Seven Sights to See With the Kids This Summer

Summer, at least in the eyes of Austin school children, is just around the corner. Summer temperatures are already being felt and hot afternoons seem to stretch out longer in the summer. Fortunately, fun ways to entertain the whole family abound in the Austin area.

Zilker Park Hillside Theater – Pack a picnic dinner and head to the Zilker Park Hillside Theater for an evening of memorable entertainment. For over 50 years Austinites have headed to the grassy hillside above the Barton Springs Pool to bring a little culture to the warm summer nights. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” runs through May; Ballet Under the Stars with Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble is the featured show in June; and “Annie” is the summer musical in July and August. Alcohol is not allowed, but quiet dogs on leashes are welcome. Bring blankets or low chairs to enjoy the show.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort – What better way to beat the heat than getting soaked at Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort south of Austin in New Braunfels. The park has three different sections, with a free tram running between them. From water coasters to tube chutes to water playgrounds, there is something for every age level. The park can get pretty packed in the summer, but a discounted rate is offered after 3 p.m. to enjoy the park until the 8 p.m. closing time.

Hamilton Pool Preserve – West of Austin is an idyllic preserve of endangered species, wildflowers and a 50 foot waterfall. Hamilton Pool Preserve is where the Pedernales River meets Hamilton Creek to flow over limestone rocks. Birds, plants and other creatures are protected here by Travis County, the City of Austin, The Nature Conservancy, the Lower Colorado River Authority, and the Travis Audubon Society. Bring the family to swim in the pool, explore and picnic.

Inner Space Cavern – In 1963, a Texas Highway Department worker discovered a 10,000 year old cave system while drilling through limestone rocks in Georgetown. It is one of the best preserved prehistoric caves in Texas, complete with well preserved fossils. Inner Space Caverns offers three different types of tours, including the Adventure Tour, the Explorers Tour, or the more challenging Wild Cave Tour. With the cooler cave temperatures, it can offer a great summer afternoon escape.

Tube San Marcos River – Fed by the Aquarena Springs, the San Marcos River is a refreshing way for the family to spend a hot Texas summer afternoon. Enjoy the scenery while navigating the chutes and rapids over the Rio Vista Dam. Although there are many places to rent tubes, providing tube rentals and river taxis is a fundraiser for the San Marcos Lions Club from the City Park.

Rock’N River Water Park – The Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department runs a pool system including the Rock’N River Water Park. This affordable water park located in the Old Settlers Park offers a lazy river, water slides and a water playground. This park is particularly engaging for the younger members of the family with fun creatures sprouting water, but older siblings won’t mind getting wet here either.

Museums – Last but certainly not least, is getting out of the heat by spending summer afternoons at the number of museums Austin has to offer. From folk art to interactive children’s exhibits, Austin has something for every member of the family to enjoy.