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alliance children’s garden is named a “Great Place in Texas”


We’re excited to announce the American Planning Association – Texas Chapter recognized Alliance Children’s Garden as a Great Place in Texas in the Public Space category!

Great Places in Texas celebrates how planning has played a vital role where we live, work, and play. The program promotes and recognizes great places while celebrating stories of exemplary planning that have resulted in stronger and healthier communities.

TBGers Rob Parsons (left) and Justin Lindabury accepted the award at the APA Texas award ceremony with the City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department.

As the first programmed public playground in downtown Austin, Alliance Children’s Garden solves for the lack of public open space options in and around urban Austin. The Garden’s popularity is transforming downtown Austin into a family destination, drawing daily visitors not only from within the city but from surrounding towns and counties.

Located in the heart of Austin at Town Lake Metropolitan Park, and adjacent to the iconic Doug Sahm Hill and Liz Carpenter Fountain, the Alliance Children’s Garden embodies whimsical, engaging, and atypical play. The park, opened in 2020, transformed an existing 2-acre open space within Michael Butler Park into a vibrant, imaginative play destination for the city that is over two decades in the making. The Alliance Children’s Garden represents the final phase of Town Lake Metropolitan Park’s multiyear development — and the 20-year development effort is ending with a flourish.

Inspired by the unique Texas Hill Country surrounding Austin, Alliance Children’s Garden introduces abstractions of rolling hills, expansive caves, and limestone basins to encourage exploration and imaginative play. The Garden promotes multiple types of play by providing distinct but connected outdoor rooms. Reflecting Austin’s unique culture and environment, the rooms include the Hill Country Garden, the Skyline Garden, the Art and Culture Garden, and the Rock and Slide Valley Garden. These rooms provide environments to spark inspiration and imagination, while also providing a safe place for all children to be themselves with activities for various skill levels and ages. Each room emphasizes intentional playful interaction, problem solving, exploration, and appreciation of the local natural flora and fauna.

Youth is best understood as an experience, not dictated by an age, and Alliance Children’s Garden Provides that experience to all who visit, no matter age or activity level.