Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Round Rock, TX

  • Published 2023/01/05

The city of Round Rock is a suburban cityscape that excels in quality of life and a variety of recreation spots for the entire community.

Its minor league baseball team and an array of bustling parks make it a city of wonder in Texas.

Its mix of suburban and commercial districts also provides tourists with many opportunities to have fun.

It also helps that it’s only 20 miles from Austin, providing travelers convenient access to the state capital’s world-class attractions.

Before Round Rock developed into a modern city, it was once a town that went by Brushy.

Earning the label ‘Old Town,’ it got its name because of a famous round rock in Brushy Creek near Chisholm Trail Street.

Decades later, this city in Williamson County continues to be a terrific place full of entertainment, inspiration, and history.

Here are the free things to do in Round Rock, Texas, to get you started on your traveling plans.

Admire the Sculptures at Chisholm Trail Crossing Park

Welcome sign of Chisholm Trail Crossing Park

Steve Cukrov /

Enjoy an outdoor entertainment experience at Chisholm Trail Crossing Park.

This park, spanning over 1.5 acres, is a good spot for family and group travelers who need quiet to have fun with each other.

Dedicated in 2003, this site features picnic areas for quick snack breaks with tranquil views of greenery.

Sculpture at Chisholm Trail Crossing Park

Another Believer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See the public sculpture exhibition scattered all over the park.

You can also go for a jog on its paved trails and be one with nature fully.

Chisholm Trail Crossing Park is on Chisholm Trail Road, free for everyone to visit.

The waters of Chisholm Trail Crossing Park

Steve Cukrov /

See the Colony of Bats at McNeil Overpass Bridge

Every year without fail, from March to November, tourists aren’t the only ones to grace Round Rock.

Colonies of bats also make their entrance known within the city in various locations, including caves and the sides of buildings.

But at Round Rock, you don’t have to search far to see these animals huddle and take flight.

On McNeil Overpass Bridge, just underneath the overpass for Interstate 35, you have the best seats in the house to watch these bats.

Ready your cameras for an aerial show like you have never seen before.

Bring hats and bug spray with you, too, just in case.

Have Fun at the Seasonal Splash Pad at Prete Plaza

Cool down against the summer heat at the Prete Plaza.

This downtown plaza on East Main Street is a crowd favorite for its state-of-the-art facilities.

These facilities include a lounge area, a performance stage extending to over 610 feet, and customized art panels.

Its interactive water feature is also a hit for children and those young at heart.

Moreover, the best part about this fountain is that it’s conservation-friendly, so you aren’t wasting water while playing around with loved ones and friends.

If you’ve got the time, Prete Plaza’s 14-square-foot site is worth looking into for a grand time with family.

Browse Art Displays at Downtowner Gallery

Keep the art inspiration coming with a visit to Downtowner Gallery.

This public art gallery is home to various city-wide cultural exhibitions and educational events.

Its curated art shows range from eight to ten, showcasing various art mediums and interpretations.

It is also an ideal place to go with a partner for a romantic date.

Come by Downtowner Gallery for the art excursion you’ve been looking for all over Round Rock.

You can find this gallery on East Main Street, east of Prete Plaza.

Bring Your Kids to Play For All Park

Playground at Play For All Park

GSPhotography /

Among Round Rock’s points of pride are its inclusive and well-built playgrounds.

One of these is Play For All Park, which has gained attention from many locals and travelers.

Unlike your typical playground, this one specializes in amenities that are both accessible and functional for children of all abilities.

Since its opening in 2012, it has undergone years of planning from within the community.

Years later, it’s still a multi-faceted space with sensory pods, swings, and a life skills area.

Learning has never been this exciting for your kids, no matter the age range, hobby, and interests.

Play For All Park is on N.A.W. Grimes Boulevard.

Let Your Kid Explore the Joanne Land Playground

Your kids are in for a sports-focused fun time in Round Rock.

Located in what the city considers its crown jewel park, Old Settlers Park, Joanne Land Playground is an innovative playscape where your little ones should spend many hours.

This park’s play equipment has multi-level stages and a modernistic but safe design layout.

From the rings to the slides, your child must feel like they’ve played an obstacle race!

You can also relax on rope swings while your little ones go to the skills development-inciting play area.

Perhaps the most famous play equipment is the zip-line swing that takes your kid on an exhilarating adventure.

Joanne Land Playground is on Harrell Parkway if you and your kids are up for a visit.

Watch Vintage Cars at the Round Rock Car Show

Are you a fan of vintage cars and vehicles?

Then, you must not miss the Round Rock Car Show!

This show-and-shine event showcases cars of every variety and age, and there’s no fee to come and watch the parade!

From antiques and collector’s editions to sports cars and trucks, take your pick from the vehicles up for everyone to see and admire.

Through the efforts of the City of Round Rock and the Round Rock Police Officers Association, this family-friendly event has become a massive success.

Many people come back to see the car models next up for viewing.

The Round Rock Car Show happens every third Sunday of the Month at Old Settlers Park Tennis Complex on Harrell Parkway.

Take a Stroll along the Downtown Historic District

Buildings along Downtown Historic District

James Howard, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Between Round Rock’s exciting past and historic buildings, you should never miss out on a walk along the city’s Downtown Historic District.

Stretching across four blocks and comprising 25 properties, this district brings to the forefront the rich past of Round Rock.

Its streets showcase railroad commercial blocks from the early 1800s and the storefront designs of the 1930s to 1950s.

Along your tour around the place, you’ll come across elegant houses, like those of Nelson-Crier House and Cantu-Franco House.

The two downtown plazas, Centennial Plaza and Prete Plaza, are also within your route.

There are more old buildings for you to explore, like the Old Broom Factory Building, so keep your eyes peeled!

Come and see the historical charm of Round Rock’s Downtown Historic District at Main Street, Mays Street, and South Sheppard Street.

Enjoy a Serene Afternoon at Centennial Plaza

Nothing is more refreshing than a quick detour to Round Rock’s downtown plazas.

At Centennial Plaza, there’s more to see on your much-needed break.

Alongside its drought-battling landscape features and theater, this plaza also offers public sculptures to enjoy.

The public art displays include nature-based sculptures, river stones, boulders, and more elaborate models, including a dinosaur-shaped one.

There’s also a bat observation overlook that you should check out.

If you’re lucky, you might catch a free concert or event while you’re there.

On West Bagdad Avenue, Centennial Plaza shines with its minimalistic and modern space.

See the Sidewalk Murals at Round Rock Chalk Walk Arts Festival

When it comes to art, Round Rock never settles for less.

At its annual Round Rock Chalk Walk Arts Festival, celebrate sidewalk art with the city.

Feel inspired by the elaborate and artistic visions of the participating artists through their chalk murals.

You are also free to talk to them along the Chalk Walk and get to know the process behind their piece.

Alongside visual art, food stalls and live music are a guarantee!

Round Rock Chalk Walk Arts Festival also invites street performers and street drumming for more entertainment.

These art pieces are temporary, so come by during the first weekend of October to keep yourself posted.

Marvel at the Street Lights at Round Rock DiwaliFest

Round Rock celebrates Indian culture more closely at the Round Rock DiwaliFest or the Festival of Lights.

This annual celebration centers on the triumph of light, or good, over darkness and evil.

It’s also an excellent opportunity for everyone to learn more about Indian traditions through live performances.

Watch the fashion show, join free dance workshops, and cheer for the competitors at the sand art competition.

One of the event’s main highlights—the lighting up of the street lights—is worth watching.

Head to Centennial Plaza on West Bagdad Avenue to join Round Rock DiwaliFest in October!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Are you up for more adventures near Round Rock?

Below are other budget-friendly attractions you can explore.

See the Face Sculptures at the Elisabet Ney Museum

Exterior of the Elisabet Ney Museum

Kushal Bose /

History blends with art at the Elisabet Ney Museum.

This free museum on East 44th Street in Austin, Texas, had existed since 1892 when it celebrated its first phase.

During that time, the museum went by the name Formosa and contained sculptures created by Elisabet Ney.

After her death, her friends helped preserve the site to be open for public viewing.

Sculptures in Elisabet Ney Museum

Phillip Barnhart, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is when the site also changed its name to Elisabet Ney Museum.

Set within Hyde Park, it’s a historic building that highlights the prairie biome of the environment and invites people to travel back to the past through the sculptress’ best works.

From Round Rock, you only need to drive 20 minutes to reach the Elisabet Ney Museum.

Ludwig bust in Elisabet Ney Museum

Bryan Rutherford, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jog along the Trail at Olson Meadows Park

Located 11 minutes from Round Rock, Olson Meadows Park in Austin is a natural oasis of open space.

Within its 54-acre property are beautiful foliage and unrivaled scenery with the occasional trail bends.

The park also has a playscape for your little one’s entertainment and a spring-fed stream that adds to its natural ambiance.

Walk or jog along the trails and admire the ample greenery and the sectioned wildflower areas.

See the Highest Point of Austin at Mount Bonnell

The view from Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

Tricia Daniel /

In Austin, Mount Bonnell is the spot for an extreme adventure near Round Rock.

This hiking spot has served the community since the 1830s.

One of its more trendy activities includes picnicking; with the best views of the townscape below, it offers relaxation for the weary traveler.

View of a river from Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

Joanna Gonzalez /

Mount Bonnell is famous for its 106-step stairs that many climb to reach the highest point in the city.

This site is only 21 minutes from Round Rock on Mount Bonnell Drive.

Picnic table at the summit of Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

Spawnzilla, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jam to Live Music at the Pecan Street Festival

The biannual Pecan Street Festival is an Austin household celebration that includes street entertainment for the entire family.

This street festival, despite its name, is not hosted at Pecan Street but at 6th Street.

From the late 1800s up to the late 1900s, this street has come alive with the sights of historical and commercial establishments.

This one-of-a-kind festival was born to preserve the heritage of this street.

Bring the family to watch street performances, live music, and other family-friendly activities.

Starting in 1978, the Pecan Street Festival happens every May and September.

Drive 21 minutes south of Round Rock to celebrate with the Austin community at the Pecan Street Festival.

Final Thoughts

Round Rock’s roundup of mesmerizing attractions and recreational sites is enough for many to consider this city a worthy travel spot.

Thanks to its range of budget-friendly activities, it’s also a good stop for just about anyone!

Pack your bags and discover the free things to do in Round Rock, Texas!

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