If you live in Austin and think about Round Rock, often the first thing that comes to mind is Ikea. With its never-ending aisles full of air-conditioning and enviable household goodies, it’s not uncommon to make the journey strictly to go there. However, if you’re going to make that 45-minute trek north, it may behoove you to stay and see what else Round Rock has going on. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot more than a Swedish furniture store.
Ice Cream Parlour, American, $$$
Sure, it’s just shaved ice, but this hidden gem is a must if you’re over in Round Rock. The shaved ice stand serves up soft hills of flavored snow that is neither too sweet nor too watery. It is the perfect balance of everything you want in the summertime. Just look for the shark head poking out of the wall as you drive down I-35, and you will know you’ve found it.
Play for All Abilities Park
From 6 a.m. to midnight, you and your kiddos can wander around a mini-city full of sensory toys. Bring a bike or a scooter, because with 51,000 square feet of fully enclosed outdoor fun, you can unleash your child’s energy on this tyke-sized town, and you won’t have to expect to see them back for hours.
Round Rock Express Game
Buy beer, enjoy a hot dog and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th-inning stage. People come from far and wide to attend a minor league baseball game at the Round Rock Express Dell Diamond. This beautiful baseball diamond was the brainchild of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and is known for being family-friendly, having great concessions and offering great baseball at a fraction of the price.
Shaylah Dame Skate Park
If you have a skateboard or a pair of inline skates, bring them over to the skate park. With grinding rails, huge cement humps and bowls, this city-run park is built for everyone to have a good time. Pro tip: if you want to pretend this is your own parkour facility, show up early and you’ll have the place to yourself.
Prete Main Street Plaza Fountain
Right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown Round Rock is a play fountain. While it’s intended for kids, there is no one saying that parents and childless adults aren’t allowed to join in the fun, too – Texas is hot, y’all! The fountain operates year-round and is shaded from the sun. Make sure to stop by at night so you can enjoy the cool spray of the water while the fountain’s lights flash.
Old Settlers Park
Whether you’re in the mood to play some sports or you’re just looking to wander around and enjoy nature, Old Settlers Park has it all. Wander around the green space and stop to feed the ducks or fish in the lake. Then head down to the sports complex where you can either join in a game or just root for your favorite team.
Round Rock Donuts
Bakery, American, $$$
Round Rock Donuts is an Austin establishment founded in 1926 in Round Rock, Texas, and offers a wide variety of doughnuts, cakes and other baked goods. This huge Western-themed doughnut shop has become famous for its Texas Sized Donut, a massive glazed doughnut that’s six times the size of a typical doughnut. If you’re not up for that challenge, their average-sized Round Rock Donuts are just as delicious.