The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of The University of Texas at Austin will host a grand opening celebration for the new Luci and Ian Family Garden on Sunday, May 4, 2014, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Named for Luci Baines Johnson and Ian Turpin, the 4.5-acre addition is a family destination with more than a dozen interactive features designed to foster hands-on, creative play and learning in nature.
The grand opening celebration will not be free (except for children age 4 and under), but you can get discounted tickets if you purchase them in advance online. The cost for walk-up tickets is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and $3 for children 5 to 12.
Guests attending the grand opening celebration will enjoy:
- Games on the Play Lawn including colorful play parachutes, bubble blowing and Frisbees.
- Family activities including story time, a kids’ song writing workshop, and a garden quest with stops to do a sensory dig, create petroglyphs, search for wildlife and more.
- Live performances by notable Austin musicians.
- Self-guided nature play to spark creativity and imagination using tools including binoculars, hand lenses, bug collectors, pond scopes, and digging trowels.
- Free T-shirts for a limited number of guests and a chance to create and purchase silk screen T-shirts.
- Lunch, snack and beverage options from food trucks and the Wildflower Café.
Sunday event schedule:
- 11 a.m.: Gina Chavez
- 12 p.m.: Big Don
- 1 p.m.: Storytime in the Little House
- 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Children’s book sale and book signings in the Store
- 3 p.m.: Hank and Shaidri Alrich (Americana songwriter)
- 4:30 p.m.: Wood and Wire (main act, bluegrass)
The garden’s 4.5 acres of woodland and meadow provide the perfect setting for unstructured, creative nature play. The Family Garden invites hands-on interaction amidst native plants through features like Nature’s Spiral, a mosaic-inlaid limestone wall that illustrates the spiral shapes found in sunflower heads, agaves and Turk’s caps. Giant bird’s nests with wooden eggs, a Metamorphosis Maze, a central creek and grotto, and many more features will be offered in a safe nature setting.