Top 12 Parks in Lubbock

Lubbock, Texas is home to numerous beautiful parks that offer a variety of amenities and recreation for residents and visitors. From expansive green spaces to scenic hiking trails, Lubbock’s parks provide a peaceful natural escape within the city. The mild climate of Lubbock allows for year-round enjoyment of the outdoors.

Park NameHighlights and Features
Mackenzie ParkJoyland Amusement Park, jogging trail, sports facilities
Clapp ParkNear Texas Tech, tennis, sand volleyball, rose garden
Maxey ParkTennis courts, softball field, pond, community center
Canyon Lakes and Walking TrailsScenic lakes, hiking, biking trails, wildlife spotting
Mae Simmons ParkAdventure playground, splash pad, skate park, dog park
Pete & Nelda Laney Advanced Rehabilitation Research InstitutePlayground for physical disabilities, adaptive sports complex
Thompson Park & Urban Harvest Community GardenBasketball court, community garden plots
Dunbar Lake Park25-acre lake, fishing, swimming, trails
Hodges Community CenterFitness center, sports courts, dog park
South Plains Mall PlaygroundThemed playground, events, near mall
Urbanovsky ParkHiking trails, access to Yellowhouse Canyon
Charles Adams Studio Project and Lubbock Moonlight MusicalsSummer musicals and performances

Whether you want to have a picnic, walk the dog, enjoy sports facilities, or just relax in nature, Lubbock has a park for you. Families, couples, and outdoor enthusiasts will all find plenty of options. The parks are spread throughout the city, providing access for all neighborhoods.

Mackenzie Park

Name and Location: Mackenzie Park is located in central Lubbock, Texas.

History and Significance: Mackenzie Park opened in 1913 as Lubbock’s first city park. It is home to Joyland Amusement Park, making it a prime recreation spot for families.

What to Expect: The park features Joyland amusement park rides, a small lake, walking trails, flower gardens, picnic areas, playgrounds, and sports fields.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily 6am-11pm. Joyland hours vary by season. Entry is free, Joyland admission required for rides.

Mackenzie Park is one of Lubbock’s most popular city parks, drawing over 500,000 visitors per year. Located in the heart of Lubbock, this 66-acre park offers a variety of amenities and recreation opportunities.

The park is home to Joyland Amusement Park, a beloved local attraction featuring rides, games, and food. Joyland has been providing family fun since 1951 and also hosts community events year-round. Another highlight of Mackenzie Park is its scenic jogging trail that loops the park and offers views of the wetlands.

Mackenzie has sports facilities including soccer fields, tennis courts, volleyball courts, and a golf course. Families can enjoy the park’s playground, interactive water features, and picnic areas. Leashed pets are also welcome in certain areas of the park. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to spend a whole day at this lively green space.

Clapp Park

Name and Location: Clapp Park is located in southwest Lubbock, Texas.

History and Significance: Clapp Park opened in 1953 and was expanded in the 1990s. It offers many recreation amenities on over 100 acres.

What to Expect: The park has a recreation center, indoor pool, outdoor pool, splash pad, tennis courts, basketball courts, ball fields, playgrounds, and walking paths.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily, hours vary by amenity. Some fees apply for facility use.

Located near Texas Tech University, Clapp Park spans nearly 80 acres and is another go-to spot for Lubbock residents. It offers both passive and active recreation options among its grassy fields, trees, and walking paths.

Visitors to Clapp Park can play tennis or sand volleyball on the park’s courts. The playground is a top spot where kids can burn off energy. Families and groups can reserve the picnic pavilion for gatherings and birthday parties.

One highlight of Clapp Park is its rose garden containing over 1,800 roses representing dozens of varieties. Visitors can leisurely stroll through the rows of vibrant blooms that peak in late April or early May. The park also frequently hosts community events like concerts and festivals.

Maxey Park

Name and Location: Maxey Park is located in southwest Lubbock, Texas near Texas Tech University.

History and Significance: Maxey Park was established in 1940 on land donated by area ranchers. It serves as an event venue and community gathering place.

What to Expect: The park features a large events pavilion, amphitheater, playgrounds, lakes with walking trails, gardens, public art, and open green space.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from 6am-11pm. Some event fees may apply.

Maxey Park is located near downtown Lubbock and is considered a hub for the community. At 45 acres, it contains diverse amenities including lighted tennis courts, a softball field, sand volleyball, and a large playground.

The park has walking trails shaded by trees, a tranquil pond, and green open spaces where families can spread out blankets for picnics. The community center located in Maxey Park contains meeting rooms and hosts a variety of classes, events, sports leagues, and summer camps.

Maxey Park is also home to the Buddy Holly Statue and Walk of Fame Plaza, honoring Lubbock’s famous hometown musician. Concerts and performances are frequently held at the park’s outdoor amphitheater and pavilion. This versatile park has something for all ages and interests.

Canyon Lakes and Walking Trails

Name and Location: Canyon Lakes and walking trails are located throughout Lubbock. Major locations include Mackenzie Park, Clapp Park, and Yellowhouse Canyon.

History and Significance: Lubbock’s unique canyon lake systems and trails provide opportunities for outdoor recreation amid the scenic plains landscape.

What to Expect: Paved and unpaved walking/hiking trails of varying lengths that offer views of the small lakes and canyons. Benches available along most paths.

Visitor Information: Trails are open daily sunrise to sunset. Leashed pets allowed. Take water and sun protection for warm weather hikes.

Lubbock has an outstanding system of scenic canyon lakes connected by walking trails that run through the city. Buffalo Springs Lake, Canyon Lakes 1-5, and Yellowhouse Canyon offer miles of tree-lined paths perfect for walking, running, biking, and enjoying nature.

Visitors can spot native birds and wildlife along the trails. Benches are located periodically, allowing hikers to stop and relax while taking in views of the lakes and rock formations. Trail users can enjoy the changing foliage in autumn and wildflowers in the spring.

Some of the lakes allow boating, fishing, and swimming during warm weather months. Anglers can catch bass, catfish, and more. Separate horseback riding trails wind through Yellowhouse Canyon for equestrian use. The canyon lakes trails provide a peaceful oasis amidst Lubbock’s cityscape.

Mae Simmons Park

Name and Location: Mae Simmons Park is located in east Lubbock, Texas.

History and Significance: Mae Simmons Park opened in 1989 and was expanded in 2002. It offers a scenic urban greenspace and recreation in east Lubbock.

What to Expect: The park features walking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, ponds, gardens, an off-leash dog park, and recreation center with indoor pool.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily 6am-11pm. Some fees apply for recreation center use. Leashed pets allowed in most areas.

As one of Lubbock’s newer parks, Mae Simmons Park has quickly become a favorite spot thanks to its unique amenities. Located in east Lubbock, this 85-acre park is home to the Mae Simmons Adventure Playground, featuring a 25-foot climbing tower, 40-foot slide, obstacle course, and similar attractions.

Kids can burn off energy while parents relax under shaded pavilions. Other facilities at Mae Simmons Park include a splash pad, walking trails circling a pond, a skate park, basketball courts, and a large off-leash dog park. Playfields and a picnic area are also available in addition to scenic green space.

Special events like movie nights and fishing tournaments take place periodically at the park, bringing the community together. Mae Simmons Park offers interactive fun for kids along with amenities the whole family can enjoy.

Pete & Nelda Laney Advanced Rehabilitation Research Institute

Name and Location: The research institute is located on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center campus in Lubbock, Texas.

History and Significance: Founded in 2011, it is a world-class facility focused on innovative rehabilitation research to improve patient outcomes.

What to Expect: The institute does not allow public facility tours but hosts free public lectures featuring renowned researchers on select dates.

Visitor Information: Check the institute’s event calendar online for upcoming public lectures. Registration may be required.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Texas Tech University System partnered to create this rehabilitation-focused park specifically designed for individuals with physical disabilities.

The park contains a playground with specialized equipment to help kids in wheelchairs develop motor skills through fun, physical activity. Visitors use the therapeutic garden areas while working with physical therapists to regain mobility. Indoor facilities provide added opportunities for rehabilitation in controlled settings.

The park also has an adaptive sports complex with specialized courts, fields, and equipment tailored for wheelchair sports like tennis, volleyball, basketball, and hockey. Individuals with disabilities can enjoy recreation they may not otherwise have access to. This innovative park provides an inclusive environment to improve quality of life.

Thompson Park & Urban Harvest Community Garden

Name and Location: Thompson Park and Urban Harvest Community Garden are located in central Lubbock, Texas.

History and Significance: Thompson Park was established in the early 1900s. The community garden opened in 2010, providing gardening opportunities.

What to Expect: The park offers playgrounds, picnic areas, and sports fields. The garden has over 70 community plots to see in bloom.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily 6am-11pm. The garden is open daily during daylight hours. Both are free to visit.

Found in west Lubbock, Thompson Park spans 10 acres and primarily functions as a community green space. Visitors can play a game of basketball on the park’s court or have a family picnic using the grills and tables.

A unique feature of Thompson Park is the Urban Harvest Community Garden containing over 60 garden plots. Local residents can rent garden beds to grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers organically. Produce grown in the community garden supplements healthy eating for urban families.

Thompson Park hosts gardening workshops focused on topics like water conservation, composting, pest management, and plant selection. For those wanting to pick up gardening as a hobby, the community garden provides mentoring and hands-on learning. Renters also donate a portion of their produce to local food banks.

Dunbar Lake Park

Name and Location: Dunbar Lake Park is located in east Lubbock, Texas.

History and Significance: Dunbar Lake Park opened in 1951. The lake was formed from a canyon damned in the 1920s. It offers water recreation in Lubbock.

What to Expect: Park activities include fishing, paddle boating, hiking trails, playgrounds, picnic sites, and outdoor fitness equipment.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily 8am-10pm. Fees apply for fishing and boat rentals. Leashed pets allowed.

Featuring a 25-acre lake as its centerpiece, Dunbar Lake Park spans nearly 200 acres in northwest Lubbock. It contains a swimming area that is open seasonally along with fishing opportunities for crappie, bass, bluegill, and catfish.

Visitors can walk or jog along 5 miles of trails that loop the park and lake. Much of the trail is 10 feet wide and paved, allowing space for pedestrians, cyclists, and runners. Other amenities include tennis courts, soccer fields, picnic sites, and a scenic covered bridge.

The park is an excellent spot to view wildlife like herons, egrets, turtles, and more. Annual passes for fishing and swimming are very affordable. With its natural beauty and many recreation options, Dunbar Lake Park is popular for outdoor enthusiasts.

Hodges Community Center

Name and Location: Hodges Community Center is located in central Lubbock, Texas.

History and Significance: Hodges Center opened in 1951. It provides recreational programs and facilities for Lubbock residents.

What to Expect: Indoor amenities include gymnasium, fitness center, dance/aerobics studios, meeting rooms, and indoor playground. Various classes and leagues offered.

Visitor Information: Open Monday-Thursday 7am-9pm, Friday 7am-5:30pm, Saturday 9am-2pm. Facility use fees apply.

The Hodges Community Center is a recreational facility owned by Texas Tech University and located 1 mile west of campus. It spans 47 acres and provides an impressive array of amenities.

Outdoor options at Hodges include lighted tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a disc golf course, and fields for soccer, flag football, lacrosse, and more. The center also contains an off-leash dog park with separate areas for large and small breeds.

Indoors, Hodges has a fitness center, gymnasium, natatorium, indoor track, multi-use activity rooms, and a teaching kitchen for classes. Visitors can play racquetball, basketball, and pickleball or take advantage of personal training services. Whether you want to be active outdoors or indoors, Hodges Community Center has something for all ages.

South Plains Mall Playground

Name and Location: The indoor playground is located inside South Plains Mall in southwest Lubbock, Texas.

History and Significance: The mall opened this playground in 2015 to provide family recreation in a climate-controlled environment.

What to Expect: A large playground structure with slides, tunnels, bridges and climbing areas. Toddler play zone available. Tables for parents.

Visitor Information: Open during mall hours. Playground access is free. Parents must supervise children.

This large playground located outside the South Plains Mall features fun themed elements modeled after the West Texas landscape. Kids can climb on versions of natural rock formations found around Lubbock.

The playground incorporates slides, tunnels, platforms, and obstacles made from stone, wood, and metal materials. South Plains Mall also hosts fun events at the playground periodically like magic shows. Parents can let kids play while they relax on benches in shaded seating areas.

With options suitable for toddlers up to pre-teens, the playground sparks imaginative and interactive play. The mall setting also makes it a convenient place to stop and let kids burn off some extra energy. This playground’s creative design provides a whimsical outdoor experience.

Urbanovsky Park

Name and Location: Urbanovsky Park is located in north Lubbock, Texas near Texas Tech University.

History and Significance: Urbanovsky Park opened in 1953. Its scenic canyon location has made it a popular gathering place.

What to Expect: The park features walking trails, a scenic footbridge overlooking Yellowhouse Canyon, picnic sites, playgrounds, and a disc golf course.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from 6am-11pm. Access is free. Leashed pets allowed.

Found along scenic Yellowhouse Canyon, Urbanovsky Park contains hiking trails with access to the canyon floor and the Yellowhouse Creek. Hikers may spot native wildlife including roadrunners, coyotes, skunks, foxes, and hawks.

The canyon has interesting rock features and open vistas along the trails. Visitors can descend over 400 feet in elevation from the rim down to the canyon base. Some trail sections involve moderately strenuous hiking, while others are more leisurely.

Benches along the trails allow hikers to pause and admire views of the lush canyon. Mountain bikers also use Urbanovsky Park’s trails for cross-country riding. As one of Lubbock’s more natural parks, Urbanovsky offers a peaceful retreat.

Charles Adams Studio Project and Lubbock Moonlight Musicals

Name and Location: Located inside the Charles Adams Studio Project in Mackenzie Park, Lubbock, Texas.

History and Significance: Founded in 1978, the Moonlight Musicals provide quality live summer music theater productions.

What to Expect: Broadway musicals and comedies performed outdoors June through August. Bring seating. Concessions available.

Visitor Information: Tickets $15-60. Purchase online or at the box office. Phone number 806-762-3233.

This organization partners with the City of Lubbock to produce musicals and other theatrical performances throughout the summer. Productions take place at the Charles Adams Amphitheater located in Mackenzie Park.

The outdoor amphitheater can seat up to 2,500 guests. Before performances, visitors can spread out blankets for picnicking under the stars. This creates a fun, relaxed atmosphere the whole family can enjoy.

The theater puts on high-quality Broadway musicals like Beauty and the Beast, Grease, and Seussical. Ticket prices are reasonable, making the shows affordable entertainment. Lubbock Moonlight Musicals have been a summertime tradition since 1976.

Joyland Amusement Park

Name and Location: Joyland Amusement Park is located inside Mackenzie Park in Lubbock, Texas.

History and Significance: Joyland opened in 1951 and is the last remaining historic amusement park in the region. Generations have enjoyed its rides and games.

What to Expect: Rides for all ages including roller coasters, ferris wheel, carousel, go-karts, miniature golf and arcade. Concessions available.

Visitor Information: Open March-October. Hours vary by season. Admission $5-25 for unlimited rides. Discount days offered.

As an iconic local landmark, no list of Lubbock’s top parks would be complete without Joyland Amusement Park. Located within Mackenzie Park, Joyland has been operating since 1951 and spans over 35 acres.

The park contains both modern and classic rides including roller coasters, bumper cars, a log flume, go-karts, a carousel, the Tilt-a-Whirl, and a 100-foot Ferris wheel. Families can play together at the arcade and mini-golf course. Tots have dedicated play areas tailored to their age group.

Joyland hosts special events like Fright Fest in October and Holiday in the Park during winter months. Affordable season passes allow frequent visitors to enjoy the park all summer long. With its charming retro atmosphere and family-friendly fun, Joyland is a cherished Lubbock destination.


The many excellent parks of Lubbock provide a wealth of recreational opportunities for the city’s residents and visitors. The diverse amenities, scenery, and facilities allow people to enjoy quality time outdoors engaging in their favorite activities. From lakeside trails to community gardens and creative playgrounds, Lubbock’s parks have something special to offer everyone.

With both large signature parks and smaller neighborhood greenspaces, Lubbock has prioritized creating public spaces for the community. Families can gather for picnics, join recreational leagues, attend outdoor concerts, swim and boat during summer, or just relax in nature. The parks foster exercise, social connection, and fun.

Whether you prefer peaceful open spaces or bustling playgrounds, Lubbock’s parks welcome the public to enjoy the outdoors. The mild climate and natural beauty of the West Texas plains shines through at each unique park. When seeking to get outside and be active while also relaxing in nature, Lubbock’s outstanding parks have plenty to offer residents and visitors alike.

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