Though many of us want to hibernate during the winter months, January in Austin is the ideal time to get out and explore a plethora of family-friendly activities. This winter keep your family fit and active with a few of our favorite local activities and events. Whether you like to be outdoors or indoors, there’s something for everyone. Let’s go. Check them out below.
January outdoor family adventures
With temperatures usually in the tolerable range in January, getting fresh air in the Austin area in a variety wide open spaces is easier than you think. Hike a trail, explore a cave, ice skate, or gaze at the stars it’s all available with just a short drive away. Here’s a list of our favorite outdoor January activities.
Take to the trails
The Austin area and its northern suburbs are home to beautiful parks filled with hiking trails and recreational facilities that provide countless hours of natural beauty. And if you’re game they also offer plenty of activities. From fishing to kayaking to picnicking the choice is yours. For a short walk and a picturesque environment Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve is a winner. Explore the site’s historic cottage, wandering peacocks and its 24-acres that includes a boat dock overlooking Lake Austin. In the winter you’ll get a different perspective but if you’re looking for solitude it’ll be worth the trip. Ideal for those that want to spend more time discovering nature, the Brushy Creek Regional Trail spans 6.75 miles through Williamson Country. The trail’s many parks along the way offer playgrounds, swings and sand boxes for kids to stop and play.
Visit Longhorn Cavern State Park
Located in the city of Burnet, this Hill Country day trip is worth the 90 minutes or so that it will take you to get there from the Austin area. As the national cave of Texas, Longhorn Cavern is as deep as its history. Guided walking tours are available 364 days a year. The 90-minute Cavern Walking Tour follows the path of an ancient underground riverbed through rooms of amazing geologic gems. Tickets for the tour are available online or upon arrival. However, on the weekends it’s best to reserve a spot in advance. For the more adventurous a three-hour Wild Cave Tour is also available.
Ice skate on the plaza
This annual event sponsored by CultureMap Austin and Whole Foods is a seasonal favorite and a great place to gather with family and friends. Every year the rooftop of the Whole Foods Flagship store in downtown is transformed into a winter wonderland. The rink is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. However, the hours of operation vary during the holidays so be sure to check the website first. Advance online tickets cost $12; at the door price is $15. Tickets include skate rentals.
Gaze at the stars
Only 13 miles from the Austin State Capitol Building, McKinney Falls State Park is easily accessible from most areas of the city. The popular Star Party program is one of many hosted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. During this one-hour up close and personal experience a knowledgeable staff member guides participants through the galaxy and nighttime sky. With the help of a telescope view the moon, stars, and if the sky cooperates you may even get a glimpse of the Orion Nebula. The park entrance fee is $6 for adults. Children 12 and under are free. You must pay the entrance fee in order to attend this free event. Before attending please check the website the day of the event for any last-minute schedule changes.
January indoor events
For those that prefer to stay indoors when there’s a slight chill in the air these events won’t disappoint.
Attend life-sized Candy Land, Saturday, January 11, 2-4 p.m., Cedar Park Public Library
Fans of the popular iconic kid’s game Candy Land will have a blast journeying through this life-size version. Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to meet its colorful characters including Princess Lolly, King Kandy, Lord Licorice, Gloppy the Chocolate Monster and others. Race to the finish and collect your sweet treat! This two-hour ongoing event is free and open to the public. Visit the library’s website for additional information.
Experience the magic of Mary Poppins, January 23-January 26, Leander High School
Join the Leander High School Theatre Department as they perform Disney’s Mary Poppins, a timeless and family-friendly musical based on the popular books of P.L. Travers. The production follows the magical powers of a mysterious nanny that appears on the doorstep of two children living in London. Follow the antics of Mary, Bert and the two Banks children as they take London by storm. The cast will perform five shows. For show times and ticket prices visit their website at leandertheatre.org.
Discover your dream home in the Texas Hill Country
Visit Travisso today and explore our world-class amenities in a natural Hill Country setting. Gorgeous views, new model homes, and a family-friendly neighborhood wait. While here discover our endless recreational possibilities for the entire family. And see why so many Austin area home seekers are choosing to call Travisso home.