Tuesday, August 20, 2013

the first dip (field trip: barton springs pool)

"Ahh!  That water is COLD!"
The final week of summer break is here.  To celebrate the last of the dog days I took Eli to the iconic Barton Springs Pool.  It was a first for the both of us.

This man-made pool is about 3 acres in size and is fed by one of the largest natural springs in Texas.  Because of its source, the water is clear and cool, maintaining an average temperature of 68 degrees all year long.  The cold water is an initial shock to the system but on a triple digit day it is well worth it.
Just chillin' under the trees
I am always looking for new, fun, and relatively thrifty family adventures and Barton Springs Pool meets all of the criteria.  The pool charges $3 for adults and $1 for children.  We arrived in the noon hour on Monday and the parking lot was packed!  I felt a flash of dread warm over me as I pulled into the next to the last available parking spot-ugh!  I dislike crowded pools very much but because of the pool's enormity in size it didn't seem crowded at all.  We even set our blanket and bag down in a shady spot under a tree.

The pool has a shallow end which was great for us, since the little one doesn't know how to swim.  Because it is a naturally fed and natural bottom pool, the surface is slick with algae and there are tadpoles and schools of fish swimming amongst everyone.  Eli loved "ice skating" on the rocky surface and enjoyed watching the fish near the rocky beach at the end of the shallow end.

Towards the end of our stay.  We dried in the sun as we laid on our towels, watched the passersby and people jump off the spring board.  Our two hour stay was well worth it and we had such a great time!  We will definitely be back.

Things to remember:
  1. Bring cash as it is a "cash only" establishment.
  2. You cannot bring a picnic, cooler, food, or glass into the pool area.  Plan on eating before or pack a picnic and find a spot in Zilker Park.  You may bring in plastic water bottles, however.
  3. Bring water shoes.  I had learned this years ago in my teen years when swimming in New Braunfels, furry river bottoms creep me out!  The shoes give you good traction on the slippery rock bottom.
  4. Lay out and chill out for a while.  It is a great place to people watch.  Eli enjoyed watching everyone take turns on the springboard and couldn't peel his eyes off a girl with lavender hair.  Who knows, maybe someone will bring a guitar and serenade you as you bathe in the sun.

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