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
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
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.
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.
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.