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Weekend Family Getaway : ATX

A weekend away with the hubby is always nice (more than nice actually), but it can be fun with the kiddos too!  Sometimes after a busy season, such as the holidays, a short trip is just what the family needs to regroup and recenter.  For us, that looks like jumping in the car with the bare essentials and grabbing what you forgot along the way.  But then, there is something really exciting about getting on a plane with just a backpack and a spare Pull-up.

The U.S. is full of many great 2 day destination spots, but ATX never disappoints!   With a wide range of food, music, museums and culture, there is something for everyone to enjoy, so here are 7 interesting & quirky places to spend your time in Austin.

1.)  SOCO (South Congress) - Formerly Austin’s Red Light District, but now the eclectic thrown of Austin’s funky marketplace .  This street is flanked with great restaurants, fresh markets, and interesting hobby & trinket shops.  You could literally spend a whole day just meandering from one end to the other and still not get to it all.  Check out Linsey’s blog: www.TheCasualEclectic.com for a photo diary of SOCO.

2.)  The Thinkery - A modern children’s museum that interests growing brains at any age.  This place is a child innovator’s wonderland, and is a hub for the why’s and how’s.  Here, children learn through the arts, sciences and play exploration.  I know my daughter is constantly asking, “why” so releasing her to this place was refreshing to say the least!

3.)  Austin Steam Train Association - I have boarded many airplanes in my day, but my experiences on a train ( a metro doesn’t count ) are but few.  This is a great way to experience something new as a family.  Weather your children are small or older, this activity is truly captivating for all.  For little children, A Day out with Thomas the Train is an event that really wows!  Each car is restored so beautifully and I enjoyed how most cars were situated in a way that allows you to face your family while traveling!

4.)  Zilker Park Playground - There is just something about a playground that brings out the inner child in you and really allows the family to get on the same level.  Play is our children’s love language so making it a priority really strengthens the family unit.  This place is a great location for the kiddos to really be free and explore.  There are many things to do, as this is not your typical ‘playground’.  Barton Springs pool at Zilker offers canoeing too, which would be a relaxing cap to a day full of jungle gyms.

5.)  Capitol Building - Since Austin is the State Capitol, don’t pass up the chance to stand inside the regal gates and soak in the legacy that is Texas.  This can be as brief or as detailed as you would like.  You can simply snap a few pictures to prove you were here, or you can hop on a tour of the capitol building and really brush up on your history!

6.)  Flight of the Bats - Every year from March to November at dusk under the Congress Avenue Bridge the bats take flight into the sky.  This bridge is home to the largest urban bat colony in the United States.  It is truly a spectacular sight to see this elusive nocturnal creature come to life as the night awakens.  Crowds gather on hike & bike trails down below as they await the flight of the bats.

7.)  The Escape Game - Thinking team games are really taking off everywhere and it is a great activity for families with children 8 and up.  The themed rooms are elaborate and detailed and you have a time limit to try and figure out how to escape.  Prison Break, The Heist & Gold Rush are just a few themes that are featured, and this is a great way for your family to come together and conquer something as a team!

Guest piece by : Linsey McNeel author of  www.TheCasualEclectic.com