Central Library Field Trips for Kids and Teens: Food & APL Shop

Use this site to plan and book a field trip to the Central Library in Austin Texas!

Eating Spaces

We welcome field trips to bring lunches with them. If your students will be bringing their lunches and/or a cooler, please let us know in your request so we can help you make arrangements.

Eating is allowed outside at the Central Library - we recommend the Children's Reading Porch and the Rooftop Garden for Field Trips. Limited indoor seating for eating is available on the 2nd floor but is first come-first served. 

Lidded drinks are allowed throughout the building.

Additional Options

Groups have access to the Shoal Creek Plaza, or you can the Shoal Creek Trail, which goes underneath Cesar Chavez and leads to Lady Bird Lake and Shoal Beach, which is a large grassy open area right along the waterfront. Both are great spots for older kids and teens to have a picnic lunch.

Food in the Library

Currently, the library has the following in-building offerings:

  • Vending machines are located on the 2nd Floor directly across from the Information Desk.
  • Water Fountains on every floor with bottle fillers
  • Currently, the library's cafe space is vacant. 

Nearby Food and Coffee Options include:

  • Merit Coffee
  • Trader Joe's
  • Baked Bear
  • Torchy's Taco
  • Co-Dependent

Map of nearby food options within walking distance

APL Shop

The APL Shop sells Austin Public Library branded merchandise, book themed products, and unique, locally sourced gifts. All proceeds benefit Austin Public Library.

Check here for current hours and information.


Monday - Thursday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday - Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Field trips are not offered on weekends