In case the sweat dripping from your brow isn’t a constant reminder, I’m here to tell you that summer is officially here. As much as we Austinites enjoy the outdoors, however, it can be frankly pretty miserable come August now unless you have regular outings which involve some kind of body of water. If you are juggling multiple children, errands, naptimes and all the other daily minutae that come with the mom territory (Did I remember to leave the crockpot on? Are those library books due today or tomorrow?), a trip to a splash pad might be in order. You don’t have to deal with the driving time of a trip to Hamilton Pool, the cost of a municipal pool (which can really add up over the course of a summer!), the hassle of loading up all the necessities for a pool trip, the restricted hours of a neighborhood pool and the inherent stress that comes with supervising children in water that’s deeper than the bathtub. So for these reasons and more, we are bringing you the Summer Splash Pad Series — a weekly review of some of the splash pads in Austin, the hottest (and coolest) places to burn some time out of your house and burn some energy. Just don’t forget your sunscreen!
Metz Park is a great, centrally-located outdoor space. With a playground (with a cannon!), swings, pool, sports field, shaded picnic tables and a splash pad, it certainly offers enough options to satisfy a wide range of tastes. Metz also has a community center which offers programs for children and adults and plenty of parking in a dedicated lot.
The really nice thing about the splash pad is that it is partially shaded by a substantial tree, so adults can watch nearby without the risk of being scorched in the hot sun (even on benches located nearby) and kids can enjoy at least a little shade while playing and splashing. One downside of the splash pad is that the restrooms are inside the community center, so it’s not as convenient when your child is wet to go inside.
The playscape is not shaded, so you might want to encourage your kids to hit the splash pad before venturing to the playground, unless you arrive early.
If you decide you’d like to hit the pool after the splash pad or playground, it’s just on the west side of the Park, also on Canterbury.
In case the splash pad is experiencing any technical difficulties, or if summer campers are monopolizing the space, you can check out Plan B below.
Metz Park Splash Pad
2309 Canterbury St.
Open seasonally from 9:00am-8:00pm
Plan B: Although splash pads are great free fun, malfunctions do shut them down from time to time. If you are looking for a plan B nearby, check out the Rosewood Splash Pad, located at 2300 Rosewood Ave. (with the same hours).