Summer is for taking adventures, vacations and day trips. But when you have to social distance, it can make planning a special outing difficult. Here are some great places to visit on your next day trip (from Waco, Belton, Temple, Killeen) that will help you stay six feet away and close to the ones you love.
1. Fort Parker State Park
194 Park Road 28
Mexia, TX 76667
This lush state park is located on the banks of the Navasota River and has something for every outdoor adventurer. Guests can travel through hiking trails that are color coded for skill level, go fishing, camping, paddling, or geocaching. And if you tell the ranger you’re traveling with children, they will provide you with activities packets with coloring pages and other things to keep your little ones busy in the car or at the campsite.
2. Dinosaur Valley State Park
1629 Park Rd 59,
Glen Rose, TX 76043
If your kids are into dinosaurs or enjoy exploring, then this park is for them. Dinosaurs left their tracks in the mud long ago, and now you and your family can walk in their footsteps along the banks of the Paluxy River. You can even download an app that will help you map the dinosaur tracks. The park is also home to Eagle Eye Ranch Carriage Company where patrons can saddle up and go on a guided horseback ride or enjoy a carriage ride at dusk.
3. Longhorn Cavern State Park
6211 Park Road 4 S,
Burnet, TX 78611
Travel 130 feet below the earth into the caverns at this state park. Explore how people of old-world Texas used these caves for protection, storage and recreation. You can visit an underground ballroom, the gunpowder room, and the Hall of Diamonds, just to name a few. Tours are limited to 20 people at a time and you are required to wear a face covering while exploring the caves.
4. Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metro Park
400 Grove Boulevard
Austin, TX 78741
Birds! Birds! And more birds! This park is one of the best spots in the state for birding. More than 230 species call this natural area home, and there’s no telling how many you’ll see in one visit. The park also boasts a large playground with unique equipment, a disc golf course and a place to practice your BMX skills.
5. Jacob’s Well Natural Area
1699 Mt. Sharp Rd.
Wimberly, TX 78676
Wade into this delightful artesian spring in Wimberly, TX and enjoy its tranquil waters. Amazing views and lush greenery will have you feeling like you’ve discovered a hidden gem. You can also explore the second largest fully-submerged cave in Texas.
6. Exotic Resort Zoo
235 Zoo Trail,
Johnson City, TX 78636
Come drive thru this one-of-a-kind zoo experience and see over 600 different animals! You can see everything from zebras to wallabies to yaks to camels without ever leaving your car.
7. Aggieland Safari
Bryan, TX 77808
Walk or drive thru this 250-acre zoo and see spider monkeys, porcupines, kangaroos, and more! Book online ahead of time to secure your spot.
8. Floating Cinema
The week of Sept. 23, you can float in a boat built for up to eight people and watch a movie on an Austin waterway. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a theater while social distancing. Each showing can accommodate 12 to 24 mini boats. Sign up ahead of time and float on in for some entertainment.
9. Theme Parks
While it is difficult to be social distant from other people at places like Six Flags Over Texas, Great Wolf Lodge or Schlitterbahn, these theme parks each have exhaustive lists of safety and sanitation procedures they are completing daily to ensure the health and safety of their guests.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.