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Spring Lake Outdoor Academy

COVID-19 UPDATES: Spring Lake is open to the public. Glass-bottom boat tour tickets are available at the Ticket Kiosk (no online registration required). Private boat tours must be booked online 72 hours in advance. More information.

Get out into nature with our programs just for students grades K-12th!

Are you looking for something fun and educational to do with your student? Are your children interested in science and the great outdoors? Join us at the Spring Lake Outdoor Academy!

This series of classes is designed for students K-12th to get outside and experience nature firsthand, while enjoying the Meadows Center’s exhibits and programs at Spring Lake. Homeschool students are encouraged to register. 

This event is perfect for smaller groups and families who cannot meet the 15-person minimum for a field trip at Spring Lake. 

Classes take place once a month and parties may register for individual classes or all classes in a season. Please note that all children must be accompanied by an adult and tickets are required for both children and adults. Pre-registration is required and classes are limited to 40 participants. Tickets are $8/person; children 2 and under are free. Get $1 off when you register for the entire semester! 

Check-in begins at 9:45am at the Meadows Center ticket kiosk. These events are held from 10:00am to 12:00pm and feature hands-on activities, including:

  • A guided glass-bottom boat ride
  • Interactive activities that teach students the interconnections between all living things and water

Please Note: Visitors' vehicles are required to display a permit in the Meadows Center parking lot. One-day temporary permits are available for $3 at the pay-and-display station located near the ticket kiosk.

Fall 2021 Schedule:

  • September 14 Discover the Wonderful World of Insects: Have you ever wondered which insects can be found in Central Texas in the Fall? During this program we will discover the fascinating world of terrestrial and aquatic insect species through hands-on activities.

  • October 12 Indigenous Cultures Exploration: Let’s learn about the cultures that have existed and thrived in Central Texas for thousands of years! During this program we will experience their ways of life through games and crafts.

  • November 9  Wonders of the Water Cycle: Join us to learn how clouds play an active role in the movement of water in the water cycle. Whether you are cumulus or nimbostratus you will surely have a sunny time during this program!
  • December 7 World Soil Day: Let’s get our hands dirty together for World Soil Day. We will learn about the various components of soil and explore ways to help the soil thrive. After all, soil is the foundation for all life!


Spring 2022 Schedule:

  • February 8 – Celebrate the World of Wetlands: In honor of World Wetlands Day, we will take you on an adventure through the Meadows Center’s prized Wetlands. We will learn all about the plants and animals that call the Wetlands home.

  • March 8 – Living in a Watershed: In this program, we will learn about the importance of water and keeping it clean through game play and hands-on activities. We will interact with a large watershed model to discover the impact we have on our watershed, and brainstorm creative solutions to help keep our water clean.

  • April 12 – Eco Explorer: With Springtime in full bloom, it’s time to hit the trails! In this adventure filled day, we will explore the park and create our very own plant and animal field guides. We will learn how to use our five senses to better understand the natural world.  
  • May 10 – All About Birds: With bird migration underway, it’s the perfect time of year to break out the binoculars at Spring Lake! We will explore the various adaptations that allow certain bird species to be successful in their environment. This program is sure to be a hoot!
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  • Cancellations must be received at least 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund. If a cancellation is made less than 24 hours prior to the event, you will receive half the total amount charged.  The amount refunded will be applied to the credit card that was used for payment.

  • Visitors' vehicles are required to display a permit in The Meadows Center parking lot. One-day temporary permits are available for $3 at the pay-and-display station located near the ticket kiosk.