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Austin is a city packed with places for little ones to play and wander. When it comes to local and kid-friendly options to explore, there’s truly a spot for every season, desire, mood, and flight of fancy. Still, all of the choices can be a bit overwhelming when on the hunt for a specific place to play. That’s why this list is here to give the wheres and the whys of the very best playgrounds in Austin for the fam to have an adventure.
Best playground for exploring: Circle C Metropolitan Park
6301 West Slaughter Lane
With nearly 6 miles of trails, two playgrounds (one for smaller and one for bigger kids), soccer fields, baseball fields, a volleyball court, creeks, disc golf, and plenty of shaded areas, Circle C makes the ideal spot for kids of all ages to explore. The giant oak trees make it a cool and breezy spot to escape via a good book, too – hint, hint.
Best playground for dinosaur lovers: Champion Creek Park
3830 Brushy Creek Road, Cedar Park
A dinosaur lover’s paradise! Kiddos can climb atop dinosaur structures and dig for bones in a shaded sand pit. Tip: bring sand toys and brushes to sweep sand away from the dinosaur bones, just like a real paleontologist. Little ones can also enjoy a small splash pad and hiking and biking to other playgrounds in the area. Dinosaur fans will also want to check out this list of 10 Prehistoric Places Perfect for Dinosaur Enthusiasts.
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Best playground to play pretend: Katherine Fleischer Park
2106 Klattenhoff Drive
This Well’s Branch neighborhood playground is best known for its charming green playhouse. Complete with a bridge and a tiny stream of water, this is the ideal location for the littles to get lost in a world of make believe. With a gazebo, pool, and plenty of space to fly a kite, this also makes for a great locale to host parties for the tiny pretenders.
Best playground in Austin to cool off: Pease Park
1100 Kingsbury Street, Austin, TX 78705
Fall is on its way, but there’s no guarantee that this means cooler weather for Austin. Pease Park boasts a splash pad, picnic tables, easy-to-find bathrooms, and even an enchanted stick village to help provide solace from that pesky heat. Providing 84 acres of fun and plenty of shaded areas, too, this is the perfect spot for all ages to play, relax, and stay cool.
Best playground for children with special needs: Play For All Abilities
151 North A W Grimes Boulevard, Round Rock
From sensory walls to a mini Round Rock like town, this community-wide project of a playground was truly built for children of all ages and abilities. The mission of the park is to provide a safe, fun place to play and develop new skills for children of all abilities. The 51,000 square feet park is intended for play as well as for therapy and learning.
Best playground in Austin to make a day out of it: Zilker Park
2100 Barton Springs Road
Considered Austin’s most loved park, there are more activities at this beloved spot than could be fit into even an entire day of fun. From a playground with a climbable firetruck to Barton Springs Pool to the Zephyr miniature train rides, hearing “I’m bored” is not even an option at Zilker Park. For more info on getting the most of Zilker Park, click here.
Best playground for parents: Mueller Lake Park Playground
4550 Mueller Boulevard
The whole family will love the eclectic playground, feeding the ducks, and packing a picnic for a lakeside adventure. Grown-ups will especially love all of the delicious dining options and happy hours a hop, skip, and jump – aka walking distance — away. Bonus: Thinkery is in the neighborhood for even more family fun!
Best playground for staying active: Springwoods Park
9117 Anderson Mill Road
Complete with beautiful trees, two playground areas, a volleyball court, a faux rock wall, two athletic fields, and a soccer/baseball field, Springwoods Park provides plenty of space to run, climb, explore, and expend all of that extra energy wisely.
Best playground for art-lovers: Creative Playscape
1003 North Austin Avenue Northeast, Georgetown
Want a side of art with play time? Creative Playscape is here for just that. The previous playground was designed in 1993, but recently renovated, and the new design team made sure to incorporate the concept of the previous wall throughout the playground while telling the story of the Georgetown area. Climbable walls (and a giant rock), a teepee, and two-level playground ensure plenty of fun time for the kids, while the artistic portrayal of this historic area is sure to spark imagination and delight every age group.
Best indoor playground: Mt. Playmore
13609 North IH 35
It’s September, which means possibly another month of 90 + degree weather in Austin. Not feeling the whole outside thing? Mt. Playmore offers a gigantic indoor playscape, arcade, and snack bar. There’s even a toddler area for the extra little little ones. With comfy seats and plenty of employees to monitor the playscape, Mt. Playmore is a great – and air-conditioned – escape for kids and adults alike.
Featured Photo by Unsplash User Myles Tan
Editor’s note: All Instagram photos for this story were pulled from public Instagram accounts. If you do not want your photo featured, please email laurie <at< freefuninaustin.com.