Summer in Austin is all about having adventures and beating the heat. From water play to movie nights to day trips, there are endless ways to find fun under the (really hot) sun. If you need some inspiration, here’s our bucket list ideas that can keep you busy all summer long.
Check out Family Day at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum on the second Sunday of the month. Puppet shows, arts and crafts, music, trampoline, and more.
See an outdoor movie:
- Movies in the Park (parks all over Austin)
- Sound and Cinema (Long Center)
- Community First! Village Amphitheater
Spend a hot afternoon at one of Austin’s awesome splash pads.
Kayak or paddle board on Lady Bird Lake.
Eat free s’mores and watch a movie on the big outdoor screen every Friday at Ski Shores Cafe on Lake Austin.
Visit a water park—you’ve got lots of choices!
- Rock’n River (Round Rock)
- Typhoon Texas (Pflugerville)
- Volente Beach Resort & Waterpark (Leander)
- Schlitterbahn (New Braunfels)
- Waterloo Adventures (floating water park on Lake Travis)
Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool. When it’s 100 degrees out, the 68-degree water feels heavenly.
See Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the 61st annual Zilker Summer Musical (July 12-Aug. 17).
Listen to live music while your kids go wild on the playground at Central Market on North Lamar.
Float at your own peril at one of the dive-in showings of Jaws on the Water at Volente Beach Resort & Waterpark, running June through August.
Hike the Barton Creek Greenbelt and then cool off in the creek. Popular swimming spots (when there’s water) are Campbell’s Hole, Lost Creek, Gus Fruh, and Twin Falls.
Enjoy some Amy’s Ice Cream and playground time at Phil’s Icehouse.
Go old-school and catch a flick at the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In.
Hit up a festival:
- Kerrville Folk Festival (May 23-June 9)
- Bubblepalooza (June 1)
- Luling’s Watermelon Thump (June 27-30)
- Hill Country Galleria Independence Day Festival (July 4)
- Float Fest (July 20-21)
- Austin PRIDE Festival (Aug. 10)
- Bat Fest (Aug. 24)
- Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival (Aug. 25)
Visit the Woodland Faerie Trail at the Zilker Botanical Gardens, running May 26-Aug. 10.
Bring your favorite adult beverage and test your putting skills at Peter Pan Mini Golf.
Take the kids to the Austin Central Library for musical performances at the Austin Symphony Children’s Day Art Park (Wednesdays, June 5-July 24).
Take a Hill Country day trip to:
- New Braunfels to visit the McKenna Children’s Museum
- Johnson City to check out the Science Mill
- Fredericksburg to hike Enchanted Rock
- San Marcos to explore the Children’s Park playscape
- La Grange to see the animals at the Jersey Barnyard
- Burnet to visit Longhorn Cavern and Inks Lake State Park
Bring your little ones to Splash Shack, the new(ish) micro indoor splash pad in Cedar Park.
Pick nectarines and peaches, feed the animals, and bounce on the jump pad at Sweet Eats Fruit Farm in Georgetown.
Create and invent at “Make It Tuesdays” at the Bob Bullock Museum.
Enjoy the AC and buttered popcorn at an Alamo for All movie screening (perfect for young families and guests with special needs).
Take your toddler to cool off in the Little Stacy Wading Pool.
Play tourist and go on a bat-watching cruise on Lady Bird Lake.
Cheer on the home team at a Round Rock Express baseball game.
Try out wakeboarding or wake surfing at Texas Ski Ranch.
Explore the 227-acre Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.
Bring your dino lovers to the Dinosaur Park in Cedar Creek.
Enjoy a late night at the Blanton Museum every Friday evening, with music performances on some Fridays. Or, bring the kids for guided family tours, drop-in art making, and other programs for ages 3-14.
Adopt a rubber duck and race it down Lady Bird Lake at the 6th annual Austin Duck Derby duck race and festival, to be held Aug. 3.
Stay cool in the pool while watching a movie at one of Deep Eddy Pool’s Splash Party Movie Nights.
Enjoy free orchestral music outdoors all summer long. The Austin Symphony presents “Concerts in the Park” at the Long Center, and the Austin Civic Orchestra presents their annual pops concerts at the Sheffield Hillside Theater in Zilker Park.
Visit the Wildflower Center for free at one of their Nature Nights. Each family-friendly event features interactive presentations, hikes with experts, and nature crafting.