Zilker Zephyr Miniature Train, 2100 Barton Springs Road, Austin TX 78746 Open 10-5 (hours vary; check website), Adults - $3/Children - $2/Under one – free
I love this train ride! It’s one of our favorite go-to activities whenever we have guests from out of town, adults and children alike! Okay, well maybe we wouldn’t take adult guests who weren’t toting along any kids, but it’s perfect for families! The ride is 20-25 minutes and it goes through Zilker Park right alongside Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake. It’s lovely and peaceful and so pretty, and your kids will love going under the bridge over Barton Creek! And there is a great playground right next to the train depot, as well as walking paths down to Barton Springs, so there’s a lot to keep your kids busy and happy right in that one area! The train runs every hour on the hour during the week and every 30-40 minutes on the weekends, and you can only pay with cash. There is an ATM inside the depot.
Cedar Rock Railroad, 3005 Co Rd 175, Leander TX 78641 Open 10-5 Tues.-Fri.. 10-6 Sat.-Sun., closed Mondays, $2.75/ticket
If you live up north and don’t want to drive all the way down to Zilker Park, the Cedar Rock Railroad is a great alternative! Actually, it’s a great miniature train ride in its own right and we’ve spent many a beautiful spring day chugging along! The train is in Williamson County Park which has a big sports complex and a nice little playground. There’s a fun play area all around the train depot with a child-sized model of an old wild west town, a wooden train playscape, and crank car for kids 3 and up ($2.50/ticket). The ride itself is a lovely loop around the park, rolling through both open fields and woods and rounding its way around a duck pond. My kids love this ride, perhaps even more than the Zilker Zephyr. The train departs every 30 min. at a quarter after the hour and a quarter of the hour. The ride itself is about 10-15 min.
I hope everyone enjoys our short-lived spring! :)