A Guide to Parks & Recreation in Waco



The Waco area has a fabulous variety of parks! We are so lucky to live in a area that values outside fun as much as Waco does.    

Waco is full of fun way beyond just your basic playground and grassy knolls.  There are hiking trails, bike trails, 2 disk golf courses, horseshoe pits, a skate park, the list goes on. 

Lovers Leap has a beautiful look out points that really show off how beautiful our neck of the woods really is .

The Northern Gateway Park is close by and it’s very nice.  The playground is this cool geometric domes you get to climb on, but with lots of extras.  It’s a fun change up from the normal playground.  My kids tire out quickly here.  I don’t know if it was something new or if it was just using new muscles climbing on EVERYTHING.  Either way it was a wonderful thing.  The all important restroom is close by as well.  

Jacob’s Ladder is a really cool staircase that’s 88 steps through the trees.  I haven’t personally ventured this with my kids yet, but I have lots of friends that have enjoyed this with their kids.  My youngest currently has a cast, but this is on my to do list asap.  I’m thinking a time or two on the steps and the kids could be ready for a nap, as long as I could keep them awake in the car.  

Miss Nellie’s Pretty Place was a family favorite for a long time.  It’s up on a hill and the view is great!  The flowers in the spring are amazing!  Their are two play playgrounds, one for toddlers and another for older kids.   There are plenty of swings and a few toddler swings.  Their is a giant rock for the kids to climb on as well.  This is a favorite of my kids, but usually causes a fight of some sort with my youngest 2.  It’s a giant rock and they’re little people, so it’s tough for them getting up the rock.  My suggestion is if you don’t want your kids on the rock don’t come here, just trying to save you the headache.  

Cameron Park on Cameron Park Drive is currently my family’s favorite.  It’s right around the corner from the zoo.  It’s right on the river, but not too close for the little ones.  There are usually ducks and my kids love to feed, or chase them all around.  We go to the zoo a lot and this is an easy spot for a picnic after the zoo.  Their is a covered pavilion with picnic tables, and lots of other table choices winding around under different trees.  The playground is big enough even on a crowded day, and has lots of swings.  Swings are a big deal in my house and my little’s don’t like waiting in line.  My oldest two boys are getting a little old for the playground, so they like the open grass area for throwing a football or baseball around, or whatever is in the back of the car.  The restrooms are close, and parking is easy are a few other perks. 

Another park to mention is Brazos Park East.  The sidewalks nicely wind along the river and make for an easy walk with a stroller.  I used this a lot for a change of scenery when I needed to get out of the house.  It also has lots of horseshoe pits, I could never personally play there because I’m not that good at the game and the pits are close together.  Their is a boat ramp.  Their is a 18 hole disk golf course here as well.  The course map and score cards are online to print off.  

Let me tell you about Meridian State Park.  

This is a lovely place about an hour north of Waco!  It does have a cost of $5 per person 13 +, 12 and under are FREE.   Their are tons of great, very well marked, hiking trails of all lengths.  My 4 year old can almost walk all the way around the lake.  You can fish there with no fishing license because it’s a state park, so no worries if you don’t have a fishing license.  My husband and oldest 2 boys got kayaks for Christmas, so this has been a great place for the boys to figure them out.

There are at least 30 different playgrounds on Waco’s website, so I haven’t even scratched the surface. I encourage you to click the link below to see which parks are closest to you!




  1. A friend of mine was talking about Poage Park the other day. I’ll have to try it out. My pasty children will appreciate that.

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