I recently got a recommendation for the Austin Nature and Science Center, and since my dad is visiting this week, I thought it would be a good time to check it out. We got there a little early and took a stroll down to Lady Bird Lake where Hannah wanted to chase all the strollers, pet all the dogs, run in front of bicycles and jump in the lake.
Meghan and Cody met us there, so we loaded up the Bobs and headed up the switchbacks to the Nature Center entrance.
We were glad for the strollers because it was a fair distance and would have taken a long time for little legs. The inside of the Nature Center has a hands-on room with skulls, feathers, rocks, bones, horns, turtle shells and fur. The two-year-olds didn’t think this was very interesting.
Outside, there were animals that are native to Central Texas. Nothing exotic but a good up-close look at regional wildlife – bobcat, coyote, foxes, skunk, etc. There was also a building with local reptiles and amphibians. The fish and turtles were the biggest hits with the kids. Back outside, we went through the “Bird of Prey” area which had a few hawks and owls. There were four species of owls which I think is more than you usually see at a zoo.
The kids’ favorite part came at the end – the Dino Pit. Basically, this is the world’s awesomest sand box. It is HUGE and full of shovels, brushes and fake dinosaur bones.
I could see that the Nature Center is going to be more fun when Hannah is older, but there was a lot she was able to enjoy now. And it’s all FREE! We were there for an hour and a half, so it was a fun morning activity in our (finally) fall weather.