We say it all the time, but we do truly believe it: Austin is an amazing place to raise a family. With this in mind, we’re on a mission to go discover all the things which make our town special. To help get out more without getting overwhelmed, we came up with the Austin Bucket List project. Each year, we pick 10 things we’d like to do in Austin — with or without our kids. That sounds doable, doesn’t it? Then, we document our adventures here, with the idea of getting each of you inspired to do the same.
What’s an endeavor like this without a few friends along for the ride? We asked our blogger friends in Austin who’d like to join us on the Austin Bucket List project, and we were thrilled to have several takers. Today’s report is from Skye Kilean, who is embarking upon her second year of crossing off bucket list items. This time, Boy Detective takes her on an adventure to discover a shady, new-to-her son and her park. Here’s what she had to say:
We first heard about Springwoods Park from my husband’s cousin, who probably said “that park up near Spicewood.” Somehow we translated that as “Spicewood Park” for a name, and Spicewood Springs as the location…both of which are wrong. Springwoods Park is located at 9117 Anderson Mill Road, just a couple of blocks east of 183.
Once we’d figured all that out, we headed north. We’ve been wanting to find a hangout near the Spicewood Library (which actually IS on Spicewood Springs), for times when we head up there to pick up specific books. Since we’re coming from south of Lady Bird Lake, it seems a waste of gas to drive all the way up there without doing at least two things!
Springwoods Park turned out to be a perfect stop, even on a very sunny afternoon.
There are two playgrounds. One is for smaller kids.
They also have a sand volleyball court, which was being used as a big sandbox while we were there, with a good number of smaller kids building castles.
The other playground is a great fit for our 7-year old. I’ve rarely found a playscape in an Austin park sized big enough for 7-10 year olds, but this one was.
A lot of it seems designed to let kids get WAY high up, which was fine with Boy Detective.
The seesaw is big enough even for adults, and worked well with dissimilarly sized people as long as the bigger person was willing to play fair and keep things going.
Or if your mom’s willing to do ALL the work so you can have a ride, even better.
(The seesaw was really fun. I would probably go there on a date night, personally, just to do something totally different and fun.)
And most important, they have lots and lots of shade. There’s a large and small pavilion, plus a gazebo, plus lots of tree cover, with picnic tables scattered about.
The most important tree, though, is probably this giant one.
Boy Detective desperately wanted to climb it, but the natural bumps that form handholds for adults were just too far apart. Also, the part he wanted to climb onto is right over the concrete path. Didn’t stop his dad, though.
We barely scratched the surface of the 12 acres, so we’ll definitely be back. We didn’t even go on the hiking trail, which is just short of a mile around.
The one caution I would have, though, is that the parking lot is really, really small. We were there on a nice weekend afternoon, though, and didn’t have any problems getting a spot. But if someone had a large birthday party, I can see how it might get difficult. Assuming you can park, though, the playground areas are very close to the parking lot, which makes it easier for wrangling small children, or for folks with mobility impairments.
Now we need to find more things in this neighborhood, so we can go more often!