With Summer quickly approaching I know we’re all frantically scheduling day camps, play dates and vacations to fill those long hot days but, how can we fill the days in between the fun? With margaritas on a patio of course. And can’t we all agree the best part of ‘margaritas on a patio’ is the kid’s playground! Before I became a parent I would chose restaurants based on the location, extensive food menu, or drink prices… but now I choose them by the size of the playground! Oh how times have changed. But, you can still get the best of both worlds thanks to some of our favorite spots in the ‘Burbs. I mean, as a parent is there anything better than turning your kids loose while you get to eat lunch in the sunshine? Let’s break down Best Restaurants with Playgrounds in the ‘Burbs of ATX to enjoy this Summer and who knows, maybe I’ll see you there!

Austin 

Bouldin Acres on Braker | 1806 W Braker Ln, Austin TX 78758 | Open daily at 11 

Bouldin Acres on Braker is probably my new favorite spot for good food, cold drinks and of course a great playground! Bouldin Acres pays tribute to a historic Austin neighborhood and offers a lively fun approach to dining and entertainment! With a fully fenced playground, large turf area, picnic tables, and pickle ball courts there is a spot for everyone to enjoy! Need to work while the kids burn off some energy? Bouldin is always work-friendly offering free wifi and plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the Austin summertime.

Hat Creek at the Domain | 3210 Esperanza Crossing Suite 100 Austin, TX 78758 | Open daily at 11

Another great spot is Hat Creek at the Domain of course! Chances are, if you’ve lived in Austin for more than a month and you have kids someone has suggested that you check out Hat Creek – but the domain location will always be our favorite! Hat Creek is known for offering good food and good fun to good people! With their thoughtfully designed playground at the Domain, it’s fun for all ages and sizes! In the summer their shaded patio is such a great spot to people watch, enjoy a beverage and stay cool under the mister fans. Don’t forget your sunscreen for this destination as the playground is not shaded but the nearby covered patio is! We’re sure to see you there!

Bastrop

Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard | 601 Chestnut St Building C Bastrop, TX 78602 | Open daily 11am

Neighbor’s Kitchen and Yard has to be the ultimate summer hot spot for your family! Nestled right on the banks of the Colorado river in Bastrop, Neighbors is a scratch kitchen offering stellar pizza, a variety of salads, a thoughtfully planned bar and a unique dining experience. One of the dining rooms is an old screened in porch offering a romantic and yet kid friendly setting. The best part? A huge grassy knoll out front for endless rolls and laughter in the sunshine. I mean honestly how many times have you ventured to a new playground only for the kids to play in the dirt or on the hill instead. And oh, they won’t be alone. Neighbors is always filled with local families, laughter and live music on most weekends. Come check out Neighbors Kitchen for pizza, but stay for the fun!

Buda

Willie’s Joint | 824 Main St Buda, TX 78610 

Willie’s Joint is a fun and unique spot nestled under the shade of several oak trees just a mile off 35 in Buda. With an outdoor area large enough to accommodate any size group, this would make a great location for summer birthdays, playdates or date nights. For eats, there are several food trucks trucks to accommodate a variety of palettes (kids included of course), not  to mention it’s dog friendly and equip with large screen TVs and mister fans to stay cool. Our kids love this spot for not only the playground but the ample space to run and play tag, hide-and-seek or pretend to be Taylor Swift on the outdoor music stage. This unique bar and colorful waitstaff really make this spot fun for all ages.

Cedar Park

Santa Catarina | 500 Cypress Creek Rd. Cedar Park, TX 78613

Santa Catarina is sure to be your new favorite happy hour destination for the fam. With their daily happy hour, from 4-6pm, you can find affordable food and enjoy their signature agave margaritas for only $7! Offering food from both the farm and the ocean, Santa Catarina has the  freshest ingredients for an authentic dining experience. And did I already mention those agave margs? Their playground is also fully fenced and covered so that even on our hottest days, the kiddos can still enjoy queso and slides in the shade. This playground is usually crawling with kiddos so come early and stay late!

Dripping Springs

Homespun Kitchen and Bar | 131 E Mercer St Dripping Springs, TX 

Homespun Kitchen and Bar is a unique concept out in Dripping Springs offering Farm to Table dishes with both a European and American twist. From menu items like chicken lettuce wraps and fried pickles to crab cake benedict and peanut butter cake, they really have a fun and delicious menu. With a sweet covered playground and an array of live music offered, theres never a bad time to swing in. Homespun celebrates all the holidays and is always kid and pet friendly so bring the whole family!

Elgin

Millies on Main | 212 N Main St Elgin, TX 78621 | Hours vary but most days they open by 11am

Millie’s on Main is a new spot to come enjoy on those sunny summer days. Millie’s revamped an old iconic car garage that was a staple on Main Street in Elgin for years. The thoughtful renovation provides a little something for everyone including; an ice cream parlor, a full bar with exciting cocktails, four different food trucks, a brand new playscape, a large turfed yard, a live music stage and several picnic tables. Millie’s is your one stop destination for summer fun. Come for lunch and stay all day for playin, ice cream and music! Oh, and rest assured, the playground and patio is fully fenced and partially shaded for those littles! Make sure and give a big wave to the owners Cody and Stacy Mauck, who are always around to lend a handshake and a smile. We can’t say enough good things about Millie’s on Main!

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Leander & Liberty Hill

Dahlia Cafe | 2450 Ranch to Market Rd 1869 Liberty Hill, TX 78642 

Dahlia Cafe in Liberty Hill is totally worth the drive. With a ton of outdoor picnic tables, a play  scape and ample room to run around, this is a great option for craft beer and lunch outside during those upcoming dreadfully warm summer days. From burgers, to delicious salads, and all the way to pie, Dahlia’s is a no brainer. This is definitely a local Summer favorite!

Texas Taco Kitchen | 14125 W State Hwy 29 Ste B-201 Liberty Hill, TX 78642 

Another lovely destination, is Liberty Hill’s own Texas Taco Kitchen. Don’t sleep on their unique queso, the best taco salad I’ve ever had and large spacious patio with umbrellas and shade.  Don’t forget to snag a piece of tres leches on the way out! They are soon to add a playground area for those littles to run off the queso sweats so keep an eye on their social media for more!

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Manor

Casa Garcia’s | 12700 Lexington St Suite 100 Manor, TX 78653 | Open daily at 7am

Casa Garcia’s opened in Manor in a time of growth in the city and it has been a staple for all the locals since. Not only is the food on point, the service is authentic and swift but the playground is the place to be. With a huge playscape made for all ages, a large covered patio for shade equip with mister fans and music, this is the spot to hang this Summer. They also recently renovated the patio to include a turfed grass area which offers several corn hole boards and large lounge chairs for sunning. The playground overlooks a beautiful retention  pond which supples natural wildlife to this fun part of town. We’ve often seen families fishing  here too so bring those poles!

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Callie Counterman
Callie is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who enjoys empowering other women through all things breastfeeding, chestfeeding and beyond. She’s been working closely with Mother and Infant dyads for 7 years now and eventually took her love for lactation to a new level, opening Mooch Lactation in the Fall of 2023. When Callie is not working as a Lactation Consultant she is spending time at home on her farm with her son’s Wyatt (2014) and Walker (2016), and her Father. The farm life is the sweet life, according to Callie. She and her family rescue animals together, and offer sanctuary to over 19 various animals including donkeys, goats, chickens and pigs, cats and dogs. Although she was born in a small Southeast Texas town she moved to Austin as quickly as she could! Her weekends are mostly filled with chauffeuring her boys to sporting events and birthday parties but she does still make time for her favorite hobbies including watching all things Bravo with a nice glass of wine. Callie is thriving in this new season of life, after loosing her husband to cancer in 2021 her family has struggled to find a new normal but as with any major setback, there is an opportunity for a bigger comeback, and comeback she is. Callie states that she feels blessed every day to parent, work, love and lead with laughter and kindness at the forefront. You can find more on Callie online @Moochlactationco.

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