(I was provided free admission to the Luci and Ian Family Garden. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own, but you knew that, right?.)
A few weeks ago I was invited to the grand opening of the Luci and Ian Family Garden, the only Central Texas native plant garden devoted to families and children. Located within the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Southwest Austin, the garden is interactive and educational, one of those places where kids soak up new things while playing.
Yep, they won’t realize they are learning about water conservation and patterns in nature.
I considered snagging a couple of neighbor kids for the trip to Austin, but took my husband instead. And really, we are both like big kids when it comes to exploring a garden. Having grown up in the 1970s, we were those kids who played outside all summer, rain or shine, mosquitoes or not. With only three television channels and no video games, we read books (printed on paper) and used our imaginations to escape into a virtual world.
I know. I sound old. But the Luci and Ian Family Garden provides nature play for today’s children who likely don’t spend as much time exploring and creating. And that’s a much needed thing.
Check out these ginormous bird nests.
Climb this impressive tower for a bird’s-eye view of the entire garden. (No worries—there’s a spiral staircase not visible in this picture.)
Binoculars are provided to make sure you don’t miss a leaf or critter.
One of the most popular places in the Family Garden is the grotto. Play a game of hide and seek behind the waterfall. Feel free to splash and cool off too, it’s allowed and expected.
Young guests have their own Little House—a special place for reading, crafting, and digging in the dirt. Other hands-on garden activities include a maze, dinosaur creek, hopscotch, wildlife blind, stumps and sticks for building and playing.
There’s an expansive lawn for kite flying. Remember lying on the grass naming the shape of clouds? You can do that in the garden too.
Be sure to put the Luci and Ian Family Garden on your summer list of places to visit. Not only will your children enjoy the activities and sites, you’ll remember what it was like to be a kid again.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
P.S. If you live in the area, take a look at the Nature Nights Summer Schedule beginning June 12, 2014. Fossils. Snakes. Birds of Prey. Oh yeah…