Springtime in the Austin area is simply awesome. Sunny skies, warm weather, wildflowers blooming, a gazillion fun events. It’s a pretty sweet time to be living (or visiting) this area. Spring beckons us to GET OUTSIDE and enjoy the spirit of Austin as well as the beauty of the Texas Hill Country.
We want to share some of our favorite things to do in spring, along with a list of fun family events for you to mark on your calendars, and of course, day trips to some gorgeous nearby spots for mini adventures.
Springtime Family Activities:
— Hiking Along the Barton Creek Greenbelt
The Barton Creek Greenbelt includes over seven miles of natural landscape that’s great for hiking, biking and swimming. You can explore wooded trails and splash in favorite natural swimming spots such as Sculpture Falls and Twin Falls. While it is just minutes from downtown, the Greenbelt offers a peaceful retreat and a great way to unwind and relax with the family. You can click here for a pretty great map of the greenbelt.
— Taking Photos in the Bluebonnets
This is on our to-do list every year because these beautiful wildflowers make the most amazing backdrop to any family photo. But even if you’re not eager to drag the camera out and have the kids pose, be sure to simply get out an enjoy the pretty sight of a fields speckled with these blue flowers. If you’re wondering where to find the best spots in the area to see the bluebonnets, check out last year’s informative post from our friends at LiveMom.com.
— Shopping at Farmers’ Markets
There’s no better time to hit up one of Austin’s several farmers’ markets for some fresh-from-the-garden fruits and veggies. While you’re there, you can listen to live music, sample local cheeses, browse local handmade crafts booths, watch chef demos and be proud that you are supporting local farmers and artisans. Plus, it is a great way to get kids excited about trying vegetables they’ve never tried before! Check out this breakdown of our favorite Farmers’ Markets in Austin.
— Picking Strawberries
Picking berries is a spring tradition for so many families in this area. Families (and school field trips) flock to Sweet Berry Farms in Marble Falls from March through June for the experience of picking your own delicious strawberries, blackberries, potatoes, tomatoes, peaches and onions. For more details on visiting Sweet Berry Farms, check out our post about it from last year. Be sure to check their website’s Fresh News section to see what is ripe before heading out that way. For a nice guide to other pick-your-own farms, you can click here to view a list from Edible Austin.
— Exploring the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
If you haven’t been to the Family Garden within the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, put it on your to-do list for this spring. This 4.5-acre area includes so many opportunities for creative play with natural materials including giant birds’ nests made of grape vines for kids to climb in, a grotto with caves and a waterfall, a maze made of native shrubs, giant tree stumps and limbs for kids to climb on and more. And of course, while you’re there, by all means enjoy the gorgeous landscape of abundant wildflowers. Also, mark your calendars for their annual spring plant sale on April 9 & 10.
— Visiting the Zilker Botanical Garden
You can find tons of fun at Zilker Park in the springtime — fly kites in the field, go for a swim in Barton Springs, ride the Zilker Zephyr kiddie train and more! But the Zilker Botanical Garden is really a quite a standout attraction in the spring. You can check out themed gardens such as rose & herb as well as the impressive Japanese garden that’s interconnected with streams, waterfalls and Koi-filled ponds. And kids totally dig the Hartman Prehistoric Garden that recreates local dinosaur habitat. Mark your calendar for the annual Woodland Faerie Trail from May 16th – June 24th, 2016 that features faerie homes and gardens created by Austin area gardeners, architects, clubs, families and school groups.
— Exploring Nature Preserves
There are several of preserves all over Austin, and in nearby counties as well. Most of these preserves are part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, a 30,428-acre system of preserved habitats. You’ll love visiting Westcave Preserve, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, Mayfield Park and Preserve and many more. Click here to check out our roundup of local nature preserves.
— Heading to the Playground
Austin has no shortage of really great parks with fun playgrounds. In the fall, we asked our Facebook readers to tell us their favorite places to play in the Austin area. Check out some of the top picks for favorite playgrounds in the area.
— Heading to the Lake
There are endless opportunities for fun along Lady Bird Lake. Take a walk along the Boardwalk Trail, go paddleboarding, kayaking or canoeing. (Click here for a list of where to rent kayaks, canoes and more.) Feed ducks and turtles. No matter what you choose, there’s something special about being by the water’s edge that can make you feel so easy breezy.
Awesome Day Trips:
Of course, there are a million things to do in Austin. But even in a city as happening as Austin, sometimes you just want to get away. And springtime is a great time to get out and explore Central Texas — from Enchanted Rock to Krause Springs, San Antonio and more. Click here to find our roundup of ideas if you’re looking for a Day Trip from Austin.
We are sure that we couldn’t possibly cover all the seasonal family fun here, but these are just some of our top picks. Please share some of YOUR favorite activities and events in the comments below.
Go have some FUN this spring!