Austin is a pretty amazing city and we love raising our kids in Austin! Growing up in Illinois, I was so eager to leave. It wasn’t until after I had gone and signed a lease on the East Coast that all I wanted was to be back “home.” After spending some years just outside NYC and in the extreme heat and humidity of South Florida, I would cry every time I would see the Midwest fields full of wheat, corn, soybeans and silos. The comforts of the corn-fed lifestyle was in my blood, and that blood was thick.
It wasn’t until my now husband and I visited Austin (circa 2011) that I fell in love with a city. Truly. Madly. Deeply. Lucky for me, the hubs would become a frequent visitor of Austin so he, too, couldn’t avoid Austin’s arrow. I remember the actual migration a bit differently than he does (moving away from my parents, pregnancy hormones, college friends, etc.), but in the end, here we are and life is pretty darn good.
Insert two kids and more reasons for adventure, and we’ve only fallen further for this beautiful mecca. Truth be told, when I started to compile a list of all the reasons that Austin is a great place to grow, I got emotional. I mean, we have axe throwing (!!!) people (that’s not what got me emotional, but come on!). This city has it all and here’s why we love raising our kids in Austin.
- Family owned and operated shops that have been around for decades
- Concert venues galore, not to mention SXSW and ACL every.single.year… well…. with the exception of 2020!
- Parks, swings, slides, shade
- Austin Creative Reuse (approach with caution as this is a dangerous place for a craftaholic)
- Education, education, education
- Volunteer opportunities for everyone
- The best and greatest technology, whether that be companies, the creative spaces or the speed of the internet itself
- Extremely well-planned green space (Barton Creek greenbelt is extraordinary)
- Public transportation that is clean, reliable and affordable
- Exceptional outdoor markets and nationally-ranked grocery stores
- Austin Bouldering Project (what an incredible space)
- A plethora of wineries and breweries within an hours drive
- Kid-friendly restaurants (with playscapes and entertainment so that us parents can relax too)
- Theatre and ballet with shows like Thomas the Train and Daniel Tiger that frequent often
- Formula1 racing
- Juiceland (yes, it deserves it’s own bullet point)
- The most beautiful smelling Spring air
- A culinary melting pot
- The ability to get from a skyscraper to an open field within 20 minutes
- Well-organized and well-run sports programs
- Charity events
- Accepting and gracious people all around us
- An abundance of splash pads and well-maintained public pools
- An International airport that is expanding to better get us wherever we want/need to go
I could go on and on and on… Oh, and those silos that I miss? I can drive an hour and see the most famous silos of all. Right, Joanna?
What are some of the things that you adore about this magical place we call home? Why do you love raising your kids in Austin?
Photo Credit :: Lindsay Herkert Photography