Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX sent me an invitation to visit their new ftheir new Luci and Ian Family Garden. We live in Dallas, so fortunately it’s just a short 3 hour drive. We surprised the kids with a family road trip to Austin, TX – one of our favorite cities. If you know us, my husband and I have been traveling from Dallas to Austin several times a years, for well years. Someday we may make Austin our home, but for now – it’s a great get away to a fantastic and family-friendly city.

Family Road Trip to Austin, TX

Our family road trips to Austin often, but had never been to theLady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, I had heard about it numerous time – with people stating “YOU MUST GO VISIT”. So what does a family of 6 do? We hop in the SUV and head out on a family road trip to Austin, TX to see what this place is all about. Our 4 kids gave the family garden a good run for it’s money. Here’s a little of our adventure.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX

The family garden is a new addition to the Wildflower Center. Unlike the Dallas Arboretum’s family garden, there is no additional cost to visit their family garden. Walking into the area, I knew right away this area was planned and setup for kids.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

From sand to dig in, to water to play in, to tree branches to climb – this place allows kids to use nature as their playground.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center austin texas family road trip family garden

With 3 rough and tough boys, they devoured every minute we spent playing in the area. Our 4-year-old Izaiah adored the Nature Build area. This was an area setup with various natural elements such as hay, bamboo and logs for kids to just build with. He built a “pachine” (machine) that makes candy – sound effects and all. He spent 20 minutes non-stop constructing this thing and kicked and screamed as we said we needed to move on. He would of spend hours there if we had let him!

nature build at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

In one area, there is a small bridge area where binoculars were handed out to the kids. The volunteers encouraged the kids to look thru the forested area to see what they could find. Talk about city kids, my kids hadn’t played with binoculars before!

binoculars at austin family garden

The water feature is the central element to the family garden. With a grotto, waterfall and stream – all kid-friendly, our kids kicked off their shoes and got wet.

grotto

The garden provides a water pump and several Little Tikes garden watering cans so kids can water various areas of the garden. This was another huge hit!

watering-can

My boys love to climb. Where we live, there are minimal trees for climbing. This poses a problem for boys who like to climb. The garden has an area setup with various stumps and limbs, the kids could not get enough of climbing without me yelling at them “GET DOWN! THAT TREE WON’T HOLD YOU!”

limbs to climb on

And of course, what kid doesn’t love SAND? This is yet another feature that the kids loved. After they got done digging, I sent them back to the stream to clean the sand off in the water. It worked well!

sand for digging at the family garden in austin

In addition to the family garden, we headed to the Wildflower Center. We walked a trail and admired tons of various flowers. Yes, my kids wanted to pick the flowers. No, I didn’t let them. This place is a wildflower photographer’s dream.

texas wildflowers

HUGE Wind Chimes!

My favorite part of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center had to be the GIGANTIC, Texas-sized HUGE wind chimes that blow in the wind making the most peaceful noise. These chimes are over 5 feet tall and are hung WAY up in the trees. The sound is so tranquil.

windchime in trees

My husband was blown away by this as well, and my littlest – stood in awe watching and listening. I knew right then that we had to move somewhere with trees as such. It may not happen this year or next, but eventually I want to be in a home that I can walk outside to  that noise playing in my life daily. And I want it to play without having to think about what an HOA will say about it!

These are the closest  HUGE wind chimes that I’ve been able to find. Not too pricey, considering the size. huge wind chimes

Available at Amazon

These huge wind chimes were placed in locations through-out the garden and Wildflower center f

Unfortunately, we went in the dead heat of the day, with the sun directly overhead. I would love to go back at sunset in the fall!

our family road trip

The grand opening of the Luci and Ian Family Garden was on Sunday, the day we were headed home. We planned a good 2 hours to play – we ended up staying nearly 4 hours! Make a day of it. Try to go when it’s not TOO scorching hot. And if you do go in the dead heat of summer, make sure to play in the family garden’s grotto and stream!

Thanks Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for having us out. We will be back!

lady bird johnson wildflower center in austin, tx

If you and your family find yourself in the Austin, TX area – make sure to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Luci and Ian Family Garden. It’s fun for the whole family.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of The University of Texas at Austin
4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin, TX, 78739
wildflower.org

Admission Fees: $9 for adult walk-ups, $7 for students and seniors, $3 for children 5 to 12, discounted admission for tickets purchased in advance online, free tickets for kids 4 and under.

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