American Baby's guide to Austin: Jessica Brzozowski, 29 and daughter 11-month-old Janice.
"There's a wonderfully open vibe," says native Texan Jessica Brzozowski, who is raising daughter Janice in the state capital while studying to be a nurse practitioner. "Austin is home to so many different people: artists, musicians, and students attending the University of Texas." She tipped us off to some mom-and-tot hot spots!
The Austin Children's Museum caters to a (very) young crowd (and it's free).
Alamo Drafthouse, a theater chain that serves meals during shows, is the place to be on Baby Days. Munchkins younger than 3 are free! The idea is that you watch a flick, baby maybe naps, and if he fusses, no one minds.
No excuse not to get out for a stroller walk: "The weather in Central Texas is gorgeous all year," Brzozowski says.
Live music is easy to find, including a kids' concert festival in September -- Austin Kiddie Limits!
Mom-and-baby boot camp classes, a fantastic playground, and the Barton Springs naturally fed swimming area make Zilker Park a favorite for families. Dinosaur tracks were found years ago at Zilker Botanical Garden, which is why it features this cool dino statue!
When it's time for a treat, drop by Hey Cupcake! They sell goodies from four Airstream trailers spread throughout the city, along with a "real" store in North Austin. All the desserts are homemade and all-natural. Austin embraces healthy eats -- Whole Foods was founded here.
Originally published in the February 2011 issue of American Baby magazine.