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Summer in the City.... with littles

At the beginning of each Crawlers & Toddlers class, we usually begin with a topic of discussion to help create some points of connection and opportunities for reflection.

With the our arrival in the heart of Summer, and the contiunation of some serious heat here in Austin, in recent classes we compiled ideas of ways they enjoy finding time out of the house while staying cool. Here's what we came up with:


Westenfield Pool

Location: 2000 Enfield Rd

Phone Number: 512-474-2682

There is a small playground, and parking is a little challenging (access road of Mopac seems the best option), but pool entry is free. There is a zero-entry wading pool for the littles, a larger pool with lap swimming and free swim, plus lots of shade. Nice bathrooms, with a shower.


July 16 - August 13, 2023

Weekdays: 12-8:00pm (Closed Wednesdays)

Weekends: 11:00am - 8:00 pm

Sunday, August 13, 2023: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm


Shipe Pool

Location: 4400 Avenue G. Austin, TX. 78751

Phone Number: (512) 974-1245

Newly renovated, with lots of shade. Zero-entry to 3ft pool, 4-7ft pool. Playground area, trees and open space to play in. Elizabet Ney Musuem is across the street, that has lots of family-friendly events throughout the year.


Weekdays: 12-8:00pm (closed Wednesdays)

Weekends: 11am-8:00pm


West Austin Neighborhood Pool

Location: 1317 W 10th St, Austin, TX 78703

Phone Number: (512) 236-1303

Sweet little space, with a playground and swings nearby, with some shade. 20 yard circular pool, 5ft deep. Described as a small space with lots to do.


June 12 - August 6, 2023

Weekdays: 1-8:00 pm (closed Wednesdays)
Weekends: 1-8:00 pm


Dick Nichols Pool

Location: 8011 Beckett Rd. Austin, TX. 78749

Phone Number: (512) 899-0348

1 foot to 9 foot pool, bulkhead separates deep end, with some shade and grassy areas and shade structures to camp out for a few hours. There is a playground, and trails to explore before cooling off.


July 16 - August 13, 2023

Weekdays: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm (Closed Mondays)

Weekends: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm


Northwest Pool

Location: 7000 Ardath St. Austin, TX. 78757

Phone Number: (512) 453-0194

Large rec swim area, lanes for lap swimming, deep end, plus a diving well and 1meter board. There are covered shade structures with picnic tables, grassy areas with large trees. There are restrooms and a shower, with a large changing area


June 12 - August 6, 2023

Weekdays: 1-8:00pm (closed Thursdays)
Weekends: 1-8:00pm

ADMISSION: Northwest Pool charges Summer Fees

Reed Pool

Location: 2614 Pecos St., Austin, TX. 78703

Phone Number: (512) 542-9782

Special small neighborhood pool, tucked away from the road. Nice play area and a creek with rock formations running down to Lake Austin. Not usually crowded


June 12 - August 6, 2023

Weekdays: 12-8:00pm (closed Tuesdays)
Weekends: 11:00am-8:00pm


Walnut Creek Pool

Location: 12138 North Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78758

Phone Number: (512) 834-0824

Large rec swim area, with wading pool for littles. Pool is not shaded, but there are large shady trees, grassy areas, and shade structures with tables. There is also a large newly renovated playground, and lots of hiking and biking trails in the area.


June 12 - August 6, 2023

Weekdays: 11:00am-8:00pm (closed Wednesdays)
Weekends: 11:00am-8:00pm

ADMISSION: Walnut Creek Pool charges Summer Fees

Deep Eddy Pool

Location: 401 Deep Eddy Ave, Austin, TX 78703

Phone Number: (512) 834-0824

Historic, man-made pool this is an Austin landmark that's worth the effort. There is a zero-entry side, with plenty of space to spread out a blanket and relax under the trees. One tricky thing is getting back up the stairs for snacks, as food is not allowed on the grass (to keep ants at bay).


10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Recreational Swim

Deep Eddy is closed the first Tuesday of every month.

Also, it's a great idea to call ahead to ensure hours have not been modified

ADMISSION: Deep Eddy Pool charges Summer Fees



All city-run splash pads will remain open until October 31st!

Pease Park

Location: 1100 Kingsbury St

Playground and natural outdoor areas, with a splash pad. Both the playground and splash pad are not fully shaded, and parking can be difficult at times, but it is a beautiful park year-round. Run by the Pease Park Conservatory

Operating Hours

The facilities at Kingsbury Commons are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days per week. The splash pad operates from mid-May to mid-September. During that period, the splash pad is open to the public daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Quarry Splash Pad

Location: 3005 Co Rd 175, Leander, TX 78641

Large splash pad area with a unique setting, looking more like a natural space.

Operating Hours

2023 Season: May 27, 2023 through September 4, 2023

OPEN: Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm

CLOSED: Monday & Tuesday (except Memorial Day, July 4th & Labor Day)

Admission Fee:

$2 per person daily admission for adults and children – CREDIT CARDS ONLY. Purchased at time of entry.

Mary Elizabeth Branch Park & Splash Pad

Location: 2006 Philomena St, Austin, TX 78723

Near the Farmer's Market location at Mueller, there is a playground and small splash pad area, along with some green space. The Kerby Lane Cafe across the street offers free kids meals on Tuesdays!

Clarksville Splash Pad

Location: 1811 W 11th St

Phone: 512-974-9330

This splash pad is enclosed with a fence, and is covered with a sunshade. The playground is also covered. Though parking can be a little tricky at times, it's a great option for a quick cool down.

Ricky Guerrero Splash Pad

Location: 2006 S 6th St, Austin, TX 78704

Phone: 512-974-9330

This splash pad is enclosed with a seating around the perimeter for adults to sit. The huge bonus here are the beautiful oak trees shading the area. There is a small playground at this park as well.



West China Tea House

Each Monday morning, one of our students, Lindsay, hosts a Babies and Tea session in the Community Room at the West China Tea House. There are fun activities for the babies, and tea served for the adults by Lindsay's partner So-Han. Join in cultivating a sweet community village.

Location: 4706 N Interstate Hwy 35, Austin, TX 78751

Jewish Community Center (JCC)

This one had a few votes, with everyone raving about all of the family-friendly activities and low monthly cost. At $150/month per family, this is one of the hottest places to cool off. There are activities to keep you busy inside and outdoors.

Location: 7300 Hart Ln, 78731

Mount Playmore

Touted as the largest indoor playscape in Texas. It can get busy, but is a great way to move through some energy.

Location: 13609 North IH 35 Bldg. 3, Austin, TX 78753

Austin Bouldering Project

The ABP youth area is open at all times when the gym is open. A portion of the youth area can sometimes be reserved for summer camps or birthday parties, but there is a portion of the youth climbing area that is always open.

Socks are required, but climbing shoes are not necessary. Youth day passes for 13 & under are $13. You can also purchase a 10-punch card for $100

Location: 979 Springdale Rd. 78702 (there is also a South location, at the Westgate Shopping Center)

Little Land

Indoor play area that also has play therapy options. There are special events for sensory art, music, and learning assistance. Socks must be worn while playing.

Location: Little Land Austin at The Domain 3220 Feathergrass Ct, Suite 128 Austin, TX 78758

Phone: (512) 982-6807


A toy lending library, with options to simply check something out or stay & play. Members get free stay & play, or drop-ins are also available.

Location: 2001 Justin Lane Austin, TX 78757

The Thinkery

Nestled in the Mueller area, the Children's Musuem is one of Austin's all-time favorite hangout spots. It can get crowded, but also has a special area upstairs for younger kiddos. General admission is free through 23 months old. There are a number of businesses nearby, including Lick Ice Cream and Halcyon Coffee, along with a number of restaurants. The park across the street is shaded and entertaining, as is the pond area with ducks and trails.

Location: 1830 Simond Ave Austin, Texas 78723

Playscape in Barton Creek Mall

For anyone in South Austin, or for those needing to do a little shopping with their little in-tow, or even just looking to move through some of the extra energy, this could be the answer you're looking for. Located in front of JCPenney Court 2 near Brighton, the Disney Junior Play Zone has activities appropriate for toddlers and young children. This play area includes physical and digital activities inspired by such shows as “Vampirina,” “Muppet Babies,” “Puppy Dog Pals,” “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” and “Fancy Nancy.” It’s also a place where parents can sit and take a break and charge their mobile device.

Location: 2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78746

Chaparrel Ice

This one will definitely keep you cool! Public skating is available almost every day.

Location: 2525 W Anderson Ln. #400, Austin, TX 78757

Playland Skate

This is a super fun option for humans of all ages. They don't allow outside food, and also do not have allergen-free options (unfortunately), so eat before you arrive.

There is a sweet program starting September 5th, called Skater Tots. Kids 5 and under only, anything on wheels can go on the floor! So, bring your favorite scooting car or toy on wheels. $8 per kiddo includes skates and skatemate (like a walker on wheels for learning to be on skates). Adults and infants are free. Read more about it here.

Location: 8822 McCann Dr, Austin, TX 78757

Highland Lanes Bowling

Bowling at a low-key facility. There are a number of leagues that use this space, so be sure to call ahead for timing your visit. Bumpers are available for littles, so there won't be any gutter balls.

Location: 8909 Burnett Rd Austin, TX 78757

Brentwood Social House

Family-Friendly coffee shop & cafe. There's a dedicated family room inside, covered outdoor seating, and a playground. This is a community-focused space, with music and pop-up art events throughout the year.

Location: 1601 West Koenig Lane Austin, TX

Book People

An Austin original, and still in business! Exploring this space can provide a surprising amount of entertainment. There's coffee downstairs, and a beautiful kids area upstairs. There are storytime events regularly scheduled, and even opportunities to meet authors.

Location: 603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

Toy Joy

Epic Austin toy store, with something for everyone. They have a downtown location, near the Central Library, and just opened a new space on Burnet Road. It's easy to spend way to long exploring all of the unique and special treasures. At each location you can satisfy your sweet-tooth at Yummi Joy, selling ice cream, candy, fudge, and coffee.


North Austin: 5501 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756

Downtown: 403 West 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

Terra Toys

Another Austin original, open since 1978! This shop carries many hand crafted treasures, costumes, books, unique building toys, and highly encourages testing everything out before you buy. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and caring. There's also a coffee shop connected to the store.

Location: 2438 W Anderson Ln. C1, Austin, TX 78757

Central Library

While all of Austin's libraries have wonderful kids areas and special programs throughout the year, the Central Library is definitely a destination spot. Their dedicated kids area is amazing, literally with something for everyone. There is a crafting space, and amazing outdoor balcony. Separate family bathrooms are also located here. There are storytimes throughout the year, and special events through the summer like puppet shows and story times with the Austin Symphony in accompaniment.

Location: 710 W Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701



St Edward's Trail

St. Edward's Trail is part of the St. Edward's Greenbelt, located on Bull Creek. There are a few winding trails that run through the whole park. If you consult the map in the parking lot, you can determine which color trail to hike. Definitely head toward the water, where you can find waterfalls, spring-fed ponds, and plenty of wading through the middle of the creek as you explore nature. The park is dog-friendly.

Location: Parking lot, 7301 Spicewood Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78759

Secret Beach

Located in East Austin, near 183 & Montopolis, Secret Beach is a sweet spot that's fairly easy to access. There is parking at the trailhead, and about a 1/4-mile hike to the river. The edge of the Colorado River has large shady areas, some amount of sand, and cool water flowing. The main area is perfect for littles as it does not get very deep.

Location: Find it here

McKinney Falls

This is a local State Park that is beautiful year-round. You can camp here, or access it with a day pass. There are trails throughout the park, perfect for hiking or riding a bike, and a few areas where water flows.

Location: 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744

Central Market, North Lamar

With a playground, open field, pond, short trail, and enormous oak tree – all outside of a grocery store & cafe – this is a great place to gather with friends. Often there is live music, which one student mentioned is a great way to expose kids to new tunes. Tradeoff watching kids with other friends while getting a little grocery shopping done.

Location: 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

Casa de Luz

An oasis in the city, and an Austin treasure, this restaurant features seasonal, macrobiotic meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Upon entering the walkway, you'll be transported to a lush jungle, surrounded by serene bamboo, wind chimes, and vignettes of spaces to eat, rest, or contemplate within. At the end of the trail you'll find the restaurant, with a smoothie/juice cafe next door, and a shaded playground. There is seating both inside and out, mostly community-style to encourage interacting with others.


Do you have any suggestions to add to this list? Feel free to message Hollie here. Also, we have classes for all ages, so be sure to check our schedule and cool off with community.

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