Spending a day exploring nature with your family shouldn’t include a long drive to find interesting natural areas worth exploring. Here in San Marcos, we have plenty of exciting outdoor adventures right in the middle of town! Here are five kid approved ways to enjoy nature without having to leave the city.

1) Take A Glass-bottom Boat Tour

The Glass-bottom Boats provide a rare opportunity to see underwater life from a different perspective. View more than 1,000 artesian springs that bubble up from the Edwards Aquifer to form the headwaters of the San Marcos River and Spring Lake. Learn about ancient peoples who revered and lived in the area as you glide over an underwater archaeology site. The kids will love catching glimpses of the local wildlife swimming and sunbathing nearby. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see some of the scuba divers in action as they explore beneath the surface!

2) Tour The Wetlands Boardwalk

Walk and explore the self-guided trail that takes visitors through a 1/10-mile floating boardwalk that offers a close-up view of the abundant plant and animal life that thrive here. 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) Hit The Trails

San Marcos is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the Texas Hill Country and offers plenty of options for outdoor adventurers of all skill levels. From the 570-acre Purgatory Creek Natural Area, to the 2.4 mile San Marcos Riverwalk, your kids will love getting outside and going on a family hike. Want to learn more about the trails in San Marcos? Click here.

4) Take A Leisurely Float

The San Marcos River is a crystal-clear river that stays a constant 72 degrees year ‘round – perfect for cooling off on a hot day! Take the family to Lions Club Tube Rental for a hassle-free tubing experience. Simply get your tubes and jump in at City Park and kick back and relax until you get to Rio Vista Park, about a 45-minute float - perfect for first timers! Then hop on the Lions Club shuttle and zip back over to your car at City Park. It really doesn’t get much more relaxed than that. We do recommend life vests for little ones or weak swimmers.  


5) Wonder World Park

Cave exploring, Anti-Gravity House, Petting Park, train rides and an observation tower? Sounds like a good time to us! Wonder World Park is the first commercial show cave in Texas and is the nation’s only true example of an earthquake-formed cave open to the public. The whole family can learn about the Balcones Fault Line and see the devastating force of Mother Nature. Little kids will love getting to feed some of the wildlife while on the train ride through the wildlife park. We suggest a ride 190-feet upwards in the Tejas Observation Tower for some truly spectacular views of the city and surrounding landscape.


Which activity, or activities, do you plan on experiencing with your family? Let us know in the comments!