5 Free Things to do in Round Rock

 When thinking about free places to take the kids in Round Rock, I admit my mind jumps right to IKEA. It’s air-conditioned, my kids love the store’s free play area, Smaland, and kids eat free on Tuesdays. And then of course there are the outlets…. But Round Rock offers more to explore than shops. Free fun abounds! Here are five outdoor outings that are both kid-approved and wallet-friendly.
Round Rock

The Round Rock in Brushy Creek | Chisholm Trail Road

1. Discover the Round Rock – Start in Memorial Park (600 Lee Street), where kids can enjoy the playground, feed some ducks, and have a nice picnic in the shade.  Then, follow the trail west, crossing under I-35 (my sons’ favorite part!) and over a lovely bridge.  The rocky banks of Brushy Creek are great fun for kids to navigate. Consider bringing nets for bug and minnow catching! Follow Brushy Creek west, toward Chisholm Trail Road, and you will discover the renowned “Round Rock” photo op.  If you’re up for more adventure, cross the street to visit the cow statues in Chisholm Trail Crossing Park. (Here’s a map of the area.)
Prete Main Street Plaza | 221 East Main Street

Prete Main Street Plaza | 221 East Main Street

 2. Prete Main Street Plaza Fountain – This interactive fountain is covered with shade, but the seating area is not. The best bet for parents wanting to keep cool is to jump in the water with the kids! The fountain is operational year-round, so keep it in mind as an activity to follow a visit to the nearby Round Rock Public Library or Round Rock Market Days.  It’s also fun to splash at night, when the fountain lights come on.

Note that the fountain is closed Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and may be closed during some holidays and special events that take place in Prete Plaza. Click here for the fountain hours of operation.

Round Rock Play for All Abilities Park

Play for All Abilities Park | 151 North A.W. Grimes Blvd.

3. Play for All Abilities Park – Pack up a bike or scooter and let your kids hit the streets of a tyke-size town, one of several recreation areas in Round Rock’s huge Play for All Abilities Park. With 51,000 square feet of fully enclosed outdoor fun, kids can race from one sensory pod to the next, entertaining themselves for hours.  The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight, giving you the opportunity to visit early or late, when it’s not quite so hot.

Shaylah Dame Skate Park | 1600 Gattis School Road (behind the Clay Madsen Rec Center)

Shaylah Dame Skate Park | 1600 Gattis School Road (behind the Clay Madsen Rec Center)

4. Shaylah Dame Skate Park – My boys aren’t skaters, but they like to visit this park early and pretend it’s their own personal parkour park.  It opens daily at 6 a.m. and we’ve found that teens don’t generally arrive until around noon.  If you have kids who would enjoy the park on wheels, please note that only skateboards and in-line skates are permitted – no bikes or scooters.  The skate park itself is not shaded, but the neighboring picnic shelter and playground are. There is also a basketball court nearby.

If you have time for a mini outing following the skate park, head down the road to Kensington Park (1891 Oxford Street, off Gattis School Road). The park playscape is small, but its unique equipment is a blast for kids.  On his first visit, my 8-year-old declared it to be the coolest playground he had ever seen.

Old Settlers Park | 3300 Palm Valley Blvd

Old Settlers Park | 3300 Palm Valley Blvd

5. Old Settlers Park – To get to our favorite spot in Old Settlers Park, start at Palm Valley Blvd. and travel north on Harrell Parkway. You will pass The Salt Lick and Dell Diamond on your right, Rock’N River on your left, and Rabb Pavilion on your right, before arriving at the parking lot for Lakeview Pavilion on your right (here’s a map).  Just steps from the pavilion you will find the Joanne Land Playground, picnic tables, a vast field, trails, and Bright Lake, where kids can enjoy fishing, visiting turtles and feeding ducks. There are even courts to play volleyball, horseshoes and shuffleboard (BYO equipment).  The playground is not shaded, so it’s best to avoid the midday sun.

For even more ideas of where to play in Round Rock, be sure to check out the Round the Rock Summer Instagram Challenge.

A big thanks to EcoRides – Round Rock Taxi and Shuttle Services for sponsoring this post on free fun in Round Rock.  EcoRides offers affordable ground transportation in Round Rock and suburban Austin areas. Rides within Round Rock start at just $10! For more information, visit EcoRides on Facebook.

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