Visiting Landa Park in New Braunfels isn’t just a day trip…..it’s a “stay all day” trip! This historic 196-acre park provides an array of fun options for families and features beautiful Comal Springs, the largest group of natural springs in Texas, and 14-acre Landa Lake. We arrived around 11:30 a.m. and decided to start at the playground. This playscape is for younger children.
Not many children can pass up playground equipment disguised as a fire truck.
There are two playscapes for older kids.
This one had had a lot of opportunities for climbing.
My 11-year-old son thought the zip line was a blast.
After eating our picnic lunch, we walked toward Landa Park Aquatics Complex. The kids were immediately attracted to the beautiful Comal River, which is the shortest navigable river in Texas, traveling only 2 miles before joining the Guadalupe River.
We crossed Landa Park Drive and the boys went back to the river again. This time, to hunt for crawdads.
Now we were ready to go swimming! The Landa Park Aquatic Complex (350 Aquatic Circle New Braunfels, TX 78130) has something for everyone: a springfed pool, a zero depth pool, and an olympic pool. The bathhouse facility has restrooms, changing rooms, and showers. The complex is only open during the summer season. Hours are 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. (except Saturdays when the pools open at 10 a.m.) and fees are $4 for adults and $3 for kids age 3 and up. Hours can vary so check the schedule before you go. (For example, the olympic pool is closed on Mondays and the spring fed pool is closed on Tuesdays.) Read all the details for Landa Park Aquatics Complex here.
Closest to the entrance is a pool for young kids. The maximum depth is 2.5 feet.
Older kids will want to dive into Coach E.E. “Bud” Dallman Olympic Pool, with depths ranging from 4 feet – 7 feet.
In our opinion the “star” of the Landa Park Aquatics Complex is the natural pool fed by Comal Springs. The water stays 72 degrees year round. Built in the early 1900s, it is one of the oldest and most historic bathing pools in Texas, with depths up to 9 feet. This pool is a “natural aquatic environment,” meaning algae and aquatic life like fish are present.
Here’s the shallow end, where many young children (including my 7-year-old son) were having a blast.
This is the Wet Willie slide. It was closed for most of our visit but it looks pretty exciting!
Many older kids enjoyed climbing up this rope to the cargo net.
My 11-year-old son loved the zip line, which has a 54-inch height requirement.
There’s also a rope swing and a shaded playground.
After we were thoroughly chilled by the cool waters of the Comal, we headed to the train depot for ice cream and train tickets.
The train ride was a steal at $2.50 per person. After riding the train, we had a better idea of what we wanted to see next in the park: the wading pool.
We walked west on Landa Park Drive toward the wading pool. We saw this lovely creek and many friendly ducks and geese. (The train depot has duck food for 50 cents per bag.)
We walked north and crossed a little bridge. Looking out from the fishing pier, we could see the paddle boats.
Landa Lake was really gorgeous. As you can see, swimming and tubing are not allowed here, as the area is environmentally sensitive.
The wading pool is located right off of Landa Park Drive in the southwest section of the park. The water is cold! My kids could not resist getting wet (again). While the words “wading pool” might make you think of ankle-deep water, the water is closer to waist-high for most kids. The wading pool does not have lifeguards.
Now that we had cooled off a little, we explored the park some more. We found a tree that was perfect for climbing.
This neighboring cypress tree was pretty impressive.
To top it off, a little spring was running near the roots!
From 1756-1758, a Spanish mission was located in the area. The historical marker led us to quite a sight…..
After walking all the way to the marker, we came upon this beautiful spring-fed creek.
A gazebo provided a scenic spot to view Landa Lake. The gazebo is slated for repair as part of the Landa Park River Front Rehabilitation Project.
We were running on empty after all of our adventures but my son still wanted to take the time to say “goodbye” to his new friends before we left.
Austin Active Kids Opinion: Run…don’t walk…to your calendar and plan a day trip to Landa Park!
Outing Time: About 6 hours at Landa Park plus driving time (45 minutes – 1 hour) to and from New Braunfels. We easily could have stayed longer and taken advantage of the mini golf or paddle boats.
Outing Distance: Less than one mile walking around the playground area and the river.
Reminders: Click here for driving directions to Landa Park from Austin. Even if you get off course, the City of New Braunfels has numerous directional signs to area attractions like Landa Park. It’s probably a good idea to bring this park map or have it easily accessible on your phone.
If the Landa Park Aquatic Complex parking lot is full, you can find parking spots throughout the park including near the playground and by the wading pool.
For the aquatic complex, visitors are allowed to bring in their own food, drink, and coolers as long as no glass, styrofoam or alcohol is brought. Lawn chairs and folding tables are allowed as long as they are not staked to the ground and do not impede a walkway/public access point. No canopy tents except by city permit. Remember that the aquatic complex is only open during the summer season. If you have any questions about pool hours, just call the aquatic complex at 830-221-4360.
For your day trip, you should plan to bring: water, other drinks, snacks, picnic lunch or dinner, hats, sunscreen, floats, swimming supports (like lifejackets for kids still developing swimming skills), change of clothes, swimsuits, and towels. Camping chairs could be useful, too.
You might want to pack your items in different bags (pool bag and picnic bag) so you aren’t carrying one huge bag around the whole time. We started out with our picnic in the park. Then, we traded out our picnic bag for the pool bag before “downsizing” to the backpack for the train ride and walking around.
In addition to the train ride and paddleboats, Landa Park also has miniature golf. Click here for the hours and fees for all of these Landa Park attractions.
Around the playground, we saw many signs stating that some picnic table sections can be used by reservation only. The City of New Braunfels web site mentions that individual picnic tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis and that park rangers will come by to collect a $10 fee. We did not encounter park staff at the playground and were not asked to pay this fee but you should be aware that is their stated policy.
Here are some other takes on visiting Landa Park from Free Fun in Austin and R We There Yet Mom?