Looking for things to do in Austin with toddlers? This life of toddler friendly Austin activities has you covered! Whether you’re visiting or looking for something fun to do on your day off, your whole family will love these Austin toddler activities.
Our first trip to Austin, Ryan was a bitty thing in my belly – yes, we’re totally insane and took at 24 hour straight drive to Texas from NJ while 8 weeks pregnant with a morning sickness.
If you have any question as to whose idea that was, let me clear it up : my husbands.
That being said, we fell in love with Austin – we love the nature, the crazy good food, the mixed vibe of suburbs and a city – all of it mixes together to create our ideal area. Given the chance, I’m pretty sure we would move there in a heartbeat.
We took our second trip there when Owen was 6 months old and Ryan was a little over 2. Crazy? Totally. Worth it? Yes.
We found Austin to be super kid-friendly – we found so many things to do in Austin with toddlers. 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. If possible, 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.
Things to do in Austin with Toddlers
Bonus: there are SO Austin toddler activities. So many things we visited we kid friendly, but even more importantly, they were friendly for littles, not just big kids. Here are some of the toddler activities in Austin you won’t want to miss!
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, and 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! This is my far one of our favorite things to do in Austin with toddlers.
- Austin Aquarium
Fair warning: this Austin activity 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 Springs pool seems pretty awesome.
Bonus: right near the train is a snow cone place that is a.ma.zing.
- 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. It’s huge and has a ton of different animals, and tells their stories as well. Ryan had fun running around and we were happy that it is very well shaded for Owen who was in the carrier. 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.
There is also a cute little train that all four of us went on. I definitely recommend heading there especially if your kids are too small for most other theme parks.
Other awesome places you can find things to do in Austin with toddlers that we’ll be sure to try on our next trip:
- Science Mill – your toddler might not be able to interact with every aspect of this large science center for kids, but they’re definitely have a great time. There is even a toddler activity area.
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – if your family is into the great outdoors, you’ll love checking out all of the gorgeous flowers – over 800 varieties are native to Texas!
- Austin’s Nature and Science Center – offering hands-on educational exhibits and recreational activities that increase awareness and appreciation of the natural environment, I bet your kids won’t be the only ones learning something new!
- Austin Steam Train – toddlers LOVE trains – take a ride around on the Austin steam train as a really fun and simple Austin Activity for kids.
- The Dinosaur Park – dino lover? check out these life sized dinosaur sculptures and dig for fossils!
So tell me – have you ever been to Austin? Anything I’m missing? Let me know your favorite things to do in Austin with toddlers in the comments!