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.
Lady Bird Lake - Auditorium Shores – Auditorium Shores is often the locale for outdoor concerts, festivals, and other events. Other times, it is a great open space for a game of frisbee, flying a kite, or letting your dog roam freely. The Stevie Ray Vaughn statue on the river and a great close-in view of the Austin skyline give it a unique Austin feel.
Pease District Park – Pease Parks offers miles of trails for walking, cycling, and dog-walking. The park also has a playscape, a splashpad, two basketball courts, three volleyball courts, and many picnic tables. There is an off-leash area along the trail to the west of Shoal Creek between 24th and 29th Streets.
Mackenzie Park – Mackenzie Park is a great place for families to play and explore the nature of Yellow Draw. There are benches, picnic areas, a playground, a reserved picnic pavilion, and restrooms making it ideal for family gatherings. When the kids want to play, they can head to the baseball fields, crossroads in the Time Sculpture Garden, disc golf course, equestrian trail, Joyland Amusement Park, Meadowbrook Golf Course, Mustangs-Sculpture by Steve Teeters, Prairie Dog Town, Santa Land, softball fields, and the Wells Fargo Amphitheatre. Kids can also discover wildlife at the prairie dog town or watch for birds along the banks of the creek.
Comanche Trail Park – Comanche Trail Park is a 400 acre park that features a 6,900-seat limestone amphitheater, an eighteen hole golf course, tennis courts, baseball fields, playgrounds, pavilions, and hiking, biking, and nature trails. Park visitors can enjoy fishing or picnicking at Comanche Trail Lake. The Dora Roberts Community Center is located on the bank of the Comanche Trail Lake and has facilities and accommodations available for weddings, conferences, dances and receptions. Several pavilions can be rented for family activities, parties, and special events.
Dick Kleberg Park - Dick Kleberg Park is a 10 acre park just minutes from downtown Kingsville. It's juxtaposed to Dick Kleberg Park Lake. Enjoy a picnic in the open, green lawn with the beautiful lake scenery, and let the kids explore the wildlife around the lake. Picnic tables are available for public use for when you and your family want to move your picnic under some shade.
Veterans' Memorial Park – Veteran's Memorial Park is the City's largest community park at approximately 200 acres. Memorial Park is used by the entire city, so it’s equipped with the following equipment and facilities to enhance you and your family’s picnic, 1 concession building 12 picnic tables with grills, 23 picnic tables without grills, 2 covered pavilion areas, and 2 restroom buildings. The kids can run around on a football/soccer field and the featured playground.
Almeda Park – Almeda Park is a great place to host special gatherings, such as wedding receptions, family reunions, and parties for a nominal rental fee. It offers a playground, lighted sports field, swimming pool, hike & bike trail, and an outdoor basketball pavilion. Come out with the family for a relaxing afternoon of home-cooked food and light exercise. Be sure to visit the website to make your reservation for a special gathering.
Emancipation Park – Emancipation Park includes a new recreation center, restrooms, a new swimming pool, reconfigured parking options, an entry plaza, a splashpad, playground, walking trail, and picnic areas. Its amenities combined with its historical significance make it a standout when it comes to Houston parks. Whether you’re looking to learn some Texas history or just enjoy an afternoon in nature, Emancipation Park is right for you. Come on out with the family today!
Ash Creek Park – Ash Creek Park is a mid-sized park equipped with volleyball courts, basketball courts, baseball fields, soccer fields, disc golf course, and three community buildings. Sprawl out on the lawn space with your friends and family for an afternoon picnic. If you’re in search of shade, feel free to setup under the pavilion on one of the many available picnic tables.
Katherine Rose Memorial Park – Katherine Rose Memorial Park, just south of Arlington, serves as a major trail head connection to the Walnut Creek Linear Park via a ½-mile, lighted, concrete walking/biking trail. It also includes amenities for those looking to hangout for a few hours. From covered pavilions with picnic tables to ten picnic tables with grills to restroom facilities to an all-accessible playground. “Katherine’s Garden,” a rose garden installed by the Keep Mansfield Beautiful Commission, is located at the front of the park and has served many times as the backdrop for photographs and occasionally as the site for weddings.
Brushy Creek Park – Brushy Creek is a sprawling park and campground that has both a day area and an overnight camping area. The day area includes a very nice beach that is roped off. It is also somewhat protected from the wind by the dam making it comfortable for everyone. Feel free to use the privacy of the day-use area for your favorite family activities.
Lindsey Park – Lindsey Park is a large local park next to Greenbriar Lake. It’s perfect for hosting a family picnic with its picnic area, pavilions, restrooms, and sports complexes. Take in the views of the lake over a delicious home-cooked meal while the kids play on the lawn. Also feel free to enjoy the walking path for some light exercise.
Rio Grande Valley:
Central Avenue Park – Central Avenue Park provides a breath of fresh greenery and open space alongside the local urban landscape. Inside 0.7 acres, you will find a playground which, along with other areas of the park, is protected from the summer sun by shade. If you’re looking for a spot to take the family to, Central Avenue Park is the place for you! While the kids get to run around on either the lawn or the playground, bring your favorite snack to enjoy underneath the shade of a tree.
Heavin Park – Heavin Park is a quiet, local park situated along the canal in San Benito. It includes a pavilion to escape the summer heat, benches for family picnicking, and plenty of green space for the kids to play in. Grab a seat along the San Benito with your favorite family meal, sit back, and relax while the kids wear themselves out running across the lawn.
Landa Park – Landa Park offers picnic facilities under the shade of giant, ancient oak trees. When you’re done with your picnic, walk or jog on the parks special trails, or ride a miniature train that chugs around the 51-acre park. An excursion on a paddle boat is one of the best ways to see the Comal Springs and Landa Lake. Why not take in a round of miniature golf, relax at the playground or enjoy the flora and fauna on the Panther Canyon Nature Trail? Everything you need for a family getaway is located here at Landa Park!
Branch River Park – Branch River Park is a 4.2-acre park linking Goliad’s historic courthouse square to the San Antonio River, as well as the Angel of Goliad Hike & Bike Trail and the Ferry Street River Access Site. Facilities include benches, picnic tables, a drinking fountain, and restrooms making it a great place to take the family to for a picnic. The kids can enjoy the playground or the 9-hole disc golf course alongside the scenes of the San Antonio River.