Nestled in the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg makes an easy day trip using San Antonio or Austin as base camp. Texas Traveling Mom Jill recommends spending at least two days exploring what she calls “the most charming region of Texas.” This gem of a town might be best known for its many boutique wineries but there are also plenty of family-friendly things to do in Fredericksburg, Texas with kids.
I never turn down the opportunity for a day trip to Fredericksburg, Texas, but for the full enchilada experience, I recommend you spend at least two days exploring and soaking in the Hill Country atmosphere. The scenery is pure Texas gorgeous and the people are friendly, although let’s be real: the people are friendly pretty much anywhere you go in Texas.
Here are my top five tried and tested things to do in Fredericksburg, Texas with kids. You’ll see why this is our favorite place to hang. I bet it will be your new favorite, too.
1. Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead
The Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead is a living history museum within the LBJ State Park and Historic Site. It gives an authentic look at rural life in Texas circa 1900-1918. Living history interpreters wear period clothing and perform household and farm chores as they were done during that time.
We saw a family scrubbing floors with lye soap and making lunch on a wood-burning stove. It gave my kids a new appreciation for the microwave! It’s one thing to read about “the olden days” in a book, but seeing it carried out in real life and being able to ask questions takes a history lesson to the next level.
2. The LBJ Historic Site
The LBJ Historic Site offers a look at the 36th president’s boyhood home, the settlement of his grandparents, and the house where he lived during his presidential years, known as the Texas White House, which has been restored to look as it did when LBJ was in office. We took a 30-minute guided tour of the ground floor, which cost was $3.00 per adult (kids under 17 are free). Tours are limited to 12 people, so if you’re interested, sign up for your time early. Entrance to the park itself is free, but you need to stop at the visitors’ center and snag a parking permit.
Admittedly, touring the Texas White House is not super-duper exciting for younger kids and maybe not even for older kids. But I pounce at any opportunity to add a little education to our vacations. It was full of facts that I found fascinating, which probably sounded like the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons to my kids.
Touring the Sauer-Beckman Living History Farm and seeing all the LBJ sites took up the better part of a day. We did the living history farm in the morning, followed by a picnic lunch on the property. There are plenty of places to sit and eat. After lunch, we explored the outbuildings on the LBJ property and ended with the Texas White House tour
3. Wildseed Farms
Visit Wildseed Farms in the spring to see the most beautiful Texas Wildflowers in bloom. Wedding Oak Winery is also on site as well as a charming shopping area where you can purchase yummy eats, garden supplies and home decor items.
There is no charge to enter the grounds at Wildseed Farms and parking is free. There are lots of walking trails and amazingly beautiful spots to take photos. You can check the Wildseed Farms website for a bloom update.
4. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
This massive formation of pink granite is located 18 miles from Fredericksburg and is easily one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in Texas. Yes, I might be a little biased, but y’all need to trust me on this one.
There are 11 miles of trails for hiking and exploring. Camping is also an option, if you’re into that whole rustic, no-frills camping experience, which doesn’t appeal to me in the least. We picked up a trail map at the ranger station to get the lay of the land and plan our trek according to difficulty level and ability. Entrance fees are $7 per person for ages 13 and up. Kids under 12 are free. Enchanted Rock only takes cash.
We took our boys for the first time when they just were five and six. We expected to toddle around near the base of the rock and snap some pictures. The kids took the lead and they surprised us by climbing all the way to the top of the rock via the Loop Trail. Major high-fiving followed.
TravelingMom Tip: Watch the website for closure information. The park fills up quickly on weekends and closes when at capacity. Start early, expect to wait to enter the park and take plenty of water.
5. National Museum of the Pacific War
The National Museum of the Pacific War is in downtown Fredericksburg. Look for the larger-than-life statue of Admiral Nimitz.
If you’re a World War II history buff, checking out this six-acre museum complex is a no-brainer. That said, my kids aren’t World War II history buffs and yours probably aren’t, either. Don’t let that stop you. Not only is the National Museum of the Pacific War an educational experience, it contains lots of interactive exhibits with cool sound effects…seeing things that go boom utterly delighted my two boys.
We spent about two hours checking things out and barely skimmed the surface. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children six and up.
6. Hill Country Science Mill
The Hill Country Science Mill is in Johnson City, which is 30-ish miles from downtown Fredericksburg. Once a steam grist mill and cotton gin, it’s a present-day forum for science exploration. All exhibits are hands-on and most are indoors, making this one of our family favorites during the summer (think broiling Texas heat). But don’t miss the backyard exhibits.
It took us about four hours to thoroughly explore and make a pit stop for some eats at Lady Bird Lane Café, which has delicious, fresh organic food. Science Mill admission is $10 for adults, and $8.50 for kids 3-18.
This tiny town – seriously, so tiny that you’ll miss it if you blink – was established as a trading post in 1849. Luckenbach has a general store and post office, a bar and an old dance hall. My husband and I love relaxing under the 500-year-old oak trees, listening to live music, and enjoying a cold drink while our kids run around and burn off energy, which there’s plenty of room for them to do.
Aside from enjoying the music and browsing in the general store (we love the quirky and unique Texas souvenirs), there’s not a ton to do in Luckenbach, but the photo opportunities in this gem of a town make it list-worthy for favorite things in Fredericksburg, Texas with kids. This is our favorite pit stop on the way to Fredericksburg from San Antonio. The saying goes that “everybody’s somebody in Luckenbach” which is reason enough to check it out.
Visiting Texas during the Spring? You are in luck!
Although bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas, bloom everywhere across the state, one of the best places to find them is the Texas Hill Country. If you’re traveling to Fredericksburg from San Antonio on 281, you’ll usually see great, thick patches alongside the highway. Wildseed Farms is also a great place to see bluebonnets and other spring wildflowers.
Bluebonnets bloom from late March to early April (varies depending on how cold the winter was). More on where to find bluebonnets here.