Oh how we love Zilker Park! In 1917, Andrew Zilker donated 350 acres of land that has since become our beloved space to enjoy coldwater swims, trails, gardens, sprawling lawns, rock gardens, festivals and so much more. Zilker Park is such an essential part of Austin culture and one of the big reasons why our unique city is such a great place to call home.

Now over 100 years old, Zilker Park sparks a multitude of awesome memories for Austinites (and visitors) — with years of fun ahead for our community! Below we’re sharing 100 things you can do in this park, and to be honest, we’re sure this list could go on and on even further. So get out there and enjoy some good times!

100 Things To Do in Zilker Park

  1. take a cold dip in Barton Springs Pool
  2. ride the Zilker Zephyr mini train
  3. go for a jog on the Hike & Bike Trail
  4. dig for dino bones at the Austin Science & Nature Center (ASNC)
  5. stop and smell the roses at the Zilker Botanical Garden
  6. check out the art collection at Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum
  7. climb around on Rock Island
  8. “drive” the antique fire truck at the playground

every Austin kid loves this playground

  1. watch the Austin Summer Musical on the Beverly S. Sheffield Hillside Theatre
  2. listen to tunes at Blues on the Green
  3. explore the SPLASH! exhibit in the Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center
  4. say “hi” to owls, skunks, snakes and other wildlife at the ASNC
  5. have a picnic
  6. let the dogs run in the off-leash area
  7. enjoy the best of the fest experience at Austin City Limits Music Festival

ACL Music Fest

  1. peek into faerie houses on the annual Woodland Faerie Trail
  2. take the family to the annual Zilker Garden Festival
  3. welcome the new year at the Polar Bear Swim
  4. look for the endangered Barton Springs Salamander
  5. embark on a prehistoric scavenger hunt in Hartman Prehistoric Garden
  6. have fun at the annual ABC Kite Festival

family fun at the annual Kite Festival

  1. take a hike through the Zilker Nature Preserve
  2. study the details of one of Austin’s public landmark’s, the “Philosopher’s Rock”
  3. play volleyball
  4. throw a frisbee
  5. play soccer
  6. ride bikes
  7. canoe
  8. kayak
  9. stand-up paddle
  10. soak up some sun

cool down while you soak up some sun

  1. meet friends
  2. watch Shakespeare in the Park
  3. send the kids Nature’s Way Preschool
  4. learn about the environment at the annual Mother Earth Day Festival
  5. sign up for summer camp at Austin Nature & Science Center
  6. grill some burgers & hot dogs
  7. blow bubbles
  8. look for butterflies
  9. check out native plants
  10. play kickball
  11. play hacky sack
  12. learn about TX history in the Pioneer Village at the Botanical Garden
  13. spin under the Zilker Tree in December
  14. enjoy the holiday glow of the annual Trail of Lights

holiday spirit at the Trail of Lights

  1. enjoy a night under the stars at the annual Umlauf Garden Party
  2. sign up for a gardening workshop at the Botanical Garden
  3. put your toes in the little creek at the ASNC
  4. wave to the kids riding the Zilker Zephyr

all aboard on the Zilker Zephyr mini train

  1. celebrate butterflies at the Monarch Appreciation Day event in the Botanical Garden
  2. take a tour of the Historic Zilker Caretaker Cottage
  3. attend the annual South Asian New Year Festival
  4. take the kids to the Umlauf’s free, monthly Family Day
  5. go bird-watching
  6. fly kites
  7. take the fam to Austin Nature Day at the ASNC
  8. go for a run on the Violet Crown Trail
  9. pick up a Junior Ranger booklet for the kids at the Caretaker Cottage
  10. let your little rockers to Austin Kiddie Limits

Austin Kiddie Limits

  1. practice yoga
  2. hula hoop
  3. travel the Woodland Faerie Trail by moonlight
  4. swing on the playground
  5. take the dogs for a swim
  6. play Quidditch
  7. slackline
  8. throw a football
  9. look for turtles
  10. skip stones
  11. go snorkeling in Barton Springs
  12. pose for a family photo
  13. find the waterfall in the Botanical Garden
  14. see what natural treasures you can find at the Trade Counter at the ASNC
  15. check out the koi fish in the Taniguchi Japanese Garden

so many fish in the Japanese Garden

  1. listen to a concert by the Austin Civic Orchestra on the Hillside Theatre
  2. howl at the moon during a Full Moon Swim in Barton Springs
  3. join in on a drum circle
  4. feed ducks
  5. dance
  6. do some people-watching
  7. read a book under a shady tree
  8. save your pennies and visit Barton Springs when it’s free from 9-10 p.m.
  9. attend the annual Ballet Under the Stars at the Hillside Theatre
  10. take the little ones to hear some children’s music at the annual MossFest
  11. make new friends
  12. swing on the monkey bars
  13. fly a drone

aerial view of “rock island”

  1. play bubble soccer
  2. take your pup to a doggie meetup
  3. join friends on a night cycle ride through the park
  4. meditate
  5. practice tai chi
  6. play disc golf
  7. join a game of touch rugby
  8. take your Girl Scouts camping at the Zilker Cabin
  9. learn some historical info on the Moonlight Tower (1 of 17 in Austin, which is the only city to have moon towers)
  10. reserve tables to host a birthday party or family reunion
  11. practice your photography skills
  12. pick up a sculpture scavenger hunt card at the Umlauf & go on a search with the kids
  13. pause & be thankful for having this amazing park available to us every day!

What are your favorite things to do in Zilker Park?
Please share with us in the comments below.