San Marcos Like a Local

8 Family-Friendly Things to do this Spring Break at The Meadows Center

March 5, 2018

With Spring Break right around the corner, parents are searching for things to see, do and experience together as a family. From interpreter-led tours to interactive exhibits, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University offers outdoor fun to help you keep the kids busy while school is out:


1. Take a Glass-bottom Boat Tour
The glass-bottom boats provide a rare opportunity to see underwater life from a different perspective. View over 1,000 artesian springs that bubble up from the Edwards Aquifer to form the headwaters of the San Marcos River and Spring Lake. See why ancient peoples revered this place as you glide over an underwater archaeology site and catch glimpses of the abundant plant and animal life that call Spring Lake home. Upgrade to the extended tour to explore springs not seen on the standard 30-minute tour!


2. Tour the Wetlands Boardwalk
The Wetlands Guided Tour takes visitors through a 1/10-mile floating boardwalk that explains the environmental importance of wetlands. During this tour, you can expect to see migrating song birds along with blue, green, tricolored and yellow crowned night herons, snowy egrets, kingfishers, flycatchers, nesting red-tailed hawks and four different species of turtles basking in the sun.


3. Explore the Discovery Hall Exhibits
The Discovery Hall hosts a mixture of live animals and interactive exhibits to help visitors connect personally with the environment they are exploring. It includes a 1,000 gallon aquarium of native fish found in Spring Lake, an endangered species exhibit where you will see Texas Blind Salamanders, San Marcos Salamanders and Fountain darters, a baby turtle aquarium, a multiscreen video wall and interactive exhibit about the Edwards Aquifer and the Water Systems of Texas.


4. Celebrate World Water Day at Spring Lake
Celebrate and learn about Earth’s most important resource, water, at the Go Green World Water Day Family Fun Day at Spring Lake on March 18! Join us from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. as we celebrate water and green living with nature themed art, crafts and activities with a St. Patrick’s Day twist! This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored in part by the City of San Marcos.


5. Take a Paddling Tour
Join our partners at the REI Outdoor School for a kayak or stand-up paddle board tour to experience an exclusive view of Spring Lake's crystal clear waters. Classes are led by expert instructors and all gear will be provided by REI Outdoor School. Pre-registration is required at


6. Hike the Spring Lake Natural Area
Spring Lake Natural Area is a little known 251-acre park that sits just above Spring Lake, the headwaters of the San Marcos River. It offers many miles of natural surface trails and is open to the public for hiking, biking, birding, photography, and is a perfect companion to a visit to The Meadows Center.


7. Explore the Our Desired Future Exhibit
The traveling exhibit, Our Desired Future, will be on display in from March 22 – April 12 in The Meadows Center’s Discovery Hall. Our Desired Future examines the interconnections between water above and below ground. The exhibit combines photos, stories and first-of-its-kind maps to help Texans understand where their water comes from and how the state’s water resources can be managed for long-term viability.


8. Visit the Gift Shop
The Meadows Center’s Eco-Friendly Gift Shop is a great place to visit after you explore Spring Lake. Pick up a souvenir to remember your trip!


The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment is open seven days a week. More information and can be found online at