Tyler TX is not the most exciting destination in the great state of Texas, but there are several Family Fun destinations and we had a nice trip. Back in January, I set some goals for each month. Our first goal was to make more big art, followed by our February goal to visit at least one new state. While our road trip to Georgia was thoughtfully planned, the trip to Texas was more of a dictated destination, but we like to make the most of these opportunities so I researched some fun things to do on our first Texan adventure. While in Tyler TX, We visited both the Caldwell Zoo and The Discovery Science Place.
Tyler TX is not overwhelming. This isn't to say it isn't a nice city, it's just not overly impressive to an outsider. The Caldwell Zoo on the other hand is impressive. Given the size of the city, I was not expecting much out of its zoo. It is not large in size (which is kind of perfect when you are exploring it with children anyways) but it is beautifully landscaped, cared for, and filled with impressive animals. Lions? Elephants? White tigers? Bears? The Caldwell Zoo has them all and more. It is a little pricey, but once you get inside and see the beauty and wealth of gorgeous creatures it makes sense. If you are in the area, make a point to stop.
One of my favorite spots was the cafe. This was cleverly located so that you can sit overlooking the African animals. Have a snack at watch giraffes munch leaves and zebras roam in the distance. It's pretty awesome. I also loved the beautifully shaded spots throughout the zoo. Given my encounters with southern summers thus far, this is a smart move and also makes the whole zoo have a more wooded, natural feel.
The second day, I had a marathon doctor appointment and Nick took the kids to the Discovery Science Place.
The Discovery Science Place
Their mission is to ignite "curiosity in young minds through fun, hands-on exploration" and this, we believe, they achieve. Best described as a cross between a science museum and a children's museum, there is a mixture of activities to explore. Pretend play, science explorations, math manipulatives, ancient Egyptian artifacts, and gross motor activities like a rock climbing wall can all be found. Two favorites were the pretend grocery store and the ball + air experiment. A surprising number of hands-on spaces are carved into this museum.
*Visit early in the day to avoid the crowds.
*There is a seating area where you can eat. There are some snacks available for purchase. We brought our own lunches and ate there.
The kids were gleeful when they picked me up in the car (and tired), which is usually a fairly good judge of a place. They looked through the pictures with me and told me about their favorite spots. All and all a successful trip.
Learning Through Adventure: Back at Home
*Look through your pictures and listen to what your children are remembering.
*Our kids talked the most about the animals at the zoo. Here are some of our favorite animal related activities:
-Favorite books about the Zoo
-Sing Animal Songs
-Print Pictures and Make These, use them for vocabulary development for littles or letter to image matching or storytelling with bigger kids.
More to do in Tyler:
*Children's Park of Tyler. Photos remind me of the Teddy Bear Park in Minnesota.
*Cotton Belt Depot Museum. Being train fans, this is probably what we would pick next.
*Tyler State Park. This looks like a beautiful place for a hike.
And Beyond. Dallas is about an hour from Tyler. These places are on the top of our Dallas list:
*Dallas World Aquarium
*The Dallas Arboretum
*Campbell Green Splash Park
*The Dallas Zoo
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