Celebrate the Fourth of July, Central Texas Style

July 4th is around the corner. And various cities around Central Texas have some wonderfully patriotic events planned for the big day and the weekend afterward so you and yours can celebrate our country’s independence Central Texas style – with pet parades, rodeos, art exhibits, WWII reenactments, horse racing and more.

Plum Creek and the City of Kyle have some great activities planned for 4th of July itself including a firework display at the Plum Creek Golf Course. Before the official city activities begin, though, the Golf Course is hosting a 4-person scramble Fourth of July Tournament that will start at 3 p.m. Its $38 per person to play, but this includes the green fee, cart fee, prizes, celebratory finger food and an up-close-and-personal perspective of the fireworks. Teams can register by calling the Plum Creek Pro Shop at (512) 262-5555.

Plum Creek, TX

The official City of Kyle Fourth of July celebration takes place at the golf course as well, with live music from the April Hall Band as well as food and drinks from 6-9 p.m. The event itself is free and open to the public, but all proceeds from parking ($5) and the available food stuffs will benefit the Kyle Masonic Lodge. When it gets dark enough, around 9:30 p.m., the real show begins, with fireworks launching from the PCGC driving range.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, a variety of events are taking place throughout the Hill Country, including Wimberley’s annual VFW Pro Open Rodeo, which has occurred every Fourth of July weekend for the past 68 years, and was once the largest outdoor rodeo in the world! This year’s festivities fall on Thursday July 4th through Saturday July 6th with gates opening at 5:30, the first Mutton Bustin’ at 7:00 p.m. and the rodeo taking place at 8 p.m. Rodeo events include bull riding, bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, women’s barrel racing and more. Food and vendors are available on the grounds, and there is a dance after Friday night’s show.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of the Hill Country Current

On Saturday, Bastrop has a number of family-friendly activities including their 8th annual Pet & Pal Parade and the Bastrop Patriotic Festival. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. and takes off from the Bastrop County Courthouse. Pets of all shapes and sizes can strut their stuff, everything from goats on leashes to bearded dragons. Judging occurs in seven categories including: the most patriotic pet, most creative pet costume, most unusual pet, best trick, best decorated pet vehicle, best pet / owner look-alike, and the best overall pet. Proceeds benefit the Bastrop County Animal Shelter. Later in the day, the Patriotic Festival occurs in Fisherman’s Park, with music by the Bastrop Community Chorus and Band beginning at 6 p.m. followed by music from the Austin Symphonic Band. People can picnic and relax in the park during the festivities, and fireworks will begin at dusk. For more information about the Bastrop Independence Day festivities, click here.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of The Gloss

Fredericksburg, – a little further away from Kyle to the west – has a number of Fourth of July festivities occurring throughout the weekend as well. On Friday night nearly a dozen art galleries in the city will stay open until 8 p.m. for the city’s First Friday Art Walk, which will feature show opening receptions, artist demonstrations, meet and greets and more. Other events throughout the weekend include concerts by Roger Creager Friday night and Saturday, multiple performances of the Fredericksburg Theater Company’s rendition to “Oklahoma” and a USO style Hangar Dance that is 1940s themed and will feature big band music from Bill Smallwood and Lone Star Swing. Even more, they’ll have WWII reenactments and two days of live pari-mutuel quarter horse and thoroughbred horse racing. More information is available at the Visit Fredericksburg website.

With all this available, in town, and to the west and the east, there are endless opportunities for authentic Central Texas fun next week and weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Summer Activities in the City of Kyle

Plum Creek TX

Ahhh summertime. Lightning bugs. Lemonade. Later and later sunsets. It’s the time of year for family reunions, having fun and enjoying the great outdoors (in a pool of nice, cold water that is). The last day of school for Hays CISD students is June 5th, and, for a couple months, kids in the community are free to expend their energies playing games, exploring and having fun instead of studying for those pesky spelling tests. To help keep you and your kiddos entertained this summer, the City of Kyle has a number of fun activities available for the whole family.

The Kyle Parks and Recreation Department is the master-mind behind many of the city’s summer activities. They have youth and teen day camps available throughout the summer, to help keep the kids away from the TV and the ever addicting video games. Instead, they’ll explore new places and ideas, and will engage with other Kyle area kids through physically and mentally exciting field trips and on-site activities. Field trip destinations include Blazer Tag, Aquarena Springs in San Marcos, rollerskating, bowling and more. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the camp too, through the Hays CISD summer feeding program. Camps run from Monday to Friday each week of the summer, from June 10th to August 9th, with the exception of the week of the Fourth of July.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of Peter French

In addition to Parks & Rec summer camps, the department is also offering special programming at the Kyle Pool this summer. The pool is open daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, offering times for free swim and swimming lessons. Special night swims occurring throughout the summer including Teen Night at the Pool June 7th, Family Night June 21st, the Dive in Movie at the Pool July 26th and a Back to School Swim and Supply Drive August 9th. Each of these events takes place from 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Another special summer feature from the Parks and Recreation Department is the city’s monthly Movie in the Park. Four times throughout the summer, the city will erect its 282” inflatable movie screen at Gregg-Clarke Park to show a G or PG-rated movie 30 minutes after sunset for the Kyle community. The 2013 schedule includes Here Comes the Boom June 14th, Madagascar 3 July 12th, Finding Nemo (at the Kyle Pool) July 26th and Jumanji on August 16th. The movies are free and open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and snacks.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of the City of Kyle

The Kyle Library is also offering summer activities, including their Summer Reading Program which will take place in June and July. Registration begins Monday, June 3rd. In addition to the traditional summer reading log, the Summer Reading Program features fun, family-friendly events and activities such as the Kay Cassidy Book Scavenger Hunt, Zombie Day, Science Rocks and more. More information is available on the Kyle Library website.

We can’t forget, of course, the City of Kyle’s annual Fourth of July Firework Show, taking place at the Plum Creek Golf Course in Plum Creek. The golf course will host a golf tournament after lunch on the big day, and from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. live music, hot dogs and snacks will be available at the golf course clubhouse before the firework display.

With all these activities at your disposal from the City of Kyle, plus all the things available in Plum Creek and Central Texas in general, there’s no limit to the fun you can have this summer. Enjoy it!

Ways to De-Stress this Holiday Season in Central Texas | Spas, Relaxation and the Out-of-Doors

The holidays are a stressful time of year – with gifts and holiday meals, dealing with the in-laws, and putting up all those Christmas lights and decorations. That’s a lot of pressure.  In the midst – or after – the holiday frenzy, be sure to devote some time to yourself to relax and unwind. You deserve it. And there are a number of places and things to do in and around Kyle to help you de-stress.

Plum Creek TX

In San Marcos, escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in your own private spa at Sink Creek Day Spa & Retreat. The facility offers a custom four-guest Jacuzzi tucked in the shade of the trees surrounding the spa, a Dry Finnish Sauna, a treatment room with art and antiques, and a cozy library filled with relaxing reads. Sink Creek offers 45-90 minute massages that come with the complimentary use of the facility’s hot tub or sauna, as well as massage packages that can be used multiple times over the course of the year after purchase. The spa also offers facials, paraffin wax hand dips, and spa treatment services such as aromatherapy and hot stones.  They book appointments 7 days and they also offer gift certificates. If you want to make a day of it, Sink Creek also provides a list of their favorite spots in and around San Marcos, so you can eat and have some fun before or after your spa experience.

Plum Creek TX

Further away from Kyle, in Fredericksburg, The Back Forty of Fredericksburg offers 40 acres of serenity, away from anything remotely stressful. The bed and breakfast spa / ranch offers a wide array of services including private breakfasts, massages and facials in their European day spa, an herb garden patio, cozy outdoor fireplaces, fly fishing instruction, and the availability of a boat. Located at the edge of Fredericksburg along Baron’s Creek, the spa and ranch is the perfect place to hide away, amidst the trees, the water and the pastoral animals of the Central Texas Hill Country. The spa offers two or five day stays, with a variety of services and amenities available with each package. And, if you purchase a two-day Christmas gift certificate as a gift for the holidays, you get another one for yourself! Not a bad deal, eh?

lake kyle

Closer to home (and FREE) is Lake Kyle, one of the city’s most serene places to sit down and take a break. Lake Kyle officially opened in the spring of this year, and the first phase of construction was completed in October. These construction updates included the completion of a fishing pier, multiple nooks for fishing from the shoreline, a covered pavilion, an amphitheater, a children’s playscape, picnic tables and the Parks and Recreation department’s official headquarters. Head to the lake early in the morning for some quality bass, catfish or perch fishing, or a stroll along one of the lake’s four nature trails for some peace and quiet in nature. Hundreds of oaks, magnolias, crepe myrtles and sycamores have been planted around the lake, and each of the nature trails offer the perfect showcase of the lake’s surroundings, from the nature preserve, to the dam, to the north shore’s fishing nooks and the wildflower meadow. This winter, Lake Kyle is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, so take a moment away from the holiday buzz to clear your mind and enjoy the natural beauty we have here in town.

plum creek front porch

For those with half an hour or less to spare in between gift wrap and preparing the turkey, Plum Creek’s own fishing lake and hike and bike trails offer a quick and convenient reprieve from the stress, just beyond your doorstep. Also within the development is the Plum Creek Golf Course, which offers 200 acres of beautiful Texas Hill Country terrain for your golf game. Or, you could always crack open a bottle of wine and sit on your front porch to watch the sun set and enjoy some peace and quiet this holiday season.