Ultimate Austin Summer Bucket List With Kids!

It’s SUMMER!! I’m ready for the most epic summer yet with my kids, and I’ve made a massive Austin summer bucket list of all the fun things we’re going to do this year. In my typical type-A fashion, I scheduled out the entire summer with detailed plans, lists, and spreadsheets so I can make sure we get through it all as smoothly as possible. And you asked me to share it all with you, so here you go! 

Austin Summers

The summer days are LONG. Let’s be honest.

Texas is hot, and the summers can just drag on and on.

It’s so fun to think about summer during the month of May, but by the time mid-July rolls around, we are all SO over it.

But after decades of living in Texas, I’ve found that if you have a good plan in place and a lot of fun summer activities to do in Austin, the slowest and most boring parts of the summer can turn into the best memories. Truth. 

barton springs pool

From swimming holes to day trips to fun FREE things to do in Austin with kids, I’m going to share all of it here with you.

And if you want me to email you my exact summer schedule that I’ll be using, just let me know right here and I’ll send it directly to your inbox. 

Before We Get To The Kids Summer Bucket List: SCHEDULE IT!

Ok, I’m going to get a bit crazy on ya here…but it’s for a good reason! 

Before you jump into looking for fun things to do in Austin with kids, I’m going to recommend that you take 20 minutes and briefly pencil in your complete summer schedule. 

Kalahari Waterpark

(I know…I’m a crazy schedule person.

>>But the alternative is you’re lying on your couch with the A/C blasting in the middle of the summer, aimlessly scrolling through your phone and hoping for some massive burst of motivation to do something fun with your kids, while they’re watching a show on Disney+ in the background.<<

Been there? Me too. That’s why you need to start with the schedule FIRST.) 

How To Schedule Your Summer With Kids

Psst: I will happily share my exact Austin summer schedule with you if it help! Just email me here and I'll send it to you right away.

Step 1: check and see exactly how long your summer break is. How many weeks of summer break do you have between the end of school in May and the beginning of school in August?

Even if you have very young children who aren’t in school, there’s probably some sort of “school year” schedule (preschool, parent’s day out, or just spring semester activities) that’s different from the “summer” schedule.

Figure out how many weeks you have. (Psst: for most of us here in Austin, it’s about 12 weeks of summer break.) 

Go Kayaking in Austin | Things to do in Austin with kids

Step 2: pencil in your work hours/childcare. Some of us work typical 9-5 hours with full time daycare or nannies, and some of us work part time hours with sporadic babysitters and summer camps. Whatever it is, go ahead and write in your work hours/childcare hours.

(For example: I’ll be working 2 days per week this summer with part time childcare, so I have those days marked as my office hours/unavailable for kids activities. If you want to see my schedule, I can send it to you!) 

Step 3: pencil in your vacations/camps. If you’re traveling for a few weeks this summer, go ahead and strike out those weeks on your Austin summer bucket list. 

Get pizza at Home Slice | Things to do in Austin with kids

Step 4: make a loose weekly schedule. This happens after you take out your work hours.

For me, I’m working 2 days a week this summer. So I have 3 weekdays left, so I know we’ll do ___ on Mondays, ___ activity on Wednesdays, and ___ activity on Fridays.

If you work 5 days a week, you could pick a few evenings a week for certain activities, and plan something fun for every-other Saturday. Again, if you want to see this in practice, I’m happy to send over my summer schedule for you to look at for inspiration! 

Step 5: make A weeks and B weeks. I don’t know about you, but I get SO burned out when we do the same thing every week.

So, let’s say I decide that we’re going to go to the local story time at the library every Wednesday morning. Well, there’s no way in hell I’ll want to do that 12 weeks in a row this summer...I'll get so tired of loading the kids in the car and doing the exact same routine 12 weeks in a row!

But if I decide we go to the library just on Wednesday mornings during A weeks, and then every Wednesday morning on B weeks we check out a fun kid-friendly coffee shop in Austin, I’ll just do each activity 6 times this summer.

Way more manageable and fun for me and the kids. 

Austin Summer Bucket List With Kids

amy's ice creams

Let’s get to it! Here are a bunch of the fun summer activities I have planned with my kids. There are SO many things to do in Austin with kids once you start looking around.

If you use the plan that I shared above, go ahead and start getting some of these things to do with kids in your summer schedule. Enjoy! 

Fun Splash Pads In Austin

Buda

1. Splash Pad in Buda City Park

2. Quarry splash pad in Leander

3. Liz Carpenter fountain

4. Skyline Park Splash Pad

5. Pease Park splash pad

6. Prete Plaza splash pad

7. Lakewood Park in Leander

Outdoor Activities For Kids In Austin

Austin Bats

8. See the austin bats

9. Kayak in the lady bird lake

10. Picnic And Play at Alliance children's garden

11. Swim at Barton Springs

12. Swim at Deep Eddy

13. Check out some fun splash pads (list above!)

14. Austin nature and science center - FREE!

15. Zilker botanical garden

16. Rent a boat in Lake Austin

17. Wildflower center

18. Mount Bonnel - FREE!

19. Austin zoo

20. Laguna Gloria - FREE on Thursdays!

21. Peter Pan mini golf

22. Explore a cave (natural bridge caverns or Inner Space Cavern)

23. Go to  anAustin FC game

24. Go Round rock express baseball game

25. Check out the Cedar Rock Railroad

26. Zilker Park summer musical - FREE and this year it's Legally Blonde! 

27. Music On Main in Round Rock - FREE!

Indoor Activities For Kids In Austin

Visit The Thinkery | Things to do in Austin with kids

These are a bunch of my favorite indoor things to do in Austin. I love picking one or two activities per week that I pre-schedule into my summer with kids calendar so we're all anticipating it!

As the summer goes on and gets hotter and hotter, I tend to rely on these indoor activities more. (But in May and June I'll try to do more of the outdoor stuff mentioned above!)

28. Bob bullock Museum

29. Catch air

30. Crux climbing center

31. Visit the capitol building - FREE!

32. Texas science and natural science museum - FREE 4 & under

33. Pinballz

34. Alamo summer movies - ($5 specials in the summer!)

35. Wonderspaces

36. Museum of Illusions

37. Figment Creative Lab

38. Austin Public Library story times - FREE!

39. Blazer tag

40. Hideout kids improv

41. Check out a new playground - FREE!

42. Austin art garage

43. Living Spaces play place

44. Kalahari Indoor Water Park

45. Pump It Up

46. Chaparral ice Skating Rink

47. Mount playmore

48. Museum of Ice Cream

49. Altitude Trampoline Park

50. Drive-in movie at Blue Starlite

51. iFly Indoor Skydiving

52. Splash shack Indoor Water Park

53. Austin bouldering project

54. Terra Toys

55. Book people storytime/book signings for kids

56. Go bowling...anywhere!

57. Inflatable wonderland

58. Create Studio Austin

59. Little Land Gym (Full day camps available)

60. Letterpress Play

61. Play indoors at Lakeline Mall - FREE!

62. Play indoors at Barton Creek Square mall - FREE!

63. Dirdie Birdie’s indoor mini golf

64. Playland skate center

65. Play Barn in Georgetown

Day Trips From Austin

San Antonio

There are a LOT of great day trips from Austin! A really fun summer bucket list activity is to pick 3 or 4 days trips to do throughout the summer. Each of these nearby Texas cities is an easy drive from Austin, and they have lots of fun things to do with kids. 

For instance, if you’re getting a bit tired of going to the same kids museums, splash pads, swimming holes, and restaurants in Austin, just pick one of these cities and make it a summer adventure! 

You can also check out this guide to 21 of the best cities for day trips from Austin with kids! 

Waco

66. Bastrop

67. Johnson City

68. San Antonio

69. New Braunfels

70. Spicewood

71. Lockhart

72. Enchanted Rock

73. Dripping Springs

74. Wimberley

75. Waco

76. Georgetown

77. Marble Falls

Kids Play Museums

Pikopye's Town | Things to do in Austin with kids

Indoor play museums are one of the best summer activities with kids. When the days start to get really really hot (July and August) and you’re running low on energy, these adorable play museums and kids museums are great places to enjoy a few hours in the afternoon indoors in air conditioning. 

78. Pikopye’s town

79. Indigo Play

80. Play Street Museum

81. The Thinkery

Food

Spicewood

I mean...let's not rule out food as an activity! There are so many great breweries, coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries, and ice cream stores that have kid-friendly environments.

One of my favorite summer activities with my kids is to find a coffee shop with a playground and let them run around and play together while I sip an iced latte.

Click the links below to see maps of all of the categories listed: 

82. Coffee shops with playgrounds

83. Austin Breweries With Food

84. Restaurants with playgrounds

85. Go on an ice cream date

86. Pick out pretty cookies at Hayleycakes

87. Go to the candy store on SoCo

Your next step is to use this FREE guide to planning an epic summer in Austin! 

In it, you'll find:

  • An example of my “A week” and my “B week” to get through 12 weeks of the summer
  • Ideas for how to break up your days/weeks into manageable pieces
  • A FREE empty schedule for you to use to plan your own epic summer bucket list in Austin with your kids!

Let me know if you want it here, and I'll send it to you right away! 

Cheers to making this the best summer yet!

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