In light of recent public health concerns, the Austin Nature & Science Center will remain closed.  We will open soon with a modified schedule. 

Information about reservations for visiting the site is coming soon.  

Reservations are available in four (4) hour blocks at the following times:

  • Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
  • Sunday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.   

Site visits will include only outside exhibits; the Birds of Prey exhibitMammal exhibits and Dino Pit.  

Please do not bring any children’s toys, digging tools, water toys or dip nets on your visit.  Onsite picnicking is not currently available.  Portable toilets and hand sanitizing stations will be available.  

Facility reservations and the operating schedule may be changed or cancelled at any time based on the business need of the City of Austin/PARD or public health safety concerns.

What to Know Before Your Visit

PARD Facility Visitation Guidelines

COVID-19 Events

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is offering modified facility schedules in accordance with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Austin Public Health (APH), and State guidelines for operating youth programs and services to assist them in protecting children and families from COVID-19.

Before you visit the Austin Nature & Science Center please review the following information, to help ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Prior to Visitation

-If you have someone at home who is considered high risk (heart condition, elderly, lung issues, etc.) consider the risk prior to visitation. (Please see Risk for Exposure)

-It is strongly recommended that all visitors over the age of six (6) wear cloth face covering (mask) and must be provided by parent/guardian.   Face covering should not be worn by someone who cannot remove it without assistance or if it inhibits breathing freely while engaging in activities.

-At this time one the outside exhibits will be open, Dino Pit, Mammals exhibit, and the pond trail.  Portable toilets and a handwashing station will be available to facility visitors.

-All facility visitors must wash/sanitize hands at a designated station(s) upon entering the program area or facility each day.   All facility visitors must maintain and practice social distance and hygiene while on the site.   All facility visitors will have their temperature checked prior to entering the facility.  Should their temperature exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, they will not be able to participate.

-All facility visitors are encouraged to bring a filled reusable water bottle.  At this time bring children’s toys, digging tools, water toys, or dip nets on site are prohibited.   Onsite picnicking is not currently available.

Risk for Exposure

While precautions will be taken and guidelines followed, this cannot eliminate the inherent risks for exposure to COVID 19 that are associated with being around other individuals who are outside one’s household.  The virus that causes COVID-19 can infect people of all ages.  While the risk of serious illness or loss of life is greatest in those 65 years of age or older with pre-existing health conditions, persons in every age group can become infected with COVID-19 and some may become seriously ill or even die.

Behavior Guidelines

PARD reserves the right to remove any visitor from the facility without warning when it is determined that the visitor’s behavior poses a direct threat to other visitors, themself or staff.  Practicing and maintaining social distance and hygiene is an expected behavior and any disregard or inability to follow will result in removal from the facility.

Facility reservations and the operating schedule may be changed or cancelled at any time based on the business need of the City of Austin/PARD or public health safety concerns.

Reservations for Visiting the Austin Nature & Science Center (REQUIRED)

Reservation info coming soon.

Virtual Summer Programs

Austin Nature and Science Center: Virtual Summer Programs

ANSC Virtual Programs

Register at Eventbrite.  

Austin Nature and Science Center Virtual Programming Flyer (PDF)

The Austin Nature and Science Center will be providing virtual content Monday through Friday through the month of July on the Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s YouTube channel. This daily content will align with our Live Zoom programming each day and will feature amusing animals, creative crafts, exciting experiments, and more! Hop online to visit our Youtube playlist each day for something new, join our professional environmental educators live on Zoom, or participate in both as we explore everything from astronomy to zoology.

Live Zoom Sessions | 10am Monday through Friday | July 6-31

July 6 - 10 | Scales and Slime

Learn all about reptiles and amphibians by meeting virtual animal visitors, experimenting with vision, crafting some slimy skin, and more!

July 13 - 17 | Fizzing, Flying, & Fun

Do you find flight fascinating? Explosions exciting? Then join us for this wacky week of fun!

July 20 - 24 | Incredible Insects

We will explore all things arthropod by building bug hotels, becoming bugs, and dancing like spiders!

July 27-31 | What in the World?

Learn how animals survive in the desert, witness how constellations are constantly changing, and experiment with earth-shattering science.


Camacho Activity Center: Virtual Summer Clubs

Camacho Virtual Programming

Register at Eventbrite

Camacho Activity Center Virtual Programming Flyer (PDF)

Virtual content from the Camacho Activity Center will be provided Monday through Friday on the Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s YouTube channel. This daily content will focus on a wide variety of engaging themes, such as outdoor adventures, natural science, and filmmaking! For those who want to learn even more about these topics, sign up for our Virtual Summer Clubs to engage in live, interactive programs with our professional outdoor educators and filmmakers.

July 7 - 9 | Science of Water

July 14 - 16 | Natural Art

July 21 - 23 | Zero Waste with Keep Austin Beautiful

July 28-30 | Film Club


Virtual Trade Counter

The Austin Nature and Science Center presents Virtual Trade Counter

Register at Eventbrite.

Live Virtual Zoom Trading Sessions

Wednesday - Friday from 1pm to 2pm | Saturday from 2pm to 4pm.

How it Works

Find or make a cool item from nature!  Items accepted include: rocks, minerals, fossils, shells, bones, insects, insect parts, plant parts, nature art, drawings, photos taken, nature journal entries, etc.  Items not accepted include: anything from birds, anything collected from a preserve or area where collecting is not allowed, human artifacts such as arrowheads, intentionally killed animals, or whole plants.  

Register for a Zoom Virtual Trading Session for your selected time.  After you register on Eventbrite, you will receive a link to the Zoom page to log in at your time.  Register on Eventbrite.

Share your nature item with our virtual traders at your trade time on Zoom.  We will record your name, birthdate, and how many points you receive for your item and keep it for when we re-open the Trade Counter.  

Visit the Trade Counter at the Austin Nature & Science Center when we re-open and select items from our cool nature items "to buy" with the points you earned!

Other Summer Programming

Stay Playful!

Stay Playful! Camp Information (PDF | JPG

Mantente Jugando! Información Campamentos (JPG

Camp Dates: July 6-31 | Fechas del programa: Julio 6-31

STAY PLAYFUL! is a free weekly camp for Austin residents that offers youth and teens the opportunity to play games, create cool arts and crafts projects, and enjoy the outdoors. Camps will be limited in size and will prioritize the health and well-being of our campers and staff.

For 4-weeks beginning July 6th, we will offer weekly full-day or half-day opportunities for youth and teens to create cool arts and crafts projects, play games, and enjoy the outdoors. These camps will be limited in size and will prioritize the health and well-being of our campers and staff.

Austin Nature and Science Center and Camacho Activity Center will be providing additional outdoor and nature-based activities to the Stay Playful camps. Additional information with regarding camp operations will be provided during lottery registration period.  

Youth Programs for ages 5-11

Youth camps are either full day camps from 8am-5pm or half day camps from 8am-12pm or 1pm-5pm.

Full Day Camp Half-Day Morning/Half-Day Afternoon

Turner-Roberts Recreation Center
7201 Colony Loop Dr. (512-978-2690)

Full day camps are Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm at the following recreation centers: 

Dittmar Recreation Center
1009 W. Dittmar Rd. (512-974-6090)

Givens Recreation Center
3811 E. 12th St. (512-974-2430) 

George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center
5801 Ainez Dr. (512-974-3840)

Gus Garcia Recreation Center
1201 E. Rundberg Ln. (512-978-2525)

Northwest Recreation Center
2913 Northland Dr. (512-974-6972)

Pan Am Recreation Center
2100 E. 3rd St. (512-978-2425)

Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center
2608 Gonzales St. (512-978-2460)



We want your feedback about the Beverly Sheffield Education Center and the Splash Exhibit.  Please fill out a survey here.  Additional info located here. Available now
Visit the "Wild Imaginations" - TEMPO 2D 2018 and "Land Before Us" - TEMPO 2D 2019 temporary outdoor installations. Through September 2020
Pets are not allowed at the Austin Nature and Science Center.  We love pups and kitties as much as anyone can, but they are not permitted on preserve land or near our enclosed resident wildlife.  Thank you for understanding. Now and always

Children Playing in Nature


Research shows that children who learn and play in nature are healthier, happier, and even perform better in school. That’s why Austin’s Cities Connecting Children to Nature initiative aims to connect more children to nature by showing parents and caregivers how to find nature near them.

To find a nearby City of Austin park, visit the Parkland Directory. To discover even more nature near you, visit Nature Rocks.

La investigación muestra que los niños que aprenden y juegan en la naturaleza son más saludables, felices, y hasta se desempeñan mejor en la escuela. Por eso la iniciativa de Austin Ciudades que Unen a los Niños con la Naturaleza tiene el objectivo conectar más niños a la naturaleza mostrando a padres y cuidadores cómo encontrar la naturaleza cerca de ellos.

Para encontrar un Ciudad de Austin parque, visite el Parkland Directory. Para descubrir aún más naturaleza cerca de usted, visite Nature Rocks.


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