- Location and Hours of Operation
Where We Are
2389 Stratford Drive
Austin, TX 78746
Handicapped parking spaces are located near our main site entrance off of 2389 Stratford Drive and connect to the ADA compliant entry sidewalk.
When We Are Open
Monday - Saturday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday from 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
Trade Counter open Wednesday-Friday 10:00 am - 1:00 pm and Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
The site closes for some City of Austin official holidays and certain area events, so please check the Austin Nature & Science Center webpage for closure notices.
How Much Is Admission
Free admission for individuals and families visiting the exhibits and exploring the site.
For school field trip fees and groups over 15 people, please see our School Programs page for registration and fee information.
- Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I park?
ANSC public parking is located under the Mopac overpass at 2389 Stratford Drive, Austin, Texas 78746. Please see map. Handicapped parking spaces are located near our main site entrance off of 2389 Stratford Drive and connect to the ADA compliant entry sidewalk. After parking, safely cross Stratford Dr. to the ANSC's entrance sidewalk on the West side of MoPac, which leads to the Visitor's Pavilion, public restrooms, and other site amenities.
What programs are offered?
The ANSC offers a variety of programs for individuals, as well as groups, which include schools, homeschools, and more. Our programs start as young as age 3 and range up to adults. To learn more visit our Education, Events, and Camps and Programs webpages.
What is the Trade Counter?
The Trade Counter in our Naturalist Workshop is where visitors can bring in nature items to trade for other nature items, plus learn about natural history objects, identify found treasures, and share knowledge! It is open to all visitors Wednesday-Friday 10:00 am - 1:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Please see the Trade Counter brochure and more information on our Naturalist Workshop page for what items are allowed for trading.
How do I rent the meeting rooms?
We do not rent out our classrooms or the site.
May I bring my pet?
No, the ANSC and the nature preserves have strict rules that specify no pets. This is to protect resident wildlife.
What are the hours of the Zilker Nature Preserve?
Dawn to dusk. NOTE: One of the preserve's parking lot areas (under the Mopac overpass off of Nature Center Drive) and road gates (located directly off of Barton Springs Road), are closed and locked each day at 5:00 pm. Please see map.
May I walk off of the trails and explore?
No, the trails are designed to protect the wildlife and other sensitive ecological features. Leave no trace, protect and respect the ANSC site and the preserve land for the next visitor. Nothing may be removed from the parks or preserves.
What volunteer opportunities are offered at the ANSC?
We offer opportunities for volunteers in many areas of the ANSC including exhibits and landscaping. Please see ANSC Volunteer Opportunities for more information.
What can I do when I visit the Austin Nature & Science Center and the surrounding area?
- After completing your visit to the ANSC, there are other interesting sites nearby including Zilker Botanical Garden, Barton Springs Pool, Umlauf Sculpture Garden, and more. They are located within Zilker Metropolitan Park.
- Check out Zilker Trek. Enjoy a fun, self-guided, hands-on, multimedia tour of eight specific locations in Zilker Park. It's a nature trek combining new technology and old. Consisting of ten interdisciplinary segments, Zilker Trek utilizes an iPod, a map, help sheets, and a journal.
- Capital Area Master Naturalists (CAMN) hosts their monthly meeting/speaker series at the ANSC. Contact CAMN for dates and times.
History of the Austin Nature & Science Center
Since 1960, the Austin Nature & Science Center has provided hands-on nature exhibits, education programs and recreation activities for countless visitors, teachers and children of all ages that increase awareness and appreciation of the natural environment. Located on the western edge of Zilker Park, the ANSC is dedicated to the exploration of the natural world.
The Austin Nature & Science Center offers many programs for preschoolers, kids, families and adults with topics ranging from butterflies to caving and much more.
The ANSC is located next to the Zilker Nature Preserve that offers on-your-own hiking and exploration, It can be accessed at a trail head near the Visitor's Pavilion and at the back of the Birds of Prey exhibit during ANSC's regular business hours. Austin's Nature Preserve system offers many opportunities to enjoy nature hikes and nature based programming.
Visitors of all ages can experience and learn about a wide variety of awesome wildlife, hosted in a zoo setting, through touring the Birds of Prey, Small Wonders and Mammal Enclosure. By partnering with licensed rehabilitators many of these animals are given a permanent home. Some are former pets that have imprinted on humans and others have injuries that prevent them from surviving in the wild. At the Austin Nature & Science Center (ANSC) these amazing animals can live out their lives receiving daily care, grooming, quality food, medication and veterinary assistance.
The exhibits are open to the public during regular visitor hours with no entry fee.
The ANSC offers a range of nature based programs, exhibits and activities. Drop in visitors can enjoy the Austin Nature & Science Center Forest Trail, Dino Pit Fossil Dig, Wildlife Exhibits, a variety of temporary and permanent exhibits, the Naturalists Workshop, and its Trade Counter (limited trading hours), bird watching, accessible trails around the pond system, and more.
Traveling nature and science related exhibits are hosted in the Visitor's Pavilion periodically with information, when available, on the Exhibits webpage.
The Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center, home of the Splash! exhibit, is a satellite site of the Austin Nature & Science Center located in the Zilker Park Bathhouse at 2201 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78746. Please see map. Staff may be contacted at 512-974-6350.