Austin, TX

These Outdoor and Indoor Recreational Activities are Open in Austin, TX, with Some Limitations

Carol Lennox
Deep Eddy Pool in Austin, TX.Photo by Tomek Baginski

Austin, Texas is known for many things, not the least of which is recreational opportunities. Even in a city that hits over 100 degrees in the summer on a regular basis, outdoor activities are a constant.

Austin is currently at Stage 5 in pandemic status, so there are some modifications in the operation of all entertainment options, including outdoor activities. However, unlike last year, plenty of these activities are open. Below is a list of what is open within Austin's Park and Recreation Department, as listed on their website.

  • Barton Creek Spillway (aka "Barking Springs")
  • Barton Springs Pool
  • Basketball Courts
  • Boat Launches
  • Boat Docks
  • Boating Concessions
  • Campsites at Emma Long Metropolitan Park
  • Clay Shooting Concessions
  • Disc Golf Courses
  • Event Buildings (stand alone sites) (reserve online with limits)
  • Filming Permits (at sites without closures or operating limits)
  • Food Concessions
  • Girl Scout Cabin (outdoor space at 25% capacity and modified operations-  no events any size) 
  • Golf Courses increase starting intervals to 12 minutes between groups 
    • All tournaments remain cancelled 
    • Remove all picnic tables in pavilion areas 
    • Eliminate indoor seating in food and beverage concession areas 
    • Encourage on-line payments 
    • Restrict pro shop access to payment only and limited to 3 people inside with social distancing at any given time 
    • Increase spacing on the driving range to 8 ft. 
    • All water jugs removed 
    • Continue with sanitization process for golf carts (before and after use) with Single Cart or walking only 
  • Mayfield Park (outdoor areas only)
  • Museum and Cultural Facilities (limited access, visit Webpage for more details)
  • Neighborhood Tennis Courts (and outdoor Pickleball Courts)
  • Outdoor Exercise Equipment
  • Outdoor Restrooms 
  • Parks Greenspace 
  • Picnic Sites & Pavilion Permits (reserve online with limits)
  • Playgrounds
  • Pools:  
    • Bartholomew
    • Barton Springs
    • Big Stacy
    • Civitan
    • Deep Eddy Pool
    • Dottie Jordan 
    • Garrison
    • Govalle
    • Mable Davis 
    • Shipe
    • Springwoods
    • Walnut Creek Pools
    • West Austin 
  • Preserves
  • Senior Centers (open for limited COVID-19 safe programs.  Pre-registration is required)
  • Skate Parks
  • Special Event Sites (with limits and approved health safety plans)
  • Splash Pads
    • Bailey
    • Bartholomew 
    • Chestnut 
    • Eastwoods
    • Liz Carpenter 
    • Lott
    • Metz
    • Pease
    • Ricky Guerrero
    • Rosewood 
    • Lott
  • Sunshine Camp (outdoor space at 25% capacity and modified operations-no events any size) 
  • Tennis Centers at reduced capacity and modified operations (payment on line, limited bathroom access, increased time between court bookings  – no events any size) 
  • Trails
  • Umlauf Sculpture Garden (outdoor space only at 25% capacity and established modified operations -no events any size)
  • Volleyball Courts
  • Water Fountains
  • Zilker Botanical Garden

*Each facility will operate under reduced capacity and COVID-19 Modified Operating Procedures specific to each facility, such as social distancing, cleaning protocols, and other requirements of the non-profit operators.

With hiking trails, pools, splash pads, skate parks and volleyball, tennis and basketball courts, along with public golf courses open, there are plenty of ways for the people of Austin and tourists to enjoy outdoor exercise.

The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and the Zilker Botanical Garden provide art, beauty and communion with nature. Museums with social distancing provide education and edification. Parks and playgrounds keep children occupied after school and on weekends, or for recess during home schooling.

People living in or visiting Austin can take these opportunities, as September arrives with potentially cooler temperatures, to enjoy all the Hill Country natural beauty Austin, TX has to offer. Visit the Austin Parks and Recreation Department website for more details.

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My purpose is to inspire and inform. You can read more by me on, and on the Good Men Project. I've had a lifetime of valuable experiences, and I want to share the lessons I've learned readily, or been forced to learn. I'm a psychotherapist, a hypnotherapist, a mother to my amazing son, Blake Scott, whom I write about often. I also write about race, equality, social justice, sex, government, and Mindfulness, not in that order.

Austin, TX

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