You’ve been stuck in the same routine since fall. Go to work, come home, make dinner, feed the kids (or adult), clean it up, go to bed, and get up to do it all over again. Or maybe you’re retired, but you’ve found yourself in a similar slump. Perhaps you’re from a little further north than Texas, and the cold temperatures are getting you down.
Whatever the cause of your winter blues, Texas is here to help. The mindset in Texas is simple: Go big or go home. And we don’t like for anyone to go home until they’ve had as much fun as they can stand. With this sentiment in mind, we have lots of exciting things planned all year round to keep us entertained.
Pack your bags and start off with one of our favorites.
1. Penguin Days at the Dallas Zoo.
January 3 through February 28, the Dallas Zoo offers a cool deal. Admission is only $7 during Penguin Days with children age 2 and younger receiving free admission. Go check out this world-class zoo with over 105 acres of award-winning habitats.
Enjoy the only habitat in the United States where elephants and giraffes hang out together with zebras and other African animals. Don’t miss the Don Glendening Penguin Cove or the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo either while you’re there.
2. Visit Laredo’s Celebration of Washington.
For the month of February, Laredo turns out in a big way. The city of Laredo hosts the largest celebration of George Washington’s birthday every year. This year, the 121st celebration, will no doubt be an event you won’t want to miss.
Attracting over 400,000 visitors each year to the month-long celebration, Laredo certainly knows how to throw a party. Check out the calendar of events, which includes parades, fireworks, and more.
Are you scratching your head yet wondering why Laredo would take such interest in George Washington’s birthday? He wasn’t a resident of Laredo, nor was he a semi-permanent visitor. So why Washington?
It started with a bit of dust-up in 1898 between Native Americans and settlers in Laredo as they fought for control of the city. Eventually, the town surrendered to the Great Chief Sachem. The rest, as they say, is history. But you can read more about the history of the celebration on the website for Laredo’s organization in charge of the birthday festivities. The key takeaway is that George Washington’s birthday supplied an excuse for people of many different cultures and backgrounds to come together.
3. Sun, Sand, and Fun.
Make Texas’s shoreline your winter destination. With over 600 miles of oceanfront real estate to choose from, you have plenty of options. Visit South Padre Island for fun in the sand and sun or take a tour of the Battleship Texas moored next to San Jacinto Monument in Corpus Christi. Or go fishing for speckled trout, redfish, and flounder.
While you’re in Corpus Christi, check out the Texas State Aquarium. It ranks as one of the top attractions in the state, and it’s not hard to see why.
Galveston is another great place to visit. Beyond the beach, you can take a gander at the ship Elissa. Elissa is a tall ship in a class all her own. She’s what’s called a three-masted barque, and she was originally launched in 1877. You can find the ship at the Texas Seacoast Museum.
4. Celebrate Mardi Gras in Galveston.
Not sure New Orleans is really your kind of thing? Visit Galveston for the country’s third largest Mardi Gras celebration. Snag some beads and enjoy the family-friendly events centered around the historic downtown Galveston area. From parades to electronic dance parties, experience Mardi Gras with the whole family in a whole new way.
5. Visit Fort Worth’s Stockyards.
Step back in time to when the West was wild. Fort Worth Stockyards Rodeo and Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show are sure to impress even the most stoic cowboy.
See the weathered brick streets lined with historical buildings, restaurants, saloons, and more as you saunter down Exchange Avenue, contemplating the many, many feet that have traveled where you tread. Check out the twice-daily cattle drive and take in a concert at the world’s largest honky-tonk, Billy Bob’s Texas.
And of course, you can’t miss the reenactment of the original Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show. Watch Native American dancing, roping, trick shooting, and trick riding. Find yourself transported back to a different time.
6. Tour the Cowboys’ Training Center.
Are you a football fan? Whether you’ve cheered for or against the Dallas Cowboys is between you and your television. No matter who you’ve rooted for in the past, step inside the training center where elite athletes have been working out for decades. Experience the War Room Nike Star Walk and Grand Atrium with a VIP guided tour. You’ll see firsthand the space where Cowboys train 355 days of every year.
7. Make Your Own Spot.
Does visiting some place warmer sound like the best plan ever for every winter hereafter? Maybe it’s time for you to go native and forget the tourist spots. Maybe it’s time for you to create your own destination with a Leland’s Cabin.
Visit Leland’s Cabins in Grandview. Make us your destination this winter to check out our high-quality cabins and leave with plans for your very own Texas cabin. Find a nice, warm spot to put it, and then set everything in motion by ironing out the details with one of our expert team members.
Once you have your very own Texas cabin, you’ll have a true, warm homebase to run to in the cold, winter months.