- July 10, 2014

Free Indoor Family Fun in Austin


Museums & Galleries


The Fish Gallery

  • The Fish Gallery – Kids can enjoy an interesting array of display tanks.
  • Austin Aqua-Dome – The Aqua-Dome sells all kinds of fish — rainbow-hued, striped and spotted; fish with exotic, nonsensical names like Bushynose Pleco and Harlequin Rasboras and Albino Cory Cats; fish ordered straight from Bali, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. They also sell corals from places like Jakarta and Kupong. You can find shrimp as small as your pinkie nail and as bright-blue as cobalt glass, and plants and statues to turn an aquarium into a watery diorama with any theme imaginable.
  • BookPeople – Visit Austin’s favorite independent book store for a marvelous, FREE storytime! Choose from Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday morning.  See the store calendar here.
  • All Things Kids – Visit the play zone in the back of this fun toy store in The Domain and stay for a FREE storytime.  For storytime updates, visit the All Things Kids in the Domain Facebook page.
  • Kaleidoscope Toys – This toy store in Round Rock offers FREE signing storytimes on Monday. See the store calendar here.





    • BabyEarth Round Rock – From playgroups to concerts, there is always something happening at this store.  Most events are FREE; some have a small fee. See the schedule here.
    • Bass Pro – The 120,000-square foot Round Rock Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is located just north of the Round Rock Outlet Mall. The huge store is part museum, art gallery, antique store, aquarium, education, conservation and entertainment center. Check the website for FREE workshops and crafts for kids.
    • Cabela’s – Walk through this mega-store in Buda to see huge aquariums stocked with a variety of fish, giant taxidermy displays, and more! Read more about visiting the store with kids here.
    • Nature’s Treasures – This store is best for older kids, who won’t be tempted to grab all the small rocks and stones within arm’s reach. You may also want to set a budget before heading inside, because everything looks so appealing to young rock-lovers!  Read about exploring this store with kids here.
    • Toybrary Austin – Enjoy Teddy Bear Picnics, crafts, concerts, and more! Some events are FREE and some have a small fee to participate. Check the calendar for details.
    • Zoo Keeper Exotic Pets – Check out this unique pet store with a sloth and other unusual animals!  It’s small, but interesting to see the exotic pet selection. You may leave with your child begging for a ferret.

      Lakeline Mall

    • Lakeline Mall – Just in front of Dillard’s (on the north side of the mall) is an enclosed, carpeted play area with a clubhouse and lots of low play structures. Great for tiny tots, but beware nearby exciting attractions that are not free (a train!). See a map of the mall here.
    • Trader Joe’s – This could be a great indoor adventure for your little one, as they have miniature-shopping carts! While you do your grocery shopping, your child can push around a mini cart and “help you shop.” There are 3 Austin locations.
    • IKEA Round Rock – FREE childcare and fun for your kids. Go shop and enjoy yourself, maybe grab a drink and find a chair to “test out” for a good twenty minutes while your kids enjoy the indoor playscape and numerous planned activities throughout the week. Just be sure to arrive early because the play area, Småland, fills quickly. See the store calendar here. Kids eat FREE on Tuesdays in the IKEA Restaurant. Also, if they complete a scavenger hunt from Småland, kids can get a $1 off frozen yogurt coupon (which costs $1, so it’s FREE).

Bonus Fun on the Cheap

  • Texas Memorial Museum – Head to the UT campus and step back in time. Way back. Exhibits at this Museum focus on dinosaurs and fossils, prehistoric Texas wildlife, gems and minerals. There is also a Paleontology Lab, where visitors can interact with scientists as they prepare fossil finds. Read about exploring natural history at the Texas Memorial Museum here. The Museum started charging admission in 2014 ($1-$4; children under 2 are FREE).
  • Thinkery – If you haven’t checked out Austin’s newest children’s museum, this is a must. On Wednesday afternoons admission is by donation (suggested $1) from 4-8 p.m.

For even more, check out 25 FREE Places to Play Indoors in Austin and Free Indoor Fun for Babies!

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