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6 Fun Things to Do in Athens Before School Starts

Don't look now, but there are only a handful of weeks left before the kids go back to school. The good news is there's still time to squeeze in a trip to Athens for a littler fun first.

Here are five things to do before your kids have to hit the books.

BLUEBERRY PICKING

Blueberry

Blueberries are an antioxidant superfood that will help keep your children healthy when they head back to the classroom. Plus they're fun to pick!

Come visit Echo Springs Blueberry Farm just a short drive east of Athens for a fun day in the sun. Echo Springs has 75 acres of blueberries and 12 acres of blackberries. Whether you want to pick your own or visit their gift shop, you can stock up on the best berries.

And not only berries! Echo Springs has a bakery with jams, blueberry honey, blueberry coffee, freshly made pies, muffins, blueberry scones, blueberry cheesecake, and berry bushes for sale. There's also a food pavilion with a light menu that includes a meatless option.

Echo Springs Blueberry Farm is located at 7235 FM 607 N. Murchison, Texas, 75778.

903-852-5277

FARMERS MARKET AND SHOPPING

Blog Farmers Market

TheAthens Farmer's Market is celebrating its 10th season and is bigger than ever this year. The emphasis here is on local with a focus "on the farmer who actually grows his produce, the maker who makes, and the baker who bakes!" Come get produce that just the day before was still on the vine. You'll also get the chance to listen to live music, eat homemade ice cream, and grab a pretzel before you finish with all the vendors to finish getting those lunchbox necessities. The Athens Farmers Market is open every 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday from May through October at 212 N Palestine Street.

When you're done, make sure to check out the many shops around the square to grab a cute gift for your new teacher or a new outfit to show off at school.

ROCKY RIDGE DRIVE-THRU SAFARI

Blog Safari

Ready to take a drive on the wild side? Visit the Rocky Ridge Drive-Thru Safari. The 200-acre animal oasis allows visitors to enjoy up-close encounters with the more than 25 species living in the diverse terrain. This self-guided tour will allow you to view and feed the animals, enjoy scenic views, and photograph an abundance of wildlife all from the safety of your vehicle. Plus each ticket comes with a bag of feed!

To ensure the weather is not affecting operating hours, please call 903-502-2100 orcheck their Facebook page. The Safari is located 3350 FM 1256, Eustace, Texas 75124.

TEXAS FRESHWATER FISHERIES CENTER

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Built as a joint venture between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, and the community of Athens, the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center combines a Visitor Center, educational programming, and a production freshwater hatchery. Developed on a 107-acre site, the facility includes over 300,000 gallons of indoor and outdoor aquariums displaying dozens of species of native fish, waterfowl, alligators, and amphibians in recreated habitats.

Regular admission is $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors 65 and older, and $3.50 for children ages 4 through 12. Call 903-676-BASS (2277) for additional information, directions or to make a group reservation by telephone.

EAST TEXAS ARBORETUM

Body Etabs

The East Texas Arboretum invites everyone to enjoy its 100 acres of trees, gardens, and wildlife. Cross a 115-foot suspension bridge to access two miles of woodland trails where you can find camouflaged frogs, insects, and even deer.

The Arboretum is open to the public, so put on your walking shoes and experience the unique beauty, learn about the ecological importance of America's native flora and enjoy the hiking trails. There's also the live (enclosed) honeybees and historic Wofford House Museum. The arboretum is dedicated to preserving the natural environment and creating formal and informal plant collections arranged in formal and informal gardens and a native plant area with nature trails.

LAKE ATHENS

Venue Lake Athens

Lake Athens is a great place to enjoy fishing, as well as, watersports. At 1800 acres, there is plenty of room for everyone. It has several coves and bays that make it perfect for kayaking or paddleboarding. To fish on the lake, you will need to have a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department fishing license. You can get one online or at any TPWD office.

The free public access point is located at Lake Athens Marina and RV Park, 5401 Marina Dr, Athens, TX 75752. (903) 675-7275 Learn more about the Marina by clicking HERE.

"This lake is known for largemouth bass in the 3- to 8-pound range but has produced a lake record of 14.19 pounds. Sunfishes provide excellent opportunities for fly fishing anglers and catches up to 10 inches in length are not unusual. Crappie are few in number but are usually of good size. White bass commonly reach 16-18 inches." Texas Parks and Wildlife.