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PreK - 12th Grade Field Trips

aquariums in Discovery Hall
walk with school kids along peninsula
peninsula walk
watershed demonstration

Through interpretive and interactive experiences, the Meadows Center's educational tours engage students in an exploration of interconnections between all living things and water. The curricula for each program supports the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) Standards for each grade level. 

All tours require a two-week advance reservation and 72 hours notice of cancellation. Tour dates are not guaranteed until your confirmation notice from the Spring Lake Education Office has been processed. Listed group rates apply to any school group of 15 people or more. Prices are subject to change without notice. For information and pricing on all other group tours, visit our private group tours page.

Please click the links below for more information about a particular grade level. To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.

PreK - 1st Grade Field Trips

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    • Grade Level: Appropriate for All Ages 
    • Price: Students $4.50, Adults $6 (1 free adult per 10 students)
    • Length: 30 minutes


    As students glide across Spring Lake in a glass-bottom boat, they have a rare opportunity to see underwater life from a different perspective. View over 1,000 springs that bubble up 150 million gallons a day of clear water from the Edwards Aquifer to form Spring Lake, the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Declared a Critical Habitat by the Federal Government in 1980, Spring Lake is the home of five endangered species. Tour time is approximately 30 minutes.

    To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.

    • Grade Level: PreK - 1st Grade
    • Price:
      • Off Season (Sep 1 – Feb 28)
        Students $6, Adults $7 (1 free adult per 10 students)
      • Peak Season (Mar 1 – Aug 31)
        Students $6.50, Adults $7.50 (1 free adult per 10 students)
    • Length: 1.5 hours


    Some teachers prefer to pick specific activities rather than just the theme of the tour. Please choose the activity options listed in the following TEKS curriculum guide in order to make up your total tour time and email back your choices a minimum of 1 week before your tour.

    Choose from our TEKS curriculum guide:

    Can’t decide? Tell us a little bit about your group and the amount of time you would like to spend here and we’ll pick the activities for you!

    To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.


Elementary - Middle School Field Trips (2nd Grade - 8th Grade)

    • Grade Level: Appropriate for All Ages 
    • Price: Students $4.50, Adults $6 (1 free adult per 15 students)
    • Length: 30 minutes

    As students glide across Spring Lake in a glass-bottom boat, they have a rare opportunity to see underwater life from a different perspective. Students will view over 1,000 springs that bubble up 150 million gallons a day of clear water from the Edwards Aquifer to form Spring Lake, the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Declared a Critical Habitat by the Federal Government in 1980, Spring Lake is the home of five endangered species. 

    To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.

    • Grade Level: 2nd - 8th Grade
    • Price:
      • Off Season (Sep 1 – Feb 28)
        Students $6, Adults $7 (1 free adult per 15 students)
      • Peak Season (Mar 1 – Aug 31)
        Students $6.50, Adults $7.50 (1 free adult per 15 students)
    • Length: 1.5 hours

    For schools in a time crunch this hour and a half long fully guided tour includes a glass-bottom boat tour, plus one hour of other guided activities. 

    Some teachers prefer to pick specific activities rather than just the theme of the tour. Please choose from the activity options listed in the following TEKS curriculum guide in order to make up your total tour time and email back your choices a minimum of 1 week before your tour.

    Choose from our TEKS curriculum guide: 

    Can’t decide? Tell us a little bit about your group and the amount of time you would like to spend here and we’ll pick the activities for you!

    To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.

    • Grade Level: 2nd Grade - 8th Grade
    • Price: 
      • Off Season (Sep 1 – Feb 28)
        Students $6.50, Adults $7.50 (1 free adult per 15 students)
      • Peak Season (Mar 1 – Aug 31)
        Students $7, Adults $8 (1 free adult per 15 students)
      • Add $0.50 per additional half hour for an extended tour
    • Length: 2 hours

    This fully guided tour includes a 30-minute glass-bottom boat tour, plus 1.5 hours of other guided activities. Some teachers prefer to pick specific activities rather than just the theme of the tour. Please choose from the activity options listed in the following TEKS curriculum guide in order to make up your total tour time and email back your choices a minimum of 1 week before your tour.

    Choose from our TEKS curriculum guide:

    Can’t decide? Tell us a little bit about your group and the amount of time you would like to spend here and we’ll pick the activities for you!

    To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.

    • Grade Level: 6th Grade - 12th Grade
    • Prices:
      • Off Season (Sep 1 – Feb 28)
        Students $6.50, Adults $7.50 (1 free adult per 15 students)
      • Peak Season (Mar 1 – Aug 31)
        Students $7, Adults $8 (1 free adult per 15 students)
    • Length: 2 hours

    Students will participate in a Nature Orienteering Scavenger Hunt, while hiking on the beautiful Spring Lake Preserve that is adjacent to the Meadows Center. Students will use compasses and an iPad to navigate while identifying plants in the area. This program includes a glass-bottom boat ride. This program can accommodate groups of 15-40 students. Sorry, program is not suitable for larger groups.

    Pick your areas of study:

    • Historic Settlement of the Springs 
    • Study of Cultures through Artifacts
    • Native American Culture
    • Plant and Animal Communities of San Marcos Springs Ecosystem
    • Food Webs and Food Chains of San Marcos Springs Ecosystem
    • Water Renewal and Habitat Requirement
    • Endangered Aquatic Species of the San Marcos Springs
    • Critical Habitat Preservation and Conservation
    • Importance of Biodiversity and Exotic Species 
    • Aquatic Life of the Springs 
    • The Edwards Aquifer 
    • The Water Cycle and Groundwater
    • The Importance of Water

    This program may be modified and time can be increased for $0.50 per additional half hour.

    To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.


High School Field Trips (9th Grade - 12th Grade)

    • Grade Level: Appropriate for All Ages 
    • Price: Students $4.50, Adults $6 (1 free adult per 15 students)
    • Length: 30 minutes

    As students glide across Spring Lake in a glass-bottom boat, they have a rare opportunity to see underwater life from a different perspective. Students will view over 1,000 springs that bubble up 150 million gallons a day of clear water from the Edwards Aquifer to form Spring Lake, the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Declared a Critical Habitat by the Federal Government in 1980, Spring Lake is the home of five endangered species. 

    To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.

    • Grade Level: Appropriate for All Ages
    • Prices:
      • Off Season (Sep 1 – Feb 28)
        Students $6, Adults $7 (1 free adult per 15 students)
      • Peak Season (Mar 1 – Aug 31)
        Students $6.50, Adults $7.50 (1 free adult per 15 students)
    • Length: 1.5 hours

    For schools in a time crunch, this hour and a half long fully guided tour includes all the basics of Spring Lake: a glass-bottom boat tour and a water sampling activity.

    Some teachers prefer to pick specific activities rather than just the theme of the tour. Please choose from the activity options listed in the following TEKS curriculum guide in order to make up your total tour time and email back your choices a minimum of 1 week before your tour.

    Choose from our TEKS curriculum guide: 9th - 12th Grade Activity Options

    Can’t decide? Tell us a little bit about your group and the amount of time you would like to spend here and we’ll pick the activities for you!

    To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.

    • Grade Level: 6th Grade - 12th Grade
    • Prices:
      • Off Season (Sep 1 – Feb 28)
        Students $6.50, Adults $7.50 (1 free adult per 15 students)
      • Peak Season (Mar 1 – Aug 31)
        Students $7, Adults $8 (1 free adult per 15 students)
    • Length: 2 hours

    Students will participate in a Nature Orienteering Scavenger Hunt, while hiking on the beautiful Spring Lake Preserve adjacent to the Meadows Center. Students will use compasses and an iPad to navigate while identifying plants in the area. Also includes a glass-bottom boat tour. This program can accommodate groups of 15-40 students. Sorry, program is not suitable for larger groups.

    To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.

    • Grade Level: 9th Grade - 12th Grade
    • Offered March through October, weather permitting
    • Price: March through October: Students $10, Adults $10 (1 free adult per 15 students)
    • Length: 2.5 through 3 hours (varies)

    A visit to Spring Lake and the nearby San Marcos River gives students a concrete background in understanding the impact of exotic species on diverse ecosystems, endangered plants and animals as well as the effect of pollution on a habitat.

    Students will conduct macroinvertebrate testing at a location on the river. This program can accommodate groups of 15-50 students. Students will wade into the water, so each person will need to bring an extra pair of dry clothes, shoes (or wear water shoes), and swim suit. Schools are responsible for providing their own transportation to the river (tour guide will provide a map). This program includes a 30-minute glass-bottom boat tour. Program length is flexible, generally lasting 2.5 hours.

    To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.

    • Grade Level: 9th Grade - 12th Grade
    • Offered Year Round
    • Price: 
      • Off Season (Sep 1 – Feb 28)
        Students $6.50, Adults $7.50 (1 free adult per 15 students)
      • Peak Season (Mar 1 – Aug 31)
        Students $7, Adults $8 (1 free adult per 15 students)
    • Length: 2 hours

    This tour is a modified version of the On the Water's Edge program listed above. This tour will include a glass-bottom boat ride, a water cycle activity, and macroinvertibrate testing on the Meadows Center's property. Stream Team water quality probe testing can be added on request, based on availability. This program can accommodate large groups. 

    Some teachers prefer to pick specific activities rather than just the theme of the tour. Please choose from the activity options listed in the following TEKS curriculum guide in order to make up your total tour time and email back your choices a minimum of 1 week before your tour.

    Choose from our TEKS curriculum guide: 9th - 12th Grade Activity Options

    Can’t decide? Tell us a little bit about your group and the amount of time you would like to spend here and we’ll pick the activities for you!

    To reserve a tour time, please fill out the Tour Reservation Form.

For more information, please email our educational tours office at springlaketours@txstate.edu or call 512.245.7540.