Favorite Outdoor Places to Play in Waco


In many places September means fall, brilliant colors of yellow and orange speckled into the trees and foliage, cool, crisp air, and a pumpkin latte to give us renewed energy to keep up with our kids.  Texas is different.


We may wait a little longer for the sweet relief of fall, but Waco has great ways to Beat the Heat while going outside to play.

Cameron Park

Cameron Park is a long time Waco favorite that sits along the Brazos River.  Cameron Park is a haven with beautiful old trees that provide canopies of shade and relief from the Texas sun.

The 400-acre park has many points of interest that include three playgrounds with slides, swings, and climbing obstacles. The Pecan Bottom Playground has a Splash Pad that is perfect for staying cool, The Anniversary Park is well equipped, and the Northern Gateway Playground offers Water Misters.

The Pecans Bottoms Playground is close to picnic tables and there is plenty of space to spread a blanket and picnic along the river.  There is room for kids to run and play in the grass, throw frisbees, balls, and pets are also allowed on leashes.

Cameron Park is for families of all ages with walking and biking trails, disc golf, fishing, a beautiful overlook called Lovers Leap, and a stone staircase known as Jacobs Ladder.

Older kids and adults can enjoy the 18-hole Disc Golf Course for players of every skill level.  The location is accessible and right next to downtown Waco with shops, restaurants, and food trucks when kids get hungry.

Cameron Park Zoo is a Waco favorite.

Wacoans love the accessibility and how easy it is to navigate the zoo with children.  Inside the zoo is a playground shaded with trees so kids can play, and parents can take a break from the heat.  The zoo is educational, interactive, and is set up as Natural Habitat for the wild life.  Animal highlights include beautiful Siberian Tigers, Social Orangutans, Lions, Tigers, and a platform where you can feed the Giraffes.

Admission is a great value, and the zoo hosts ongoing events.  The zoo offers interactive programs where families can Adopt an Animal, and showcases natural wildlife known to Central Texas.

Chapel Park Splash Pad

In Waco staying cool outdoors takes priority, which is why one of Waco’s favorite places to play outside is Chapel Park Splash Pad.

Located in a neighborhood next to a school and residential area makes this a convenient location for parents to let their kids play and enjoy being outdoors.  There is a large grass area next to Splash Pad to play catch, sidewalks for bike riding and walking, and a small pavilion with picnic tables to sit, rest, and eat.

Hewitt Park

Hewitt Park is a large multi-purpose outdoor facility with two playgrounds.   The park has something for everyone and is located next a school and several residential communities. The 32-acre park includes a concrete walking/running track with workout stations, horse shoe pits, volleyball courts, one baseball backstop, soccer fields, lighted basketball courts, two small pavilions, and a Disc Golf Course.

The pavilion can be reserved for parties and is large enough for private events or family reunions.  Amenities include 11 picnic tables and include electrical outlets, lighting, and smokers for cooking.

Pogue Park

Nestled under the trees of Woodway is Pogue Park.  It is a large park with thick shade and is great for younger children.  There is a merry go round, swings for infants and older kids, picnic tables, and a gravel walking track.  Pogue Park has additional shade with a large pavilion where reservations can be made for large parties or events.

Hawaiian Falls Waco

During the summer Hawaiian Falls is one of the best places to play outside in the city of Waco.  It is set up for all age ranges from young to older children with a baby pool area and kiddie section to large water rides that will entertain kids for hours.  The lazy river is a great way to relax and cool off while the kids still have fun. There is a wave pool, and a large portion of the park has covered tables and lounge chairs to provide shelter from the sun.  Large parties can rent cabanas, large pavilions, or sheltered areas and joining the membership program offers affordable admission and discounts on food and amenities.

Hawaiian Falls is a great place for families to meet friends where kids can play with together and adults can enjoy interaction and relief from the heat.

Baylor Bear Habitat and Fountain Mall

Deep in the heart of Texas and Baylor University is the Bear Habitat and Fountain Mall.  Taking the kids to see the black bear mascots is a great outdoor activity with big trees and heavy shade!  Kids always enjoy watching the cute bears. The Bear Habitat sits next to the center of campus close to the Baylor Fountain and  huge grassy area known as the Mall.  Kids are not permitted to get in the fountain but can get their hands wet.

It is in a great location next to I-35.  Once the kids have had a chance to see the bears and splash the water there are a wide range of restaurants, milk shakes, and ice cream eateries on the other side of the I-35.  It makes for a great location and easy stop for lunch or a tasty cold treat to cool off from the heat.




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Sarah lives in Waco with her husband, Mark, and their three children Seth (11), Hannah Grace (9), and Adalee (6). Sarah and Mark just celebrated 16 years of marriage. Sarah grew up in Coppell, Texas (a Dallas suburb), and graduated from Baylor University with a BBA in Marketing in 2000. Sarah started her career in Sales, Marketing, and Advertising, and spent five years in corporate business. She then chose to stay home when her first two children were born. In 2009, Sarah took on the balancing act of being a business owner while maintaining the role of “stay at home” mom. Sarah found the many aspects of creating and implementing business strategies very fulfilling, and loved working in the beauty and skincare industry. After seven years of juggling these roles, she sold the business and has enjoyed taking time over the last year to write and prepare for the next stage of her “crazy life” Sarah was born with a passion for music, and has been leading praise and worship in different capacities since she was thirteen. Sarah and her family are members of First Baptist Church Woodway, where she is on the praise team, and has the blessing to serve in different areas of ministry. Over the years, she has been gifted with opportunities to create music, and to work with organizations such as the American Family Radio and Gospel Music Association, while releasing original music an independent artist within the Christian Contemporary genre https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/everypage/id373073044. Over the years, Sarah has loved getting to know the women of Waco by being involved in organizations such as Junior League, and MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers). These experiences, along with being a mom, have given her a heart to encourage and relate to other women. Over the past two years, Sarah has felt led to begin to share some of her own experiences as a woman and mom to help minister and to encourage others. She recently started a personal blog www.saranelsonblog.com, which is still in the process of completion. Sarah is currently writing a series on dealing with crisis from a spiritual perspective, which is based on her own personal experience. Her goal with this project is to help others find hope in hardship. Sarah is beyond excited about being able to share, and to be a part of Waco Mom’s Blog. The last sixteen years have been an adventure! Eleven of those years have been spent living in Waco. Sarah and Mark moved away from Waco twice to live in Austin and Miami, and moved back both times for business opportunities. They are grateful to have laid down roots that have grown deep within the heartbeat of the city. They are thankful for their community, and dear friends they get to live life with. Sarah is beyond blessed to call Waco home.