The original land on which Mendez Recreation Center is located was acquired by a bond purchase in 1933. The present center opened in 1972 and was renamed after Rodolfo "Rudy" Mendez, a pillar of East Austin and former program specialist. The existing facility was built in 1972 through matching funds from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and Model Cities funds. The facility includes a main building, playground, outdoor stage, tennis court, covered outdoor basketball court, picnic tables, and is located just off the Hike & Bike Trail. Satellite facilities adjacent to Festival Beach include tennis courts and lighted ball fields.
The Rodolfo "Rudy" Mendez Recreation Center offers a wide variety of programs for youth, adults, seniors as well as fun community events throughout the year. Youth programs include After School Program, Girl Scouts (Troop 2407), youth sport clinics and leagues, Toddler sport programs, out-of-school-time camps, summer camp and more! Adult programs include a FREE Seniors program for 50+ adults, Coed and women’s kickball, sport leagues and tournaments, ceramics classes and a FREE core exercise class. Mendez Recreation Center also offers Teen Camp for teens ages 12-15 during the summer. Community events include Movie under the Stars during the summer, Community Easter Egg Hunt, Cinco De Mayo Fiesta, 4th of July Celebration, Community Halloween Carnival, Dog Extravaganza, Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Night Before Christmas with Santa and Youth Valentines Dance. One event every month to bring the community together for a good time at the park!
The Parks and Recreation Department is committed to offering programs that foster Youth Development in a safe and caring environment. We believe in creating opportunities for youth that expose them to critical thinking and leadership development while helping explore interest through enhancements, arts, and active play. Come and experience the spectrum of opportunities with the Parks and Recreation Youth Programs.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department offers year-round co-ed youth sports that teach fundamentals and stress sportsmanship. Our seasonal leagues provide a safe recreational setting structured for a beginner to intermediate player. Lead by volunteer coaches, games are noncompetitive in order to emphasize teamwork and physical fitness.
The Parks and Recreation Department is committed to offering programs that encourage Youth Development through outdoor exploration, the arts, critical thinking, and leadership development.
Paint & Jam
Teen Turn Ups
Friday Night Hoops
Totally Cool Totally Art (TCTA)
The Parks and Recreation Department is committed to offering programs that foster Youth Development in a safe and caring environment. We believe in creating opportunities to help explore interest through enhancements, arts, and active play.
Toddler Fundamentals and Fun League
Adult and 50+ Programs
The Parks and Recreation Department offers a variety of Senior Programs and Services for adults and people 50 years of age and older. We are committed to providing an environment that encourages active and healthy lifestyles through recreational and educational programs and services.
The Rodolfo "Rudy" Mendez Recreation Center was named to honor a pillar of East Austin, Rudy Mendez. Learn more about the process and about Rudy.
Rodolfo "Rudy" Mendez, born in Austin in 1944, studied dance and performing arts in New York and Spain. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile and Costa Rica, touring with each country's national ballet company and developing performing arts curriculum and programs for youth. In 1978, he returned to Austin and founded the Ballet East Dance Company to provide a platform for young choreographers and dancers and to develop vigorous outreach to Black and Hispanic communities in East Austin. From 1978 to 2000, Mr. Mendez worked for the Parks and Recreation Department as a program specialist at Metz Recreation Center. In 1989, he developed the city-wide program "Dare to Dance," recognized nationally. Mr. Mendez also created the Folkloric Dance and Mentoring Program to encourage students of living in East Austin to graduate high school. Rudy Mendez died in 2019.