Austin Nature & Science Center Exhibits

The Austin Nature & Science Center (ANSC) offers a variety of educational science and nature-based exhibits that round out the visitor's experience. Some of the exhibits, like the Naturalist Workshop, have program elements. The exhibits are open to the public during regular visitor hours with no entry fee, but donations are accepted.  For more information, please call Visitor Services staff at 512-974-3888.

In light of recent public health concerns, the Austin Nature & Science Center remains closed.  Read more here.

Wildlife

WildlifeLearn about a wide variety of native wildlife in our outdoor and indoor exhibits.  Visit the Small Wonders and Wildlife exhibits and learn how you can help our animal ambassadors.

Dino Pit

Dino PitThe Dino Pit is an outdoor exhibit designed to instruct visitors about paleontology. Dig for fossils from ancient Texas.

Naturalist Workshop

Naturalist WorkshopGet in touch with items straight from nature!  Come touch and explore furs, rocks, bones, plants, insects, magnifying glasses, and more.

Forest Trail

Forest Trail The Forest Trail is a self-guided exhibit of forty-five trees planted and maintained site-wide to encourage the selection of native trees appropriate for landscapes in Central Texas. Artwork by Robert Obrien.

Honey Bee Observation Hive

BeesFascinated by the European honey bee? Check out our indoor exhibit in the Visitors Pavilion to view the inner workings of a living hive.  You might even locate the queen bee herself!  Bees and care provided by Austin Bees.

Human Sundial 

Human SundialOur human sundial was created through a partnership with MathHappens, UTeach, and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.  Let your body tell the time as it plays the role of the gnomon, or the piece that casts the shadow on the blocks.  Using the stones under your feet, find and stand on the current month, and watch as your shadow tells you the current time (based on Daylight Saving Time).

Human Sundial Tiny Tours Video

Nano 

NanoThis 400 square foot exhibit, based on work supported by the National Science Foundation, provides hands-on exploration of small (nano) objects. Visitors can examine the scales of a butterflies wing, build a model of a carbon nanotube, or play with magnets to explore different size substances. You can find this exhibit in our Visitors Pavilion.  

Pond Walk

Pond WalkTake a walk around our site to learn more about our pond system. Look for basking turtles at the Upper Pond. Watch the water flow below from the bridge at the Creek. Meet curious fish at the dock of our Lower Pond.

Bird Blind

Bird BlindThe bird blind allows visitors to get a behind the scenes look at our wild birds.  A tall wooden structure with small holes for viewing allows people to quietly watch birds.  Our bird-only side has underbrush for camouflage, seeds, and water, which provides a happy habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Bird Blind Tiny Tours Video

Pollinator Gardens

Pollinator GardensAcross ANSC, native and adapted plants are placed for wildlife. Our Pollinator Gardens are home to a variety of plants that bloom throughout the year, creating ideal habitats for pollinators.

Pollinator Garden Tiny Tours Video

Art In Public Places

The Art in Public Places program requests proposals from visual artists or artist teams to design, fabricate, install and de-install artworks to based at city-owned locations around the city, including ANSC. More information about temporary exhibition of public art across Austin, visit the AIPP website.

Visiting Installations

Land Before Us

Steffany Bankenbusch, 2019.  Acrylic on wood panels.  Courtesy of the TEMPO 2D 2019 program.  Available through September 2021.

Permanent Installations

Arboreal Passage

Colin McIntyre, 2011.  Forged Steel, stainless steel, copper, bronze, limestone, and oak.  Courtesy of Art in Public Places.

Big Snake

Kathleen Ash and Elena Eidelberg, 1997.  Ceramic, glass, and wood.  Courtesy of Art in Public Places.  

Past Installations

Wild Imaginations

Jesse Melanson, 2018.  Watercolor and digital on vinyl.  Courtesy of the TEMPO 2D 2018 program.

Mirror Cloud

Elizabeth Farrell & Clare van Montfrans, 2018.  Steel tubing and sheet metal.  Courtesy of the TEMPO 3D 2018 program.  

Tubascopes

Steve Parker, 2017.  Brass instruments, steel and tubing.  Courtesy of the TEMPO 3D 2017 program.