When in Round Rock, plunge in

Multimillion-dollar Rock’N River Water Park expansion doubles size, capacity.


Lindsey Zimmerman isn’t so sure about this.

She peers over the edge of the 12-foot-tall platform she’s standing on and down to the expansive turquoise lagoon below.

“How do you do it?” Lindsey, 8, yells to her big sister on the other side of the pool.

“Just jump!” 10-year-old Kylee yells back.

Sigh. Sisters.

It’s Thursday afternoon and the doors have just opened to Rock’N River Water Park in Round Rock, which is still freshly scrubbed and sparkling from the multimillion-dollar renovation it received earlier this year that doubled its physical size and increased capacity from 600 to 1,200.

RELATED: 6 water parks to visit across Texas before summer ends

The lazy river, frog slide and train-themed water feature that enticed visitors before the renovation are still there, joined by new features such as a humongous tipping bucket that provides monsoonlike downpours in the Splashville water playground and a rock wall where there’s no need for a harness — the soft pool below will break your fall. And, of course, that 12-foot platform.

There’s also a new Hitching Post food truck circle that includes carnival-style concessions, a Mexican grill and a snow cone stand with treats as sweet as the pop music blaring from the stereo.

Lindsey and Kylee both like the music here. They’re visiting the Austin area for a family wedding, but if they were home in Corpus Christi they’d probably be listening to the same songs as they watched YouTube crafting tutorials — Kylee is in the process of transforming a Tic Tac container into pencil sharpener.

At home, they also enjoy jumping off a dock into a nearby pond, say their parents, Burt and Laura Zimmerman. Jumping off this platform shouldn’t be all that different.

But it is.

“It takes your breath away,” Kylee, a platform veteran now, admits. “Just close your eyes and think that you’re skydiving. You’ll touch the water soon enough.”

RELATED: How does it feel to jump off a 10-meter platform?

At the top, Lindsey is still contemplating her options. She could go down the adjacent Drop Slide, which has a raised chute that expels riders into the air 4 feet above the surface of the water. Or she could turn around and go back down the stairs — but she’d probably never live that down.

Clad in a rash guard that says “Girl PWR,” Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold” playing in the background, Lindsey decides it’s time.

She walks confidently to the edge and jumps, letting out a small scream before plunging into the water.

Then she joins her family on the side of the pool and watches the woman behind her approach the edge.

The woman looks down. And hesitates. Lindsey can relate.

“Do it!” she yells encouragingly. “Do it!”

Just like that, the student becomes the teacher.

Where should we go next?

Austin360 Snapshots, an occasional short feature, highlights stories from Central Texas. Have a suggestion for a place we should visit? Email kfinan@statesman.com.

IF YOU GO

Rock’N River Water Park is at 3300 Palm Valley Blvd. in Round Rock. It’s open daily in the summer from noon to 7 p.m. except Wednesdays, when it’s closed for cleaning. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for children 3-17 and seniors and $5 for children 2 and under. Learn more at roundrocktexas.gov.



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