Monday, October 21, 2013


101 Things to Do with a Preschooler in Austin, TX

There are lots of things to do in the Austin area for children of all ages, and we have done a great number of them.  However, there is still so many things we haven't tried.   I have a 4 year old whose last year at home with me is slipping away quickly.

Inspired by this article (99 things to do in Austin before kindergarten), I decided I needed to write a list of things that I have done (and thought were great for my preschooler) and things I wanted to do with him before he heads to kindergarten.

Disclaimer here - I am a listmaker - I love to have a list and check things off - they motivate me to try things.  That said, I am not a slave to the list and am fully acknowledging that I will not complete this list before my guy goes to school next year.  But I'll try really hard to....

So for all the list-lovers out there:

Here are 101 Things to Do with Preschoolers in Austin

1. Ride the Zilker Zephyr
2. Spend the Day at the Austin Children’s Musuem, soon to be reopened as The Thinkery
3. Climb on the tanks at Camp Mabry’s Texas Military Forces Museum
4. Learn how to milk a cow at Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm
5. Visit the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco
6. Get lost in a Corn Maze at Barton Hill Farms
7. Play on the Castle at Georgetown's Creative Playscape
8. See full-size dinosaur skeletons at the Texas Memorial Museum
9. See the miniature trains at New Braunfles Railroad Museum
10. Get a bag of candy from Big Top Candy Shop
11. Climb to the top of Mt Bonnell
12. Explore Pioneer Farms and see hands on activities
13. Hear a great story at the Bullock Texas State History Museum (monthly)
14. Share a piece of pie at Blue Bonnet Café
15. Swim in the Krause Springs
16. Visit the “animals” at Cabela’s
17. Hike the Barton Creek Greenbelt
18. Climb to the top of the UT Tower
19. Play in the Dino Pit at Austin Nature Center
20. Dress up like a Texas Pioneer at the Texas State Capitol Visitor’s Center
21. Pick Strawberries at Sweet Berry Farm
22. Play in the bubble room at Mayborn Museum Children's Discovery Rooms in Waco
23. Get a scoop of Ice cream at the original Amy’s Ice Cream Store
24. Play in the falls in Perdenales Falls State Park
25. See a play at ZACH Theatre
26. Feed ducks at one of more than 35 Duck Ponds in the Austin area
27. Pet a baby goat at LBJ Ranch at the LBJ National Historic Park
28. Walk the Zilker Trail of Lights in December
29. Play at Austin's Park & Pizza
30. Ride the Cedar Rock Railroad
31. Have a whippersnapper from Hey Cupcake
32. Visit Kaleidoscope Toys during one of their fun events
33. Go on a nature hike around Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
34. Take a hike around McKinney Falls
35. Take a self-guided tour around the Texas Capitol Grounds
36. See exactly how they make the best ice cream in Texas and get a free scoop at the Blue Bell Creameries
37. Hike to the top of Enchanted Rock
38. Feed the animals at the Austin Zoo
39. Explore a mini Round Rock at the Play for All Abilities Park
40. Take the path around The Dinosaur Park
41. Spend the day at Schlitterbahn (yes! It’s GREAT for preschoolers!)
42. Ride the Cap Metro Rail
43. Play miniature golf at Peter Pan Mini Golf
44. Splash in The Quarry Splash Pad
45. Explore the Cathedral of Junk
46. Catch Storytime at BookPeople
47. Play on the playground at Mueller Lake Park
48. Get up close with a peacock at Mayfield Park
49. Take in a Baseball game with the Round Rock Express
50. Quack like a Duck on an Austin Duck Tour
51. Take a walking tour of the Texas State Cemetery
52. Swim at Hamilton Pool Preserve
53. Grab lunch at Whole Foods downtown and play on the rooftop Castle Playground
54. Hike around Inks Lake State Park
55. Attempt the Canopy Challenge (for the little ones too) at Natural Bridge Caverns
56. Eat a hot & fresh Round Rock Donut 
57. Take a hike through the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve
58. Go roller skating at Austin Sports Arena
59. Explore the streams around the actual Round Rock
60. Take a walk through the Zilker Botanical Gardens
61. Canoe/SUP/Kayak on Town Lake
62. See the Austin Bats
63. Take a drive through Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
64. Play with a dough ball at Homeslice Pizza
65. Take the tram down into Inner Space Caverns
66. Take a glass-bottomed boat tour at Meadows Center (formally Aquarena Springs)
67. Play in the Liz Carpenter Splash Pad at Butler Park
68. See a WWII re-enactment at National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredricksburg
69. Take a tour of the Austin Steam Train
70. Take a picture in front of the Greetings from Austin Mural
71. Spend the day at Landa Park in New Braunfels
72. Get your wiggles out at Jumpoline or JumpStreet
73. Take a day-long ride on the Austin Steam train
74. Teach them how to bowl at Mel’s Lone Star Lanes in Georgetown
75. Pick out a Christmas Tree at the Elgin ChristmasTree Farm
76. Taste peach ice cream in Stonewall
77. Take a long hike along the Colorado River at McKinney Roughs Nature Park
78. Hear how the Indians lived in the caves at Longhorn Caverns
79. Enjoy a burger while they play at Waterloo Ice House
80. Climb the big structure at McKenna Children’s Museum
81. Take in a hockey game with the Texas Stars
82. Get up close with snakes at New Braunfles’ Snake Farm
83. Take pictures in the bluebonnets
84. Explore the Umlauf Sculpture Garden
85. Take a bike ride along the Brushy Creek Regional Trail
86. Take in a Children’s movie at the monthly Pajama Party at Flix Brewhouse
87. Play on the rides at Kiddie Acres
88. Fly a kite at the Zilker Kite Festival
89. Explore the grounds at Laguna Gloria
90. Have a leisurely breakfast at Kerbey Lane
91. Take in a Joe McDermott Concert – Check his schedule here
92. Take a dip in the Barton Springs and enjoy a snow cone afterwards
93. Watch a movie under the stars at the Blue Starlite Drive in 
94. Take a Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt through one of many Austin Farmers Markets
95. Visit the Capitol of Texas Zoo out in Bastrop
96. Swim in Wimberly's Blue Hole
97. Discover the Dinosaur Tracks in Leander
98. Paint a piece of pottery at one of a number of painting spots (Cafe Monet or Ceramic Lodge)
99. Swim at some of the more cooler pools in Austin -  Deep Eddy Pool,  Rock N River or Veteran’s Pool
100. Take a peek at snakes, hedgehogs, lizards and more at Austin Exotic Pets Store
101. Get out and Play!! You only have a few years until they go to school!


Leigh Ann said...

Visiting the Creative Playscape in Georgetown was one of our must-do things before they started. We actually went last May, before it got too hot. It was great!

Helene Tune said...

This list is great! Many things my 4 year old twins and I can do before they start school in August 2014.

Helene Tune said...

This list is great! Many things my 4 year old twins and I can do before they start school August 2014.

catherine said...

Excellent List! Thanks for putting it together.