Mom and Dad may think of Fredericksburg as a great romantic escape, but there are many fun and (eek!) even educational things for the kids to enjoy in and around the community. Here are a few fun ideas to entertain the kiddos:
Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site and the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm – Head east of town along Highway 290 and just past Stonewall, you will find the entrance to the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. There are lots of neat activities for the kids here; and best of all – these activities are free! Go to the Sauer-Beckmann farm to see sheep, cattle, pigs, chickens and more. You may get to see the interpreters milking cows, making soap or some other daily farm chore. And don’t forget to take time to see the longhorns and buffalo. In the summer, the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site has a great swimming pool to enjoy or you can stop at one of the many roadside parks on Ranch Road 1 to picnic by the Pedernales River.
LBJ Ranch, Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park – The famed LBJ Ranch is just across the Pedernales River from the park and the Ranch Tour is free – just be sure to get your pass at the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site Visitor Center. On the tour, you will see Hereford cattle all over, as well as deer, antelope and more as you drive. At the Show Barn, you can get up close and personal with some of the Ranch’s bulls that are in the pens. See the newly installed Jet Star plane that used to ferry President Johnson to and from the ranch. And, of course, you can tour the actual Texas White House where LBJ spent a big part of his presidency. The tour of the house is only $2.
Wildseed Farms – on the way back to Fredericksburg, swing by Wildseed Farms and see the many fields of flowers along Wildseed Farm’s walking trail. Often, you will see tractors in the fields and at the hummingbird and butterfly area you can get close enough for photos. There’s a snack area where you can grab some refreshments.
Enchanted Rock – There is no better place for the kids to get out and enjoy hiking and climbing than the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Located about 20 minutes north of town on FM 965, there are campgrounds and more. Some trails are easy for the younger kids and then the ‘Rock’ itself is a great hike for all.
Fredericksburg City Parks – The Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park is located on the southern edge of Fredericksburg off of Highway 16 South. There are numerous playgrounds, a creek for fishing and lots of picnic pavilions. The Live Oak Wilderness Trail offers a one-mile hike along the creek and there is a free map available at the park office.
Other park areas in Fredericksburg that are free and fun for kids include the playground at Marktplatz in the center of town and the hiking trails out at Cross Mountain on North Milam Street. Both offer a chance for the kids to get out and burn some energy.
The Bat Tunnel – The Old Tunnel State Park is located about 20 minutes south of Fredericksburg along the Old San Antonio Road. The Bat Tunnel is an abandoned railroad tunnel that is home to millions of Mexican Free-Tail bats in residence from May through October. The nightly viewing of their emergence is free from the tunnel’s upper deck, and on certain evenings, you can pay a fee and get to the lower level to be eye-level as the bats emerge to go on their nightly hunting forays. Trust us – the bats aren’t scary and you will enjoy it!