There are a few good places to visit to have some fun water play in our area. It’s a good idea to wear a lot of sunscreen, and to go early in the day when it’s least hot. Check out The Waterpark at the Villages in Flint, which is open to the public. You could also drive over to Canton, Greenville or Nacogdoches to spend the day at Splash Kingdom Family Waterparks.
Also, many parks have splash pads and fountains for kids to play in, for example, Lear Park in Longview, which has a huge splash pad to enjoy. You can also visit Chambers Park Spray Play Pad in Lufkin, or even the small dolphin fountain in Tyler’s Bergfeld Park
Most parents in East Texas are aware of our fun hands-on museums in the area, but in case you’re new to the area, here are a few to consider. In Tyler, Discovery Science Place offers a variety of fun exhibits that kids are enthralled by, and they change things up fairly frequently, so you might check in to see what the latest is, even if you’ve been in the last year.
In Gregg County, there is an equally amazing museum for children called Longview World of Wonders. They have a similar philosophy to Discovery Science Place, which is inspiring children to learn and discover through hands-on play, and on Tuesday, August 11, they are having a free “World of Wellness” health fair for children, featuring hands-on activities and demonstrations to help kids get a healthy start on the school year.
Bird cafe Clay Pigeon
Bird cafe Clay Pigeon is a casual restaurant that serves a seasonal, locally sourced menu of delightful made-from-scratch cuisine for lunch and dinner. The expert team of Chef Marcus Paslay and his wife manage the restaurant, and they strive to make everything in-house, from the freshly baked bread to the house-made charcuterie and ice cream.
Menus include small plate dishes such as fire-roasted bone marrow and foie gras torchon, while lamb chops, grilled duck breast, and prime cut steaks serve as some of the delectable main dishes. Enjoy your meal with a handcrafted cocktail or a specially chosen local wine from the comprehensive wine list.
Museums for adults
Museums for adults are a great way to cool off if you’re not entertaining children, or if your children are old enough to think looking at art or history displays is fun. Check out the Tyler Museum of Art at Tyler Junior College, which currently has an amazing display of art created using nothing but Legos. It’s really astonishing. They also have an exhibit called Reflections of East Texas that will be in place through September 27, and which features the art of local artists sharing their perspectives on life in East Texas.
Longview has the Longview Museum of Fine Arts ready to amaze locals with well-executed exhibits, as well. Currently, they are featuring the East Texas Regional Artists Show, so check that out and support local arts.
If you’d like to see art from living artists, and possibly even meet some of them, check out galleries like Tyler’s Gallery Main Street. It features local talent in a beautifully curated, modern space on the square in downtown Tyler.
Ben Wheeler features the Flying Fish gallery, one of the first merchants that opened in town through the Ben Wheeler Arts and Historic District Foundation, in 2009. It’s a small building that is completely packed with art. Take your time to walk through and take it all in.
There is so much live music available in East Texas, so you’re sure to find something that you’ll enjoy ducking out of the heat to listen to indoors. Check out The Forge and Moore’s Store in Ben Wheeler, Ricks on the Square in Tyler, The Rafael Espinoza Music Academy in Mineola which brings in acts from all over the world, and many more places. A simple Google search will show you a seemingly unending variety of music in our area.
Most folks love going to the movies. Most cities have large theaters, and you already know about those. But if you’d like something special, try driving a bit to a special place like Mineola’s Select Theater and Lake Country Playhouse (they share the space, so you can see movies almost weekly, with the occasional live production on some weekends).
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