Summer’s almost here, and despite the heat it’s my favorite time of the year! I love getting a little bucket list together so I don’t have to put too much thought into how we’ll fill our days. Here’s a fun summer bucket list for kids in Austin!
Fun Summer Bucket List For Kids in Austin
Rope swings give quintessential Austin summer vibes. Here’s where you can find some.
For the younger set, you can’t beat a day of splashing around town. We like to challenge ourselves and try to go to as many as we can in one day! Here’s where you can splash in Austin.
I find it hard to go a whole summer without visiting Barton Springs. It can feel daunting to take your kids, but here are some tips to make it easier!
See the Zilker Summer Musical
It’s FREE! And it’s back at the Zilker Hillside Theatre, beginning July 8 (through August 13). This year’s show: Newsies! These productions are free every summer, but you wouldn’t know it based on the quality of the production value. I’m blown away every year by how good these shows are! Get there early to claim your spot, bring food, water, and bug spray. Yes, it’s hot and it’s not the most fun having to wait there for the show to begin, but this always ends up being one of my favorite parts of Austin summers.
How many playgrounds can you cross off your list this summer? Here’s a list of our favorite ones, and here’s all the playgrounds along the Brushy Creek Trail if you’d like to attempt to play at all 6!
We are big hikers and try to go a couple times a week. One of the best spots to explore in Austin is the Barton Creek Greenbelt! I love this for summer, because there are so many trailheads that it makes for a fun challenge to try them all! See more kid friendly hikes here.
Make a special trip out to Ingram and slide down the dam! This is high on our list for this summer. I can’t wait to try it out!
If you’d like to get away, but can’t go very far: DAY TRIP! We’ve got a fun list of where to go and what to do when you get there.
When it’s too hot outside to play, here’s a list of all the great indoor places to play.
Treat Yourself to Some Ice Cream
Swimming Holes and Beaches Around Austin
Blue Hole or Jacob’s Well in Wimberley
Either of these famous Texas watering holes should be on every summer bucket list! Here’s a super fun itinerary for a weekend in Wimberley with your kids while you’re at it!
Pick Peaches in Fredericksburg
Chances are, if you live in hill country, you’ve tried a Fredericksburg peach. But have you ever picked your own? Well, you can at Jenschke Orchards! And here’s even more things to do with kids if you want to spend a whole weekend in Fredericksburg.
See Live Music
Rock the Park is on June 3 at 6:30 p.m. Free admission and live music at the amphitheater at Mueller Lake Park. Blues on the Green is June 14th-15th and July 19th-20th. Or check out Central Market North Lamar for kid-friendly live music and a playground!
Another favorite summer tradition of ours is renting a cabana at Son’s Island for the day. You can SUP, rent kayaks and lily pads, float and swim, stay and grill and relax all day!
Zilker Botanical Garden Fairie Homes
Woodland Fairie Trail at the Zilker Botanical Garden is returning this summer! This is such a sweet and magical experience and my kids always love this. Kicks off May 28!
Sweet Eats Fruit Farm Sunflower Festival
We love going to Sweet Eats for the day. There’s just so much to do! You can bring your own food/drinks here too, so pack up a big picnic and stay for the whole day. Pig races, apple slingshots, bounce pillows, petting zoo, pony rides, and so much more! Pick your own sunflowers at the Sunflower Festival!
Summer Reading Programs
Family Yoga at the Wildflower Center every 1st & 3rd Tuesday at 10 a.m. and at the Umlauf Sculpture Museum & Garden every second Sunday.
Free Admission to the Bullock
Free First Sunday at the Bullock on June 5, July 3, and August 7. Stay for an IMAX movie while you’re there (not free)!
Catch a Baseball Game
Kids Days at Round Rock Express are on June 5, June 19, July 10, July 24, July 31, and August 21. On June 15, 2022 the ballpark presents Princess Night where you can add a VIP ticket and meet the princesses.
Nitro Circus at Dell Diamond is on Sunday, July 17, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Wildflower Center Free Days
Watch The Fireworks
See the fireworks on Monday, July 4, 2022 at H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks. This community-wide, free to the public, family-friendly event is at the Long Center for Performing Arts.
Float, SUP, Ride, or Boat
Basically, just get out on the water in some capacity! You can rent SUP, kayak, canoe, drive a retro boat, or even pedal a swan on Town Lake. You can take tubes and float down the San Marcos, Comal, or Guadalupe rivers. We also rented a “party barge” last summer with our friends out on Lake Travis and it was so fun we are going to go again this summer!
For a fun swimming hole experience around Austin, check out Barton Springs, Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Blue Hole Wimberley, Krause Springs, Blue Hole Georgetown, Tejas Camp, Blanco State Park, or Pedernales Falls State Park.
See The Bats
Austin is all about the bats, but standing along a bridge in the heat with young kids isn’t the most fun thing ever. We like seeing them emerge from a bat cruise! It’s a fun thing to do if you have people visiting you over the summer.
Visit Peter Pan Mini Golf or Dreamland in Dripping Springs.
Race each other at K1, Austin’s Park, or inside Pinballz.
Check out the BMX tracks at 9th St Dirt Jumps or Elizabeth Milburn Park.
The very best, clearest, coldest, most fun way to cool down in the summer in Texas is swimming in the Rio Frio! Camp at Garner State Park or rent a cabin nearby.
Sundays at Mueller
Every Sunday morning, you can shop at the Texas Farmers Market at Mueller. While you’re down there, visit the Thinkery and cool off in the splash pad at Branch Park!
We usually end up going roller skating a couple of times every summer.
We like Mel’s Lonestar Lanes, Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl, and inside Tom Foolery’s at Kalahari (they have epic milkshakes at this one!)
Visit the Goats at Jester King
Jester King is one of our favorite breweries. They have goats, a giant field for kids to run around, and they even got a new playground! For more kid-friendly breweries, go here!
McKinney Falls + Meanwhile Brewing
We adore this combo and did it last summer. I think we are going to repeat it every year- it was that good! Wear your swimsuits and go floating around the falls at McKinney Falls, then dry off and change and head over to Meanwhile Brewing for some lunch/dinner/beer! They have the best patio (with a playground) in Austin!