Go Wild This Summer at Austin's Nature Nights
Six-week Wildflower Center series offers free family fun
Take the kids back to nature this summer without leaving town. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Nature Nights series will show you what grows, flies, creeps and crawls around this neck of the woods—everything from tree roots to raptors.
On the menu are storytelling and crafts for the kids, scavenger hunts and presentations by local wildlife experts. Grab a light dinner at The Wildflower Café (open from 5:30 to 8 on Nature Nights) and make an evening of it.
This summer’s topics include:
Roots to Shoots. All about plants from top to bottom. Learn to hunt invasive species with Commander Ben, explore the landscape on short expert-guided hikes and drop by the Little House for story time with the Austin Public Library. June 13.
Amphibians. Listen to toad and frog calls and learn how to make them yourself, create jumping origami frogs and go on a water’s-edge scavenger hunt. June 20.
Birds of Prey. See the “big guns” of the bird world up close, learn more about how raptors fly, measure your own wingspan and more. July 11.
Snakes. Check out live reptiles, learn how snakes sense sound and scent, and—perhaps most importantly—learn the differences between poisonous and non-venomous snakes. July 25.
Other Nature Nights focus on local wildlife (July 18) and Central Texas insects (June 27). Plan to attend them all for a summer semester of natural fun or pick your favorite topics from the full schedule.
Nature Nights events are free, and children under age 13 can pick up a free item in the gift shop. Plan to arrive early if you’d like a ticket for the presentations in the auditorium.
What to bring: sturdy walking shoes, sun and bug protection, metal or plastic water bottles. Most center facilities are wheelchair-accessible.
What to leave at home: pets, alcohol, cigarettes.
Photo by Earl McGehee, used under Creative Commons license