Alissa and the readers of BabyScoopAustin compiled this great week of fun (more like 2 weeks!) for parents in Austin, TX. Whether you’re new to Austin or consider yourself an Austinite, babyscoopaustin.com has the SCOOP on everything baby! If we ever make it to Texas, I know who I want to hang out with. Thanks to Alissa for sharing all these great spots!
A favorite Monday morning activities is to take baby to Baby Bloomers at the Austin Children’s Museum. This open-play session from 9am to noon is exclusively reserved for children 3 years and under. It gives caregivers and their babies a chance to explore and play in a relaxed atmosphere. Baby Bloomers also has a sing-along and story time. Stroller parking is provided inside the museum.
If you have a newborn or infant and you are really itching to get out of the house or out of the summer heat, go enjoy a Baby Day Movie at Alamo Draft House Cinema (Tuesday and Friday only). Parents are allowed to bring infants into the movie for shows starting before 2:05 pm. (check website for movie times and location). They turn the lights up a bit, turn down the sound, and best of all…crying is allowed.
For a nice outdoor lunch and playtime, head over to Central Market (North Lamar location). The food is made fresh and healthy. The shaded play area offers two playscapes for little ones and big kids. Central Market also offers live music in the evenings on weekends.
Austin has many great farmers’ markets during the week, but one that Austinites seem to love is on Wednesday evenings at The Triangle on North Lamar. Open from 4-8, the market features only 100% locally grown vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, honey, and plants.
A favorite morning/evening walk with the jogger stroller is the 3-5 mile trail around Lady Bird Lake (formerly known as Town Lake) nestled next to downtown Austin. Babies love to bird watch, count the doggies on leashes, and stop to feed the ducks and turtles during the walk. Pedestrian bridges and a nearby train make this excursion more interesting for mom and baby.
After an early morning walk at the lake, zip on over to Zilker Park for playtime and a miniature train ride on the Zilker Zypher. The 3-mile train ride loops the park at a slow pace. Other features of Zilker park include; a large playscape and separate toddler area, covered picnic tables, a concessions stand for snacks, a view of the swimmers at Barton Springs, and public restrooms.
The city of Austin recently added a new fountain park officially named, Butler District Park, near Lady Bird Lake. The “dancing fountains park” is located next to the Palmer Events Center and behind the Dougherty Arts Center. The fountain area has holes that shoot water out of spouts. Babies love the small wading areas where the water is only inches deep. Because the area is newly developed, there is little shade. Bring plenty of sunscreen and snacks. There are however, clean public restrooms.
The locally owned and operated bookstore, BookPeople, offers great interactive story times for toddlers and pre-schoolers. (also on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings).
A fun and educational experience for mom and kids is the Austin Zoo. This is not your typical zoo, and like Austin’s residents, it is unique and charming at the same time. Located just outside the city limits, the zoo is actually a rescue center and sanctuary for misplaced, abandoned, and unwanted animals. It’s smaller than most “big city” zoos and easy to navigate on foot. The exhibits include everything from lions, tigers and monkeys to longhorns, llamas, and pot belly pigs.
For an authentically Austin show for toddlers and preschoolers, Ruta Maya Coffee House hosts a Kid’s Show with instruments and lively music on Sundays at 10:30 am. Enjoy a delicious cup of Joe, breakfast pastries, and great entertainment for kids and kids-at-heart.
Bonus Activity: choose a yoga class
If you need to get out of the Austin heat or need a yoga fix, visit one of Austin’s fantastic mommy and me yoga classes at Yoga Yoga (several locations around town) and Austin Kula Yoga (located in central Austin). Check websites for schedules.
A little more for toddlers and preschoolers…
Another Austin original, Irie Been Coffee House, entertains families during their “Kids Decaf Club” which is the last Saturday of the month at 10:00 am. Musical instruments and balloon animals keep kids entertained while parents enjoy fresh roasted coffee.
Deep Eddy Pool is a chilling experience! Not only is this family friendly public pool a historical landmark, it is filled with natural spring water that is a cool, sixty-nine degrees. It has a shallow end with a gradual slope for toddlers and small children.
If you are in the Arboretum area, there is a great play area for toddlers by Amy’s Ice Creams that has cow sculptures to play on, ducks to feed, and a fountain to watch. While you’re there, enjoy a cup of Austin’s famous Amy’s Ice Cream.
Thanks Alissa and BabyScoopAustin! The activities in this post were provided to us by Alissa and have appeared in BabyScoopAustin’s newsletters over time. Photos were also provided by Alissa O’Bannon.
More Austin fun from Wedolonia who spent a week there with a baby and a preschooler.