20+ Things To Do In Austin With Toddlers (2023 Edition)

things to do in Austin with a toddler

Finding things to do in Austin with toddlers is tricky. I’m 4 years into motherhood, and I now understand the phrase “the years are short but the days are long.” I’ve realized that if I don’t have any plans for my day with my boys, the hours drag on and on. (We can only spend so much time at home in the living room…) 

So I’ve made a point to schedule different activities into the week to mix things up! Sometimes it’s for him (like going to the Thinkery), and sometimes it’s just a change of pace for me (like picking a fun Austin playground or path for our daily walk so I have a something different to look at and a new coffee shop to try.) But I’ll share all of my findings with you so you can have some inspiration for safe activities for toddlers in ATX! 

*Pssst: if you’re looking for great restaurants for kids, you can see my favorite kid-friendly restaurants in Austin and my favorite kid-friendly restaurants in San Antonio!

20 Things To Do In Austin With Toddlers

If you’re visiting Austin, this list will give you lots of ideas of ways to explore Austin in a way that’s also fun for your toddler. I’ll share some of the best things to do in Austin with young kids if you’re visiting. Of course, there are lots of “everyday” things for Austin locals, like locals parks to visit, trails for stroller walks, etc.

Things To Do In Austin With A Toddler

Things To Do In Austin With Toddlers

1. Play at the Alliance Children’s Garden

This 2-acre, $6 million children’s garden near downtown Austin is unlike any other playscape in our city! It’s a great space for kids of all ages, including toddlers. There are four play areas within the park: the hill country garden, the skyline garden, the rock and slide valley, and the art and culture garden. Milo will play for hours on the cement slides, giant turf-covered hills, and baby swings. When you’re done, there’s a drive-thru P Terry’s a block away for a quick local Austin lunch option. 200 Dawson Rd, Austin (Free parking on Dawson Rd) | WEBSITE

Alliance Children's Garden in Austin

2. Baby Bloomers at The Thinkery

The Thinkery is an amazing children’s museum in central Austin. It’s SO fun for both kids and adults! They have a program called Baby Bloomers, which is designed specifically for keeping young ones entertained and engaged with story times and free play. It happens on Saturday mornings from 8-10 am. 1830 Simond Ave, Austin | WEBSITE

3. Visit the Zilker Botanical Gardens

This is a lovely garden right in the middle of the city (literally right next to Zilker Park, which is a free public park to visit.) You’ll have to book reservations, but tickets are really inexpensive. It’s a fun place to bring the stroller or wagon and walk around a bit. You can let the toddlers burn some energy and explore the children’s garden, and you’ll enjoy the beautiful scenery. 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin | WEBSITE

Things to do in Austin with a toddler

4. Picnic in Zilker Park

Pack a picnic, bring a couple soccer balls, and enjoy the Austin sunshine in Zilker Park! It’s a really big, spacious area, so it’s easy to socially distance. (Note that lots of folks bring their dogs here, so it might not be a good place if your toddler is scared of dogs.) There’s not a playground, but there are endless acres of grassy fields for your little one to toddle around in and (hopefully) get some energy out for a really good nap later in the day. 2207 Lou Nef Rd, Austin | WEBSITE

Also see: 34 Coolest Austin Murals And Walls (With A Map!)

5. Visit a local brewery

{See: All The Dripping Springs Breweries With Playgrounds}

Most breweries in Austin are kid-friendly! When I’m bringing Milo to a brewery, I love going to Jester King, 12 Fox, Family Brewing, or Treaty Oak…these are all in Dripping Springs, so they’re big space in the Hill Country with room for him to run around. If you’re looking for a brewery in Austin for toddlers, Meanwhile Brewing has a really large lot with a playscape on it. (Note: most play scapes are closed during the pandemic, but stay tuned as they will hopefully be opening up again in the near future.) 

Things to do in Austin with a toddler

6. Walk the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail with a friend

Grab a friend, put the toddler in a stroller, and enjoy a walk around the lake. This fantastic trail has lots of options (ranging from 1-10 miles) so you can customize your own distance. The lake is set right against a backdrop of downtown Austin, and this is one of my favorite places to go to start or end my day. Multiple entrance points | WEBSITE

7. Visit Austin Zoo

Let me be honest with you: this is no San Diego Zoo. It’s not a wildly impressive zoo, but it is a fun place to kill some time and let Milo move his legs and run around. It’s a nonprofit rescue zoo, which I think is a really cool thing. 10808 Rawhide Tr, Austin | WEBSITE

8. Go to Emler Swim School

Sign up for weekly lessons at Emler Swim School! They have locations all over Austin, and this is one of my favorite weekly activities with my toddler. He’s not only having fun and playing in the water, but he’s also learning important water safety skills. (4,000 people drown every year, and most are preventable with proper water safety.) I love knowing that I’m taking steps to keep him safe around lakes and backyard pools! Multiple locations | WEBSITE

9. Book a session at Little Land play gym

This one is sooo sweet, and a really fun activitiy to do solo with your toddler! Little Land play gym has a two-hour play session that you can book in advance for kids ages 0 months – 12 years. It’s a fun place to crawl, climb, wiggle, and explore. 3620 Ranch Rd 620, Bee Cave | WEBSITE

10. Visit The Dinosaur Park

It’s about 45 minutes east of Austin, but a trip to The Dinosaur Park is such a treat for littles! It’s an outdoor museum with life-size replicas. There’s also a playground, picnic area, and fossil dig. 893 Union Chapel Rd, Cedar Creek | WEBSITE

Play For All Park Round Rock

11. Play-For-All Park in Round Rock

This park was designed to be inclusive of all ages and abilities, so it’s a really fun place to bring toddlers! (Note that Round Rock is about 30 minutes north of Austin.) This 51,000 square foot park is so much fun! {Photo: Round Rock Texas151 N A.W. Grimes Blvd, Round Rock | WEBSITE

Milo seeing the Jester King goats

12. Take them to see the baby goats at Jester King

Jester King Brewery is nationally-recognized for their farmhouse ales and barrel-aged wild ales…but did you know you can visit this 165-acre farm and see the herd of goats? They are sooo cute, and many toddlers love them! 13187 Fitzhugh Rd, Austin | WEBSITE

Go to the Austin Aquarium (no longer recommended)

I’m no longer recommending the Austin Aquarium to my readers. Recently, a PETA undercover investigation uncovered evidence of apparent cruelty to animals, wildlife abandonment, and unreported attacks on customers and staff. 

13. Go strawberry picking at Sweet Berry Farm

This is maybe an idea to do with two adults/one toddler, because we all know if you want to actually make any progress picking berries, one adult has to watch the baby while one adult picks strawberries. However, it’s a sweet place to explore and take some photos of your little one, plus you get to bring delicious Texas strawberries home with you. 1801 FM 19800, Marble Falls | WEBSITE

14. Play at Pikopye’s Town

This is an imaginative indoor play land that’s perfect if you’re looking for things to do in Austin with toddlers! You can book a play session (reservations are required to help with social distancing), or even get a discounted 10-pack play card to save money on multiple visits. 2919 Menchaca Rd, Austin | WEBSITE

Things to do in Austin with a toddler

15. Take them to a restaurant with you. 

I love exploring the kid friendly restaurants in Austin, and I’ve found that I can bring my toddler to lots of the casual restaurants here! Make sure to bring along a high chair that hooks onto the table. This high chair is sturdy and holds babies up to 37 pounds. Visit a restaurant with lots of outdoor space and picnic tables, like TLC, Pinthouse Pizza, Fresa’s Chicken, or ABGB.

16. Visit Pioneer Farms

This is a living history park and museum that’s set to preserve the history of 19th century Texas. While it’s definitely more age-appropriate for children 4 and older, you could definitely bring the toddler along with the rest of the group. There are workshops, tours, and lots of sites where the young ones can run around and explore. 10621 Pioneer Farms Dr, Austin | WEBSITE

Sunset at Mount Bonnell: fun things to do in Austin during quarantine

17. Climb Mount Bonnell

Yes, you see the word “mount,” but no, it’s not a mountain. There are some steps you need to climb to reach this striking view of Austin, but they only take about 60 seconds to climb (5 minutes if you’re doing with a toddler…) Keep in mind that you’ll want to keep a close eye on your toddler 100% of the time; while the main area is flat and safe, there are some steep cliffs is you decide to venture off the main path. If you’re comfortable putting your toddler in a carrier, this is a great place for that! 3800 Mount Bonnell Rd, Austin

Things to do in Austin with a toddler

18. See the peacocks at Mayfield Park

When families are looking for things to do in Austin with toddlers, I always recommend Mayfield Park. There are peacocks wandering around the gardens, some light walking trails, and lots of space to run around and explore. 3505 W 35th St, Austin | WEBSITE

19. Watch the Austin bats at the Congress bridge

I’ve written an entire guide to how to see the bats in Austin – check it out for more specifics. This is a fun family-friendly activity in Austin that you can squeeze into the end of the day, just before your toddler’s bedtime. Keep in mind that the bats are only in Austin during certain months of the year. Check the dates hereAnn Richards Congress Ave Bridge | WEBSITE

20. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

This 284-acre garden of managed natural texas wildflowers is a great place to bring kids in Austin. Wander around and explore the grounds, but make sure you save plenty of time for your toddler to explore the Family Garden. There’s are tree stumps to climb on, a soft picnic lawn, and a creek with dinosaur footprints…bring a towel!  4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin | WEBSITE

21. Reserve a Play Session at Play Street Museum – South Austin

things to do with toddlers in Austin

I adore this place for my little ones! Play Street Museum is a “pretend town square” with interactive kids activities and educational components. There’s an entire little play town, built to a toddler’s size, complete with a bakery, a doctors office, a pet rescue, and a reeeaally cool recycle truck with a conveyor belt and real cans/bottles that the kids can recycle. My kids love the coloring station, complete with crayons, stamps, and art easels. Each play session is 90 minutes, and you have to reserve it ahead of time. Be sure to book early, especially if you want a weekend time slot! The nice thing about the reservation method is that it never gets too crowded in there. 5601 Brodie Ln Suite 940, Sunset Valley, TX 78745 WEBSITE

22. Indigo Play

Indigo Play

If you’re stuck inside on a rainy day, it’s hard to beat Indigo Play for kids of ALL ages! But I really love it for toddlers because there’s a designated area just for the little ones with soft, squishy climbing gyms, small slides, and a very safe merry-go-round. Of course, there’s the HUGE play structure with a giant racing slide in case your kids are a bit older and want a challenge! 13530 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78750 | WEBSITE

PS: heading to San Antonio? Here are some of my favorite kid-friendly activities in San Antonio!

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Kristi C
Kristi C
3 years ago

Love this! I’ve been in the Austin area for just over a year and have a toddler and I can vouch for this list! And I added a few more to my list too, thanks! Your food guide was a great way for us to explore Austin in our first year and beyond.

3 years ago

[…] Also see: 20 Things To Do IN Austin With Toddlers […]

Laura S
Laura S
1 year ago

Love this list! Gonna start trying some of these out now that he’s almost one and more mobile. Thank you for compiling this list!

I will say, I wouldn’t recommend the Austin Aquarium. They severely mistreat/neglect their animals. I’m honestly not sure how they’re even still open at this point. They should’ve been shut down a LONG time ago.

Mikayla B
Mikayla B
1 year ago

This was so helpful, thank you! We’re visiting during such a hot time, so we were looking for both indoor and outdoor activities and this was a great guide for finding both!!

1 year ago

Where is the link for San Antonio? I love your Austin list!

5 months ago

[…] that cater to the curiosity and energy of toddlers. From interactive museum programs such as Baby Bloomers at The Thinkery, designed to captivate the little ones, to exploring the great outdoors at family-friendly […]

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