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Written by Lois Rodriguez

If summer camp is in the cards for your youngsters, we think a getaway ought to be part of your plan, too. Find respite in a community near your child’s week-long (or more) adventure and create your own Camp Worryfree. As examples, here are a few summer camp/summer getaway pairing suggestions. No matter where you send your children, know there’s something nearby for you, too.

(Photo © Larry Ditto)

Every year, from October through March—and sometimes into April— hundreds of endangered whooping cranes converge to winter on the Texas coast after flying more than 2,500 miles from their summer homes in Canada. Texas' Coastal Bend is the only place in the United States where you can see the whooping cranes at close range. The most fun time to see them is during Port Aransas' Whooping Crane Festival, set for February 23-26.

RedRiver122 horse 2In June Naylor’s story on roaming the Red River Valley, there’s plenty to do that works up a righteous appetite. Fortunately, there are plenty of good places to enjoy things to eat and drink in the little towns sitting alongside the roads winding through the region. Here’s a look at places worth a stop for refueling and catching local color.

SXSW photo by Will van OverbeekSouth by Southwest returns to Austin March 10–19, and it’s bound to be as surprising as ever. Secret John Legend concerts? A pop-up “Mr. Robot” carnival—Ferris wheel and all? A panel featuring both Michelle Obama and Missy Elliott? Who can keep track? The festival has seemingly seen it all in its 31-year history, but every year it returns with bigger and better surprises. Here are some tips on how to take it all in.

Rely on the App

You can bet on one thing when it comes to SXSW: Even after the official schedule is released, something is going to change. Stay up-to-date by downloading the smartphone app and signing up for notifications about events you’re interested in—then bring a portable phone charger so you’re always in-the-know and don’t have to fight over the few available outlets in the convention center.

Dress the Part

You don’t have to dress fashionably (unless you plan on attending South By Style events, in which case, being dressed fashionably is the only important factor). However, it should go without saying that dressing practically is the only way to reasonably make it through a 10-day festival. Pack a backpack with an extra pair of shoes and a water bottle (skip the snacks—sponsored swag abounds), and wear layers that will seamlessly take you from a screening at the over-air-conditioned Paramount Theater to a rainy outdoor concert at the Mohawk.

Repondez s'il vous plait

The wonderful thing about a festival of this size is that for every badge-only event, there are 10 more free events happening at the same time. So for the badgeless, RSVP to these with abandon. These are non-binding, non-legal documents, so it’s better to be on the list than not.

yearofrooster

Happy Lunar New Year! Festivals featuring lion and dragon dancers, firecrackers and great food mark the changeover from the Year of the Monkey to the Year of the Rooster. Here are a few celebrations happening across the state.

elpasoholocaustOne of the deepest scars in the history of humankind is the Holocaust. Friday, January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day that marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. It’s set aside, by the United Nations General Assembly, as a day to never forget the Nazi-era victims while sharing messages of tolerance, peace and hope for the future.

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On Feb. 5, the nation’s eyes will be locked on Houston and the gridiron victories and defeats of Super Bowl LI.

Boomtown6When the Lucas Gusher sprang forth oil at Spindletop on Jan. 10, 1901, the area exploded with opportunities. This Saturday, Jan. 7, that anniversary will be celebrated with a multitude of events at the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum at Lamar University. Here’s what else there is to do in Beaumont.

Market Day on Jackson Street Harlingen TX V5A1275 PMDBrick-paved roads, family-run businesses, cozy eateries, and revitalized buildings are among the charming images that come to mind when picturing quintessential Texas main streets. Here, boutiques, gift shops, and antiques stores draw visitors from across the state and sometimes the globe, whether for a pair of custom snakeskin boots such as those found on Exchange Avenue in Fort Worth, or a piece of hand-blown glass art from Main Street in Salado.

cowboysMain Street. For many Texans, these words evoke memories of Saturday shopping trips, favorite lunch counters, and afternoon movies with friends. In the old days, every town had a main street or main drag, those few blocks where a town’s social, cultural, and economic threads wove together—the community’s heart and soul.

StoneEmily Roberts Stone, who most recently served as senior managing editor for the Houston Metro office of Community Impact Newspaper, joins the Texas Highways staff as its new editor.

holidaylights22

The Christmas spirit isn’t found wrapped beautifully underneath a holiday tree. While those gifts definitely bring some happiness, the true joys come from time spent with loved ones and creating new memories.

Here are a few holiday experiences for you to enjoy.

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