Central Texas has an extensive network of underground caverns - both North and South of Austin - but I had yet to visit any of them before this trip, and so we were quite excited for our visit. The caverns remain a lovely 72 degrees year round with a 0 % humidity (um, heaven!), and what better way to cure our cabin fever yet remain nice and cool in the dead of summer?
We chose Wonder World for our first cave exploration not only because it was located in San Marcos and convenient to us that day, but also because it is particularly geared towards children. The park boasts an all-inclusive tour that begins with a guided tour through the Wonder World Caverns, as well as the observation deck, the anti-gravity house, and a train ride through an exotic animal petting park. That way, even if your child is underwhelmed by the history of the underground network in Central Texas, they'll still come away having had a great day!
First up, the caves. One disclaimer I wish I would have had was that the guided tour includes descending multiple sets of steep, large steps. Not only is it difficult for a two-year-old in the best of conditions (Ava's pretty physically competent), but it's no walk in the park for a mom wearing flip-flops either. There's a lot to be said for spontaneous trips, but preparedness is not one of them :/
Check out some of the sights:
After we explored the caverns, we were then taken back up in an elevator (thankfully we didn't have to climb up all the stairs we climbed down!) and to the observation deck, where we had sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country:
Once we were back safely on land, we went through the anti-gravity house. I may have mentioned that I have killer motion sickness, and so it would have been far wiser had I decided to skip this part. Thankfully, it was over quick!
Last up was the train ride, which was definitely highly anticipated by the girls! We bought our deer food for the petting park, and set off on the train:
I will say, the petting park was underwhelming, with it mainly consisting of deer, peacocks, goats, turkeys and llamas, but the kids were impressed just the same, especially when the deers ate out of Ava's hand. We're suckers for feeding animals :)
You can find Wonder World Caverns and Park at 1000 Prospect St. San Marcos, TX 78666. All-inclusive tickets are $19.95 for adults, $15.95 for kids 5-12, $8.50 for 3-5, and free for little ones! It can be a bit steep, but plan to be here for 2.5-3 hours at least, so that balances it out, and it's a great experience with a lot of learning moments!