Overview: Historic Zilker Park is Austin's jewel of a nature center covering 358 acres. Features include a 3-acre spring-fed swimming pool,... more »
Historic Zilker Park is Austin's jewel of a nature center covering 358 acres. Features include a 3-acre spring-fed swimming pool,... more » miniature train ride, nature center complete with dinosaur digs and native birds, mammals and other creatures, and a child-friendly nature and sculpture garden across the street.
No visit to Austin is complete without a day spent exploring all Zilker park has to offer.
Live entertainment including Shakespeare in the Park and Broadway musicals performed by Zilker Theatre Productions gives visitors a chance to enjoy top notch entertainment under the stars at the Beverley S. Sheffield Hillside Theater. Bring a blanket, cooler and kick back while you watch top-notch entertainment on a pay-what-you-wish basis. The world-renowned Austin City Limits festival rocks the park each year as well. less «
Tips: Austin's weather is unpredictable-except for summer when it is HOT. Austin has an average of 111 days when temperatures are... more » above 90F (32C), so bring sunscreen, a hat and plenty of water.
Don't miss the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in Barton Springs Pool, remember to bring your bathing suit, a towel, and swim shoes if you have them (the algae on the bottom of the natural limestone pool is sometimes slippery).
There is a concession stand inside the park for a snack or light meal. May through September you can enjoy Philadelphia water ice in the park at Jim-Jim's Water Ice stand near Barton Springs Pool, south gate. Made with real fruit and fine ice, nothing is more refreshing on a sweltering summer day. Barton Springs Road, which cuts through the park, has many excellent restaurant choices as you head back into downtown. Enjoy Tex-Mex at Chuy's and Baby Acapulco's, barbeque at Green Mesquite BBQ & More, Italian fare at Romeo's or Vinny's Italian Cafe, burgers at Sandy's Frozen Custard & Root Beer and many more choices within a mile of Zilker Park.
Parking: Parking for Zilker Park is available at the main entrance at 2200 Barton Springs Road.
Getting there: Capitol Metro, Austin's bus system, makes regular stops at Zilker Park. Parking is also available if you choose to drive. less «
Meet some of Texas' critters, including live invertebrates, reptiles, mammals, amphibians and birds-including raptors--at the Austin Nature and Science Center. ANSC provides loving care to the animals, many of which were injured or orphaned and unable to live in the wild.
Don't miss the Dino Pit, where children learn how paleontologists find and ... Moreexcavate fossils. Visitors enter the Dino Pit via an impressive 8-foot by 6-foot (2.4 meter by 1.8 meter) mammoth rib cage cast in bronze and learn hands-on as they dig for casts of fossil specimens from the collections of the Texas Natural Science Center. Nineteen oil paintings depict the creatures children will find as they explore the pit. Walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs in the dinosaur trackways, enjoy a fossil field collection display and relax on the nearby observation deck.
301 Nature Center Drive
Austin, Texas 78746
Get lost in the lush gardens of Zilker Botanical Gardens. Spring brings vibrant Texas bluebonnets and Texas Mountain Laurels dripping with clusters of purple flowers that smell exactly like grape Kool-Aid.
Each season has its glory and the Austin Area Garden Council, made up of 31 clubs representing 1,500 members, has carefully orchestrated... More each garden to showcase flora at its finest. Will it be the exotic specimens in the Taniguchi Japanese Garden, the fossilized dinosaur footsteps, the formal rose beds, waterfalls, koi-filled ponds or antique blacksmith shed complete with tools?
Because Austin is on a major butterfly and bird migration byway, visitors in the spring and fall delight in migrating birds and butterflies enjoying the 31 acres of gardens alongside them.
Children ages 3-12: $1
Under 3: Free
Daily 7am-5:30pm November-February
Daily 7am-7pm March-October
2200 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78746
Kick back and let the engineer do all the work on your 25-minute tour of Zilker Park alongside Barton Creek and Town Lake on the Zilker Zephyr. Although only about 4 feet (1.2 meters) high, the cars on this miniature train are big enough for a child and adult. Moving at a leisurely pace allows you to keep an eye out for turtles basking under the... More bridge.
Weather permitting, trains leave the depot every hour during the week and every 30-40 minutes on the weekend. The depot is conveniently located next to a playground which will keep kids busy while waiting for the conductor to begin boarding.
Note: This is a cash-only attraction. There is an ATM conveniently located inside the depot.
2100 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704
Phone: (512) 478-8286Less
Once considered sacred and used for purification rituals by the Tonkawa Native American tribe, Barton Springs Pool now serves as Cooling Off Central in Austin. Take a dip in this natural limestone spring-fed pool which is a refreshing 68F (20C)and relax afterwards on the grass slopes surrounding the pool.
Keep an eye out for the Barton Springs... More Salamander, an endangered species, which exists only in the pool and a few surrounding environs.
Changing rooms and showers are provided, but remember to bring a towel. Algae on the bottom of the pool is slippery at times, so swim shoes are good to have. Fitness swimmers arrive early to swim the 1,000 foot laps. Lifeguards come on duty at 8am; before then, swim at your own risk.
Austin is known as a pet-friendly city; downstream from the pool is a small falls where you can see people and their pets enjoying a dip free of charge.
Children 12-17: $2
Children 11 and under and seniors over 65: $1
Closed Thursdays from 9am-7pm for maintenance.
2101 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704
A museum that breaks the “Shhh! Don't Touch!” rule by encouraging visitors to fully engage with the treasured works of art on display. The museum is the home of a collection by 20th century American sculptor Charles Umlauf and other contemporary sculptors.
Outside in the gardens, visitors are encouraged to interact with the sculptures and thanks... More to a special wax that protects the bronzes, even touch them. Watch the water flow between the two ponds, listen to the whispering of the gentle falls, relax and enjoy the serenity of the grounds.
Bring your camera-the pairing of the beautiful landscaping and stunning sculptures combine to make beautiful photographs.
Children under 6: Free
Sat-Sun: 1-4 pm
605 Robert E. Lee Road
Austin, Texas 78704
Once upon a time three renowned Austin writers met every afternoon at Barton Springs to create what has been dubbed "Austin's first literary salon." Roy Bedichek, J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb met every afternoon, weather permitting, on a rock at the edge of the Barton Springs Pool that Bedichek christened "Philosophers' Rock".
... More Installed in 1994, this larger-than-life bronze sculpture immortalizes their friendship. Sculptor Glenna Goodacre, known for her image of Sacajawea on the US dollar coin and the Women in Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, created this monument to friendship, intellectual companionship and love of nature.Less