What Do People Do For Fun in Austin?Everyone has their own way of having fun. We here at Austin Texas Homes have attempted to gather a list of different types of fun things to do in Austin, so you can choose your favorite types:
Austin Children's Museum
A fun, educational stop for the whole family. Regular science and cultural exhibits on the level of small children through tweens. Admission is low-priced, and is free on Wednesday nights from 5-8.
Has a lot to offer for free or cheap for families. Pool, sculpture garden, mini-train, sculpture garden, soccer fields, and more.
Austin Symphony Orchestra Website for Children
A website from Dell and the Austin Symphony Orchestra to help kids learn about music and musical instruments.
Austin's Park and Pizza
A one-admission-price fun zone with bumper boats, video games, two mini-golf courses, batting cages, kiddie rides, laser tag, rock-climbing wall, go-karts and a buffet.
The Austin Zoo is a sanctuary for rescued animals. Wear sturdy shoes to walk on the steep gravel paths, and bring your own water (no water fountains.)
The oldest swimming pool in Texas, Deep Eddy was once a resort. The bathhouse is being restored to its former glory, but in the meantime, you can take your kids to see a movie in the pool on Splash Nights during the summers in Austin.
Inner Space Caverns
One day, while building Interstate 35 north of Austin, Texas Department of Transportation drillers found this cave when their drill bit fell into it. Now, you can explore the unseen beauty that lies beneath us all. Carved out by years of water erosion, and decorated with many beautiful limestone deposits, Inner Space Caverns is a fascinating tour. Lots of walking, so wear comfortable shoes.
Bob Bullock Texas History Museum and IMAX Theater
This fairly new museum tells the "story of Texas," and features an IMAX theater with 2-D and 3-D capabilities.
This website contains many first-person reviews of Austin-area family attractions. You can check here if you want to know whether a new spot is worth the visit.
Boggy Creek Farm
Farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, eggs, ice cream, and even tofu are featured at the market days at Boggy Creek Farm. Teach your children where food comes from, and learn what produce is available seasonally in Austin.
At these four Austin-area theaters, when children's movies are shown, kids are allowed to come in and eat while watching a movie. Call ahead to verify that kids can come to a certain showing; this establishment normally serves alcohol.
Austin Nature & Science Center
This educational center features many biological specimens (butterflies, rocks, fossils, shells) and exhibits, such as the "Dino pit," where kids can unearth concrete "dinosaur skeletons" from a sand pit. It also has a few animals that have been rescued and cannot be returned to the wild.
The Dino Park
This park features many huge models of dinosaurs, a playground, and picnic areas.
With bowling, laser tag, glow golf, video games, pool tables, and rock climbing, there is something for everyone at this family fun center.
Radijazz is an "indoor playnasium" with a "lavascape," (pit filled with foam cubes, volcano playscape, and riverscape area, with lots of padded foam boats, ducks, and bridges to climb on. Everything is nice and padded (even the pillars that support the roof) to make it safe for energetic little ones. Radijazz is for children age 7 and younger, but older kids can participate if they are accompanying a younger sibling that is 7 or younger. See their web page for pricing and hours.
Texas Memorial Museum
This museum on the University of Texas campus has a lot of good natural history and science exhibits, many of which would interest children. There are rocks and minerals, insects, dinosaurs, many dioramas of Texas wildlife. You'll have to pay to park on campus, so plan on it. It will be much easier to find parking when classes are not in session.
This large park near the center of Austin has a lot to offer: a train, Barton Springs pool, the Umlauf Sculpture garden, playscapes, soccer fields, and even a theater.
Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center
If you and your kids like flowers, the Wildflower Center has many nature trails and garden exhibits.
Did you know that we have hockey teams, even in Texas? You and your kids can go see an Ice Bats game, and enjoy the frosty hockey experience, even in the midst of our 100-degree heat.
Round Rock Express
This is the Round Rock baseball team. Be a fan and cheer for our team at the Dell Diamond!
Hill Country Flyer
All aboard the Hill Country Flyer steam locomotive from Cedar Park to Burnet, Texas! Teach your kids the true meaning of "choo-choo" when they hear that powerful steam engine.
Sixth Street is Austin's row of bars and night clubs. Most nights, especially on weekends, Sixth Street is very busy with patrons who come to hang out with friends, meet people, and hear live music.
At night, this dinner movie theater is a great place to hang out with friends, see a movie, and have a beer. No small children are allowed in at night.
The Warehouse District is near 6th Street, and consists of many clubs, restaurants, bars, and other entertainment spots.
Graham Central Station
Graham Central Station is a night spot that features multiple, separate club types: dance, western, karoke, live music, and one similar to "Hogs and Heifers," with girls dancing on the bar.
A three-level bar with a "roaring 20's vibe" and a great view of downtown.
Threadgill's has great southern cooking and live music at night. Janis Joplin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore used to play there.
La Zona Rosa
A former Mexican restaurant, now a live music venue that can hold up to 900 patrons. See website for upcoming events.
The downtown Austin Iron Cactus location is a popular hangout for Austinites.
A music venue on 5th Street. Visit often enough, and you might catch one of us fromAustin Texas Homes playing there.
A popular live music venue in Austin.
Another popular music venue.
Austin Music Hall
Another popular music venue.
This New York-style deli is a popular hangout after the bars close, because of their sloagan, "Katz's never kloses."
Because of its 6th Street location, this burger restaurant is a popular nighttime hangout for Austinites. Awesome hamburgers!
Austin City Limits
This PBS live music show is filmed in Austin. It can be very difficult to get tickets, because they are given away free by radio stations. See the Austin City Limits showFAQ for details. If you can't get tickets to the show, you can still try to make it to theAustin City Limits Festival.
This hill (we call something this size a "mountain," in Texas, because everything here is pretty flat) is a great place for a hike followed by a picnic with a view of Lake Austin.
This is a popular sport in Austin, and there are many places to climb.
Austin has many trees and hills, and much of it is preserved by our ecologically-conscious friends, so enjoy a nice hike in one of the many local green spots.
Austin is well known as the home of Lance Armstrong. Many Austinites follow Lance's example, and can be seen bicycling on Austin highways and streets. Go to the link above to find good bicycling routes in Austin.
Austin has many bodies of water that you can boat on. Which marina you choose depends on where you want to do boating.
Check with the Austin Runners Club to keep up with the running events in Austin.
Hike and Bike Trail at Town Lake
Many Austinites jog or bicycle around Town Lake to get their exercise.
Walking in the Greenbelt
If you prefer, you can always take a walk in the same path that the runners and bicyclists use. The Greenbelt is beautiful, and the trees keep you cool.
If you need a list of the parks in Austin to find one near you, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department has it for you.
Blanton Art Museum
This museum features modern, postmodern, and neoclassical art. Some sculpture reproductions, but mainly paintings, and at least one installation.
Austin Lyric Opera
Classic and new operas are presented by Austin's opera company.
After having been at the Bass Concert Hall for many years, the company is moving soon to the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center. A nonprofit organization.
Shakespeare in the Park
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and The Bard. Sit under the stars amongst other Austin literati and hear the verses of the writer that spawned a thousand new words.
If you'd like to take in a play, the Austin area has many professional and amateur theaters.
Austin Museum of Art
This small museum features modern and postmodern art, art installations, and photographs of art installations in other places. The "FamilyLab" is a place where children can have a hands-on experience at the museum, and make a small project to take home.
Bass Concert Hall
A venue for many famous artists over the years, check this site if you're looking for fine entertainment in Austin.
Mt. Bonnell is great for exercise, has a great view, makes a great romantic picnic spot, and... it's free!
Barton Springs Pool
Free during colder weather, when there are no lifeguards, but still very cheap during the summer.
Closed for many years after the Charles Whitman shooting incident, the tower's observation deck is now open again to the public.
A library with documents from Lyndon Baines Johnson's presidency, plus a museum of many interesting and beautiful artifacts of LBJ and Ladybird's lives.
The playscapes, fields, Botanical Garden, and parking at Zilker are free. The train is not. The Umlauf Sculpture Garden charges a small fee for people over 6 years old, but the cost is more for tours or workshops.
Try swimming or fishing in Lake Travis for fun.
Feeding Ducks at the Arboretum
Go to the Arboretum shopping center, and climb on the fun cow sculptures (made of stone.) Then, take your stale bread down the small, stone path that goes down to the pond, so you can feed the ducks.
Tour the State Capitol
Don't forget to bring some unsalted nuts for the squirrels and stale bread for the pigeons on the grounds of the capitol building. Go inside for a tour of the classically designed building, including paintings of past governors. Here, you can also see the legislature room where Texas laws are made.
Congress Avenue Bats
Right before dusk, go to the Congress Avenue bridge and wait. They start coming out slowly at first, then begin flooding out. It looks like a smoke trail going off into the distance. The bats' squeaking is very high, but you can hear it. Austin Texas Homesrecommends that you stand above the bridge, not under it.
Austin Farmer's Market
From their website: "There are plentiful prepared foods, farm products turned into jams, salsas and honey, and hand-made crafts. Chef's demos, children's activities, and live local musicians make supporting local growers fun!" Check the link above for times, location, and parking details.
A grand, merrie, event! Many Austinites either attend or work at this fair. Wear a costume for extra fun, or just wait until you get there, and you can either buy or rent one at the fair. If you want a family renaissance experience, look into the School Days at the Renaissance Festival.
Eeyore's Birthday Party
An Austin festival day with costumes, music and food. The drum circles are a unique part of this event.
A silly, Hormel Spam-themed festival featuring a Spam cook-off, unique Spam sports, music (the "Spam Jam"), and other fun festival stuff.