Around Texas: Along the River / Weekend activities for the whole family in San Angelo

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Beth McGee
UPDATED
April 25, 2017
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Load up the car for a 270-mile road trip along the river to San Angelo — the West Texas town is home to three lakes and two rivers, as well as some rich Texas history, a thriving local art scene and killer gourmet donuts. 

What To Do
After the four-hour car ride, enjoy the fresh air with your little ones at The Bosque On the Concho, a picturesque outdoor entertainment complex run by the city. Visit on a weekend for the full menu of mostly free amenities, including mini golf (tickets start at $3), bocce ball, sand volleyball and oversized chess. If the kids are in need of a snack, visit The Grove, a cash-only concession stand. On weekdays, bring your own volleyball or fishing rod and enjoy a scenic picnic.
 
Take your creative littles to the riverside San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. We recommend visiting on a Thursday for Art Thursday, a weekly drop-in program where kids can get their hands messy with clay, watercolors and monthly crafts; upcoming projects include sun catchers and foil painting. If you can’t make it on a weekday, try out Family Day — the themed craft days happen on the second Saturday of each month. Before you leave, check out Of Texas Rivers and Texas Art, a new exhibit celebrating the Texas landscape, and make your way up to the rooftop sculpture terrace for a bird’s-eye view of the city. Admission is $2 for adults; free for kids.
 
For a more eclectic art experience, check out the Chicken Farm Art Center, home to 15 studios where local artists and artisans practice their crafts, from pottery to jewelry. Visit on the first Saturday of the month for art booths, live music and free children’s activities such as Kid’s Clay (kiddos get to take home their creations) and Studio 4, where kids learn techniques like paper marbling. If you can’t make it on the first Saturday, stop by the art center any Tuesday–Saturday and pop in and out of the studios to see the artists at work. Free.
 
If you’ve got history buffs in tow, don’t miss Fort Concho, a National Historic Landmark dating back to the settling of the Texas frontier. Take your crew on a guided or self-guided tour of the site’s 44 acres and nine buildings full of artifacts. Visit the School House, where kids can take a seat in a 19th-century classroom, and while at Barracks 5, let the kiddos try out the beds and straw pillows used by soldiers. Guided tours are $3 for students and $5 for adults; children under 6 are free.
 
Where To Eat
Find live music, craft beer and a kid-friendly playscape at The Concho Pearl Icehouse, which specializes in carnivore fare like barbecue, sausage and burgers (salads and veggie options available too). Blend in with the locals for breakfast or lunch at Mr. T’s Deli, a grocery store-turned-diner. Satisfy sweet tooth cravings at Donutopia, home to every doughnut flavor imaginable (PB&J and cinnamon roll top our list of favorites). If you’re feeling brave, try their doughnut burger: a hamburger patty with cheese and bacon nestled between two glazed doughnuts.
 
Where To Stay
The 780-square-foot Christoval Cottage Bed and Breakfast houses up to four in country-chic digs on the edge of town. Rates start at $169 per night for a family of four.
 
Or book a room at the Pearl on the Concho Historic Hotel. The large atrium boasts a heated indoor pool, putting green, pingpong and pool tables and an arcade. Rooms for four start at $99 per night.
SIDEBAR
The Bosque On the Concho 325/657-4450; cosatx.us
 
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts 325/653-3333; samfa.org
 
Chicken Farm Art Center 325/653-4936; chickenfarmartcenter.com
 
Fort Concho National Historic Landmark 325/481-2646; fortconcho.com
 
The Concho Pearl Icehouse 325/617-7909; theconchopearl.com
 
Mr. T’s Deli 325/276-3663;  mrtsdeli.com
 
Donutopia 325/617-7889
 
Christoval Cottage Bed and Breakfast 325/245-8498; christovalcottage.com
 
Pearl on the Concho Historic Hotel 325/653-4500; pearlontheconcho.com


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