Top Summer Attractions for Families in Austin

Published Jan 19, 2017 | Updated Feb 19, 2020

Summer is the perfect time to explore all of the awesome attractions Austin has to offer. Check out our list of must-see attractions.

Top Summer Attractions for Families in Austin 

The Thinkery

The Thinkery is an evolution of Austin Children’s Museum. It’s Austin’s sparkling new home for “why” and “how.” A place where science and families play side by side; where people connect with ideas by doing, making and experiencing.

It’s a foundry for a new generation of innovators and creative problem solvers. 

Austin Zoo

Austin Zoo, located along the southwest edge of Austin off of Highway 290 West and Circle drive is a rescue zoo.  Started in 1990 as a small goat ranch with just a few exotics, Austin Zoo is now the forever home to more than 350 animals across 100 different species. Visitors of all ages will delight in the Hill Country setting and up close animal experiences. The mission of Austin Zoo is to assist animals in need through rescue, rehabilitation and education. 

Austin Zoo is open 7 days a week from 9:30am - 6:00pm.


Live Love Paddle

Live Love Paddle offers daily kayak, canoe and stand-up paddle board rentals. We also specialize in guided Bat-Watching Kayak Tours.

You have the best views of the bats nightly departure, the guide gives you history to the bats and local area, and seeing downtown Austin lit up at night from the water is beautiful! There is also a daytime Urban Kayak Tour available as well. 

Let history inspire you at The Bullock State Texas History Museum! Experience the story of Texas told by ever-changing artifacts, special exhibits, as well as 4D special effects films in the Texas Spirit Theater. Also, enjoy the eclectic menu and great view at the Story of Texas Café, and don't forget to snap a photo in front of the iconic bronze star on the Lone Star Plaza as a keepsake of your visit.

History aside, you can also check out the latest blockbuster movies on the biggest screen in Texas in the IMAX Theatre!

Austin Duck Adventures

Enjoy a unique amphibious tour of downtown Austin and beautiful Lake Austin inside one of Austin Duck Adventures' unsinkable, US coast guard inspected, Hydra Terra vehicles.

75 minute sightseeing tours include sites such as the Historic Sixth Street, the State Capitol Building, Bob Bullock State History Museum, the Governor’s Mansion, and Lake Austin.

Kiddie Acres

Kiddie Acres' Amusement Park & Miniature Golf provides some great, affordable entertainment. Open year-round (weather permitting), Kiddie Acres is specifically geared for children ages 10 and under, featuring a variety of rides, food, and mini golf.

Rides include a carousel, Ferris wheel, airplanes, boats, Jeeps, ponies, and train rides.

Millenium Youth Entertainment Complex

The Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex came about as the result of a tragedy in east Austin. In 1992, a group of teens were on an east Austin street corner when a passing car slowed and shots were fired, resulting in the death of 16-year old Tamika Ross. The idea for the facility came from a group of young people who wanted to give the youth of Austin a safe place to "hang out".

Now owned by the City of Austin, the MYEC is a comprehensive facility featuring a theater, skating rink, bowling alley, food court, and arcade.

Zilker Park

Zilker Park is located across Lady Bird Lake (formarly known as Town Lake) from Austin's skyline making it the perfect metropolitan park. Locals and visitors enjoy 351 acres land dedicated to running, jogging, biking, swimming, kayaking and many other outdoor activities. The park features trails, gardens, volleyball courts, natural springs, swimming area, and many more amenities.

Zilker Park is the home to many popular year-round events including live music, marathons, and most notably the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the Zilker Park Kite Festival.

Peter Pan Mini-Golf

This isn't your typical mini golf course! The giant Peter Pan and T-Rex have been a fixture near the intersection of Barton Springs and South Lamar for decades. Over the years, the park has gained a reputation as a place for families and people of all ages to spend a great day or evening, Austin style.

Peter Pan Mini Golf has been family-owned and operated since 1948.

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