Family Adventure Garden – Opening March 3, 2018 Buy Tickets
Become a member and enjoy an exclusive preview on February 24!
ROLL – EXPLORE – CLIMB – DISCOVER – SPLASH
Play outside and get the wiggles out! Experience 15 fun spaces that encourage unstructured play and exploration. Run up and roll down Tumble Hill, find your way through the kid-friendly Muhly Maze, and trek through Thunder Ridge where a clap of thunder starts a water play adventure in the Greehey Family Foundation No Name Creek. Parents and caregivers will find plenty of places within the Family Adventure Garden for resting, picnicking, and socializing with friends. (Stroller parking, bathrooms, and water refill stations included.)
About the Family Adventure Garden
Learn why Nature Play is important.
Adventure Gateway Your adventure begins here! The Adventure Gateway is the only entrance and exit to the 2.5 acre Family Adventure Garden where kids and families can have a fun, hands-on, safe place to play in nature. With fifteen themed areas, families can explore the regions of South Texas from an urban backyard to the Texas Hill Country and South Texas Plains. Children will discover ephemeral creeks, thundering ridges, beckoning hills, and tranquil pools.
Tumble Hill, Watering Hole, and Acequia Tank Green grass beckons children to climb to the top of Tumble Hill and race to the bottom. Cheer young explorers as they make their first run up the hill (or their twentieth!) at the nearby Watering Hole, a beautiful courtyard with prickly pear cactus, native grasses, colorful seating with string lights overhead. Discover the story of water and see how recycled water is harvested and then channeled to an elevated Acequia Tank.
Secret Garden, Backyard Explore, and The Field Tunnel, climb, and dig in this backyard landscape. A magnificent live oak tree takes center stage in the Backyard Explore offering a shaded space for caregivers to gather with young children. The Field’s natural lawn welcomes crawlers and toddlers alike for unstructured play, group games, and quiet time. Surrounded by a bosque of evergreen trees and lounge seating, the Secret Garden’s sand play area encourages creativity and development of fine motor skills.
Prickly Pear Pavilion and Muhly Maze A green roof full of native cactus is planted atop Prickly Pear Pavilion, the signature structure of the Family Adventure Garden. The pavilion provides a place for pop-up educational programming and birthday party celebrations by reservation. Stroller parking, family restrooms, and water refill stations are conveniently located for a quick break before exploring Muhly Maze. Muhly grass is native to the region and very drought tolerant. Its leaves and feathery plumes make it a wonderful plant material for a kid-friendly maze that encourages problem solving skills and physical activity.
Dry Rock Creek, Cypress Spring, and Retama Recharge The story of water continues! Follow a winding dry creek bed through the Family Adventure Garden. Build rock dams, look for fossils, and balance on logs. What happens to the creek bed after a storm? Compare which plants appear after it rains and which plants “sleep” when it’s dry. Where does the water go? Get a glimpse of how our region’s landscape captures water in the Retama Recharge, stores it beneath the soil, and reappears in Cypress Spring. Families can learn about the diversity of soil, plants, animals, and insects living near this water source.
Limestone Ledge, Thunder Ridge, and Greehy Family Foundation No Name Creek Children will delight in hearing a clap of thunder in Thunder Ridge and then see a stream of water begin to fill the Greehy Family Foundation No Name Creek. On warm days, families are invited to dip their feet and splash in the creek to cool off while exploring the bluffs of Limestone Ledge. Search for fossil imprints of creatures that roamed the Hill Country millions of year ago.
Huisache Way, Bluestem Bluff, Prickly Pear Peak and Pecan Grove Stroll along Huisache Way and stop by the stage to catch a puppet show or play. Jump on stage and create your own performance! Continue along the way and discover whimsical play houses inspired by nature. Walk up the path of Bluestem Bluff to discover wildflowers, native grasses, woody trees, and shrubs that grow on a limestone hillside. There are many ways to get to the top of Prickly Pear Peak; a rock stair scramble or an ADA path to experience the dramatic views of the Family Adventure Garden, Conservatory, and San Antonio.