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.

Treat yourself to a cold treat, like a sno-cone at Sno Beach, gourmet ice cream at Lick, or Thai-style rolled ice cream at Holla Mode. Or NadaMoo! for a vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free option.

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:

Spend a hot afternoon at one of Austin’s awesome splash pads.

Ricky Guerrero splash pad

Kayak or paddle board on Lady Bird Lake.

Jam out at an outdoor concert at Blues on the Green (Zilker Park), Unplugged at the Grove (Shady Grove), or Black Fret Summer Sessions (Long Center).

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!

Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool. When it’s 100 degrees out, the 68-degree water feels heavenly.

Barton Springs Pool

See Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the 61st annual Zilker Summer Musical (July 12-Aug. 17).

Soar to new heights with Lake Travis Zipline Adventures or Zip Lost Pines.

Jump in one of the area’s best swimming holes. Some favorites that tend to have more availability are Krause Springs in Spicewood, Blue Hole in Wimberley, and Blue Hole in Georgetown.

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.

two children playing in Barton Creek in Austin, Texas
Barton Creek Greenbelt

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:

Visit the Woodland Faerie Trail at the Zilker Botanical Gardens, running May 26-Aug. 10.

Woodland Faerie Trail at Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin, Texas
Woodland Faerie Trail at Zilker Botanical Gardens

Bring your favorite adult beverage and test your putting skills at Peter Pan Mini Golf.

See some rollergirls in action at a TXRD or Texas Rollergirls bout.

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).

Visit (or camp at!) one of our awesome nearby state parks, like McKinney Falls, Pace Bend, Colorado Bend, or Pedernales Falls.

Take a Hill Country day trip to:

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.

Sweet Eats Fruit Farm in Georgetown, Texas
Sweet Eats Fruit Farm

Dine by the water at spots like Hula Hut, Lucy’s on the Lake, and the Oasis.

Create and invent at “Make It Tuesdays” at the Bob Bullock Museum.

Be a beach bum and get sandy right here in Austin at Emma Long Park, Secret Beach, West Lake Beach, or Bob Wentz Park.

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.

All aboard! Hop on the Zilker Zephyr train in Zilker Park or the Cedar Rock Railroad in Round Rock.

Zilker Zephyr train in Austin, Texas
Zilker Zephyr train

Go underground and discover the Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown or the Natural Bridge Caverns near San Antonio.

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.

Family Garden at the Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas
Family Garden at the Wildflower Center

Anything we missed that is on your summer bucket list?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here