Laguna Gloria: Austin Bucket List for 2015

2015 Austin Bucket Lists

We say it all the time, but we do truly believe it: Austin is an amazing place to raise a family. With this in mind, we’re on a mission to go discover all the things which make our town special. To help get out more without getting overwhelmed, we came up with the Austin Bucket List project. Each year, we pick 10 things we’d like to do in Austin — with or without our kids. That sounds doable, doesn’t it? Then, we document our adventures here, with the idea of getting each of you inspired to do the same.

What’s an endeavor like this without a few friends along for the ride? We asked our blogger friends in Austin who’d like to join us on the Austin Bucket List project, and we were thrilled to have several takers. Today’s report is from Skye Kilean, who is embarking upon her second year of crossing off bucket list items. This time, Boy Detective takes her on an adventure to discover an Austin villa surprisingly close to the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin. Here’s what she had to say:


“Mom, you HAVE to come to Laguna Gloria!” my seven year old called when he got home from his field trip. For the next fifteen minutes he told me about all of his favorite pieces, in exuberant detail, and changed his proposed viewing order at least three times.

When Boy Detective is excited enough about something that it interrupts talk of Minecraft, Garfield, and Yu-Gi-Oh, I know it’s important. So needless to say, I allowed him to take me there and give me the tour.

laguna gloria museum

Laguna Gloria is more completely known as The Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria. And it turned out that the works Boy Detective was excited about were all part of the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park. There are fewer than 10 pieces, spread out across the grounds, making it more like a park hike with random art popping up than a museum excursion.

Given we’d had a sedentary day before that, it was perfect. He could move around and use a regular voice, rather than an inside voice. And the only thing better than art is giant art, right?

“The Stairs” by Monika Sosnowska.

Especially if it’s Hello Kitty-related.


Advertisement“Miffy Fountain” by Tom Sachs.

What you need to know:

Here are all the admission details, such as directions, schedule, and admission. Kids under 18 get in free. Yes, every day! And at just $5 for each adult, it’s cheaper than a movie.

Watch out for wet weather, because there aren’t hard paths to all of the sculptures. When we went, the previous night’s hail and rain storm had created big muddy puddles in between us and some of the things we wanted to see. (We made it without sacrificing any shoes.)

“Luna” by Ursula von Rydingsvard

Also watch out for super-sunny weather, because there isn’t much shade between art pieces. We wore sunscreen and the grownups wore hats.

I’m a little skeptical that the sculpture park is completely wheelchair / stroller / walker accessible. I don’t find any section on their website discussing this, either, which is disappointing.

The parking lot is quite small, and there’s competition for the nearby on-street parking with Mayfield Park. We arrived at about 2pm on a Sunday and lucked out that we were able to grab someone else’s spot. Might be smarter to get there when it opens. There are drop-in tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm, so I’d expect those times to be pretty busy.

Don’t let your children touch the art unless there’s a sign saying it’s okay! I’m continually astonished by how many parents look right at their children who are touching, pulling on, or trying to climb art… and the parents say nothing. What is that about?

Far and near shots of “Network” by Do Ho Suh.

“I’m SO glad you got to see it!” Boy Detective gushed when we got back in the car. Clearly we have to visit more of Austin’s art museums; he’s a fan! So let me know if you have any suggestions for our next trip.

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