These 29 Adventures Pair Food With Family Fun All Around Austin

Ever wonder where to eat when you’re out on an adventure with your family? We’ve got some exciting adventure and food pairings that will take the guesswork out of planning your weekends!

Hamilton Pool

You plan something fun to do on the weekend, you go on your adventure, then hunger strikes and everyone needs to eat. So, you pull out your phone and search for nearby restaurants because you don’t know what’s good in that area. You haven’t really heard of any of those places and no one can agree on what they want. At this point, everyone is hangry and frustrated, so you settle on some chain or fast food restaurant that you’ve eaten at a million times. Sound familiar? Don’t you wish you knew which of the restaurants you’ve been wanting to try was close to the fun thing you just did?

Well, this is me pretty much every weekend. I get all excited to take my family out on a fun adventure, but never know where to eat afterward. I even keep a running list on my phone of all the Austin restaurants that I’m dying to try but, by the time we’re out and about, I never know which restaurant is nearby. I wish someone would just give me a list of which restaurants are close to fun things to do, so that I wouldn’t have to think about it each time we go out.

That was the inspiration for this post. I have done the leg work for you, so that you too can go out for some fun with a side of tacos (or fries or ice cream). Because I have kids, most of these restaurants are very family-friendly, as well.

Central

Adventure #1: Spend the day at Zilker Park.

Canoeing Lady Bird Lake

Adventure #2: Become a true Austinite while hiking the Barton Creek Greenbelt.

Gus Fruh Trail on the Barton Creek Greenbelt

Adventure #3: Climb the giant spider web net at Ramsey Park.

  • With so much to do at this friendly neighborhood park, it’s easy to spend several hours here.
  • Pair it with: Live music and lemon cookie gelato from Central Market North Lamar while the kids play on their patio playground.

Adventure #4: Hike along the Shoal Creek Trail, then cool off on the splash pad at Pease Park.

  • This place has it all: a hike along a creek, a playground, and a splash pad.
  • Pair it with: Root beer floats from Nau’s Enfield Drug. Bring all the grandpas here!

Nau’s Enfield Drug

Adventure #5: Observe art in action at the HOPE Outdoor Gallery, a truly unique Austin experience.

  • This ever-changing graffiti art scene is one of the reasons Austin is like no other place in the country.
  • Pair it with: A rooftop lunch at Whole Foods North Lamar. Their downstairs hot and cold food bars have something for everyone.

Adventure #6: Splash in the Liz Carpenter Fountain at Butler Park after a photo shoot with the Austin skyline in the background.

  • There isn’t much shade here, so come prepared with sunscreen and water on hot days. Hike up Doug Sahm Hill for a giant map of Texas that your kids will love to run around on.
  • Pair it with: A root beer/cherry sno-cone from Sno-Beach, which is right down the road. No better way to spend a hot Austin day than splash pads and snow cones! If you’re looking for more of a meal, go to Home Slice for the best pizza in town. They will even give your kids a ball of dough to play with while you wait for your food!

Adventure #7: Take your canine companions out for a run at Red Bud Isle Dog Park.

  • Dogs are free to run and play here. Bring balls, Frisbees, and clean up bags!
  • Pair it with: Coconut Fried Shrimp and a fresh margarita while sitting out on the water at Hula Hut. If you have your dog with you, try the dog-friendly Abel’s on the Lake.

Adventure #8: Tour the State Capitol or the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

  • Cram some history into your face before stuffing it with Tex-Mex and you will win at Texas.
  • Pair it with: Queso and tacos on the patio next to the playground at El Mercado.

Adventure #9: Visit the peacocks at Mayfield Park, stroll the grounds of Laguna Gloria, or hike to the top of Mt. Bonnell for the best views of Austin.

  • All three locations in this trifecta of fun are right around the corner from each other. Choose one or do all three! Peacocks roam free at Mayfield, which also has a nice hike.
  • Pair it with: Eggs Benedict from Snooze North Lamar to start your adventure off on the right foot with a full belly.

Mayfield Park

More adventures follow on the next page! Hit the arrow below.

North/Northwest

Adventure #1: Take your dog for a hike along the Turkey Creek Trail.

  • This hike is free and dogs can be off-leash. The nearby Emma Long Park is also a fun way to spend some time in the water. The fee for this park is $5-10. You can also camp there.
  • Pair it with: Burgers and fried pickles at Ski Shores Cafe. You can’t beat the location of this water-front restaurant. They are dog-friendly and even have a playground for the kids!

Ski Shores Cafe

Adventure #2: Search for the rope swing and splash in Bull Creek.

  • One of Austin’s favorite water holes and hiking spots, Bull Creek is a refreshing way to spend a hot day.
  • Pair it with: Authentic Texas BBQ at County Line on the Lake or Portabella tacos on the patio at Waterloo Ice House while the kids play on the playground.

Bull Creek

Adventure #3: Make some rock towers along the St. Edwards Trail or take the scenic route at Great Hills Trail.

  • Both hikes have creeks running through them and are relatively easy for hikers of all skill levels. Great Hills Trail even has a playground at one end if your little one’s legs can carry them that far!
  • Pair it with: The Reese’s Ripoff at Cupprimo Cupcakery. It would be a crime to come this far and not stop in for a cupcake (or 3). Pro tip: the mini cupcakes have zero calories.

Adventure #4: Take your kids and dog on a hike at Walnut Creek Park.

  • A great location for Northern Austinites, this free park has relatively easy hikes, a pool, and a playground.
  • Pair it with: Saganaki and Greek Beignets at Santorini Cafe. This authentic Greek restaurant has a spacious patio that welcomes dogs and there are lawn games for the kids.

Adventure #5: Play hide and seek in the clubhouse at Katherine Fleischer Park.

  • This is one of my kids’ favorite playgrounds of all time. Bring a soccer ball and play out in the fields behind the playground.
  • Pair it with: A giant cinnamon roll from the charming Bribery Bakery.

Adventure #6: Climb trees at Springwoods Park or visit the Austin Aquarium.

  • You can climb real trees or those on the playscape at the shady Springwoods Park. The Austin Aquarium ($8.95 and up) is nearby if you’d like an indoor activity.
  • Pair it with: The fried avocado taco from Torchy’s on 620.

Springwoods Park

 Adventure #7: Hike along Walnut Creek at Balcones District Park.

  • This easy hike will make you feel like you are deep in nature when you’re actually right in town. There’s a playground and pool here, too.
  • Pair it with: Lunch on the patio at Silver Grill Cafe while the kids play on the adjacent playground.

Adventure #8: Splash at the beach at Bob Wentz Park at Windy Point.

  • Admission is $10 per car and hours are 8:00 a.m. – dusk. Check website or call to confirm before you go.
  • Pair it with: S’mores Pizza from Zack’s American Bistro where the kids can play on the patio playground.

Adventure #9: Take a break and escape life at the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.

  • Sorry canine friends, but you must leave your dog at home for this hike.
  • Pair it with: Fries and all the dipping sauces from Hat Creek Westlake, where the kids can play on the playground.

More adventures follow on the next page! Hit the arrow below.

South/Southwest

Adventure #1: Explore Circle C Ranch Metropolitan Park or Mary Moore Searight Park, or hike through the wildflowers at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

  • Play or hike at Circle C or Mary Moore Searight for free! Or take in all the beauty that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has to offer for a small admission fee ($4-10). There are great photo opportunities here!
  • Pair it with: A frosty beverage from Waterloo Ice House while the kids play at the centrally located playground at the Grove in Southpark Meadows.

Adventure #2: Play and swim all day at Dick Nichols Park.

  • This park has it all, including a FREE pool.
  • Pair it with: Cheese fries on the patio next to the playground at Doc’s Backyard.

Adventure #3: Take a road trip to New Braunfels and see Landa Park, the New Braunfels Railroad MuseumMcKenna Children’s Museum, Fischer Park, and Schlitterbahn.

  • There is so much to see and do in New Braunfels, it may be hard to fit it all into one day. That just means you’ll have to go back!
  • Pair it with: A picturesque lunch overlooking the river at the famous Gristmill Restaurant in Gruene, followed by ice cream from the Gruene General Store.

Adventure #4: Play all day at the Children’s Park in San Marcos.

  • This unique playground is made of wood and is the perfect place for a game of hide & seek.
  • Pair it with: A flight of craft beers and the Bourbon Pecan Chicken at the Root Cellar Cafe

More adventures follow on the next page! Hit the arrow below.

West

Adventure #1: Feel transported to magical places that resemble Hawaiian rain forests more than Texas Hill Country at Hamilton Pool or Westcave Preserve.

  • You must make reservations to visit Hamilton Pool if you visit any time from May-September. ($26 for online reservation.) Westcave Preserve offers weekend guided tours. Times and admission information are available here.
  • Pair it with: Queso and margs from Homespun on the patio where the kids can play on the playground and eat for free on Wednesdays.

More adventures follow on the next page! Hit the arrow below.

Round Rock/Georgetown/Bertram/Marble Falls

Adventure #1: Ride the Gravity Rail zipline swing at the newly renovated Joanne Land Playground at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

  • Go on an off-time unless you like crowds and waiting in line. This park gets crazy crowded!
  • Pair it with: BBQ from Salt Lick or milkshakes from Hat Creek. Both have playgrounds in case your kids still need more time to play.

Joanne Land Playground

Adventure #2: Ride bikes around the tiny town at Play For All Abilities Park in Round Rock.

  • Bring your ride-on toys, bikes, scooters, and sand toys and stay for hours. They are expanding this already-huge park for even more fun!
  • Pair it with: Breakfast all day long at Kerbey Lane Cafe (there’s a playground off the patio).

Adventure #3: Spend the day in Georgetown swimming at Blue Hole or wandering around the beautiful Berry Springs Park.

  • Cool off along the rocky banks of Blue Hole, one of Austin’s favorite swimming holes. If you’re not looking to get wet, then you can find donkeys, a playground, ponds, a pecan grove, and walking trails at the majestic Berry Springs Park.
  • Pair it with: Wood-fired pizza (that rivals Home Slice in deliciousness) from 600 Degrees while sitting on the patio on the charming Georgetown town square.

Berry Springs Park

Adventure #4: Climb the Creative Playscape in Georgetown.

  • This unique playground is huge and my kids could spend hours here.
  • Pair it with: Shaved ice from Hula Cow Girl or burgers from Hat Creek.

Adventure #5: Go on a hay ride at the Texas Big Worm Pumpkin Patch in the fall.

  • This charming pumpkin patch has free admission with activities for small fees. Great photo-ops are available throughout!
  • Pair it with: Peanut butter pie from Dahlia Cafe. Sure, they have delicious comfort food, too, but you can skip right to the pie. We won’t tell.

Adventure #6: Go strawberry picking at Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls.

  • Check their website or call ahead before you go to make sure they have fruit available to pick. They are closed on Wednesdays.
  • Pair it with: World famous pie from Blue Bonnet Cafe.

Sweet Berry Farm

What would you add to this list? We’re always looking for more fun adventures!

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