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The amazing Zilker Botanical Garden overlooks the Zilker Park fields bordering Barton Springs Road. The garden is actually comprised of several different gardens, including the Cactus and Succulent, Xeriscape, Herb and Fragrance, Rose, Azalea, Butterfly and Taniguchi Gardens. Taniguchi is a beautiful Japanese landscape with a waterfall, running stream, lily ponds and wooden bridges. The lush, peaceful grounds are commonly perused by artists and writers searching for inspiration, and by others just looking for solitude amid the city.
Spend a day with the kids that is both fun and educational — head over to Zilker Park and take in the fantastic wildlife at the Nature Center. Albino raccoons, barn owls, snakes and other furry creatures roam about the petting zoo. While escaping the urban life, wander down winding trails and past the beautiful pond. Even though this park is in the middle of the city, nature permeates the surroundings, making every adult feel like a kid again.
This museum has grown into one of the most fabulous experiences for children in Austin. Find out about the development of children from birth to adolescence, climb a "time tower," and learn about everything from dinosaurs to computers. Special programs for children and their parents are regular parts of the museum's curriculum. Take tiny tots to the 2-and-under special explore time, or learn about multimedia with your teen. With excellent specialty programs and wonderful exhibits, this is a museum the whole family can enjoy.
Founded by seven women, this area was used as an outdoor laboratory for science classes and teacher training. Located on 220 acres (89 hectares) of land it offers 2.5 miles (4.02 kilometeres) of trails reserved for pedestrians. No bikes or pets are allowed; neither is picnicking or camping. This is a true wilderness preserve, and many bird watchers come to catch a glimpse of the Black Capped Vierus or Golden Cheek Warbler. Visitors are asked to donate a voluntary fee.
Ever wondered what life was like on a 17th-century farm? Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms is where you can relive all of those days gone by at the carefully simulated theme areas. Whether it is an 1860s German Immigrant Farm, an 1880s Cotton Planter Farm, or an 1870s Texan Farm, all of these can be revisited thanks to the brilliant reconstruction of the architects. Check their website for more information on free admission days, site tours, exhibitions, historical reenactments and special days. The farms are partly wheelchair accessible.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center was established by Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady of the United States from 1963-1969. This fabulous garden bearing her name brims with native Texas plants in courtyards, terraces, arbors and meadows. Along with a fantastic children's center, visitors can explore a visitor's gallery, observation tower, cafe, gift store and nature trails. Enjoy award-winning architecture and fabulous scenery in this wonderful garden spot.
Enjoy a day at this educational, family friendly wildlife preserve. Austin Zoo, which is located on land that originally housed a goat ranch and started out with only a small selection of animals and has since grown into a full-fledged wild animal sanctuary and zoo. See Bengal tigers, lemurs, a butterfly garden and more! The picnic areas are perfect for a birthday party or company event.