Whether you’re dipping your toes into Barton Springs Pool, jamming out at a Blues on the Green concert, or cycling around Lady Bird Lake, Zilker Park will keep you busy every second of the summer. There’s another adventure to add to this year’s list of things to do around our beloved park: Woodland Faerie Trail at Zilker Botanical Garden.
Have You Been to Zilker Botanical Garden?
Zilker Botanical Garden was built in 1960 through the combined effort of local garden clubs. It occupies 26-acres of land on the south bank of the Colorado River, and features several themed gardens with native and exotic plants: Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden, Mabel David Rose Garden, Doug Blachly Butterfly Trail and Garden, Herb Garden, Hartman Prehistoric Garden, and others.
You’ll even find a Pioneer Village complete with a historical blacksmith shop and school house that date back to the late 1800s.
Zilker Botanical Garden is open year-round. The affordable admission fee makes it an easy activity to enjoy with the family. Just make sure to check the website for dates of closure around holidays or during major Austin events (such as ACL Music Festival) that close Zilker Park.
Woodland Faerie Trail
The summer brings a little more magic to the thrill of Zilker Botanical Garden due to a family-friendly activity called Woodland Faerie Trail. Anyone who wants to participate may register on the Austin Parks and Recreation website. Following approval, a space of up to 4-feet by 4-feet is assigned to the participant off of a trail on the property. This space is used to build whimsical faerie homes that highlight native materials and plants–and to just have fun being creative.
While participants do get to have fun building a faerie home that fits their visions, Austin Parks and Recreation encourages the avoidance of artificial materials and environmental consciousness. One of the faerie stories that gets told is that litter is like kryptonite to faeries–and nobody wants to scare those magical creatures away!
Children can learn about environmental science through this activity, as they create natural habitats for local insects and wildlife with their designs. In fact, one of the exhibits this year features an insect hotel built for area wildlife to live in.
Once all of the homes have been placed along Woodland Faerie Trail, guests to Zilker Botanical Garden can walk through to see the fun exhibits. Exploring the trail will delight both children and adults, as it’s a bit of an adventure seeing the scenes that await you. Faerie preschool? Faerie dust bistro? Bigfoot? Whatever you find, I’m pretty sure it’s all Tinker Bell-approved.
There will be a Faerie Trial by Moonlight event on July 12 and 13, where visitors will walk the trail under the light of the moon to make nighttime faerie discoveries. There will be live entertainment by musical therapists, a hula hooping fairy queen, and face painting.
Woodland Faerie Trail is through Aug. 10, 2019. If you find yourself missing the faeries during Austin’s winter months, don’t worry. The park usually hosts a Faerie Tea Party each January or February.
2220 Barton Springs Road – Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
Have you visited Woodland Faerie Trail this year?
This article was originally published June 22, 2018.