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Rancho Sienna News

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20 July . 2018

Got kids? Let this book be your guide to family fun in the Austin area

Whether it’s summer, a holiday or even just a regular weekend, figuring out how to keep the kids entertained can be challenge. Thankfully, Austin mom Annette Lucksinger has come to the rescue for parents, cataloging and organizing more than 100 family-friendly outings and 25 annual events in the Austin.

Her book, “Exploring Austin with Kids,” and its related blog and app are must-haves for any parent.

The idea for the book came one day after Annette’s youngest decided he liked Mom better than pre-school. The two decided to hang out more together, and she set out to find a guide of fun places to go and things to do in the Austin area. Not finding one, she decided to create one herself.

Four years later, with hundreds of adventures under their belts, Exploring Austin with Kids” was published, and the book is now in its second updated edition.

Here are just a few of her favorite places in the book, which is available on Amazon or Annette’s website.

  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. This Austin attraction is justly famous, but did you know that its newest addition is the family-friendly Luci and Ian Family Garden? It encourages imaginative, nature-inspired play, with giant bird’s nests, a sand pit, and mosaic-lined caves and tunnels. The center also has trails and themed gardens, such as the butterfly garden.
  • Deep Eddy Pool. The oldest public pool in Texas, Deep Eddy has spring-fed water that ranges from 65 to 75 degrees. A zero-depth wading pool is ideal for young swimmers to explore the crystal-clear waters. The shady banks are perfect for picnics, and special events include Splash Party Movie Nights. A trail connects Deep Eddy to the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail.
  • Zilker Park. The book devotes several pages to 350-acre Zilker Park, aka Austin’s Central Park. Attractions include Zilker Botanical Gardens, with its stroller-friendly paths and a Prehistoric Garden with a dinosaur sculpture. There are miles of nature trails with informative signs that appeal to kids. The playscape area is a kids’ favorite, and Zilker also has a miniature train, a nature center, boat rentals, and of course, Barton Springs Pool.
  • Camp Mabry. An operating military post open to the public, Camp Mabry has a surprising number of activities for kids, from tank and aircraft displays, to a military museum and a fishing pond. It’s located on W. 35th, just west of Mopac Expressway/Loop 1.

While most of the book focuses on central Austin, Annette lists popular attractions in surrounding areas such as Georgetown, where she recommends All Things Kid, the Blue Hole, Lake Georgetown and Inner Space Caverns. In Round Rock, she recommends Brushy Creek Trail, Main Street Plaza, Play for All Abilities Park and the Round Rock Express baseball team.

Discover more kid-friendly attractions near Rancho Sienna with our Local Flavor guide.