If you’re looking for a fun, educational way to spend an afternoon in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, then look no further than the Science Mill. Located in Johnson City, the Science Mill is just a short drive from both Austin and San Antonio making it the perfect spot for Central Texas families to enjoy an afternoon of interactive science fun.

Housed in a refurbished, historic mill, the Science Mill is a STEM-focused museum filled with hands-on exhibits that include art, technology, computer programming, and more. With a wide variety of things to see and do, the entire family will find themselves having a blast at this hill country educational gem.

The Science Mill in Johnson City, Texas just outside of Austin

Visiting the Science Mill

When you first arrive at the Science Mill, you receive an Avatar Passport and have an opportunity to create a custom avatar to join you during your visit. Simply scan your passport at terminals throughout the museum for additional learning opportunities at the exhibits and the ability to mark your favorites. The passport adds another fun, interactive dimension to each exhibit.

One of the highlights of the Science Mill is that it does an outstanding job of both educating and entertaining. While creating, building, digging, and exploring, visitors learn details about the science behind each exhibit in a fun and interesting way.Avatar Passport Station at the Science Mill

Our Top 5 Must-See Exhibits at the Science Mill

The Science Mill is full of fun things to do, so it’s hard to narrow down our favorites, but we’ve picked five that we consider “must-sees” when you go.Fractalarium at the Science Mill

  1. Fractalarium: Housed in one of the refurbished silos, the fractalarium is a breath-taking display of art and science. The model does a fantastic job of teaching about fractals and is both beautiful and educational. No visit to the Science Mill is complete without spending some time enjoying the lighted display and pondering the concept of infinity.
  2. Mindball: A crowd-pleasing favorite, mindball allows participants to slip on bio-sensor headbands and attempt to move a ball towards an opponent using only their brainwaves. It’s fun to play and to watch!
  3. Critter Bots: Learn how to program robots! The critter bots display allows visitors an opportunity to create programs that control a robotic snake, armadillo, and longhorn. From simple moves to a complex series of commands, this exhibit teaches the basics of programming in a fantastic Texas-themed display.
  4. African Spurred Tortoise: New to the Science Mill, the African Spurred Tortoises are captivating to watch. Peek in on their underground burrow from the camera in the lobby, or stop by during feeding time (2:15 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays) to get a closer look at these fascinating herbivores.
  5. Fossil Dig: Recently added to the outdoor area, the fossil dig lets little explorers grab some excavating tools and get to work discovering fossils and learning about paleontology.

While we think these five exhibits are mandatory for any visit, don’t forget to explore the rest of museum! Whether you want to play a banana piano, meet the zebrafish, build a racecar, relax and watch one of the many 3D films included with your admission, or refuel at the Lady Bird Lane Cafe, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy at the Science Mill.

Mindball at the Science Mill

Additional Learning Fun

The fun doesn’t stop with one visit — check out the calendar for upcoming events or learn more about camps, field trips, and homeschool days.

  • Summer Camps – register your scientist-in-training for a fun, immersive, STEM-based summer camp.
  • Field Trips – find out how you can bring a group for discounted rates on a day of learning and hands-on discovery.
  • Homeschool Days – Starting in September and running throughout the academic year, the Science Mill offers a Homeschool Day each month with special demonstrations, activities, and guests geared towards homeschool students!Homeschool Days at the Science Mill

Plan Your Visit

The Science Mill is located in Johnson City, Texas, adjacent to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park Visitor Center.

  • Website: http://www.sciencemill.org
  • Address: 101 South Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City, TX 78636
  • Phone Number: 844-263-6405
  • Admission: Under 3 years old – free; Ages 3-18 (or with student ID) – $8.50; Adult – $10.00; Seniors (65+) and Military – $8.00
  • Summer Hours: Wed-Sat: 10:00am – 5:00pm; Sun: Noon – 5:00pm
  • Free parking is available at the Science Mill with overflow parking available at the LBJ Visitor Center.African Spurred Tortoise at the Science Mill

Have fun exploring the Science Mill!

This post was sponsored by the Science Mill. All opinions are those of Ava Love Hanna and the staff at Put This in Your Brain.

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