Looking for a few great parks to explore?
Look no further than just north of Austin! These parks are a huge part of what makes me happy to live where I live. In no particular order here are some great places to explore the great outdoors.
- Play For All Park (Round Rock): Located in East Round Rock, this park boasts some impressive playscapes. The park is unique because it is specifically designed to include all children, even those with special needs. Among my favorite parts are the giant sand pit area, the small village, and the speedway. Be sure to bring a bike or trike for your kiddo to get the full experience on the speedway. Another bonus, is this park is nestled right along the Brushy Creek trail if you want to get in a nice walk or bike ride with the family before or after your play time. Also this park is located right next to a real train line. If you stay long enough you are likely to see a train pass by, which makes train loving kids super happy.
- Brushy Creek Trail and Parks (Round Rock, Cedar Park):
This massive trail has so many parks that run alongside it that it’s impossible to talk about each one. There are numerous playscapes, and tons of wide open spaces to run and explore. I’d recommend a day trip to just explore the whole trail. For the sake of space I will highlight just three of the parks.
- Shirley McDonald Park aka “The Duck Pond”: What kid love to feed ducks?
- Champion Park: A cute small splash pad with a dinosaur dig area, plus wildflowers in the spring.
- Brushy Creek Lake Park: A great place to canoe/kayak with amazing views. When the bluebonnets bloom, this park is simply the best and a great spot for family pics. (including Duck Pond Park round rock, Creekside Park and Pool Austin, Olson Meadows Park Austin, Champion park Cedar Park, Brushy Creek Lake Park Austin, Brushy Creek Sports Park Cedar Park,)
- Elizabeth Milburn Park (Cedar Park):
Nestled between Lakeline Blvd. and Anderson Mill Rd. in Southwest Cedar Park is this hidden gem. This park has great playscapes, sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, trails, and great open fields. There is even a cute little community garden to wander through if you have a child with a budding green thumb. Most notably, this park has an amazing pool with an area specifically designed for small toddlers to run around in during the summer (small pool fees are involved so be sure to check the website during summer months for rates).
- Garey Park (Georgetown):
This sprawling park park was once a giant ranch, and boasts some of the most beautiful nature walks and views I have seen in central Texas. This park has an amazing play area for kids (including my son’s favorite zip lines), loads of trails, a dog park, and an awesome splash pad for the spring and summer months. There is also an area for equestrian enthusiasts out there. Garey park is also located right along the San Gabriel river which makes for great pictures, fishing, or outdoor nature lessons with the kids. The only downside is this park is not free, however I do feel that because it costs money, it is not as crowded as some of these other popular parks tend to be. It is free for children three and under, and free on Tuesdays from the months of October-March.
- Southwest Williamson County Regional Park (Round Rock, Leander):
This park has beautiful walking/running trails, as well as multiple soccer fields, tennis courts, and a full outdoor track. One of the best parts of this park, in my opinion, is the Cedar Rock Railroad. If you are looking for a miniature train to take your kids on while the Zilker Zephyr’s fate is still on the rocks, this train is a must ride. This park also hosts The Quarry Splash Pad, one of the best splash pads I have ever seen.
- Old Settlers Park (Round Rock):
This massive park is most notably home to Dell Diamond and the Round Rock Express Minor League Baseball team, a Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. If catching a game isn’t enough to get you to this beautiful park, the trails, and playscapes should. This was the first park I came to when I first moved to the Austin area and it helped to seal the deal on wanting to live in the northern suburbs.
- Robin Bledsoe Park (Leander): This beautiful park has a pool and splash pad, lots of space to run, and cool playscapes. Beware though, it isn’t super shaded so make sure to wear lots of sunscreen. A cool bonus, the splash pad at this park is fenced in so it makes keeping an eye on little ones a little easier.
- Memorial Park (Round Rock): This cute little park is located within walking distance of downtown Round Rock, the actual round rock that the city is named after, and the famous Round Rock Donuts. It has a lovely trail and playscape, and tends to be one of the less busy parks around in my experience.
- Berry Springs Park (Georgetown): I recently discovered this park while running in a New Year 5k. It is wonderfully shaded, has lots of trail space, and has camping sites. It also has a pecan tree grove where you can gather your own pecans in the fall.