It’s Springtime and the changing of the season is the kind of weather that turns an Austinite into a Tourist! Sunshine, a cool breeze, and you finally can wear that cute sleeveless dress you bought on sale at the end of last Summer! Austin Weather can also change from Spring to the dreaded 100 degrees very quickly! So don’t hesitate to enjoy this time of year for a good picnic. A good picnic is all about the location! I am a Mom first (scatterbrained) but I am a self-diagnosed over thinker and planner. My mind goes a little like this… We need a playground! What about parking? Clean bathrooms? Easy access to a cold drink just in case we run out. What if my kids want ice cream? Rest assured that I have thought of everything. I’m happy to outline the best picnic spots in Austin.
“Spring is Nature’s way of Saying, let’s party” – Robin Williams
Downtown Zilker Park: Wide open to several picnic sites. Go online for reservable picnic sites and picnic shelter. Remember Zilker Park has parking meters. However, the park makes up with the gorgeous city views and of course, people watching! The best spot is the grassy area between the playground and the Zilker Zephyr miniature train. FYI the train is cash only. You can usually find a food truck outside Barton Springs for snacks and beverages.
2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
South of the River: There is a gem in the heart of Travis Heights! Little Stacy Neighborhood Park has a playground and plenty of shady areas for a perfect picnic! Don’t forget your swimsuits so the kids can play in the wading pool.
1500 Alameda Dr, Austin, TX 78704
North Central: One of my personal favorites! Ramsey Park checks all of the boxes for me – plenty of parking, playground, swimming pool, shade, and quick access to a bathroom! Plus you don’t feel like you are so far out that in case something happens (your kid has a meltdown because her teddy grahams did not have a head) then you can leave in a hurry. And if your kids still have the energy to burn off you can drive over to the nearby Central Market for gelato and even more playground time!
4301 Rosedale Ave, Austin, TX 78756
Campus: Pease District Park made my list because it doubles as a splash pad! Pay little attention to the university students aka disc golf throwers. The spot you want is next to the built-in stone picnic tables between the playground and splash pad.
1100 Kingsbury St, Austin, TX 78705
West Austin: Mayfield Park & Preserve. Here you will find an Instaworthy cottage, ponds, and peacocks. Squeeze in a small hiking trail where the kids explore. You will find picnic tables near the garden area.
3505 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703
Mueller: Mueller Lake Park is a big hit for toddlers! Pack a big lunch bag because this is an “all day” affair. You can park on the street or in the parking garage behind The Thinkery. The playground area is enclosed to keep your kids contained. I really enjoy the walkability to everything from a movie theater to a fried chicken restaurant. Because although I am a planner I never know when a spontaneous food craving will come on! On your way out feed the ducks with any leftover bread you have. Trust me your kids will be worn out after this one!
4550 Mueller Blvd, Austin, TX 78723
Lake Austin: Emma Long Metropolitan Park is a weekend picnic spot because of the admission charge. With dazzling lake views and over 100 picnic tables to choose from you’ll forget about the laundry that is waiting for you at home!
1600 City Park Rd, Austin, TX 78730
So many great picnic spots, but sometimes the best one is in my very own backyard!