Why age 10? Because at that age most kids still like to hang out with their parents. And you’re still the primary force molding their growing minds. So here’s our top 10 list for kids activities:

  1. Hike in Big Bend—Big Bend National Park is one of only two national parks in Texas. And what a beauty! It’s a bit of a pain to get to, but so worth it. Exposing children to nature’s beauty is fundamental to helping them become good stewards of the Earth.

    View at dawn of Rio Grande River in Big Bend National Park in Texas.
    Big Bend National Park (Credit: William Silver)
  2. Snorkel—Snorkeling in Texas? Okay, so the Gulf is not the Caribbean, but it’s still possible to see some pretty cool marine life in Texas. The clear waters of the San Marcos River and parts of South Padre Island have some great snorkeling opportunities. And what better way to help kids understand how important our lakes, rivers and oceans are.
  3. Rock climb—If your kid has a fear of heights, maybe skip this one. On the other hand, indoor rock climbing is a great way to boost kids’ confidence and concentration. Imagine how super will they feel after scaling a 30-foot high wall! Plus there are a number of indoor gyms with climbing areas dedicated to kids.
  4. Visit a dinosaur museum—Dinosaurs rock. They roamed this great big state and left lots of fossils and tracks behind. Not only does Texas have some wonderful museums with dinosaur fossils, but we also have dinosaur parks! Such a neat way to understand how life on Earth has changed.

    Dinosaur tracks at the Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX.
    Dinosaur Valley State Park (Photo by W. Scott McGill)
  5. See a musical—Because it’s just fun and makes kids smile. Kids can experience and see a whole range of emotions and be transported to a different world. There are some fabulous children’s theaters putting on kid-appropriate productions, too.
  6. Build a robot—Yes, robots are cool (who didn’t love Rosie the Robot in the Jetsons). But really it’s about artificial intelligence. It’s kind of the present and definitely the future. Kids should understand how AI works and how it will impact their lives.
  7. Visit an airplane museum—I don’t know about other kids, but my son goes bonkers for airplanes. He could distinguish the sound of an airplane from inside the house before he was 18 months. Airplanes are a perfect and fun way to introduce kids to physics and engineering.

    Vintage aircraft at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Houston, TX.
    Lone Star Flight Museum (Photo by LocalKins)
  8. Hang out at a working farm—Food. It’s what we’re made of. And shouldn’t our kids know where it comes from and how it’s grown? The first time my son saw a dairy cow, I thought he’d be grossed out knowing where his milk came from. Nah. Didn’t faze him.
  9. Stargaze—I can think of no better way to inspire wonder than to look at stars, planets and galaxies. There are six observatories in Texas. If your family can’t get to one, just driving out to the country away from city lights will reveal a magical star-filled world.
  10. Go to a cultural festival—Texas is so diverse and multicultural. All cultures have celebrations. Pick one (or more), and have some fun learning about another culture and cuisine. This Texas-shaped melting pot is one of the best parts of raising kids here.

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Take care and have fun!
Sandy

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