San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

Things to do in Austin

by Emma Lee
(San Antonio, Texas)

Looking for a fun and educational getaway to Austin Texas? One week in the middle of summer 2009, our family was in a rut. We had too much television and not enough fresh air. So we packed up the kids in the car and drove to our state capital in Austin.

With no planned itinerary beforehand we picked through a packet of pamphlets for local sites and museum and in no time we had found several museums and tours that would not only be fun, but also help the kids and adults learn something new.

From our room at the Hyatt Regency Austin, we were less than two miles from the Austin Museum of Art, four miles from the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, and less than a mile from our state capital for an informative tour. So we decided to hit all these locations, and those three days in Austin turned out to be one of the best vacations that summer.

With two adults and three kids, we thought it would be expensive to visit all these places, but since the Austin Museum of Art is free to kids under 12, we only paid $10 for our visit. The kids loved the exhibits and wanted to stay for hours, playing with toys in the Children’s room and even looking at the photographs and paintings. Researching the LBJ Museum we read that President Johnson wanted the museum to be free for all visitors, so our family went to see that museum the next day. Our kids were fascinated by the president’s life story and my husband and I loved the gifts of state and historic exhibits.

Our last stop was a tour of the State Capital. This, like the LBJ museum, was a tour light on the wallet and heavy in education and it was fun for all in the family. When we drove home our kids made plans to go to the library and check out books on what they had learned.

The next week, instead of TV, we read books about art, Lyndon Johnson, and the Alamo and the founding of Texas. Our family was out of our summer rut.

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