Summertime Places to Play in the Texas Hill Country

Summer means long days, short nights, plenty of time to play – and plenty of time to get bored. Finding new places to take the kids is one way to keep them busy and happy during these lengthy, hot months. It’s also a great way to make new family memories – just make sure to bring your camera!

A few of our favorite summertime spots:

Dawn at Cypress Creek, Wimberley, Texas

A gorgeous place to swim in Wimberley, with plenty of shallow water for the little ones and ample grassy areas for creek-side lounging. Notes: Mornings are quiet, but traffic picks up about noon. Not much shade after the floods, but our kids loved it. And so did Mama and Grandma!
Dawn at Cypress Creek, Wimberley, Texas
Parking: Pioneer Town Park, 310 Wayside Dr, Wimberley, TX 78676. Park in the historic town park parking lot. Then the creek is just a short walk away.
Cost: $10 per person, paid to the parking attendant at Pioneer Town Park. Kids five and under are free.
Warnings: There is a road that runs across part of the creek, and it is surprisingly busy.
Don't forget: sunscreen, hats, tubes, water shoes or some old sneakers, water and snacks. 

And, as the Boy Scouts say, "Pack It In, Pack It Out!"

Five-Mile Dam Park, San Marcos, Texas
Wonderful place to swim in San Marcos featuring a dam and rushing water, but shoes are a must! The creek bed is lined with 2” to 3” rocks, making it a tad difficult for the little ones to walk on.
Indian Blanket (Gaillardia grandiflora) at Five-Mile Dam Park, San Marcos, Texas
Address: 4440 S Old Stagecoach Rd, San Marcos, TX 78666
Parking: The park has lots of parking, some right by the river.
Cost: Free
Warnings: none
Don't forget: same as above

Early Morning at Lake Kyle Park, Kyle, Texas
This pretty park has something for everyone! Features: Play area for older children, horseshoe toss for the adults, small pavilion with a barbeque pit, wildflower field, stocked lake for catch-and-release fishing, and an abundance of wildlife (ducks, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, turtles). Notes: no swimming allowed.
Wildlife at Lake Kyle Park, Kyle, Texas
Address: 700 Lehman Rd, Kyle, TX 78640
Parking: There is a small lot located inside the park.
Cost: Free
Warnings: There are several warning signs about snakes, but we didn’t see any.
Don't forget: your fishing equipment (live worms and catfish bait also can be purchased on site during office hours)

William & Eleanor Crook Park, San Marcos. Texas
This quiet park is the perfect place for an outdoor picnic or Frisbee game. The 6-acre park boasts numerous amenities, including on-site restrooms, hike and bike trails, barbeque grills, and picnic tables. Notes: Children’s programs and tours are also available, contact the Nature Center for details at 512-393-8447.
William & Eleanor Crook Park, San Marcos, Texas
Address: 430 Riverside Dr, San Marcos, Texas.
Parking: Plenty of on-site parking is available.
Cost: Free
Warnings: uncertain about rules for swimming and fishing
Don't forget: Water, snacks, and sun protection.

Trail at Bradfield Park, Buda, Texas
This 31-acre public park is ideal for the active family with varied interests. Amenities include two fishing ponds, a children’s playground, barbeque grills, picnic tables, water fountain, and benches. Notes: The second fishing pond is a 5-acre pond stocked with Blue and Channel Catfish. Lots of fishing activity there!
On the Water at Bradfield Park, Buda, Texas
Address: 140 Crescent Dr, Buda
Parking: Park visitors can park in the lot just off of Main Street.
Cost: Free
Warnings: They may or may not allow swimming here. We weren’t sure on our trip.
Don't forget: fishing equipment, sunscreen, hats, water and snacks.

And remember: "Pack It In, Pack It Out"
Let's keep our Texas beautiful!