Taking part in at revamped Kingsbury Commons in Pease Park

July 12, 2021

I lately rounded up the household to discover the newly redesigned part of Austin’s Pease Park often called Kingsbury Commons. The largest draw for me was seeing the Treehouse, a rusty orb of rebar and metal beams — much less a treehouse than an enormous ball of pollen!

The Treehouse

A bridge path round again leads you into the orb, the place, extremely, you’re invited to stroll or tumble onto a rope web “ground” that’s two tales excessive.

David popped proper on the market and sat down within the sagging middle, trying up into the tree cover throughout. I paced across the vertigo-inducing catwalk with my heights-averse daughter earlier than deciding, what the hell, let’s do that. Oh so gracefully I held onto a assist publish, backed onto the web, attempting to not look by way of it on the floor, and slid onto my butt. Then I scooched ahead till I used to be actually and really on the web and lay again to benefit from the view.

It was fairly cool. Lights dangle above for a “firefly” expertise at evening. I must return and check out it after darkish someday.

Wavy rebar radiates from the central opening above, making a fragile sense of enclosure.

From under you may lookup at individuals on the web or sit in a council ring of stacked limestone boulders.

It’s a shocking function for a public park, not solely in look however within the “thrill of hazard” and pleasure it provides. It might even be rented out for personal occasions.

Tudor Cottage plaza

Close by, an outdated construction often called the Tudor Cottage has additionally been repurposed as an occasion rental, with a clean-lined patio terrace and biergarten seating.


Alongside the identical path, close to brand-new restrooms, limestone terracing doubles as an amphitheater for reside performances or simply consuming lunch within the park.

Wanting downslope, a pure spring that used to feed into underground pipes has been “daylighted” — i.e., introduced above floor. It flows by way of a seep-like backyard of river rock and native vegetation like bald cypress and visually hyperlinks with a watery splash pad on the backside of the hill. Austin’s personal Christy Ten Eyck of Ten Eyck Panorama Architects was the lead designer for Kingsbury Commons, so you understand the design is superior and native vegetation are a key function.

Splash pad

The splash pad appears to be like way more pure than such options sometimes look. No colourful rubberized mats right here, simply stone and concrete and water effervescent up in fountains, as if spring-fed.

I took off my footwear and waded by way of the again of the splash pad, the place the fountains may be dodged. An oval of enormous river rocks within the middle provides to the verisimilitude.


Younger architects are inspired in a stumpery, the place tree trunks, branches, and stumps provide a possibility for constructing forts and unprogrammed play. Though it appears to be like a bit weedy and muddy after latest rains, I can see youngsters additionally utilizing them for stability beams or make-believe adventures.


Even a extra conventional playground has some shocking options, like this seesaw swing. It takes two, and each seats not solely swing round however pivot up and down on a teetering arm.

Beds of native vegetation encompass the play gear. I hope they survive the onslaught of youngsters!

A tall fence of rusty metal mesh hems in stray balls on the brand new basketball courtroom.

Open lawns and tree-shaded lawns provide area for play and picnicking, and we noticed an enormous chess board on the bottom alongside one path too.

Picnic tables

Lengthy picnic tables constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps within the Thirties stay, with new bushes, lighting, and BBQ grills.

This area may be rented out too, however by way of August 2021 tables are free on a first-come, first-served foundation for events of as much as 50 individuals. Get together planners, begin your engines.

Squirrel Fest coming quickly

For 56 years Pease Park has hosted considered one of Austin’s oldest festivals, the hippie-and-costume fest (or no costume in any respect) often called Eeyore’s Birthday Get together. Covid shut down the enjoyable for the previous two years, however Eeyore will lastly get his crimson balloon once more subsequent April. In the meantime, a grand-opening occasion referred to as Squirrel Fest has been introduced for September tenth at Pease Park. Mark your calendars and prepare to shake these bushy tails!

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