Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Top 5 NEW Things to Do in Austin this Summer

Looking for something new to do with the kids this summer?  Look no further - here is your TOP 5 Things to Do with Kids this Summer!

So you say you've lived in Austin for 5 years now and still haven't gotten around to taking a dip in Barton Springs?  What??  You haven't even walked through the Capitol??  Yeah, join the rest of the 'burbanites.  Chances are, you get too busy and keep putting it off.....

Make this summer different!! Pin this post to Pinterest, Share it on Facebook or go the old fashioned route - grab a piece of paper and a pencil and write this list down!! Challenge yourself to get out of the house and try those things you have always wanted to try in Austin this summer!!

1. Figure out what makes Austin Weird: Let's face it - our town is eclectic and there is so many awesome things that contribute to it.  If you have not visited the famed Cathedral of Junk, you must visit it this summer - see how relics from your childhood have been transformed into a pretty amazing 3 story work of art.

Take yourself on a tour around town and hunt down some of the gorgeous murals that adorn the sides of buildings, look for some funky yard art, or learn the history of the various sculptures that are scattered around downtown. Our favorite is the Greetings From Austin mural  - we make every visitor to Austin take their picture there.  Have you been?

2. All that "hunting" probably made you hungry!  Now is your chance to eat someplace very Austiny:  Food Trailer Yards are popping up all over town, offering everything from BBQ to Thai to Biscuits & Gravy.  Many yards offer great seating areas,  string twinkly lights and have live music, creating a really fun ambiance.  The North Austin Trailer Yard (just opened in May) even has a playground for the little ones.

Take a little drive out to Dripping Springs for some authentic smoked BBQ at the Salt Lick.  It is gorgeous out there and it won't disappoint.

3. Try someplace you haven't been that you have always wanted to go: You always say, "I've been meaning to go there.....", so now is your chance.  Austin has so many amazing places to spend the day with the family.  May I offer a few suggestions?

Take the family on a tour of our gorgeous Texas State Capitol - time it just right and get in on the free tour.

Spend the afternoon at the Bullock Texas State History Museum - yes, the one your 3rd grader went to for their field trip.  The museum offers amazing Texas History exhibits, a interactive Texas Weather movie, and always have something fun showing in the IMAX theater.

Grab a picnic lunch (or dinner) and climb Mt. Bonnell - ok, so it's not much of a climb (more like a long set of stairs), but where else can you view downtown Austin & the sun setting over Lake Austin in one 360 degree view?

4. If you love the Outdoors, you have ample opportunities to experience our gorgeous area: When we first moved here, so many friends commented on how Austin  has so much to do outdoors.  And they were right - you have to time it perfectly (or suffer the 100 degree heat), but we do have some awesome activities - go canoeing on Town Lake at Zilker Park canoeing, enjoy the seasonal trees & wildflowers year round at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center,  hike the McKinney Falls State Park, or climb Enchanted Rock (technically not in Austin, but we'll make the exception here).
Yes, it is getting hot, so another fun way to experience "outdoors" in Austin is to go underground in one of our many cave tours.  Inner Space Caverns is right up the road in Georgetown, or make the hour drive south to Natural Bridge Caverns - both amazing sites to behold and if you haven't tried either, put them on your to do list now.

5. And if those ideas are a little too hot for you, Get WET: Austin has many FUN ways to cool down.  Get out on one of our many area lakes - rent a boat of a day, or better yet, find a friend who will invite you out on it!  Experience one of our many natural springs & water holes - Barton Springs is right in the heart of downtown at Zilker Park. Or head out to Krause Springs, Hamilton Pool, or the Blue Hole in Georgetown.

Or if you want to make it really easy, visit one of the many area Splash Pads - an ingenious way to let your kid have fun getting wet without the hassle of going to the pool.  The Quarry Splash Pad up in Williamson County Park just opened last summer and is one of my kids' favorites.

There you go - I just planned your summer fun for you - get on it. And have awesome summer!


Leigh Ann said...

For having lived here so long, I have done shamefully few Austiny things. But now that the kids are getting a little older, it's time to get out there again. Thanks for the awesome list!

Melissa said...

Sounds cool! We've done everything but the enchanted rock, I think my son would like it. Thanks!

Shelley said...

Kinda love seeing Blue Hole on this list as a Georgtownite who claims to be an austinite... Although, I haven't been since High school when the "cool thing" to do was drive through REAL slow to see who all was hanging out there and then leave because you were way cooler... in your own mind. They've changed it now so you can't drive through and I do believe I'll be taking my kiddos soon.

Thanks for sharing this. Even after 27 years here in the area, there are still a few more things to cross off the list for me :)

Malaysian Meanders said...

That's a great list. I definitely need to swing by the Cathedral of Junk and try out the new North Austin Trailer Yard.

One of my favorite Texas Capitol memories is from our first Valentine's Day as a married couple. We decided to walk around the newly opened Capitol Extension that night, and a bored security guard gave us a tour. We even got to go into some of the Hearing Rooms, sit behind the big tables and play with the microphones.

Date Girl said...

I would love to visit Austin and maybe meet up with some bloggy friends someday. I would love to go canoeing and see the outdoors!

Carol Ramsey said...

Thanks for the great ideas! Nice photos too!