Need to knows:
Stroller or sling? Definitely sling — NOT stroller friendly
Baby friendly restrooms? Yes
Parking validation? No — free street parking
In case you weren’t aware, Art and Nature had a lovechild and named it Laguna Gloria. This sculpture park is stunning. It’s part of The Contemporary Austin, which also includes a modern art museum called the Jones Center and an art school. The Jones Center is indoors and located downtown on Congress Ave, and Laguna Gloria and the art school are in a lovely space on the shores of Lake Austin.
You’ll need to book tickets online to guarantee admission, and it’s just $10 for adults. They only release tickets on Mondays, so you can’t book too far in advance.
The grounds are all outdoors, so exert some caution in the summer. They do, of course, have an air conditioned gift shop and restrooms, but everything else is entirely outdoors and there’s minimal shade. There is no parking on the premises, so you will need to parallel park on the road. It’s not as much of a pain as it sounds, but plan accordingly. There is apparently a country club next door which has restricted their parking spots, so be prepared to street park and walk 5-10 minutes to the grounds.
You’ll definitely want to wear the baby, because the grounds are very natural (not much paving) and it is a bumpy ride with the stroller. There are also numerous stairs — like, a lot a lot of stairs — so it is not conducive to the stroller unless you’re interested in lifting and hiking over and over again.
Once you’re wearing your baby and strolling the grounds, though, it is lovely. There is a little cafe toward the entrance where you can buy iced coffees, sandwiches, salads, snacks, and more recently — wine and beer! There’s also a nice changing table in the ladies room, and you’ll want to hit up the gift shop if you want to grab a map.
The art is dotted all around the premises, and in true contemporary fashion it’s colorful, thought provoking, and unique. You sort of just meander all around the grounds and follow what looks interesting, and it’s very easy to social distance. Some of the pieces are in the trees and some are down low, and there are a few hiding close to the lake. There are plaques near the pieces, but they’re easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention. Or, of course, you could follow the map.
The setting itself is serene, immaculate, and appropriately bougie. It’s a winner. Check out their site for more info and book tickets here.