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Family Friendly Attractions in Austin

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The Texan capital offers an amazing wealth of attractions and activities to keep kids of all ages enthralled for days. There are mindblowing museums that turn learning into a thrilling interactive adventure, magical amusement parks offering hours of adrenalin-charged fun, and opportunities to get up close and personal with animals from every corner of the globe.

 

Mesmerizing museums

 

Austin is renowned throughout the United States and beyond for its vibrant cultural scene. While the city’s art galleries may not be of huge interest to kids, there are plenty of imagination-inspiring museums that cater particularly well to younger visitors.

 

The Thinkery

 

The Thinkery is the latest incarnation of the Austin Children’s Museum. Full of interactive exhibits, it's devoted to helping kids think creatively through science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. They'll learn about aerodynamics by launching projectiles, get to grips with superfoods, and discovery how to create stop-motion animation. If only school days were more like this…

 

1830 Simond Avenue, Austin TX 78723. Tel: +1 512 469 6200

 

The Thinkery website

 

Texas Memorial Museum

 

If you have any budding young archaeologists or explorers in your family, a visit to the world-class Texas Memorial Museum is a must. It’s home to over 500 fascinating dinosaur and fossil specimens, including remains of a Tyrannosaurus, and the famous Onion Creek Mosasaur, a fearsome-looking, 30-foot marine reptile. The unique Paleo Lab offers visitors the chance to speak to the in-house paleontologists as they prepare and study recently-discovered fossils.

 

2400 Trinity Street, Austin TX 78705. Tel: +1 512 471 1604

 

Texas Memorial Museum website

 

Fun in the sun

 

Austin enjoys a blissful subtropical climate, with scorching hot summers and mild, sunny winters. As such, there’s a plethora of fantastic outdoor attractions for families. Take your pick from beautifully-landscaped public parks, expansive children’s playgrounds, fascinating city farms, or vibrant amusement parks.
Kiddie Acres

 

Kiddie Acres is a traditional amusement park especially for kids aged 10 and under. Family-owned and run, this glorious slice of retro Americana boasts a host of gentle rides like carousels and Ferris wheels, and a charming miniature golf course. You’ll also find an array of tempting food stalls, serving fairground favorites like cotton candy, snow cones, and hot dogs.

 

4800 W Howard Lane, Austin TX 78728. Tel: +1 512 255 4131

 

Kiddie Acres website

 

Amazing animals

 

Want to have a really wild time in Austin? You and your kids will feel the hairs on your neck prickle as you come close to rather magnificent creatures in this neck of the woods.

 

Austin Zoo

 

Austin Zoo started life as a humble goat ranch, but today is home to over 100 different species of animal from all over the world, including majestic African lions and Bengal tigers, playful colobus monkeys, and ornate ball pythons. Kids will relish the opportunity to feed some of the more docile residents, such as deer, goats and llamas. The knowledgeable and friendly staff are deeply devoted to the welfare of the animals, and offer first-rate education programs and fun-filled birthday parties.

 

10808 Rawhide Trail, Austin TX 78736. Tel: +1 512 288 1490

 

Austin Zoo website

 

Family restaurants

 

Austin is a paradise for food-lovers of all persuasions. The city is awash with lively, kid-friendly restaurants serving all-American staples like juicy hamburgers and moreish fried chicken, which will delight even the pickiest of eaters.

 

Boat House Grill

 

This perennial family favorite boasts a colorful kids’ playground, a sunny outdoor terrace, and a mouth-watering menu featuring decadent treats like fried chicken steak sandwiches, crispy catfish, and even a fried apple pie. What child could resist?

 

6812 North FM 620, Austin TX 78732. Tel: +1 512 249 5200

 

Boat House Grill website

 

Galaxy Café

 

This locally owned mini-chain offers a tempting kids’ menu, with smaller portions of classics like macaroni cheese, and pasta with meatball sauce, served with a choice of sides and a free soda. Diners with larger appetites will go wild for specialty dishes like spicy shrimp tacos, and grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce.

 

1000 West Lynn, Austin TX 78703. Tel: +1 512 478 3436

 

Galaxy Café website