Mother’s Day is right around the corner, Sunday, May 14th. While we all love macaroni art and pancakes that spell “MOM,” Mother’s Day is also the perfect time to set aside extra, one-on-one time with your kids. A mother-daughter or mother-son date is a sweet time to bond and create special memories. This is especially true of elementary-age kids. Here are three places in Austin your kids can take YOU on a Mother’s Day date.

  1. Museum of Illusion – 11010 Domain Dr #100, Austin, TX 78758

The Museum of Illusion just opened in the Domain, and it is the perfect place to go with kids of any age. The museum includes 70 exhibits, most of which you can touch or even step inside to experience. It is like a book of optical illusions, come to life. Try to walk through a spinning vortex, play with shadow and light and take gravity-defying pictures. Each exhibit has a placard describing the best way to experience the illusion and why it tricks our brains. Make sure you buy tickets in advance if you plan to visit on a weekend. Photo credit: Museum of Illusion.

  1. Halcyon – 1905 Aldrich Street, #110, Austin, TX 78723

There are two Halcyon locations, one downtown and one in Mueller. This coffee shop is a fun little spot with plenty of food and drinks to choose from, including vegan and gluten-free options.What makes this spot especially fun and unique for kids is the tabletop S’mores. Order a tray filled with s’mores fixings and a small roasting stick. Now you can enjoy the fun part of camping without setting up a tent or swatting away bugs. Bonus: the Mueller location is walking distance to Mueller Lake Park and The Thinkery so you can head over to either spot when you’re done with your s’mores!

  1. Cidercade Austin – 600 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78704

If your kid likes arcade games you must visit Cidercade Austin. With over 150 games you can spend hours here trying to beat the pinball high score or challenging each other at air hockey. Cidercade is unique among arcades because, rather than loading a card with funds and swiping to play each game, you simply pay an entrance fee ($10) at the door and all the games are free. This lets you play without worrying about how much each game costs. They offer a small menu, mostly pizza and wings, along with Maine-root soda and their own hard ciders and seltzers. We recommend getting there early to play the most popular games without a long line (looking at you, Jurassic Park!), and staying for lunch. Be aware that they are family-friendly during the day, but 21+ starting at 8pm. Photo credit: Cidercade.

Catherine Michalk is a native Austinite, writer and mom of three. You can follow her family’s adventures at

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