Whether you’re a tourist, a local or just a visitor, Austin is a spectacularly eclectic city where you can always find something new and different to do. No matter where you look, there are tons of fun opportunities for families and groups with kids in tow to enjoy the summer sun and the wonderful weirdness of Austin. According to the local wiki guides at Reddit, here’s a list of some of the best family and kid-friendly activities to try around Austin.
Austin Duck Adventures – Adults: $28.95 Children (Age 3-12): $18.95 Children (Ages 2 and under): Free
Hailed as Austin’s one and only land and water tour, Austin Duck Adventures is a unique and family friendly way to experience the city and natural beauty of Austin from inside an unsinkable, Coast Guard inspected Hydra Terra vehicle. The 75-minute day tour begins in downtown Austin, leaving the visitor center and stopping at popular attractions like the Capitol, The Driskill and the Governor’s Mansion. Then “The Duck” takes a dive right into lake Austin to see the Green Belt, city skyline and glorious greenery of Hill Country. This bus is a great way to add a little excitement to the everyday tour.
Tip: Find parking at the nearby 5th street parking garage, located at 601 E. 5th St.
Thinkery – Adults (Ages 2+): $10 Children (Ages 0 months-23 months): Free
Formerly the Austin Children’s Museum, the uber educational and inclusive Thinkery in Austin is a fun, family museum for all ages. This museum is really into science and learning and has several ongoing camps that are categorized by age group, ranging from grades Pre-K to 5th grade, so you can keep your kids entertained, engaged and educated all at the same place! The museum has regular events and camps and can also be booked for parties.
Tip: For a fun, adults-only museum experience, try the Parents’ Night Out on July 21st from 5PM-10PM for cocktails and museum mingling.
Peter Pan Mini Golf – Adults (Ages 6+): $7-$11 Children (Ages 5 and under): $5-$9
A beloved Austin hangout since 1948, Peter Pan Mini Golf is a fun, kid-friendly mini golf course with goofy twists and surprises around every corner. The park is split into two 18-hole courses, “East and West”, so you can play one round on each side or just choose one course. (Rumor has it the East course is easier than the West). Peter Pan Mini Golf is a great place for parties, children’s birthdays or just a fun day out on a wacky mini golf course.
Tip: Peter Pan Mini Golf is BYOB, so drink ’em if you got ’em! Just no glasses.
Zilker Zephyr Train – Adults: $3 Children: $2 Children under 1 year old: free
Located in Austin’s beautiful and popular Zilker Park, the Zilker Zephyr Train is an adorable little mini train for children and adults (but keep in mind this train is pretty tiny). The Zilker Zephyr Train departs every hour on the hour during weekdays and every 30-40 minutes on weekends and provides a perfectly lovely 20-25 minute tour around the park to see Barton Creek and the pristine Ladybird Lake. This is a fun little place to stop by while you’re in Austin to slow down and take in the views with the fam.
Tip: The trains are cash only, but they have an ATM inside the depot if you have a debit card.
Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary – Adults (Ages 12+): $11 Children (Ages 2-12): $8 Feed the animals: $2.50
For all the animal lovers and explorers at heart, the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary is a great way to spend the day – either with or without the kids. This 15-acre sanctuary is a rehabilitative haven for animals in need as well as a chance for visitors to see and interact with the wildlife. With over 300 animals in over 100 different species, this zoo has some pretty amazing wildlife to see. Along with scheduled “Keeper Talks” at various exhibits, the zoo also has fun events, private tours and 3 private event venues on site for parties.
Tip: You can bring your own food into the zoo or visit their concession stand for snow cones, refreshments and snacks.
Austin Helicopter Tours – Prices range from $93.50 per person to $374.50 a person.
For those of you looking for an adrenaline-packed tour of the city from an entirely new angle, try the exciting and scenic Austin Helicopter Tours. This one-of-a-kind Austin experience is a chance to cross a few things off your bucket list while taking in the gorgeous views of the Hill Country from the great Texas sky. Along with fly-and-dine options and private drop off/pick up, Austin helicopter tours offers 6 different tours of Austin and 3 action packed adventure charter flights including Salt Lick and Flat Creek Winery. You can even customize your own flight and visit so you can pick your mood and tour to fit any occasion, whether it be a romantic private dinner and sunset tour or fun city tour for the family. This experience is great for families, friends, solo-fliers, dates and anyone who enjoys the rush of a city helicopter tour.
Austin Steam Train – Adults (Ages 14+): $38-$55 per person Children (Ages 3-13): $28-$39 per child
Located just outside Austin in beautiful Cedar Park, the Austin Steam Train is an incredible piece of history and a truly unique way to experience Austin. Fun for all ages, this top-of-the-line locomotive features 8 different train cars, all recently renovated but preserved in their historic integrity, with 3 excursion coaches, 1 first class coach, 2 first class lounges and 2 super swanky adults-only first class lounges. The Austin Steam Train also hosts regular events on the train all year long, including the “Beer Train”, the “Independence Day Express”, “Reading on the Rails” and a special Christmas “North Pole Flyer”. No matter what time of year you visit, the Austin Steam Train has plenty of history and culture to offer tourists and locals alike.