Oh, Austin. From your people to your outdoor spaces to your laid-back vibe, it’s no wonder people are flocking to our town in droves. For parents, a great way to get out of the house is by exploring parks with our kids. That said, it can be easy to go to the same parks over and over again. Why not try to mix it up and try out a new park? We’re going to highlight our favorite parks in different parts of the city. Here are our top 5 parks in south Austin and the northern suburbs:
Circle C Ranch Metropolitan Park – 6301 W. Slaughter Lane
This huge park has a playground almost completely shaded by mature oak trees, which is a lifesaver during the warmer months. In addition to the playground, there is a hike and bike trail, soccer fields (great for kite flying when no games are taking place), a basketball court and a disc golf course.
Little Stacy Park – 1400 Alameda
This small park has a lot to offer, from multiple shaded play areas to picnic tables, multiple sports courts and a covered pavilion. During the summer months, littles can splash in the wading pool. You can even walk the Blunn Creek Greenbelt trail to nearby Big Stacy Park, which, ironically, is smaller, except that it has a free-admission swimming pool instead of a “baby” pool.
Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park – 907 Slaughter Lane
There is all of the normal things people go to for a park — a playground, swings and all that — but Mary Moore Searight has some trails which boast some beautiful scenery. The park is roughly the same size as Zilker Park, so there is plenty of room to explore. A few other things of note: there are horseback trails and a dog park at the park, as well.
McKinney Falls State Park – 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway
If you have a bit more time on your hands, head to McKinney Falls for easy walking trails, wading, mountain biking, fishing and kids’ programs. Along the trails you can see the remains of Thomas McKinney’s homestead, a gristmill and what’s left of a horse trainer’s cabin. The park is also home to “Old Baldy”, a 103-foot-tall cypress tress estimated to be over 500 years old.
Zilker Metropolitan Park – 2100 Barton Springs Rd.
Zilker Park may be Austin’s worse-kept secret. Called “Austin’s crown jewel”, “Austin’s Central Park” and “Austin’s most loved park”, there is no shortage of things to do: swim at Barton Springs, play on Rock Island on the Great Lawn, fly kites, throw the Frisbee, ride the Zilker Zephyr, watch dogs at the Barton Springs spillway, rent a canoe and go out on Lady Bird Lake, feed the ducks, sit on the firetruck, swing, or go down the slides. Check out our article for even more ideas.
What’s your favorite park in north Austin?