Free (And Cheap) Things to Do Near the Austin Airport

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Have some time to spare before catching that flight out of Austin? Have no fear; there’s plenty of family-friendly fun to be had in and around Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Keep kiddos of all ages happy and busy (and maybe even ready for an in-flight nap) with this list of Free and Cheap Activities Near the Austin Airport!

Grab a brew and a bite
The Brewer’s Table, Hi Sign Brewing and Live Oak Brewing all offer their own brews for the adults, outdoor spaces with plenty of roaming area for the kiddos, and delicious eats for all. Live Oak also offers disc golf, while the Brewer’s Table boasts happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday in the bar area. Catching an evening flight? Not a problem. All locations are open until 9 p.m. or later! Note – Food trucks are available at Hi Sign (1201 Old Bastrop Hwy, Austin, TX 78742) and Live Oak (1615 Crozier Ln, Del Valle, TX 78617) while The Brewer’s Table (4715 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702) offers a menu of their own.


Go Bird Watching
Not many visitors know about the hidden gem that is the Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory (2210 S FM 973, Austin, TX 78725), but it’s a real treasure for animal lovers. Enjoy the duck-filled pond, stroll a nature trail, and enjoy time spent counting how many different types of birds can be spotted at this unique locale. The Hornsby Bend facility is open dawn to dusk 7 days a week, year-round.

Feast Before Flight
Craving some Austin famous eats before take off? Hut’s Hamburgers, (across from gate 14) Salt Lick, (between gates 20 and 21) TacoDeli (between gates 23 and 24) and Peached Tortilla (Gate 7) are all popular local options with airport locations. Looking for more dining options in and near and the airport? Check out this list.

Listen to Live Music
Since it’s the live music capital, it’s not too hard to find live music at the Austin airport. But the Heart of Austin (Across from Gate 10) is the place to be when there’s pre-flight time available. With 4,456 square feet of fun including a live music stage, café, bar, game tables, and ample seating, this ABIA favorite offers the best seat(s) in the house to see performances by some amazing local artists.

Get lost in a good book
Need a book or five for the trip? BookPeople (Across from Gate 11) is Austin’s famous and favorite book store, and the airport location offers a café and plenty of literary options for all ages to enjoy.

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Howdy y’all! Tuesdays are new release days, so we’re sitting here evaluating our to-be-read piles and inevitably adding new titles that we’re dying to read. What new book will you add to your #tbr today? Looking for a new thriller? Check out the new Prey book by John Sandford or Alice Feeney’s latest, I KNOW WHO YOU ARE. Planning a vacation? Check BOOKED by Richard Kreitner to see if there’s a can’t miss literary stop near your destination! There’s new nonfiction too, with memoirs from Anna Quindlen and Heather B Armstrong (EVENT 4/[email protected]!), essays from Oliver Sacks, and a brilliant call to action from Melinda Gates (yes, that Gates!). Follow the link in our bio for our weekly blog post on the top new titles out today, or follow along in stories! ———————————— #bookpeople #indiebookstore #newbooks #newreleases #booksofig #bookcollection #newinfiction #newinnonfiction

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Run around before buckling in
Playgrounds, hiking trails, and outdoor adventures are aplenty in the ATX, and the airport area is definitely no exception. Barkley Meadows Park, Richard Moya Park, Southeast Metropolitan, McKinney Falls are all within fifteen minutes of the Austin Airport. Barkley Meadows (4529 County Rd 130, Del Valle) and Richard Moya (10001 Burleson Rd) are both less than ten minutes from ABIA and are great basic parks for those in a time crunch. But if time isn’t of the essence? McKinney Falls (5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy) offers waterfalls, picnic areas, and gorgeous trails, while Southeast Metropolitan (4511 TX-71, Del Valle) boasts a bouldering wall and ridgetop views of downtown Austin. Both are about 15 minutes from the airport. Note: McKinney Falls is free for kids, but has a $6 daily fee for adults.

Grab a smoothie
Needing a healthy pick-me-up pre-flight? Mad Greens (Across from gate 16) and JuiceLand (Gate 7) are both great options for a smoothie, bowl, or nutritious snack during a layover. Both offer plenty of fun options for the littles too!

Zap Energy, Laser Tag Style
If there is plenty of time and energy to spare, the fifteen-minute drive to Blazer Tag (1701 W Ben White Blvd) may be just the ticket. This adventure center offers an arcade and the largest laser tag arena in Texas, so the longer the layover, the better for this one. Have a late-night flight? This spot is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday and weekdays, and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday!

Treasure Hunt
Skip airline pricing and ball on a budget just miles down the road. Perusing for last-minute gifts, or looking for a shopping spree that won’t break the bank? Look no further than Treasure City Thrift (2142 E 7th St). Discounted clothing, appliances, books, and so much more are waiting – just make sure all of the new finds will fit in your luggage!

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About the Author

Christina Boudreaux
Twenty-eight year old mom, traveler, grad student, blogger and native Austinite. Smitten with my little family and adventures of every size.
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