Birdhouses built for kid-sized fun at the San Antonio Botanical Garden

Birdhouses at the San Antonio Botanical Garden | Alamo City Moms Blog

Have you seen the Birdhouses exhibit at the San Antonio Botanical Garden yet? A partnership with the San Antonio chapter of the American Institute of Architects, these innovative, human-sized creations will have your kids tromping all over the garden to find and explore every one. This special exhibit will be at the Botanical Garden until June 29, 2014; it’s free for members, and included with the cost of admission.

As you enter the garden at the Carriage House, pick up a map. The first birdhouse you’ll probably see, in the Formal Gardens, is the Cuckoo Bird Playhouse.

Cuckoo Bird Playhouse, San Antonio Botanical Garden
Cuckoo Bird Playhouse

My kids love all the noisemaking gizmos inside. Also: is it just me, or does the cuckoo look sort of like Beyoncé?

Cuckoo Bird Playhouse, San Antonio Botanical Garden

Heading up the hill towards the Lucille Halsell Conservatories, you’ll see the eco echo dome.

eco echo dome, San Antonio Botanical Garden
eco echo dome

While the kids play in the sandbox, you can enjoy the shade of a live oak tree.

sandbox in the eco echo dome sandbox, San Antonio Botanical Garden

Follow the path around the Overlook; it will lead you to three more birdhouses near the entrance to the Texas Native Trail. First, The Egg Nest: “FALLEN”, which looks like a giant robin’s egg on the outside, but is built like a nest on the inside.

The Egg Nest: "FALLEN", San Antonio Botanical Garden
The Egg Nest: “FALLEN”

A tinted window and a ring of suspended crystals cast colorful light on framed images that memorialize extinct birds.

inside the Egg Nest: "FALLEN", San Antonio Botanical Garden

Then, the Baobab Family Bird House, with earthen walls and hanging gourds, and crowned with a rim of succulents.

Baobab Family Bird House, San Antonio Botanical Garden
Baobab Family Bird House

Finally, my favorite, The Overland Gourd, made from sheets of weathered steel and hundreds of glass jars.

The Overland Gourd, San Antonio Botanical Garden
The Overland Gourd

The wooden doorframe is a close embrace; once inside, the gourd opens with light from the spiraling seams in the steel, from the glass jars, and from an oculus in the stem of the gourd.

Overland Gourd oculus, San Antonio Botanical Garden

If you turned right at the entrance and went through the wisteria arbor towards the Fountain Plaza, then you probably saw For the Birds right away. If not, then swing by this birdhouse on your way out.

For the Birds, San Antonio Botanical Garden
For the Birds

It has lots of fun doors and peepholes, as well as displays that teach about bird habitats.

For the Birds, San Antonio Botanical Garden

I hope you’ll visit the Birdhouses this summer; the exhibit will be at the Botanical Garden until June 29, 2014. The Botanical Garden is open almost every day of the year and is so large—over 30 acres—that it rarely feels crowded.

What else is going on this summer at the Botanical Garden? Summer campsStarlight Movies in the Garden, Art in the Garden, and my personal favorite, Shakespeare in the Park with the Magik Theatre.

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Inga Cotton
Inga is passionate about parent-driven education: helping parents be the best advocates for their children, finding the right schools (or homeschooling resources), and enjoying San Antonio's variety of arts and cultural events for families. She was born in California but has called Texas home since high school. She works part time as a lawyer and also blogs at San Antonio Charter Moms. Her eight-year-old son, F.T., and five-year-old daughter, G.N., attend a public charter school in the heart of the city. She married a techie and is a bit of a geek herself.


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