Outdoor Activity of the Month
It’s that month of the year when we get together to celebrate those special V-A-L-E-N-T-I-N-E-S in our lives—our children, significant others, parents, friends, siblings and other loved ones. What better way to connect with your family Valentines this month than to find a place nearby for a picnic on a beautiful day?!
Roses are red, violets are blue, visit NatureRocksTexas.org to find a park near you! Here’s a few suggestions to get...more
The New Year has arrived and we can all start a new relationship with Nature. Start small and take a walk with a family member or friend. Here are a few places you can take a walk in our regions. Nature walks are good because when we connect with nature it can improve blood pressure, boost mental health, decrease cancer risk and fight depression. These activities will give you a chance to reconnect with family, friends and the environment...more
The Holidays are upon us. It’s the time of year for being with family and friends, for giving back, and for remembering all that we are thankful for. In the thick of this Holiday season, a picnic in a park near you can be a fun and refreshing way to spend time together. Here are a few places you can picnic in our regions. These parks offer lots of fun recreational opportunities, too!
It’s fall in Texas and the cooler weather has finally arrived. Folks are trading out their warm-weather wear for sweaters, hoodies, scarves and jackets; getting ready for fun fall festivities; and enjoying the seasonal goodies and scents that appear this time of year. For many, fall is their favorite time of year. But whether it’s your favorite season or you are not the biggest fan of cooler air, Texas weather can be relied upon to give us a...more
When you gaze up at the Texas sky it seems never-ending. Just as the sun illuminates the sky during the day, natural light from the moon and stars used to be seen far and wide during the night. But today, artificial light pollution has brightened the night sky, making its natural wonders difficult to see....more
From the deserts of El Paso to the pine forests of east Texas, the summer season brings soaring temperatures to the state. What better way is there to beat the summer heat than by cooling off in one of the state’s many natural pools?
Remember to put your safety first! It’s hot outside, and these natural areas may or may not have lifeguards. So, here are a few tips to help your family stay safe while enjoying the...more
June 18 is National Go Fish Day and July 26 through September 1 is National Fishing Month. Fishing is a great way to spend time with family, relax and get outdoors. Texas has thousands of miles of creeks, rivers, lakes and coast line perfect to bait your hook, cast your line and catch some fish. Even fishing beginners can find opportunities to learn about and explore some of Texas’ wildlife. Here are some ways the entire family can...more
There is something so magical about fireflies. The way they light up the night sky just begs to be chased and admired by all ages. I remember putting my hand beneath them as a kid when they flew along my campsite in South Llano River State Park, feeling cool air radiate from them onto my skin and marveling at the sensation. Some people call them...more
Jennifer L. Bristol
Children are naturally curious about the world around them. As adults we often teach them about seasons based on the weather or when a certain plant or crop might grow best. But wildlife can also be a learning tool to teach kids about changes in the seasons.
Texas is ground zero for two migration super highways used by the birds, butterflies and bats. Yes, bats...more
Have you ever planted a seed and watched it grow? Did you know that seeds come in many shapes, textures and colors? Seeds can be flat or raised, round or oval. Some seeds are fuzzy, while some seeds are wrinkled or smooth. They may be brown, red, green, yellow, or even multiple colors, too. But what they all have in common is that seeds contain baby plants that you and your family can enjoy planting in nature near you. Here is a list of a few...more
Here’s a fun fact for you: President George W. Bush and President John F. Kennedy were both avid cyclists. They enjoyed the simple pleasure of riding bike outside, even before becoming presidents. In honor of President’s Day, (Monday, February 18th), we present you with this list of fun places in Texas to ride a bike and enjoy the wonders of nature. Riding bikes is a fun activity that multi-generations can participate together to stay healthy...more
The new year is here, and for many people, that means getting more exercise. Perhaps you joined a gym, bought new running shoes, or got a jump rope for a Christmas gift. But what if you don’t have the proper gym equipment to burn more calories and the gym environment intimidates you? Fear not, Texas Children in Nature is here to provide you with an easy, low-hassle way to help you reach your New Years’ resolutions. Below is a list of hiking...more
Thinking about my childhood and how I used to spend my summers now makes me laugh – nervously, that is. My parents would go to work, and my sister and I would go to play. “Be home in time for supper,” my mom would say. “Don’t forget to feed the dog,” my dad would remind us. And they’d go to work! I typically didn’t have contact with my parents for 8 hours a day. And to the hills, trees, streams, mountains, and yonder my friends, sister, and I...more
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Texas Children in Nature wants to help you celebrate Thanksgiving all month long! Check out the list below for a list of places where you, your friends, and your family can come together and enjoy a picnic and give thanks for all the gifts of nature.
Walter Stankiewicz, Texas Children in Nature VISTA
There’s something special about spending time in nature. And there’s something even more special about spending time in nature with your loved ones. My favorite memories growing up were the days spent at my grandparents’ lake house with the whole family. From early morning fishing to afternoon hikes to evening bonfires, there was never a dull moment. Texas Children in Nature also understands the value that spending quality family time in...more
"The stars at night are big and bright- deep in the heart of Texas." and so the song goes. But did you know that August is one of the best times to sit out under the big Texas sky with your family and watch for shooting stars? Each year between July and August the Perseids meteor shower passes over North America and lights up the sky. Do you remember the first...more
Each July the Nation celebrates Independence Day with fireworks, parades and picnics. It's a time to relax with family and friends, enjoy cooking and eating in the outdoors and gather in celebration. But don’t put away your red & white plaid blanket just yet! If you enjoy grilling and chilling in the outdoors, then you are in luck because July is National Picnic Month. Texas Children in Nature encourages you to make the...more
Did you know there are 14 weekends this year between Memorial Day and Labor Day? Texas Children in Nature invites you to get out and explore 14 great places to swim across the state. From seashores to spring fed pools to cool lakes, Texas has it all.
Many lakes, rivers and beach areas do not have lifeguards so here are a few tips on how to stay safe while enjoying water sports.
- Check the weather - if you here thunder get...
June 2-10 is National Fishing and Boating Week. In honor of the week TCiN has put together a list of great places to go fishing and boating with your family. Fishing is a great way to spend time together enjoying a relaxing outdoor sport, while also sharing an important life skill. Not sure how to fish? Texas Parks and Wildlife...more
What is it that makes camping special to you? Maybe it’s because the majority of us spend our lives sleeping in cozy beds surrounded by four solid walls that sleeping outside on the ground feeds our inner animal and satisfies our need to be connected to nature.
Camping with other families is a great way to share in the planning, gear and even cooking. It's also a great way for parents to be able to relax when the kids are engaged with...more
Summer is a great time to be on the water in Texas either kayaking, canoeing, tubing or boating. With all the recent rains, the rivers, lakes and bays are full and ready for families to get out and enjoy them. Before you head out for a family adventure here are some tips to make sure you enjoy the water safely.
- 1. Make sure someone knows where you are going and it is best to file a trip plan that has a map where you will be...
Jennifer L. Bristol
Texas is known for hot summers. But did you also know that Texas has some amazing lakes, swimming holes, beaches and rivers to cool off in? Before air conditioning a few of these swimming holes where the only way for people to keep cool during the long hot summers. Your family can still enjoy their natural splendor while splashing around in the cool waters.
Much of the state had good rains this spring which means many lakes and rivers...more
Get Off the Couch with Geocaching
Worried your child is spending too much time with media? Can’t get them off the couch to go play outdoors? Don’t despair, you are not alone and there is a cool way to change that trend.
Geocaching is a great way to get kids outdoors and let them keep an electronic device in their hand. Geocaching is a modern-day treasure hunt! People hide geocaches everywhere—from just down the street to the most...more
From Walt Disney to Monet, artist near and far have looked to nature to inspire them. Art can be a watercolor painting or a simple arrangement of rocks and sticks, or a photo. It's easy to find inspiration when the world is in bloom in Texas during the spring when the land is painted with greens, blues, reds and yellows.
Creativity is an important part of a child's development that supports critical thinking and fine motor skills. Being...more
Jennifer L. Bristol
Did you know that “birding” is the most popular sport in the United States? Over 51 million people bird watch in their backyards, state and local parks and even at birding competitions! April is a great time to get outdoors with your family, and birding is an activity the whole family can enjoy— even while hiking, biking or picnicking.
Texas has over 630 species of birds...more
As day dwellers, the nighttime is something that we rarely get to fully appreciate. It surrounds us with a whole new array of wildlife and the cape of darkness that covers everything is an unreal feeling. The night sky in particular is a magical wonder that can make us realize a number of things. Looking out into the sea of endless stars, you may realize how small we are in comparison with the rest of the universe.
The stars seem to...more
Fishing in a Texas State Park or local Neighborhood Fishin’ lake stocked with fish is fun, affordable, and a great way for family and friends to be together in nature. Texas has miles of coastlines for saltwater fishing and hundreds of lakes, rivers, and streams for freshwater fishing that can be enjoyed year-round.
There are plenty of...more
Biking is a great way to be active in the outdoors for the entire family. Hitting the trails is easier than ever for all skill levels with so many all-weather-trails in most urban areas. All-weather-trails have a more durable surface than a mountain bike trail or a BMX track. No matter what type of trail your prefer, each can take you on a journey in nature.
Before you jump on your bike and ride off into the sunset, take the time for a...more
Let's Go Camping!
If enjoying cool, crisp evenings snuggled up to a crackling campfire or simply pitching a tent beneath the stars with your family sounds appealing, then head to a Texas State Park, National Park, National Forest or nearby neighborhood park where you can watch the leaves turn and...more