The Austin Nature & Science Center offers nature-based programs for members of the community, such as school break camps, seasonal festivals, animal programs, and more. For questions about a camp or community program, please call Visitor Services at 512-974-3888.

Camps

 

Fall Break Camp

Fall Break camp registration opens Monday, October 2 at 10:00 a.m. 

November 20-22, 2023: Fall Break Camps

Ages 5-6, Nov 20-22: Rad Reptiles

Discover the captivating world of reptiles at our fall break camp! From slithering snakes to armored turtles, join us for an adventure that examines these remarkable creatures. Learn about their roles in our ecosystems and engage in hands-on encounters with ANSC’s scaly friends.

Ages 7-8, Nov 20-22: Amazing Arthropods

Embark on an arthropod adventure this fall break! From insects to arachnids to crustaceans, young explorers will uncover the fascinating world of these creatures through hands-on encounters, captivating lessons and engaging activities.

Ages 9-10, Nov 20-22: Cycling through Fall

Austin can be beautiful during Autumn! Join us as we learn the science behind seasonal changes while biking. Pedal through scenic trails, witness fall foliage, and gain insights into how nature transforms with the seasons. Campers must be able to ride a bike for 3 miles without assistance.

Pack a lunch, a water bottle, and two healthy snacks. Participants should wear weather-appropriate, comfortable clothes and shoes that can get dirty and damp.

Pre-registration required! Camp activities subject to change in the case of inclement weather.
 

Register for Fall Camp on RecTrac!

General Information about City of Austin Camps. 

Winter Break Camp

Winter Break Camp registration opens Monday, October 2 at 10:00 a.m. 

December: Winter Break Camps

Ages 5-6, Dec 21-22: Starry Skies

Discover the magic of the night sky this winter break! Young stargazers will explore constellations and planets and will learn how wildlife is affected by celestial patterns. Children will experience the cosmos in our very own planetarium.

Ages 7-8, Dec 21-22: In the Dark

Delve into the realm of nocturnal creatures and the mysteries of the night! Young adventurers will meet Animal Ambassadors that rely on the starry night sky for survival. Through hands on experiences, engaging activities, and a planetarium visit, campers will forge unforgettable connections with the captivating world that comes alive after dark.

Ages 9-10, Dec 21-22: Wild Crafters

Using materials from the outdoors, your young artist will make unique creations and explore the magic of diverse art forms. We will take inspiration from renowned nature artists, such as Andy Goldsworthy.

December 27-29, 2023: Winter Break Camps

Age 5-6, Dec 27 -29: Polar Pals

Put on your explorer hat and imagine what it’s like to journey through the icy realms of the animal kingdom! Let’s uncover how animals adapt to survive in the cold. From the arctic to your own backyard, we will unravel their secrets to survival through enriching activities and hands-on experiences.

Age 7-8, Dec 27 -29: Cave Crawlers

Unearth the wonders below in our “cave crawlers” camp. Young adventurers will learn about Austin’s unique cave ecosystem and the thriving wildlife it supports! Discover how aquifers play a big part in this underground environment, as well as the world above.

Age 9-10, Dec 27 -29: Stewards of the Wild

Become a conservation champion at this camp! Young nature enthusiasts will meet our animal keepers and learn just what it takes to keep our Ambassador Animals happy and healthy! We will explore the many factors that affect Austin wildlife and learn what resources the city has in place to keep both residents and wildlife safe. Campers will leave with ideas of how they can get involve in local conservation efforts.

January 2-5, 2024: Winter Break Camps

Age 5-6, Jan 2-5: Dinosaur Days

Step into the world of Dinosaurs! Young paleontologists will discover prehistoric wonders through captivating lessons and hands-on activities. An exciting trip to the Texas Science & Natural History Museum will transport campers to a land of ancient giants!

Age 7-8, Jan 2-5: Creature Conversations

Young explorers will uncover the fascinating world of animal communication, from sensory signals to amusing gestures. Join us for an engaging adventure that delves into the intricate ways that animals express themselves.

Age 9-10, Jan 2-5: Nature Navigators

From mastering Leave No Trace principals to honing survival skills like campfire building, shelter construction and tracking, campers will unlock the secrets of the wilderness. With engaging activities and expert guidance, this camp offers an experience that equips campers with invaluable outdoor skills while fostering a lifelong connection with nature and self-sufficiency.

January 8, 2024: Winter Break Camps

Age 5-6, Jan 8: Hibernation Havens

Young adventurers will uncover the secrets of animals that retreat into winter slumber! Learn how they prepare, delve into their hidden havens and discover the science behind hibernation. Join us for an engaging experience that sheds light on the unique strategies these creatures employ to survive the cold season.

Age 7-8, Jan 8: Winter Wanderers

Young nature lovers will journey into the world of animals that thrive in the winter. Some of these creatures flourish in seemingly harsh environments. Come experience the wonders of wildlife in the chilly season!

Age 9-10, Jan 8: Wild Winter Adventures

Campers are invited to explore Austin trails while immersing themselves in the winter landscape. We will observe winter flora and fauna and discover winter habitats. Join us for an exciting journey that celebrates the wonders of winter in the wild! Please note: This group will be hiking for a large part of the day.


Pack a lunch, a water bottle, and two healthy snacks. Participants should wear weather-appropriate, comfortable clothes and shoes that can get dirty and damp.

Pre-registration required! Camp activities subject to change in the case of inclement weather.

Registration begins at 10AM on Monday, October 2nd.

Register on RecTrac for Winter Camps!

General Information about City of Austin Camps

Spring Break Camp

Spring Break camps are all full. To reserve a spot on the waitlist, click the "Register for Camps" box, follow procedure to register and select "waitlist". 

March 11th -15th, 2024: Spring Break Camps

Ages 5-6 Fantastic Flora

Spring is a great time to learn about the fantastic flora that surrounds us!  Join us as we put our plant identification skills to the test around town, learn about our Austin pollinator MVPs and consider the varied habitats our flora provides for our local fauna.

Ages 7-8 Spring Symphony

Birdsongs fill the air during Spring, but do you know why they sing? Birds have different motivations for singing, chirping, trilling and whistling.  We will uncover the “whys” as we hike throughout Zilker Preserve and Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. Join us as we learn about Austin’s most abundant bird species, as well as those that are threatened or endangered.

Ages 9-10 Rocky Realms

The geology of Austin has changed drastically over the last 70 million years! All those changes have given us interesting geological features to explore. Join us as we take a deep dive into unique formations, fault lines, caverns and caves. Please note: campers will be crawling through a cave this week.

Pack a lunch, a water bottle, and two healthy snacks. Participants should wear weather-appropriate, comfortable clothes and shoes that can get dirty and damp.


*Campers will be traveling offsite in vans. Car seats and boosters are provided when required.


Pre-registration required! Camp activities subject to change in the case of inclement weather.

Registration begins at 10AM on Tuesday January 9th.

Register on RecTrac for Spring Break Camps!

General Information about City of Austin Camps.

Summer Camp

Register for Summer 2024 Camps Here

Summer camps for ages 5-12 are full. To reserve a spot on the waitlist, click the "Register for Camps Here" box above, follow procedure to register and select "waitlist". There are a few spots remaining for 13-14-year old camp options. Please see the 2024 Summer Camp Brochure for all details and registration instructions. 

Registration Information: 

  • Test your password and update your account or create an account to register online in RecTrac:
    • Log in to your account at www.austintexas.gov/parksonline or create an account if you do not have one. Do not create a new account if you have already -- you can reset your password if you forgot it.
    • Once logged in, review your contact information and be sure to update or add any family members who will be registering for camp. 
  • See step-by-step instructions and FAQ's about registration.
  • Interested in financial aid? Apply nowYouth participants must reside in the City of Austin and receive or be eligible for reduced or free lunches in their school district to qualify for financial assistance.
  • Interested in Inclusion Support Services? Check eligibility and policies soon to apply. 
  • General Information about City of Austin Camps for additional information.

Participant Documents for Austin Nature & Science Center: 

Bring to your child’s first day of camp. We cannot accept paperwork via email at this time. PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL.

 

Events

 

Upcoming Events with eclipse image over buildings.

 

Eclipse Programming on site at ANSC

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Sunday, April 7, 2024 - 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM

ANSC will be offering space-themed programing for all ages in the weeks leading up to the eclipse! Join us for experiences inside our planetarium and astronomy talks from NASA scientists and our staff!

Planetarium Shows

Join us on site in our planetarium for out-of-this-world experiences throughout the solar system! 

Planetarium experiences are free but will require a ticket, available at the front desk, as space for each show is limited. 

Shows will be approximately every 30 minutes throughout the day from 10:00am - 3:00 pm on the following Saturdays: 

  • March 2
  • March 23
  • March 30
  • April 6
  • and Sunday, April 7, 12:00pm - 4:00 pm

Visiting NASA Scientists & More Fun! 

  • Hear NASA scientists talk about exoplanets, eclipses and oceans on other planets and the latest news from the Mars Rover Mission.

  • Get a selfie with the 2D version of the Perseverance rover and the Mars-scape.  

  • Check out the ROV-E, a six-wheeled rover that will be driving about the grounds of the Nature Center. 

  • Engage in hands-on activities that will prepare you for viewing the eclipse (animal-mask-eclipse-glasses and pinhole cameras!).

For information about eclipse day-of events, safety, and where to watch the eclipse in Austin parks, visit Total Eclipse of the Parks.

 

Austin Nature Day 2024

Austin Nature Day, April 20, 2024; 10:00am-2:00pm; Animal keeper talks, guided hikes, Trade Counter, Scavenger Hunts, table activities, and more; All ages welcome, free event! Parking at 2389 Stratford Dr.; 512-974-3888

 

 

Videos

Tiny Tours

Virtual Tiny Tours of the Austin Nature & Science Center

Join us on Facebook and YouTube for ANSC Tiny Tours!  Catch a glimpse of our beautiful site and learn all about the animals, exhibits, and natural spaces that surround us.  Videos will be posted daily Fridays-Sundays this fall.

Weekday Wake Up Daily Videos

Austin Nature & Science Center Daily Videos posted on our Facebook page.

Visit our YouTube channel for videos!

Join Caroline for Mindfulness Mondays as she teaches you a variety of ways to slow down and engage your body and mind.

Learn with Mary and Emily on TEKS Tuesdays as they investigate TEKS objectives for grades K-3.

Watch Ms. Kat on Wild Wednesdays as she shows you some of nature’s most interesting creatures!

Follow Ms. Elizabeth as she takes you into the Zilker Nature Preserve to read some of her favorite stories for Tales from the Trails Thursdays.

Explore your sense of sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing with Ms. Elizabeth on Five Senses Friday.