Fun Day Trips in the Brazos Valley
Article By Hannah Holbrook
School will be out before we know it! The kids will be at home, bored, and reminding you that there is nothing to do in Bryan/College Station. Never fear! At Brazos Family Magazine, we’ve taken the time to come up with some amazing day trips that you can take with your kids, right here in the Brazos Valley. Take a look and spice up your summer, this weekend, or a weekend day with your littles that aren’t yet school age!
Fun in Franklin
Looking for some fun? A 45 minute drive out to Franklin could hold memories that will last a lifetime! Bring the entire family to Franklin Drive-Thru Safari where you can play, feed, and interact with exotic animals from around the world. The Franklin Safari is a 100+ acre drive through animal adventure park that is constantly adopting new exotic creatures. Take a drive through this Texas-size safari, visit the Baby Room (and cuddle with baby exotic animals), and feed giraffes, monkeys, and zebras by hand! A trip to the Franklin Safari comes with life-long memories and fun for every age group.
Entry Price: $15 per person, kids under 2 are FREE!
Hours of Operation: 9am-5pm, open 7 days a week
GOOD EATS: Looking for something tasty to start off your day in Franklin? Be sure to stop by Country Donuts (right off of Hwy 79)! Grab some delicious donuts, freshly baked jalapeño kolaches, bear claws, egg sandwiches, and other breakfast treats to start your day-trip off right!
Just a short 35 minute drive away from the BCS area, visiting the small town of Brenham could very well be every kid’s (or adult’s) dream day-trip. For starters, Brenham is home to the Texas-beloved Blue Bell ice-cream. You and your kiddos can visit the factory where it all started and learn all about how this small Brenham company has become the best ice–cream manufacturer in the world (we might be slightly biased). Or you can skip the learning and go straight to the Ice Cream Parlor to try an abundance of flavors, all for $1 a scoop. After you’ve filled up on some sweet, creamy goodness, head over to Downtown Brenham! Walk around, visit some cute antique shops, and grab lunch or coffee at one Brenham’s cute cafés or bakeries! If the kids aren’t up for shopping, don’t worry, our favorite thing about a day-trip to Brenham is hands down Silver Wings Ballroom. Silver Wings is about 5 minutes from Downtown, and is the only roller rink in the Brazos Valley. Check out the summer specials on their website, and burn off those ice-cream calories by roller-blading the day away.
GOOD EATS: Downtown Brenham has a plethora of delicious restaurants and cafes. There really is something for every price range and palette! Here are a few of our favs:
Yumm! Sweets & Eats– Soups, salads, wings, sandwiches, and hand-made gourmet pizzas, there’s something for everyone at this cute downtown spot!
Funky Art Café: Coffee bar & and an elevated menu- if you’re looking for a scrumptious meal that won’t break the bank, this café is for you. Not super hungry? Check out their amazing coffee selection and sweet treats!
Navasota is a short 25 minute drive from the Bryan/College Station area. There’s a whole lot more going on in this small Texas town than you think! Start your day trip off right and take your family to explore the Birth-Place of Texas, Washington-on-the-Brazos. The Washington-on-the-Brazos Historic Site is located right on the Brazos River, about 5 miles away from Navasota. Spend the day exploring the expansive park grounds, hiking the trails, and discovering Texas history! Let your kids experience the Barrington Living History Farm, where they can step into the sights, smells, and sounds of the 19th century. This living farm is complete with heritage breeds of livestock, interpreters dressed in period style clothing to help visitors better understand what life was like 150 years ago, and fun learning opportunities. You are encouraged to participate in the work of the farm and become a part of the exhibit. Learn how to drive oxen, help plant and harvest crops, and try your hand at spinning or making soap.
Afterwards, head to Downtown Navasota for lunch, cute antique shopping, and fun weekend events put on by the City of Navasota! One event we love every year is their Sounds of Summer Concert Series! Concerts will take place on Fridays throughout the month of June (be sure and check the city’s website for more details).
GOOD EATS: When in Navasota, a pit-stop at the Classic Rock Coffee Company is a must. Honestly, sometimes I drive from College Station just for their Chai Latte, and it’s worth it every time. Martha’s Bloomers is a great place to stop either on your way to Navasota or on your way back. They have a delicious brunch-style menu, beautiful gardens to explore, and an adorable gift/garden shop.
Showboat Drive In: Hockley, TX
Just one hour south of College Station, a drive-in movie theater adventure awaits you and your family! The Showboat Drive-In Theater is open every weekend and plays the hottest films in the box-office. Enjoy two feature films for one low price with every visit, from the comfort of your own car! Let the kiddos to burn off the pent up energy from the car ride over at the Showboat’s outdoor playground as mom and dad get settled with burgers and fries from the Snack Bar. Once the sun sets, the magic begins. Enjoy a movie experience like no other beneath the stars, while snacking on popcorn and hot cocoa. Check the Showboat’s website for current movie screenings!
Good Eats: If you make it out early and want to grab dinner before heading to the drive-in, stop by The Backdoor Pizza-N-More! New York Style pizza, calzones, freshly made cheesecake, sandwiches, salads, and pastas; there is something on the menu to satiate every appetite.
About 25 minutes from the familiar streets of College Station, families can find a sweet escape at Lake Bryan. Come out for a day of fishing, grilling, swimming, boating, and much-needed relaxating. The lake has 125 acres dedicated to year-round camping as well as 16 miles of mountain bike trails. A day pass is only $5 per vehicle. You could even schedule your next family reunion at their pavilion using the scheduling feature at their website, lakebryan.com
GOOD EATS: During the Texas summer, there’s really nothing that hits the spot after a long day at the lake like Mexican food. Casa Rodriguez in Downtown Bryan is a local favorite, and it’s only a 10 minute drive from Lake Bryan. Don’t leave without trying their Queso Flameado or Tres Leches! P.S. Breakfast is served all day.