7 Fantastic Things To Do With Your Kids In Abilene
When the kids start to get bored around the house and it’s time to get away, look no further than Abilene, the Storybook Capital of America. Known for its cowboy charm, Abilene has an endless list of fun things you can do with your kids.
Uncover the secrets of the Old West, go on a scavenger hunt for The Lorax and Yertle the Turtle, and come face-to-face with rhinos and giraffes. Located just over two hours west of Fort Worth, this frontier town is a fantastic place to create new family memories. Check out a few of the top things you can do with your kids in Abilene below.
Tip: Plan on sticking around for a while? Get the Abilene Round Up Pass and you’ll save on admission at the best attractions in town.
Experience Life on the Frontier
Giddyup, partner! Put on your cowboy boots and a wide-brimmed hat and bring your kiddos to Frontier Texas!, where the wonders of the Old West live on. Your journey starts in the Blood & Treasure Theater, where guide (and Gunsmoke star) Buck Taylor readies you for your adventure. Ol' Buck isn't the only colorful character you'll meet along the way, as there are nine holographic spirit guides here to teach you a thing or two about the Wild West.
Wander through the museum and you'll uncover thousands of years of history, aim down the barrel of a rifle just like the one you'd see on the prairie, and explore a frontier settlement. Along the way, you and your cowboys and cowgirls will get to know some of the people who helped shape the Old West. Frontier Texas! also is the headquarters for the Texas Forts Trail, and you may want to stroll the grounds of the nearby ruins of Fort Phantom Hill, an old U.S. Army post created to defend settlers from the Native Americans who lived in the area.
Explore the Storybook Capital of America
Your kids have probably read about the zany antics of Cat in the Hat or the epic adventures of Stuart Little. Imagine how they'll feel when they see these larger-than-life characters standing right in front of them? Stroll through Downtown Abilene and you'll encounter 25 statues of characters from Dr. Seuss' timeless classics, as well as Dino Bob, Jack Frost, and The Three Little Kittens.
Finding all these sculptures is the best kind of scavenger hunt (check out this handy map), but that's not all you can do here. The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature features exhibits showcasing the works of celebrated children's book artists, as well as hands-on art activities every Saturday.
With so much to see and do, it's no wonder Abilene is the Storybook Capital of America.
See a World War II-Era Tank
Known by its enemies as the “Suicide Division” for its ferocity in battle, the Abilene-based 12th Armored Division carved out its own chapter of history during World War II. Along with its distinguished service against Nazi Germany in the European Theater of the war, the division was just one of a few to have African-American combat companies. The many stories of the Hellcats, and the men and woman who served in the division, are preserved in the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum. Besides getting an up-close look at a tank and other vintage vehicles, you and your family will check out artifacts, weapons, uniforms, and dioramas that show a new side of the war and the many sacrifices of those who fought in it.
Say “Howdy” to Macho, the Black Rhino
He's big, he's gray, and he wants to say hey. He’s Macho, a 2,500-pound black rhino and the Abilene Zoo's resident gentle giant. It's not every day you can introduce your kids to such a majestic creature, but that's exactly what you can do on an affordable behind-the-scenes VIP tour. Macho is just one of the animals your kids can interact with, as they can hand-feed giraffes and get up-close and personal with the many turtles and snakes that call the zoo home.
Don't forget to explore the rest of the zoo to see lions, tigers, alligators, and an array of birds. Then go for a ride on the Safari Express or the Wildlife Carousel, rent a swan boat and paddle on Zoo Lake, and play in the splash pad and Fort Imagination playground (in the summer).
Play All Day at Primetime
Bumper cars, laser tag, arcade games, and all your kids' favorite food all under one roof. If this sounds too good to be true, you haven't been to Primetime Family Entertainment yet. This one-stop-shop for family-friendly entertainment has something for kids (and adults) of all ages. Putt your way around the two 18-hole mini-golf courses, race around the go-kart track in a one- or two-seat kart, and show your roll at the bowling alley (with automatic bumper rails). There's even an escape game and batting cages for older kids, while the younger crowd can romp in the indoor softplay area, Primetime Island. When you need a break, hit up the restaurant for delicious pizzas and burgers before heading out for more fun.
Catch a Show at One of the Last Drive-In Theaters Around
Pull up your car, tune your radio into the right station, and kick back as the latest Hollywood flick plays on an enormous screen in front of you. The Town & Country Drive-In Theatre isn’t just your average movie theater; it’s where you can enjoy a moviegoing experience that’s rare in this day and age. Home to the biggest screen in Abilene, the theater screens double features throughout the year, as well as the occasional classic. Get here early to get a hamburger or some candy from the concession stand, then settle into your car for the show. Drive-In theatres still offers one of the city’s most unique experiences that you won’t want to miss.
Bounce Like a Ball
Everyone knows that a backyard trampoline can serve up days of non-stop entertainment and exercise, but the thousands of square feet of vertical fun at Maxx Air Trampoline Park will make you positively jumpy. The park offers many ways to bounce around for kids and grownups, from wall-to-wall trampolines to a dodge ball court that takes this traditional game airborne. Yet that’s not all. Watch as your kids conquer the Ninja Course complete with warped walls, silk ropes, and hanging grips; dunk like Lebron James in the basketball lanes; and leap from a 12-foot-tall platform into an enormous airbag. There’s no end to all the high-flying action at Maxx Air Trampoline Park, and everyone will leave with tired legs and big smiles. Traveling with a large crew or trying to plan out a birthday party? Take advantage of the park’s group rentals so you can be sure everyone will have a great time.