A visit to the Hill Country Science Mill, a STEM learning center for kids and families in Central Texas

Today, San Antonio Mom Blogs welcomes guest contributor Melanie Mendez-Gonzales from ¿Qué Means What?.

Our familia loves everything STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, and math) so we were eager to check out the Hill Country Science Mill. We’ve driven through Johnson City, where the Science Mill is located, many times while traveling across the state to visit family. Learning that a state-of-the-art STEM educational center for families now breathes new life into the old grist mill and cotton gin there delighted me.

The drive there from San Antonio is approximately one hour depending on where in San Antonio you begin your journey. We took Hwy 281 North directly to Johnson City to appreciate the scenic drive.

The exterior of the Hill Country Science Mill shows the contrast between the old mill and the new STEM activities happening inside

As you walk up to the museum, the contrast of the new parts of the mill versus its old is immediately visible. It’s so modern and yet so rustic. STEM exhibits are always fun but it’s even more fun to ‘get your learn on’ in such a cool space. There are over 35 exhibits in which the entire family can participate, enjoy and learn. All signage is in English and Spanish, encouraging Spanish speakers, as well as English speakers, to feel welcomed to visit. And, if you have little ones, there’s a toddler area designated just for them to play and explore.

Our family could easily spend an entire day at the Science Mill, especially with the Lady Bird Lane Cafe, a small farm-to-table restaurant, on site. It’s the perfect place to grab a healthy lunch. Or, you can bring your own lunch to enjoy a picnic in the outdoor area. My family and I were at the museum for just over four hours and we still didn’t get to do everything that we wanted to do.

A visit to the Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City, Texas, a STEM center for kids and families

The Hill Country Science Mill provides visitors with the unique ability to create an avatar which accompanies them throughout the center, enhancing their visit. This digital robot can be semi-custom designed to the user’s specifications. Each time you visit an exhibit, you can check in and mark that exhibit as a favorite. My boys loved seeing their avatar at each exhibit and listening to their own personal robot tell them more about it. After we got home, we logged in to the Explorer Zone on the Science Mill website using our avatar. We continued learning about the exhibits, played related online games, and even searched to find which career paths are available in those interests. What a great way to keep the learning interactive and ongoing long after your trip to the Hill Country Science Mill ends. Pretty cool!

STEM comes alive in the new Hill Country Science Mill

Some of the STEM exhibits and features are:

  • 3D Movie Theater
  • Maker Stations
  • The Story of Water
  • Critter Bots
  • Race Track
  • Cell Phone Disco
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Paludarium
  • Create an Explosion
  • Dig In! (and make it rain)
  • Mind Ball
  • IGlobe
  • Giant Lever (Tug of War)

Visit QueMeansWhat.com to see our Five Favorite Science Mill exhibits!

We’ll be back to visit the Hill Country Science Mill. For our familia, it provides a pleasant drive and it’s so close to the LBJ National Historic Park, which we want to visit, too.

Regular museum hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00pm. Admission is free for children under 3, $8.50 for ages 2-18 and students, $10.00 for adults, and $8.00 for Seniors (65+) and Military. For more information, please visit:

Hill Country Science Mill | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
101 South Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City, Texas, 78636


Melanie Mendez-Gonzales is a San Antonio bloggerMelanie Mendez-Gonzales is an online media entrepreneur and the creator of ¿Qué Means What?, a leading Latina lifestyle blog featuring cultura in entertainment (including Latinos in TV, movies, music, and education). Melanie also writes about Latinos in STEM and her family life. She is a storyteller, a wife, and a mom of boys.

You can find Melanie at:
¿Qué Means What? | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

* San Antonio Mom Blogs occasionally invites guest contributors to write for our site about topics of interest to our readers. All contributors are financially compensated. For more information, contact San Antonio Mom Blogs.

Follow Colleen Pence and San Antonio Mom Blogs:

Subscribe to the San Antonio Mom Blogs newsletter and don’t miss any Free Fun in San Antonio!

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Flipboard | G+