers spend weekends. Many of these have now been remodeled and you can see them on your visit!

Today, this charming Texas town is filled with history, from a National Register of Historic Places listed district, to living history farms, and fascinating museums.

It's a beautiful place to just park the car and take a stroll, absorbing the wonderful people, exciting history and getting back to nature. Kids can also learn about German history and culture too, and how their influence has shaped the food and traditions of the region.

History, culture, heritage, nature, museums and SO much more, a visit to Fredericksburg is a must do for any day trip from Austin! Travel to Fredericksburg is an easy drive from Austin, at only a distance of 80 miles.

Image Credit: Visit Fredericksburg TX

Here’s our top 4 Fredericksburg attractions to visit:

We hope you found this content useful! Please share with your friends, and if you have any comments, or want to let us know what we can do to further help you find fun days out with the family, then just email our team at [email protected]!

Let's get the family adventure started!

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