Govalle Neighborhood Park

Newly built lap and shallow pools with shade, playground and fields

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Photos of Govalle Neighborhood Park coming soon

Features

Family-Friendly Features


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Parking lot
Splash pad
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Playground
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Water fountain
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Fenced-in play area
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Benches
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Restrooms
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Reservable areas
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Changing table
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Shade/covered areas
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Stroller-friendly path(s)
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Toddler playground
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Easy walks/hikes
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Toddler swings
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Picnic tables
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Swings
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Swimming pool

Park Features


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Walking/hiking paths
Volleyball net
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Paved paths
Disc golf
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Bike trails
Rock climbing
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Scenic/photo areas
Sandbox
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Wildflowers
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Lap pool
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Grills
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Wading pool
Off-leash dog areas
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Water playscape
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Basketball court
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On-duty lifeguard
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Baseball diamond
Natural water areas
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Soccer field
Boat rentals
Tennis court
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Fishing

Family-friendliness Score:

Our Rating

BABY-FRIENDLY
TODDLER-FRIENDLY
OLDER KID-FRIENDLY
OVERALL FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEATURES
UNIQUE ASPECTS
Average

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How We Rate

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About Govalle Neighborhood Park

Summary

This neighborhood park is accessible from the Southern Walnut Creek hike and bike trail, making it easy to get to from even distant parts of Austin.

The new pools are a big draw for this small park. While the playground itself is not fenced in, the pools of course are. Construction on the new restrooms was not complete when we visited but they look nice from the outside and are said to have nice places to change.

What Can Babies Do At Govalle Neighborhood Park?

For babies there are baby swings and there is plenty of nice, shady and grassy spots to spread a blanket and crawl around.

Many babies will no doubt enjoy the shallow pool as well, especially as it begins at no depth and gently slopes until it reaches a max depth of only 2 feet 6 inches. The shade at the pools will also be quite welcome by many parents.

What Can Toddlers Do At Govalle Neighborhood Park?

The playground is great for toddlers and has several slides, plenty of things to climb, a bridge and a mostly gravel surface.

There is a shallow pool for the young kiddos that begins with a gentle slope into the water until it reaches a max depth of 2 feet 6 inches. The other pool, which is next to the kid’s pool, looks like it begins at 5 feet and reaches 7 feet at the deep end.

What Can Older Kids Do At Govalle Neighborhood Park?

The playscapes themselves are pretty much catered to toddlers but older kids will likely still enjoy climbing on them.

Where the park really shines is with the pool, basketball court and the fields along with the bike trails away from cars.

Bottom Line, Should You Take The Kids To Govalle Neighborhood Park?

If you’re looking for a small playground, fields to play on, live in the area, or want to go to a nice pool, this is a hard to beat neighborhood park. The pools were not finished at the time of our initial visit but we’ll be sure to go back as the park is on the bike path we frequently ride. Even without being complete, the pools both look like they’ll be fantastic – and there will even be some shade in the pools during the hottest times of day.

Mueller Lake Park & Playground

Popular, convenient, and big park in the heart of Mueller District

4550 Mueller Blvd, Austin, TX 78723

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Our overall family-friendliness score:

BABY-FRIENDLY
TODDLER-FRIENDLY
OLDER KID-FRIENDLY
OVERALL FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEATURES
UNIQUE ASPECTS
Average

Star ranking definitions:

: Not for kids

: There are better options 

: Not bad, kids had fun

: Worth the trip

: Amazing, a must-do with kids

Rankings segments:

BABY-FRIENDLY: Baby can do more than just sit in a stroller or be carried around

TODDLER-FRIENDLY: Things are toddler level; designed for toddlers

OLDER KID-FRIENDLY: Things are meant for older kids 

AMENITIES: General family-friendly features

UNIQUE ASPECTS: Wow factor

Summary

Let’s face it, if you have kids, you probably know about the Mueller neighborhood in Central Austin. The parks and trails alone are reasons enough to visit with your kids and family. Mueller has multiple parks, open space, and trails that interconnect within the community. 

Sitting at the center of Mueller is the Mueller Lake Park. Sitting on 30 acres, the park site includes the Mueller Center information, Mueller Lake, amphitheater and stage, picnic tables, loop trails, and of course the interactive playscape. Today’s article will be focused on just the playground.

(*we’ll be publishing multiple articles to cover Mueller so please come back in the future!)

How to get there

Map

Where to Park

You do have several options for parking in close proximity to the playground: parking lot, parking garage, and street parking. However, as the Mueller community continues to grow, it’s getting more difficult to find a spot easily but also depends on when you go.

There is a dedicated parking lot right next to the playground; however, it’s relatively small and fills up quickly. While there is also street parking surrounding the playground, be aware of street signs that are either 1) paid parking spots or 2) reserved for those with a residential pass. There are a few spots through-out Mueller that is still free to park; however, you’ll most likely have to walk a further distance. And if you are in a hurry and don’t mind paying, there’s always the McBee Parking Garage located by the Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theater and the Thinkery Museum.

Playground Area Amenities at Mueller Park

Depending on which direction you’re coming from, you’ll be first greeted by a lovely, mystical statue of Nessie outside the main entrance to the playground. The playground area is entirely gated and there are 3 entrances; however, be mindful that some people don’t close the gate behind them and the gates are sometimes left open – it doesn’t automatically shut. And while there isn’t a large tarp covering the playground area, you’ll find plenty of shade due to multiple trees and the flooring is a mix of mostly mulch and pavement. The playground area overall is big but small enough to keep your eyes on your kids playing even if they are on opposite sides. Other playground features include multiple picnic tables, benches, two playground structures: one built for toddlers and a second one designed for older kids, baby swings, larger swings, a merry-go-round (however, it’s not a traditional merry-go-round and was a little tough to push to get momentum), and a bathroom on-site, water fountains, and trash cans.

Toddler Playground

One of our favorite things about this playground is that it’s very toddler-friendly! Our 2 year old really enjoyed coming here. The very first thing he wanted to try was the larger, circular swings. While not completely unique to this playground, you won’t find this is every playground park. 

The toddler-size playground features 1 slide, a set of stairs with interactive activities along the walls, a small hammock-like plastic swing, and a large climbing rope structure. The park does feature 2 baby/toddler swings next to 2 larger swings. 

Larger Playground

The larger playground features 2 slides (one is metal – so I would test it before letting your kid slide down – at least if the big Texas sun is blazing while you’re there), a taller staircase with interactive walls, and lots and lots of climbing obstacles (rock wall and rope), and another hammock-like structure. Our 2-year old was a little intimidated to play on the larger playground but did enjoy climbing up and down the stairs and peeking through the holes.

As parents of a small toddler, we noted that the stairs were narrow making it less convenient for parents to follow along and the height of the platform next to the tallest slide was high and there is not much blocking a child from taking a tumble off the edge. Parents of older kids didn’t seem to blink at this but it gave us pause due to an incident where an older cousin pushed our kiddo off of a similar platform.

Restrooms at Mueller Lake Park

There is a separate men’s and women’s restroom close by the playground along with a water fountain.

Bottom Line: Is the playground at Mueller Lake Park a Good Place to Take the Kids?

Yes, yes, and yes! While it may get crowded at times, it’s another trip-worthy playground to take your kids to.

Bartholomew District Park

Playground and splashpad along with a separate pool and sports complex near Mueller

5201 Berkman Dr, Austin, TX 78723

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Our overall family-friendliness score:

BABY-FRIENDLY
TODDLER-FRIENDLY
OLDER KID-FRIENDLY
OVERALL FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEATURES
UNIQUE ASPECTS
Average

Star ranking definitions:

: Not for kids

: There are better options 

: Not bad, kids had fun

: Worth the trip

: Amazing, a must-do with kids

Rankings segments:

BABY-FRIENDLY: Baby can do more than just sit in a stroller or be carried around

TODDLER-FRIENDLY: Things are toddler level; designed for toddlers

OLDER KID-FRIENDLY: Things are meant for older kids 

AMENITIES: General family-friendly features

UNIQUE ASPECTS: Wow factor

Summary

Bartholomew District Park is a large park in East Austin, just North of the Mueller area. There is a playground, splash pad, and reservable pavilion at the NW most tip of the park right off of Berkman and Greenbrook Parkway, a municipal pool on 51st just East of Berkman, and a roller derby track/disc golf park on 51st near Tilley Street. This park is spread out!

Map

Playground at Bartholomew District Park

There are two separate playscapes at Bartholomew Park, one aimed at toddlers while the other is mostly for older kids. Both sections have some shade elements and bark mulch bases.

Toddler Playground

The toddler playground includes a few slides, some climbing sections, and a few interactive noisemakers along with baby swings.

Larger Playground

The larger section of the playground includes bigger swings and slides and a playscape generally more enjoyable for the older kiddos with monkey bars, obstacles to climb and spinning seats.

Bartholomew Pool

We didn’t get to check the pool out as it was closed during the winter holidays but it appears that at least the lap pool is heated as hours have been posted for January.

From the outside, we’re able to see a lot of water features for the kids along with a wading pool for the youngsters as well as a lap pool.

Other Features

Bartholomew District Park’s Pavilion 

There is a reservable pavilion near the playground, right next to the splash pad. We had great luck reserving the space for a baby shower a few years ago. It was very convenient for us as kiddos in the group got to play nearby, within eyesight of adults at the pavilion.

Nature Trail:

While there are some trails throughout Bartholomew park, we wouldn’t state this as a strong suit. We didn’t find a trail connecting the playground to the pool, or to any other sections of the park for that matter. It appears you’d have to make your own trail or hop back in the car and get back onto streets to get to other sections of the park in a short amount of time. Trees are also relatively sparse in much of this park so it’s not quite as scenic as, say, Garrison Park.

Parking 

The parking lot at the playground is small, a little awkwardly shaped, had many potholes, standing water and is unpaved (not very stroller-friendly). It’s a popular park for parties and barbeques so it’s been generally crowded on the occasions we visited. It’s not our favorite parking lot at a park but it gets the job done for the most part.

The parking lot at the pool is much bigger, paved and striped, and well maintained and provides easy access to the pool. The sports complex and roller derby/disc golf sections have small, basic parking lots that seem to get the job done.

Restrooms at Bartholomew Park

We didn’t visit the bathrooms at this park.

Bottom Line: Is Bartholomew Park a Good Place to Take the Kids?

Our kids have had a great time at the playground and then cooling off at the splash pad, we’ve hosted a successful baby shower at the pavilion, and it’s generally less crowded than the park at Mueller Lake. For all these reasons along with all other things this park has to offer, we have to say it’s worth a visit.

The separate pool looks like a fantastic offering with a lot of fun attractions for the kiddos. We’ll visit soon!

Dick Nichols District Park and Pool

Explore the vast amenities at this SW Austin park with a pool and playground.

8011 Beckett Rd, Austin, TX 78749

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Our overall family-friendliness score:

BABY-FRIENDLY
TODDLER-FRIENDLY
OLDER KID-FRIENDLY
OVERALL FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEATURES
UNIQUE ASPECTS
Average

Star ranking definitions:

: Not for kids

: There are better options 

: Not bad, kids had fun

: Worth the trip

: Amazing, a must-do with kids

Rankings segments:

BABY-FRIENDLY: Baby can do more than just sit in a stroller or be carried around

TODDLER-FRIENDLY: Things are toddler level; designed for toddlers

OLDER KID-FRIENDLY: Things are meant for older kids 

AMENITIES: General family-friendly features

UNIQUE ASPECTS: Wow factor

Summary

We visited Dick Nichol’s playground on a warm Saturday morning in January when the pool was closed but the playground was hopping. The park’s many rows or parking were nearly at capacity on this beautiful day and all the park’s amenities aside from the pool were being used.

Map

Playground at Dick Nichols Park

Our 2 and a half-year-old had a blast swinging, sliding and climbing at the playground. The majority of the playground is pretty toddler-friendly with several baby swings, a fairly low-to-the-ground playscape, and a mix of slide heights.

A few things that stood out to us for the younger kiddos:

•There is one baby swing that is attached to a flat seat that a parent can sit on and swing with their little one. Our youngster loved this but it wasn’t all that comfortable for me (sitting was nice instead of standing tho) so we switched to one of the regular baby swings.

•There are quite a few interactive elements to the playscape including plastic drums to bang on, things that made noise when spun, cranked, turned, or rotated and a pretty neat interactive music board. Touch a button to change instrument sound from keyboard to guitar to trumpet, or animal sounds and there were buttons to play about 10 different notes.

Older kids seemed to be having a blast on a spinning seat, bigger swings and just generally climbing on the playscape.

The Pools

The pools were not open when we visited in January but the facilities look awesome from the outside looking in. There are several lifeguard chairs, lane markers, a deep pool, a medium depth pool, and a wading pool.

Other things to do

There’s definitely a lot to do at Dick Nichol’s Park. We were impressed when we saw the sand volleyball courts along with a paved volleyball court. In addition, there is a basketball court, several tennis courts, and plenty of open space to run and play. We happened to get to see a pretty serious Quidditch game being played when we went!

Pavilion / Reservable Space

The pavilion is large, covered, has plenty of trash cans and is very convenient to the playground and some of the other fields like for volleyball (both sand and court) and tennis courts.

We thought it was great to see another section of picnic tables in a different section of the park, closer to the parking lot, that indicated it was also reservable. This section does not have a structure covering it but it appears to be shaded most of the day due to all the nearby trees.

Parking 

The parking lot is pretty huge with some shaded spots. While those with small cars may appreciate the several rows of compact only spots, we found them slightly annoying as the majority of spots large enough for family vehicles were occupied. Overall, though, there are a lot of parking spots.

Restrooms

The restrooms were clean and bright. While there was toilet paper, there was no soap and no changing table in either restroom.

Other Tips for the Playing at Dick Nichols District Park

Nature Trail:

There are several gravel trails around the park but the main attraction that many people were taking advantage of was the paved trail going around the park. We saw everything from strollers and walkers to bikes and rollerbladers taking advantage of the wide and often shaded trail.

Bottom Line: Is Dick Nichols Park and Pool a Good Place to Take the family?

We thought this was a great park for the wide variety that it offered, plentiful parking and great trails. We can’t wait to go back in the summer to check out the deep pool (8′), shallow pool (wading up to 3′), and the splash pad.

With something for pretty much everyone, this is a great park for all ages.

Garrison Park & Municipal Pool

A popular park due to it’s swimming pool that’s not Barton Springs, not cold and (usually) not crowded.

6001 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78745

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Our overall family-friendliness score:

BABY-FRIENDLY
TODDLER-FRIENDLY
OLDER KID-FRIENDLY
OVERALL FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEATURES
UNIQUE ASPECTS
Average

Star ranking definitions:

: Not for kids

: There are better options 

: Not bad, kids had fun

: Worth the trip

: Amazing, a must-do with kids

Rankings segments:

BABY-FRIENDLY: Baby can do more than just sit in a stroller or be carried around

TODDLER-FRIENDLY: Things are toddler level; designed for toddlers

OLDER KID-FRIENDLY: Things are meant for older kids 

AMENITIES: General family-friendly features

UNIQUE ASPECTS: Wow factor

Summary

Garrison Park is an excellent choice for families looking to stay cool during the summer due to the large lap pool, toddler pool, lifeguard, and tons of shade. The gravel trails, large parking lot, and young-kid-friendly playground are a great bonus and help make this a park worth visiting year-round, especially if you have toddlers.

Older kids will love the pool during the summer but if the pool is closed due to seasonality (it’s only open during the warm months), they may get bored pretty quickly unless they happen to enjoy playing basketball or running/riding around on the fairly short trails.

There is a reservable pavilion that is great for hosting get-togethers and there are water fountains, benches and some BBQ grills throughout.

While we visited, we did notice several dogs off-leash but the park was big enough and the owners were attentive enough that we never felt like there could be a run-in with our babies.

Overall, we had a lot of fun at the park and think most families with young kiddos will experience the same.

Map

Cost

There is a charge to use the pool. At the time of this review, the price to use the pool was as follows and does not appear to change often but please check the park’s pool website before you go to make sure it is open and to check current pricing.

Resident cost:

free (11 months and younger)

$1 (ages 1-11, seniors)

$2 (ages 12-17), $3 (18 and older);

Nonresident cost:

free (11 months and younger)

$2 (ages 1-11, seniors)

$3 (age 12-17)

$4 (18 and older).

Bottom Line: Is the playground and pool at Garrison Park & Municipal Pool a Good Place to Take the Kids?

garrison-park-toddler-playscape

Yes! Garrison District Park and Municipal Pool is a great place to visit with the family. With a large pool and fields and courts for games along with the fact that the park is often less crowded than the better known Barton Springs Pool and Deep Eddy, this is a great destination to go with the family.

Mandola’s Italian Market – William Cannon

Kid-friendly Italian food, free kid’s gelato, playscape, and more!

4301 West William Cannon Drive, Dr E-1, Austin, TX 78749



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Our overall family-friendliness score:

BABY-FRIENDLY
TODDLER-FRIENDLY
OLDER KID-FRIENDLY
OVERALL FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEATURES
UNIQUE ASPECTS
Average

Star ranking definitions:

: Not for kids

: There are better options 

: Not bad, kids had fun

: Worth the trip

: Amazing, a must-do with kids

Rankings segments:

BABY-FRIENDLY: Baby can do more than just sit in a stroller or be carried around

TODDLER-FRIENDLY: Things are toddler level; designed for toddlers

OLDER KID-FRIENDLY: Things are meant for older kids 

AMENITIES: General family-friendly features

UNIQUE ASPECTS: Wow factor

Map

The Food

The menu was fairly large and included options for various diet restrictions, including gluten-free noodles and options for the kiddos including spaghetti (including an option with butter instead of sauce), fettuccine alfredo, pizza, and even chicken fingers. There are also family style dishes and desserts which can serve large groups.

Our oldest kiddo has always been happy about ending his meal with a free scoop of gelato that comes with his children’s plate. We’ve been three times and each time have sampled different flavors and chosen different scoops – all were finished by the little guy. The setup for the gelato is like a little gelato stand with quite a few options.

There is also a nice assortment of desserts to eat there or take home.

The Playground 

Another great feature of dining at this particular location is access to a nice playground. Access to this playground appears to be shared by several restaurants and businesses in the area but at the time we visited (early lunch), it was not crowded and all five of the kids in our group had a blast running around and playing. Overall, the playset was relatively simple, with a couple of slides and tunnels and a kid’s sized picnic table.

Restrooms at Mandola’s Italian William Canon

Restrooms at restaurants aren’t typically noteworthy but we have to give a little love to Mandola’s for their baby changing station. We got a little chuckle out of the Italian themed artwork paired with the comfortable changing table, diaper genie, and a supply of diapers and wipes(!). It had everything to make changing a diaper a little less…poopy.

Extras 

We brought our baby into the restaurant in a car seat since she was asleep and we were happy when an employee brought an infant carseat carrier out so we could set the carseat on a sturdy holder rather than turning a high chair over and risking instability.

Bottom Line: Is Mandola’s Italian at William Cannon a Good Place to Take the Kids?

We had a great time and would emphatically say, “yes!” The restaurant accommodated our large family and friends, comments about the food were positive, the kids ate their food and loved the gelato (kid’s plates come with a free scoop!), and we had a great time at the playground. We appreciated the family-friendly atmosphere and will definitely visit again in the future.

Playground at Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metro Park

Explore this gem of a neighborhood park nestled in East Austin…

400 Grove Boulevard, Austin, TX 78741

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Our overall family-friendliness score:

BABY-FRIENDLY
TODDLER-FRIENDLY
OLDER KID-FRIENDLY
OVERALL FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEATURES
UNIQUE ASPECTS
Average

Star ranking definitions:

: Not for kids

: There are better options 

: Not bad, kids had fun

: Worth the trip

: Amazing, a must-do with kids

Rankings segments:

BABY-FRIENDLY: Baby can do more than just sit in a stroller or be carried around

TODDLER-FRIENDLY: Things are toddler level; designed for toddlers

OLDER KID-FRIENDLY: Things are meant for older kids 

AMENITIES: General family-friendly features

UNIQUE ASPECTS: Wow factor

Map

Where to park: 

To access the playground, make the first right after you enter the park and take the loop to a parking lot. You will see the playground and a pavilion. Unfortunately, they do not have signs to point you in the right direction. 

What is modern day Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metro Park was once a dairy farm and was at risk twice of disappearing in favor of reusing the land to develop sports stadiums. Fortunately, parks and neighborhood advocates shut down those chances and it remains as an expansive park that sits on 363 acres of land where you can do just about everything – softball/baseball, volleyball, field sports, disc golf, picnics and grills, biking, walking trails, and our son’s favorite – the playground.

Playground Area Amenities at Roy G. Guerrero Park

roy-guererro-park-gate

While the park is set-up for a lot of outdoor activities and fun, we focused primarily on the awesome playground. The playground area is entirely gated and there are 2 entrances with a top pull latch lock that’s fairly high so you don’t have to worry about your kids running off. Also, it does not have a large tarp or other covering to provide shade over the playground but is surrounded by a lot of trees that depending on the time of day does provide shade. There’s also a bathroom on-site with 2 sets of water fountains and trash cans. There are two playground structures: one smaller built for toddlers and a second one with more obstacles, larger climbing walls, and slides.  We started taking my son here when he was one year old and the smaller playground and baby swings were perfect for him. 

Toddler Playground

roy-guererro-park-toddler-section

The toddler-size playground features 1 slide, 1 double slide, a climbing tunnel, 2 climbing structures, and one step-up stairway in addition to mini nature and animal-themed features in and under the playground. Next to it are 4 swings suited for babies and toddlers with some other climbing rock features and benches to sit on. 

roy-guererro-park-toddler-swings

We started taking my son here when he was 1 and he primarily played on this playground; more recently (he’s now 2), he’s played on the larger playground structure but will still primarily stick to the toddler size one and really enjoys the baby swings. I’m guessing because bigger kids will run back and forth on the larger playground and he feels more comfortable on the smaller one. 

Larger Playground

roy-guererro-park-ramp

The larger playground features 4 slides, bridges, several climbing and obstacle structures (view pictures for reference), 6 swings, balance feature, 2 teacup-like spinners, and nature-themed features through-out and under the playground. This side of the playground also has more faux-rock features, perfect for climbing or hide and seek. 

roy-guererro-park-swings

What’s really nice about this playground is that it’s large enough for both big and small kids to play without the constant worry of someone running into one another.

roy-guererro-park-rocks

In the center of the playground area has 3 large dragon-fly sculptures with 3 mounds made for climbing (that’s my guess anyway) on squishy pad flooring. However, the playground area itself has mulch. 

Restrooms at Roy G. Guerrero Park

roy-guererro-park-bathroom

There is a separate men’s and women’s restroom close by the playground with a water fountain. Be mindful that this is a city park, so it’s not going to be the cleanest bathroom and does not have hand-soap. While it does have a diaper changing station, there is only one located in the men’s restroom and not an additional one in the women’s restroom. Also, it did have toilet paper stocked, but not paper towels for your hands. (*Tip: Bring your own hand soap or hand sanitizer and paper towels. If you need to change your baby’s diaper, bring your own diaper pad or change your baby in your car like we did) 

Roy G. Guerrero Pavilion 

Another great feature of this part of the park is the large pavilion that has 5 picnic tables, grill area, and electrical outlets available for rent. It’s a fairly large space and could support a big party. 

Other Tips for the Playground at Roy G. Guerrero Park:

Nature Trail:

Adjacent to the playground is a paved nature trail – suitable for bikes, strollers, and wagons. We haven’t walked it in its entirety but check back in the future for updates (i.e. length). We’ve also been told people have taken this trail to get to a “secret” beach along the Colorado River. We’re going to search for it in the future.

Bottom Line: Is the playground at Roy G. Guerrero Park a Good Place to Take the Kids?

roy-guererro-park-tunnel

Yes, yes, and yes! We regard the Roy G. Guerrero Park playground a south/east Austin gem. It’s a really nice playground with multiple features that don’t get overly crowded and we haven’t even checked out the entire park! 

Virtual Tour:

If you’re still curious about this park, here’s virtual tour video done by the Austin Parks Foundation:

https://youtu.be/qdEiSInD6yA