ITINERARIES FOR : HIPSTERS | FAMILIES | COUPLES | ARTS & CULTURE | GIRLS DAY OUT | WESTERN FUN
Fun Stuff for Families
 

 

Fun Stuff for Families

Bring your 2.5 kids (or however many you've got!), your dogs and cats to Abilene - there's something here for 'em all to enjoy.

 

Friday

Arrive in Abilene in time to let the kids jump in the indoor pool at the MCM Elegante Hotel, just off the interior Courtyard, and then freshen up in your room before dinner.

Abuelo's
4782 S. 14th St.
325-692-4776

www.abuelos.com

Come in for great fajitas and guacamole plus fresh Mexican flavors.
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Prime Time Family Entertainment Center
4541 Loop 322
Abilene, TX 79602
325-690-5555

www.primetimeabilene.com
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Saturday

Dress comfortably, it’s going to be a busy day! After the cooked-to-order breakfast that’s included with your room at the hotel, it’s time to hit the road. First stop: downtown fun for the kids.
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National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature
102 Cedar St.
Tues. – Saturday, 10a.m. to 4p.m.
Free entrance and arts activities for kidsGift Shop with signed books from well-known authors and illustrators.
325-673-4586

www.nccil.org

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature is one of only three museums in the entire country devoted to the original art of children’s books. The original Berenstain Bears, a show of paintings by William Steig, the creator of Shrek, a history of the Little Golden Books – you never know what you’ll find at the NCCIL.

Be sure and check out the sculptures scattered along the railroad across the street from the NCCIL. A map and guide to the works—some of which are by nationally reknown sculptors like James Surls and Jesus Moroles, and others by local artists—is available at the Texas Forts Trail Visitors Center, located just down the road at 625 North First St.
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Lunch Time

Abilene is known for steaks and barbeque, and you’ll get a taste of both on this trip—our lunch stop, Sharon Allen’s BBQ, is a local favorite with all the hallmarks of the real deal— smoky walls, lots of napkins available for saucy fingers, and a dress code that leans toward jeans and boots—spurs optional. It’s only a mile down the road, and afterwards head right back downtown to visit The Grace Museum, located in a renovated historic hotel.

Sharon Allen’s BBQ
1150 E. S. 11th St.
Abilene, TX 79602
325-672-3330

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The Grace Museum
102 Cypress St.
Tues.-Sat.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Free every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.
325-673-4587

www.thegracemuseum.org

The Grace has something for everyone—an interactive children’s museum that includes a tornado machine and two-level tree fort, art galleries that show some of the best artists from Texas nationally known and shows on loan from across the country, an interactive sound sculpture the whole family can play with together, and a history gallery that tells the story of Abilene and West Texas.
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A short walk down Cypress street from the Grace is McKay’s Bakery, a great place to stop for a sweet treat for the kids and Monk’s, the local coffee hangout where parents can get an iced, caffeinated treat of their own! Be sure and check out nearby Texas Star for souvenirs—including the cookbook from the Perini Ranch, where you’ll be heading for dinner tonight.
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Frontier Texas!
Texas Forts Trail Visitors Center
625 N. 1st. St.
325-437-2800
Mon.-Sat.; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
$8—Adults; $6—Ages 60+ & Military; $5—Students & Teachers with ID; $4—Ages 3 to 12;
Free—Under Age 3
www.frontiertexas.com

Just a few blocks down First Street is Frontier Texas!, one of the most innovative museums of Texas history in the state. Special effects, holographic videos, and interactive exhibits combine to tell the real stories of West Texas. Along the way there’ll be a cattle stampede and thunderstorm, a chance to sit in a covered wagon, shootouts, and more.
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Perini Ranch Steakhouse
Hwy 89, Buffalo Gap, Texas
325-572-3339 (Reservations recommended)
www.periniranch.com

After a cleanup at the hotel (hooray, more swimming!), we’re off to Buffalo Gap, a quick 20-minute drive, to enjoy dinner at Perini Ranch. And that’s just what it is—a working ranch (be careful of the cattle wandering the driveway…)—that also happens to be a fabulous restaurant that has catered the White House, been featured at the Aspen Wine and Food Festival, and ships their beef tenderloins to customers around the world. Eminently casual and comfortable, sit out back at a picnic table and enjoy one of the greatest steaks you’ll ever eat with a cold beer. Kid friendly food is available, too.
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Sunday

After another free breakfast (isn’t free great??), there’s still time for a stop before heading home.
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Abilene Zoo
Hwy 36 & Loop 322 (across from the Taylor County Expo Center)
$4—Ages 13-59; $3—Ages 60+; $2—Ages 3 to 12
Open Daily: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Memorial Day to Labor Day—Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.]
325-676-6085
www.abilenetx.com/zoo/

We’re off to the Abilene Zoo—home of the kid-favorite "giraffe bridge", which lets everyone see eye to eye (and occasionally get licked by--ewww!) Abilene’s tallest residents. The zoo is continually expanding and adding more exciting elements and attractions. After lions and turtles and buffaloes—oh my—let the kids burn off some energy for the ride home at the Fort Imagination playground just outside the zoo parking lot.

If you’re lucky, the kids will sleep the whoooole way home.
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Other Ideas:

China Star Buffet

3601 S 1st St
Abilene, TX 79605
325-677-2000

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Szechuan Chinese Restaurant

3425 S 1st St
Abilene, TX 79605
325-673-9100

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