Everyone knows summer is primetime in Austin with Barton Springs, the Greenbelt, Zilker Park, and tons of festivals and events to choose from. Unfortunately, with Austin’s massive growth these places and events can get quickly overcrowded. Finding space and activities for children who want the freedom to explore and interact, means many families are traveling slightly out of “town” to enjoy these aspects. There are tons of fantastic, family-friendly options available especially south of Austin in the Buda and Kyle areas. Already living there? There is no need to travel all the way downtown for some family fun, check out these great activities available this summer in Buda and Kyle!
  • Downtown Buda Farmer’s Market (March - October): Every Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM Buda hosts a farmers market across from Garcia’s Restaurant on Main Street. Residents and visitors can browse the fresh, high quality (and reasonably priced) local products and goods. Goods for sale have included locally raised longhorn beef, pasteurized pork/baked goods, produce, eggs, canned goods, olive oil, herbs and spices, gourmet fudge and other sweets, soap and body products and much more! There is also live music every Saturday and an artisan’s market every third Saturday. What a great way to support local businesses, mingle with members of the community, and treat yourself to some healthy eats.


  • Movies in the Park (Buda): Every Friday in June Buda host’s a concert and movie in the park! Concerts feature local artists playing under the pavilion at Buda City Park starting at 8 pm. The family friendly movie starts slightly later under the stars at 9 pm (selections have yet to be announced). Seating is on the grass and concrete, so bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks to make it a great night. Concessions are available, but admission is free!


  • Red, White n’ Buda Independence Day Celebration (Buda): Come celebrate Independence Day in Buda! July 4th is done right, starting off with a children’s parade featuring decorative bicycles, wagons, and unique kid’s floats. Later on at City Park there are plenty of activities for the kiddo’s including bounce houses, with grilling and chilling for the adults. The celebration continues into the night with live music and a spectacular fireworks display that is sure to have you ‘ooo’ing and ‘ahh’ing!


  • Fire Fest (Last Weekend of August): Fire Fest is attended by over 10,000 people annually, and is a fundraiser for Central Texas firefighters. Featuring live music by nationally recognized artists (past artists include Wade Bowen and Clark Green), arts and crafts vendors, a kid zone, and tons of scheduled events, Fire Fest is not only fun for the kiddos but the adults too! One unique thing about this festival is that there is a Firefighter Challenge where firefighters compete at job-related challenges like climbing a tower, hoisting hoses, and forcible entry simulation!


  • Visit the River: Just a short trek from Buda and Kyle there are several river spots that are perfect for lounging and swimming on a hot day. Just south in San Marcos, TX is the San Marcos River, which is spring fed and stays a cool 72 degrees year round. A little further south than that, you’ll find the Guadalupe River and the Comal River near New Braunfels. Tubes are available for rent at several locations on each river, and there are numerous parks and play areas to choose from. Nothing says Central Texas quite like a day at the river, and water levels have risen enough this year to allow for swimming in most areas!


  • Historic Stagecoach Park: Stagecoach Park features two historic facilities on 51 acres which include a pavilion, party room available for rent, amphitheater, playground, trail system, open fields for running and playing, and a pond. Mesquite and Oak trees are plentiful on the grounds offering shade to those who want it, and there is abundant wildlife sharing the space. The park is popular with joggers, walkers, and people with dogs, so it makes the perfect place for families looking for a day out.


  • Pinballz Kingdom: If the weather is just too hot to go outside (and let’s face it, Texas heat is no joke), take the family to Pinballz Kingdom for some arcade games in the AC! Featuring an old school arcade and pinball machines, this place transports you back to the time when pinball was king (the 80s). They also have a little something for the adults, Mikki’s Tavern, Biergarten & Dragon’s Den Bar and Stage is a place where adults can sip draught beer and order off a casual, rustic dining menu.


  • Cabela’s: So Cabela’s is an outdoor and sporting goods store, but boy is it entertaining. Especially on those aforementioned days when it’s +100 degrees out, there is plenty to do inside the store that doesn’t involve shopping. There are several themed rooms with stuffed wildlife posed in realistic positions in with a native backdrop. There is a room to shoot bow and arrows, and sometimes archery lessons are available. They also have a large aquarium that you can walk through and observe all of the native Texas fish. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a restaurant on site with yummy food (and drinks). All in all, Cabela’s is a solid choice for entertaining kids and grownups for a few hours.


  • Front Porch Days (May 14th + 15th): Held in Kyle, Front Porch Days is a two-day celebration that brings over 3,000 people to Plum Creek’s Fergus Park. There is live music, food, bounce houses, and other family fun activities like races, a morning garden tour, and a 4-person golf scramble at the Plum Creek Golf Course. There are also carnival activities, face painting, inflatable games, the Jigglebug Express, a petting zoo, pie baking contest, pony rides, washer tournament and so much more. This weekend of family fun rounds out on Sunday with a Family Fishing Day from 4-6PM by the lake, and two music stages host family-friendly bands throughout the weekend!


  • Five Mile Dam: Make a day out of visiting Five Mile Dam, located in Kyle off Yarrington Road. Guests can swim, float, or paddle upstream in the lovely watering hole provided by the damming up of the Blanco River. The park is dog-friendly, so when the weather is nice, it’s a dog lover’s paradise. The area tends to dry up in times of drought, but we’ve had so much rain recently that this shouldn’t be a problem until very late in the summer (if at all). The city has recently added greens to play sports, as well as a windmill. There are several fishing holes if you want to try your luck, and a few rope swings, and a rocky riverbed for lounging. The park gets really crowded on the holidays, so make sure you go early to snag a picnic table!


  • Fish and Hike at Lake Kyle: Lake Kyle is located off Lehman Road, about a mile south of Bunton Road and a half a mile north of FM-150. Here nature lovers can choose from several trails surfacing over four miles around the lake. The trails have colored trail post markers to keep you on track, and offer scenic walks through the nature preserve, a trek around the Amphitheater, paths to secret fishing nooks, and a wild flower meadow! There are cement trails for those who like to stay on the beaten path and alternative routes for the more adventurous. There is even a cross country trail suitable for competitive school and public recreational use measuring 1.5 miles from start to finish.