The kids are out of school for the summer and it’s time to break loose from the usual routine. Summertime is meant for exploring, from finding wide open spaces to roam to delighting in a cool, refreshing treat. Austin, Texas offers a delightful mix of activity options that will appease both children and parents alike, making it a vacation to remember for the whole family. Consider whisking your loved ones off to Texas this summer on an Austin family vacation!
Explore the Outdoors
Zilker Park sits at the heart of Austin’s downtown, offering wide open spaces to roam. This park offers over 350 acres of green space, including a large natural spring fed pool. Whether you take a dip in Barton Springs Pool or relax in the shade with a picnic as you get a feel for the city, Zilker Park is a wonderful place to ease into your family trip to Austin. Bring along a frisbee and grab some takeout to enjoy in this wide-open space!
Kids naturally love to touch and explore objects, making the Thinkery a great option for hands-on fun. This children’s museum offers science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) exhibits that are meant for exploring and learning! Water activities that explore currents, a light lab to experiment with color and sound, and an outdoor playground that will challenge the body are just a few of the favorite regularly occurring exhibits. This is a great place for parents to play and learn right alongside their kids!
Snap Some Family Photos
The kids don’t stay this age forever! In whatever season they’re in, you’ll want photos to look back on years down the road. Austin has lots of unique places to capture photos of your vacation memories. One well-known favorite is the giant I Love You So Much mural on South Congress Ave. With its simple handwriting script, this makes a fabulous backdrop for your family photo. And as an added bonus, it’s scrawled on the side of Jo’s Coffee Shop, so you can get your caffeine fix at the same time. The Love from Austin mural a bit further down South Congress is another favorite, with its striking black background and Texas state outline.
Share a Casual Meal
The whole family can relax and enjoy their meal in Austin, where you’ll find plenty of laid-back dining options. Austin has a lively food truck scene, where you’ll find everything from street fare to upscale dishes being served. Head to The Picnic, where there are eight food trucks on site. This is a great option for families with a variety of tastes, and it allows the kids to move around with more freedom than an indoor restaurant. Austin is also known for its finger-licking-good barbecue, so you’ll also want to set aside at least one meal for trying out one of Austin’s best barbecue joints. Dine on ribs and brisket at favorites such as Franklin Barbecue or Sam’s Bar-B-Que.
Make a Splash
If temperatures are up during your Austin family vacation, there are lots of options for cooling off that will be enjoyable for the whole family. Aside from the popular Barton Springs Pool, you’ll find swimming holes and small waterfalls tucked along the Barton Creek Greenbelt that are perfect for a cooling splash. Especially during summer months, Austin also has a bustling lakeside scene. Austin is full of scenic waterways, including Lady Bird Lake, Lake Austin, and Lake Travis. Stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, and boating are enjoyed on these lakes. Motorized boats are allowed on both Lake Austin and Lake Travis, and you’ll find many families making the most of warm days by boating and waterskiing.
Rent Some Wheels
Another favorite way to explore the city is on two wheels. This bike-friendly city offers miles of trails for exploration. Easily find bikes to suit your crew at rental shops such as Barton Springs Bike Rental. The Barton Creek Greenbelt and the Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail are favorite bike routes for enjoying some of Austin’s best scenery!
Hang with Wildlife
From April through October, you’ll want to say hello to Austin’s famed resident bat colony that has made its home under the Congress Avenue Bridge. At dusk, more than one million Mexican free-tailed bats make a dramatic exit from under the bridge into the night sky. Austin also offers a zoo filled with native Texas animals as well as big cats, monkeys, and foxes, most of which have been rescued.
Relax at Your Home Away from Home
There are many options for family-friendly vacation rentals in Austin, from downtown condos to spacious private homes in Austin’s surrounding Hill Country. Enjoy treasured everyday moments from the comfort of your home away from home in Austin! Browse our Austin vacation rentals for families or contact Austin Vacation Rentals for more information.