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.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Lifestyle

Two Austin swimming holes make list of Best Places to Swim
Two Austin swimming holes make list of Best Places to Swim

Barton Springs made musician Loudon Wainwright III’s list of Best Places to Swim. RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN   Two Austin swimming holes made a list of the Best Places for a Swim in a New York Times article penned by touring musician Loudon Wainwright III this weekend. RELATED: Loudon Wainwright III writes...
5 thoughts on this first day of school
5 thoughts on this first day of school

Are you ready for this day? DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN This has been a weird year with many school districts going back to school on different days. Today, though, students in Austin, Eanes, Bastrop, Manor, Liberty Hill and Burnet districts head back to the classroom. If you have one of those students, how did your morning go?...
Seven tips to help you graduate from college in four years
Seven tips to help you graduate from college in four years

SEATTLE — It may sound counterintuitive, but freshmen college students who take a full load of reasonably demanding courses are more likely to graduate from college on time. That’s part of the message Western Washington University has been conveying to its students in a campaign called “15 to Finish,” which encourages students...
How to shop for a back-to-school computer
How to shop for a back-to-school computer

It’s back-to-school shopping season, so it might be time to shop for a laptop. But with so many different types and ever-updated models, how to know what’s best? Here are some things to think through. — What will the laptop be used for? A student going into graphic design, for example, might use it for different things than a budding...
Camp at a Virginia college shows girls a future in STEM
Camp at a Virginia college shows girls a future in STEM

Jhalak Singh slipped her boat, created out of aluminum foil, into a plastic container filled with water. Then she watched as Amber Smith-St. Louis began to fill it with blue marbles, counting aloud each time one dropped in. The little boat didn’t sink under the weight of the marbles. Turns out Jhalak had fashioned a pretty strong little craft...
More Stories