Memorial Day weekend has always been one of my favorite holidays. Besides honoring the men and women of our armed forces, it doesn’t get much better than an extra day off, seemingly endless pool time, grilled meats and summery cocktails. Now that I’m a mama (and a pregnant one at that!) Memorial Day fun has taken on a whole new form, and it’s even better than the days of yore. My daughter is a total water baby right now, loves BBQ, and can’t stop saying “outside.” Methinks these are the makings of some serious Memorial Day weekend family fun!
Here’s what we’ll be getting into down in Austin this weekend:
1. Liz Carpenter Fountain at Butler Park. Some friends introduced us to this splash pad last weekend, and it is our new favorite place! My toddler daughter and her best pal couldn’t get enough of the water (see image to your right), and loved running around amidst the random fountain sprays. Other huge pluses: the park is within walking distance of Zilker Park and downtown restaurants, and it’s free!
2. Pieous. Hubby and I recently discovered this off-the-beaten path pizza parlor owned by Joshua Kaner and his wife, and have been regulars ever since. This is some serious pizza, y’all! Not only is it the best slice you will put in your belly in greater Austin, it’s an amazing place to bring the kiddos. With picnic-style seating, and an entire wall covered in chalkboard paint ready for toddler drawings, there’s plenty to do (and eat) at Pieous to keep everyone happy.
3. Deep Eddy Pool. My favorite pool to frequent with the fam is also the oldest swimming pool in Texas. The water can be a little chilly for the wee ones before the summer is in full force, but with plenty of shady seating and a very shallow end for early swimmers, it’s definitely a top spot for Memorial Day family fun. Baby girl can’t get enough of water activities these days, and I’m pretty sure she will never want to leave.
4. Micklethwaite Craft Meats. Memorial Day weekend really wouldn’t be complete without a little BBQ, would it? There are so many delicious options for grilled delights in Austin — Franklin, J Mueller and Salt Lick, to name a few — but lately, our pick for meaty deliciousness is a little food truck on the east side that is whipping up some serious BBQ. Since my daughter can eat more pulled pork in one sitting than my husband can, she is always a fan of a BBQ outing. And, with a picnic-style setting, there’s plenty of space for her to run around after her feast.
5. The Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary. This is one of our favorite family outings in Austin, and is a great option for a morning jaunt before the heat sets in. While the zoo isn’t huge, it boasts a pretty awesome array of wildlife, and you can get closer to the animals than I’ve ever experienced. Also, all of the sweet creatures who live there are rescued from less-than-great circumstances, so it’s nice to know that they now reside in a safe, caring home. The petting zoo is a must for the littles — we’re still working on this with our daughter, as she is currently terrified of goats — and you can take a little snow cone break amidst the fun. Love this place!
There you have it, folks. Whether you live in the Austin area, or nowhere near our fair city, I hope this list serves as inspiration for some fun ways to spend your Memorial Day weekend with the fam. Tell me about your plans with the kids in the comments, and happy summer!