This afternoon, we had a two-part adventure: something old and something new.
We started with something old: the UT turtle pond, which we have been visiting for over 10 years.
We arrived on the UT campus at 3:15 p.m. There are a few 45-minute parking meters on 24th Street between Guadalupe and Whitis Avenue. This is all the time we needed!
The turtle pond is located in the shadow of the UT Tower, near the intersection of University Avenue and Inner Campus Drive. You can read more about its history and see a map here.
I cannot explain the allure of this humble pond for children! The kids were fascinated by all of the turtles, especially the large snapping turtle. He looks prehistoric!
The other critters in and around the pond–like fish, squirrels, and birds–have absolutely no fear of humans. We are still laughing about this squirrel, who was trying to cool off as he watched us closely.
It looks like the pond might be due for some maintenance: one area had a lot of algae and the turtles were practically on top of each other.
My younger two children did not want to leave this charmed area, but the parking meter was ticking! To get a few minutes of air-conditioning, we walked into the ground floor of the nearby UT Tower, went up the stairs, and exited on the first floor. It is very scenic, with the Capitol dome visible on the horizon.
This view looking south from the UT Tower is one of my favorites in the city.
We raced back to our car to beat the meter and then headed north to try something new: the Sustainable Food Center Farmers’ Market at the Triangle.
Market hours are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Wednesday (March – September). The produce was really beautiful.
I picked up some fresh fruits and vegetables and then we cooled off with Jim-Jim’s water ice. What a great way to end our afternoon!
Austin Active Kids Opinion: Each of these outings is probably substantial enough to stand alone, instead of back-to-back. Because of the afternoon heat, the time we could realistically enjoy the activities was limited.
Outing Time: About 1 hour 45 minutes total for both the UT turtle pond and the farmers’ market
Reminders: Plan ahead for parking any time you visit The University of Texas campus. If you go on a weekend, you might be able to find more available street parking (but always check the signs).