Whether visiting Austin or living anywhere in the Austin area, there are so many things to do in Austin with teens. The culture here centers around the natural beauty outdoors, and of course, food.

Here are our teen-certified picks for the best things to do in Austin with a teenager!

Teenagers having fun on Lake Travis at Waterloo Adventures

1. Lake Travis

The gem of the Texas Hill Country, Lake Travis offers endless family fun and is also great for teenagers having a good time with friends. Here is a great Lake Travis bucket list, all of which is teen-friendly (even #8 so long as a parent is present).

View of Lady Bird Lake in Austin Texas
image courtesy of: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Bird_Lake

2. Lady Bird Lake

People who have lived in Austin forever still call it Town Lake and Lake Austin, but Lady Bird Lake is packed full of fun activities.

We love renting kayaks or stand-up paddle boards with friends. Our favorite rental spot is The Rowing Dock which is the closest to Red Bud Isle. Red Bud Isle is a great picnic spot and perfect for teens taking dogs along – it’s an off-leash dog park!

Pro Tip: drive over to Mount Bonnell, the highest point in Austin, to see a unique view of Lady Bird Lake and the Pennybacker Bridge (aka the 360 bridge).

View of Zilker Park in Austin Texas
image courtesy of: commons.wikimedia.org

3. Zilker Park

Generations of Austinites have enjoyed all of the aspects of Zilker Park, especially Barton Springs Pool, one of the most popular swimming holes in the entire state. It stays between 68-70 degrees year-round, so taking a brave dip in the winter is a fun time for any teen!

Bring your own picnic or enjoy The Picnic (a collection of fabulous food trucks). Play soccer, frisbee, or any activity that takes advantage of large open grass areas. Take a long walk anywhere along Lady Bird Lake via the 10-mile loop which is accessible through Zilker.

While in the area, make time for the Zilker Botanical Garden and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, both of which are incredibly photogenic.

4. Selfies, Selfies, Selfies!

There’s not much more a teen enjoys more than sleeping, but selfies are a close second. There are two venues in The Domain that you can drop a teen off at for hours and hours that have tripods and lighting, all developed for selfie photography!

One is The Selfie Galleries whose claim to fame is a diversity of room themes, perfect for teen fun with friends. Another is the Museum of Ice Cream whose ticket price not only lands your teen tons of photo opportunities, but unlimited ice cream.

What a time to be alive when entire businesses exist to support your teen’s selfie habits.

5. Peter Pan Mini-Golf

There are a ton of golf courses around Austin. There is of course Topgolf, but Peter Pan Mini Golf is an amazingly nostalgic mini-golf course. It’s perfect for a group of teens or even a date between two teens. There’s nothing like flirting while competing in a friendly way in a safe environment!

view of south congress also known as SoCo in Austin Texas
image courtesy of: commons.wikimedia.org

6. South Congress (SoCo)

For years, Congress Avenue was famous for being the long road to the capitol building. But South Congress Avenue (SoCo) has become a famous entertainment district. On any weekend afternoon or evening, you can follow your ears to some great live music.

Bring a few dollars to fill your stomach, because Amy’s Ice Creams, Hopdoddy Burgers, and Guerros (Tex-Mex) alone are worth the visit! We also highly recommend just wandering around to find all of the hidden murals on SoCo, but start with the famous “I Love You So Much” graffiti at JoJo’s.

view of the Texas State Capitol building in Austin Texas
image courtesy of: fshoq.com

7. The State Capitol

Take a tour of the capitol, even if it seems boring, because you’ll learn a ton of trivia in a group setting.

When that’s over, wander over to the Agricultural Museum down the hall because if you believe in ghosts, you’ll immediately feel ‘em in there. You won’t read that anywhere else, folks!

If you want to feel what a haunted room feels like, you don’t need a tour guide to walk on in.

view of downtown Austin, Texas, from the Austin Public Library
image courtesy of: flickr.com

8. Austin Public Library

Hear us out – you’re thinking it’s a lame square filled with books, but no, the Austin Public Library is incredible!

It’s a multi-story building overlooking the city filled with incredible art and sculptures, a coffee shop, and stunning outdoor patios with skyline views. The word “library” doesn’t do this building justice.

9. Museums

There are so many impressive museums in Austin, perfect for teens with family or in groups of friends. We love that the University of Texas has several museums on campus so you can hit up several in one day:

Then, just behind campus is the Bullock Texas State History Museum where you can also catch a movie on the biggest screen in Texas, the IMAX theater.

People gathered around sitting outside at The Domain in Austin, Texas
image courtesy of: gensler.com

10. The Domain

Teenagers absolutely love The Domain – it’s millions of square feet of shopping, from accessibly inexpensive to ultra unaffordable luxury. It’s a live-work-play concept that makes indoor malls look like a concept of the past, it’s gorgeous.

There are tons of amazing restaurants, live music, and coffee shops along tree-lined streets that will keep any aged teen busy for days.