In Austin, it’s always a great time to spend some time in the great outdoors! Whether it’s grilling up some Texas BBQ or exploring the hike and bike trails with the kids, these Austin parks will bring everyone together. Enjoy a picnic, a dip in the local watering hole, or even live music from time to time! The great outdoors has never been more entertaining.
Looking for some good old-fashioned nature and activities for the family? Try out volleyball, disk golf, and local educational programs for the kids. In Austin, parks have something that everyone can appreciate. Grab your sunscreen, lots of water, and your family and friends, it’s time to explore the best parks in Austin!
1. Zilker Park
Zilker Park is one of the most recognizable parks in Austin. Home to the Austin City Limits music festival, the Trail of Lights, and Barton Springs Pool, there is so much to love about Zilker. Enjoy the Zilker Botanical Gardens for a relaxing summer day out or reserve a volleyball court to exercise with your friends!
Wrap up the day by enjoying the Zilker Hillside Theatre which hosts concerts, Shakespeare in the park, and the Zilker Summer Musical. Spend some time enjoying live shows or take the kids out on the water with Zilker Park Boat Rentals. When you visit Zilker Park, you’ll never be bored.
Located at 2100 Barton Springs Rd off of Mopac just minutes away from downtown Austin in South Central Austin!
In search of a great place to take the kids in your life? The Alliance Children’s Garden at Butler Park is now open! Featuring a 2-acre inclusive space with many varieties of play elements, kids will adore this brand-new addition. After you’re done on the new playground, head over to the splash pad for even more fun! Even better at night when the multi-colored lights create a magical glow.
Butler Park is also popular for running, biking, picnicking, and golfing. There are great activities for both adults and children alike. Check out the Dougherty Art Center and the Butler Pitch & Putt during your next visit!
Located at 1000 Barton Springs Rd across from Vic Mathias Auditorium Shores in South Central Austin.
3. Pease Park
Call up your friends and set up a game of basketball or experience art & exercise with the Pease Park art installations, there is always something new and exciting to try! Pease Park is home to wonderful new playgrounds and a splash pad that will cool off the sweatiest of children.
Open spaces and whimsical play areas make Pease Park great for everyone, both big and small. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to savor a nice bike ride or have a picnic in the shade, Pease Park has got you covered.
Located at 1100 Kingsbury St. just west of Downton by Shoal Creek in the Old Enfield neighborhood.
4. Mueller Lake Park
Mueller Lake Park is the perfect combo of green space and city amenities. You can easily eat lunch at a local restaurant and then take a short walk over to fresh green grass, tall trees, and the shimmering lake. Visit the open-air amphitheater, one of the many interactive playscapes, or take your pooch to the dog park. Mueller definitely doesn’t disappoint.
Enjoy public art installations or a jog through the loop trail. Being outdoors has never been so pleasant. On Sundays, you can stop by the Texas Farmers Market at Mueller from 10 am to 2 pm. Bring some peas to feed the ducks and have a lovely picnic by the lake for the most picturesque summer day possible.
Located at 4550 Mueller Blvd off IH 35 by Dell Children’s Medical Center in the Mueller Development.
5. Mount Bonnell
Do you and your loved ones enjoy hiking? Then Mount Bonnell Trail is the place for you. Pack up the family and fido too and head over to Covert Park where Mount Bonnell resides. No need to worry about the long trek for the little ones, this trail is fairly short and leads to gorgeous views of the sunrise, sunset, and the 360 bridge.
This is a great option for summer fun, just be sure to bring your summer staples AKA water and sunblock. The top of the trail is great for a secluded picnic with your partner or dinner with the whole family. Happy Hiking!
Located at 3800 Mount Bonnell Rd off Mopac just past Camp Mabry off of Lake Austin.
Who says you have to go to Niagra to hear a waterfall? A trip to Mckinney Falls will provide you with the soothing sounds of rushing water right here in Austin! There is so much to do and see at McKinney Falls. Great for friends and family time!
McKinney Falls has options for those who like to fish, swim, or camp. There are 6 cabins available for rent and 81 campsites so feel free to make a weekend of your visit! Check out the local geocaching and picnicking areas for an exciting afternoon. There are even local historical sites of an early Texas homestead and a rock shelter. Something new around every turn!
Located at 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway off 183 just 13 miles from downtown Austin in South East Austin.
7. Circle C Ranch Metropolitan Park
Visit the beautiful parks and trails of Circle C. You can hang out with friends or make memories with your family all across the green space of Circle C. Whether you hike, bike, or stroll through the trails, there are many lovely trees and wonderful spaces to rest.
Play soccer on the fields or check out the extensive disk golf course for a change of pace. Circle C is perfect for kids, grownups, and even grandparents! Enjoy the warm summer sun and all that Circle C Ranch has to offer.
Located at 6301 W Slaughter Ln. off Mopac near Escarpment Blvd as part of the masterplanned community of Circle C Ranch.
8. Barton Creek Greenbelt
Right off of Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail, Sculpture Falls is the perfect place for you, your kids, and your pups too! The creek is perpetually cool which is a welcome addition to the summer sun. Hike the trail and then spend some time cooling off in the water for a great summer afternoon.
This swimming summer paradise is located 1.5 miles from the Greenbelt entrance and provides the perfect workout and cooldown all in one! For more excellent summer watering holes, check out the five best Austin swimming holes!
Located throughout the neighborhood of Barton Creek.
9. Emma Long Metro Park
Itching for some paddle boarding or fishing? Emma Long Metro Park is the perfect place to enjoy the thrills of summer right by Lake Travis! You can join in field sports. Volleyball, basketball, or hike beautiful trails. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy the shady trees and soft green grass.
If you can’t get enough of the great outdoors, settle in for great camping sites! Grill up your favorites and share stories around the campfire. Dogs are even allowed off-leash in certain areas! Summer just got even sweeter.
Located at 1401-1711 City Park Rd. off 360 right by the Colorado River near the neighborhoods of River Place & Westminster Glen.
10. Mayfield Park
For unusual sights and sounds and one of the best parks in Austin is Mayfield Park. Known for its lush greenery, picnicking, and… peacocks? That’s right, Mayfield Park has free-roaming peacocks. Take a stroll through the park and have your camera at the ready! Nothing beats picnicking with peacocks.
Great open space for kids to play and a lovely area to take a date, Mayfield Park is a summer destination for fun! Enjoy a relaxing afternoon with the peacocks and other wildlife while reading your favorite book, eating delicious foods, or laughing with friends.
Located at 3505 W 35th St. off Mopac near Mt Bonnell Rd in the neighborhood of Tarrytown
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