Spring is in the air, and that means more opportunities to get out to Austin's many local parks before the summer brings its inevitable blistering heat. In this series, we're profiling several different parks in the central and north parts of town and rating them from a twin mom's perspective. The rating depends on three categories:
- Fun, or variety of age appropriate activities - Are there play areas for toddlers and older kids? Lots of things to do, or is everyone going to be bored after five minutes?
- Sun, or weather resistance - Are you going to be left in the harsh sun the entire time? Or are there plenty of shaded areas? What about picnic tables and pavilions for breaks?
- Run, aka flight risk - Probably the most important factor to consider since twin moms are almost always outnumbered. Is the space fairly easy to manage, or will you be left in the dust as your kids run for the hills, or worse, the street?
Note: My children are ages 3 and 1, so a lot of my opinions are based on their abilities and my need to keep a close eye on them.
Springwoods Park -- Located on Anderson Mill just off 183, Springwoods is a lovely, tree filled neighborhood park.
FUN: High. This park has two good sized playscapes, one of them just installed last year. Plenty of slides, climbing equipment, and swings for all ages. We like climbing on the little dinosaurs. And bonus? Little gravel rocks, since that’s all one of my kids wants to play with. Bring a bucket and a shovel.
SUN: Low. This park has tons of shade. One of the playscapes is in the sun, but surrounded by shade and nearby picnic tables when you need a break. There’s even a nice gravel trail that goes around the park and is mostly shaded if you feel like taking a fun mini hike or scavenger hunt.
RUN: Medium. This park is fairly manageable. It’s far and blocked off from the street, but one of the playscapes is kind of close to the parking lot. And the two playscapes are pretty far from each other, so if one of my kids takes off for the other one, I have to either drag her sisters over there with her, or bring her back to keep us all together. They also have a tendency to flee the play area for the nearby soccer field.
Overall grade: Exemplary, as long as your kids will stay together or they are old enough that you don't have to keep such a close eye on them.
Springwoods Park is big, shaded, clean, and very close to many neighborhoods in the Anderson Mill area. It's great for birthday parties, picnics, or just a little last minute trip for some fun play time to wear out the kids. The park also has tennis courts for those seeking a game.
Find information about other parks featured in this series: