11 Ways to Have Fun With Your Family This Summer in Austin, Texas
Try These Summertime Family Activities
Summer is synonymous with fun, and with kids out of school, parents and caregivers are on the hunt for ideas to keep the entire family entertained. Saying that Texas summers are hot is an understatement, so having options for indoor activities at popular family locations, as well as at-home ideas is a must!
The good news is Austin is absolutely jam-packed with museums, family centers, parks, and other destinations, but you don’t need to leave home to make memories either. Here are a few fantastic activities to add to your family’s summer bucket list.
1. Treat your family at the Museum of Ice Cream.
A delicious ice cream cone is a classic cold summer treat. Take things up a notch by bringing your family to the Museum of Ice Cream. Called a real-life Willy Wonka factory by Business Insider, the museum even has a giant sprinkle pool you can step into.
2. Take a sunset walk and see the bats.
Austin is proud of the Congress Bridge Bats, North America’s largest urban bat colony. You can watch the 1.5 million-strong colony hit the skies about 20 minutes past sundown from the Congress Avenue Bridge. As you watch them fly by, you might say a quiet “thank you” as the colony will eat about 20,000 lbs. of pesky bugs during each nightly outing.
3. Visit Zilker Park for a family day picnic.
Zilker Park is lovingly known as the jewel in the heart of Austin. Its expansive 351 acres offer ample space for a plethora of different activities, from swimming to picnics, and a steady event calendar throughout the summer months. Here are just a few things your family can do in Zilker Park.
4. Delight kids with a summer-themed mystery lunch.
Creating a mystery menu to surprise your kids is a great way to make a meal exciting and enticing. We love this Super Silly Summer Mystery Meal, and it can also be easily changed to match what foods you have available for your children. Snacks and finger foods will make it easier to put the meal together, making it perfect for lunches.
5. Start a summer tradition with tie-dye shirts.
Your family will have plenty of pictures and ticket stubs to remember your summer fun, but another awesome way to commemorate summer is with tie-dye shirts! Making tie-dye shirts is easier than you might think, plus you can purchase all-in-one kits. Best of all, your family will have fun and new shirts that will remind them of summer memories every time they’re worn.
6. Make friendship bracelets.
If your family isn’t big on tie-dye or you want another wearable memory, friendship bracelets are a great choice. You might have even made them with friends during your own childhood summers. Here are a few kid-friendly patterns.
7. Catch a free outdoor concert or play.
The evenings are a great time to head outdoors for a concert or play. Blues on the Green and Zilker Hillside Theatre hold free or “pay what you want” shows throughout the summer. This year’s summer musical is the family-favorite “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical”.
8. Beat the heat at Typhoon Texas Waterpark.
A day at Typhoon Texas is a must for families in Austin that need to beat the summer heat. There are tons of attractions, from the Buckaroo Bayou for little ones, the all-age favorite Lazy T River, to the thrilling Snake Pit. Renting a cabana is a great upgrade for parents to relax as the kids play.
9. Play hide-and-seek, sardines, and the many variations.
Playing hide-and-seek is a lot of fun for all ages and beneficial for a child’s mental development. It’s also extremely versatile; play it indoors to escape the heat or at a park with a safe environment with adult supervision. Here’s a list of variations to try, like sardines.
10. Set up an indoor or backyard scavenger hunt.
Scavenger hunts are a blast for children, and they’re a great way for parents to keep young ones occupied while they tend to other tasks. Check out this big list of scavenger hunt ideas. We particularly like the idea of pairing sensory scavenger hunts during nature walks or creating summer reading challenges.
11. Learn, play, and explore at the Thinkery.
Thinkery is an incredible place for children to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math, or S.T.E.A.M, in a way that focuses on playing and exploration. They welcome children of all ages and with all needs, and they even provide sensory-friendly hours! In addition to several permanent exhibits, there’s also a rotation of new activities, and summer means the return of day camps.
Summer is a great time for a dental checkup and cleaning.
Summer is a busy time for dentists, so it’s a great idea to book your family’s wellness visits ahead of time. If you have multiple family members needing a checkup and cleaning, ask our team about the possibility of consecutive visits. Although we can’t always fit everyone in on the same day, we’ll do our best to get everyone in your family cared for as soon as we can. Schedule your preventive care visits now with Dr. Garcia, Austin’s best family dentist.