Top 20 Places to Take Kids In and Around Austin
Austin's favorite places to take kids for 2020
There are literally hundreds of wonderful places to take your kids in Austin! Each year, we survey Austin parents to find out where they love to take their kids. 2020's results are below. And make sure to sign up for our fantastic FREE weekly newsletter with dozens of ideas each week for local stuff to do with kids, many of them free.
This Aquarium has so many fish and animals! Sharks, Stingrays, Giant Pacific Octopus, Lorikeets, Macaws, Reptiles, and Amphibians. Plus, new mammals like kinkajous and Lemurs. The best part is you can pet and feed them all. If you come in to visit you might even spot a Mermaid or Princess!
The Robinson Family Farm
With a host of new activities and special events planned, this year's Pumpkin Patch will be bigger and better than ever. Come spend the day making memories searching through our corn maze, taking a hay ride, and picking out that perfect fall pumpkin for your family.
The Thinkery is an evolution of the Austin Children’s Museum. It’s Austin’s sparkling new home for “why” and “how.” A place where science and families play side by side. Where people connect with ideas by doing, making and experiencing.
The missions of Austin Zoo is to help animals in need through rescue, rehabilitation and education. Embark on an adventure in a Hill Country setting where children and adults can enjoy an up-close experience with our rescued animals. You will be able to see lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Austin Zoo has a robust Education Department, offering virtual education programs, zoo tots, summer camp and much more! Celebrate a birthday with us, plan a field trip or inquire about a scout program. Come and see us!
Discover the fun of science at the Science Mill in Johnson City! This family destination offers a fun, interactive learning environment for all ages. Through cutting-edge exhibits and educational programs, the museum expands understanding and appreciation of science in everyday life. Housed in an historic 1880s mill, the Science Mill features more than 50 interactive, world-class outdoor and indoor exhibits. Visit http://sciencemill.org to learn more and plan your visit.
Austin Nature & Science Center
The ANSC provides hands-on educational exhibits and recreational activities that increase awareness and appreciation of the natural environment. Located on the western edge of Zilker Park, they are dedicated to the exploration of the natural world.
Peter Pan Mini Golf
Family owned and operated since 1948, Peter Pan Mini Golf is a local Austin landmark. All ages can enjoy our two 18-hole courses, which are filled with a variety of characters, obstacles, and surprises.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Center’s gardens display the native plants of the Central Texas Hill Country, South and West Texas, while the Plant Conservation Program protects the ecological heritage of Texas by conserving its rare and endangered flora.
Family-owned and operated, Schlitterbahn Waterparks has been a leader in family water entertainment since 1979.
At Sea World, you can experience up-close animal interactions, dive into the world beneath the waves on thrilling rides like the Great White coaster, and enjoy awe-inspiring shows. Check out Discovery Point, where you can experience dolphins through nose-to-bottlenose encounters. Their all-new Sesame Street Parade features everyone’s favorite Sesame Street® friends, 10 themed floats, contemporary tunes including Sesame Street favorites, and two show-stopping performances throughout the parade route.
Zilker Theater Productions
Zilker Theatre Productions, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has provided award-winning, free admission entertainment since 1959, boasts an audience of over 50,000 for the beloved Zilker Summer Musical.
The Austin Parks Foundation (APF) is a non-profit organization devoted to building public/private partnerships to develop and maintain parks, trails, and open space in Austin and Travis County.
Bullock Texas State History Museum
The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin, Texas, tells the “Story of Texas” with three floors of interactive exhibits; special effects shows in the Texas Spirit Theater; and Austin's premier IMAX Theatre.
My Local Library
Of course, the libraries in the Austin area are not really ONE place, but MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication. They're proud that locals voted them #3 in best places to take kids this year!
Altitude Trampoline Park
Altitude Trampoline Park Austin is the eighteenth location of the Altitude family offering high-energy and exciting entertainment activities such as a foam pit, rock climbing wall, gymnastics tumble tracks, a kid zone, basketball dunking lanes, dodge ball and group fitness. The park is approximately 23,000 square feet of interconnected wall-to-wall trampoline attractions!
The Dinosaur Park features a unique outdoor museum setting. While most museums have dinosaur skeletons, our realistic life-size dinosaur replicas show skin and color variations to give kids a better understanding as to how they looked when they were alive. The Dinosaur Park is an educational and fun experience where everyone can learn about the majestic animals that ruled our earth for over 150 million years. Other activities include a fossil-dig, playground, picnic area and a wonderful Dinosaur Store stocked with a variety of gifts that are sure to please any dinosaur fan!
When you want to let your fun out with family and friends, Main Event is the best - and easiest - place to HEAD FOR FUN. With state-of-the-art bowling, multi-level laser tag, over 100 games topped with handcrafted food and a full bar under one roof, Main Event is THE destination for FUN.
Come play over 100 pinball machines, over 60 video arcade games and much more at Pinballz Arcade! We combine the classics of pinball and retro video games with modern gaming options like the Zombie Crisis Escape Room Challenge.
The Georgetown Palace Theatre
Since 1926, The Georgetown Palace has served as the entertainment center for Central Texas, Georgetown and Williamson County. In the late 1990’s, a group of community members began an effort to save and refurbish this historic movie house. Today, as a result of their efforts, The Palace Theatre is a thriving nonprofit organization that continually produces a live main stage theatrical season of musicals, dramas and comedies. In addition, The Palace Education Program offers year- round after school classes and professional level training for adults and students in grades 1 – 12, as well as student shows and summer camps.
Urban Air Adventure Park
Urban Air Adventure Park is more than just a trampoline park- it's an adventure park with attractions for kids of all ages! We’re known for fantastic birthday parties, corporate outings and community fundraisers!
Winners in Special CategoriesIn the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in several categories. Here were their choices.
Favorite Arts EducationAustin Children's Theater
ACT provides an extracurricular learning experience in Austin, TX for children who are interested in the arts. ACT offers the opportunity to create, explore and produce all aspects of art.
Favorite Sports EducationYMCA
The Y is dedicated to building programs for youth development, for healthy living and for social responsibility that promote strong families, character values, youth leadership, community development and international understanding. The Y makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower people and communities to learn, grow and thrive by providing supportive and inclusive environments that nurture the potential of every youth and teen, improve the nation's health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.