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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
"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.