Austin City Guide

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Meet Kenzie. Or as everyone else knows him, Mac. I don’t think I’ve ever called him Mac though, he’s Kenz or Kenzie to me.

Any who, almost 5 years ago Kenzie moved to Austin and I couldn’t be more proud of the life he is creating down there. A month ago Jerek found a major flight deal to fly there and visit so we jumped on it.

First off, we flew Frontier for $67 round trip, non stop and the kids flew FREE.

Yes, you read that correctly, the KIDS FLEW FREE and we only paid $67 round trip for each ticket with no stops.

BOOM!

To get the kids fly free deal we pay the $60/year to be Den members, meaning we get sweet deals like this. It’s literally worth every penny, as we have already saved $134 just from this trip alone! More on how we are able to travel so much as a family at a later time.

Today I rounded up a recap of this past weekend from where we stayed, where we went, what we saw, and places to eat at for anyone looking to plan future trips to Austin. You can watch the video below to get an idea of how our trip was but I also have everything listed below if you prefer to read over watching!

WHERE WE STAYED

Airbnb’s are the way to go in our opinion. We like to have a full kitchen to cook so we spend less money out and our own space for the kids to play. With that being said the only Airbnb’s we book are the entire house ones because there is no way Jerek is staying in anyone’s '“spare area.” he’s just not down with that.

The Airbnb we rented was perfect for the 6 of us (my mom and boyfriend were with us too) and it was very affordable. If you want the direct listing you can view it HERE. Located just outside of downtown Austin in the neighborhood of Round Rock, the selling point for us was totally the pool! The family that owns the house has decorated it so cute and the fact that they have so many different items for babies and kids on hand makes it easy for you to leave things at home if needed.

HOW TO GET AROUND

We rented a minivan as we weren’t staying downtown and we defiantly needed it. Traffic in Austin is DUMB you guys, DUMB! We’ve been in many major cities in traffic before and its been nutty but Austin’s traffic doesn’t make sense to me. There are SO many large highways on top of each other and you can go 80 on most of them with 3-4 sometimes 5 lanes. Then there are 30 mph roads, and both are an absolute mess and always seemed to be backed up. If you stay downtown I would say don’t rent a car and use the public transit system or rent a scooter/bike, much much easier! If you stay downtown use Citymapper as I have mentioned this app is great in the past for all major cities.

WHERE TO EXPLORE

Like the places to eat, I had a big list of things to see and do but when traveling with kids you are at the mercy of them. You might want to truck around and sight see but that’s not always going to work with them so ice cream and play ground stops are something we’ve grown accustomed to. I try and scope out any and all playgrounds no matter what city, state or country we’re in.

We went and walked through the capitol building which was cool to see the inside (how great are those stairs pictured above) but the kids we’re def only happy to be inside for the air conditioning, they could have given two shits about the building and how pretty the architecture was. We walked down congress street a little to grab coffee and a photo at Jo’s coffee with the famous I love you so much wall sign and across the street from there is the Amy’s ice cream that serve a ton of options including dairy free/vegan ice cream.

We wanted to go into the library downtown as I read it’s a beautiful 6 story building but it wasn’t happening with crabby kids so we went home to swim instead. On Friday we knew it would be the hottest day we were there so we swam and relaxed at the Airbnb in the morning and then headed to Pinballz for a few hours and the boys played with the old arcade games, won tickets and cooled off in the air. It’s also BYOB so we enjoy a few drinks while the kids ran around and played. The last night we were there we set out to see the bats leave for their nightly feeding at the Congress bridge. This is a big attraction every night from March-October where thousands of bats leave at dusk to go eat, it was incredible to see!

WHERE TO EAT

Eating is easily one of my favorite parts of traveling and exploring new places but it can also be one of the most stressful with kids. For about 3 years I was eating a full plant based diet and in the past few months I’ve started reintegrating fish and egg into my diet and with the boys eating a very ‘basic kid diet’ meaning they are picky AF so finding places to eat ahead of time is key for us! Below are a ton of places I found that either have kids play places at the restaurant or a great kids menu or both! The ones that are in BOLD below are ones we went to but like most things I wanted to have a load of choices in different locations to pick from.

  • Kerbey lane cafe-has indoor playground 

  • Oasthouse kitchen+bar-large play place 

  • Napa Flats-wood fire pizza, flat breads, tacos (double play place setup (dollar spots kids meals-pizza and pasta)

  • Culinary Droupout-outdoor games, ping pong, (good kids menu-noodles, pizza, etc)

  • Ramen Tatsu-ya- plain ramen for kids!

  • Little Deli-Pizzeria- pizza and BYOB

  • Mangieri pizza cafe-enclosed playground, $4.50 kids menu

  • Ski shores cafe- has video games, boats, a playground, and baskets of fries, wings, and onion rings. The ultra-casual setting is a great post-lake happy hour stop, with beers from Uncle Billy’s, a range of margaritas, and a selection of cocktails. The menu is based on burgers and fried seafood, with a few salads and sides also available.

  • Brentwood social house-has room for kids with toys and has baked good/coffee

  • Foreign & Domestic- north loop restaurant (kids friendly menu for dinner and brunch plus ice cream

  • Central Market- OG of Austin playground cafes 

  • Olive & June- italian food (under 12 eat free!)

  • Torchy tacos-good kids menu, large single tacos, serves booze!

  • Hat creek burger- playground space

  • Contigo-block party feel (great for picky eaters)

  • El Mercado-mexican food with play scape

  • Amys Ice Cream- vegan/dairy free options

  • Joes Coffee- great coffee & wall for photo (I love you so much.)

  • Phils icehouse-shaded patio with playground (burgers, hot dogs, fries,) small playground

  • Graceland grovery-bbq (outdoor playplace)

  • Home Slice pizza-great pizza and play place, indoor and outdoor seating


You can see everything I mention on the video above (or click HERE to watch) as well as check out the Google Map above as I have saved of all the locations mentioned on places to visit, eat, drink or walk around to.

I hope this was helpful if you are planning on going to Austin for a few days. There is so much more to see and do and I can’t wait to go back, but I might wait till it cools down, that weather was hot hot HOT!