Top Best Things to Do in Austin with Your Teenager

As one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, Austin, Texas has become a popular destination for families looking to explore…

As one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, Austin, Texas has become a popular destination for families looking to explore its vibrant culture and unique attractions.

With its diverse music scene, mouth-watering food scene, and outdoor adventures, it’s no surprise that teenagers are drawn to this dynamic city.

However, planning a trip with a teenager can be daunting, as their interests and attention spans can vary greatly.

Austin, Texas

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top things to do in Austin with a teenager, ensuring a fun and memorable experience for parents and teens alike.

From adrenaline-pumping activities to laid-back excursions, there’s something for every teenager in Austin. So pack your bags and get ready to discover the best of what this bustling city has to offer.

Explore Lady Bird Lake’s beauty.

One of the best places to experience the natural beauty of Austin is Lady Bird Lake. Located right in the heart of the city, this picturesque lake offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin.

Whether you’re strolling along the scenic boardwalk, renting a kayak or paddleboard to explore the calm waters, or enjoying a picnic by the lake, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Lady Bird Lake.

The surrounding area also offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking and biking trails along the Barton Creek Greenbelt, where you can discover hidden swimming holes and breathtaking views.

Lady Bird Lake

And if you visit during the evening, don’t miss the famous bat colony emerging from under the Congress Avenue Bridge.

Lady Bird Lake truly showcases the natural charm of Austin and is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of the city’s outdoor beauty.

Swim in Barton Springs Pool.

Nestled in the heart of downtown Austin, Barton Springs Pool is a perfect place to cool off and enjoy a refreshing swim.

This natural spring-fed pool offers crystal-clear waters that remain a refreshing 68 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, making it a great escape from the summer heat.

The pool is surrounded by lush greenery and shaded areas, providing a serene and tranquil atmosphere. Whether you’re a skilled swimmer or just looking to relax in the water, Barton Springs Pool offers a unique and invigorating swimming experience.

Barton Springs Pool

After your swim, you can grab a bite to eat from the nearby food trucks or explore the many attractions in the area, such as the Bullock Texas State History Museum or the vibrant South Congress Avenue whether a local or a visitor, swimming in Barton Springs Pool is one of the best things to do in Austin, especially with a teenager, offering a blend of natural beauty and outdoor activities that will create lasting memories.

Enjoy food trucks downtown.

When exploring downtown Austin, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the culinary delights of the city’s vibrant food truck scene.

With a wide variety of cuisines to choose from, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Located near Lady Bird Lake and the Barton Creek Greenbelt, downtown Austin is the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat before heading out for a day of outdoor activities.

Whether you’re in the mood for mouthwatering tacos, gourmet burgers, flavorful BBQs, or delicious vegan options, the food trucks in downtown Austin have it all.

Austin’s food truck scene

You can enjoy your meal at one of the outdoor seating areas, taking in the lively atmosphere and enjoying the warm Texas weather.

So, make sure to add exploring the food trucks downtown to your list of fun things to do in Austin with a teenager. It’s a great way to experience the local flavors and support the talented local artists and chefs that make Austin’s food truck scene unique.

Learn Texas history at Bullock Museum.

One of the best places in Austin to learn about the rich history of Texas is the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Located near the State Capitol building, this museum offers a wide range of interactive exhibits and guided tours that bring the story of Texas to life.

From the early days of Spanish colonization to the fight for independence and the development of the modern state, visitors can delve deep into the fascinating history of Texas.

Bullock Texas State History Museum.

The museum also showcases the state’s natural beauty, with exhibits on the diverse ecosystems and wildlife that call Texas home.

With its engaging displays and educational programs, the Bullock Museum is the perfect destination for teenagers to expand their knowledge of Texas history in a fun and interactive way.

Stroll down South Congress Avenue.

Another must-visit destination in Austin is the vibrant South Congress Avenue. This bustling street has unique shops, eclectic boutiques, and delicious food trucks, making it the perfect place to stroll and explore with a teenager.

From trendy clothing stores to local artists showcasing their work, there is something for everyone along this bustling stretch.

Don’t miss the iconic Congress Avenue Bridge, home to the famous Mexican free-tailed bats. Take a leisurely walk across the bridge at dusk to witness the breathtaking sight of thousands of bats emerging into the evening sky.

South Congress Avenue

For outdoor enthusiasts, the nearby Lady Bird Lake and Barton Springs Pool provide opportunities for swimming, kayaking, and relaxing in the beautiful natural surroundings.

Whether you’re looking for shopping, outdoor activities, or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, South Congress Avenue is one of the best places in Austin to create lasting memories with a teenager.

Try outdoor activities at Lake Travis.

Located just a short drive from downtown Austin, Lake Travis offers many outdoor activities that are perfect for teenagers.

With its crystal-clear waters and stunning natural beauty, this expansive lake is a haven for water sports enthusiasts.

From jet skiing and wakeboarding to paddleboarding and kayaking, endless opportunities exist to have fun on the water.

Lake Travis

For thrill-seekers, Lake Travis Zipline Adventures offers an exhilarating experience as you soar through the trees and across the lake on the longest zipline in Texas.

If you’re looking for a unique wildlife encounter, don’t miss the opportunity to see the spectacular Mexican free-tailed bats emerging from under the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset.

With its scenic hiking trails, picturesque picnic spots, and breathtaking views, Lake Travis is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors and create unforgettable memories with a teenager.

Zip through the trees.

Head over to the zip line adventures at Lake Travis for a thrilling adventure that will get your adrenaline pumping.

Fly through the trees and across the beautiful lake on a guided tour offering excitement and breathtaking views.

It’s a perfect activity for teenagers who crave adventure and love being outdoors. Whether you’re a first-time zip liner or an experienced thrill-seeker, this experience will surely be an unforgettable highlight of your trip to Austin.

Zip line at Lake Travis

Soar through the air, feel the wind on your face, and enjoy the exhilaration of zip lining in one of the most scenic locations in Texas.

Don’t miss out on this exciting outdoor fun and adventure opportunity during your visit to Austin with a teenager!

See bats at Congress Avenue Bridge.

One of Austin’s unique and fascinating experiences is witnessing the incredible sight of bats at Congress Avenue Bridge.

As evening sets in, thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from under the bridge, creating a mesmerizing spectacle as they darken the sky for their nightly meal.

It’s a perfect outdoor activity for teenagers interested in nature and wildlife. You can grab a spot on the bridge or find a nearby spot along Lady Bird Lake to watch this enchanting display of nature’s wonders unfold.

Bats at Congress Avenue Bridge

Don’t forget to bring a blanket and some snacks to make it a memorable evening by the lake, surrounded by the beautiful downtown Austin skyline. It’s truly one of the best things to do in Austin and an experience your teenager won’t forget.

Play at Inner Space Cavern.

If you’re looking for an adventure underground, visiting Inner Space Cavern is a must-do activity in Austin. This remarkable natural wonder offers guided tours that take you deep into the heart of the caverns, allowing you to explore stunning formations and learn about the region’s geological history.

The interactive exhibits and knowledgeable guides make it a fun and educational experience for teenagers and adults alike.

As you journey through the caverns, you’ll be amazed by the intricate stalagmites and stalactites that have formed over thousands of years.

Inner Space Cavern

It’s a perfect place to escape the summer heat and discover the natural beauty beneath the surface. Inner Space Cavern is just a short drive north of Austin, making it easily accessible for a day trip.

So grab your sense of adventure and get ready to explore one of the best-preserved caves in Texas at Inner Space Cavern.

Visit the Austin Zoo.

One of the best places to visit with a teenager is the Austin Zoo. This hidden gem offers a unique and interactive experience with various animals worldwide.

Located just outside the city, the Austin Zoo perfectly escapes the bustling downtown area. You can explore the zoo’s spacious grounds and get close to animals like lions, tigers, and bears.

Austin Zoo

The zoo also offers educational programs and guided tours, allowing you to learn more about conservation efforts and the importance of wildlife preservation.

With its beautiful outdoor setting and a chance to see exotic animals, the Austin Zoo is a great way to spend a day and create lasting memories with your teenager.

Take a dip in Lake Austin.

Lake Austin is another fantastic option when looking for things to do in Austin with a teenager. This natural spring-fed pool offers a refreshing escape from the summer heat.

Lake Austin has it all, whether you prefer swimming, kayaking, or paddleboarding. Its serene atmosphere and natural beauty make it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Lake Austin

You can also rent a boat or join a guided tour to explore the lake further. After a day of fun on the water, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby food trucks or enjoy a picnic by the shore.

Don’t miss the opportunity to dip in Lake Austin and experience the best of what Austin offers.

Lake Austin

Admire nature at Zilker Botanical Garden.

Nestled in the heart of Austin, the Zilker Botanical Garden is a haven for nature lovers of all ages. With its meticulously manicured gardens, tranquil ponds, and vibrant floral displays, it’s a place that truly celebrates the beauty of the natural world.

Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths and discover the diverse plant species that call this garden home. From the Japanese garden with its serene koi ponds to the fragrant rose garden, there’s something for everyone to admire and appreciate.

The garden also hosts various events and exhibits throughout the year, allowing one to learn more about the fascinating world of botany and horticulture.

Zilker Botanical Garden

Whether you’re a seasoned nature enthusiast or just looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Zilker Botanical Garden is a must-visit destination that will leave you feeling inspired and rejuvenated.

Play mini golf at Peter Pan.

For a fun-filled outing in Austin, head over to Peter Pan Mini Golf, a local favorite that promises a memorable experience for teenagers and adults alike.

This quirky mini golf course is located in the heart of downtown Austin, just a stone’s throw away from Lady Bird Lake and Barton Springs Pool.

As you make your way through the 36-hole course, you’ll encounter whimsical obstacles, vibrant decorations, and challenging putting greens that will put your skills to the test.

Peter Pan Mini Golf

The retro aesthetic and vibrant atmosphere make it a great place to spend a few hours with friends or family.

After a round of mini golf, you can grab a bite to eat from one of the nearby food trucks or explore other nearby attractions, such as the Bullock Texas State History Museum and South Congress Avenue.

With its outdoor activities and nearby attractions, Peter Pan Mini Golf is the perfect addition to your list of things to do with a teenager in Austin.

Experience art at Blanton Museum.

Located in the heart of downtown Austin, the Blanton Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts of all ages, including teenagers.

This museum offers a diverse collection of artworks from both local and international artists, showcasing a wide range of styles and mediums.

From classic masterpieces to contemporary installations, there is something to captivate every artistic taste. Take a guided tour to gain deeper insights into the exhibits or explore at your own pace, immersing yourself in the art world.

Blanton Museum

The Blanton Museum also features interactive exhibits that engage visitors and provide a hands-on experience. With its impressive collection and stunning architecture, the Blanton Museum of Art is a perfect place to appreciate the beauty of art and ignite your creativity.

Enjoy live music on Sixth Street.

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the vibrant music scene of Austin is to visit Sixth Street.

Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, this iconic street is lined with numerous music venues, bars, and clubs, offering a variety of genres and performances to suit every musical taste.

Whether you’re into rock, country, jazz, or blues, you’ll find live music acts showcasing their talent every night of the week.

live music on Sixth Street

As you explore Sixth Street, you can hop from one venue to another, discovering new bands and enjoying the energetic atmosphere.

The street also offers a great selection of food trucks, where you can grab a quick bite to eat in between shows.

So, grab your friends or family, head to Sixth Street, and get ready to dance, sing along, and create unforgettable memories while enjoying the live music scene that makes Austin so special.

Discover the LBJ Presidential Library.

Nestled in the heart of Austin, the LBJ Presidential Library is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts of all ages. This iconic institution offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Explore the interactive exhibits that showcase pivotal moments in American history, such as the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.

Take a guided tour and gain a deeper understanding of President Johnson’s significant achievements and challenges during his time in office.

LBJ Presidential Library

The library also houses an impressive collection of documents, photographs, and artifacts that provide invaluable insights into the political landscape of the era.

With free admission, the LBJ Presidential Library is a perfect place to spend a day immersing yourself in our nation’s rich history.

Whether you’re a young student or a lifelong learner, this museum will educate, inspire, and leave you with a profound appreciation for the impact of our past leaders. Don’t miss visiting this historical gem during your trip to Austin.

Cool off at Texas Rowing Center.

When the summer heat hits in Austin, there’s no better place to cool off than at the Texas Rowing Center.

Located on the shores of Lady Bird Lake, this center offers a refreshing escape from the downtown hustle and bustle.

Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the tranquil waters, enjoying the natural beauty and wildlife.

Texas Rowing Center

If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at rowing and experience the thrill of gliding across the lake.

After a fun-filled day on the water, refuel at one of the nearby food trucks or head to Barton Springs Pool for a dip in the natural spring-fed pool.

With its scenic surroundings and outdoor activities, the Texas Rowing Center is the perfect place to enjoy the best of Austin’s beautiful outdoors.

Solve puzzles in the escape game.

Consider trying an escape game if you’re looking for a unique and engaging activity in Austin.

These immersive experiences challenge you and your teenager to solve puzzles and unravel mysteries within a set time limit.

Escape games are a great way to bond with your teen while exercising critical thinking skills and teamwork.

escape game

There are several escape game venues in downtown Austin, each offering a variety of themed rooms and interactive challenges.

From unraveling the secrets of the Alamo Drafthouse to solving mysteries in a museum setting, there’s something for everyone.

So gather your team, put your problem-solving skills to the test, and see if you have what it takes to escape the room!

Attend free events at the Texas State Capitol.

The Texas State Capitol is not only a magnificent architectural landmark but also offers a wide range of free events that are perfect for teenagers and families alike.

Throughout the year, the Capitol hosts various exhibitions, performances, and educational programs that provide an immersive experience of Texas’s rich history and culture.

From guided tours that take you through the historic halls and chambers, to interactive exhibits that showcase the state’s fascinating past, there’s always something to see and learn at the Texas State Capitol.

Texas State Capitol

The Capitol grounds offer a picturesque setting for picnics, outdoor activities, and even the chance to glimpse the famous Mexican free-tailed bats emerging from under the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset.

So, whether you’re interested in Texas history, exploring the outdoors, or simply enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of downtown Austin, the Texas State Capitol is the perfect place to experience all the city has to offer, without spending a dime.

Beat the heat with summer camps.

With the scorching summer heat in Austin, finding ways to stay cool and entertained can be a challenge. Luckily, summer camps provide the perfect solution for teenagers looking to beat the heat and have a great time.

From outdoor activities at Lady Bird Lake or Barton Springs Pool to exploring the vibrant downtown Austin with its food trucks and the Bullock Texas State History Museum, there are endless opportunities for fun and adventure.

Teens can also enjoy the unique atmosphere of South Congress Avenue, with its local artists, live music, and eclectic shops.

For those seeking more excitement, Lake Travis Zipline Adventures offers thrilling zipline experiences, while the Congress Avenue Bridge offers the chance to witness the incredible sight of Mexican free-tailed bats taking flight.

The Thinkery Science Center and Inner Space Cavern provide interactive exhibits and guided educational and engaging tours.

And of course, no summer camp experience in Austin would be complete without a visit to the Austin Zoo, where teenagers can get up close and personal with various animals.

With so many options available, summer camps in Austin offer the perfect combination of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and fun-filled adventures to beat the summer heat and create lasting memories.

In conclusion, Austin is a vibrant and exciting city with plenty of activities for teenagers.

From outdoor adventures like hiking and kayaking to exploring the city’s rich music and food scene, there is something for every teenager to enjoy.

So, whether you’re a local looking for new things to do or a tourist planning a trip with your teenager, make sure to add these activities to your list and create unforgettable memories in Austin!


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