Do you also think Austin is only about UT, Longhorns, and state government? Some of those who haven’t been to Austin might think so. But you know what… there are a bunch of fun things to do in Austin Texas!
When you’re on vacation in Austin, you’ll probably be looking for fun things to do in Austin. After-all, that’s what vacations are all about…
Here are 20 fun things to do in Austin Texas…
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Family Activities In Austin Texas
I’ll start with our favorite family-oriented things to do in Austin Texas…
#1 - Have Fun in Zilker Park
Zilker Park, a large park next to Lady Bird Lake, is a very cool place to visit.
It has many fun activities for families, like the Zilker Park train ride, a playground for the little ones, and canoe rentals. Barton Springs Pool, that I talk about below, is there as well.
The Zilker Botanical Gardens are worth a visit too, and it’s free. Also, Zilker Park is the location of the famous Austin City Limits music festival.
When we go to Zilker Park, we spend the whole day there!
#2 - Go Swimming in Barton Springs
Barton Springs are natural underground springs that feed the Barton Springs Pool, one of Austin’s famous attractions.
In my mind, Barton Springs counts as one of the “cool” things to do in Austin Texas, but the 68°F water doesn’t seem to bother my kids at all.
It is located right by Zilker Park and there is plenty of parking.
#3 - Enjoy the Flight of the Austin Bats
The bats under the Congress Ave bridge is another of Austin's well-known attractions.
From late March to early November, the bats emerge from under the bridge at sunset to go bug-hunting along Lady Bird Lake.
The best month to see the bats is August when more than 1 million bats emerge. Apparently they eat more than 20,000 pounds of bugs per night!
We went to see the bats on our first day ever in Austin and made our first Texan friends there.
The Austin bats are a spectacle to see! Go to the south side of the bridge to see them and be there at least 30 minutes before sunset.
One of our visitors submitted this great alternative way to to go see the bats!
#4 - Have Summer Fun at Volente Beach
Volente Beach is the first water park to be built in Austin. It is situated next to Lake Travis and it has several fun water slides, a "little kids" area, and a sandy beach!
Volente Beach also hosts birthday parties.
We have been there several times when our kids were younger. It was a lot of fun!
#5 - Swim & Have Adventures at Typhoon Texas
Typhoon Texas (formerly known as Hawaiian Falls) is a fairly new water park and adventure park in Pflugerville, just a few miles north of Austin.
They have multiple water rides, like tube rides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and more to keep families cool in summer.
Their adventure park also has several ropes and climbing activities that kids and parents can enjoy, including a zip line that stretches across the park.
Read more about Typhoon Texas Pflugerville.
#6 - See Rescued Animals at Austin Zoo
The Austin Zoo is a very special zoo because it is a "rescue zoo" that provides a home to animals that have been neglected.
They have about 100 species of animals that include lions, tigers, jaguars, monkeys, reptiles, and some domestic animals like goats and pigs.
Also, you can buy food at the zoo for $1 and feed the goats. This is always a hit with the kids!
#7 - Learn about Texas at Bob Bullock Museum
Bob Bullock museum tells the story of Texas with three floors of excellent exhibits.
First-floor exhibits show what Texas was like before it became Texas, how Native Americans lived, and the arrival of Europeans. Second-floor exhibits show how Texas became a state, as well as its role in the Civil War. The third-floor exhibits focus on economic development in Texas, including the oil industry.
Also, there is a fantastic IMAX theater is inside the museum. We've been there several times.
#8 - Explore the Texas State Capitol
The Texas State Capitol was the first Austin attraction we ever visited. It is a magnificent granite building surrounded by beautiful, well-maintained lawns.
Outside are several monuments honoring a variety of people, including those who fought at The Alamo, firefighters, Confederate soldiers, and more.
As you enter the building, there is a painting of the famous Davey Crockett on the right. Inside you can go into the Texas House Chamber and the Senate Chamber.
If you'd like to get a glimpse into Texas history, visit the State Capitol!
#9 - Let the Kids have fun at Thinkery
If you have kids, Thinkery is a must-visit. Their mission is all about entertaining kids in a way that also educates.
Exhibits are interactive, i.e. the kids get to play with the exhibits instead of merely watching.
Kids usually have a great time there!
#10 - Enjoy the Wonders of Hamilton Pool
Hamilton Pool is a fantastic swimming hole with its own waterfall!
It is much more than just a swimming hole. The rock formations and the setting are simply stunning.
Hamilton Pool is also a great place for hiking or a picnic.
Even though Hamilton Pool is about 30 miles west of Austin, I think it is well worth the drive.
Hamilton Pool can be very popular, especially during warmer months. Be sure to make a reservation.
#11 - Explore Nature at Westcave Preserve
If you're going to be at Hamilton Pool, you might also want to visit Westcave Preserve, which is right next door.
The Texas Hill Country is beautiful, and the Westcave Preserve area is no exception. Here you can explore a beautiful canyon, a cave, and a dazzling waterfall.
Westcave Preserve has guided tours on weekends, and self-guided tours on most weekdays and on the weekend. Also, they host field trips for schools and private groups.
#12 - Explore our Heritage at Pioneer Farms
Just a few miles to the northeast of Austin, but south of Pflugerville, is Pioneer Farms, which is a working museum-farm that shows what farm life was like in the 1800s.
This makes it a unique museum, and it is a very interesting place to visit for both grown-ups and kids.
I know that local schools often have field trips to Pioneer Farms.
#13 - Go Underground at Inner Space Caverns
Have you ever been in a cave? I have been several times and it can be quite spectacular to experience.
About 20 miles north of Austin, near Georgetown, is Inner Space Caverns. The caves are more than 10,000 years old but were only discovered in 1963. There are some amazing formations to see!
Inner Space is well worth a visit!
#14 - Soar through the Sky on a Zipline Tour
If you're looking for more adventurous things to do in Austin, you may want to look into ziplining! Absolutely awesome!
You're strapped into a harnass, which is then attached to a cable that spans between two trees, and off you go. In a sense, you become a bird... you'll be flying through the trees!
Cypress Valley Canopy Tours in Spicewood offers these fun adventures. They are a few miles west of Austin on Hwy 71.
Another great place for ziplining in Austin is Lake Travis Zipline Adventures, located in Volente.
#15 - Take an Amphibious Tour of Austin
How about an amphibious experience? The kids absolutely love that! Actually, grown-ups too!
Austin Duck Adventures gives tours of downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake in special amphibious vehicles. That means they drive around Austin streets and plunge right into Lady Bird Lake!
These tours are truly something different that you don't get to do every day. It's probably a good idea to call them to make reservations.
#16 - Tour Downtown Austin on a Segway
Speaking of something different, have you ever seen a Segway or been on one?
Well, some tour operators have figured out that a Segway tour of a city will be a great idea. Austin is no exception! You can take various different Segway tours around downtown Austin. Gliding Revolution, among a few other companies, offer Austin Segway tours and is a great way to go.
I must admit that I have not taken a Segway tour before, but several of my friends have taken them. They all say it's a blast! Here is one of our visitors' account of their Austin Segway tour.
#17 - Have Fun on Lake Travis
We live next to the largest lake in the area, which is Lake Travis.
There are good choices for boat rentals, pontoon rentals, and jet ski rentals. Boating is certainly one of the most fun things to do in Austin Texas. We have also done a fair amount of fishing on Lake Travis.
The only not-so-nice thing about Lake Travis is that it is a variable-level lake, which means that water levels can get low enough at times that boat ramps close.
Generally though, Lake Travis is a blast in the summer!
#18 - Hit some Balls at Top Golf
Top Golf is a fun place, whether you're a golf enthusiast or not. It is basically the driving range version of Putt-Putt golf, but with much more going on.
Top Golf has approximately 100 tee-off booths, spread over three levels. On the fairway are several large colored target holes. There are a variety of different fun games to choose from, and a computer keeps score of everything.
You can also order food and drinks from the server assigned to your booth.
If you haven't been to a Top Golf yet, go at least once. You'll want to go again after that.
#19 - Play Games at Main Event
Main Event is an entertainment center in north Austin.
They have a big variety of games to play. This includes bowling, billiards, arcade games, laser tag, rock climbing, and more.
Main Event makes for a great evening out with the whole family.
Fun Things To Do In Austin For Adults
Sometimes it's fun to go out without the kids. Here are the fun things to do in Austin Texas that my wife and I like a lot...
#20 - Experience the Austin Nightlife on 6th Street
6th Street in downtown Austin is another of the well-known Austin attractions!
It has various music bars and clubs and is the reason why Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World".
If you like live music and want to experience what makes Austin special in the world of music, you have to experience 6th Street!
These are our favorite fun things to do in Austin Texas. There's a reason why Austin is the most popular city in Texas. It truly is a great place!
Have you visited Austin, or any of the attractions above? Tell us about it in the comments...