Zilker Metropolitan Park

For recreational enthusiasts, Zilker Memorial Park is a haven for outdoor activities within walking distance of downtown Austin.


On 351 acres of parkland across the river from downtown Austin, Zilker Park provides ample space for outdoor activities of all kinds. The park sits next to Lady Bird Lake, allowing easy access to kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding, as well as the hiking and biking trail that surrounds the lake. The park itself is home to the Austin Nature and Science Center, the Zilker Botanical Garden, the Zilker Hillside Theater, the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum, and Barton Springs Pool.

The park offers picnic areas with barbecue pits, volleyball courts, a nine-hole disc golf course, two playing fields, a playscape for younger visitors, and acres of sunshine and shade for running or relaxing. A rental center offers single and double kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards.

Festivals, Art, and Theater

Each year, the park hosts Austin City Limits, a three-day outdoor music festival in the fall featuring over 150 performers across the musical spectrum. The annual spring Zilker Kite Festival is a fun family event with contests for a various kites with food vendors, and other family-oriented events.

The Austin Nature and Science Center offers exhibits and educational programs, while the Zilker Botanical Garden has themed garden areas and special events for children throughout the year. The UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum features sculptures rotating through the museum and garden and invites the public to interact with the art. The Summer Festival at the Hillside Theater produces Broadway and other popular musicals for several weeks.

Family Fun

Throughout the park, children can find playgrounds with plenty of space for climbing, running, and general playing. The Zilker Zephyr—a miniature train—runs hourly around the park for parents and children to enjoy the scene and tour the park in a relaxed manner.