Sometimes you just want to get away, but only for a day, or maybe for a long weekend. Here are the best day trips with kids from Austin, and all the fun things you can do when you get there!
Best Day Trips With Kids from Austin
- Start your trip off on the right foot with a visit to Manske Roll Bakery (328 N LBJ Dr, San Marcos) for one of the world’s best cinnamon rolls!
- Head over to Meadows Center Glass-Bottom Boat Tours (201 San Marcos Springs Dr, San Marcos) for a ride out on the water. Tickets are $6-10 (2 and under FREE).
- Have lunch at Ivar’s River Pub (701 Cheatham St, San Marcos).
- Take the kids to run around and play at Children’s Park (205 S CM Allen Pkwy, San Marcos).
- Stay for a pint and get dinner at the family-friendly Roughhouse Brewing (680 Oakwood Loop, San Marcos).
- Read more about our kid-friendly trip to San Marcos!
- McKinney Roughs Nature Park (1884 State Hwy 71 West, Cedar Creek)
- Hero Water Sports (603 FM1441, Bastrop)
- Capital of Texas Zoo (376 Jenkins Road, Cedar Creek)
- Fisherman’s Park (1200 Willow St./400 Farm St., Bastrop)
- Texas Reptile Zoo (FM 20, Bastrop)
- Hyatt Lost Pines (575 Hyatt Lost Pines Rd, Cedar Creek)
- Dinosaur Park (893 Union Chapel Rd, Cedar Creek) for life-size dinosaur replicas!
- Lake Bastrop for hiking, camping, fishing, etc.
- Rocky Hill Ranch for mountain biking (578 FM 153, Smithville).
- Sherwood Forest Faire (March-April) (1883 Old Hwy 20, McDade) is the closest Renaissance Festival to Austin.
- Zip Lost Pines (1760 State Hwy 71 W, Cedar Creek)
- Bastrop State Park (100 Park Road 1A, Bastrop) Cabins, camping, fishing, hiking.
- Buescher State Park (100 Park Rd 1-C, Smithville) is a great place to hike & camp.
Best Day Trips from Austin with Kids
- Mayborn Museum (1300 S University Parks Dr, Waco) is a cute (but small) children’s museum.
- Dr. Pepper Museum (300 S 5th St, Waco) which you can do the tour or just go to the soda fountain and make your own flavor.
- Cameron Park Zoo (1701 N 4th St, Waco) is the perfect size for families with smaller kids. Bring coins for the coin drop in the front which always ends up being my kids’ favorite part!
- Blue Hills Ranch and Giraffe Sanctuary (2032 Blue Cut Rd N, McGregor)
- Waco Mammoth National Monument (6220 Steinbeck Bend Dr, Waco)
- Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum (100 Texas Ranger Trail, Waco)
- Magnolia Market at the Silos (601 Webster Ave, Waco) for some treats, shopping, and baseball.
- Read all about our family-friendly weekend in Wimberley!
- Blue Hole (Blue Hole Ln, Wimberley) Reservations required to swim here, so grab those starting in May before you go. There are rope swings and bring floats for a day out on the water!
- Old Baldy is a tall hill in Wimberley with stairs to the top.
- Jacob’s Well (1699 Mount Sharp Road, Wimberley) is an underwater cave you can dive into if you dare! Make reservations before you go.
- Pioneer Town is at the 7A Ranch and has a charming wild west vibe (and ice cream parlor).
- Shady Llama (18325 Ranch Rd 12, Wimberley) for a fun kid-friendly beer garden with LLAMAS.
- Downtown Wimberley has a fun town square with shops and restaurants to explore.
- Wimberley Market Days (601 FM2325, Wimberley) is a flea market the first Saturday of the month from March through December.
- Cypress Falls Swimming Hole (50 Marina Cir, Wimberley) is a fun place to float on a hot day.
- Wimberley Zip Line Adventures (376 Winn Valley Dr, Wimberley)
Best Day Trips from Austin with Kids
- Visit the oldest bakery in Texas, Naegelin’s German Bakery (129 S Seguin Ave, New Braunfels).
- Hike the Panther Canyon Nature Trail at Landa Park (164 Landa Park Dr, New Braunfels) and then stay to ride the mini train, paddle boats, or play a round of mini golf.
- New Braunfels Railroad Museum (302 W San Antonio St, New Braunfels)
- McKenna Children’s Museum (801 W San Antonio St, New Braunfels)
- Fischer Park (1935 Hilltop Summit Road, New Braunfels) for the splash pad and playground.
- Tube the Guadalupe or Comal rivers with the older kids.
- Rope swing and float at Cypress Bend Park (503 Peace Ave, New Braunfels).
- Wakingboarding at Texas Ski Ranch (6700 I-35, New Braunfels).
- Stop through Gruene for lunch at the Gristmill (1287 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels) and ice cream from the general store (1610 Hunter Rd, New Braunfels).
- Sweet Berry Farm (1801 FM1980, Marble Falls) during the spring for berry picking or the fall for the pumpkin patch.
- Save The World Brewing Co– brewery with a nice patio and a playground.
- Bluebonnet Cafe (211 US-281, Marble Falls) for pie.
- Lake Marble Falls and Lakeside Park
- Horseshoe Bay Resort (200 Hi Cir N, Horseshoe Bay) if you’d like to turn it into a weekend trip! They even have a Hot Air Balloon Festival in April!
- LBJ Ranch and Sauer-Beckmann Farm at Lyndon B Johnson National Historic Park in Stonewall (501 State Park Rd 52, Stonewall)
- The Exotic Resort Zoo drive-thru safari (235 Zoo Trail, Johnson City)
- Science Mill (101 S Lady Bird Ln, Johnson City) is a fun kids science museum. Read all about our time there.
- Pedernales Falls State Park (2585 Park Rd 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636)
- See the Alamo (300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio) and stroll the Riverwalk
- See the animals at the drive-thru safari (26515 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, San Antonio) and stay to explore the cave.
- The DoSeum (2800 Broadway, San Antonio) is one of our favorite children’s museums ever.
- The San Antonio Zoo (3903 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio) has a mini train and kiddie park with rides!
- Hemisfair Park has some of the coolest playground equipment I’ve ever seen!
- Enchanted Rock (make reservations) is fun to climb, but also has nice hiking trails around the base if you’d rather not attempt the climb with younger kids.
- National Museum of the Pacific War (311 E Austin St, Fredericksburg) and the Japanese Garden of Peace (340 E Main St, Fredericksburg)
- Wildseed Farms (100 Legacy Dr, Fredericksburg)
- Clear River Ice Cream, Bakery & Deli (138 E Main St, Fredericksburg)
- Pick your own peaches!
- LBJ State Park
- More ideas here!
- Krause Springs (424 Co Rd 404, Spicewood) has one of the best rope swings for a hot summer day.
- Stop by Frontyard Brewing for a beer and playground for the kids.
- Visit Hamilton Pool for a really cool hike that leads to a waterfall. Make reservations before you go!
- Hiking, bouldering, and river access at Reimer’s Ranch ($5/adult CASH ONLY).
- Have a pint at Family Business, Fitzhugh, 12 Fox, or Ghost Note (all these breweries have a playground for the kids!)
- Eat at Route 12 Filling Station has both a playground and a splash pad for the kids, along with a slam-dunk kids’ menu.
- Stop off and play at Dreamland while you’re in Dripping Springs for the ultimate day of fun. Pickleball, mini golf, splash pad, playground, and more!
These two Texas town can be done separately or together since they’re not that far apart from one another.
- Hike Chalk Ridge Falls.
- Visit Barrow Brewing Company, a brewery that sits on a creek with a lovely beer garden patio.
- Visit the Temple Children’s Museum.
- Picnic at Whistle Stop Park (it’s train themed!) or Ferguson Park (splash pad).
- Visit the World’s Largest Pecan
- Eat at The Backyard (burgers & a playground)
- Visit ZDT’s Amusement Park
- Go kayaking on the Guadalupe River
- Visit Son’s Island (currently closed)
- Eat at Burnt Bean Co BBQ
- Find all the Squirrel Statues
- Visit the Seguin Wave Pool
- Read more fun things to do here.
Son’s Rio Cibolo
- Son’s Rio Cibolo is a short drive from Austin. You can go for just a day, or stay the night!
- They have spacious treetop cabins with kitchens, AC/heat, fire pits, hammocks, and grills.
- There are cabanas set up along the river for easy access to the water.
- You can use their kayaks/SUP boards
- They have several pools and hot tubs
- They have glamping cabins
- They have converted an old-timey dancy hall into a giant game room, complete with air hockey, foosball, pool, and more.
- Go here for more information.
Read all about why we love Lost Maples and what makes it the perfect fall destination. Go in Late October or November for the most spectacular fall colors. Make reservations online before you go so you don’t get turned away! This is a popular spot in the fall. We did the Monkey Rock hike (there’s a rock in the shape of a monkey at the end!) but there are so many hikes to choose from.
Not a day trip, but a fun road trip with kids: Big Bend National Park
We went to BBNP over Thanksgiving break and I wrote all my tips right here.