Visiting the Texas State Capitol is part of an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Panasonic. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
I’m originally from Colorado, but my mom was born in Texas so when we moved back 14 years ago, it was a coming home for her. With our busy lives, we don’t always take the time to visit all of the amazing places in this huge state. So recently we made a list of places we wanted to go with the kids. Austin was near the top of the list. I have only been once for a quick wedding and didn’t get to explore the city at all. I wanted to check out the Texas State Capitol!
Visiting the Texas State Capitol
The kids have never been to Austin at all, so Grambo and I decided that a quick overnight trip to explore the capitol and the downtown area could be fun for all of us! We’ve also learned that keeping these short trips with the kids is the key to success. So we didn’t plan to do much more than explore the area and learn together! And I was thrilled to have my new Panasonic LUMIX G7 camera with me to capture the beauty of Austin, Texas!
The kids were excited to hit the road too! They love exploring new places and we usually have pretty smooth trips as long as I am prepared. That seems to be the theme of parenting most of the time — the more prepared you are, the greater chance for success. But even then, you never know what the kids are going to throw at you!
I’m not sure what I expected to find at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, but the gorgeous grounds was not anything I imagined. While it was a typical, hot August afternoon in Texas, the grounds at the capitol building where full of gorgeous old shade trees and plenty of sidewalks to explore on.
Which came in handy for us when Weston decided he didn’t want to go inside any of the capitol buildings. Not even the gorgeous visitors center!
Capitol Visitors Center
Weston did like that the Capitol Visitors Center had two trees in front of it. Yes, it turned out to be that kind of day. He told me that he couldn’t go inside that kind of big door. So instead of turning things into a battle, Grambo and I decided that exploring the grounds would still be an amazing experience.
But if you do visit, be sure to stop by the Visitors Center and check out some of the interactive exhibits that are very kid-friendly. You can learn about the Texas Capitol Preservation and Extension Project while exploring construction tools. Then you can view the Capitol building through a telescope and dress up as Texas pioneers! After reading about all of the great things you can do, you could probably make a visit just out of the Capitol Visitors Center!
Although I would have loved to go inside and explore the Texas Capitol, my mom-side kicked in and I did what needed to be done to keep the peace. But the building is an amazing piece of late 19th century public architecture, even just from the outside! It has an amazing view and is in a really central location in Austin.
They offer self-guided tours of the Capitol and the Grounds with a brochure to guide you along. They even have a guide to all of the trees on the grounds! Grambo didn’t find that out until after we got home but there were some amazing trees!
You can also take a guided tour that lasts 30-40 minutes. Our kids wouldn’t have made it through that at this age, but I think it would be a great way to explore history for the older kids!
Exploring the Grounds
We spent about an hour exploring the grounds of the Texas Capitol. Weston loved the cannons and the statues. All of them had plaques so I was able to explain a bit of Texas history to him even though I’m no expert!
And even though all of our plans didn’t go quite as we expected, we had an amazing afternoon. I was thankful to have my LUMIX G7 with me because I was able to use the three exclusive 4K Ultra HD Video pause and extract 4K Photo Modes (4K Pre-Burst, 4K Start/Stop, and 4K) throughout the day. And I can choose the perfect moment from my video and pull it out as a photo. (That is if the video is more than just my child throwing a fit! Yes, it was a bit of a rough trip!)
Plus, I didn’t have to carry a bulky, heavy camera the temperature continued to rise throughout the day. And I got amazing image DSLM (M= Mirrorless) quality without the bulk and weight of traditional DSLRs! It’s proving to be a great camera for everyday life and for travel! I look forward to taking it to Disney World with us this fall!
We had a blast visiting Austin and the kids were thrilled when we found a fun park to play at on our way home. One thing I always keep with me in the car when we travel are swim suits and extra clothes, just in case of spontaneous adventures!
But I’m cherishing some amazing photos we captured while on our Austin adventure. Hopefully my children will be a bit more cooperative next time. But that is the risk you take with family travel and I think the adventure is worth all of the risk!
So we’ll be taking more adventures this summer and the LUMIX will be coming along! With DFD focusing for fast and precise auto focusing along with class-leading lens and accessory options, I’m ready to capture all kinds of memories!