100+ Summer Adventures for Families in Austin

Fill your summer with fun and make lasting memories! Use this list of over 100 summer adventures for families in Austin and you’ll stay active and busy all summer long. We’ve even got a handy printable checklist you can post on your fridge!

The City of Austin has temporarily banned public gatherings. Please stay home. The Free Fun in Austin calendar is only for live digital events at this time.

Print your FREE copy of the two-page 100+ Summer Adventures for Families in Austin Checklist! Or, read on to discover all the fun you and your family can have in Austin this summer. (Please note: Not all of these adventures are free. Click on the links for more information.)

100+ Summer Adventures for Families in Austin

Get Wet!

  • Visit a free splash pad (or see how many you can go to in one day)!
  • Bring a float and relax in the chilly water of Barton Springs Pool on the hottest days of summer.
  • Try Jim Jim’s water ice after an invigorating swim at Deep Eddy (the oldest swimming pool in Texas).
  • Go for a swim in one of Austin’s free swimming pools and start a game of Marco Polo. See how many other kids you can get to join in!
  • Float along the lazy river at Round Rock’s Rock’N River, or try some of the water park’s new water slides!
  • Hike along the Barton Creek Greenbelt and cool off with a dip in Twin Falls.
  • Search for the rope swing while hiking along St. Edwards Trail, then go for a swim!
  • Look for shells while you cool off in the water at Bull Creek.
  • Make sandcastles at Emma Long Park, then jump “waves” made by passing boats.
  • Canoe, kayak, or SUP at Lady Bird Lake.
  • Make rock towers while wading in the swimming area of the Pedernales Falls Park.
  • Let your dogs in on the summer fun by taking them for a dip at Barking Springs at Zilker Park.
  • Play along the shores of Lake Pflugerville and imagine you’re at a real beach. Bring goggles and try to spot fish in the water while you swim!
  • Take a hike at Walnut Creek Park and splash in the water along the way to cool off. Teach the kids how to skip rocks, then collect a few bigger rocks to paint when you get home.
  • Splash around in the Hill Country Galleria’s interactive fountain.

Gus Fruh Trail at Barton Creek Greenbelt

Festivals, Performances, and Live Music

  • Make (and pop) giant bubbles on the Long Center lawn at Bubblepalooza on June 3, 2017.
  • Listen to local music outside at Central Market. Let the kids run around on the playground while you cool off with some gelato!
  • Dance to live music at Children’s Day Art Park on Wednesday mornings in June and July.
  • Get brunch and boogie down on Sunday mornings with free kids music at Cherrywood Coffeehouse.
  • Follow the yellow brick road to the Zilker Hillside Theatre and go see the free Zilker Summer Musical, The Wizard of Oz, July 7 – August 12, 2017.
  • Dance around while listening to live music at Unplugged at the Grove or Blues on the Green.

Outdoor Fun

  • Bring trash bags (and hand sanitizer) and pick up litter while you hike at McKinney Falls State Park.
  • Enjoy the flora at Zilker Botanical Gardens.
  • Play a round of Putt-Putt at Peter Pan Mini Golf, and take selfies by every comical statue you see.
  • Go for a bike ride along the Brushy Creek Trail and stop at all six playgrounds along the way!
  • Swim and play for free all day at Dick Nichols Park.
  • Take your kids to explore the Play For All Abilities Park. Bring their bikes and scooters so they can race around the little play town!
  • Bring sunscreen and sand toys along to discover Austin’s “Secret Beach.” Then, stop at the Roy G. Guerrero Playground and let the kids run around the giant playscape.
  • Explore the grounds of Bee Cave Sculpture Park.
  • See a Round Rock Express baseball game on an H-E-B Kids Day. Kids can run the bases after the game!
  • Stroll around one of Austin’s farmer’s markets. Have the kids each pick a fresh new-to-them vegetable to make for dinner that night!
  • For a playground alternative, take the kids to see some outdoor art at Laguna Gloria, which is free on Tuesdays.
  • Mingle with peacocks after hiking at the Mayfield Nature Park.
  • Climb Mt. Bonnell and take a family photo at the top, with the Austin skyline in the background.
  • Hike the Turkey Creek Nature Trail.
  • Dig for dinosaur bones at the Austin Nature & Science Center, the Texas Memorial Museum, or Champion Park.
  • Practice your skateboarding skills at one of Austin’s free skate parks.
  • Hike or bike along the Ann and Roy Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake. Don’t forget to feed the ducks at the Lou Neff Point along the way!
  • Stay up past bedtime and go to one of the Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower Center’s free Nature Nights on Thursday evenings.
  • Climb the trees at Springwoods Park.
  • Bring a basketball and shoot hoops at Little Stacy Park.
  • Teach your kids how to do the monkey bars at the Zilker Park playground, then ride the Zilker Zephyr!
  • Let everyone pick out their own lunch from the salad bar or hot food stations inside Whole Foods on North Lamar, then bring the food upstairs for a picnic while the kids play on the rooftop playground! Bonus points if you ride the special cart escalator down to the parking garage.
  • Feed the ducks at Mueller Lake Park after playing on the playground.
  • Spend the day in Georgetown, either swimming at Blue Hole, walking around Berry Spring Park, or playing at the giant Creative Playscape at San Gabriel Park. Then wander around their charming downtown square when it’s time for dinner!
  • Take a hike at Balcones Park, then stay to let the kids play at the playground.
  • Play Hide & Seek inside the little playhouse at Katherine Fleischer Park.
  • Go for a long walk along the Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake.
  • Spend a day on Zilker Park’s great lawn. Bring a blanket and a picnic. Do some cloud watching, fly a kite, play frisbee with your friends (or dog), and climb the rock island.
  • Play baseball, whiffle ball, or kickball at a local park’s baseball diamond. San Gabriel Park has one right behind the Creative Playscape.
  • Hike the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.
  • Climb the giant spider web at Ramsey Park.
  • Ride bikes on the BMX trails at Elizabeth Milburn Park in Cedar Park.
  • Keep Austin Weird and visit the Cathedral of Junk!
  • Go on a street mural scavenger hunt and take a selfie at each one! Find the “Murals of Austin” geocache for some ideas.
  • See the graffiti art at Austin’s HOPE Outdoor Gallery.
  • Stroll around the Umlauf Sculpture Garden to enjoy some outdoor art.
  • Stand along the Congress Avenue bridge and wait for the bats to emerge at dusk.
  • Visit the animals at the Austin Zoo.
  • Learn about what it takes to work on a farm at one of Austin’s urban farms (such as Crowe’s Nest Farm, Boggy Creek Farm, or Springdale Farm).
  • Teach the kids how to fish this summer at Mills Pond. Bonus points if you can find the secret tunnel that leads to the playground across the street.
  • Ride the go-karts at Austin’s Park and Pizza.
  • Travel back in time while visiting Pioneer Farms.
  • Eat dinner at Phil’s Icehouse or have ice cream at Amy’s and let the kids play on the outdoor playground.
  • Ride the Ferris wheel at Kiddie Acres.
  • Pick out a giant watermelon from the store and have a seed spitting contest in your front yard. Invite the neighbors to join in the fun!
  • Turn your backyard into a water park with sprinklers, water guns, and water balloons.
  • Window shop along South Congress, eat at a food truck, and take a family picture at the “I Love You So Much” mural in front of Jo’s Coffee. Stop by Big Top Candy Shop for a sweet treat at the end of the day.
  • Dine at a restaurant with a playground for kids. If you’re at the Kerbey Lane in Round Rock on a Tuesday, kids eat free!
  • Set up a lemonade stand in your neighborhood.
  • Treat yourselves to a giant Texas-sized donut at Round Rock Donuts, then discover the giant “round rock” that gives the town its name. Bonus points if you can spot wagon wheel tracks from the olden days, or find bronze cattle along the Chisholm Trail.
  • Smile for a picture in front of the “Smile even if you don’t want to” mural, then treat yourself to some Austin-famous pizza at Home Slice on South Congress Avenue. Order from the outside counter to avoid waiting for a table.
  • Cool down with a gelato from Mandola’s at the Triangle, and make sure you stop by the playground while you’re there!

Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake

Stay Cool Indoors

  • Go black light bowling at the UT Underground.
  • Climb the giant boulders inside the Austin Bouldering Project.
  • Be a ninja on the obstacle course at Urban Air.
  • Climb the giant indoor play structure at Mt. Playmore (remember to bring socks)!
  • Jump in the ball pit at the Little Land Play Gym.
  • Feel like you’re under the sea while you bowl inside Bass Pro Shops.
  • Run around during a game of laser tag at Main Event in North Austin, or Blazer Tag in South Austin.
  • Escape the heat and go ice skating at Chaparral Ice. Perfect your figure 8, or just try to make it all the way around without falling.
  • Go roller skating at Playland Skate Center and let the kids climb the play structure in the back.
  • Jump in the foam pit at Hop N Happy.
  • Wear your socks and jump your crazies out at an indoor trampoline park like Jumpoline, Jumpstreet, or JumParty USA.
  • Bounce and slide at Pump It Up, Hoppin House, Inflatable Wonderland, or iPlay.
  • Let the kids run around and play in the AC at Ashley’s Playhouse.
  • Get dizzy from all the fun at Catch Air.
  • Join a Summer Reading Program at a local bookstore (like BookPeople or Half Price Books). Then, bring your books to a park with lots of shade and spend the day reading outdoors on a blanket. Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch!
  • Laugh til your tummy hurts at What’s The Story, Steve?, an improv comedy show for kids.
  • Attend a free kids DIY workshop at The Home Depot and bring home your creation.
  • Spend a Saturday morning making free crafts at Lakeshore Learning.
  • Bring the kids to the Thinkery and make a cool design on the giant Lite Brite table. Remember to bring a change of clothes if you plan to visit the water room!
  • Learn all about Texas history at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. When you’re ready for a walking break, sit down and catch a 3D movie at the IMAX Theater inside the museum!
  • Go to the Blanton Museum of Art on a Thursday when they offer free admission.
  • Enjoy the AC inside Lakeline Mall while the kids run around the free play area. Then buy tickets and ride the little train around the mall, waving at everyone you pass by! Or, to keep the day completely free, just ride the escalators up and down for a while.
  • Visit the Capitol and take a free tour.
  • Stay and play for awhile at Toybrary, then check out some toys to bring home.
  • Be a daredevil and go skydiving at iFly Austin.
  • Teach your kids to give back by taking them to volunteer over the summer. Try the Capital Area Food Bank or Austin Pets Alive.
  • Visit a local ice cream store (like Lick, Spun, or Cow Tipping Creamery), bring home a pint, and make ice cream sandwiches with homemade cookies!
  • Check out a library story time, and bring home a bunch of books to read together.
  • Catch a cheap Alamo Kids Camp flick (they’re only $1)!
  • Go to a storytime at BookPeople and let the kids run around the play area for a bit while you pick out a new book to read this summer. Snap a picture of the kids sitting in the old barber chair before you leave!
  • Make homemade cookies and bring them to your local fire department. If they’re not busy and you ask nicely, they might even give you a private tour of the station and let you sit in a fire truck!
  • Pet the rays at the Austin Aquarium, then let the kids run wild on the climbing structure in the back!

Austin Bouldering Project

Road Trip

Dinosaur Park in Cedar Creek



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