Abilene Texas is a Great Place for a Fun Weekend Getaway or a Week’s Summer Break
For anyone seeking fun that will entertain and engage both adults and kids without breaking the bank, Abilene Texas is the perfect destination this summer.
Known as “The Storybook Capital of Texas,” this charming Western town offers a mix of activities that range from family-friendly boot scootin’ to feeding giraffes and turtles to experiencing frontier life with the help of holographic “spirit guides.” Here are just a few ideas and tips for an affordable vacation in Abilene.
- Abilene boasts one of the best little zoos in Texas. Admission is just $8 for adults and $5.50 for children, but families who present their hotel room key will receive free kids’ admission with paid adult tickets. Don’t miss the new Giraffe Safari. At $4 per encounter, feeding the giraffes is a memorable experience. For just a quarter, guests can also feed the begging fish and bobbing turtles who live in Zoo Lake. Parking is free and there’s even a kids playground. www.abilenezoo.org
- Invest in an Abilene Round Up Pass for savings on admissions to the area’s six most popular attractions. $17 for adults, $8 for children ages 16 and younger. (Note: some venues charge adult rates for ages 12 and older, so the pass is a great value for parents of teens.) It covers admission to Frontier Texas!, the comprehensive WWII artifact collection at the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum, The Grace Museum, Abilene Zoo, the expansive grounds of the Taylor County History Center, and the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature.
- Get artistic at the free Come-n-Go Family Fun sessions every Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature. Participants create artworks taking inspiration from the work of such prominent authors and illustrators as Eric Carle, William Joyce, David Shannon and Mark Teague.
- The Storybook Capital of Texas has two dozen whimsical sculptures of favorite childhood storybook characters throughout downtown. Turn viewing the pieces into a scavenger hunt by downloading the free GooseChase app for iphone or Android and submitting photos of your children or groups to the actual app.
- Another way to make touring Abilene an adventure for little ones is to look for a colorful character named Seymour. This wooden toy from Walter Wick’s “Can You See What I See” book series is hidden in locations throughout town. Children can pick up their Seymour Passport at the Abilene Zoo, Abilene Public Library, National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Center for Contemporary Arts, Frontier Texas! or the Grace Museum. When children spot the one Seymour embedded at each location, they can ask to get their passports stamped. Turn them in at the Depot for a prize.
- Looking for a fun family evening out on the town? On select Saturday evenings,Eller Hall hosts “pop up” boot scootin’ nights with a live band. Tickets to this family-friendly, no alcohol evenings are $10 for adults, $5 for youth 12 to $17 and free for kids under $12. For upcoming dates, visit www.ellerhall.com.
- For a special family adventure, stay in a yurt at Abilene State Park. Yurts can be rented for just $50 to $75 nightly (plus park entrance fees.)https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-