Fall Fun In Austin: 5 Experiences to Enjoy in Texas’s Quirkiest City
The unofficial slogan of Austin, Texas sums up the city’s individualistic spirit: “Keep Austin Weird”.
But, weird doesn’t necessarily mean bad. It’s actually far from it. The fact that Austin has embraced its offbeat side has made it a sought-after travel destination, especially for parents who want their kids to experience something a bit different from the usual theme parks and beaches.
Austin has something to offer kids and adults alike, and if you’re looking to escape the sweltering summer heat, fall is a great time to go. Reason being, in September, Austin’s highs fall to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while the lows are in the high 60s. And, October gets even better, with highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 60s.
So, if you’re planning an autumnal romp in Austin, here are a few things you must check out.
1. Going Batty
If you’re looking to venture to this city right as summer winds down, you may want to try Bat Fest—a festival in late August that celebrates Austin’s famous colony of 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tailed bats.
Don’t worry; they’re far more interested in bugs than bloodsucking, and have become Austin’s unofficial mascots, creating a beautiful natural phenomenon as they fly through the dusky sky.
Bat Fest provides live music, games for kids, and food and drinks. Kids and parents can both participate in the bat costume contest, where the more unique you get, the better.
If you’re looking for a true fall trip, however, the bats aren’t hasty to leave. They stick around until November. And, if you’re willing to check out the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge at sundown, you might catch them taking flight.
You may also want to try a Lone Star Riverboat Bat Cruise. There, you’ll have a local guide treating you to the sights and sounds of the city—with a bat-related spin.
2. Special Events in the Big City
Of course, there are some things to do in Austin that you’ll want to pencil into your calendar. If you’re a fan of cars or sporting events in general, you’ll be delighted to find that Austin is hosting 2018’s FIA World Rallycross!
This sprint-style automobile race is going to stretch across a whole weekend in late September, and promises live entertainment and plenty of thrills as vehicles reach speeds of up to 600 mph.
Should you wish to forgo the cars or simply visit a bit earlier, the weekend prior (9/22-9/23) hosts the annual Fall Pecan Street Festival, where you’ll find music, arts and crafts, and plenty of eclectic shopping.
The festival features more than 300 vendors from across the globe, and is the perfect event to visit for a unique souvenir.
Not to mention, September 23rd is also Austin Museum Day, during which many museums and cultural sites across the city offer free admission.
3. Kitsch Culture
Let’s say you want to vacay like an Austin oddball. One great option for kids looking to blow off some steam—and adults seeking to relive childhood memories—is Pinballz Arcade.
Famous for housing countless new and vintage arcade games alike, Pinballz could offer a unique bonding experience for kids and their game-loving parents. And, if you’re interested in something a bit more active, it’s also home to some of the fiercest games of laser tag around.
Should you be interested in another quirky Austin tradition, Peter Pan Mini Golf is a kitschy and kooky place for you to unwind with vintage courses—perfect for photo ops and a favorite among locals.
4. Outdoor Oasis
Despite having all of the hustle, bustle, and shopping a big city fan could hope for, Austin doesn’t lack for natural wonder. Outside the city is the famous Hamilton Pool Preserve, a beautiful natural swimming pool bordered by waterfalls and hiking trails.
As a perfect place to cool off and soak in the beauty of the woodlands, Hamilton Pool Preserve is popular, and requires reservations. But, as it costs just $11 to save your spot as a family, you can visit while being assured that the pool won’t be too crowded—unlike a typical swimming pool.
An alternative, should you want something a bit more convenient, is Barton Springs Pool, another natural pool that is carefully cleaned each week, attracting a diverse crowd of visitors.
It may also be worth going on a day trip to Longhorn Cavern State Park, where the natural phenomenon of limestone buildup has created a system of caverns that look like nothing you’ve seen before.
Last, but not least, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you could visit Mount Bonnell. Though not Austin’s highest point, it offers the best views of the city and Lake Austin, and is a great place for scenic photography or simply relaxing as a family.
5. The Music Scene
Austin is famous for its offbeat, authentic music scene—and there is no shortage of places to catch a live show. It’s true that the famous Antone’s Nightclub is adults only. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of alternatives for music fans of all ages!
Everyone is welcome at the popular Waterloo Records, where you can buy music and enjoy free live performances. Should you desire a bite to eat with your music, try Stubb’s BBQ, a restaurant and venue that has hosted names as big as that of Johnny Cash.
Just keep in mind that Austin truly is a hotspot for musicians, so you may want to check to see if your favorite act is visiting before planning your trip. Even if they aren’t, there is always the statue of Willie Nelson to visit if you want to pay tribute to your favorite rebel.
Blending the old with the new, Austin is locale with several different personalities, and you certainly won’t find yourself bored when visiting as a family. Take the time to plan, but don’t be afraid to explore things outside of your comfort zone. If any city in the nation was the place to do it, this would be it! By the time your trip is over, you’ll already be dying to go back to Austin and all of its wonderful weirdness.
Now, are you feeling inspired to book your family getaway to ATX? Wyndham Austin can serve as your home away from home! Give your Resort Specialists at Tripbound a call today at 1-888-816-5214. We’ll match you with your perfect vacation, so all you have to do is determine your mode of transportation and get to packing!
Have you ventured to this destination once or twice before? In the comments section below, let us know what you most enjoyed during your stay. We can’t wait to hear from you!