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.
My kids love all the noisemaking gizmos inside. Also: is it just me, or does the cuckoo look sort of like Beyoncé?
Heading up the hill towards the Lucille Halsell Conservatories, you’ll see the eco echo dome.
While the kids play in the sandbox, you can enjoy the shade of a live oak tree.
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.
A tinted window and a ring of suspended crystals cast colorful light on framed images that memorialize extinct birds.
Then, the Baobab Family Bird House, with earthen walls and hanging gourds, and crowned with a rim of succulents.
Finally, my favorite, The Overland Gourd, made from sheets of weathered steel and hundreds of glass jars.
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.
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.
It has lots of fun doors and peepholes, as well as displays that teach about bird habitats.
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.