Best Hot Spots and Kid’s Activities in the Austin, Dripping Springs Area
I like big buts, and I cannot lie. You other parents can’t deny. When a kid walks in with itty bitty complaints and whining in your face, you get sprung, want to pull up tough, ’cause you know you’re ’bout to issue a but.
“Honey, I know it’s hard to go pee pee on the potty, but Mama literally cannot change one more diaper.”
“Yes, I hear that you’re starving and want a snack, but we just ate lunch!”
“Kids, I understand that summer can get boring, but I refuse to take you to Altitude yet again.”
Almost all of the sentences I spew are straddled with a “but”, and my response to 95% of my kids’ requests is “no”. I know this to be a fact because when I actually say “yes” to something, my kids act like the Red Sea has parted or that adorable little puppies are falling from the sky. It’s true that my family does A LOT. We get out there, we see, we do, we explore, we play… but summer is inundated with so many ridiculous kid requests that I am still hitting them with “but” constantly.
This kind of negativity can only be overcome by being proactive and intentional. As parents, we have to be on the offensive. This is where a summer bucket list comes in. It’s definitely great to have go-to spots to hit up during summer, like your local park or splash pad, but I challenge you to have a secret bucket list of “new” or slightly more exciting places to surprise your kids with when your “buts” are out of control. I’m sharing my family’s bucket list, which includes the best hot spots and kids’ activities in the Austin and Dripping Springs area. I invite you to check it off along with us. Summer can be insane, but every year, it flies by, so we have to make the memories count!
HILL COUNTRY SUMMER BUCKET LIST (2019)
Dripping Springs/Driftwood –
1. Vista Brewing Co: amazing food, yummy beer, shaded playground, indoor board games, brewery and property tours, and special events including Driftwood nights and morning yoga (https://vistabrewingtx.com)
2. Dripping Springs Rodeo: rodeo events, petting zoo, kids’ activities, mechanical bull and vendors on July 27 & 28th (http://www.drippingspringsfairandrodeo.com/page/schedule)
3. Route 12 Filling Station: multiple porches, splash pad, playground, casual food menu, full bar, and a super sweet staff (https://route12fillingstation.com/)
4. Roadrunners: burgers and salad, putt putt golf, ping pong, swings, craft cocktails, and a friendly atmosphere (https://www.facebook.com/RoadRunners-423914471754295/)
Cool down after putt putt with a trip to Voodoo Ice for tasty and creative snoballs in the Pig Pen Food Court, which has picnic tables and a playground. (https://pigpenstation.com)
5. Jester King Tasting Room and Kitchen: restaurant, brewery, covered pavilion, sandbox and grassy field for kids to play (https://jesterkingbrewery.com/tasting-room-kitchen)
Bee Cave/Lakeway –
6. *Hill Country Galleria: library, splash pad, shopping, movie theater, events like Concerts on the Lawn, and lunching (https://www.hillcountrygalleria.com/)
7. Wild Kitchen & Bar: restaurant, playground, and mini golf – $20/family of four (https://www.wildkitchenandbar.com/)
8. Lakeway Swim Center (our fave pool!) and lunch with a view at Lucy’s Fried Chicken (https://www.lakeway-tx.gov/84/Swim-Center)
9. *Lake Travis Library: summer reading program, fun events, children’s area, and free tutoring (https://laketravislibrary.org/calendar/)
10. High Five: bowling, arcade, VR, laser tag, and a full food and drink menu; Kids can bowl free all summer with registration. (https://www.bowlhighfive.com/)
11. *Central Library, Austin Public Library: kids’ play area and events (https://library.austintexas.gov/events/calendar?loc=3939)
12. *Movies in the Park: free outdoor movies at select parks around Austin (https://austinparks.org/movies-in-the-park/)
13. *Laguna Gloria: Check out a backpack of activities for kids to explore and practice art on FREE Tuesdays or attend on the second Saturday of the month for art-making workshops and performances. (https://www.thecontemporaryaustin.org/explore/for-families/#second-saturdays)
14. *Circle C Metropolitan Park and Shaved Ice: shaded playground, walking trails, volleyball courts, and soccer fields, then follow up playtime with the best shaved ice at Sweet Caroline’s Snow Shack (https://www.facebook.com/sweetcarolinessnowshack/)
San Antonio –
15. Legoland Discovery Center: new to San Antonio; free kids’ admission at www.legoland.com/honestkids
16. *Guadalupe River State Park: swimming, fishing (rent gear from the park), tubing (bring your own), camping, hiking, and a discovery center (Make reservations at https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/guadalupe-river)
17. Community Pizza and Beer Garden: live music, full bar, house made pizza, and a pirate ship playground (https://communitybeergarden.com/)
18. The Shady Llama: hammocks, sandbox, play area, lawn games, food trucks, beer, wine, an amazing sunset, and llamas (http://theshadyllama.com/)
19. The Blue Hole: Take a cold dip in the spring fed waters, hike, picnic, and enjoy playground fun. (Make swimming reservations at https://www.cityofwimberley.com/index.asp?SEC=1CDE9473-341C-496E-BD68-CED18B923848&DE =73216981-2826-4903-ADED-090ADBF499A6)
Staying Close to Home –
20. *Home Depot Classes: FREE crafts and building projects on the first Saturday of each month (https://www.homedepot.com/workshops/#store/8995)
21. *Michael’s Kids’ Classes: extremely affordable home décor or kids’ craft projects, usually on Saturdays (https://www.michaels.com/classes)
23. *Events at local YMCA: dive in movies, pool parties (Dripping Springs YMCA)
*free or cheap
For more bucket list ideas in the Texas Hill Country, check out my bucket list from 2018 or if you’ve had enough of entertaining the kids and want to find a great option to drop them off for a few hours each day, read about amazing VBS options in the area.
Also, subscribe to my blog for upcoming posts with reviews on the best hot spots and kids’ activities in the Austin and Drippings Springs area as we check off our list, as well as ideas for indoor fun and how to keep kids’ minds stimulated during the summer months. Thank you for reading!