A Weekend in Tyler… with kids

Known for its tall pine trees and beautiful roses, the East Texas town of Tyler offers a fun weekend getaway for families, with plenty to do to keep the everyone entertained!  The truth is, there is more to do in Tyler then you could ever fit in one weekend, but it’s fun to try!  Here’s my top reasons for visiting!


1,  First stop, head to Downtown Tyler and the Smith County Courthouse Square.  While the modern courthouse may leave you unimpressed when compared to those in other Texas towns, the quaint square offers fun dining and entertainment!  Grab lunch at at Don Juan’s or some terrific street tacos at Moocho Burrito.

2.  It’s a short walk to the Discovery Science Place Children’s Museum.  Kids will love the interactive activities, including a ship and re-creation of a Texas cave to explore!  Two huge play areas ensure to keep the kids, and you, busy!

3.  A MUST do in Tyler is a visit historic Liberty Hall theater on the square!  Be sure to check their events calendar for a fun live show for children, concert or a movie! Click HERE to visit their website.

4.  The Tyler City Square is lit up each December with thousands of lights, perfect for a winter stroll.  Keep warm with some hot coffee or chocolate from The Foundry Coffeeshop, which keeps late hours on the weekends and often has live music.  As you stroll through the square, you’ll be sure to notice the red brick streets, which were laid in the early part of the 20th century and comprise almost 14 miles.

5.  Coffee and Cars is a monthly car show, held the 2nd Sunday of each month.  Starting at 9am, the Square is filled with classic cars, hot rods and the accompanying street vendors and activities for the entire family!

6. If you want to slip in some shopping, the Ye Olde City Antique Mall, located at 302 Locust St. in Downtown offers some fun finds.

7..One of the most picturesque zoos in Texas, the Caldwell Zoo is a short drive from downtown.  You’ll find bears, lions and tigers, as well as other fun animals and lots of interactive activities for the kiddos!  Click HERE to read more!

8.  For more animals, don’t miss a visit to Tiger Creek Wildlife Sanctuary in Tyler!  Tiger Creek is the home to rescued tigers, lions, cougars, bobcats and many more animals! Click HERE to read more!

9.  Tyler offers some terrific chances to enjoy the outdoors!  The Tyler State Park offers scenic camping (tent, RV and cabins), fishing, a great hiking trail around the lake, a swimming area, canoe rentals and more, although it’s hard to beat just putting up a hammock under the big pines and relaxing!  Click HERE for more information!

10.  Jellystone Park at Whispering Pines is a complete destination, with non-stop activities for the whole family!  This was our first Jellystone Park to visit, and my kids are hooked!  The park offers tent, RV and cabins.  Click HERE to read about our experience!

11.  Bring the bikes for some fun bike trails!  UT Tyler offers a 3 mile technical loop.  Faulkner Park and Lindsey Park also have great trails worth checking out, and Lindsey Park has a good disc golf course.

12.  Of course, Tyler is known as the Rose Capital of America!  Each October they hold their annual Rose Festival, but the beautiful Rose Gardens are open year-round and FREE.  Click HERE to read more.

13.  Each Spring, the Tyler landscape is filled with Azaleas during the annual Azalea Trails!  A driving tour takes you through 10 miles of historic homes and gardens.  Click HERE to read more.

14.  Tyler is also part of the Piney Woods Wine Trail, and offers a terrific vineyard, Kiepersol Estate Vineyard, with a wonderful restaurant, B&B and more, but this article is about traveling with the kids…  Click HERE to read more.

15.  The Hudnall Planetarium at the Center for Earth and Space Education offers fun movies about our planet and the infinite space above it!  Star Parties are held the first Saturday of each month.  Click HERE to read more!

17.  Santaland is a drive-through Christmas light display, open from November – New Years Day.

18.  Some other family-fun activities include the Tyler Putt-Putt.  Fun Forest Park offers a spray park and olympic sized pool during the summer.

Just a hop-skip and jump away…..

Is the town of Mineola, home to the Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine River, and the Mineola Bigfoot Paddling Trail.  Click HERE to read more.

Last May, we spotted off in Edom at the Blueberry Hill Farm.  This fun, you-pick farm had blueberries and blackberries, as well as some terrific blueberry lemonade!  Edom is a cute, picturesque little town with lots of fun shops, galleries and restaurants.  Click HERE to read more.

Keep Having Fun in the TEXAS Sun!