The City of Austin’s newest cultural facility is housed within the Parks and Recreation Department. This center represents a long-awaited dream for many in the community, and was made possible through an Austin voter approved 2006 Bond Package with an investment from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration.
Our purpose is to serve the greater community and we invite you enjoy our spaces that are free and open to the public.
The ANSC provides hands-on educational exhibits and recreational activities that increase awareness and appreciation of the natural environment.
Located on the western edge of Zilker Park, the Austin Nature and Science Center (ANSC) is dedicated to the exploration of the natural world. Since 1960, ANSC has provided nature exhibits, education programs and recreation resources for countless visitors, teachers and children of all ages. The ANSC provides hands-on educational exhibits and recreational activities that increase awareness and appreciation of the natural environment.
Bailey Splash Pad is a splash pad located at 1101 W. 33rd St. in Austin, Texas. View all City of Austin pools and splash pads.
Bartholomew Splash Pad is a splash pad located at 5200 Berkman Dr. in Austin, Texas. View all City of Austin pools and splash pads.
Within Zilker Park's 358 acres lies one of the crown jewels of Austin - Barton Springs Pool. The pool itself measures three acres in size, and is fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees, ideal for year-round swimming. Over the years, Barton Springs Pool has drawn people from all walks of life, from legislators who have concocted state laws there to free-spirited, topless sunbathers who turned heads in the 1970s. Robert Redford learned to swim at the pool when he was five years old while visiting family in Austin. Today, Barton Springs still attracts a diverse crowd of people and has seen record setting numbers of visitors nearing 800,000 in recent years.
The Springs serves as home to the endangered Barton Springs Salamander, and is listed as a federally protected habitat. The pool is closed to the public from 9a-7p every Thursday to allow for the vigorous and methodical cleaning methods required to help maintain the pool area for wildlife and guests alike. Depths of the pool range from 0’ to 18’ with surrounding grassy areas for patrons to lounge upon. Adjacent to the pool bathhouse is Splash!, an educational exhibit were patrons can learn about the history and biology of Barton Springs and the Edwards Aquifer which feeds it.
The Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center is home of the Splash! Into the Edwards Aquifer exhibit.
Chestnut Splash Pad is a splash pad located at 1404 East 16th St. in Austin, Texas. View all City of Austin pools and splash pads.
The Parks and Recreation Department maintains a multitude of parks where Austinites can walk their dogs, spend time with their kids, play sports on teams or even have a picnic in the sun. There's so much to do in the City's parks - and so many Austin parks for you to see and enjoy! Check out the Parks Directory to see information about all City Parks, or access the Parks and Facilities Viewer to find a park near you.
Clarksville Splash Pad is a splash pad located at 1811 W. 11th St. in Austin, Texas. View all City of Austin pools and splash pads.
The Parks and Recreation Department offers a wide variety of programs for youth and teens, adults and 50+/seniors at our Community Recreation Centers. Out of school time (OST) programs include After School, Summer Camp and Youth Sports. Teen programs, adaptive recreation and 50+/senior programs are offered at select centers. Athletics and fitness, enrichment classes and seasonal events are offered year-round. For a listing of individual classes, please contact the center closest to you or or view class information online.
The Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center (CGSAC) functions as a recreation and special use resource facility for persons 50 years of age and older. The 26,000 square foot facility was the first to permanently house artwork provided through the City of Austin's Art in Public Places Ordinance. Facilities include a multi-purpose room for large groups and special events, exercise rooms with workout equipment, meeting rooms and a courtyard for members to enjoy the outdoors.
The Dougherty Arts Center (DAC) is an award-winning cultural arts center that offers a variety of visual, performing and digital arts experiences for a broad audience through its three programming components - the Dougherty Arts Center Theater, the Julia C. Butridge Gallery and the Dougherty Arts School.
Eastwoods Splash Pad is a splash pad located at 3001 Harris Park Blvd. in Austin, Texas. View all City of Austin pools and splash pads.
The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC) is dedicated to the preservation, creation, presentation, and promotion of Mexican American cultural arts and heritage. The Center is a resource for the community and visitors to learn and participate in classes and programs that will foster a meaningful understand and appreciation of not only Mexican American, but also Native American, Chicano, and other Latino cultures. The programs and educational curriculum include areas of visual art, theatre, dance, literature, music, language arts, and multi-media. Sign up for our Newsletter!
The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center is dedicated to the collection, preservation, research and exhibition of African-American historical and cultural material. The museum offers gallery exhibits, programs, classes, springbreak and summer camps, theatre productions and a genealogy center.
Lott Splash Pad is a splash pad located at 1108 Curves in Austin, Texas. View all City of Austin pools and splash pads.
Metz Splash Pad is a splash pad located at 2400 Canterbury St. in Austin, Texas. View all City of Austin pools and splash pads.
As its residents know, Austin boasts a culture all its own. Surround yourself with the City's unique culture by visiting one of its museums and cultural centers. You'll be glad you did!
Nature’s Way Preschool at the Austin Nature and Science Center is a unique nature preschool enrichment program that provides young children with an immersion experience into the wonders of the natural world. One of a small number of nature-based preschools in the United States, Nature’s Way Preschool was established in the fall of 1992 and has grown to its present size, offering 10 different classes, 5 days a week for ages 3-5.
Classes are held in the historic 1880’s Ashford McGill Trail House which offers ideal space for preschool children with 3 classrooms, a kitchen, bathroom facilities, an outside vegetable garden and a large fenced natural play area. The Trail House is adjacent to Zilker Nature Preserve and the Zilker Botanical Garden, convenient for walking adventures.
The Old Bakery & Emporium is a historic building located in Downtown Austin. The Bakery operates as a Consignment Shop, Visitor Information Center, Art Gallery exhibiting local artists 50 or better and houses a museum, the Lundberg-Maerki Historical Collection.
Pease Splash Pad is a splash pad located at 1600 Parkway at Kingsbury in Austin, Texas. View all City of Austin pools and splash pads.
Ricky Guerrero Splash Pad is a splash pad located at 1100 Brodie St. (78704) in Austin, Texas. View all City of Austin pools and splash pads.
Rosewood Splash Pad is a splash pad located at 1182 Pleasant Valley in Austin, Texas. View all City of Austin pools and splash pads.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department currently operates two skate parks - one in Mabel Davis District Park and the AustinBMX and Skate Park at 1213 Shoal Creek Boulevard next to Austin Recreation Center.
The Parks and Recreation Department maintains several types of trails for hiking, biking, skating and other activities. View the trail directory to see the location and usage types of all City-maintained trails. Use the Parks GIS Viewer to find a trail near your location.
The Zilker Botanical Garden is ideally located in the center of Texas' capital city. The gardens are on parkland that is magnificently endowed by nature with handsome trees, natural grottoes and aquatic features that have been integrated into a design of spectacular beauty and tranquility.
The Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater is located across from another of Austin’s celebrated wonders - Barton Springs Pool.
Zilker Metropolitan Park is considered "Austin's most-loved park." This 351-acre park is home to a variety of recreation opportunities and special events for individuals and families.