Enjoy the family-friendly activities in Bastrop County in Central Texas from outdoor dinosaur parks to the lake to zipping over our forested areas to childhood competitions. Let’s count down to the best spots together.
No. 10 – Photo op with Smitty, the World’s Largest Gingerbread Man
Now, this is a silly one, but a fun way to explore a town. The World’s Largest Gingerbread Man monument is the cookie sheet used to bake the giant cookie named Smitty during Smithville’s holiday celebration in 2006, where it earned its place in the Guinness World Book of Records. And it’s painted just like it was frosted! Smitty even has his own Facebook page. Make sure and take photos and selfies and tag @World’s Largest Gingerbread Man. What other unusual things can you spot in Smithville?
No. 9 – Play the field with disc golf
Harking back to childhood memories with friends, this family-friendly activity garners fun, laughter, and maybe even a little bit of competition. Both Elgin and Smithville have courses in their biggest parks, with no charge to play. Discs can be rented in the Smithville Indoor Recreation Center with a refundable deposit and ID. Elgin offers handy tips and scorecards to keep track of the play. There’s also the Moody Disc Golf Country Club in the Red Rock area but with a per-person fee.
No. 8 – Kayaking on the Colorado – or on Lake Bastrop!
Yes, even youngsters can get aboard. The two outfitters – Bastrop River Company and Rising Phoenix Adventures – can get you onto the river and after your adventure, back to your car. They both rent kayaks, paddleboards and canoes and have some tandem kayaks for those uncertain on the river. For an added guarantee, they will even guide you through the river, giving you helpful tips. To check of a bucket list item, choose one of the two local Texas Paddling Trails for your route.
No. 7 – That ol’ time pastime of fishing
Guaranteed to make memories, head to Moby Dicks’ Fishing Pond for fishing on the well-stocked lake. It’s a private lake so you don’t need a Texas Fishing License, and they have all the gear. You can also camp, hike, picnic, and stay in cabins overnight!
No. 6 – Gentle Hiking at McKinney Roughs Nature Park and the two State Parks
An outdoor adventure in the forest that gets the kids moving. Think bird calls, species of trees, and the interesting histories behind the parks. McKinney Roughs Nature Park also offers horseback riding and river fun. On some Saturdays, Bastrop State Park and Buescher State Park offer guided hikes that anyone can join in their forested climes and you can see the regrowth of Bastrop State Park. Remember to take water, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes!
No. 5 – Zip high above the Lost Pines region
Here’s a true adventure for the older teens at Zip Lost Pines. Take the full (6 lines) or half zip line tour Thursday through Monday side-by-side with a friend or family member. Be prepared for a high-flying, inspiring, adventure-filled excursion that gets you outside and way off your feet. You’ll love immersing yourself in nature and witnessing the breathtaking views of Texas firsthand. Riders must be at least 16 years of age (Ages 16-17 accompanied by an adult on the tour), 52” tall, and between 60 and 250 lbs.
No. 4 – Putt-Putt Golf
Lake Bastrop South Shore has a 9-hole mini-golf course that will test your skills and be sure to create the giggles as it brings back childhood memories. Located next to Lake Bastrop and under wonderful leafy cover, this is a beautiful relaxing place to make some memories. Golf club and ball included in price. At the park is also a volleyball playing field, kayaks to rent and a covered pavilion with seating to relax between games. Definitely a picnic-worthy location.
No. 3 – The Reptile Zoo
Yes, we’re talking snakes and lizards, fun for any youngster. The Texas Reptile Zoo was created to house the native reptiles in their most natural environment. The TRZ currently has over 200 reptiles on exhibit ranging from tropical to desert species. A casual, family-friendly environment that is best visited on warm sunny days. Wear comfortable walking shoes as walking paths are natural and may be uneven. The zoo is open on middays Friday through Monday, and a tour time on Saturday. Large tour groups by appointment. A family 4-Pack discount is available. Children age 2 and younger are admitted free. The maximum width for strollers is 32”. The entrance is off of FM 20.
No. 2 – Toads in Town scavenger hunt
Stop by the Visitors Center & Museum of the Bastrop County Historical Society and get this fun scavenger hunt for kids, where they find all the frogs around Historic downtown Bastrop and record their locations. Then turn in the form for a prize. The visitor’s center also has a gift area for all ages. As an indoor bonus, the museum showcases the history of Bastrop, established four years before Texas became a state in 1836, and Bastrop County. Bastrop County also is fortunate to have six different community museums that cover different topics and historical periods of the county. Whether you are young or old, museums have something for everyone.
No. 1 – The Dinosaur Park
Grab the family and take a walk under the forest canopy through self-guided trails and seek the dinosaurs along the way, complete with a bite of information at each stop. The Dinosaur Park offers realistic life-size dinosaur exhibits that show skin and color variations, from the smallest to the largest dinosaurs known to man, you will see it all. While you are there, unearth your inner paleontologist and enjoy your own fossil dig or visit the gift shop and take some home. This attraction, which has earned international recognition, has also earned its place at the top of the list of family-friendly activities in Bastrop County. This is an amazingly fun, educational experience for families. Some come on down and RAWR!