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Candlelight Christmas Coming to Washington-on-the-Brazos Dec. 14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Texas Outdoors   
Sunday, 08 December 2013 17:00

Candlelight Christmas Coming to Washington-on-the-Brazos Dec. 14

WASHINGTON, Texas — The historic Christmas traditions of Texas in the 1860s will transport visitors to a much simpler time at a day-long Christmas on the Brazos celebration at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14.

Free or low-cost holiday activities for all ages include period music, craft making, readings, food samplings and sale of artisan gifts, culminating in the park’s popular Candlelight Christmas event that features early Texas vignettes of frontier life in the decade before the Civil War. Visitors can enjoy music, musket firing dancing and a candlelit tour of Barrington Living History Farm.

Candlelight Christmas at the Barrington Farm offers guests a peek into the 1850s and fills their senses with the sights, sounds and smells of yesteryear against the backdrop of a star-filled sky. Experience smoke and flames from the wood fireplace and bonfire in the field; flickering lanterns and candlelit paths; and gunfire and cheers from a rowdy band of early Texas revelers.  Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the historic home of the Republic of Texas’ last president, Dr. Anson Jones, as re-enactors recreate how that family would have enjoyed Christmas, including an appearance by a Santa Claus portraying a bygone era. The slave quarters also will be decorated in 1860s style. The tour culminates in a barn dance where visitors are welcome to join in.

The Candlelight Christmas evening event consists of one-hour guided tours for small groups beginning on the hour beginning at 5 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m. Advanced reservations are strongly recommended and can be made online by visiting This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling (936) 878-2214, extension 246. In addition to the standard entry fee, a $2 per person for those 3 years and older will be charged.

Among the many holiday activities occurring throughout the day will be:

  • Besides its regular tours, Independence Hall will host 19th century readings of popular Christmas literature will be at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. (fees apply)
  • The Star of the Republic Museum will host “make-and-take” period crafts in its Discovery Room from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  (regular entrance fees; no extra charge for the crafts)
  • The historic site’s Visitor Center will offer music, merchandise made by Texas artisans, samplings of local Texas fare. In a nod to the 21st century, a Christmas tree and Santa Claus will be there for photos (all free)
  • Barrington Living History Farm will be open for its regular tours from noon until 4 p.m. and then will close for one hour to prepare for its Candlelight Christmas event that starts at 5 p.m.
  • Visitors are welcome to bring food and drink onto the park but no glass bottles or alcoholic beverages are allowed.

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is located off Highway 105 between Navasota and Brenham on FM 1155.  Leashed pets are allowed in park, but are not allowed onto the farm site or inside buildings. Sites are accessible for the mobility impaired.  For additional details, call (936) 878-2214, extension 246.

Camp Fire Warms Twice with Dutch Oven Meals PDF Print E-mail
Written by Texas Outdoors   
Sunday, 12 January 2014 16:22

Camp Fire Warms Twice with Dutch Oven Meals


stew cooking in Dutch ovenUse that hunting camp fire to try some Dutch oven cooking while you’re sitting out at the camp. A little planning before you go and you will impress family and friends with a hot meal. You need at least one open fire Dutch oven (check with your pioneer ancestors). Whether you try a one-pot meal or a triple-decker stack with cobbler on top, you’ll find inspiration in this set of video cooking lessons.

Last Updated on Sunday, 16 February 2014 17:34
Shooting Sports Keep Kids on Target PDF Print E-mail
Written by Texas Outdoors   
Sunday, 12 January 2014 16:09

Shooting Sports Keep Kids on Target


Shooting instructor Charlie Wilson with student It takes a special personality to translate firearms and target practice into a popular lifetime sport for kids, teaching safety, agility and teamwork along the way.

Meet Charlie Wilson, Texas Parks and Wildlife Shooting Sports Specialist. His laid-back-style and all-across-Texas programming earned him the 2013 TPWD Employee Award for “Partnership”. The Mobile Sporting Clays Range is on the road to events statewide. Watch Charlie at work in this video and see why kids love him and so do adults who work with him in schools and community partnerships across Texas. A bonus: Competitive shooting participation leads to college scholarships for some students.

Shooting Sports opportunities:

Call (512) 389-4361 for more information about the sporting clays mobile range.


Last Updated on Sunday, 16 February 2014 17:35
Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail Maps Updated PDF Print E-mail
Written by Texas Outdoors   
Sunday, 08 December 2013 16:47

Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail Maps Updated

AUSTIN— Texas wildlife viewers and birders can now find the best spots to re-connect with nature through the newly revised Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail maps.


The three updated driving maps include new viewing sites, up-to-date site information and driving directions, community tourism contacts and GPS coordinates for each of the 332 sites.


Maps may be purchased by filling out and mailing in an online order form or from various nature centers and tourism offices throughout Texas. Single maps ordered online cost $5 each.These three maps are part of a nine-map Great Texas Wildlife Trails set that covers the entire state and the set may be purchased for $25. Sales support the Great Texas Wildlife Trails program, map reprints and shipping costs.


Texas launched the nation’s first ever birding and wildlife viewing trails with the original coastal maps in 1996, and now the Great Texas Wildlife Trail system spans the entire state. Texas Parks and Wildlife has partnered with other organizations, communities, and site managers throughout the state to create these driving maps


“It’s fantastic to now have these original three birding maps updated for visitors and locals alike,” TPWD Nature Tourism and Paddling/Wildlife Trails Manager, Shelly Plante says.


“Texas was the first state to create a coordinated driving trail of birding hotspots in the country. More than 40 states have now created similar trails based on the Texas model, and that success of the trail concept shows that this was a resource that wildlife viewers wanted, valued, and could easily use.”


For a video about the new Great Texas Coastal Birding trail maps, visit: http://youtu.be/Y1qNt_7mkHw.

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 December 2013 16:51
Your Ticket to Outdoor Fun: A State Park Pass PDF Print E-mail
Written by Texas Outdoors   
Sunday, 16 September 2012 13:10

Your Ticket to Outdoor Fun: A State Park Pass

State Park PassIf you're looking for some cheap family thrills, invest in a State Parks Pass.  You can choose between purchasing a single pass for $70 (admits one carload of visitors each trip) or the two card option for $85. If you purchase a single Pass card, a second card can be added anytime after the original purchase for $25. In addition to granting you and your carload of guests unlimited entry to more than 90 state parks, a Texas State Parks Pass also gives you benefits like discount camping coupons and a 10% discount on items purchased in State Park Stores.

A State Parks Pass can be purchased during your next visit to a state park or by calling our Customer Service Center at (512) 389-8900.

Hundreds of camp sites, thousands of miles of trails, 900 miles of bike paths, endless wildlife watching, fishing (no license needed in state parks), climbing, caves, and memories await. Cheap, healthy thrills where your dollars go further and the memories last forever.



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