Need to knows:
Stroller or sling? Recommended sling
Baby friendly restrooms? No — bring a changing mat
Parking validation? — No need — big parking lot
Did y’all know there’s a Greek Revival house in downtown Austin? The Neill-Cochran House has a fascinating history — it served as a school for the blind, a federal war hospital, and finally a residence for a couple of notable families named — you guessed it — the Neills and the Cochrans. It’s also the only intact slave quarters in the entire city, and they’ve begun a multi-year construction project to increase the accuracy of what they call the “Dependency” building. The setting is lowkey, calm, and a stress-free excursion for your bougie self and that baby.
You can book tickets online or at the door, and they have just an audio tour available on your phone during Covid times. Bring headphones, unless you want to be like yours truly who walked around like a boomer with her speaker on full blast. Not ideal. Tickets are just $8, and you’ll park in the parking lot on the side of the building.
There are just three steps up to the entrance which is manageable with the stroller, but you’d ideally use the sling since there are stairs and no elevator.
Once inside, you have access to the audio tour via a QR code on their brochure. It jumps around quite a bit, instructing you to start outside and then around to the slave quarters, but we chose to go chronologically from the entrance. There are two restrooms on the ground floor, and the largest one is off the double foyer. There are no changing tables, so bring a mat in case of emergencies.
Most of the downstairs is from the Neills’ collection, while the upstairs has bedrooms from the Cochran family. The Neills were big entertainers for local politicians and the like, so those are the most ornate spaces. We loved the French Parlor, which is just to the left of the visitor desk.
The slave quarters are in a separate building by the parking lot, and each building has two floors. The audio tour points out that the main house has no kitchen or storage closets, and the main house has 3 back door entrances to the slave quarters. This part is the reimagined shed, and upstairs is a single bedroom.
It’s manageable to park the stroller on the ground floor and carry the baby up, but it’s recommended to bring your sling so you can really take your time. It’s easy to see the whole collection within an hour, but the upstairs of the main house also has an exhibit space diving into Austin history. It also has some cool artefacts, like the bed the Cochrans shipped from New Orleans.
Neill-Cochran Museum House is definitely a baby/bougie parent winner! Check out their website for more info to plan your trip.