Fact: To attract the business of parents with school-aged children, it’s best for restaurants to offer on-site fun for kids. And as parents in central Texas head out during the long summer months, they want to know their options. Here are three all-season restaurants in the beautiful hill country that cater to the whole family. These venues offer playscapes, splash pads and much more. Best of all, most of their on-site, kid-friendly entertainment is free.



Dreamland is nestled in beautiful Dripping Springs and promotes itself as “an outdoor entertainment and arts venue.” And it really is the full package. You’ll want to block out an entire day to experience all that Dreamland has to offer. Sit comfortably in the shade by the playscape and splash pad, both of which are of no cost. Dreamland also boasts the only covered and lighted pickleball courts in central Texas. The whole family can also enjoy their one-of-a-kind miniature golf course. You can walk through the vast grounds and take in the various murals and art installations, all done by local Dripping Springs artists. Check out their comprehensive website for a variety of weekly events, including live music.

Frontyard Brewery


The Texas hill country landscape is its own reason to take a drive out to Frontyard Brewery in Spicewood. Once there you can be sure the whole family will enjoy the spacious grounds. The brewery features award-winning brews on tap, as well as wines. They even offer a house-made root beer for kids. Two food trucks that cater to families are on-site and offer kids’ menus. Enjoy some great popsicles for sale too. Adults and children can roam the nicely landscaped property that includes playscape equipment, slides, a gaga ball pit as well as pickleball courts. There’s plenty of room to throw a Frisbee or football. Every weekend, Frontyard features live music by local artists. Bring camping chairs and blankets to sit on the comfortable AstroTurf in the inner courtyard and soak in the sounds of central Texas. For food truck menus and the events calendar, visit the website.

Route 12 Filling Station


Whether it really was a gas station at some point or made to look like one, Route 12 Filling Station in Dripping Springs has an old Texas highway charm about it. You’ll want to block off plenty of time to sit back and relax while there. Route 12 has a great playground for kids, and even better, a splash pad to keep kids safely occupied. With a great Americana menu, it’s a venue that the whole family will appreciate. Locally-owned and -operated, visitors will be sure to feel its warmth and hospitality.



Jess Archer is a freelance writer in Austin. Find Jess at writerjessarcher.com.

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