Texas Living

End-of-Summer Hurrahs

By Casey Kelly-Barton 8.23.17

The busy school year is about to kick off again. But before you get caught up in the back-to-school whirl of books and classes and shopping and lunches, take the time to enjoy the last long days of summer with these family-friendly outings across the great state of Texas. 

A Free Trip to Oz

Follow the yellow brick road to Austin’s Zilker Hillside Theatre for the 59th annual free summer musical. This year, The Wizard of Oz plays every Thursday through Sunday from July 7 to August 12. Bring a blanket or low chairs, pack a picnic (no glass), hand fans, and mosquito repellent, and arrive early to get a good spot before the curtain goes up at 8:15 p.m.

Go With the Flow

Spend a day tubing down the Comal River at Landa Falls in New Braunfels. The new Riverbahn gives your family access to Schlitterbahn’s Riverwalk, including lounge zones, concessions, and restrooms along the river.

Reel Fun

El Paso’s 10th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival, running August 3–13, has something for everyone, with about 90 films on the roster and featuring a piece of Texas film history that will be especially fun for the kids. In addition to the classic favorites Benji and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, this year’s kids’ lineup will include An American Tail, which program director Doug Pullen says is “part of a larger tribute to El Paso-born animator Don Bluth.” Bluth, a former Disney animator, will be celebrated with showings of his films including The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and The Secret of NIMH.  

A Fair Day Out

Treat the family to an old-fashioned day at the fair in Fredericksburg. The Gillespie County Fair, founded in 1881, presents horse races, vintage tractor displays, crafting and cooking competitions, and livestock judging, running August 24–27. Don’t miss the fair food, live music, parade, and carnival rides on the midway.

Dog Days of Summer

In September, three Hawaiian Falls waterparks in Dallas-Fort Worth are letting man’s best friend help close their season. Dip back into summer for two days during the parks’ annual “dog days,” which since 2009 have raised money for local animal shelters while treating dogs and their owners to a splashy day out. “It was the perfect idea for a fundraiser — after the last public day but before we drain the pools and winterize them,” says David Alvey, Hawaiian Falls spokesperson. “On that one day, everything is centered on dogs.” Park staffers donate their time, and all ticket and concession sales benefit animal welfare groups.

This year, the Garland location will host Wags & Waves on September 9, complete with pet costume and trick contests. On September 10, Hawaiian Falls locations in The Colony and Mansfield will host the Bow Wow Luau and Hounds at Hawaiian Falls. Bring your own pet toys, plenty of towels, and proof of your pet’s current vaccinations for a perfect break from the school year.

Use these last days of summer to treat your family to some extra fun. As you plan your final summer getaways, remember to use your Texas Farm Bureau member benefits for discounts on hotels, car rentals, and more. Want road trip ideas for cool fall weekends? Explore these hidden-gem lakes in Texas.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2017 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance