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Experiences

College Station Parks for Families 

 

Make no mistake, summers in Texas can get hot. Yet it’s also the only time of year when your family adventures can go uninterrupted by the school day. Though you might be better off sticking to the A/C on some days, College Station parks also make it easy to get outside on occasion. 

Especially during the summer, good parks are all about the picnic pavilions and shady areas. Bonus points for water features where kids and parents alike can cool off. In College Station, going on an adventure doesn’t have to mean trailblazing through the Texas countryside. Sometimes, getting outside can be as simple as laying a blanket beside Lake Bryan. 

Discover six of College Station's best playgrounds, parks, nature trails and more, each of which will quench your thirst for a family outing--even, and especially, during the summer. Happy trekking.

girl squatting down and feeding kangaroo

Stephen C. Beachy Central Park

Developed in 1979, Stephen C. Beachy Central Park still stands as College Station’s largest park at a sprawling 51.57 acres. Once the Arnold Family Farm, the park includes two ponds and acres of lush forest, perfect for escaping the summer sun. But that’s only the beginning.

Softball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, a sand volleyball court, a basketball court, a fishing pier, and nature trails make this park a compelling setting for any adventure. The sheer number of options also make it a great choice for families as everyone is sure to find an activity they’ll love pursuing all day long. 

Aggieland Safari

Dubbed the “Serengeti of the South,” the newly opened Aggieland Safari invites visitors to step into a whole new world. Start with a walk through the 20-acre Adventure Zoo. Get up close with the animals by feeding tortoises, birds, and giraffes. Exhibits also feature exotic animals like kangaroos, parrots, and more. Don’t miss the petting zoo and aviary! 

Once you’re tired out on foot, hop in the car to explore the full 250-acre complex. Purchase a bucket of feed for the animals you’ll encounter during the drive-through safari. Zebra, ostriches, emu, and more may cross your path.

mom with baby in back carrier showing baby leaf

Lick Creek Park

Activities abound at Lick Creek Park. You can hike, cycle, bird watch, and more, all in the same day. Nature study is a fixture of the park, thanks to the Nature Center, completed in 2017. The Nature Center now stands as College Station’s most comprehensive nature preserve. 

After you’ve hiked or cycled the day away, peruse various indigenous plant and animal life, like the endangered Navasota Ladies. Nothing gets you more familiar with a destination than its outdoor ecosystem, which is why parents and kids alike will love the displays at the Nature Center. 

Royal Oaks Alpacas

Set your sights on a special alpaca kiss at Royal Oaks Alpacas. This off-the-beaten-path farm offers unique activities that are well worth an afternoon. 45 Huacaya alpacas and 3 llamas call Royal Oaks home. Tour the farm. Feel their luscious coats. And even pucker up. 

Royal Oaks also has a farm store stocked with items made from alpaca fibers. Yarn and other goods are available here, as are simple fiber art projects for those interested in trying their hand at creating. Be sure to call ahead to schedule your tour. 

family kayaking

Bee Creek Park

In 1946, 18 acres of what was then the city cemetery was reimagined in the form of Bee Creek Park. It was also the site of College Station’s first swimming pool--Adamson Lagoon Pool, which also features a wading area perfect for kids. The park was expanded in 1975 to include an arboretum, which emphasizes plants native to Texas.

Beyond the arboretum, you’ll also find tennis courts, softball fields, a pavilion, a sand volleyball court, and picnic areas, so your time at Bee Creek Park can last all day long. Bring snacks, spread out a blanket, and settle in for a day of adventure. 

Lake Bryan

Looking for an Aggieland recreation oasis? Lake Bryan is it. This is one lake you’ll want to get out on. Fortunately, kayaks and stand up paddleboards are available for rental so you can enjoy life on the lake whenever you’d like. 

If you’d rather stay dry, Lake Bryan is still a go-to destination--beyond just the views. Try your luck while fishing. Go biking. Or take to the park’s many hiking trails. Lake Bryan is perfect for summer because in Texas you’re sure to work up a sweat, so you might as well choose a park where you can cool off, too. 

Don’t let the Texas summers leave you cranking up the air conditioning. The hotel room may be the best reprieve, but taking your vacation outside is also always worth it--especially in College Station. Hike, bike, picnic, or cool off in one of the many family-friendly outdoor hotspots in Brazos Valley. These will be the memories you’ll look back on. 

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