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Old 03-31-2013, 11:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Austin Texas in early May

I am taking my son to Austin the first week of May to work with an Autism specialist. We will have time to explore the area in between appointments. My son is 13 but has severe autism. If anyone has suggestions of things to do while we're there, I would really appreciate some input. Hoping to keep costs down. Maybe some fun parks, outdoor activities, children's museum? Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:58 PM   #2
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I am not sure what will appeal to you, but there is a great Children's Museum, Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool, Pioneer Farms, watching the bats fly out of the Congress Ave. bridge. Those are the major ones that come to mind, but if you have a particular interest in mind I would be happy to give you more info.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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Those are great ideas. We will be staying near the Arboretum but my son loves to ride in the car and I am willing to drive and explore. I am thinking mostly outdoor activities, but not sure what to expect with the weather. Is there a zoo?
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:49 PM   #4
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Austin in May, it will be hot, probably highs in the 90's if not higher. There is a splash zone at Zilker Park so that would be a good way to cool off. You could try out Barton Springs Pool too. We really don't have a true zoo. We do have http://www.austinzoo.org/, but it is more of a sanctuary vs. an accredited zoo. They do have some big cats though and there are always coupons for it. Not sure if it is appropriate due to the autism, but there is also Inner Space Cavern http://www.myinnerspacecavern.com/home.php There is a dino dig at the Nature and Science Museum as well as some rescued birds like hawks and owls. It is free! http://www.austintexas.gov/departmen...science-center
If you get too hot and need to head indoors, there is a Main Event just up Hwy. 183 and a Dave and Busters right at the 183/Mopac interchange.

You will be very near Mopac/Loop 1 so you will have easy access to just about anywhere you want to go. It can be a bit confusing in the Arboretum area at first, but you will get the hang of it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:06 PM   #5
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There are a lot of free places you can go around Austin that I bring my daughter to, and that your son may enjoy.

Mayfield park and preserve is free and has peacocks. It is an amazing place and is just open all day for people to wander around. The Texas Memorial Museum at UT campus is free all day, and is great if your son likes to see fossils and gems. Also on UT campus is a wonderful turtle pond and there are tower tours as well, but those cost a few dollars.

As another poster mentioned, we do have a children's museum which is awesome.

I like to go to this website to get ideas for things to do: http://365thingsaustin.com

It will be very hot when you come, so be prepared! I hope your visit goes well.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:09 PM   #6
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Another free spot we have taken guests to is Mount Bonnell. You climb up some stairs (102 to be exact) which can be a bit of a hike, but the view on the top is gorgeous, especially at sunset. A favorite of the locals and a favorite of mine personally. It's where my DH of 17 years proposed.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:27 AM   #7
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Thank you all so much!
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:45 PM   #8
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I agree with the previous posters, especially about Barton Springs and Innerspace Caverns. I went with my son's class to Innerspace for a field trip and they all enjoyed it.

We also went to the Bob Bullock Museum on a field trip. It's multiple floors of Texas history with an Imax theater as well. I have been there a few times now and would definitely go back again.

If you do end up going downtown, try to hit the Big Top Candy Shop. http://bigtopcandyshop.tumblr.com Kids love it.

If he likes go-karting, you can take him to Austin Park and Pizza. My son was just there last night for a b-day party. It's go-karts, mini-golf, laser tag, etc. There is also a Main Event just a few exits up the road from the Arboretum on 183. They have bowling, laser tag, rock climbing, etc.

Have fun!
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