Things to Do With Kids in the Texas Hill Country

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
••• Courtesy of Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
The Texas Hill Country is one of the state's most popular regions for families on vacation. Beyond the scenic setting, the Texas Hill Country offers plenty of kid-friendly vacation activities. Here are some of the best things to do with kids while on vacation in the Texas Hill Country Region.
  • 01 of 06
    Rio Frio River. Garner State Park. Texas
    ••• Donovan Reese / Getty Images

    Located on the southern edges of the Texas Hill Country, Garner State Park covers more than 1,400 acres, including a 10-acre stretch along the Frio River. One of the most popular state parks in Texas, Garner State Park offers visitors a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including tubing, swimming, camping, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and more. For many Texans and Texas visitors, a trip to Garner State Park has become an annual summer pilgrimage.

  • 02 of 06
    Early Morning at Enchanted Rock State Park, TX
    ••• Dean Fikar / Getty Images

    Enchanted Rock is one of the largest natural rock formations in the United States and one of Texas' most iconic natural attractions. The dome of Enchanted Rock is 425 feet above the ground (1825 feet above sea level). Located just north of Fredericksburg, Enchanted Rock is right in the heart of what once was the Texas "Indian Territory." Through the previous centuries, this large rock formation played an important role in the lives of the Native American tribes which lived in the Texas Hill Country. Today it is designated as a State Natural Area. Hiking is extremely popular at Enchanted Rock. A 4-mile trail encompasses several rock formations. A shorter, steeper foot trail leads to the top of Enchanted Rock. Campsites are available for those wishing to stay overnight.

  • 03 of 06

    Visit the Austin Zoo

    Austin Zoo
    ••• Courtesy of Austin Zoo

    Housing more than 300 individual animals from over 100 species, the Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary is a unique facility in that it rescues the animals it has on display. Because of its unique mission, the Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary is a dual-purpose facility. It serves as a zoo for public viewing and education, but also as a rescue and rehabilitation center for animals. From big cats to monkeys, the Austin Zoo houses all of the "traditional" zoo animals. The pleasant Hill Country setting adds to the visitor experience.

  • 04 of 06
    Sunset at Lake Travis, Austin, TX
    ••• Dane Sigua / Getty Images

    The Texas Highland Lakes are a series of seven lakes formed by damming the Colorado River. These lakes are all on a stretch of river running from the city of Austin north about 75 miles. The seven lakes included in the chain are: Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and Lady Bird Lake. There are a variety of outdoor recreational activities at each of these seven lakes. Among the highlights are the 10-mile hike-and-bike trail at Lady Bird Lake, spas on the shores of Lake Austin, jet skiing at Lake Travis, water skiing on Lake Marble Falls, swimming at Lake LBJ, canoeing at Inks Lake, and viewing bald eagles at Lake Buchanan.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Swim at Barton Springs

    Young woman walking in Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin, Texas
    ••• ablokhin / Getty Images

    When Barton Creek was dammed, it formed a spring fed "pool" in Austin's Zilker Park. Barton Springs has been one of Texas' most popular "swimming holes" since it was first opened in 1917. Nearly 100 years later, it remains an extremely popular spot for residents and visitors alike to cool off from the hot Texas sun.

  • 06 of 06

    Tour Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

    Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
    ••• Courtesy of Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

    The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch offers an African-style safari right here in Texas. With 4 miles of driving trail throughout the 400-acre ranch, visitors have the ability to stay in their vehicles while observing over 40 species of animals, including giraffes, ostrich, zebras, rhinos, wildebeest, and more. After the tour, visitors can spend time at the petting zoo, gift shop, or the on-site restaurant.