Getzendaner Park in Waxahachie is one of our childhood favorites. It has been a treat to revisit with our littles, it really is a gem. Peaceful and heavily wooded with huge old oak and pecan trees, it’s shady yet wide-open, full of natural beauty, history and plenty of great park amenities. Getzendaner is home to three wonderful playgrounds, hike and bike trails and now, thanks to a local Eagle Scout, a brand-spanking new Bocce Ball court.
The original playground is well shaded and although some of my childhood favorite play-items are no longer there, many of the vintage metal jungle-gyms remain, along with lots of swings and a newer tire swing.
A second area includes a large modern playscape of the multiple plastic spiral-slides, steering wheels & climbing walls variety. This area is not quite as shady and may be best suited to morning play during the hotter months, but a great playscape none the less.
A third wooden playground area includes a wonderful maze as well as wooden steps and ramps that lead to slides, hanging bars and other kiddie fun. This area is also well shaded and includes a great, huge knotted log topped with a carved squirrel chair and a raccoon carving in the back. It’s perfect for climbing, exploring and engaging the imagination. Of the three playgrounds, we had a harder time pulling the 2 & almost 4 year olds away from this wooden tree/maze/ramp area. Something about natural textures and nature repurposed for play really engages children of this age.
Between and among the playgrounds, the park is peppered with plenty of park benches, picnic tables, charcoal grills and shady open spaces for playing chase, hide-n-seek and catch. There is also a covered pavilion with picnic tables, which is available for reservation and when not reserved, is available free on a first-come/first-serve basis. There are also restrooms on-site with running water, the one we visited was older but clean and functional.
Waxahachie creek runs along the West side of the 33 acre park. Crossing the Historic Matthews Street Bridge and following along its rustic trails and the creek beyond was one of our favorite family adventures as a children. It gave us the opportunity to experience a little more history and unbridled woodsy nature than is usually available in the DFW area.
Additionally, Getzendaner serves as an access point for the Waxachie Creek Hike and Bike Trail. Built along abandoned rail lines, the 6 mile trail runs alongside the creek. The trailhead at Getzendaner starts off with a paved, doggie-friendly walking trail and also offers an alternative, natural bike path. We haven’t made it too far down these trails yet, not sure if/when they converge.
Overall, this park is great for all ages — perfect for picnicking, celebrating birthdays, active play, play dates, nature exploration, historical exploration, home schooler meet-ups, exercise, hiking, biking, dog-walking and romantic strolls with your sweetie. For those who live farther North or West in the DFW metroplex, this park is a great choice for an affordable picnicky day-trip.
How to get to Getzendaner Memorial Park
400 S Grand Ave Waxahachie, TX 75165
To reserve the covered picnic pavilion, contact:
Waxahachie Parks and Recreation
John Smith: 469.309.4271 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Full day reservation: $50
1/2 day reservation: $25 , 8am-2pm or 3-10pm