- Category: City Family Weekend
The Austin Children's Museum is a must see. They are dedicated to creating an innovative learning experience that will inspire the next generation. Founded in 1983 as a "museum without walls" the Children's Museum moved to downtown Austin at the Dell Discovery Center as a result of a $4.8 million expansion campaign.
Their unique rotating exhibits include a hands-on experience designed to hone spacial skills through geometry. "123 Geometry Lane" is up until September 2012 and designed to emphasize that math is everywhere.
Permanent exhibits include "Ready, Set, Roll" and "Global City." "Ready, Set, Roll" is designed to teach children about gravity, acceleration and friction using golf balls.
"Global City" is a role-playing exhibit where children can explore how people work, communicate, and thrive in a diverse global city.
Admission is $4 per person over the age of 3. From 4-5pm on Sunday afternoons admission is free. Check out http://www.austinkids.org for more information.
Another favourite is the Bat Bridge. The South Congress bridge is home to the largest urban bat colony in the nation ranging from 750,000 bats to 1.5 million bats depending on the time of year. The narrow, but deep, openings in the bridge (constructed in 1980) are a perfect "hang out" for the bats.
Almost every night of the week throughout the year you can head on down to the Bat Bridge and watch the bats fly out from under the bridge at dusk. Head out of downtown on Congress Avenue and the bridge crosses Lady Bird Lake (which may look suspiciously like a river). During the summer there is live entertainment next to the water and you can lounge on the grass with your kids. Parking wherever you can and head on down next to the water, or stand on the bridge for a unique bat experience.
No visit to Austin is complete without a stop at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden. Nestled in a serene natural setting near Barton Springs, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden is home to over 130 pieces of art. An easy walk (even with a stroller), this is a great chance to get in a bit of exercise while doing something educational. Children can pick up a Sculpture Safari packet and turn the visit into a scavenger hunt, and yes, they are allowed to touch the bronze sculptures in the garden! Visit http://umlaufsculpture.org for more information.
Author Bio: Ysmay is the founder and CEO of Austin based MetroSeeker.com (http://www.metroseeker.com), an online residential guidebook for America's metro areas. Connect on twitter at @MetroSeeker (http://www.twitter.com/MetroSeeker).