Grab the kids for these Spring Break ideas near Austin

By: Mauri Elbel
March, 2022

Whether it was the jaw-dropping mid-March flight prices or the fact that spring break seemed to silently sneak its way onto the calendar this year, if your family’s vacation plans are less than epic (or nonexistent), there’s no need to worry. Austin Travels has plenty of ideas for kid-friendly adventures close to home this spring break that are sure to entertain the whole family, provide lasting memories and take it easy on your wallet. 

Zip Lost Pines

For close to home thrills, choose Zip Lost Pines. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

First, you’ll zoom over a forest of loblolly pines. Then you’ll fly through a leafy tunnel of trees. And for two of the ziplines at Zip Lost Pines, you’ll have to cross two wobbly suspension bridges just to reach the take-off platform. But if you ride all six ziplines at the adventure park, you’ll probably feel like Superman after a busy day of soaring through the skies. For close-to-home fun this spring break, put this adrenaline-fueled destination on your list. Visitors can take the full tour of all six ziplines, or ride just half of them. The park recently added a new option –– a single ride on the park’s longest ride, a high-speed, 1,317-foot zipline called River Run. “It’s adrenaline pumping for sure,” says Allison Hickey, director of operations at the park, tucked in a corner of McKinney Roughs Nature Park about 30 miles east of Austin. You might even get an added benefit: a jolt of confidence. Hickey says some visitors find that their fear of heights fades when they harness up and try the ziplines. If you decide to find out, book in advance. Reservations are required. And your zipline ticket gets you free access to McKinney Roughs, so you can explore the park’s hiking trails afterward. The park is expanding its hours during spring break, too. It will be open daily from March 14-18. A small on-site bar will serve beer and wine, so visitors can celebrate their accomplishments after they zip. (“We want you to zip, then sip,” Hickey says.) –Sponsored Story By Pam LeBlanc

Fly high above the ground at Zip Lost Pines. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

Not ready to brave zipping through the air? Here are 10 more close-to-home ideas sure to please the whole crew. 

Climb forts, sniff the flowers and swing through nature at Lady Bird Wildflower Center. https://www.wildflower.org/ 

RELATED: Forts of Fortlandia

Play putt-putt and pickleball while enjoying live music, drinks and art at Dreamland. https://dreamland.us/   

RELATED: Daytrip to Dreamland in Dripping Springs

Visit the animals and ride the train at Austin Zoo. https://austinzoo.org/ 

Treat the kids to an Instagram-able adventure into the world of ice cream at Austin’s Museum of Ice Cream. https://www.museumoficecream.com/austin 

Make a splash at Kalahari. https://www.kalahariresorts.com/ 

Expand young minds at Johnson City Science Mill. https://www.sciencemill.org/ 

Get up-close to the animals at Exotic Resort Zoo. https://www.zooexotics.com/ 

Pay $10 for kids to play arcade games all day at Cidercade. https://www.cidercadeaustin.com/ 

Discover the magical underground world at Natural Bridge Caverns. https://naturalbridgecaverns.com/ 

Take an African Safari, Texas-style at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. https://www.wildliferanchtexas.com/ 

If You Go

Getting there:

Zip Lost Pines is located at 1760 State Highway 71 West in Cedar Creek.

Do:

Ride the ziplines. A full, six-line zip tour costs $125 per person; visitors can ride three lines for $105 each. The park also offers night zip tours and group rates. 

Insider tip:

Bring your smartphone along for the ride so you can take photos or video. The company will loan you a fanny pack to stow it in.  

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