Well I won’t lie, I was not immediately intrigued when a friend mentioned a “Bat Egress” for my next adventure with the kiddos… but boy was I glad I proved myself wrong! Nature just has this way of being magical, majestic and beautiful *always* and especially when and where you least expect it.
The bat egress also went hand in hand with a paddle board adventure on Lady Bird Lake to further sweeten the experience. Paddle boarding to Congress Bridge allows you your own private Bat Egress show from the Colorado River… the sell was certainly getting better. My interest was piqued. So one night after too many days in the house, I decided what they hey, and went for it.
And boy was I glad I did! Everything about it was just such a blast. Seeing the gorgeous city skyline from the paddle boards on that peaceful river was moving. And to watch my littles paddle their hearts out and keep up with me, was nothing short of incredible. I was so proud of them, I thought my heart might burst!
And the bat egress was WAY cooler than I was expecting. Nature just has this way of always being incredible.
Here’s a bit more of a play by play of our itinerary if you’d like to give it a go (which I highly recommend)
We live about an hour away so we left at around 5:45, which gave us time to stop somewhere for a quick bite and still put us at our destination at around 7pm. We stopped at 22 E Ave, Austin TX . It’s a great park with lots of parking right behind Holiday Inn where you can put your paddle boards in for free.
I’d say it was about a 20 minute paddle for us to the bridge, but I had a 9, 6 and 4 year old with me. It would probably take 2 adults half that time.
Anyhoo, we got to the bridge around 7:40 and waited for about 28 minutes for the bats, who began their egress at about 8:08. Snacks here are key 🤣. Or at least they were for us. Lots of folks were also happily drinking, listening to music and having a right jolly time! Sadly that was not in the cards for me at my current juncture. Next time!
We even made some duckie friends with our snacks! A little bit too many if you ask me, but the kiddos enjoyed it. I had to cut it off at a certain point though… it was getting intense.
The egress lasts for quite a while, but I knew we probably needed to start heading back within the first 5 minutes. I did not relish paddling back in the pitch black with 3 scared kiddos. I ended up tying the kids paddle board to mine and really paddling hard on the way back to try and beat the darkness. We made it back pretty quickly, but it was still pretty dark when we made it back to the truck! Make sure you pick your landmarks wisely so you can get out where you put in and avoid that confusion.
Kids and I were riding high in adrenaline on the ride back home. They were pretty proud of themselves for taking that adventure and so was I! Had to really solidify things with an ice cream cone from McDs on the way home. Wish we could have stopped at a proper ice cream parlor, but sadly those kinda things aren’t open at 9pm. McDs did the trick. Kids ate about 3 bites before they tossed them and fell asleep. Arrived home around 10pm and the kids (and I) were wiped!