“Our family adventure started with an air of excitement and fun, and we couldn’t wait to see what our own home state of Texas had to offer our clan.”
Experience low-cost family fun in Lubbock
Kids and adventure go hand in hand. My husband and I have been married for almost 20 years and, even with three kids and busy schedules, we make it a point to have fun as a family as often as possible. We are always up for an excursion to a new place. Being close to our own siblings and parents, we want our kids to have the chance to spend time together without the clutter, chaos and technology that often crowds their thoughts.
Our last weekend adventure was to Lubbock, Texas, just a short drive from our own home in Abilene. Lubbock was chosen as my husband and I discussed the importance of teaching our kids to find joy and entertainment in nature, even when the benefits weren’t obviously pointed out to them. Buffalo Springs Lake presented a unique opportunity for our family to enjoy a variety of activities together including hiking, fishing, picnicking, volleyball and swimming off of the beach.
Our family adventure started with an air of excitement and fun, and we couldn’t wait to see what our own home state of Texas had to offer our clan. As I looked around at the open land that seemed to stretch for days on either side of me, I marveled at the beauty and never-ending opportunities in front of us.
We checked into the local hotel and dropped off our luggage. The kids couldn’t wait to kick off our family adventure, so we jumped in the car for a short drive to the Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark.
The Landmark is in an ancient valley, and it currently serves as a field laboratory for geology, soils and radiocarbon dating studies, not to mention being an active archaeological and natural history preserve. A 3-mile nature walk around the preserve was the perfect way to stretch our legs and check out Lubbock’s native vegetation. Birds and small animals added to the tranquility of our surroundings.
We saw wildflowers in every color of the rainbow, birds of all sizes and plants unique to the region. The kids engaged us in a challenge of who could find the largest variety of colors in the flowers. Dad won, of course. Or so he said.
Although we live in Texas, we had no idea that almost 30 different types of apples are grown right outside of Lubbock. We enjoyed the majestic outdoors of West Texas as we toured Apple Country at Hi-Plains Orchards’ apple orchards and picked our own apples. Even our oldest son, in the prime of his pre-teen years, held his little sister up so she could reach the perfect apple.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped for dinner at One Guy From Italy.
“Mom, did you see the apple that was bigger than my head?” my youngest son asked.
“Dad, I know you didn’t see that many different colored flowers. Obviously, I won the contest,” our middle child exclaimed.
The table was a symphony of young voices and laughter as we recalled our activities that day.
Hitting the lake
The next morning, we set out for Buffalo Springs Lake. The lake was the main reason we had chosen Lubbock; we knew that there were activities we would all enjoy for a full day.
We started with a walk on the nature trail, then I settled on the beach with a good book while the kids splashed with their dad. At some point in the day, the kids talked Dad into renting a Jet Ski and taking each of them on a ride around the lake. We played an impromptu volleyball game and the kids got out their fishing poles to try their hand at catching a meal.
The kids convinced me to throw in a line, and I walked away feeling extremely proud as I caught the biggest fish of the day. The kids were in awe and instantly developed a whole new respect for their mother.
A stop for the (almost) teen
Before we left for home, our oldest son Jeremy had us promise to stop at the National Ranching Heritage Center. A true Texas boy, he loves anything western, and was thrilled to take a step back in time to pioneering days when the ranching culture of West Texas was born. We walked around the 16-acre site to peer into the 48 authentic structures dating all the way back to the 1700s.
Out of this world
We ended our trip on Sunday with a visit to Texas Tech University, my husband’s alma mater. We showed the kids around the campus and he told them all about his days as a student. I realized that this was a great chance to help our kids develop an interest in their future educational pursuits.
After our tour, we stopped at the Moody Planetarium Sky & Laser Show in the Museum of Texas Tech University for a completely out of this world experience. The planetarium has a full-dome digital projection system that projects a seamless image over the 30-foot dome surface—offerings include the daily “Black Holes” and the Saturday show, “Seasonal Stargazing”. My 6-year-old son, Andy, was practically losing his mind over the stargazing exhibit, and I enjoyed the Search for the Edge of the Solar System.
Taking on the world, one town at a time
As we packed up the car for our drive home, I felt a certain sense of peace about the future of my family. We were able to enjoy a family weekend full of activities that were basically free. From the day at the lake to the casual conversation over pizza to the bag of apples we quickly devoured, we had both tangible and intangible memories that would last.
We took a simple weekend and turned it into a fun, quick adventure. At that moment in time, I felt like I could do anything—even make it through another week of driving carpool and folding laundry.
Plan your own Lubbock family adventure with the free Visitor’s Guide!
From family fun to live music and cultural festivals, Lubbock’s event calendar is full of exciting activities perfect for date night or a day out on the town with family and friends.
Are you in the mood for some West Texas barbecue, tasty Mexican food, a savory steak or simply a great home-cooked meal? Lubbock’s restaurants offer visitors all of these options and much more.
Find great gifts or treat yourself at one of our many local shops.
Whether you’re in the mood to dance the night away or sit back, relax and sip on your favorite martini, Lubbock boasts an abundance of nightlife hot spots sure to fit your personality.
Rest assured there is no shortage of history and excitement in Lubbock. Discover a rock ‘n’ roll legend, the largest windmill collection in the world, historic ranch homes and much more. Lubbock attractions offer collectibles, art and memorabilia perfect for adults and kids alike.
Did you know that 80 percent of the wine grape production in Texas comes from this region? In fact, Lubbock is home to five award-winning wineries.
- Cap*Rock Winery
- La Diosa Cellars
- Llano Estacado Winery
- McPherson Cellars
- Pheasant Ridge Winery
Art is a way of life in Lubbock. In fact, this art hub was one of the first Cultural Districts recognized by the State of Texas. We invite you to feed your creative spirit and appreciate the finer things life has to oer.
With an average of 265 days of sunshine per year, there’s no reason to stay inside during your visit to Lubbock. Relax at the golf course or at a nearby waterfront for the catch of the day. Lubbock is the ideal place for recreational activities.
What’s your perfect family outing? Lubbock’s museums and attractions are a great way to spend the day with loved ones.