As the scorching summer heat gives way to cooler temperatures, it’s easier to find healthy outdoor activities that are suitable for families of all ages. Whether you’re looking to unplug and enjoy nature or get a vigorous workout, Austin offers a range of fun options.
1. Hiking in the Hill Country:
Within a short drive of downtown, you can find beautiful Hill Country landscapes that are breathtaking in the fall. Local trails offer a variety of difficulty levels, including wheelchair- accessible paths. The Barton Creek Greenbelt and McKinney Falls State Park offer diverse terrain suitable for hikers of all ages and skill levels. For a greater hiking challenge, check out Wild Basin Preserve.
- Biking on the Veloway:
If you own a bike rack for your vehicle or live in Southwest Austin, head to the Circle C Veloway. You’ll find a dedicated 3.1-mile paved track for cyclists and rollerbladers. This safe and scenic route takes you through the lush Texas countryside, making it ideal for family bike rides or strenuous workouts.
- Paddling on Lady Bird Lake:
Fall is still plenty warm enough for paddling along Lady Bird Lake. Rent a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard and take in the beauty of downtown Austin from the water. You might even spot some local wildlife, including turtles and swans.
- Outdoor Yoga and Fitness Classes:
Many parks, outdoor spaces and health clubs host free or affordable yoga and fitness classes. It’s a great way for parents and kids to stay active while connecting with the local community.
- Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze Fun:
Fall wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a pumpkin patch and corn maze. Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls and Barton Hill Farms in Bastrop are just a short drive and offer a full day of autumn festivities.
- Explore Local Farmers’ Markets:
Visit one of Austin’s vibrant farmers’ markets to sample seasonal produce and artisanal goods. Finding locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to get your kids excited about trying new foods while supporting local businesses at the same time.
- Try Your Hand at Camping:
Even if you’re inexperienced at camping, the team at YMCA Camp Moody will provide all the equipment and guidance you need to make your family campout a memorable experience. Family campouts run from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning and are suitable for all ages.
With these healthy activities, you can make the most of the cooler weather while creating lasting memories with your loved ones in the heart of Texas.
The Greater Austin YMCA offers activities for families including year-round swimming, exercise classes and campouts. Find details at www.austinymca.org.