This free, family-friendly event will feature hands-on activities, cave explorations, science and adventure presentations, live music, and more. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit two caves and see how water makes its way to the aquifer and Barton Springs, learn about animals that call Austin’s caves home, try on caving gear, and learn how to protect and conserve Austin’s water resources.
All Day Activities (10 a.m.- 3 p.m.)
If you plan to go caving, please wear clothing and closed-toe shoes you can get muddy and clean clothes/shoes to change into afterwards. The cave tour registrations are currently full, but walk-ups will be accepted (space permitting). There will also be a virtual reality cave from PassmoreVR and an artificial cave from CaveSim with interactive electronic formations, fauna and artifacts.
In addition to caving, there will be lots of indoor and outdoor activities to choose from, so the event will be held rain or shine!
Austin Cave Festival Cave Tours
Join experts from City of Austin Watershed Protection and Wildlands for tours of La Crosse Cave and Wildflower Cave to explore the underground world and learn what critters live there, how water enters the cave and travels through the Edwards Aquifer, and how actions in the recharge zone affect water quality at Barton Springs. Wear closed-toe shoes and clothes you can get muddy. Helmets, headlamps and additional cave gear will be provided. Please read the descriptions below and register in advance for the cave and a specific time. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tours are 45 minutes each.
La Crosse Cave (for ages 4+) has a staircase that provides access to the cave. Most of the cave can be walked through. Some stooping is required, but crawling is minimal. There are parts of the cave that may also be explored by crawling.
Wildflower Cave (for ages 8+) requires participants to crawl on hands and knees. This cave has a low ceiling; participants will mainly be sitting or crawling.
Austin Cave Festival will be hosted by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, and the City of Austin (Austin Water Wildland Conservation Division; Watershed Protection Department).