Austin is a city with something for people of all ages. It has an artsy vibe and a whole lot of fantastic places to enjoy the outdoors. Although the city’s unofficial slogan is “Keep Austin Weird”, it isn't weird at all!
Austin has some odd sights but mostly the things to do there are tremendous fun and your teens will love it all!
Here are 27 awesome things to do with teens in Austin that your teens will love, including a few of the ‘weird’ but very popular activities!
Cool and Unusual Things for Teens to Do in Austin
1. Street Art And Graffiti Tour
Austin’s street art scene is well-known and seeing it up close is one of the best things you can do with your teen. Teenagers can relate to street art and murals in a way that no other kind of art can as the vivid colors and political or humorous messages speak to them.
The Street Art And Graffiti Tour with the Color Cartel that brings you straight to the famous murals and off-the-beaten-path gems.
If you prefer to find them on your own, use this guide to the best art murals in Austin.
2. The Escape Game Austin
Playing an escape game is an exciting thing to do in Austin with your teen. Escape games are popular with teenagers as they are not just fun, but also get your teens’ creative thinking going as they race against the clock.
Your group has just 60 minutes to solve challenging clues and riddles to find the way out of a ‘locked’ room. Each room at The Escape Game Austin has a unique theme and is designed perfectly to recreate an environment that reflects that theme.
Your family will have a blast working together to escape the room in time. Visiting The Escape Room Austin will be a memorable part of your visit!
3. The Austin Bats
Ok, here’s a sort of weird thing to do with your teens -- see the Austin bats fly out from under the Congress Bridge at sunset. This is, in fact, the most popular tourist attraction in the city!
The Congress Avenue Bridge in Downtown Austin is home to the biggest urban bat colony in North America, estimated at 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats.
Every night at sunset, from mid-March to early November, the bat colony flies out from under the bridge to look for food. The sight is captivating as the small black-winged creatures fill the sky and then dart off rapidly.
4. iFly Indoor Skydiving
Indoor skydiving at iFLY Austin is just the thing your adrenaline-seeking teen will love!
It’s a gravity-defying experience that takes place safely inside a manmade wind tunnel a few feet off the ground.
If your teen wants to go to the next level and skydive from an airplane, look into skydiving companies in Austin, like The Skydiving Company and Texas Skydiving.
5. Inner Space Cavern
In this cave formed about 20 million years ago, there are nearly 5 miles of passageways, much of which the public can tour. For those who have never been inside such a large cave, it’s a magical experience. Huge rock formations fill up the massive cavernous spaces. It’s like being on another planet.
The “Adventure Tour” is an hour long and follows a paved walkway. Your guide takes you to the largest most spectacular spaces with stalagmites, stalactites, cave drapery, and other formations.
On the much more exciting “Hidden Passages” tour a guide leads you through a newly opened section of the cave on an undeveloped trail. Visiting the Inner Space Cavern may be the coolest thing you and your teen can do in Austin!
Things To Do With Outdoorsy Teens in Austin
6. Lake Travis Zipline Adventures
For teens who like swinging from the trees at top speeds, this may very well be the best thing to do with them in Austin! At Lake Travis Zipline Adventures, guests get to zipline a 20-story cliff traveling 2,500 feet at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. This is the longest and fastest zipline in Texas!
This is the grand finale though. Travis Zipline likes to build the anticipation before the thrills. A guide leads guests on a 3-hour hike to reach the pinnacle and along the way, four other zip lines weave their way through canyons and above inlets.
After the ziplining is over, you can relax at their private lakefront property. Take a dip in Lake Travis, play beach games, or swing on a hammock.
7. Zoos and Drive-Thru Safaris
There are two zoos in Austin as well as ranches with exotic animals where you can go on a ‘safari’ without traveling to Africa! At the Austin Zoo guests see big cats, bears, zebras, monkeys, and so many more species.
The Capital of Texas Zoo, 20 minutes east of downtown Austin, houses a variety of rare and beautiful animals like white tigers, black leopards, and lions. The zoo offers close-up encounters with some animals for an extra cost. Meet some lemurs, watch cat feedings, and swim with otters!
A one-hour drive to San Antonio is the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, with over 500 animals across 450 acres of beautiful rolling hills. The Exotic Resort Zoo about a one-hour drive from Austin has 45 different species of animals and over 700 animals. You can do a drive-through in your car or take a guided tour on a tractor-led tram.
8. Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs Pool is a natural spring-fed pool with an average temperature of 68 to 70 degrees all year long! No matter when you visit Austin, you and your teens can hop in and swim.
It’s in Zilker Park, a 351-acre park right in the middle of Austin, so it is very convenient to reach. Zilker Park has lots of recreational activities. There’s a Nature and Science Center, the Zilker Botanical Gardens, and the Zilker Hillside Theatre which hosts concerts of all genres.
9. Mount Bonnell
For a short hike with a breathtaking view, head to Mount Bonnell. This is an excellent thing to do with teens who want to get a panoramic view of Austin, but don’t want to hike too far to get there. The viewing area is a steep climb up stone steps. The effort is well worth it.
10. Lady Bird Lake
The first thing people often notice about the long, and not especially round, Lady Bird Lake is that it looks an awful lot like a river! It is in fact part of the Colorado River, but it is named for former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, because of her efforts to beautify the shores along this waterway.
Lady Bird Lake is open all year long and while there is no swimming allowed, even in the summer, there are lots of kayak tours to take. Try Austin Kayak Tours which offers a Skyline tour, a Bat Bridge tour, and a Sunset tour.
If you prefer you can rent your own kayak, canoe, or paddleboard from one of these places: the Rowing Dock, Texas Rowing Center, or the Paddle Shack.
11. Barton Creek Greenbelt
Barton Creek Greenbelt is immensely popular with the locals because of its gorgeous diverse terrain and it’s just a few minutes from Downtown Austin. This is an ideal place to bring your teens who like all outdoor activities!
There are nearly 13 miles of gorgeous trails to hike or bike. You can rent bikes from Barton Springs Bike Rental. When water levels are high enough there are swimming holes to cool off in. Hike half a mile to the pretty Twin Falls and another mile past it to Sculpture Falls.
See Austin On A Tour
12. Austin Bike Tours
This tour company offers unique tours of Austin with excellent guides making this one of the most entertaining things you can do with your teens. Their flagship tour includes a bit of everything — history, scenery, and main attractions like Lady Bird Lake, the Texas State Capitol, and iconic murals.
How about a “Taco ‘bout Austin” tour? You’ll bike around the city to the best taco spots while seeing some of the sights included in the flagship tour and even more.
Lastly, their Haunted Boo-Cycle Tour tour takes guests to Austin's haunted spots while guides share tales of Austin’s darker side.
13. Austin Detours
Your teens will love this tour and so will you! You'll be driven around Austin in a Mercedes van for two hours and get a city overview.
Your luxury van stops at landmarks and lesser-known spots known only to locals while an enthusiastic guide tells you about Austin’s art and music scene, culture, history, famous people, and more!
14. Austin Duck Tour Adventures
See Austin from both land AND water from the same vehicle. Duck tours use amphibian Hydra Terra vehicles to go to Austin’s main attractions in 75 minutes.
This guided tour covers city highlights like the State Capital Building, the University of Texas campus, Historic Sixth Street, and Congress Avenue. Then the tour moves onto the water with a 15-20 minute tour on beautiful Lake Austin.
15. Segway Tours of Austin
Your teens will get a hoot out of seeing Austin on these funny-looking two-wheeled contraptions. Segways are easy to use and a fun way to see the city.
Segway Tours of Auston offers three tours to choose from: a morning historical tour, an evening ghost, and bat Segway tour, and two short sightseeing tours.
Austin Amusement Parks and Arcades For Teens
Pinstack is Austin’s one-stop shopping where you and your teen can have loads of fun and great food under the same roof. Pinstack is a 45,000 square-foot venue with state-of-the-art full-size bowling lanes, a two-level laser tag arena, a 24-foot rock climbing wall, bumper cars, and a high-ropes course suspended 20 feet above 100 of the newest video games and simulator technology.
For teens who love fast water sports, take them wakeboarding at this awesome cable wakeboarding park in South East Austin. Cable wakeboarding is like a combination of skateboarding and water skiing!
Instead of being towed by a fast boat, riders are towed by an overhead cable. Like a skate park, ramps along the cable path allow riders to practice tricks. It’s an easy sport to pick up and a visit to QuestATX comes with instructions and equipment.
18. Typhoon Texas Waterpark
Though Austin has so many water activities to enjoy, some teens aren't fans of nature and would prefer a place like Typhoon Texas Waterpark. The 23-acre waterpark has a huge activity pool with several slide towers, a wave pool, and a 1,000-foot-long lazy river. Of course, there are chairs to sunbathe and plenty of snack bars.
Austin Museums For Teens
19. Museum of Ice Cream
Eat unlimited ice cream and other treats as you make you and your teen make your way from activity to activity. Learn about the history of ice cream from 12 multi-sensory installations. Jump in the museum's world-famous sprinkle pool - an instant Instagramable moment your teens will love!
20. UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum
Right near Barton Springs, the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden has more than 50 sculptures by American sculptor Charles Umlauf. The garden itself is lovely and is a nice way to spend some relaxing time with your teens.
21. Blanton Museum of Art
Choose from 21,000 works to see at this excellent museum that houses the University of Texas art collection. Works are spread across genres so your teen is sure to find some works of art that intrigue them. Check out the marvelous European paintings, and the modern American, Latin American, and African American art.
22. Museum of the Weird
This Ripley’s Believe It Or Not-type museum fits right in with Austin’s unofficial logo, ‘Keep Austin Weird’. This museum is only for teens who don't get squeamish seeing oddities like shrunken heads, taxidermy animals, or skeletons. There are some cool wax museum items and displays of mythic creatures like Bigfoot.
Shopping in Austin with Teens
23. The Domain
If your teens want to shop til they drop, take them to The Domain. There are 400 stores including many popular chain stores your teens will recognize like Urban Outfitters, Free People, Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, and many more.
Plus there are both sit-down restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory and fast food joints like Shake Shack.
24. South Congress Avenue
Strolling along South Congress Avenue (known as SoCo) is one of the most interesting things to do in Austin with your teens. The shopping is both fashionable and unique. It’s a bustling street with shops, restaurants, and music venues so you can hear music playing as you wander the Avenue.
Head to Allen Boots for cowboy boots which make for a fantastic souvenir for a trip to Texas. For other souvenirs try Parts and Labour, with one-of-a-kind items. If you have teens who like to roam through stores with loads of unusual but cool items, Uncommon Objects is where to go.
Finish off your afternoon on South Congress Avenue with a stop at Big Top Candy Shop which carries over 3000 wrapped candies and over 400 bulk candies. Your teens will have no problem finding a candy they love!
Austin Entertainment for Teens
25. Moody Center
The Moody Center is the arena for big concerts and major sports events in Austin. Both the men’s and women’s Longhorn basketball teams play here.
26. Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits is the longest-running televised music series in American history. Every week musicians and bands of every genre, from legends to newcomers, play in front of a live studio audience at the Moody Theater.
27. Bass Concert Hall
The “Broadway in Austin” series presents touring Broadway shows that change every week. Your teens can enjoy top shows that are touring the country and making a stop in Austin.
The “Texas Welcomes” series has contemporary bands, comedians, and family shows.