Monday, 5 August 2013

Adventures in Texas - Sculpture Days!

So, this summer I decided to make the most of my six, yes, 6 weeks off from school and have adventures with the children and S. We have gone and done some pretty fun things. Look for more updates about the things we did this summer as the weeks progress.

In no particular order......

Adventure 1 - Sculptures, sculptures everywhere!

Managed to get into the waterfall with getting soaked!
Today was Family Day at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden in Zilker Park. I saw a posting for this event last month in the Free Fun in Austin blog but I didn't go because, well..... I was too lazy. I mean, pack up two kids, go to an unknown event where Superboy might have to behave just scares me. Today though, I was looking for something free to do and this posting popped up again so I thought, why not give it a try. The worst thing that could happen is that he breaks a few million dollar statues right? I packed up the kids, called a friend and she packed up her kids, and then we went off to see what the hoopla was all about.

We got to the Umlauf, and I was so pleasantly surprised! The building itself reminded me of a cross between the Botanical Gardens on St. Croix and an art gallery. There was this great little waterfall to the right of the building that the kids loved exploring and that filled the air with the melodic sounds of water flowing down rocks.  From there we entered into the atrium and listened to a story being read. It was about an Octopus - how appropriate! Superboy ended up talking to the nice lady from Book People all about animals like rattlesnakes, wolverines, and badgers and how cool they were. I think she left that conversation missing an ear or two!
Scavengers on the hunt.

The wonderful ladies at the Umlauf gave each child a photo scavenger hunt of different sculptures and a dry erase marker so they could cross off the sculptures as they found them.  The little little ones LOVED this and had a great time. The older ones liked the challenge of finding different statue hands, but were not as excited as the littles.  The Umlauf also had a sand pit where the kids could make sandcastles, volcanoes, and roadways.  There was sand and water involved so my island kids had a BLAST!  I would say that this was the highlight of the trip.

Playing in the sand.
In short, other than the slight heart attack that I had when we were inside and Superboy almost knocked over a 3 million dollar statue, it was a highly successful day where they ALL had a blast. Do I recommend taking your kids to the Umlauf? Yes, should you expect them to want to go back every week - umm, probably not, but I think they will be up for it once every few months.  This trip gave me the idea that doing a scavenger hunt for all ages would be the way to go when we go to a questionable locale on our next adventure.

In order to end our day, we went Amy's Ice Cream in the Arboretum.  It was cool - they had great flavors. I got Mexican Vanilla, Superboy got Sweet Cream with gummy bears, and A got a Melon Sorbet - I think A's was the most refreshing. We then went to go see the granite cows in the little park behind the shops.  The kids all loved climbing on these statues and riding the cows off into the sunset!

Tandem cow riding!

Go have a sculpture adventure today and tell me about it sometime.

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