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Education FAQ

Visiting The Meadows Center

  • We accept all major credit cards, checks, purchase orders, money orders, and cash.


  • We are located at 201 San Marcos Springs Drive, San Marcos, Texas. For directions, please see our directions page.

  • The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University is continually working with the appropriate University personnel to assess our accessibility needs and make our campus as accessible as possible. While the Wetlands Boardwalk and Discovery Hall are wheelchair accessible, our glass-bottom boats are currently not. Unfortunately, we are not able to modify our historic boats, but we are currently researching the design, cost and construction of a fully accessible boat and related dock.  

    If the guest is able to transfer to the boat, the wheelchair can be left at the dock. There are two steps to board the boat from the dock and each boat has a handrail to help guests board. Please see the photo of the boat dock below. If you have specific questions, please call our Ticket Kiosk at 512.245.7590.


    Boat Dock

  • The Meadows Center has a large parking lot on site for your convenience, however parking spaces may be limited due to the traffic from school field trips and other visitors. Please note the parking guidelines:

    1. Visitors' vehicles are required to display a permit 7:00pm Sunday until 5:00pm Friday.
    2. Permits are available for $3.00 per day or $7.00 per week at the pay-and-display station in the main parking lot.
    3. Those with Texas State University parking permits may park here without a visitor permit at all other times. The back parking lot (bus loop) is open to any Texas State University parking permit. 
    4. If you visit on the weekend (between 5pm Friday – 7pm Sunday), you do not need to pay for a parking permit.
  • Boats run unless there is severe weather such as lightening or strong winds. Please call ahead if you have any questions about us being open: 512.245.7570.

  • Service animals only. Pets are not allowed anywhere on Texas State University campus, including the parking lot. Please do not leave pets in your vehicle.

  • We no longer offer the Ralph the Swimming Pig Show or Mermaid Show, but there are still lots of fun things to do at Spring Lake! The Glass-bottom boat tours remain, along with many new exhibits such as the Wetlands Walk, and Discovery Hall. Learn more at


Booking Field Trips and Group Tours

  • No, Groupons are only valid for public glass-bottom boats.

  • You may book a tour online here. If you have questions, you can reach our education office at 512.245.7540. Our office hours will vary depending on park traffic, so please leave a message and we will call you back.

  • We require two weeks advance notice for group tours. Please remember the days during March through August can fill up several months in advance, so please book your tour as soon as possible.

  • Maximum capacity varies seasonally. There is not a set maximum number of students per field trip, however, there are for certain activities. Your tour-booking agent will discuss the best activities for your group’s size when you book your tour.

  • All ages. We customize our programs for your group. Please call 512-245-7540 to discuss tour options.

  • Yes, you will book a specific date and time for your tour. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the start time of your tour. We apologize that we are unable to push back the start times of tours. If your group is late we may need to cut a portion of your tour time. Please call 512.245.7590 to notify a gift shop staff member that you will be late.

  • We try our best to accommodate special requests, please call 512.245.7540 to discuss options for your group.

  • One teacher per class is sufficient for our tours. The one required adult should never leave the group alone with the tour guide. You may choose to bring additional teachers and parents if you wish (please check your tour confirmation for fee information). The boats will comfortably seat 25 people each, so additional adults may need to ride on a separate boat than the rest of the group.

  • If it rains on your tour date you will have the option to reschedule. Please call 512.245.7570 then push 0 on the day of your tour and let a staff member know that your group will not be coming. The boats are enclosed and will still run unless there is lightning. We have limited indoor space, so if you have a large group for one of our longer tours, we recommend you reschedule if it rains.

  • To accommodate schools with different budgets we offer guided tours and self-guided tours. If your school chooses a full-length guided tour, your tour guide will lead you from station to station; the teacher will not be responsible for leading any portion of the tour. If your school chooses a self-guided tour, you will only have a tour guide for the boat ride; all other parts of the tour will be guided by the teacher.

  • Unfortunately, it is necessary to charge a fee for our programs in order to cover our overhead costs. Spring Lake does offer a discount on our longer programs for title 1 schools during our slow season from September through February. Call 512.245.7540 for details.