Stillhouse Hollow Lake and Dana Peak Park
Killeen is blessed to have not one but two lakes nearby and very accessible.
Stillhouse Hollow Lake is the slightly larger one, featuring the most opportunities for a small amount of boating, hiking, biking, horseriding, and camping (I hear that Belton Lake, consequently, is better for fishing).
The largest and most accessible park is Dana Peak Park in Harker Heights, perfect for easy access to the water, BBQ, and summer fun.
Lions Club Waterpark
Lions Club Park has quite a few year-round amenities like a fitness center, soccer and baseball fields, and not one, not two, but three different playgrounds.
But when the Texas heat is at its worst, that is when the park is at its best, as it is home to a very refreshing water park called the Aquatics Center.
BLORA (pronounced “blora”) is the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, run with military-like precision because the military owns it. It is part of the Fort Hood MWR amenities but is also open to the community at larger.
It features a swimming area and hosts numerous events like fishing, Oktoberfest, BOSS events, and, most famously, the BLORA “Nature in Lights” during Christmastime.
Hancock and Hanna Springs Pool
Lampasas has two, very different pool experiences to offer.
The first is Hancock Pool, a spring fed pool that is chilly all year round and formerly (likely currently?) the site of more than one baptism.
Meanwhile, Hanna Springs pool is a more classic summer pool setup with a water slide, warmer water, and diving boards.
This is likely the furthest destination on this list at about a two hour drive. But we would be remiss to neglect sharing this experience.
New Braunfels, along the Guadalupe River, is famous for summer tubing.
There are several different companies you can get with to help serve your tubing needs, or just DIY it! Either way, you’re sure to have lots of company on the river.
Volente Beach Water Park and Restaurant
Volente Beach Water Park and Restaurant is nestled against Lake Travis. Their name is very descriptive, as it features a beach, water park, and restaurant. It’s ideal for group parties.
It even has overnight accommodations if you want to make a weekend out of it.
They also have a “Jaws on the Water” event which is exactly what it sounds like: watch the movie “Jaws” outdoors while floating on the water.
Back to New Braunfels and water entertainment, Schlitterbahn is perhaps the closest full water park to the Killeen area.
It has all the rides and attractions you would expect from a Hurricane Harbor or other major water park.
Local Splash Pads
Killeen / Belton
Enough of the stuff 2 hours away! Let’s get back local!
There are a lot of splash pads in the area that are perfect for a morning or afternoon’s fun.
There is one at Long Branch Park, the HOA at Yowell Ranch has one for residents, and Belton has two at Harris Community Splash Pad and South Wall Tiger Splash Pad.
Summer Fun Water Park
Belton has a nice water park at Summer Fun Water Park! It features a lazy river, slides, and a kiddie pool for tots 2 and under.
They also have an adult night with live music and teen night if you are looking for a more particular experience.
You can rent cabanas, party rooms, or pavillions.
Chalk Ridge Falls Park
Chalk Ridge Falls Park is a trail along the Lampasas River as it is released from the Stillhouse Hollow dam.
The trail crosses the river several times over bridges. But, if you prefer, there are also some natural swimming holes below that are popular in the summer.
Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs Pool is located in historic Zilker Park in Austin. It is a spring fed pool that keeps very cold all year round.
Some people prefer the warmer, grassy knolls surrounding the pool for sunbathing, where, full warning, topless sunbathing is not uncommon.
And while on the topic of toplessness and Weird Austin, if that is your thing, Hippie Hollow is another Austin area destination that would count as “water-themed” for voyeurs, exhibitionists, and naturists over 18 years of age.
BSR Surf Ranch
The Gulf of Mexico is the nearest ocean, a 4-hour drive from Killeen, TX.
But the nearest place you can surf breaking waves? That’s just an hour away in Waco, TX.
The BSR Surf Ranch in Waco is a highly touted wave pool resort that should keep your inner beach bro alive and happy.
And remember if you are swimming with Mother Nature – we do have alligators.