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Outdoor Activity of the Month: History & Culture

History and cultural treasures come alive in Texas State Parks and Historic Sites this October.
 
Throughout the month, many state parks will be offering guided tours of 19th-century missions, military frontier forts, and Civilian Conservation Corps structures or special history events and presentations. View this list of featured historical events and locations and visit the October activities calendar to find historic happenings nearby. Pack up the kids and take a journey back in time. You’ll discover that it’s not what you find; it’s what you find out!
 
Here are a few of the historical sites in Texas State Parks near DFW that will be offering tours and activities in October:
 
Step back in time at Fort Richardson State Park circa 1867 when Fort Richardson was established as a federal fort after the Civil War. Stay the night at a campsite on a wild land where American Indians once raided and where rowdy soldiers and corrupt carpetbaggers once lived and traveled.
 
Watch history develop on a family visit to Penn Farm Agricultural History Center, a restored 1950s farm at Cedar Hill State Park. See the evolution of the farm as modern conveniences and machinery were added, and visit reconstructed and historic buildings from the mid-1800s through the mid-1900s. Don’t miss the Harvest Heritage Festival from 10am–3pm on October 26 with free wagon rides, blacksmith demonstrations, butter churning and a vintage baseball game.
 
Hike around Cedar Lake to a Civilian Conservation Corps earthen dam and rock spillway at Cleburne State Park. Active during the height of the Great Depression, the CCC’s handiwork remains visible throughout the state park system today.
 
Learn about the cowboy lifestyle around the Cowboy Campfire at Lake Mineral Wells State Park. On October 12, bring your lawn chair to the Lone Star Amphitheater at 7pm for music, poetry, stories and a taste of life on the range.
 
On rainy days (cross your fingers), you can also visit Texas State Historic Sites and tour the homes of famous statesmen:
 
Celebrate the 123rd birthday of our 34th president at the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site just north of DFW in Denison. On October 12, the 1870s house and museum will host a birthday party for Ike, complete with birthday cake, parachute packing, reenactments and crafts for kids. Get the details here, or come anytime for a tour of the historic house and a picnic under a pavilion on the grounds.
 
Get a snapshot of life in the 1960s at the Sam Rayburn House Museum northeast of DFW in Bonham. The historic 1916 structure is preserved with all the original Rayburn family furnishings, frozen in time from around mid-century, and the grounds showcase an old smokehouse, barn, vegetable garden and Rayburn’s 1947 Cadillac in the garage. Bring a picnic.
 
Remember, kids 12 and younger get free admission to Texas State Parks. Kids 5 and younger get free admission to State Historic Sites.
 
Published October 2013