Made in the Shade: Best Parks to Take a Break from the Sun

It’s getting hot out there.

Are you desperate to get out of the house, but need a break from the pool? Do you tend to avoid the library and other indoor venues? Or are you done with bounce houses?

If you get out early enough, parks can be doable. You just need to get your bag packed the night before, and to choose a park with ample shade. We were inspired after reading Free Fun in Austin’s list of shady parks to come up with our own list of the top parks in Austin to get a break from the relentless sun.

Springwoods Park – 9117 Anderson Mill Rd. – A canopy of oak trees provide lots of shade for the playgrounds and a hike and bike trail.

Mountain View Park – 9000 Middlebie Dr. – This well-shaded neighborhood park, which is part of the upper Bull Creek greenbelt, has a recently-updated playground.

Clarksville Park – 1811 W. 11th St. – This quiet park has a playscape covered with a shade canopy and a splash pad.

Laguna Gloria/Mayfield Park – 3505 West 35th St. – Yes, these aren’t parks in the typical sense, but Mayfield has shady trails that surround the ponds and the main house and next door, you can explore Laguna Gloria’s grounds and stay out of the sun.
Eastwoods Park – 3001 Harris Park Ave. – Hidden in the heart of Hyde Park, Eastwoods has a surprising amount of space to explore, most of which is shaded (including the main playground) — and a splash pad. (Note: parking is metered, so bring some change.)

Perry Playground Park – 4900 Fairview Dr. – Located adjacent to Highland Park Elementary, this playground has two separate areas, both of which are shady. There are also trails to explore in the wooded area to the west of the park.

Dottie Jordan – 2803 Loyola Ln. – Dottie Jordan has several playscapes and swingsets, all of which are shaded. There is also a trail which runs alongside a creek on the park’s western edge and a pool.

Patterson – 4200 Brookview Rd. – Patterson, which is located very close to the Mueller development, has a significant amount of shade on its playscapes, as well as shaded picnic tables (with a checkerboard etched in) and a pool nearby.

Little Stacy Park – 1400 Alameda Dr. – Little Stacy is a bit hidden along Blunn Creek. The park has a nice playground with some fun retro climbing structures.

Garrison Park –  6001 Manchaca Rd. – Garrison has some great shade and nice, mature trees.

What’s your favorite shady park?

About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".