Botanical Garden, Austin
This is quite possibly one of my very favorite places in Austin. It's absolutely beautiful and peaceful. It completely relaxes me after a long week of work. I love going to this place when the weather is nice. You could easily spend a couple of hours at this place. There is plenty to see and smell. They have quite a few different gardens, but my favorite is the Oriental Garden. The design is calming and gorgeous. If you're in the Zilker Park area, you should definitely check out these gardens. Admission is generally free, I think, so it's definitely worth a visit.
Although I prefered the San Antonio Botanical Garden, admission is free at Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin so I can't really complain. This garden is made up of different sections that are very different from one another - the lovely, albeit small Taniguchi oriental garden is located right next to the Hartman prehistoric garden, which features some dinosaur tracks. A pioneer cabin, a blacksmith shop and a schoolhouse have also been thrown in there, because, you know, Austin's weird like that. ;o)
Lovely area to stroll around and enjoy the scenery. The Gardens include a rose garden, cactus garden, butterfly trail and my personal favorite...the lovely Japanese Zen garden. If you come in October, you can enjoy the once a year Japanese Moon Viewing event.
Free and open to the public with 18 acres of garden displays.
Visit between 7:00am to 7:00pm
The Zilker Botanical Gardens are a great place to get out and see beautiful and varied wildlife and flora. Many winding pathways bring you to very tranquil and beautiful ponds, bridges, and rock gardens. Very well maintained paths should be easily negotiated by kids. Stunning, very stunning.
Opens at 7 AM and closes at sundown, and best of all is FREE!!!
This place is just great. If you like to draw, just bring a sketchbook and some graphite and you can sketch all day. It's very affordable too. The last time I went I think it was 6 bucks (Don't quote me on that tho)
Close to Barton Springs are the Zilker Botanical gardens featuring native Texas and more exotic plants along with a Japanese garden.