Outdoor Fun

Your 3 Day New Braunfels Itinerary for Families

Prince Solms Park. 3 day New Braunfels itinerary
A weekend in New Braunfels offers cool rivers to explore and German heritage to sample. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

New Braunfels, in-between Austin and San Antonio, offers quaint shopping, outdoor activities galore and German-inspired cuisine. Spend a few days riding the river and enjoy the cool water of the Comal River. Or walk through quaint Gruene, minutes from New Braunfels, home of the oldest dance hall in Texas. Read on for a three-day New Braunfels itinerary for families.

Three Day New Braunfels Itinerary for Families

Schlitterbahn. Best Waterpark in Texas for families
Beat the summer heat in New Braunfels at Schlitterbahn along the shores of the Comal River. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Schlitterbahn Water Park–Day One

Start your getaway at the best water park in Texas for families. SO big, it’s hard to do it all in one day. Since it’s actually two water parks, kids can float the rivers, race down slides and ride the waves for days. And I recommend two days.

Spend your first day in the Original Section of Schlitterbahn. It opened nearly 40 years ago and uses the spring-fed water from the Comal River. In a series of chutes, use a traditional black inner tube to explore throughout the park. As a bonus the majority of this park is shaded by century-old Cypress trees.

Schlitterbahn Water Park allows personal coolers, packed with snacks. And the parking is free. Open weekends during the spring and fall. And open every day during the summer. Located at 400 N. Liberty Ave. Admission and hours vary.

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Schlitterbahn Water Park

Krause's Biergarten. 3 day New Braunfels itinerary
Find a spot at one of Krause’s Biergarten for a local brew and a plate of German classics. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Krause’s Biergarten and Café

After a day of sliding and splashing, sit down at a long table in a traditional German Biergarten. Enter Krause’s Biergarten and find a hall with soaring ceilings draped with flags. Grab a spot at one of the endless long tables and the attentive staff will help you navigate the beer menu.

With a wall of beer tabs with local, seasonal or traditional German brews, the deciding isn’t easy. And for a bite to eat find a menu of German classics paired with Texas favorites.

Outside the hall, find an outdoor space with a stage for the frequent live music. For those needing to escape the heat, Krause’s offers an indoor space. Though I dined in the middle of summer and loved the outdoor space.

Located at 148 S. Castell Ave, Krause’s Biergarten and Café is open every day and serves breakfast. Open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Schlitterbahn Water Park–Day Two

Naegelin’s Bakery

Baking up goodies since 1868, Naegelins’ Bakery is a New Braunfels institution so start your second day at their bakery. German immigrants settled the area in the 1840s and soon after the bakery opened up shop. Now the oldest bakery in Texas and still at the same location in downtown New Braunfels.

With cases full of German favorites, try the Smiley Faces cookies in several colors. The Gingerbread men are a favorite and German pretzels offer a balance of sweet and spice.Its strudel is an old family recipe. Find sweet and savory kolaches too.

Located at 129 S. Seguin Ave, Naegelin’s Bakery is open every day during the summer from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed on Sundays during the school year.

Master Blaster. Best Water Park in Texas for families.
The Master Blaster offers some big thrills at Blastenhoff. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Schlitterbahn

Another day and another water park to explore. After spending the first day tubing old-school at Schlitterbahn West head to Schlitterbahn East. Packed with all the latest in water rides, kids run from one side to another.

Broken up in parts–Blastenhoff and Surfenburg, Schlitterbahn packs in the rivers, slides, a wave pool and a boogie board attraction. With a pair of water coasters and the Boogie Bahn, a ride mimicking an ocean wave, the kids will be wiped out by the end of the day. Then take the longest river ride in the U.S. to get from one area to the next.

A free shuttle runs in-between the parks and park for free. If visiting for two days, consider a two-day pass.

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Guide to Texas Swimming Holes 

Green Dance Hall. 3 day New Braunfels itinerary
Finish up the day catching a show at the oldest dance hall in Texas. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Gruene Dance Hall

After splashing, soak up some authentic Texas vibes. Gruene Hall is the oldest continually operating dance hall in Texas. With live music most nights find everything from a local acts to household names. Willie Nelson, George Strait, Garth Brooks and Lyle Lovett have all been on its stage.

Originally built in 1878, the building is still cooled by opening up the windows. Not much has changed with the bar in the front and the stage, dance floor and pool tables in the back. And the venue offers an outdoor area with a stage too.

Located at 1281 Gruene Road and open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. then Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Explore the Parks of New Braunfels–Day Three

After spending two days riding the chutes and waves of Schlitterbahn, explore the city parks in New Braunfels. First stop, breakfast at a locals favorite.

Buttermilk Cafe

Head over to the local favorite, Buttermilk Café. Get hearty portions of family favorites and the biscuits are tender and soft. Serving up large salads for lunch along with serious sandwiches.

Located at 1324 East Common Street, it’s open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. serving breakfast all-day.

Landa Park

Landa Park Train. 3 day New Braunfels itinerary
The Landa Park miniature train is a crowd pleaser. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Landa Park Miniature Train

My kids are teens and tweens but we still ride all the miniature trains we can find. For $3 a person, take the train to tour Landa Park.

Open every day Memorial Day to mid-August, Spring Break in March, Thanksgiving Break and Christmas Break from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Open weekends only in September and May.

Landa Park Boathouse

Take a boat ride with the kids, find paddle boats at the Landa Park Boathouse. Open daily from Memorial Day to mid-August and Spring Break in March. Admission is $3 per passenger. Open Monday through Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Open weekends only from late March to the end of May and mid-August to Labor Day.

Landa Park Aquatic Center

Landa Park offers a Olympic-sized swimming pool, a free spring-fed wading pool along with a bathhouse. Though the spring-fed pool is tops for cooling off.

Landa Park’s Spring-Fed Pool

The Comal Springs feed the pool originally built in the early 1900s. Now it includes a two-story slide and water depth from zero-entry to 9-feet. See how kids used to keep it cool back before air-conditioning.

Open daily from Memorial Day to mid-August from noon to 7 p.m. And open weekends only from mid-May to Memorial Day and mid-August until Labor Day. Weekday adult admission $6, kids 3 to 12 $5 and free under 3 and add $2 for each on weekend days.

Prince Solms Park. 3 day New Braunfels itinerary
Spend the day at Prince Solms Park and explore the Comal River. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Prince Solms Park

Visit The City Chute at Prince Solms Park for an authentic New Braunfels experience. It’s a water slide carved into the side of the New Braunfels Comal River dam.

Located at 100 Liebscher Dr. the park’s tubing rentals are open from the first week of May until Labor Day. Admission is $5 per person with tube and life vests rentals available. Open Monday from noon to 7 p.m. and Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Parking in Prince Solms Park is $20 per vehicle from May 1 to Labor Day. The river remains open for recreation year-round.

Gruene Historic District. Three day New Braunfels Itinerary.
The Gruene Historic District offers 19th century building along with the oldest dance hall in Texas. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Walking the Gruene Historic District

After visiting Gruene Hall for an evening show head back to the area during the day to stroll and shop. With two main streets and a convenient free parking area, it’s an easy area to explore on foot.

Start atThe Grapevine, a wine tasting room with an outdoor patio area on Hunter Road. Continue to the authenticGruene General Store, with an amazing selection of treats including fudge and old-fashioned candy.

Then head for the Gruene water tower near the entrance of the Grist Mill restaurant. Thencontinue down Gruene Road passGruene Mansion Inn Bed and Breakfast. Originally built by one of the town’s founders, it’s a 1872 Eastlake Victorian. Behind the main house, find additional historic buildings owned by the bed and breakfast.

Continue shopping in restored buildings, finding specialty clothing shops and antiques. Cross Gruene Road and loop back to Hunter Road to findGruene Antique CompanyandGruene Outfitters, a specialty shop for outdoor sports.

For art collectors, findThe Barn Handmade Potteryon Gruene Road offering ceramics and fine arts from local artistis.

The Grist Mill Restaurant. Three day New Braunfels itinerary for families.
The Grist Mill Restaurant offers family favorites in a restored cotton gin. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Where to Eat in Gruene

In the shadow of theGruene Water Tower, find theGrist Mill Restaurant. On a bluff overlooking the Guadalupe River, the Grist Mill is all that remains of a 1878 cotton gin. Enjoy American classics on the shady multi-level patio.

Next to the Gruene Mansion Inn, findRhea’s Ice Cream Shopfor a quick snack.

For late night eating, try Mozie’s Restaurant, across from Gruene Hall. The shoestrings fries are a top-notch. My kids loved the Adult Grilled Cheese.

Where to Stay in New Braunfels

During my visit, I stayed at the Resort at Schlitterbahn inside of the water park. I enjoyed a studio overlooking the Comal River with a kitchenette and a dining table for six.

Completely updated with vintage charm, my unit had two queen beds along with a sleeper sofa. Keeping its original windows and decorated with old photos from the park, I loved the old doors it features as headboards. And there’s even shiplap on an accent wall.

The bathroom features white subway tile with standard bath fixtures. And the kitchen offers everything to make simple meals for the family, like dishes and pots and pans. Along with the all important coffee maker find a full range and refrigerator too.

Outside find a picnic table with a BBQ pit to grill up your favorites. And the view can’t be beat.

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Explore a quaint German-Inspired town in-between San Antonio and Austin for a long weekend of family fun. Got all the details like where to stay, where to eat and what to do when visiting New Braunfels, Texas. #Texas #NewBraunfels  Where to go in Central Texas for the weekend | 3 Day Itinerary for New Braunfels

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