East Texas Oil Museum Kilgore, Texas

East Texas Oil Museum

Hwy. 259 at Ross St.
Kilgore, Texas 75662
On the Kilgore College campus

http://www.easttexasoilmuseum.com/

Museum Hours
Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday – Monday, closed

Closed Easter & Thanksgiving
Special Holiday Schedule:
Dec. 20 – Jan. 1


Guided tours by reservation only.
A nominal fee is charged.

Adults: $8 / Children: $5

img_3970

When Lili told me we had to go the Oil Museum in Kilgore, I had no idea what a gem she was referring to! I figured we’d walk into a small building with a few artifacts, but I boy was I wrong! And what could be cuter than the girls in their old school baby doll dresses??

 When you first walk in there are cool oil rig replicas and jumpsuits of what oil men wear in the fields. They had huge murals, classroom sets, and vintage kitchen setups.

*If you’ve ever wondered how many products petroleum and oil contribute to, they have a display case and full list to educate! You will be very surprised…*

Inside the glass doors it’s like you step back into time, before paved roads and automatic fuels pumps….

img_3982

We were greeted by “buddy” he welcomes you to museum and gives you a few little tidbits about the era you are stepping into.

The whole town looked so lifelike, you really felt like you were in East Texas circa 1930’s! The sky was gloomy, and make sure to watch your step, because the mud left terrible conditions in the road. You had to balance on boards just to cross the street… 🙂

img_4039-1

We took a break at an adorable soda shoppe

We in such awe of all the set ups and decorations.. although you couldn’t touch very much, we always enjoy a chance to use our imagination!

 They actually have a simulated ride that actually feels like you’re going deep deep into the ground to explore the different layers of rock until you find oil. You get in, shut the doors and these puppets navigate your journey.

We got to enjoy a historical look into the oil boom in a real old fashioned theater. The girls attention span was not long, but the film lasted about 20 minutes and at the end morphed into an IMAX theater of sorts!

Although there were a lot of things you shouldn’t touch because of how delicate and meticulous the set up is, there was plenty of opportunity to let the girls be a little hands on! They played checkers, checked out an old phone booth, cut the cheese, haha, played pat-a-cake outside the barbershop and more!

img_4089

The super sweet man at the museum even showed the girls how you use to have to pump gas and let the girls have a try. Let me just say.. I’m thankful for the pumps we have today!

img_3985

All in all, we had an awesome time! Definitely a fun (and educational) way to spend an afternoon and how darn cute are these girlies?? Everyone we encountered was so sweet and helpful. They even drew us a map to help us find our next location 🙂

After we left, we decided to continue our oil exploration and take a look at the

World’s Richest Acre Park

If you haven’t explored downtown Kilgore, it is actually pretty cool. They have shops, cafes and we even got to see a couple trains pass by!

We decided to be a bit rebellious and snag some cute pictures on the train tracks of these cuties…

Even us moms got in on a bit of the action.. However, we do not recommend this and are aware that this is probably not the best example to set.. but, YOLO sometimes 🙂

img_4387

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Money for admission and the gift shop (Cash & card accepted)
  • Camera with a flash (It is a bit dark inside the coolest parts)
  • Make sure to go to every exhibit, there are neat parts in each one
  • Parking for the museum is located behind the museum.
  • Give yourself a little time to explore downtown Kilgore.

 

All our love,

The Adventurers

TJC’s Earth & Space Science Center Tyler, Texas


The Center for Earth & Space Science Education –
“The Planetarium”

903-510-2312

1411 E Lake St, Tyler, TX 75701

If you’ve not explored TJC’s Planetarium, you should! They have an actual dome IMAX theater, awesome play area & gift shop!

DOME SHOWS:


How cool that you can fly high with the birds or dive deep with the whales, all from the comfort of a chair?! It was such a neat experience that the girls loved! They have several different shows & showtimes for your viewing pleasure 🙂 

**I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the screen, you MUST go see it in person**

PLAY AREA 


Once we left the show, the girls raced to the downstairs play area. It was so clean and maticulous & the girls were overjoyed to play! 

**Lili & I would advise you to let your kiddies play first to get the wiggles out of their system before the show!**

The area was equipped with some scuba gear for your kids to trip around in

Microscopes for discoveries..

And a big fish tank full of underwater cuties!


If you can believe it, their favorite part was the blow up raft.. I do believe they could have played in it for an hour… ​

After the girls conned Lili into buying them a treat at the gift shop, they enjoyed watching the butterflies and running around the beautiful landscape on campus!


Visiting the planetarium is a perfect Saturday morning adventure. The campus is quiet and you can quickly fill two hours with fun! 

All our love,

The Adventurers!

Ellen Trout Zoo Lufkin, Texas

Ellen Trout Zoo

402 Zoo Circle Lufkin, Tx 75904

9366330399

http://cityoflufkin.com/zoo/

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

$ INEXPENSIVE $

Adults $7.00
Seniors 60 and older $6.00
Children 4 to 11 $3.50
Children under 4 Free

Members of Friends of the Ellen Trout Zoo Free

FitBit Steps: 5,200

img_8664-1

If there has ever been an adventure that spoke to our soul, it is The Ellen Trout Zoo!    There are so many positive elements that we couldn’t be more excited to share this gem with you. 

Unlike, some other zoos that we’ve explored, Ellen Trout lets you get up close and personal with the animals. The Hippos had an above ground & underwater view as well, which we thought was super cool! We saw monkeys, kangaroos, giant turtles, snakes, koi fish, and much much more!

img_8703

For obvious reasons, the lions, giraffes, jaguars and etc are more secure, but there was a good view for every animal. Between all of the greenery and roaming animals, we just felt like we were in an actual jungle the entire time. As if we had traveled to another country to go on a safari.

One of the biggest highlights were all of the peacocks roaming all about, strutting their stuff, haha! Watching the male peacocks try to impress the females was hilarious, they literally “shake their tail feathers”!! We even witnessed some of the males getting very territorial and even fighting a bit.

Seri’s main mission was to touch one, and as you can see that sweet peacock finally let her. Some of the others weren’t so accommodating…

img_8705-1

By the giraffes, rhinos & a couple other exhibits were tables and chairs. We took full advantage of them for snack, water & relaxation breaks. And it didn’t hurt that there was an awesome view at each stopping point. You can sit and enjoy a break while watching different animals roam about!

img_8732-1

Although, we picked an amazing 75 degree day to go on this adventure, there is so much shading from the trees, too much sun wouldn’t ever be an issue!

Z&OO Railroad

Depot Phone (936) 637-6810
Prices:$2.00 per ride -Children 3 and under ride free-

CASH ONLY!

img_8655

What an exciting bonus to find an adorable train located right outside the zoo! The train ride is 7 minutes and so fun. It takes you around the zoo and even over alligator water.     So keep your eyes pealed!

 

This adventure wasn’t just for the girls, us adults loved every part of the zoo & railroad as well! We had such a wonderful Sunday afternoon, we hope you can go soon! Maybe you could even go home with a new “mess free” pet….

img_8665

DON’T FORGET:

  • CASH (You can use debit at the zoo entrance, just not the train)
  • BUG SPRAY
  • WALKING SHOES
  • WATER
  • SNACKS
  • CAMERA

All our love,

The Adventurers

 

Caddo Indian Mounds Alto, Texas

Caddo Mounds

1649 State Hwy. 21 West, Alto, TX 75925

(My GPS didn’t take us exactly there, but once you turn onto HWY 21, you will run into it – there is a bird watching sign, historical marker, & the Caddo Mounds sign as well)

 936-858-3218

http://www.thc.state.tx.us/historic-sites/caddo-mounds-state-historic-site

*FitBit Steps: Potentially a lot… but, we opted not too, you’ll see why below 🙂 *

Info sign

*Very inexpensive*

*Inside*

The indoor museum is interactive & as you can tell, very fun! Although not very big, the girls had an absolute blast. There were fancy (a little creepy lol) furs to wear, all sorts of informative signs to read and learn about the Indian culture with.

We learned that the Indian word for moon is “neesh”

( that was the simplest one, haha)

Lili and I received a gourmet meal, cooked with only the freshest ingredients. We really took “organic” to the next level and it was delicious! Let me tell you, these girls have some muscles too, because we tried to lift these pots and were impressed at how heavy they are. On top of that, Indian woman carried them on their heads? Geez.

The favorite though, was the drum and maracas (mostly the drums, haha).  And how cool that one of the museums directors heard how much fun the girls were having with the music and came out to play with them. This sort of thing is what adds such a special touch to our experience, you can tell that they genuinely care about this place.

 

**Outside**

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site is a prehistoric village and ceremonial center located on the original El Camino Real de los Tejas trail. Visitors can walk the 0.7 mile self-guided interpretive trail to see the Caddo’s burial, low temple, and ceremonial mounds.

…..But, they also allow moms like us to cheat & offer…

Golf Cart

GOLF CARTS

Who’s the bomb? Oh, The Caddo Mounds Museum, that’s who!

I don’t think anything was more of a hit than taking the tour in the luxury of a golf cart at NO EXTRA CHARGE!

We had so much fun exploring the trails. We found lots of informative stops and an old barn that we wanted to stop and explore so badly… but decided to follow the “no trespassing” signs like good girls. You can even see pieces of the Neches River from the trail.

It was so interesting to us that we were standing on the same soil that was a trade mecca so many years ago for so many people. It is so beautiful and serene and nice that it hasn’t been tampered with, unlike so many places around us.

Picnic

We highly recommend you pack a picnic! There are several places to stop and enjoy some lunch. We chose a place on the trail next to the river.

Here is a list of things we want you to remember to bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Butterfly nets (there were beautiful butterflies everywhere! We were sad we didn’t have ours)
  • Picnic
  • If you choose to walk, walking shoes
  • Water
  • Camera
  • A little money for the gift shop if you choose
    • We bought 2 flutes (regrettably lol), a magnet & post card for $10

 

We would recommend the Caddo Mounds for a fun educational trip! If you’re worried about the drive, there are a lot of cool historical markers a long the way! We even took a trip to the “Haunted Footbridge” in Rusk… We are still trying to find out the story, so if you know – LET US KNOW!!

Bridge

All our love,

The Adventurers

Movie at the Park Tyler, Texas

Bergfeld Park

1510 S College Ave, Tyler, TX 75702

Parksandrec.cityoftyler.org 

$FREE$

 

“Come as you are, stay as long as you can. We’re all family so no seating plan”


If you’ve never felt a since of community in Tyler, Tx, this is the place you’ll find it! Once a month Tyler Parks and Recreation sets up a screen on the stage of the amphitheater at Bergfeld Park and plays a family friendly movie.

This time we were lucky enough to catch The Minions Movie, that Abigayle and Seri love!

There is always a banner hanging up with the movie, date, and time like this one..


It’s always hung at least a couple weeks ahead of time this way, you can add it to your plans! You can also find the date on the City of Tyler website that can be found above!

The Beautiful Playground

If you have time, it’s easy to make a whole night of it!


With the newly remodeled play area at Bergfeld, kids are sure to want to play for awhile! It includes

  • Two jungle gyms (1 for older kids, 1 for younger kids)
  • Two netted merry-go-rounds (1 for older kids, 1 for younger kids)
  • One classic merry-go-round
  • Monkey Bars
  • Reflex, which is a great sensory playground toy.
  • Several swings for babies and older children (and adults, haha)
  • Slides built into the ground

I’m telling you, it’s just awesome…

 

MOVIE TIME!

Here’s a little list of helpful items to bring:

  • Snacks/picnic/dinner
  • Drinks (however we were lucky and they passed out drinks for FREE)
  • Lawn chairs (if you prefer over bleacher seats)
  • Blanket
  • Bug spray (Bc let’s face it, it’s East Texas)
  • A toy incase of boredom
  • Hand sanitizer (there isn’t any soap in the bathrooms)

The Glass Center handed water and sodas throughout the entire movie, for FREE!

**donations accepted, but we never saw a place to donate…**


We set up camp in the very back of the theater and could see the screen and hear just fine! We had to rearrange the girls a bit because of their vertical challenges, but honestly there isn’t a bad seat in the house!

These two cuties stayed happy and engaged most of the movie, which we know how hard it is to be still when you’re 3 and 4! Luckily, there were bubbles in the bag towards the end!

They even made a new friend! Like I said, the since of community was so strong. What a nice feeling to have a fun, free night with your friends & family. You can forget your worries for a couple hours & relax (unless you’re Lili who brought her homework 😂). I would even go as far as saying PJs are definitely acceptable! Just don’t wear slippers in case you have to hike it to the bathroom!

We would definitely recommend enjoying a movie a the park!

 The next one is scheduled for:

Saturday, May 14th

 Movie: Inside Out

 We may see you there 🙂

All our love,

The Adventurers

East Texas Gator Farm Grand Saline, Texas

East Texas Gators & Wildlife Park

9515 FM 1255, Grand Saline, TX 75140

(903) 962-5630

http://www.easttexasgators.com/

Sun.- Thurs. 9 am – 5 pm Fri. & Sat. 9 am – 8 pm  Admission is $7 adults and $6 for children ages 2-12
Senior citizens over 65 are $6

**Check for a Groupon**

 

New Pics 141

This was one of our first adventures we went on as you will be able to see our baby faced girls. However, The Gator Farm was definitely a memorable one and a must go, if you haven’t! The staff is so sweet and you can tell that this is really their passion. They have a love for all the animals and critters that really translates into the experience you have!

Inside the Shop

One of the best features (to some) is how close you get to get with the animals! As you will be able to see, Adventurer Seri is very hands on, where Adventurer Abigayle is more of a “watch from the sidelines” … or your moms arms kind of girl, HAHA!

They have everything from snakes, toads, spiders (yuck), raccoon, bearded dragons, birds, fish,lizards & more! Practically everything you are allowed to touch as well, which to some (Seri) was awesome!

Outdoors

In the top left, you can see the Lemurs, which the girls though were HILARIOUS, because they were running and jumping all over the place!

The also have an area with giant turtles you can walk around in & cages with all sorts of different animals!

Another great feature is that you will find different animals that you are use to seeing at the Zoo! Which is nice, because if you seen one parrot, you’ve seen them all essentially.

 

MAIN ATTRACTION



Of course, what you’re really going to see are the alligators! And let me tell you, you can get up close and personal as you see on the video! I would recommend calling ahead to see what time they’re feeding the gators, because it is really and truly amazing.

 

Feed the Ducks & Fish

You know we lovvvve to feed the animals! So DON’T FORGET YOUR QUARTERS! We always have to pry them away from feeding any sort of animal. Even our little chicken, Abigayle, likes the participate in this one!

They also have a play area for the kiddies, but unfortunately when we went it had just rained a tone and we couldn’t get to it 😦

East Texas Gators would definitely be a “don’t let the looks deceive you” kind of place, because even though it may not look like a grand adventure from the outside, you’ll find that it truly is a hidden gem.

**THE BATHROOMS WERE CLEAN AND SMELLED FRESH** any mother knows what a PLUS, PLUS, PLUS this is!

gator farm

Unfortunately, since we were new to the game when we went, we didn’t have the pictures we usually do, but as you can see from these smiling faces, that doesn’t make a difference to them!

 

All our love,

The Adventurers

Caldwell Zoo Tyler, Tx

Caldwell Zoo
Tyler, Texas 
Caldwellzoo.org
2203 Martin Luther King Blvd 
Tyler, Tx. 75702

$$ $8/child – $11.50/adults $$

Fitbit Steps: 4,000

If you haven’t been to Caldwell Zoo or you haven’t gone since you were a kid, go! Although, not too much has changed it is still really awesome. And if you’re looking for 2-4 hours to kill, you totally can!

 

Now I’m sure you’re all thinking, we already know all there is to know about Caldwell Zoo! And you might be right.. But before you make your 15th trip- make sure you crossed all your T’s & dotted all your I’s … Learn some valuable lessons from our latest experience! ESPECIALLY, if you are traveling with two adventurers (aka sassy sisters) like us!

You think two strong, curly headed cuties won’t get tired walking 2.5 hours? Yea… Me either. That’s why I had every intention of “not being a hero” and renting the $6 wagon savior! Except, REMEMBER your photo ID because even offering to leave your credit card at the wagon desk counter won’t work! They seriously made the girls get back out of the wagon and put it back. AND right after that I didn’t have any quarters to feed the fish/ducks. MOM FAIL of the century. Thank heavens the Zoo is awesome.

Sooo… We all walked. And took many breaks- which included snacks (that I packed in a backpack, one thing I DID remember)


Make sure if you don’t have cash you pre-pay for your birdseed sticks when you buy your tickets at the front because if not, you’ll be in big trouble! Haha- the Walkabout Bird Cage is probably one of the highlights of the zoo!

 

As you can see, one of our adventurers is more hands on than the other, haha!

There are also tons of other cool animals like tigers, lions & bears, oh my!


And no matter how many times you see these animals, the kids are still amazed! Which makes it worth the more expensive outing!

Sweet Seri also gave the goats at the petting zoo a snack of her hair..


And he actually took a nibble!! .. Don’t tell Lili 😂

So let’s recap some reminders:

  • Pack a backpack with snacks, water & wipes (the backpack will also come in handy for all the stuff you’ll end up holding)
  • Pay for your bird food sticks at the front or bring cash
  • Bring quarters for fish/duck food ( I was in major trouble for this one)
  • Bring a photo ID to rent a wagon
  • TENNISHOES – just wear the comfortable shoes, you won’t regret it.
  • Camera / phone
  • Reminder::: they’re doing a remodel of “Africa” right now so some of the zoo is under construction!

 

yes… the giraffe has a head

 I think living in East Texas we take Caldwell Zoo for granted, but it really is so an amazing attraction. And if you’re like me you remember when it was free, but I bet the remodel will be amazing and I’m sure possible from entrance fees!

All in all, we recommend Caldwell Zoo.

All our love,

The Adventurers