Thinkery
9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
Thinkery is an evolution of Austin Children's Museum. It's Austin's sparkling new home for "why" and "how." A place where science and families play side by side. Where people connect with ideas by doing, making and experiencing. It's a foundry for a new generation of innovators and creative problem solvers. And it's a heck of a good time.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
424 reviews
Excellent
252
Very good
110
Average
41
Poor
15
Terrible
6

Aswathi C
Bowling Green, KY121 contributions
Sep 2022 • Family
Real fun for My 3 year old. He is so curious! They also had a story telling time which was fun.. she read the story of Goldilocks and the three dinosaurs. He spent most of his time with balls, water area, and the kitchen and produce area. The general admission tickets are 16 per person (expensive!) but after 3 pm there is community entry which is free! You can reserve those tickets online as well! In the backyard there is a tall rope train, and my toddler enjoyed climbing that a lot.
Written September 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John Paul
Dallas, TX24 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
Boys had a lot of fun. It’s like a museum but you get to play with everything there. Lots of science practical exhibits.

They enjoyed the motion room and room with lights.

I wouldn’t say it’s something you’d want to come back right away.
Written July 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Courtney C
Lampasas, TX6 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
The thinkery was really cute with lots of hands on activities for young children. My six year old really enjoyed it. But my almost 10 year old was bored. It is advertised as being fun for his age too, but there just wasn’t much for older elementary age group.
Written June 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vibeke Thorsen
6 contributions
Nov 2020
My 9 year old and I went here expecting something interesting for all ages. He noticed that all of the other kids waiting to enter with us were half his height, so we asked if it was just for toddlers, and the employee said no, it's for kids through 12. I don't think she knows many 12 year olds.
Because of COVID19, they allowed people to enter in small groups, and we had to spend 15 minutes at each exhibit. My son ready to move on within 5 minutes at each one. The exhibits are really geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, and many of the exhibits are identical to other museums we've seen in Seattle, Cincinnati, and Palo Alto, such as the ball that floats over a fan, and giant Lite Brite. After 3 exhibits, we left. It wasn't worth waiting around to see whether there would be more interesting exhibits upstairs, and we weren't allowed to go to the next one until the bell rang.
If you have an elementary schooler or older, skip this one. If you have a toddler, it may be worth checking out.
Written November 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Greg D
Wellington, New Zealand21 contributions
Dec 2022
Booked and paid for tickets for the family including the one-year old. Unfortunately, weather turned terrible, torrential rain, thunder and lightening, with flooded roads so decided the safest approach was to go back home.

We contacted the Thinkery asking to transfer to another day. "No" was the short answer. Note: We weren't asking for a refund, just switch the days. How big a deal is that in this day and age? I naively thought it was trivial. To be fair to me, it has been trivial for every other business I've asked in my 50 years of life.

For the Thinkery, it was impossible. How impossible you ask? Completely impossible. Inconceivable I tell you!

Change the date? You might as well ask us to change gravity!That level of impossible! You're asking us to change the course of galaxies! It's against the laws of the Universe! It's so hard it's impossible to the power of infinity!

The level of "we don't really give a stuff about your safety or your child's safety" was incredibly disappointing.
Written December 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ALAN W
Leawood, KS869 contributions
Feb 2020
We werein Austin visiting relatives & wantd to take our grandkids to a fun place.
We were here before last visitin October & the grandkids were happy to go here again.
There is a great variety of fun things to do for kids of all ages. We stayed until closing & the kids could have stayed longer.
This place is fun, entertaining, & has things for kids of all ages to enjoy.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

T A
austin, tx9 contributions
Jan 2015 • Family
My 2 sons age 3 and 6 just went for the first time to this museum. We live in Austin and went to the old children's museum many times and really enjoyed it. After visiting several children's museums around the country this past couple of years I have to say I expected more from the Thinkery. Don't get me wrong, it is a fun place to spend a little time on a rainy day, but I was hugely disappointed by it's lack of creative things to do as well as its size. There are 2 floors but the 2nd floor has a very cool water area and then the rest is classrooms and offices. There was also an area for the very young children, under 3 I think, and a kitchen play area but my kids did not spend any time in there.
In addition, at the time we went there was an exhibit called Junk Town or something like that. It was interesting and a neat idea but it was HANDS OFF!! Who puts a hands off exhibit in a children's museum where the whole point is to touch and play and explore?! My young children spent an hour playing and touching and then we go to an area where they have to keep their hands to themselves? Very bad addition to a children's museum in my opinion.
I also want to voice something I feel is a problem with how the staff conducts school groups when there are individuals in the museum at the same time. 3 different times my kids and I were asked to, or it was suggested, that we leave or hurry and move to accommodate a school group who had limited time to get through the room. I felt as though the school was made a priority and us other folks could just deal with it. One staff member actually told me to "regulate" my kids time at an activity so all 15 kids in a group could have time to do what my child had waited his turn to do himself. Another came up to us when we were getting ready to make planes and shoot them through the air that a group was coming in and only had 10 minutes or something to do the activity and that while we were welcome to stay we may want to leave and come back. My 6 year old felt rushed and I was certainly annoyed. I plan to write a complaint in hopes that the facility may change the way they operate with school groups. So, perhaps it would serve you well to call ahead of time to see if any schools are scheduled to be at the museum and then go at a separate time.
Even though I get half off admission through a reciprocal program, I will not bother to return to this museum.
Written January 23, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

3kidznosleep
Arlington, TX99 contributions
Jul 2014 • Family
I took my 3 and 5 year old to the Thinkery while visiting Austin this weekend. AMAZING! I have been to several Children's Museums in TX and this by far is the best!

ADMISSION: $9. Can't beat that-especially compared the other children's museums in the state.

PARKING: FREE garage parking across the street directly behind the Thinkery. less than 2 minutes from the door!

SPACE: There are 2 stories of all sorts of engaging activities-inside and outside. The flow of traffic can adequately move around for the most part-the Light Lab being the exception as it was such a popular area that it got kinda cramped with strollers and moms and dads, and little ones roaming around.

WATER PLAY! Bring an extra set of clothes for the kiddos because the "backyard" area includes a really fun splash area where to play in, sit in, stand in, splash about...etc. There is also a water area upstairs as well.

CLEANLINESS: All of the activities that you could get dirty in provide smocks (high five!) and upstairs, if your kids to not have safe shoes-crocs are available. The bathrooms are decent. The family bathrooms have changing tables, diaper bins, and seats to prop your infants in while you use the rest room. There are plenty of hand sanitizer and handwashing stations throughout the building.

FOOD: There was a healthy foods vending machine inside that takes cash or credit cards but the card reader did not work. With no ATM in the building and nothing but a debit card-we couldn't buy anything. I noticed other families eating packed lunches from home so, if I lived in the area-that would have been something I did as well. There were probably 10 tables to sit at and eat at as well as benches outside in the backyard. When we left, I noticed a pop-up food place called "Snap Kitchen". Had I paid attention coming in the building we probably would have eaten there.

SMALL KIDS: There are a few toddler/crawler areas available for little ones. So, they are not left out. I especially loved that there was a cozy reading area upstairs. With all the activities going on, it's a great option to have somewhere to go for a little quiet time while dad is off with the bigger kids playing about.

TIME: We spent a little under 4 hours there. My kids LOVED this place!

TIPS:
1. STROLLERS: I'd say leave them in the car unless you absolutely can't be without it. Older kids who can walk should be up moving about in there anyway. Teeny weeny babies would probably do better in a sling/carrier. There is an elevator but again, some of the high traffic areas are hard to navigate with strollers. There is a stroller parking area though if you want to use it.

2. EXTRA CLOTHES: With 2 water play options. Bring an extra set of clothes and do all the dry activities first. I'd say play downstairs first, then go upstairs to do the farm and kitchen lab. AVOID the water play station directly at the top of the stairs until after the other upstairs activities. THEN go outside to the backyard. Kiddos will get wet at the water play area inside, and finish off get completely submersed in water outside (if you let them.)

3. STILL HAVE ENERGY LEFT? There is a pretty awesome park across the street from the Thinkery as well, lake, fountain, ice cream truck...if your kids didn't get worn out enough-that's always a free option.
Written July 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

elawson
philadelphia area552 contributions
We were here mid-morning on a Wednesday and it was packed. The things for bigger kids (I mean 5+) are mostly oversized board games. That can only make about 10 kids. happy. My son waited forever to play a chess game...there's no timer or limit how long kids play with it.
My youngest (1 1/2) seemed a little intimidated by the bigger kids but the baby room was pretty boring. There was two regular balls, tons of books, and one golf ball to play with some toys there.
My middle one (4) loved it. He was running around like crazy but its not an open scheme so he was easy to lose.
I think the main problem is the size. I've been to the kids' museums in Philly and Raleigh, NC and both are larger. The one in Baltimore is huge so I was expecting something along that scale for a metro-area like Austin. Maybe we just hit it on a bad day.
Written July 29, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Josephine88888
Houston, Texas, United States19 contributions
Nice place, god AWFUL check in line. It takes 5 mins per family, and there is only 2 people for non member line, extremely slow and painful process. Think they want to know your entire family history.
Written March 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Thinkery (Austin) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Thinkery

Thinkery is open:
  • Fri - Fri 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Sat - Sun 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM