Austin has a large number of amazing parks and playgrounds for families to enjoy. With so many wonderful options, it can feel overwhelming deciding where to go play each day. In order to help you out, I’ve put together a list of 10 of our favorite playgrounds in Austin and a few bonus spots nearby.
1. Zilker Park Playground
Zilker Park (2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin) playground is my number one choice. Zilker park has it all and is the epitome of all things Austin. The playground area is huge with something fun for all ages. Plus, there’s a train (the Zilker Zephyr), Barton Springs for swimming on hot days, Lady Bird Lake for canoeing, kayaking, or SUPing, a huge field to play Frisbee with your friends/dogs or to fly a kite in, walking/running/bike trails, a botanical garden, the science and nature center, and more. They even have snow cones at the snack bar (my son’s favorite thing about Zilker). What more could you ask for, really? This park has it all and is probably our favorite park of all time.
2. Springwoods Park Playground
Springwoods Park (9117 Anderson Mill Rd, Austin) is everything a great park should be. It’s well shaded by trees, there’s a little walking path that winds around more huge and beautiful trees, and you can even climb fake trees on the playground. Trees seem to be the theme of this place which is what makes it especially nice. There are two playground areas (one for little kids and one for big kids) and if you’re standing close to one, you can still easily see the other one, making it an ideal place to go for parents with more than one kiddo. There’s a large volleyball court/sand pit, a soccer/baseball field, a covered pavilion and picnic table area, tennis courts, and bathrooms. The only thing I think this place is lacking is more parking spots, as the park tends to be quite popular and the lot fills up. Tip: bikes or scooters and sand toys would add to the fun if you happen to remember them!
3. Katherine Fleischer Park Playground
Katherine Fleischer Park (2106 Klattenhoff Drive, Austin) is probably best known as the playground that has the charming little green playhouse, but there’s so much more to it that my kids love! They usually end up behind the actual playground area, playing along the hiking trails and in the dirt, or looking over the little bridge into the tiny stream of water and making up games that involve trolls. There’s a big soccer field, so bring a ball to kick around, or bikes to ride along the trails of Wells Branch.
4. Ramsey Park Playground
Ramsey Park (4301 N. Rosedale Ave., Austin) has several playgrounds and a huge climbing structure which keep my boys happy for a long time. The equipment is unique and fun for kids of all ages. On our last visit, the fields were occupied by some folks playing a sport called Mojo which was fun to watch since we’d never heard of it before. There is a cute little path for riding bikes and scooters and picnic tables surround the playgrounds as well.
5. Little Stacy Park Playground
Little Stacy Park (1400 Alameda Dr., Austin) is well-shaded and has a playground, picnic tables, and bathrooms. It also has basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts, as well as a shallow wading pool. My boys love playing at this park. Tip: bring a basketball!
6. Pease Park Playground
Pease Park (1100 Kingsbury St., Austin) has a fun splash pad area, a great playground, picnic tables, basketball and volleyball courts, and bathrooms. It has all you really need! There’s also a hiking trail entrance to the Shoal Creek Greenbelt next to the park, so you could add a little hike to your adventure while you’re there.
7. Mueller Lake Park Playground
Mueller Lake Park (4550 Mueller Blvd, Austin) is great because it’s right across the street from the Thinkery (Austin’s children’s museum). There’s a fun playground area with really funky and unique equipment. And my kids love that there’s often a snow cone truck or ice cream truck in front of the park. Added bonus: the playground is enclosed, with bathrooms nearby. It sits on a beautiful lake where you can stroll around, feed the ducks, and have a leisurely picnic. On Sundays, there’s a farmer’s market at Mueller as well!
8. Roy G. Guerrero Park
Roy G. Guerrero Park (400 Grove Blvd, Austin) has got to be included on this list because of how huge it is and also because of its proximity to the (not-so) Secret Beach. My boys love this playscape and get super excited when the man on the ice cream bike rolls up with popsicles.
9. Circle C Metropolitan Park
Circle C Metropolitan Park (6301 W Slaughter Ln, Austin) has playgrounds, disc golf, volleyball and basketball courts, fields, hike and bike trails, bathrooms, and more. The playground is well shaded and there is plenty of equipment for younger and older kids alike. Bring your bikes and scooters, sand toys, sports balls, a picnic or snacks, etc., and spend the day out here. Don’t forget your camera if it’s bluebonnet season!
10. Dick Nichols Park
Dick Nichols Park (8011 Beckett Rd., Austin) is a South Austin favorite. With a free pool, large playground with a water feature, hike and bike trail, picnic tables, basketball courts, and more, this park is super fun.
Bonus Playgrounds Beyond Austin
Play for All Abilities – Round Rock
Play for All Abilities (151 N A W Grimes Blvd, Round Rock) is such a unique playground. There’s a sand pit (with diggers), a mini town with working traffic lights that the kids love to ride their bikes around, a picnic area, large and clean bathrooms, a music making section, and a “forest” section (as my kids call it), where almost the entire play area is well shaded with trees. The other nice thing about this place is that even though it’s huge and hard to see one end to the other, it is enclosed all the way around. There are lots of cool features for special-needs kids, including all-ability swings! There’s even a double gate upon entry/exiting the park. Tip: bring bikes or scooters and sand toys!
Elizabeth Milburn Park – Cedar Park
Elizabeth Milburn Park (1901 Sun Chase Blvd, Cedar Park) is beyond amazing. It has everything: several playgrounds, a BMX track, a hike and bike path, a public pool, playing fields, many sand volleyball courts, a rock-climbing wall, bathrooms, and more. The park frequently hosts free movies in the park on the big screen, free concerts, fireworks for the 4th of July, holiday festivals…the list goes on. On our last visit, my friend met me at this park on a beautiful spring morning and our kids played happily for almost four hours! The only reason we left was to go home for lunch. We could have easily spent an entire day here. It’s great for toddlers as well as older kids.
Champion Park – Cedar Park
Champion Park (3830 Brushy Creek Rd, Cedar Park) is truly a dinosaur-lover’s paradise where kids can climb on top of dinosaur structures and dig for dino bones in a shaded sand pit. There’s also a (small) splash pad area if you get too hot and need to cool off. Tip: bring sand toys and brushes to sweep sand away from the dinosaur bones, just like a real paleontologist! You can also bring bikes and hike or ride your way through the Brushy Creek Trail if you’d like to add to your adventure here. The trail runs behind the dino pit, and there are several other fantastic parks and playgrounds along the way, like the Shirley McDonald Park (also known as Duck Pond Park), Creekside Park, Olsen Meadows Park, Brushy Creek Lake Park, Brushy Creek Sports Park (2310 Brushy Creek Rd, Cedar Park), and more. FYI: Champion Park does have bathrooms that are open to the public (several of the parks along Brushy Creek Trail do not).
Brushy Creek Lake Park – Cedar Park
Brushy Creek Lake Park (3300 Brushy Creek Road, Cedar Park) is another favorite park of ours along the Brushy Creek Trail. There’s a huge splash pad area, a shaded playground, pavilions with picnic tables, a sand volleyball court, and bathrooms, all with the hike and bike trail and Brushy Creek as your view. It’s beautiful! Bring sand toys, bike or scooters, towels, snacks, and sunscreen and enjoy this park on hot summer days.
San Gabriel Park – Georgetown
Creative Playscape (1003 N Austin Ave, Georgetown) in San Gabriel Park is huge! It’s great for bigger kids as well as the little ones, as there are several different playscapes within the fenced-in playground area. The entire playground is almost completely enclosed, with the exception of the entry/exit. There are bathrooms nearby and a hike and bike trail right behind the playground, if you’d like to bring bikes and continue the adventure. My kids love it!
Berry Springs Park – Georgetown
Berry Springs Park (1801 C.R. 152, Georgetown) is the place to go for nature walks, picking pecans, fishing, picnicking, and more. You’ll find more to do here than you can probably even fit into one visit, but it’s so much fun that you won’t mind coming back again and again.
Children’s Park – San Marcos
Children’s Park (205 South C M Allen Parkway, San Marcos) is a huge wooden playground located near the San Marcos River. The playground is like a castle fort loaded with bridges, swings, and spots to climb and explore. There are bathrooms and plenty of benches for parents.