There are so may great things about Austin, it almost doesn’t seem fair that we also get to be the Capitol of Texas. The Texas State Capitol building was first built in 1888 and it had significant renovations and extensions in the 1990s.
Top 5 reasons why my little girls like the Texas State Capitol:
1. The rotunda is round and tall, in layers, up to a domed ceiling, which makes them run in circles with their arms spread wide open.
2. There are lots of stairs that are fun to climb up and down.
3. Besides the stairs, there are the elevators, and they take you underground which is a little scary, but exciting at the same time.
4. When you walk in the hallways underground, you can see bushes above you, through windows in the ceiling, when everyone knows bushes are supposed to be on the ground and how is it possible that there is dirt ABOVE your head?
5. If you stop by the Sergeant-at-Arms office (2W7), the staff will give you a free sticker.
Top 5 reasons why I like the Texas State Capitol:
1. The building is air-conditioned and heated, out of the rain, open generous hours and free. (That is five reasons in one.)
3. The experience is art and exercise in one, with all the stairs and long underground hallways.
4. It is a good experience when extended family is in town. People of every age will find something different to see and think about.
5. Our country’s democracy is messy and difficult and frustrating, but I am amazed like-a-little-kid that democracy is only a few hundred years old and I get to live in the country that invented it. In my small ways that my girls might not understand at all, I try to share this enthusiasm with them.
When my girls are older and have a longer attention span, we’ll take the official self-guided or guided tour.
One important thing to know – in the rotunda, on the upper floors, where you can walk around the circular dome, the railings are historically accurate. This means they don’t meet current safety standards. The rails are far enough apart that a kid can get through. If your toddlers are monkey-like, you will need to stay very close to them or don’t go to the upper floors of the rotunda.
I hope you get to enjoy the Texas State Capitol with your kids!