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-review

Review

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Features

Family-Friendly Features


Park Features


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-review

Review

Directions

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Photos

Features

Family-Friendly Features


Park Features


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

Photos

Features

our-review

Review

Directions

Website


Photos

Features

Family-Friendly Features


Park Features


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.