Texas is home to some of the biggest and best festivals and annual events in the country. Each of these festivals has its own theme and target audience. Many of them are geared towards families with kids. Here are some of the best of Texas' family-friendly festivals.
When it comes to annual events and festivals, it doesn't get any bigger than the State Fair of Texas. Held each fall in Dallas'
Fair Park, the State Fair of Texas rolls on for a full three weeks. In addition to a giant midway, miles of fried treats, live concerts, college football games, livestock show, art show, auto show and parades, the State Fair of Texas also features a "Kids' Corner" full of activities and entertainment geared to the little ones.
Held annually in Brownsville since 1938, Charro Days is a celebration of the cooperative spirit between the United States and Mexico that traces its origin back to the mid-1800s. There are a number of fun-filled activities held throughout the week-long festival, including street dances, flour tortilla eating contest, folkloric dancing, a golf tournament, parades, and more.
Held each October on the beaches of South Padre Island
, Sand Castle Days is one of the largest sand sculpting events in the nation. In addition to viewing sand sculptures created by master sand sculptures from across the globe, visitors also get an opportunity to take sand castle building lessons. There is also kite flying activities, arts and craft displays, an environmental education area, and the famous “South Texas Snowball Toss.”
First held in 1898, Washington's Birthday Celebration is one of the oldest annual events in Texas. Stretching a full month in length, it is also one of the longest festivals in the Lone Star State. During those four weeks, nearly half a million visitors flock to Laredo to take part in the various events associated with Washington's Birthday Celebration.
Kicking off each October, the Texas Renaissance Festival has become nationally renown for its depiction of Renaissance life. Held at a Renaissance themed park just north of Houston, the Texas Renaissance Festival features themed weekends throughout its six-week run, as well as over 200 daily performances, 300 arts and crafts shops, 60 food and beverage shops, nightly fireworks and more than 3,000 costumed characters strolling the grounds.
This festival is based around what is certainly one of the most common, but least celebrated creatures in Texas - the mosquito. The Great Texas Mosquito Festival features a variety of fun family-friendly activities, such as barbecue and fajita cookoffs, horseshoe tournament, dodgeball tournament, washer tournament, 5k run, baby crawling contest, a carnival and more. This is certainly a must attend event for families visiting Texas. However, considering it is an outdoor festival in Texas, don't forget the mosquito repellent.
Held each year in Ennis as a way of celebrating the area's Czech heritage, the National Polka Festival has grown into one of the largest cultural heritage festivals in the United States. Today, more than 50,000 people attend the festival each year. Those in attendance are treated to a variety of activities including a colorful Czech parade, live music, arts & crafts, a horseshoe tournament, traditional Czech foods, dancing and a 5k run.
The history of this event dates back to the late 1800s. Today, what started as a simple parade has grown into an 11 day celebration that includes more than 100 events such as 10k and kids' runs, Fiesta Oyster Bake, Fiesta Mariachi Mass, Roundball Ruckus, arts fair, carnival and A Night in Old San Antonio. Fiesta San Antonio draws more than 3 million people to the Alamo City