Every now and then, when I wake up hours earlier than everyone else in the house, I start searching for random things to do around town for a Day Trip. Especially when I know it’s going to be a nice sunny day.
Last weekend I remembered seeing a news report about a Cat Cafe coming to Austin soon. I had told my kids about it and ever since then, they had been asking me if it is open yet. So, I looked and it was actually open! I knew they would be excited and I couldn’t wait for them to wake up. Perfect Day Trip.
To make the Day Trip downtown worthwhile, I thought it would be nice to take their scooters and ride around Lady Bird Lake and Auditorium Shores. And while we were there, why not finish the day getting my weekend grocery shopping done at Trader Joe’s, Seaholm Location? It turned out to be a very fun day!
Blue Cat Cafe
Blue Cat Cafe is Austin’s first cat cafe. Part funky coffee shop, part food trailer park and part cat rescue organization, Blue Cat Cafe definitely exudes the Austin vibe. The entire building is painted in colorful cat inspired murals and the front garden area features a Vegan food truck, picnic tables and colorful yard art. It definitely has a “keep Austin weird” presence right from the start.
The entrance to the cafe is a small store where you can buy your furry feline friends a new cat toy or other fun accessories. They also sell local cat inspired art, bags, t-shirts and more. Since seating is limited inside the cafe, there might be a wait to get in. We only waited five minutes after paying a small admission fee that goes towards taking care of the cats. $3 for adults and $1 for children under 8 years old.
Once inside the cat sanctuary, the kids were giddy with excitement trying to spot all the cats perched on walkways hanging from the ceiling, sitting on laps, roaming freely around the cafe and even snoozing inside old TV consoles and drum sets turned into cat beds. There were cat toys laying around so you can entice a furry friend to a game of chase. They ask that you not pick up the cats as many of them are recently spayed and neutered. All of the cats were very sweet and friendly.
We ordered lunch from the food trailer outside and it was delivered to us at a table inside. The truck is Vegan and the dishes were pretty good, if you are into Vegan food. The kids were not too thrilled with their “hot dog”.
My boys are already asking when we can go back to Blue Cat Cafe. We didn’t adopt a cat that day since we already have two rescue cats. But, if were were planning to adopt, this would be the perfect way to meet a potential new member to the family because you can see them in their “home life” and learn how they behave around your kids and family.
Lady Bird Lake and Auditorium Shores
After a fun outing at Blue Cat Cafe we headed over to Lady Bird Lake. As you can imagine, on a nice sunny and mild January day, it wasn’t easy to find a parking space. We tried the Auditorium Shores side of the Lake along Riverside Drive, but the parking is very limited there. So we went back across the bridge to downtown and ended up parking right outside of Trader Joe’s off W Cesar Chavez (Water Ave) on Walter Seaholm Street.
There is a nice little park for a picnic with great views of the Lake and downtown. You can also rent bikes at an Austin B-Cycle station adjacent to the park for $8 a day or $4 for half an hour. From the park you can cross over the Lake on the pedestrian bridge to reach Auditorium Shores. Across Riverside Drive is Butler Park with plenty of nice sidewalks for scooter riding, including an uphill spiral to the top of Doug Sahm Hill where you can take in fantastic panoramic views of the City. The day we were there, there was a group of Austin musicians hanging out enjoying the sun and cool breeze. VIDEO We will definitely go back during the summer to check out the huge splash pad! Here’s a fun article about Bike Sharing Around the World.
Trader Joe’s Seaholm Location
Once we finished strolling around and taking in the awesome scenery we made our way back over the bridge to put the scooters in the car and trade them in for shopping bags.
The Trader Joe’s Seaholm location does offer validation for the parking garage, so it might be possible to park there, take a stroll and then go shopping. I am a huge fan of Trader Joe’s and have been shopping there for many years, so it was nice to get my weekly shopping done while taking in a family outing!
We go downtown a lot, but this is the first time we have thought to bring the boy’s scooters. We will be doing this Day Trip a lot and exploring more of the areas along the trail. Next time maybe we will get a picnic at Trader Joe’s and find us a nice spot. Or maybe even rent a Swan Pedal Boat and explore the Lake by water. Stay tuned for our next adventure!