Texas Travel

October Events: Outdoor Adventures

By Abi Grise 10.1.18

October is the perfect time to explore Texas wildlife. State parks, farms, and nature centers host a flurry of events where you can fish, hike, bike, and explore the natural Texas landscape. From butterfly celebrations to stargazing, we’ve got the scoop on Mother Nature-approved events across the state.

North Texas

Kid’s Fishing Day, Oct. 6, Grand Prairie

This family-friendly activity is quite the catch! The Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation department is stocking the Mike Lewis Park lagoon with oodles of live, hungry trout. Register early to snag a few loaner rods and reels, available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Free for children 16 and under.

Earth Science Week, Oct. 6, Granbury

Get ready to rock at the Acton Nature Center’s annual geological celebration. Take the kids on a guided nature walk to learn about Texas soil, landscape formations, and fossils. Get your hands dirty with science demonstrations and activities, and feast your eyes and ears on Earth-inspired art, music, and literature.

Central Texas

Monarch Celebration, Oct. 13, Fredericksburg

Few things marry the scientific method with fairy-tale whimsy like the tag and release of monarch butterflies. Take a trip to Wildseed Farms this fall to learn how and why we track butterfly migration. Your heart might just flutter when you witness butterflies take flight to travel south for the winter.

Honey Creek Guided Hike, Oct. 20, Spring Branch

Dust off those binoculars for a close-up view of the critters and creatures of Honey Creek. The Friends Group of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is offering 2-mile guided hikes, where you can learn both the natural and cultural history of the area. Bring water and wear long pants and closed-toe shoes to protect yourself from tall and/or spiky vegetation.

The park entry fee is $7 per adult and free for children 12 and under. Requested $2 donation per person to the Friends Group.

East Texas

Beach Explorations, Oct. 6, Galveston

Humans are just one of the many species drawn to Galveston’s beaches. Join the Friends of Galveston Island State Park volunteers for a tour of the numerous birds and creatures in the sand, surf, and seaweed. Get caught up in seine-net fishing demonstrations, search for elusive ghost crabs, and comb the sand to find and identify seashells by the seashore.

The park entry fee is $5 per adult and free for children 12 and under.

Crabbing 101, Oct. 27, Sabine Pass

Scuttle on down to Port Arthur to learn how to catch blue crabs at Sea Rim State Park. Bait and tackle will be provided and no fishing license is required — just a little patience. You’ll learn the basics of how crabs live and operate in the area’s tidal pools.

The park entry fee is $3 per adult and free for children 12 and under.

South Texas

Citizen Science Frog Watch, Oct. 6, Gonzales

The Palmetto State Park and San Antonio Zoo are coming together for a ribbiting frog survey at Ottine Swamp. This informal event includes a brief frog watch training session and hop around the bog. Bring water and wear closed-toe shoes to prevent slimy surprises. All ages are welcome — even tiny tadpoles.

The park entry fee is $3 per adult and free for children 12 and under.

Bird Banding, Oct. 20, Lake Jackson

Robert and Kay Lookingbill document the lives and well-being of Lake Jackson’s many splendid birds. Once a month, you can watch them work at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. Learn how the Lookingbills capture, tag, and release birds using virtually invisible nets and aluminum bands. While you’re there, you can also stretch your legs along 2 miles of gorgeous birding trails.

West Texas

Star Party, Oct. 6, Fritch

The stars at night are big and bright … especially in West Texas. Join Professor Arthur Schneider, the director of renewable energy at Amarillo College, for an educational introduction to the big Texas night sky at the Alibates Visitor Center theater. Afterward, peer into multiple telescopes to observe star clusters, distant planets, and galaxies. If you feel small, you’ve done it right.

Beginner, Family & Kids Mountain Biking, Oct. 14, El Paso

Bring your sense of adventure to Billy Rogers Arroyo Park for mountain biking 101. Perfect for newbies and children, this guided bike tour will include twists and turns that anyone with basic biking skills can peddle through. Don’t forget water, your helmet, and a mountain-friendly bike. Gather at the El Paso Tennis & Swim Club parking lot to meet your fellow companions for this 2-mile ride.

To experience more of Texas’ great outdoors, read about the Gulf Coast’s sea turtle hatchlings or check out our guide to all of Texas’ national parks.

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