5 Fun Things To Do With Kids - In Air Conditioning - In Austin This Summer

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In between breakfast, video games, letting dogs in and out and in and out, lunch, and watching YouTube videos, we barely have time to fit in a bunch of fun summer activities.

And I'm not interested in enjoying lots of "fun in the sun," anyways.

The sun makes me freckly.

Besides, I’d rather eat soup right out of the toilet bowl of a port-a-john than be hot.

Like I get super panicky when I’m outside if the temperature is above 90. I’m equally panicky if I’m too cold. There’s a really narrow window of comfort for me, but that’s not the point of this post.

I want to share some fun things to do with your kids this summer in the Austin area. Things that are fun, won’t break the bank, and that keep you from that terrible side effect of the summer sun, called boob sweat, or my other nemesis: sweaty panties.

Austin Ninjas

This American Ninja Warrior-style gym opened in January and has lots of the same obstacles as you see on the TV show. They have classes led by trainers who were on the show, like Damir Okanovic and Daniel Gil, and they also have an open gym, where you and your kids can monkey around for just $16 for two hours (although when I took my son and nephew there, they didn’t limit us on time and they had more than three hours of fun).

They also have camps and you can availability for parties. Here’s the price list.

This is my nephew having a box jump-competition against Damir Okanovic. Damir told him if he did 20 box jumps, he would do 20 on the bigger one. My nephew cranked out 20 jumps in 58 seconds. What a beast!

This is my nephew having a box jump-competition against Damir Okanovic. Damir told him if he did 20 box jumps, he would do 20 on the bigger one. My nephew cranked out 20 jumps in 58 seconds. What a beast!


The Dog Alliance

Located north of Austin in Cedar Park, people drive from all over the central Texas area to train their dogs through the programs The Dog Alliance offers.

Their mission is to train dogs and their owners so that dogs can be part of our community and help enrich our lives (side note: don't ever trust someone who doesn't love dogs. It's not normal and they're up to no good, I guarantee it).

From basic manners to trainings for service, nose work, therapy (BTW, did you know that I’m half of a therapy dog team with Lilly The Therapy Dog? We got our training through The Dog Alliance!) - there really is a program for just about every dog.

The best, though, are their summer camps, where they teach how to behave appropriately with dogs, how to care for them, and even how to train them. There’s still time to sign up for a summer camp!

The 10-year-old and  Lilly The Therapy Dog  at  The Dog Alliance


Ice Skating at Chaparral Ice

Let’s play a game of Would You Rather. I'll go first.

Would you rather fry the flesh off the back of your thighs sitting on metal bleachers to watch a baseball game…. Or spend the 110-degree afternoon hanging out in an ice rink? 🙋

Take your kids for a spin at the freshly-renovated Chaparral Ice, where you’ll find brand new bathrooms and a strip of ceiling heaters that you can sit under if you start to feel chilly. Admission is just $9 and skate rental’s only $5. Kids 5 and under skate for free Monday - Friday. Check their calendar for Open Skate times.

They also have a handful of Try Hockey For Free events throughout the year, or you can sign your kid up for one of the Learn to Play Hockey classes for free. Info for all that stuff is right here.

**This just in: here are the dates of the Try Hockey For Free events: 


The sport is really growing here in Central Texas and the camaraderie is like none I’ve seen in other sports we’ve been involved with.

The 10-year-old showing off for the girl-who-isn’t-his-girlfriend-because-she’s-not-allowed.

Main Event

I packed up my computer and got tons of work done in the seven - that’s right, SEVEN - hours we were there last week. It was a bargain - just about $20 per kid for the entire day with their Play All Day Pass, and it included laser tag, rock wall, golf, and bowling (just not shoe rental or arcade games). My son and nephew had tons of fun!


Bob Bullock Museum

This is one of our favorites. There’s not only tons of museum-y stuff that teaches all about Texas history, but it’s got lots of interactive areas that keep it really fun for kids of all ages.

You can also catch a movie in the IMAX theater, see the original Goddess of Liberty (the statue of the lady that tops the Capitol building, who was upgraded to an aluminum version in 1986), and lay your eyes on La Belle, one of four ships King Louis XIV sent to explore North America in the 1680’s. They were all lost to pirates or other disasters, including La Belle, which sank in what is now known as Matagorda Bay, and was left undisturbed for 300 years, until it was discovered in 1995.

Very cool museum for history lovers, as well as those not really into history at all.


What else? Any other must-do activities you'd add to the list? Let me know in the comments!