Visitor Guidelines

Visitor Guidelines

Visitors are welcome to explore designated areas of the 28 fenced acres of Zilker Botanical Garden, and are asked to comply with the following park guidelines. Your cooperation and understanding are appreciated.

  • Do not pick the flowers, or take plant cuttings.
  • Stay on the pathways and grass areas. (If you are not on a pathway or grass areas you may be in a flowerbed.)
  • No climbing on trees, rocks or other structures.
  • Keep out of the ponds and waterways (this includes pets).
  • All pets must be on a leash at all times.
  • If your pet poops you must scoop and dispose.
  • Do not bother the critters that live here.
  • Do not feed the fish or critters.
  • No boom boxes or loud music allowed.
  • No butterfly or fishnets allowed.
  • Park or walk your bicycle, scooter, skateboard, etc.
  • No alcoholic beverages allowed.
  • Pack out what you bring in.

Photographer Guidelines &
Required Registration

  • Please stay out of the flowerbeds and do not remove any plant identification signs. You may use any paved or gravel surface and the turf areas.
    • Even though the flowerbeds look empty, perennial plant shoots are growing just below the surface of the soil. Stepping on these shoots will kill the plants.
    • Stepping between the plants compacts the soil, turning it into a cement-like substance that repels water and kills roots. This creates a bald spot for the rest of the growing season.
  • Do not block any of our garden trails. Always allow enough room for park visitors to go around.
  • Do not pose your subjects in trees, on rocks or other structures.
  • The Austin Area Garden Center building does not have any place for the changing of clothes for photo sessions.
  • Ladies should wear walking shoes and carry high heels between shots to prevent tripping or ruining good shoes.
  • Please observe the hours of operation and allow enough time for your photo session. We close promptly at the posted closing hours.
  • The photographer must purchase the permit and photography sessions need to be completed by 5:30pm (spring/summer hours) or 4:30pm (winter hours). All members of the party will need to vacate the premises by close of normal operating hours (6pm in spring/summer and 5pm in winter). Additional time is not authorized for photography sessions, and there is no purchasing process or otherwise to acquire any time above the granted two hours.

There is a photography session fee of $50 per session (includes photographer admission fee plus one individual admission). This includes, but is not limited to, bridal, engagement, quinceañeras, posed, formal, and family or group photo opportunities. Snapshots and nature photography are generally not included; please contact the office if you have questions. Please purchase online prior to arrival and show receipt at admissions booth on the day of your shoot. Each person will need to purchase an admission ticket according to age and residency prior to entry.

To film and video at Zilker Botanical Garden a City permit is required. Visit this page to determine whether your project requires a permit.

If a plant is accidentally damaged or someone accidentally steps into a display: Please make a check for $25 payable to the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department. Give the check to the hostess at the front desk. You will receive a receipt in the mail.

For more information, please email