Zilker Park

New York has Central Park. San Francisco has the Golden Gate Park. Austin as Zilker Park. It’s the heart of Austin family gatherings, festivities, and gardens. The first time I walked through Zilker Park, hubby and I were on our second date. He drove us to one of the central areas and we walked round and round talking for hours. I admired the park more than he did. I know now that him being outside for more than a few minutes meant our first date had impressed him. Lucky me.

The next time I visited the park, it turned out to be the same day as the annual Kite Festival. What a sight! The sky was blue. People packed park flying kites of all sorts and sizes. Amazing! Everywhere I looked I saw kites. Most were in the air, but more than a few were on the ground or in trees. The bright colors and trailing streams reminded me of Mary Poppins. (The original although in the sequel, they did a nice job with kites, too.) I could only laugh. It was that delightful.

Once a year, you will find me and hubby at Zilker Park. The annual Shakespeare in the Park festival offers professional actors performing time honored plays by the Bard. They take a few liberties with the time and place of the plays, but it only adds to the significance of the performance especially for those unfamiliar with the original.

We get to the amphitheater early to claim our spot near the top of the hill in the shade of one of the many ancient Live Oak trees. All we need, we take with us: A comfortable blanket to rest our feet and picnic basket on, and cozy lounge chairs to sit back and enjoy the show. The Amphitheater is across the street from Barton Springs pool, but the noise of the people there don’t interfere with the production. Well, maybe some turn on their radios loud when leaving, but it fades away quickly.

There is so much to do and see at Zilker Park, it’s impossible to describe them all. If you’ve heard of any festivals (think music in particular), it’s being held at Zilker. It’s another must see when you visit Austin.

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