Things to Do - Austin,TX

Updated on December 17, 2008
A.D. asks from Norwood, MA
4 answers

Hi moms, I'm new to Austin, Tx. My husband gets alot of time off for christmas/new years and instead of staying home everyday (like we normally do) I thought it would be cool to get out and do things. My problem is that i dont know what things are out there to do. Can anyone make any recommendations of fun activities outside of the house? We would be willing to travel and make a day trip or possibly overnite trip. Thanks in advance!

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answers from Austin on

Welcome to Austin! There are tons of family friendly things to do in town and we are close enough to other towns that are also wonderful.

We used to always keep a large quilt, sunscreen, sunhats, cooler and wipes in our car for impromptu events. There is always something going on in Austin.

First off we are a city of parks. You can look at the Austin City website under PARD (Austin Parks and Recreation Dept) they list the address and amenities.

Zilker Park is in the heart of the city. The Park has a wonderful playground and a train! Take a picnic lunch on a mild day you all will have a blast. Zilker is next to Lady Bird Lake (also known as Town Lake) it is actually the Colorado river... long story, but remember this is Austin! LBL has a trail all around it. You can jog, walk, run or cycle all around the trail. Take crumbs and let your children feed the ducks. You can also rent Canoes from the shores of Zilker Park.

The State Capitol is fun to visit. The grounds are great for your sons. We used to go every Sunday morning and take a Breakfast picnic on the southwest lawn. It is like a giant bowl. They can feed the squirrels and pigeons, and usually there is really no one there. Take their trikes or wagons and let them peddle around down there.

The UT Campus is another great place to visit. The grounds are endless with tons of sidewalks, fountains and statues. While the students are on holiday, your kids can run and climb all over the place.

Remember as long as school is not in session your children are also allowed to play on the AISD school grounds. This is a great way to get to know some of the other families in your neighborhood.

On the they have a section devoted to what is going on in Austin every week.There is also a free publication for Austin Families. You can find a free copy at HEB grocery stores.

There are festivals during warmer weather be sure to check them out. In the spring the Mexican Freetail Bats will come back from their winter vacations to roost under the Congress Avenue bridge. They are an awesome sight.

We have a very good children's Museum downtown. It s called the Dell Children's Museum. If you can become a member you will be informed on all of the things going on there.

Like camping? There are lots of State Parks close by. There are also quite a few private camping places around Austin. We love Bastrop State Park. They have the cutest log cabins with amenities. If you like to tent camp they have beautiful family friendly camp sites.

Day trips can be made to Dripping Springs, Wimberley, Johnson City and Fredricksburg. Right now the town squares all lit up for Christmas. Pretty Awesome. All of these little towns have festivals, you can go to their Chamber of Commerce Websites to check them out.

The Lady Bird National Wildflower center is beautiful. There is a fee to enter. They have events every season. Get on their mailing list to keep with them.

Central Market on Lamar Blvd is a great place to eat, they have free live music most weekends and they have a playscape for the kids.

Amy's Ice Cream on Burnet road has a playscape, during the summer, they show movies on the side of the building. It is really fun too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Hi A.,
Here's an idea. Keep Austin Bizarre Holiday Bazaar at the Palmer Events Center. Read more at this link:

For future ideas, check out The Austin Chronicle or Austin Family, free local publications with event calendars.

Welcome to Austin!



answers from Austin on


There are many small towns around to go visit. Greune is a fun day trip, you can taste some different wines. You can purchase a bottle and then enjoy it while sitting outside and people watch or just catch up with your husband. There is the Riverwalk in San Antonio. They light it up the river for Christmas. Go check out the Christmas lights in Johnson City or Marble Falls. Enjoy!

Mel G



answers from Austin on

One of our Christmas traditions is going to the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. It's so fun! There's live music, lots of local vendors and good food and beverages. It's open through Christmas Eve.

Fredericksburg is another of our favorite places to go. There are wineries to tour, great shops to explore and the best ice cream/fudge shop around!!!

I agree with the other person who posted - check out the Statesman and The Austin Chronicle (it's free and it's available all over) for listings of special events around town.

Merry Christmas and welcome to Austin!

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