Texas Travel

February Events: Make Your Road Trips Educational

By Abi Grise 2.1.18

February may be the shortest month, but it’s packed with educational events across Texas that offer the perfect opportunity for families to hit the road and get some learning in over a long weekend.

Seek out getaway-worthy Presidents Day and Mardi Gras celebrations; and add some pit stops into your winter road trips with cultural, culinary, and zoological lessons to expand your mind and entertain the kids as you explore the state.

South Texas

Washington’s Birthday Events, Feb. 3–19, Laredo

Help the United States’ first founding father blow out the candles on his 286th birthday cake. Pay tribute to our first president with an entire month of patriotic activities in Laredo — including historical theater performances, a carnival, comedy show, car show, and Pocahontas Pageant. And, by George, don’t miss the air show, birthday parade, and fireworks extravaganza.

Whooping Crane Festival, Feb. 22–25, Port Aransas

The recovery of the endangered whooping crane is an inspiring triumph. Join the International Crane Foundation to celebrate this majestic beacon of hope with a four-day festival, to include photography workshops, conservation experts, and boat guides. The whooping crane migrates 2,500 miles to the Gulf each winter, but you probably won’t have to travel that far.

North Texas

Ennis Czech Music Festival, Feb. 10, Ennis 

Czech out Ennis’ top cultural event of the year. The 12th annual Ennis Czech Music Festival features five lively polka bands sure to entice you to the dance floor. Be sure to arrive hungry to dine on Czech classics, such as klobase and sauerkraut, throughout the day. Youngsters enter free and can play in a special kid zone.

Celebrate With the Presidents, Feb. 17, Denison

This Presidents Day, your whole family can meet George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Dwight D. Eisenhower in one day at the Dwight D. Eisenhower birthplace. The commanders in chief will help you brush up on trivia, and President Eisenhower might just show you his paintings and give you tips on golfing and fishing — his favorite hobbies.

Central Texas

A Taste of New Orleans, Feb. 3, Palestine

Get to know the Lone Star State’s neighbors to the east this Mardi Gras with Palestine’s sixth annual A Taste of New Orleans. Take notes on the ins and outs of Creole cooking with demonstrations from local chefs, and sample crowd-favorites, like jambalaya and oxtail soup. Afterward, stroll down Main Street for the colorful Mardi Gras Parade.

Troutfest Texas, Feb. 16–18, New Braunfels

Reel it in to New Braunfels for Troutfest — the annual fly-fishing celebration and cold-water fishery conservation event. Experts will speak on protecting the Guadalupe River’s fisheries and teach fly casting and watercraft techniques. Kids can try their hand at the casting pond or the archery center.

Jugglefest, Feb. 23–25, Austin

Don’t drop the ball on attending Jugglefest XXV. Held at the Texas School for the Deaf, Jugglefest includes magicians, circus performers, unicyclists, and teachers offering more than 20 hours of games and workshops. Participants and viewers are both welcome, and a sense of whimsy is mandatory. One-day pass is $10; three-day pass is $20.

East Texas

PuppyUp Spring, Feb. 10, The Woodlands

Take a stroll to The Woodlands for a mile-long dog walk at the Rob Fleming Park to promote cancer awareness. The event’s proceeds fund cancer research for both humans and their furry friends. Every year, PuppyUp honors two survivors — one human, one canine — and you can hear their inspiring stories after the walk.

East Texas Black Pot Cookers, Feb. 24, Tatum

Learn campfire-cooking basics in the most delicious way possible. BYOF&P (bring your own fork and plate) to the East Texas Black Pot Cookers cast-iron cooking meet-up at Martin Creek Lake State Park, where you can watch demonstrations from Dutch oven experts and warm your soul with samples of their creations.

West Texas

Desert Discovery, Feb. 3, Salt Flat

There’s more to admire than a big sky in the West Texas desert. Bring your water bottle and join a park guide at the McKittrick Canyon Nature Trail for a 1-mile, family-friendly hike. You’ll learn the clever ways plants and animals alike adapted through time to survive in the harsh desert landscape.

The Saddler’s Shop at Fort McKavett, Feb. 3, Fort McKavett

Long before today’s mass-produced plastic and metal containers, soldiers in the antebellum period tanned, dried, and sewed leather into hardy containers for food and ammunition. This year, you can catch demonstrations on leather crafting at Fort McKavett while members of the Co. H, 8th U.S. Infantry, work on their accoutrement kits in preparation for coming reenactments.

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