Summer is Just Around the Corner - 9 Texas Parks Kids Love

 ·  April 27, 2016  ·  Travel

By Dale Blasingame

One of my fondest childhood memories is camping as a family near Garner State Park on the Frio River. During my recent travels to all 95 state parks in Texas, I loved seeing other families making those same types of memories at our great parks here in the Lone Star State. In addition to our featured location this month, Enchanted Rock, here are some other state parks kids will adore.

Balmorhea State Park

The obvious draw here is Balmorhea's beautiful, spring-fed pool. On any summer day, you'll see dozens of kids and families (and scuba divers) swimming in the crystal-clear waters, courtesy of San Solomon Springs. Kids can throw on goggles to get an underwater look at all the fish.

Guadalupe River State Park

This park reminds me most of my favorite childhood days. You'll find a lot of kids swimming in the clear waters along this stretch of the Guadalupe River. The park also features the Children's Discovery Center, which offers kids of all ages the tools to learn more about nature.

Tyler State Park

If your child loves being in the water, Tyler State Park is the place to go. There's a spring-fed lake and beach area where kids love to swim, kayak and paddleboat. The Whispering Pines Nature Trail is an easy walk where kids can get a taste of hiking and history at the same time.

Longhorn Cavern State Park

The 1.25-mile hike (round-trip) down into the cave is the perfect distance to keep your kids interested in the science and geology that lie beneath the ground. For more adventurous children, sign them up for the Wild Cave Tour so they can crawl around and get dirty.

Monahans Sandhills State Park

This park is referred to as "a Texas-sized sandbox." That should tell you all you need to know about whether kids will enjoy it. Rent a disk and let your kids surf down the sand dunes; some tower as high as 70 feet tall.

Barrington Living History Farm

Here, children can get a look at what life in Texas was like 150 years ago. This working farm is connected to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, and allows kids to be part of the scene, interacting with the re-enactors and the animals.

Brazos Bend State Park

Children can learn about alligators while watching them from a safe distance at this park. Brazos Bend has plenty of great hiking and fishing opportunities as well. The Elm Lake day-use area is a fantastic spot for nature watching.

Sheldon Lake State Park

This park on the northeast side of Houston gives children the opportunity to fish and hike through pond areas that alligators, birds and butterflies call home. Sheldon Lake is also the first park to offer a mobile app game that helps kids learn about nature and the environment.

Dinosaur Valley State Park

It's hard to visit Dinosaur Valley and not feel like a kid again. Gawk at the gargantuan dinosaur statues that greet you near the entrance of the park and then go check out the dinosaur footprints in the Paluxy River. What kid wouldn't want to raom around where dinosaurs once lived?

9 Parks Kids Love

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Travel, entertainment, Parks, Camping, Cave Exploring, Sand Surfing, Water Sports, Hiking, Picnics, Alligators, Agriculture, Dinosaurs

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