Aquarena Springs Excellent Field Trip for Families

April 9, 2013

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Aquarena Springs located in San Marcos, Texas was originally developed as the first amusement park in Texas. The amusement park’s main attraction were the glass bottom boats that toured the crystal clear waters of Spring Lake. When I was a kiddo, we were actually entertained by a swimming pig and an underwater show with real mermaids. Wow! Our 5th grade field trip was a blast!

Aquarena Springs, San  Marcos

Today Aquarena Springs is under the direction of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University-San Marcos. The good news is they continue to run the glass bottom boat tours. Spring Lake really is quite beautiful and worth a day trip for fun or for an educational field trip. Check the hours of operation before you go as they change throughout the year. They also offer glass bottom kayak tours which we hope to take soon. The area is also surrounded by trails making it a full day of exploration.

Aquarena Springs, San  Marcos

You can begin your day with a visit to the information center. It includes interactive computer screens that teach about the springs and the wildlife of the area. There is also an informational movie.

Aquarena Springs, San  Marcos

The information center also includes a number of observation aquariums featuring native spring life.

Aquarena Springs, San  Marcos

The springs are home to a number of endangered species including the famous Texas Blind Salamander. If your kiddos want to see the interesting creature in action they can view a video on the Aquarena Springs website.

Aquarena Springs, San  Marcos

Miss Enigma’s favorite. A tiny turtle with a shell about the size of a quarter. Adorable!

Aquarena Springs, San  Marcos

The excitement builds! It’s time to board the glass bottom boat . . . While the waters are crystal clear, I don’t have an underwater camera. So squint your eyes and use a little imagination . . .

Aquarena Springs, San Marcos

Right out of the gates we caught a glimpse of a spotted gar.

Aquarena Springs, San  Marcos

We observed numerous types of fish. MacGyver was absolutely thrilled! I cannot emphasize this enough.

Aquarena Springs, San Marcos

Half way through the tour, one woman asked another, “What type of fish are those big ones?” Her companion answered, “I have no idea. But that child over there appears to know all about the fish. Ask him.” MacGyver eagerly informed the ladies that the fish were large mouth bass.

Miss Enigma had her own perspective and asked our tour guide, “How did they make this big swimming pool. Why can’t we go swimming?”

Aquarena Springs, San Marcos

We could easily see the springs bubbling both above the water . . .

Aquarena Springs, San Marcos

and below the water. Very cool!

Aquarena Springs, San Marcos

Again, one of Miss Enigma’s favorites. Turtles sunning themselves on logs.

Aquarena Springs, San Marcos

Time to wrap up our day at the springs.

It was very hard to pull the kiddos away from the springs. Right from the side they could see fish and turtles swimming about.  Isn’t it wonderful to take the kids on a learning adventure and you have to drag them away?!

You can view an informational video about the history of Aquarena Springs and get a  peek at some of the things you might see on a glass bottom boat tour. Enjoy!

Things to know before you go:

Life with Jeannine

Life Cycle of a Frog FREE printable book

This Week at waddlee-ah-chaa: Life Cycle of a Frog

  • Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: Growing Frogs by Vivian French
  • word work and sentence writing
  • FREE printable book: Life Cycle of a Frog Blank
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  • FREE printable cards: Life Cycle of a Frog Blank

What spring adventures are you and your children enjoying? Any field trip recommendations?

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