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Father's Day Fun

What better way to celebrate dad on Father’s Day, June 20 than with a little adventure? Whether it’s zip-line rides or a calm cruise in a kayak, Texas offers a plethora of outdoor adventures, all within a day’s drive. Start planning now with the help of this quick list.

Cross Timbers Trail at Lake Texoma
Take a hike along this trail that reveals breathtaking views of Lake Texoma, located just before you reach the Oklahoma border (about an hour north from Dallas). Kids who are up for a challenge should be able to tackle the strenuous hike; families with younger kids can picnic at the Juniper Point Trail Head or at the Cedar Bayou Marina (with a boat ramp that’s perfect for skipping rocks!). Young fishermen can also cast a line at this waterfront hideout.
WHEN: Dusk to dawn daily
COST: Free
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: No
877/523-4248; www.cedarbayou.com

Hike Enchanted Rock
Get your blood flowing with a day hike at this Texas State Park. Dads and kids will bond over trail maps while your family forges its way up to the top of Enchanted Rock (at 1,825 feet above sea level), located about 5 hours south from Dallas. An optimal spot for a picnic (on days with little wind), the top of the formation gives way to a view that’s well worth the effort. Trails are not stroller friendly; recommended for kids 8 and older.
WHEN: Dawn to dusk daily
COST: $6 per person age 13 and older; kids 12 and younger free
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: No, but recommended to arrive before 11am
830/685-3636; www.tpwd.state.tx.us

LBJ Ranch and Lyndon B. Johnson State Park
Explore the past of the well-known American President on land purchased by Lyndon B. Johnson himself, located about a four-hour drive southeast from Dallas (near Fredericksburg). Here, Dads can lead treks on the natural area’s trails; families can view Hill Country wildlife such as longhorn cattle, buffalo and more. Give your feet a rest and tour the LBJ Ranch in your own vehicle. During your drive, be sure to check in with the available tour guides who will reveal fascinating facts about the land and the president’s life.
WHEN: 9am to sunset daily; last tour at 4:45pm
COST: Free
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: Yes
830/868-7128; www.tpwd.state.tx.us

Paddle Around at Lady Bird Lake
Young explorers will love sharing a canoe or kayak trip with fathers starting at Zilker Boat Rentals, located about a three-hour drive south from Dallas. Paddle your rented watercraft down Lady Bird Lake (formerly Lake Austin) and witness birds, fish and other native wildlife in their own habitats. Canoes typically seat two adults and two small children; kayaks typically seat one adult and one small child. While there is no age restriction, this journey is recommended only for kids 5 and older (individual boats for kids 10 and older). Life vests provided with rented boats.
WHEN: 9am to sunset daily
COST: $40 all-day rental; $10 per hour
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: Yes
512/478-3852; www.zilkerboats.com

Scenic Drive at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
If your kids are a bit shy of more adventuresome daytrips, try touring this very kid friendly Glen Rose-based preserve located just a 3-hour drive southeast from Dallas. Kids of all ages will be wowed when they feed wild animals from the comfort of your own car during a drive through the park with Dad behind the wheel.
WHEN: 8:30am-7:30pm; last car admitted at 5:30pm
COST: $20.95 adults; $13.95 kids 3-11; kids 2 and younger free
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: No
888/775-6742; www.fossilrim.org

Wimberley Zip Line Adventures
Zoom through the treetops, over creeks and more with spectacular views of the Wimberley Valley, located about a five-hour drive from Dallas. Each trip lasts about 1½ hours, and will give Dad (and his adventurous followers) a bird’s eye view of local ecosystems and the Texas Hill Country. While there is no age restriction, participants must weigh a minimum of 70 pounds.
WHEN: 9, 10, 11am, 1 and 3pm Sun-Mon and Wed-Sat (closed Tue)
COST: $69 per person (includes parking, equipment, training, tour and water)
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: Yes
512/847-9990; www.wimberleyzipline.com