Our overall family-friendliness score:
|OVERALL FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEATURES
Star ranking definitions:
: Not for kids
: There are better options
: Not bad, kids had fun
: Worth the trip
: Amazing, a must-do with kids
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
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!
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.
The toddler playground includes a few slides, some climbing sections, and a few interactive noisemakers along with baby swings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!