Zilker Botanical Garden’s Annual Zilker Garden Festival


The first Saturday and Sunday of April, April 6th and 7th, the Zilker Botanical Garden hosts its 56th annual Zilker Garden Festival, which offers Central Texas and Austin residents the perfect introduction to spring. The family-friendly event takes place amidst the beautiful 30-acre Zilker Botanical Garden grounds, which are located near Lady Bird Lake on a diverse topography that is well-suited for showcasing different the types of native, hybrid and exotic plants that thrive in the climate of Central Texas. Themed gardens – such as the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden – are sprinkled throughout the facility, and are interconnected with streams, waterfalls and Koi-filled ponds, which create a peaceful, serene environment for enjoying nature, wildlife and the great outdoors.

Plum Creek, TX

The Zilker Garden Festival is the Zilker Botanical Garden’s most high-profile and anticipated annual event, and all proceeds support the Zilker Botanical Garden. The event is co-sponsored by the Austin Area Garden Council and the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department.

Highlights from the Zilker Garden Festival include gardening talks and information sessions, shopping and food offerings, as well as an array of kid-friendly events and activities. Additionally, live music is available both days of the Garden Festival from local Central Texas artists from the likes of Harps of Many Colors, The Better Halves, and The Siekers, among others.

An array of garden talks and other information sessions from local flora and fauna experts are available at the Garden Festival as well. Topics range from “Care for Drought Stressed Trees” to “Rainwater Harvesting” to “Cacti & Succulents,” so festival-goers can receive a wide-range of area-specific information about Central Texas gardening from local, knowledgeable gardening experts.  These informational garden talks are included in the Festival as a part of the City of Austin’s Grow Green program – which promotes sustainable landscaping practices by addressing hot button topics such as water quality and conservation, recycling and sustainable pest control. Additionally, an array of vendors from across Central Texas will fill the Zilker Botanical Garden the two days of the Garden Festival to sell a variety of plants and garden-related items, including garden-themed arts and crafts, ceramic pottery, jewelry and herbal products, baskets, birdhouses and colorful garden benches, among others. These items, along with the informational gardening talks, create the perfect recipe for gardening success this spring!

Plum Creek, TX

Additionally, a Flower Show in the Zilker Botanical Garden Center with three special exhibits – featuring Bonsai, Cactus and Orchid plants – will showcase the best local horticulture in the area and will be judged by 6 accredited judges. This is the 55th annual Zilker Flower Show, hosted by the Violet Crown Garden Club and the Capital City Judges Council, which has been in existence since April 1958. Now, that’s a lot of flowers.

For the kiddos in your family, the Zilker Garden Festival features a number of kid-friendly events and activities in their Kid’s Corner as well. Here, the young ones can get their face painted, build their own birdhouses or bird feeders, make butterfly wings and masks, and will receive a free plant to take home and grow themselves. Additionally, the City of Austin will host an array of children’s activities in the Rose Garden, and near the “Faerie Homes” on the Escarpment Trail.  There will also be food products available at the Garden Festival, from the likes of Amy’s Ice Cream, Crepe Crazy, and Texas Tradition BBQ, among others, who will offer spring food items for your Garden Festival experience.

Plum Creek, TX

For more information about the Zilker Garden Festival, including location, activities and features, please visit the Zilker Botanical Garden website. And happy gardening!

Barton Creek Greenbelt


The Barton Creek Greenbelt is an approximately 8 mile stretch of land reaching from Zilker Park to the City of Westlake.  It is divided up into three sections: Lower Greenbelt, Upper Greenbelt, and Barton Creek Wilderness Park, and is characterized by large limestone cliffs, dense foliage, and shallow bodies of water.  The Greenbelt offers rock climbing and trails for walking, jogging, hiking, or mountain biking.  After periods of significant rainfall, the river fills up and offers swimming, cliff diving, kayaking and tubing.  Cavers can also enjoy Travis County’s longest cave, Airman’s Cave, which measures 2 miles long.

Website

Directions

Austin City Limits


Photo by Andreanna Moya Photography on Flickr

Austin City Limits, or ACL, is a 3-day music festival held during the fall in Zilker Park in Austin.  Many popular artists such as The Eagles, Muse, Phish, and The Strokes will highlight this year’s festival.   Don’t worry about looking nice because the majority of people attending the festival wear swimsuits, short shorts, tanks tops, and any other arrangement of summer-wear.

If you’d like to purchase tickets for this year’s festival click here.

Website

Directions

WARNING: This festival is not for the crowd-averse!!!

Photo by Choose Freewill on Flickr

Barton Springs


Fed by an underground aquifer, Bartons springs is chilly year round. photo by Ivorytower, Flickr.com

Fed by an underground aquifer, Bartons springs is a refreshing 68 degrees year round. photo by Ivorytower, Flickr.com

About Barton Springs:

“Within Zilker Park’s 358 acres, lies one of the crown jewels of Austin, Barton Springs Pool. Three acres in size, the pool is fed from under ground springs and is on average 68 degrees year round. 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 seventies. Even Robert Redford learned to swim at the pool when he was five years old while visiting his mother’s relative in Austin. Today, Barton Springs still attracts a diverse crowd of people.”~ Barton Springs Website

Tips:

  1. Check to make sure the pool is open before driving out, especially during dry spells.
  2. Bring a pair of goggles. The water is usually very clear, and a bringing a pair is a great way to check out the wildlife living in the springs.
  3. Bring extra clothes. Zilker Park is home to plenty of other activities ranging from Disc Golf to an Electric Train ride.
  4. No food is allowed in the Springs, so just plan accordingly.
  5. While it costs money to get into the actual pool, the spill off immediately downstream is free and a great place to take your dogs.

Cost:

Weekdays Weekends Summer Pass (Memorial Day – Labor Day
Senior $1 $1 $60.00
Adult $3.00 $3.00 $180.00
Junior (12-17) $2.00 $2.00 $120.00
Child (11- under) $1.00 $1.00 $60.00
Family of 4 n/a n/a $350.00 (additional family members are required to purchase the individual pass for their age group
Parking fee at Zilker $3.00 (March through September)
(pricing 2009)

Directions:

19.9 miles from Plum Creek

Barton Springs, Austin, TX 78746

Google map.

~ by ret0dd, flickr.com

~ by ret0dd, flickr.com

Zilker Kite Festival


The Zilker Kite Festival ~ via cloverity on Flickr.com
The Zilker Kite Festival ~ via cloverity on Flickr.com

Fun, Family and Free

Sunday March 7, 2010 from 10 am to 5 pm is Kite Day at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. Presented by H-E-B, The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and The Exchange Club of Austin.

Free Shuttle Rides & Parking at two locations:

  • Downtown at 1604 Colorado Street, State garage E
  • South at the Tony Burger Center at 3200 Jones Road
  • Shuttles begin at 10am (last one leaves park at 5:30 pm)

Rain date is Sunday March 14, 2010

Weather Check:

Zilker Kite Festival hotline

(512) 448-KITE (5483)