25 Austin Activities For Babies
There are plenty of things to do in Austin with babies! But just keep in mind…looking for things to do in Austin with a toddler and things to do in Austin with a baby can be totally different activities. After all, toddlers can, well…toddle, and babies mostly just sit there (and look adorable.) So for the purpose of this guide, we’re going to talk about Austin activities for babies, and mostly the 9-month-and-under age, in particular. Why this age? It’s when you can pretty easily put them in a stroller or strap them into a baby carrier or baby-wearing device and often let them nap out and about. After a certain age (it’s different for every baby, of course, but typically around 1 year old), they don’t do quite as well sitting in strollers for long periods of time, and they don’t fall asleep as easily out, and about in public.
But if you’re looking for things to do in Austin with an infant, like a 2- or 3-month-old fresh little baby (awww!), this guide is for you! Here are a bunch of baby-friendly things to do in Austin.
First, a few items to mention about these things to do with babies in Austin:
Babies don’t do a lot. Sure, they’re adorable, but they don’t talk and interact and play in the same way that older kids do. So most of these activities are really prioritizing the fun that the parent will be having. Don’t worry… When the baby gets a little bit older, you can bring her to some of the fun playscapes and pools, and indoor playlands in Austin that toddlers love!
This guide is written with the assumption that you have a stroller or a baby carrier. If you have the ability to put your baby in a stroller while he naps or strap your baby into a baby bjorn carrier while you walk around and hike, you have nearly limitless possibilities of things to do in Austin with a baby.
A good pair of ear protection for your baby is nice to have. Not necessary, sure, but if you want to go to a sports game, an outdoor concert, or a festival, it’s actually pretty easy to bring a baby along to these things! Just keep in mind that some of them are very, very loud, and those brand-new fresh baby ears are sensitive. Protect them with a good pair of ear protection headphones like these.
25 Austin Activities For Babies
1. Walk Around Lady Bird Lake
The hike and bike trail is a great place to experience Austin with your baby! Little ones love sitting forward in their strollers and watching the bikers, runners, and walkers go around the lake. There are ducks to see in the water, kayaks and paddle boards all over the places, and the big tall buildings of downtown Austin in the distance. And since this 10-mile loop is totally customizable based on which bridge you choose to take, you can enjoy anything from a ½-mile stroll to a longer walk/jog workout.
For parking, there are plenty of spots underneath the Mopac bridge. There’s also a parking lot at Auditorium Shores on South First and Riverside (across the street from the Long Center.)
2. Hike Mount Bonnell With The Baby Strapped To You
Yes, it’s called a “mount,” but it’s not actually a mountain! To get to this incredible spot in Austin, you just have to walk up 102 stair steps, and your reward is one of the most magnificent views in the city. (Pro tip: definitely make sure you have your baby in a comfortable baby carrier that’s firmly attached to your body…trying to lug a car infant carrier up 102 stairs is no fun for anyone.
Once you’re at the top of Mount Bonnell, you can enjoy the view, the breeze, and the fresh Austin air. Let your little one look around, see all the tourists who come to this popular Austin destination, and maybe even bring a little drink and snack for yourself to enjoy.
3. Take A Stroller Walk at Pease Park
Pease Park underwent a $15 million renovation in 2021, and it’s now one of the most beautifully landscaped and designed parks in Austin. Enjoy a leisurely stroller walk on the surrounding paths, or take your baby up to the top of the “tree house,” a sphere-shaped structure made of metal and rope that was designed to be fully inclusive of all abilities. (There’s a long ramp to climb to the top and a safety rope around all the sides. It’s ADA-approved and 100% safe for you to walk up and view while your baby is safely strapped to you in a baby carrier.)
Of course, if you’re wanting a longer walk, head along the Shoal Creek Trail, which is a 4-mile trail that goes all the way from 38th Street to Lady Bird Lake.
4. Head to Fresa’s For Some Tacos On Their Creekside Patio
There are few more “Austin-y” patios than Fresa’s on South First. Their big, sprawling, brightly colored patio is the perfect place to enjoy some flame-grilled chicken tacos, roasted sweet potatoes, prickly pear margaritas, and yummy queso. Babies (especially young ones) are typically pretty happy to sit in their infant carriers or strollers for a 45-minute stretch at a time, so if you can time it right and visit the restaurant when your little one is nice and calm, you can enjoy a drink and a meal while your precious baby sits nearby in a stroller.
5. Go See An “Alamo All Ages” Movie
Alamo Drafthouse, the incredible movie theater chain here in Austin, offers certain G and PG movies as a part of their “Alamo All Ages” movie category. This means that they relax their *very* strict no-talking policy. You can bring your baby along and not worry about occasional little babbles, cries, and nursing sounds. Just look for the special “All Ages” showings. (And yes, there are plenty of PG movies that are actually really fun to see as an adult! Because we all know that your baby is going to be sleeping his way through this movie..)
6. Lunch at Fareground Food Hall Downtown
Looking for a great baby-friendly restaurant in Austin for lunch? Head downtown and check out Fareground! It’s a food hall that features multiple bars and eateries from local Austin chefs, a huge indoor-outdoor dining area, plenty of shade, and nearby parking in a downtown garage.
7. Nap Shopping At The Domain
The Domain NORTHSIDE is the premier shopping destination in Austin. It’s a huge outdoor mall with lots of big department stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, luxury brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton, and mainstream stores like Apple, AWAY luggage, and so, so much more. There are tons of places to eat (try Flower Child for some delicious and healthy eats, Xian Noodle for crazy good handmade Chinese noodles, or Valencia’s Tex Mex Garage for classic fajitas and margaritas), coffee shops, bakeries, and just tons of room to wander around.
Try to time up your shopping trip with your baby’s nap. If you can manage to get her to nap in the stroller for an hour or two while you do some shopping, you can easily make an afternoon adventure out of the whole thing! When your little one wakes up, stop by a restaurant for some dinner before heading home.
8. Go To The Alliance Children’s Garden
Sure, a baby isn’t quite ready to play on this 2-acre, $6 million park that’s near downtown Austin. But there’s a lot to see and take in! Babies enjoy watching things moving, seeing new sites, feeling the breeze, and taking in their surroundings…and there’s a lot to take in at this Austin playground!
There’s the hill country garden, an adorable turf-covered area of mounds and tunnels that’s always covered with happy little kids running around barefoot. And there’s a giant sand pit (that babies of a certain age might be able to enjoy!). Be sure to check out the huge cement slides because it’s always fascinating to watch the big kids zoom down. And then, when you’re ready to just relax, there are a handful of shaded swinging benches that provide the perfect place for your little one to close her eyes and take snooze.
9. Happy Hour
Woohoo, happy hour! We’re not talking about going out to bars and getting wasted…but enjoying some discounted bites, and maybe a cocktail is an excellent thing to take advantage of while you’re in Austin with a baby. Once your baby is a bit older and starting to walk around, it will become much harder to dine at a restaurant and enjoy a leisurely snack + beverage. So if you can find a restaurant (perhaps something with a spacious outdoor patio?) to check out and take advantage of those happy hour prices, do it! Here’s a guide to some of the best happy hours in Austin if it’s helpful.
10. Take Them To Terra Toys, The Largest Toy Store In Texas
Terra Toys is an iconic Austin neighborhood toy store in north Austin. It’s absolutely packed with classic toys like wooden train sets, building blocks, legos, stuffed animals, board games, baby toys, and so much more.
This would be a fun activity for babies in Austin for grandparents! (Let’s be honest..grandparents love buying stuff for their grandbabies.) While your baby obviously can’t express opinions about which toys they want, it’s still fun to bring them into a toy store, show them all of the fun sights and sounds, and choose a beautiful toy that they’ll be able to play with at home for months to come.
11. Lunch at Launderette
Launderette is one of the best restaurants in Austin, and it has a beautiful outdoor patio that makes for the perfect lunch spot. They’ve won multiple James Beard Awards for their incredible American menu of snacky things like frites, hummus, and oysters, delicious salads, and one of the best burgers in the city of Austin.
Of course, you can certainly dine inside at Launderette with a baby! Just keep in mind that this is a renovated laundromat from the mid-1900s, so it’s a little bit tight. If you have a fussy baby who likes to be rocked and held and tends to need a bit more space for you to quickly stand up and move around, outdoor dining tends to be a bit more comfortable for a lot of parents of babies.
12. Hike To Twin Falls
Have you ever hiked in the Austin Greenbelt? There are several fun destinations along the trail, but Twin Falls is a close and easy hike! There are a few rocky patches and tree roots to avoid, so only do this one if you’re feeling pretty sturdy on your feet while wearing a baby.
But if it’s a beautiful day and you feel up to the challenge, here’s how to make this one happen: park at the Greenbelt trailhead at the side street of Mopac and 360 (you basically head turn from Capital of Texas East and head south on Mopac, like you’re going to enter the highway…but turn right instead onto the little side street. You’ll see a bunch of cars parked there.) Strap your baby into the baby carrier and head to the trailhead (it’s clearly marked), and enjoy the ¼ mile downhill hike to the creek. If you visit in the early summer, Twin Falls will be full of water, and there will most likely be a few people swimming in this popular swimming hole! If you visit in the late summer or fall, there’s a good chance it will be completely dried up. Either way, it’s a beautiful way to experience nature and enjoy some of the beauty of Austin with your baby.
13. Go To A Pumpkin Patch (Or Seasonal Event) With Your Baby
This changed based on the time of year, but there are so many adorable seasonal events in Austin that make for the cutest photo opportunities for your baby! If it’s autumn, look for a pumpkin patch or fall festival. Reading this in December? There are lots of holiday events like the Trail of Lights and Christmas shopping destinations. There’s the Kite Fest in April, the 4th Of July celebration in the summer (bring that baby ear protection!), and all sorts of other fun seasonal events in Austin that are good for babies.
14. Baby’s First Austin FC Game
They might not remember their first Austin FC game…but they’ll sure look adorable in a little green Verdes soccer jersey! You can bring babies into a game for free to accompany a ticketed adult, so take advantage of this time and bring your baby to an Austin FC game! This is an especially great thing to do before they’re on a strict sleep schedule since a lot of the games are in the evening. But hey, as long as you’re not sleeping because you have an infant in the house, you might as well go to a night game, right?
There are plenty of fun things to do at an Austin FC game, like head to a nearby craft brewery before the game, check out some of the amazing places to eat inside Q2 Stadium, and cheer and shout for Los Verdes!! (Goes without saying, but this stadium is LOUD, so be sure to pack that infant ear protection.)
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15. Sign Up For Swim Lessons at Emler Swim School
Did you know you can start your baby in her first swim lesson at only 2 months old? Yes! Emler is a local swim school that offers a weekly class called Bathtime Babies. You and your infant will enjoy 30 minutes in the heated indoor pool so they can learn to absolutely love being in the water. This translates to the enjoyment of bathtime at home and a long-term love of being in the water.
16. Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton Museum of Art is one of the largest art collections at any university in the United States, and it’s right here in Austin at the University of Texas! If you’re looking for things to do in Austin with babies and you have a very small, quiet one who’s able to be worn against you for a while, sneak in a visit to this incredible gallery.
Psst: every Thursday is a free day at the Blanton!
17. Baby + Me Yoga
There are numerous postpartum workout groups and classes in Austin. If you’re looking for a gentle, fun, baby-inclusive option, take a class at Oak and Lotus Yoga in south Austin on William Cannon. YOu can move your body safely without letting your baby out of your sight. It’s a totally judgment-free zone, so all amounts of crying, breastfeeding, diaper-changing, and naps (for you OR baby!) are totally allowed and encouraged.
18. Walk Around The Wildflower Center
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a botanical garden and arboretum that showcases more than 900 species of native Texas plants. It was created to be a place of peace and calm in a beautiful corner of south Austin, and there are plenty of paths and trails that you can roam through while pushing your baby in a stroller or wearing him in a baby carrier.
Make a full morning of it and bring a picnic! There are lots of grassy areas where you can spread out a picnic blanket, enjoy a little snack of crackers, cheese, and fruit, and maybe even take a little nap with your baby.
19. Weekend Brunch at Sour Duck Market
One of the best brunches in Austin aaand one of the best patios in east Austin also happens to be a super kid-friendly restaurant! Sour Duck Market, a sister restaurant to the popular farm-to-table restaurant Odd Duck, has an awesome outdoor space. You order and pay through a QR code at the table, so you don’t have to worry about waiting around for someone to take your order, bring you the bill, etc. You can just take care of it in your own time (which is AMAZING if you’re dining out with a baby and suddenly have a diaper blow-out that requires you to get out of there really fast mid-meal.
Sour Duck Market has their own bakery (you must get one of those chocolate croissants!) and sources its ingredients from nearby farms and butchers. Their burgers and sandwiches are absolutely scrumptious, and their TX Farm Chop Salad will make you question every opinion you’ve ever had about a salad. It’s so good.
PS: Sour Duck also has a happy hour! It’s a great place to stop by with a baby on any day of the week!
20. Tour the Capitol
A visit to the Texas Capitol is something that most kids who grew up in Texas have done a handful of times, but unless you’re a teacher or you’re actively involved in politics, there’s a good chance you haven’t ever been here as an adult.
They offer free tours every day, and it’s actually a fascinating thing to see. Tours leave from the south foyer every 30-45 minutes and last about 30 minutes. Tours are totally free, and you don’t have to schedule it in advance - you can just show up! Of course, if the idea of staying in a group and keeping your little one quiet in a tightly-packed space makes you nervous, they offer self-guided tours. You can walk through more quickly at your own pace (because babies can sometimes go from happy to screaming in a matter of minutes..) and relax on the grassy grounds surrounding the Capitol when you’re done.
21. Get Some Work Done at The Hive
Whether you’re on maternity leave or not, there are typically a few emails and some household admin work that needs to get done on any given day. The Hive in far south Austin is an excellent place to get some work done with a baby in tow! It’s a kid-friendly coffee shop, bar, and workspace that has a large outdoor playground, plenty of indoor seating, and a full coffee bar and food menu. Since it’s marketed as a kid-friendly spot, there will be lots of other parents and caretakers who are similarly working and trying to get a few emails answered while kids giggle and play nearby, so a baby who randomly starts crying or fussing won’t be an inconvenience at all.
22. Stroll Through Zilker Botanical Garden
This small and sweet botanical garden inside Zilker Park is a beautiful place to experience the beauty of Austin with your baby! It’s open daily, and admission is just a couple of dollars per person (and babies are free.) There are all sorts of gardens and paths, as well as a coffee truck where you can get a caffeinated beverage…in case your baby kept you up all night.
Keep in mind that while there are ADA entrances where you can push the stroller, it will be easiest to bring your baby to Zilker Botanical Garden if you can wear your baby. But if you must bring a stroller, it’s definitely doable.
23. Early Happy Hour Dinner at Bar Peached
Bar Peached, the taco and Asian-inspired sister restaurant to Peached Tortilla, has a really good happy hour that could definitely double as an early dinner. Add to that their beautiful (and large!) outdoor patio, and you’ve just found one of the best places to eat in Austin with a baby.
Take advantage of their happy hour deals (they call it Social Hour on the menu) and get a $7 Paloma, some banh mi tacos, and their incredible cheese corn, which is served with mozzarella and parm and tortilla chips, served on a sizzling platter. There are all sorts of yummy bites here that you can enjoy while your baby naps or hangs out in a stroller nearby.
24. See The Peacocks At Mayfield
If your baby is very little, there’s a chance they won’t be able to interact yet, but if you’re looking for things to do in Austin with a baby who’s 6-9 months old, they might be at the perfect age to start noticing things like big, bright, beautiful peacocks wandering around!
Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve are 23 acres of trails, ponds, a historic cottage, and (most importantly) peacocks wandering around freely! They’re harmless and prefer to be left alone, but it’s still fun to see them up close. Note: this isn’t a paved park, so you’ll probably want to forego the stroller unless it has very sturdy wheels that do well on dirt paths.
25. Head To A Local Austin Farmers Market With Your Baby
From the view of the food booths to the sound of live music, the smell of fresh empanadas and tacos wafting through the air, and the feeling of the fresh morning, nearly every sense is engaged during a visit to the farmers market. As a new parent, there are so many nutritious and wonderful things to find that help with postpartum healing (bone broth and local farm fresh eggs and organic veggies), and beyond all of that, the Farmers Market is just a beautiful place to spend a bit of time on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
A few good farmers' markets in Austin:
SFC Farmers Market in Republic Square Downtown: every Saturday morning from 9 am - 1 pm. It’s an outdoor farmers market with 75 vendors, live music, and a large green space.
Texas Farmers Market at Mueller: every Sunday morning from 10 am - 2 pm. This is an indoor market with 120+ vendors. It’s located in the Branch Park Pavillion, and it can get crowded, so plan on arriving early in order to avoid the heaviest crowds.
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