Toddler Trail Time

Toddler Trail Time is a gem of an outing. It's at the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, and it includs coloring, a craft project, a lesson, a guided hike through the swamp, story time, a snack and a movie.
We've gone twice, and the second time we went there were more children, so the hike took a LOT longer because they asked SO.MANY.QUESTIONS! Because we had a big dry spell (which has ended, but it was still dry during our hike), all the water in the swamp had been sucked down to one little pond. This was where all the snakes of the swamp had congregated.

The guide told us they aren't venomous but they would bite. The boardwalk over this pond area had a rail at about 3 feet but nothing lower. All the children wanted to squat at the edge and look down at the snakes.

It was so nerve-wracking because I just knew one of them (likely MINE) would fall in. Even if they weren't bitten it was still a good 3-4 foot drop into muddy water. The other mothers were non-plussed by it all, but I'm not sure how to change my helicopter parent ways -- or if I even want to yet!

Jane was mad that I kept my hands on her the whole time we were stopped looking at the snakes, and if I had my way we would have just held hands the whole time.

There's also poison ivy along the edges of part of the trail, which adds an annoying element of danger. The guide points it out as best the can, but Jane is oblivious and walks into vegetation on the side all the time. So far we've been lucky... And fun tip -- the guide said to wash with Dawn dish detergent within 10 minutes of exposure to get rid of the oils and you can avoid the reaction all together.

We're signed up for one more trail time, the last one of the spring. At $7.50 for in-parish residents it's totally worth it, poison ivy-risk and all.

The boardwalk near the snake pond did NOT have the mesh below the rail like this does.

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