Outdoor activities in Austin, Texas are found everywhere. We are a very active city and love running, boating on our lakes and biking!
We recommend this every year, because once you go it will become an unmissable part of your ideal Austin summer. For 61 years now, the Zilker Summer Musical has been giving audiences packed with families some Broadway-level magic for free. And this year, the kids (and our inner kids) are going to freak out because it’s The Little Mermaid! Based on the animated 1989 film of the same name, and the classic by Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, this one is a going to be a total crowd pleaser.
A few pro tips for the uninitiated: Get there a couple of hours early to secure your spot with a blanket and some low-backed chairs, then go for a swim in Barton Springs! You’ll be so glad you did. It’s like natural air conditioning that lasts throughout the show. And pack a big picnic—everyone gets snacky at this thing.
When: Thursdays – Sundays through August 17th
Time: 8:15 p.m. (There are two acts, with a quick intermission!)
Zilker Hillside Theatre
2201 Barton Springs Road
If you want to get out of town for a while, the City of Liberty Hill, which is just a short drive from Austin, is offering something really unique. The main street of this charming little place will be completely transformed into a wonderland for your senses!
At Whimsy & Wonder, an interactive art festival taking place May 18, downtown businesses will turn into galleries hosting works from local artists, live art demonstrations, and live music. Even the serving of food and wine will be artistic and unexpected—think aerial bartenders, living tables, and a live champagne dress.
The magic continues outside on Main Street, which will be filled with performers, stilt walkers, and local artisans. World-renowned Magician Cody S. Fisher will wow visitors with street magic, and a strolling caricature artist will draw guests on the spot. A children’s Imagination Garden will house interactive art exhibits, craft booths, and unforgettable circus performances!
Festival goers will be also be able to watch live art demonstrations including a live body painter, sidewalk chalk artists and Austin’s very own Dirty Car Artist, Scott Wade, in action. And it will be super easy to get around—pedicab drivers will be everywhere to transport visitors from downtown street parking and parking lots.
When: Saturday, May 18, 6-9 p.m.
Cost: Admission and parking are free! Food and a wide variety of unique art items are available for purchase.
For more information, click here.
A Texas summer just isn’t complete without floating the river. And if you’re going to embark on this age-old journey of aquatic debauchery, you might as well do it right! This year, we’ve partnered with Austin Tour Company to offer public floats with added features that make it a floating party unlike any other.
We’re offering the ultimate floating experience—we provide transportation along with your tube, ice chests, and more! You can meet new friends and live it up on the river without worrying about getting home safe. We also partner with BBG’s on 6th St. to provide drink specials and great food-for-purchase before your float.
Duration: 6 hours (roughly)
Here’s what you can expect:
The best season of the year is here and that’s FLOATING SEASON! Public Floats will always run Friday, Saturday & Sunday. We will be offering Public Floats seven days a week May 4th – September based on availability. For last minute Monday – Thursday floats please call 512-282-8687 to confirm whether or not a Public Float will be running.
Details for Public Floats are below, click here to arrange a Private Float.
*For day-of ticket purchases, please call 512-ATC-TOUR for availability*
Your ticket includes:
– Round trip transportation from downtown Austin to and from the San Marcos River to float with our partners at Texas State Tubes.
– One tube for you and one for your group to put your cooler in.
– We provide the coolers complimentary for your convenience on the bus.
– After leaving downtown Austin, we will stop on the way to the river for you to pick up alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, snacks and ice for you to take on the river. In order to protect the San Marcos River, styrofoam and glass are not allowed.
– Check In for Floats is at BBG’s on 6th St. from 10:30-10:55 AM.
– BBG’s will have drink specials for our guests, and can also make food-to-go for your trip!
- $3 Mimosa
- $5 Bloody Marys
- $3 Domestic Beers
- $2 Off all Appetizers and Salads
– The bus departs at 11:00 AM sharp – Please don’t be late or you’ll have to find your own ride to the river!
-Floats normally last 3.5-4 hours, depending on the speed of the river which is altered by the amount of rain we have in the area annually.
– Will will return to downtown Austin at approximately 5PM – 5:30PM
– The bus and float are BYOB.
Need to know:
– New regulations are being enforced by the city of San Marcos on the river – stopping for long periods of time not will be allowed on the float during prime season dates, July-August.
– Please grab a reusable trash bag from Texas State tubes before hopping on the river to collect your trash for the duration of the float. If you do not grab a trash bag, put empty cans back in your cooler. Please do not throw your trash in the river.
– The bus will leave from Texas State Tubes no later than 4:00PM. You are responsible for arriving by this time in order get a ride with ATC back to Austin. The bus cannot wait longer than this time. If you are later than this time, your valuables will be left on site and you will be responsible for getting your ride back to Austin. There is plenty of time to float and arrive back before this time – just be mindful!
– Full trip details and information will be sent out VIA EMAIL the week of your float. Please check your email for those trip details as they are subject to change.
*Weekday tickets are subject to availability (excluding Friday). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information*
The beauty of living in Austin is that you don’t have to go far to feel worlds away. One of our favorite escapes is Hyatt Regency Lost Pines & Spa, a gorgeous 405-acre property on the banks of the Lower Colorado River between Austin and Bastrop. It’s just a 20-minute drive to paradise!
And now the resort is embracing the “staycation” trend and offering a ton of—and we mean like endless—activities to entice families to bail on city life for a few days give ourselves a much-deserved break. They’ve just announced its lineup that offers everything from outdoor survival skill classes, moonlight stand-up paddle board tours of Lake Bastrop, and special rates for horseback rides!
Younger guests can also take part in the “Pony Trail Ride Adventure,” an abbreviated trail ride experience where children learn about horses while being led side-by-side by an experienced handler. Trail rides are $85 per person, and the “Pony Trail Ride Adventure” costs $45.
Led by a naturalist with the LCRA, the one-hour survival class will teach children the basics of outdoor survival skills including fire building, water filtration, shelter building, edible plants and insects, cordage and knot tying, as well as wilderness first aid. The organization will also feature “Extreme Teen Challenges” where teenage guests and their parents can take part in some of the LCRA’s most daring activities including zip lining at Zip Lost Pines, rock climbing, and gladiator challenges.
A new moonlight stand up paddle board tour of the nearby Lake Bastrop is an amazing experience. As the resort is directly connect to the Colorado River, guests can take the “Kayak the Colorado” excursion in which they are led by a guide who discusses the local scenery, wildlife, and foliage of the area, or enjoy the “Sunset Raft Trip” tour which takes place at dusk when local animals are most likely to be seen in their natural habitat.
Additionally, the resort will provide a jam-packed itinerary of family-friendly spring break activities including tractor-drawn hay rides, family movie nights, magic shows, an inflatable bounce house, glow-in-the-dark putt-putt and glow dance parties, nightly s’mores by the firepit, and scavenger hunts, as well as arts and crafts sessions with everything from slime making to tie-dying shirts. It’s camp for everyone! Families can also take part in friendly competition with lawn bowling tournaments, volleyball and soccer games, as well as several giant yard games including Jenga, Connect 4, chess, and more.
Kids and their parents will also get a chance to meet the resort’s mascots, including two Texas longhorns, an American mustang, miniature horses, and alpacas.
As always, guests can relax at the on-site Crooked River Water Park. The water park features an activity pool with a sandy beach for building sand castles, a 1,000-foot lazy river, and two-story water slide. It also includes a splash pad for children and an adults-only section with a relaxing pool and whirlpool.
The resort also provides Camp Hyatt, a kid-friendly program that introduces young travelers to the Lone Star State. While children are enjoying a fun-filled time with arts and crafts, games, and sports, parents can enjoy a round-of golf at Wolfdancer Golf Club or escape to total relaxation with customized treatments at the on-site Spa Django.
To learn more and reserve your staycation to find your #LostPinesMoment, click here or call or call 512-308-1234.
One of the best holiday experiences in town is back and better than ever! Bundle up the kiddos and take them to see over a million LED lights kick off the Christmas season. The people at Mozart’s go absolutely nuts and over-the-top this time of year and we love them for it.
Since it’s a coffee house, they will have plenty of hot chocolate and warm treats. They’ll also have a German Market in the parking lot serving up all kinds of goodies. New this year is a cobalt blue piano that will be played by pianist all season long and a gigantic coffee mug!
This is essential holiday fun in ATX, so don’t miss out.
When: Now–January 1st
Time: 6 p.m.–12 a.m.
3826 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78703
The 5th annual Waller Creek Conservancy Creek Show is on! Take a stroll along the edge of the creek downtown and see how various artists have lit the way with their original work. It’s a newer Austin tradition and it’s a great way to kick off the holiday season. The location of the art is a little different this year—so take note!
In addition to the amazing art installations, attendees can check out the Creek Show Lounge with a bar and a diverse lineup of Austin bands at Symphony Square. Attendees can also participate in free activities and games for the whole family at the Doyle House and attend an Artist Talk from 6 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 15 at CB’s Lounge at Stubb’s.
When: Friday, Nov. 11th – Saturday, Nov. 17th | 6 – 10 p.m. nightly in Austin.
Waller Creek between 9th and 11th Streets
It’s actually chilly in Austin and that can only mean one thing—Christmas is right around the corner! And nothing says Christmas in ATX more than our favorite holiday tradition, the Trail of Lights at Zilker Park. For its 54th year of merriment, the trail will run from December 10 – 23, with the first look for those doing the Trail of Lights Fun Run on December 1. You gotta Instagram yourself under the giant rainbow tunnel of lights or it didn’t happen.
Since it began in 1965, the Austin Trail of Lights has grown into one of the city’s largest events, attracting an average of 400,000 people per year. There are over two million lights, 65 displays, 30 food trucks, three entertainment stages, 50 private holiday parties, and interactive experiences throughout the park. Calendars for ticket availability, special programming, and online ticket purchases are here. We highly recommend the ZIP pass, which lets you cut the line and go through the trail an hour before the masses. Worth every penny!
There are a bunch of special nights to keep in mind. Click here for the complete rundown.
Where to Next? Race, the city-wide scavenger hunt that saw huge turnouts in D.C. and Nashville is on its way to ATX! Test your knowledge of our fair city, along with all of your brains and brawn. This is basically an action-packed combination of race, scavenger hunt, outdoor escape room, and interactive city tour. You’ve seen Amazing Race, right? Then you are ready.
Grab your best buddy because this involves two-person teams solving clues to locate checkpoints across the city and complete physical and mental challenges at each one. Checkpoints will include iconic Austin landmarks, unique local spots, and a few wildcards. Teams can travel between checkpoints on foot, bike, public transportation, rideshare apps, personal vehicles, etc.
The race will be logged live via Instagram @wheretonextrace_ and will showcase the challenges and activities of the race. W2NR allows followers to tune in on Instagram to see coverage of the race and watch as the action unfolds. The W2NR staff is with racers every step of the way to enhance and personalize the racing experience!
Teams that finish the race within the goal time will win an equal share of the prize money! The minimum prize money will be $1000 but it has the potential to go way up based upon the number of people who sign-up.
Scholz Garten is hosting W2NR registration and the post-race after party! For more information about this crazy-fun situation, click here.
When: Saturday, October 20th
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Cost: $55 – 65 | Click here to register!
Grab your bestie (the furry one) and come out to the UT campus for the fourth-annual Landmarks Dog Walk! Landmarks has partnered with Blue Dog Rescue to present a docent-led public art dog walk. Dogs and owners will take a leisurely one-hour stroll around The University of Texas at Austin to appreciate some of its most stunning works of outdoor sculpture.
Bring your dog, a leash, and plenty of waste bags to Mark di Suvero’s Clock Knot near Dean Keeton Street and Speedway at 11 a.m. Don’t have a four-legged friend? Meet and greet some of Blue Dog Rescue’s most eligible canines!
Please make sure your dog is well-behaved around people and other animals and up-to-date on vaccinations. There will be plenty of water stops along the tour route, and each guest will receive a special Landmarks frisbee!
When: Today, October 7th
Time: 11 a.m. – noon
Cost: Free and open to the public.
Landmarks, The Public Art Program of The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Sta
Austin, Texas 78712
Have you heard? The 17th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival is happening October 5-7 and October 12-14 at Zilker Park. From Paul McCartney to Metallica, The National, Shaky Graves, and Brandi Carlile, and more you might want to go this year! ACL has just released a list of tips and tricks for making this fest your best yet. If you are a newbie or even an old townie who has been going for years, information is power! Scan through this details below to know before you go.
Get Your Tickets
General Admission 3-Day Tickets for both weekends are sold out. General Admission 1-Day Tickets for Sunday are still available for Weekend Two here or at the Pre-Festival or Festival Box Office. 3-Day & 1-Day VIP Tickets, 1-Day Platinum Tickets Weekend One and 1-Day & 3-Day Platinum Tickets for both weekends are also available. Music fans ages 10 and under will be admitted free of charge accompanied by a ticketed adult.
There are plenty of ways to get to ACL Fest! Check out this page for a plethora of options.
There is no parking at Zilker Park for the ACL Festival, so take advantage of the Complimentary Official Festival Shuttles provided by ACL Fest instead! Board at Republic Square Park at the corner of 4th & Guadalupe streets and you’ll be dropped off on Barton Springs Road outside the Barton Springs West Entrance. When you’re finished rocking, hop back on for a return trip from the same spot, outside the Barton Springs West Entrance. The shuttles begin at Republic Square at 10:30 a.m. and make their final return from the park at 11 p.m. each day of the Festival.
ACL has partnered with Uber to make your experience getting to and from the festival as easy as possible. Ride with Uber for access to dedicated pick-up and drop-off points.
Cap Metro has ramped up its service this year and now offers more than a dozen bus routes that operate every 15 minutes, 7 days a week. Your best bet to get to ACL is MetroRapid Route 803. Use the CapMetro App or click here to plan your trip to the festival.
New this year, they’ve added bike parking locations near the Barton Springs East entrance! Three bike parking options will be located on Stratford Drive near the Mopac Pedestrian Bridge, Toomey Road at Sterzing Street, and on Azie Morton Rd.
Scooter and Dockless Mobility Parking is available at the corner of Sterzing Drive and Toomey Road. Additionally, Austin B-Cycle will have a station at the corner of Sterzing Drive and Barton Springs.
You can always go old school and take a taxi! The taxi pick-up and drop-off location is at William Barton Drive in front of the Barton Springs Pool.
Take the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail for a quick walk downtown and easy access to the festival grounds. Extra lighting is provided for your safety, and there are also user amenities along different spots of the Trail including water fountains, restrooms, and trash cans. View the interactive Trail map here. If you are using the Trail, be mindful of the burn-ban and responsibly discard cigarette butts.
Want to get into ACL Fest as quick as possible? Leave your bag at home! If you DO NOT have a bag, enter through the No Bag Express Lane. If you DO have a bag, enter through the Bag Lane and expect delays as bags are open for inspection. ALL bags will be searched before entry. Bags will be restricted to small purses, totes and drawstring bags only. Bag size may not exceed 14″ x 11″ x 5″ (35cm x 28cm x 12cm), or 30 linear inches (75cm) in total, and must have no more than one singular pocket or opening. Backpacks and bags with multiple pockets are prohibited.
NO LIQUIDS WILL BE ALLOWED THROUGH SECURITY CHECKPOINTS. Empty water bottles (plastic or aluminum) or hydration packs are allowed but must be emptied of all liquid and have no more than two pockets in addition to the one holding the water reservoir.
Check the list of prohibited items in advance, listen for the audio announcements and dispose of any item that is not allowed inside the festival.
Stow Your Gear
Do you want a safe and secure place to store your things while you enjoy ACL Fest and keep your phone charged? They offer 3-Day, 2-Day, and 1-Day rental lockers near the Barton Springs entrances so you can free up your hands and avoid losing any personal items during the show. Click here to reserve your locker in advance and secure the best available pricing.
Download the App
From creating your own custom schedule to mapping out Zilker Park before the fest, the app is super helpful. New this year, you can filter ACL Eats restaurants by Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten Free options! Opt-In for push notifications to stay in the loop on schedule changes, important updates, and emergency information all weekend long!
Fans can use their wristbands to make onsite purchases including food, art, lockers, beverages, and merchandise. ACtivate your wristband here and you can securely connect a credit or debit card, create a unique 4-digit pin and make safe, cashless transactions throughout the park.
Eat, Drink, Repeat
ACL Eats continues to feature fantastic local restaurants putting their spin on festival fare. Fan favorites such as the famous Torchy’s Tacos, The Mighty Cone, The Peached Tortilla, Micklethwait Craft Meats, and many more will be there to cure all your cravings.
Amy’s Ice Creams, Burro Grilled Cheese, GoodPop, mmmpanadas, Southside Flying Pizza, The Salt Lick, Tinos Greek Café, and Wholly Cow Burgers will all have a second location near the Barton Springs Stage (south of Barton Springs Road). Central Market will also have a booth inside Austin Kiddie Limits offering box lunches and beverages.
The ACL Bodega is a one-stop shop where you can buy quick snacks, like fresh fruit, and festival survival necessities, like sunscreen and ponchos. Stop by the Bodega near ACL Eats and the ACL Wine Lounge.
Don’t miss out on the Barton Springs Beer Hall, where you can choose from different craft brews and catch the weekend’s biggest MLB, NFL and College Football games on the jumbo screen in between sets.
Wine down at the ACL Wine Lounge located in a beautiful shady grove, the lounge features a wine shop and has something for every wine enthusiast from classic varietals to frosé, spritzes, and other specialties.
The fest will have free freshly filtered water at CamelBak Hydration Stations everywhere. Fans are encouraged to bring empty water bottles (plastic or aluminum) to fill once inside the park. For CamelBak-type water bottles, the maximum size is 36 oz.
Get Home Safe
There are several options for getting home after the fest. For a quick ride downtown, jump on the free Official Festival Shuttle from outside the Barton Springs West Entrance to head to Republic Square Park at 4th and Guadalupe.
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