Looking for things to do with your toddler in Austin, Texas? Check out this list of perfect toddler-friendly Austin activities!
As promised, today I’m sharing just a few of the toddler-friendly things we found to do in Austin. This is going to be the first in a series of posts about traveling with toddlers and babies (plus we’re planning another trip to an unknown location in February, so hopefully it’s a series that I can grow!)
We found Austin to be super kid-friendly. With tons of parks, kid-centered destinations, and easy to access by car, it’s a great spot for a young family to come and explore. As I said in this post, I recommend staying a little bit outside the city if you’ll have a car. The hotels are cheaper and you’ll be able to afford a bigger room ( which we found to be KEY for spending the night with 2 under 3!) without sacrificing amenities or perks. We stayed in Cedar Park, about 15 minutes from the center of Austin and it was the perfect distance for us.
So let’s get to it! Since it’s Thursday, I’ll be linking up with the lovely Amanda from Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud!
Toddler-Friendly Austin Activities
Thinkery. If you make one stop with your toddler while in Austin, I beg you to check out the Austin Children’s Museum, Thinkery. It’s so well thought out – different sections created with toddlers in mind. A section for construction, reading, soft tumble play are for babies and young toddlers, different imagination spots, like a grocery store, an awesome outdoor play place, and, my favorite – a super awesome water section! It had little Crocs and aprons for kiddos to wear (unless you have my child, who just ran in and got soaked the second he saw it..) to stay dry and bowls, drips, pools, and a bunch of other things that only toddlers would find unbelievably exciting. I left wishing we had one close by!
Austin Aquarium. I mentioned earlier, but this spot is tricky, tricky. We pulled up to a strip mall and I gave Alex a side eye, like, uhhh.. for real? Thankfully I handed over my trust to him and we ventured in. It was such a cute aquarium! A good amount of interactive exhibits including a spot for kids to go ‘into’ a tank and be surrounded on all sides by a tank and bird exhibits where you can feel parakeets. There was also a little playground type spot and this awesome sensor projectile game that kids could interact with. The game switched every few minutes, from soccer to a mouse and cheese game. All of the little kids there had a blast running all over it. We had to be very strategic about getting Ryan out of there 😉
Zilker Zephyr/Zilker Park. We didn’t actually go on the train this trip, but last time we went to Austin (just the two of us, I was pregnant with Ryan!) we did and it’s super cute. It’s a longer ride, but there were a bunch of little kids on it. We wanted to take Ryan and Owen on it this trip, but parking was a total show since they were setting up Zilker Park for ACL. The park is also fun and expansive from what I can tell – both times now we’ve gone before or during ACL which takes place in the park, so we couldn’t explore it. We did go canoeing last time, though, and the Barton Spring pool seems pretty awesome.
Austin Zoo. The Austin Zoo is by far one of my favorite zoos I’ve ever been to – and I’ve been to quite a few. It’s a rescue zoo, so most of the animals have been rescued or were born in captivity and unable to be released into the wild. To be honest, I’m no sure why I love this zoo so much – it’s definitely huge and has a ton of animals, but for whatever reason I just am really drawn to it. Ryan had fun running around, so he agreed! Definitely grab a bag of feed so you can feed some goats, sheep, llamas and deer!
Kiddie Acres. I didn’t know what to expect when Alex told me about the antique kids’ theme park. It’s been open since the 70’s and it definitely looks like the rides have been around since then – not in a bad way! I loved that all of the rides were for little kids – we asked what rides we could ‘take’ Owen on and the ticket lady said they often host 1 year olds’ birthday parties! From what I could see, all of the rides were for up to 200 lbs, so about 1 parent and 1 kiddo would work. We only took Ryan on 2 rides, though – the first was a boat ride thing that he rode alone. He seemed to dig it until the second lap when all hell broke loose, ha! There is also a cute little train, though, that all four of us went on. I definitely recommend heading there especially if your kids are too small for most other theme parks.
I should note: I’m only sharing the places we actually went/experienced/I can vouch for. A quick search will bring up a bunch more options, but these are the ones that I know the under 3 crowd would dig.
So tell me – have you ever been to Austin? Anything I’m missing? Let me know in the comments!