Are you ready to let your kids go to college? Even when they are really young UT grounds are a wonderful place to explore! There is entertainment for everyone, no matter what they like. Take your backpacks, fill your water bottles and lets go!
We like to start our tour in 21st street. There is a great photo opportunity at the littlefield fountain. It is a world war I memorial monument that was completed in 1933. It was built from granite, bronze and limestone. Next to the fountain you can find the Harry Ransom Center. It is a small but very interesting museum. It owns one of the few complete Gutenberg bibles! This are believed to be the first printed books in existence. They also have one of the first photographs. You can have a snack outside the Center and below the trees.
Keep walking north and you will find the famous UT Tower. It is 307 foot tall and has more than twenty-seven floors! Right behind it, before you reach 24th street, is the favourite place for children: the turtle pond!
You can get really close but watch out for snapping turtles!
We want to thank all of our families, supporters, field trip leaders, board/committee members, and friends that attended our 4th annual birthday celebration.
We made a change this year and moved our celebration date from July to May. We previously celebrated in July, when our first summer camp program started, but realized that for many reasons May is a better time to celebrate. The weather is more desirable in May and this is also a great time for our upcoming Summer Camp kiddos to meet and greet their field trip leaders. We are all so excited for our summer adventures to begin!
Our celebration party included an art station for our upcoming campers to create garden signs for community garden that we created last spring break with Raasin in the Sun. We previously created the garden signs with water soluble markers that were destroyed when it rained. This time we used permanent markers!
Our party took place at Cultivo Cafe, a wonderful indoor/outdoor cafe on 12th street. The weather was fantastic for an evening out. We had plenty of fun playing football, soccer, making crafts and eating chips and salsa. Yes, that rainbow cake was as good as it looks!
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When I first learned that we had to take children to a cemetery I thought it was strange and scary. Most of the children think the same when we tell them. Skip the explanation as to why you want them to go “see dead people” and jump straight into a world full of history, heroism and pride. Kids are naturally curious and if you take the time to explain what they are seeing they will understand what’s beyond the graves.
The Texas State Cemetery is not like others. Only people that have done a significant contribution to Texas are allowed to be buried there. Some of them were part of the government, others part of the military and some others worked at arts or sports. Don’t worry, you don’t have to learn all this before you come. They have this amazing recordings so you can do a self guided tour through the grounds. Kids love to stand in front of the memorials and listen to the guide. The guide is supposed to be personal, which is why we ask one of the kids to listen to it and then explain what they remember to their friends.
Some of our favourite memorials can actually be related to other places we have visited around Austin. One example is the “Sailor memorial”. It is said that after La Belle’s shipwreck was discovered, they found this one body. They never knew who he was, but they buried him in the cemetery as a memorial for all the french sailors which perished in that catastrophe. The remains of La Belle can be found at the Bob Bullock Museum.
Another great example is the tomb of Albert Sidney Johnston. He was a general with a long military career. Its amazing monument and sculpture is hard to miss. This sculpture was commissioned to Elisabet Ney. She worked on the sculptures of Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin which are displayed at the Texas State Capitol. She also has a wonderful museum in North Austin.
Plan ahead as there is no food or water allowed inside the cemetery. Make sure to contact them as it is an active cemetery which closes if there is a service. This is a very educative and interesting place with many amazing spots.
Did you know you can visit the LBJ Ranch since 2007? You can get there in less than two hours by taking Highway 290 west. It is open every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm so plan to stay the whole day. There are picnic areas and many sites along the way. We enjoy visiting the Johnson’s ranch house and taking pictures with their owners! There are two visitors centers and many interactive exhibits that will keep you interested for hours. Even just walking around the wildflowers is a great experience.
The LBJ Museum and Library is a fun and interactive way to engage children with their history. This enormous building is located in the grounds of UT, next to I35. The exhibits are located in the first, second and tenth floor. Most of them are permanent but they have a few temporary ones that we have loved. The rest of the floors are reserved for the library section.
A short video or a walk around show the most important events of LBJ's life and legacy. In the first floor you can also feel the Johnson treatment by taking a picture.
Every once in a while we like to leave the city behind and immerse in nature. Austin is surrounded by several state parks which are worth the visit whether you want a long nature walk or a camping weekend. Kids love running around the trees and exploring what is ahead. The challenge is fun and rewarding! Today we take a look at two amazing trails we visited during spring break.
San Gabriel River Trail is part of the Goodwater Loop located in Georgetown, just a short drive from Downtown Austin. We started with a breathtaking view of the Georgetown lake where we took a small snack before beginning our hike. The trail runs along the edge of the lake at some points which gave us much more to see.
Our educational field trips are the best way to experience everything Austin has to offer, however ATX Kids Club also likes to give back. During long holidays such as spring and summer breaks we engage with different community service activities. This spring break we worked along WITH Raaisin in the Sun to create an amazing garden for Cultivo Cafe located in east Austin. It was a fun and educational activity. Frances Moreno, with Magnolia Realty was a vital player in connecting ATX Kids Club with Raaisin in the Sun.
Let kids engage with nature in a fun and safe way! The ANSC is a free educational and interactive experience for children and parents alike. If you park in Zilker Park you can make a small hike to get here. It is located in the western edge and it is open Monday- Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 9-Noon. Be prepared to stay for at least two hours!
The visitor's center is full of knowledgeable people. During one of our nature hikes we saw some animals and we weren't sure of their names. Two nice ladies helped us figure them out. The kids also had a very interesting session as they could ask about everything in that exhibit room. They saw fur, bones and even snake skin!
The new Central Library has everything a kid needs to have fun. In the children's area there is a multimedia room where they play movies through the day. There are also many tables where kids can play and interact with toys and each other. Several computers. All they need is a 1 hour guest pass or an adult's library card number. The large tablet-like touch screens get much attention since kids can play many different games in them. The best part of this new library is the outdoor balcony where kids can sit and quietly read their books.
The building itself is pretty interesting. It has floating stairs and a Tech petting Zoo and a rooftop garden with an awesome view.
We are very grateful that we have our own museum of Art. The Blanton Museum of Art is located just across from the Bob Bullock Museum, at the heart of the University of Texas at Austin. This is a great place to encourage kids to pay attention to their surroundings, to really look at things and to interact. While you can walk through galleries dedicated to European paintings and sculptures, you can also see much more modern art. There are some interactive exhibitions as well. There are also awesome children’s programs where they are allowed to create art of their own.