Guest article by Caitlin Jackson
You’ve seen the bats from the bridge, but how about from the water? Under a full moon? Texas River School has an event that allows you to do both. It’s called Moonlight Bat Float. Guided by moonlight and entertained by live music, you set out on Lady Bird Lake in a flotilla of kayaks and canoes. Just as the sun goes down, the bats fly overhead while you glide on the water, away from traffic and noise.
When, Where, How Moonlight Bat Float Started
Moonlight Bat Float is an annual event that begins in May and ends in October. There’s only one event per month, and each occurs on the Saturday closest to the full moon. That’s a grand total of six events per season.
Each event begins at Texas Rowing Center on Lady Bird Lake. From there, you will paddle towards the Congress Avenue Bridge just in time to see the bats fill the sky. You’ll get to enjoy two Austin staples at once: Lady Bird Lake and Austin’s infamous bats.
Moonlight Bat Float was started in the late 80’s by Texas River School founder, Joe Kendall. The event is a fundraiser for the non-profit organization. Texas River School provides local children an opportunity to experience area rivers firsthand. Through various programs, children are taught about canoeing, river etiquette, river safety, and conservation.
Education Meets Adventure
At Texas River School, kids learn what an important resource rivers and aquifers are for the ecosystem. At the same time, they also gain the confidence and personal growth only a trip down a river can provide. It’s the kind of hands-on learning that makes for an impactful life experience.
Over the years, Texas River School has partnered with many local organizations to give more kids access to its programs, including Aus
So, Moonlight Bat Float is not just a cool event for Austinites. It also supports Texas River School and local children. By participating in this event, you help provide these opportunity to even more children.
There are two more Moonlight Bat Float events scheduled for 2017:
- Saturday, Sept. 9 – 6:30 to 9 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 7 – 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.
Moonlight Bat Float Event Details
Here’s what you need to know before attending your first Moonlight Bat Float.
- Meet at Texas Rowing Center, located at 1541 West Cesar Chavez. Arrive at 6:30 p.m. for check-in (come earlier in October, since the days are shorter and the bats come out sooner). There will be a Texas River School rep at a table near the dock for check-in.
- Select your ride. You’ll have a choice between kayak or canoe. Canoes seat up to three people. Kayaks come in single, double, or triple. There are 60 seats available for each event. Rental of your kayak or canoe is included in the ticket price.
- Bring food and drinks (if you want) in a collapsible cooler and/or plastic containers. Don’t forget a trash bag to keep your trash out of the river.
- Paddle towards Congress Avenue br
idge, just in time for the bats to take flight.
- Enjoy live music from local musicians, who give an acoustic performance on a homemade river raft that acts as a floating stage. Live music could be folk, blues, or country. Performers may be solo, a duo, or a group. The tunes add to the ambiance of the river, making Moonlight Bat Float a unique Austin experience.
To purchase your tickets, click here. Seats are limited, so purchase soon.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What is your favorite way to experience the famous Austin bats?
Caitlin Jackson has been an Austinite for 17 years. She lives here with her family and is always on the hunt for things they can do together.