Archive for the 'Holidays' Category

Get Dad Outdoors on Fathers Day

Friday, June 8th, 2018

A dad and his son jetty fishing at sunrise.

This is Passport to Texas

My father was not what you’d call an outdoorsy guy, but I do have some outdoor memories of him.

I remember Dad took us kids to the nearby forest preserve and taught us how to ride bikes. We had room to wobble and wipe out on the trails until we became proficient thanks to his encouragement. And once we could stay upright, he’d find a shady place to sit; he wore a big smile as he watched us zip around with abandon.

Or in summer when my mom had to work late, dad would have us kids pack up some food while he put a couple of bikes in the back of the station wagon. He’d take us to our local state park for an evening picnic that always ended with us chasing lightening bugs at dusk.

These are small moments with my father that I cherish. My dad’s gone now, but if yours is still with you, perhaps this Father’s Day—June 17—you can share the magic of the outdoors with him.

Take your dad to a Texas state park for a picnic, or a day of biking, hiking or paddling. Maybe you can do an overnight campout, or just hang out on the bank of a lake with a line in the water, and enjoy one another’s company. If you are a dad—spend time with the kiddos outside.

The great Texas outdoors and father’s day equal sweet memories.

That’s our show…. brought to you in part by Ram trucks: built to serve.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Halloween in State Parks

Monday, October 9th, 2017
Tossing a “ghost” through a ring is just one of the kid-friendly activities offered in the fright-free area at Halloween at the Hatchery.

Tossing a “ghost” through a ring is just one of the kid-friendly activities offered in the fright-free area at Halloween at the Hatchery.

This is Passport to Texas

Get into the spirit of Halloween at a Texas state park.

Plan an overnight stay at a nearby park with family and friends. When night falls, build a campfire, huddle ‘round, and share scary stories while the fire pops and crackles.

Campfire s’more take on a whole new look at Halloween with ghost shaped marshmallow peeps! Toast your ghost over the flames and then squish it between graham crackers and chocolate. Now who’s scary?

Invite wildlife to your party; it’s easy when you use animal call apps on your smart phone. A raptor that’s usually spying on you anyway, is the screech owl. If you play its call and wait, chances are it will join you.

You don’t have to set up camp to enjoy Halloween in parks. Just come for a few hours. Some parks will have activities including Edible Creepy Crawlies, to Bat Themed crafts, to Trick-or-Treating in the park, to Zombie Apocalypse Hikes and more.

At Cleburne State Park, visitors 13 and older who wish to partake in trick or treating, the guided night hike, or the night sounds presentation, will have their entrance fee waived when they bring a can of food for the food bank.

Find parks, dates, and complete details on Halloween hijinks in State Parks at texasstateparks.org.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Ways to Celebrate 4th of July in Parks

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

san_jacinto_fireworks

This is Passport to Texas

Tomorrow is The Fourth of July. It’s when we observe the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. Over the past 241 years, it’s also become a reason for family and friends to gather for food and fun.

Texas State Parks are open July Fourth and welcome you and yours for picnicking, hiking, cycling, geocaching, swimming, fishing, and just plain relaxing.

A couple of parks have July Fourth Festivities, including the Sauer Beckmann Living History farm in Johnson City in the Hill Country, where you will celebrate like early Texans. The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens will have a huge fireworks display.

With fireworks in mind—park visitors are not allowed to bring them into the parks. Not even sparklers. They will be confiscated. Just a heads up. If you decide to camp overnight at a park, and you want to see fireworks, many of the communities around the parks have displays you can easily attend.

Or if the park is close to big cities like Dallas or Houston, you may be able to see their fireworks from the comfort of your campsite. Celebrate our nation’s independence and your state parks this July Fourth. Find park information at texasstateparks.org.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Fourth of July Festivities

Monday, June 26th, 2017
Getting settled for the Fourth of July festivities at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Photo: Larry Hodge.

Getting settled for the Fourth of July festivities at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Photo: Larry Hodge.

This is Passport to Texas

This July Fourth Weekend give yourself and your family a treat, and spend it at one of your state parks.

Pack a picnic and dine al fresco. Depending upon where you go, you’ll dine under the shade of ancient oaks or pines or maples. Bring your hiking shoes or mountain bikes and enjoy the extensive trail systems.

Fishing is free in parks with fishing opportunities. Cast a line and see if you can reel in something tasty to for dinner so you can skip the grocery store on the way home.

If you live in Central Texas, the LBJ State Park and Historic site’s Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm in Johnson City is the place to be on July Fourth. They plan to celebrate like early Texans. What does that mean? You have to go to find out.

For East Texas residents, one of the biggest fireworks display in your part of the state will light up the skies over the Texas Fresh Water Fisheries Center in Athens. Admission to the center is free after 4 p.m. And there’s free fishing until 8:30 p.m.

Whether you go to a park to celebrate your own way, or attend one of these events: bring your family, bring your friends, bring some snacks, but leave the fireworks and sparklers at home. Don’t worry, you’ll still have a blast.

That’s our show for today…Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Combat Holiday Calories in State Parks

Monday, November 14th, 2016
Biking in Brazos Bend State Park

Biking in Brazos Bend burns off the pre and post holiday calories.

This is Passport to Texas

We’re standing at the threshold of the holiday season; once we cross over, we’ll encounter sweet and savory goodies with which to indulge our taste buds—both at home and at work. But we can balance out excess calorie consumption by visiting nearby state parks and engaging in outdoor activities before those treats touch our lips.

Yes. It’s really funny you say that. A lot of our parks, that’s a part of their activities and events that they’re putting on. The pre-Thanksgiving hikes and paddles and biking events…just to kind of get you ready for that whole holiday family and fun and food and all that.

Aaron Friar is with Texas State Parks. Except for rare occasions—like fire and flood—parks never close. So even after the biggest feeding frenzy of the season known as Thanksgiving, Texas State Parks stand ready to help all of us digest.

After you’ve had a good time with the family and ate your fill, and you’re wanting to get out there and be a little active afterwards, we have parks that are doing hikes and some really cool events to get you out there—to get you a little active—after those holiday feasts, you could say.

Don’t take Thanksgiving overindulgence lying down. Find a complete list of pre and post-Thanksgiving activities at state parks when you log onto the calendar & events section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.