Family-Friendly Activities On a Waco To Austin Road Trip

Wondering what to do on a family-friendly trip in Texas? Check out this 4 day / long weekend trip itinerary idea for visiting Waco and Austin in one trip… Don’t miss tips for stopping at the Silos and eating at Magnolia Table, along with zoos, museums, and food to try in Austin, Texas…

There are a TON of fun things to do on a road trip from Waco to Austin… And I’ll walk you through (with a video) all we did in 4 days, coming from Dallas

Things to do when visiting both Waco and Austin, Texas…

Here is a quick look at some of the Waco and Austin destinations things you’ll see on this list: 

Waco travel highlights

  • Cameron Park Zoo in Waco
  • Bru Coffee
  • Magnolia Table – Joanna Gaines restaurant in Waco
  • Magnolia Silos
  • Magnolia Press
  • Shopping At Magnolia Market
  • Driving From Austin To Waco in about 2 hours

Austin travel highlights

  • Family-friendly things to do in Austin
  • Omni Hotel in Downtown Austin, Texas
  • True Food Kitchen 
  • Thinkery 
  • Veracruz 
  • Mueller Lake Park (a great playground for kids in Austin)
  • Lick Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Nights
  • Austin Visitor Center
  • Austin Duck Adventures Tour
  • Corinne Restaurant inside the Marriott Austin
  • Catch live music (it’s what Austin is known for!) I had a fun night activity I attended (YouTube Creators Event) at the Soho House which included live music from an Austin band, Bros Fresh

See our Family Trip Itinerary from Waco to Austin

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Driving From Waco To Austin

If you can spare a few hours, there’s definitely something to do in Waco on the way to Austin: eat some food!

Magnolia Table (Waco TX)

The lemonade flight at Magnolia Table was one of my family’s favorite things to try from the menu…

No reservation? No problem, you can still get take-away food at the Magnolia Table restaurant and eat on the patio outside.

Cameron Park Zoo (Waco TX)

This zoo is a perfect spot to explore during a road trip / visiting Waco. 

All the animals are up-close and personal at this zoo.

They even have a Komodo Dragon, which I’ve never seen in any zoo I’ve visited.

The zoo is open 9am – 5pm (Mon-Sat) and 11am – 5pm on Sunday. Children two and under get free entrance too. 

Bru Coffee (Waco TX)

There are quite a few coffee roasters to check out in Waco, and on this trip I stopped at Bru.

Bru Coffee is tucked away inside a historic building lobby, but the hidden coffee shop feel is definitely worth the stop. 

Plus…the brew is a great pick me up for the rest of the road trip.

Family-friendly things to do in Austin

Stay at a family-friendly hotel

We stayed at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Austin, TX.

It was pretty family friendly and our room even included a treadmill exercise area.

True Food Kitchen (Austin TX)

If you’re looking to have some tasty food delivered to the Omni Hotel, True Food Kitchen is right down the street. 

Place your order online using a site like GrubHub or Caviar and within 30 minutes you’ll have some of the freshest food in town in your room. 

Thinkery (Austin TX)

This spot is great for all ages.

Kids and adults alike will be able to explore their imagination by conducting science experiments, building with blocks, using interactive tools, playing with water, and learning about light and sound.

Oh, and for the kids, the Thinkery has a HUGE playground area outside with plenty to climb on.

FYI, they are open on Wednesday – Sunday and take reservations if needed.

General admission walk-up availability is offered too. 

Veracruz (Austin TX)

Talk about a taste of Mexico…wow! 

Veracruz has multiple locations – including a food truck – throughout Austin. 

We ate at the Mueller Lake Park location and it was delicious. 

You can pick and choose your tacos. 

I recommend trying the Al Pastor, Shrimp Macha, and Grilled Steak tacos. They come with side sauces which further enhance the taste.

When you eat at Veracruz, you should ask to try their house made Mole. 

They’ll serve it with tortillas to dip and use it as the topping for their chicken enchiladas. The children’s menu is fully loaded too. 

They’ll have a ton of options to choose from.

You can’t miss the drinks either. 

Of course they have your classic Mexican alcoholic drinks and beers, but you should definitely try the house-made juices like the Agua Fresca. You cannot go wrong.

Mueller Lake Park (Austin TX)

Right near the Thinkery and Veracruz restaurant, this playground is a fantastic spot to visit while in Austin. 

The park features an amphitheater, walking trail, a large picnic area, and a big playground for kids. Everyone in your family will have fun here on a nice day. 

Parking is conveniently located next to the park as well. Just remember to pay at the parking meter! 

Lick Ice Cream (Austin TX)

The cool thing about Lick Ice Cream is that it’s part of a self-guided ice cream walking tour in the Mueller Lake Park area. 

Yes, there are multiple ice cream shops within a block of each other…how tasty!

Lick Ice Cream is known for its farm-to-table approach to making ice cream. In fact, their motto is “honest ice cream.” 

They source all ingredients locally and the staff will be happy to tell you specifically about the source of all of their ingredients.

Definitely a must try after playing at the playground.

Pumpkin Nights (Austin TX)

When you visit Austin in October, you must go to Austin’s Pumpkin Nights.

Pioneer Farms is the host of this family-friendly adventure. 

Opening at 6pm each evening, you’ll be able to walk your way through the forest which is decorated fully with hundreds and hundreds of carved pumpkins. 

Each area has a specific theme and music. Be sure to get all your photos taken by the friendly staff and try some of the food and drink on the way out. 

This is not a scary attraction, so all ages are welcomed here.

Visitor Center (Austin TX)

This visitor center is located in the heart of downtown Austin. 

Specifically, it’s right next to the convention center which holds tons of events and conferences like SXSW.

If you have a free day in Austin without any plans, just swing into the Visitors Center and the helpful staff can tell you about all of the tours happening that day. 

They have walking tours, van tours, a doubledecker bus tour, and a duck adventures tour. If there are free spots, you can book your tour right then.

The visitor center itself offers some shopping too. If you’re looking for a cool Austin souvenir to remember your trip, you’ll find it there. 

Austin Duck Adventures (Austin TX)

We had a blast on the Austin Duck Adventures Tour. We even booked it that day because of open availability! 

If you’re unfamiliar with duck tours, you’ll be seated in an open air vehicle that drives on land and floats in water! 

Your driver will take you on a tour through downtown Austin where you’ll drive down the popular 6th Street, checkout the Texas State Capitol building, learn about the main famous hotels and musical buildings. 

Once you get to the lake, your driver will drive the duck bus/boat right into the water. 

For the next 20 minutes, you’ll be cruising the lake learning about all the lakeside houses. 

Your tour guide will even shed some light about the famous people that live in those houses too. 

Definitely book this tour if you have a free 90 minutes!

Corinne Restaurant (Austin TX)

Located inside of the Austin Marriott hotel, this restaurant is a great place to dine for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

They offer a wide variety of drinks, starters, main dishes, and desserts. 

If you’re eating during lunch or dinner, I highly recommend you try the Rotisserie Chicken. It’s a large one, so perfect for families to have. 

At the end of your meal, order the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. This pie is the perfect ending to a fantastic dining experience.

Night activities

During this visit, I attended a YouTube Creators Event in Austin at the Soho House – a “hotel club” with a really cool bar inside…

During the event, I caught some live music which is a must-experience part of visiting Austin. 

This band was great, they are called Bros Fresh.

Driving From Austin To Waco 

Magnolia Silos (Waco, TX)

Looking to relax, grab a bite, shop or run around to burn out some energy, the Magnolia Silos is the place to stop in Waco

Owned by Joanna & Chip Gaines, the silos has the Magnolia Press coffee shop, Magnolia bakery, plenty of food carts with tacos and hot dogs, shopping, and even a small baseball field to play wiffle ball. 

Everyone in the family will find something to do at the Silos. 

Magnolia Press (Waco, TX)

This coffee shop is located in the Magnolia Silos and is a great spot to start your day at the Silos

They offer all fresh coffee variations for you coffee drinkers, freshly made hot chocolate for the kids, as well as homemade pastries. 

This coffee shop has indoor self-seating available, so no reservations are required. If the weather is nice, take your drink & food outside to the patio to enjoy in some fresh air. 

Shopping At Magnolia Market (Waco, TX)

Shopping at the Magnolia Silos is plentiful and the Magnolia Market is the place to stop for you home decor fans. 

This market oozes home inspiration, so keep your creative mind open when shopping at Magnolia Market. 

Whether you’re looking for that perfect seasonal home decor or shopping for a friend, you’ll find something here for sure. 

Guides for visiting Austin, Texas on Sip Bite Go

More travel tips

Dallas Area Guides

Are you a foodie traveler, too?

Hey theres, hope that answers all your questions about what to do on a family trip to Waco and Austin, TX.. 

Enjoy cooking and chat soon on Instagram / TikTok / YouTube.

– Jenna

Next, browse the Sip Bite Go recipe collection

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