Category Archives: Lubbock For Kids

The Bus Stops Here! Back to School {Cool} 2016

Back to School Bus We just spotted the first flock of geese arriving in the Hub City area… must be official: summertime is winding down.  It’s that time of year.  We panic because we haven’t quite finished that summer bucket list with our kids and we need to think about preparing for the bus back to school…!

To help you enjoy every inch of summer (and there’s lots more to enjoy!) and at the same time jump-start school prep, we’ve gathered all the great Back-to-School deals, dates and events in one convenient spot on  You can now find all the summertime fun to round out that bucket list & also plug into all the B2S excitement… there’s plenty of time!  And for up-to-the-minute events, check our Back to School section and jam-packed calendar!

A time to shop!

  • Take advantage of the Texas State Tax Free Weekend Friday August 5 – Sunday August 7.   Don’t forget, lots of deals online too if you like to avoid the crowds that weekend!
  • Sat. 8/13 from 9am-12pm:  Back to School Fiesta for area kids from Texas Tech’s Office of Community Engagement.  All K-12 students and family welcomed! Free Lunch & Free School Supplies while quantities last…learn about numerous educational, local and federal programs and initiatives, and receive free school supplies for the upcoming school year.
  • Take advantage of several shopping events to get more bang for your buck for B2S shopping including the Just Between Friends consignment sale taking place Wed. 8/3 – 8/6… during tax free weekend!  As well as the Cradles 2 Crayons fall sale coming up 9/22-24.  Find more consignment sources and events in our Consignment Sales section.
  • Sat. 8/20 from 9am-noon:  The Annual Back 2 School Kickoff @ Mae Simmons offers free backpacks and school supplies!
  • Sat. 8/13 from 10am-1pm:  The Annual Bridge Bash @ The Bridge of Lubbock features a Back-to-School mega clothing give-away… including school supplies!

A time for medical appointments!

There are several events where kids can receive their immunizations, physicals, dental and more.  Reminder:  Children must have their shot records and be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian in order to receive immunizations at most events.

A time to give!

West Texans are wonderful, giving, and compassionate… there are several school supply and backpack drives to help strapped parents prepare for the upcoming school year.  These events also give our kids a chance to help by gathering and donating supplies too.

Lots of places are having End of Summer Blasts to help wrap up Summer 2016 with a bang!  Some of our favorites include:

A time to learn!Back to School Backpacks

First Days of School include (check each district’s website link for orientation and open house dates):

College and Career Night @ the United Supermarkets Arena:
Mon. 10/24 from 5:30-7:30pm.  Hosted by Lubbock ISD.  This is a great, not-to-miss event for parents and kids in Lubbock and surrounding areas who are in 6th grade and above … especially high schoolers!

Tutoring Resources:
Now is also a great time to check into any additional learning services that can take your child to the next level or help kick start the new year.  See our Tutoring Section for a full list of local sources including:  The Institute for Creative Learning, Mathnasium, Literacy Lubbock, and CLC College Prep Services.

Checkout our calendar often for up-to-the-minute dates and events.
Roll-on Lubbock parents!

Do you know of a cool B2S event, activity or resource?  Share it with us here or add it to our calendar!

Updated 8/5/2016


Lubbock's Hot List for a Family 4th 2016

The Lubbock area offers an explosion of activities and events that families can enjoy together … making fun memories over the 4th of July holiday!

Fireworks sky kid

And because we’ve received some glorious rain, we can really introduce our kids to the type of Independence Day celebration that we remember as kids… including FIREWORKS!

To save you time as you plan your weekend, we’ve gathered a Hot List of 4th-of-July-inspired local events and activities for families.  Just click the event for more info and links.  See our complete listing of up-to-the-moment fun in our 4th of July Section.

Did we miss a favorite 4th of July family activity or event open to the public?  Add it here, on our calendar, or on our Facebook page.  See our complete Calendar for a Liberty Bell full of fun activities to choose from. Thanks for helping spread the word on all the great things that make Lubbock the very best spot on earth to raise our kids!

Happy Independence Day 2016!


Saturday, July 2nd:
Plainview Fireworks show at Regional Park, 9:45pm.

Sunday, July 3rd:
* Buffalo Springs Lake / Ransom Canyon Fireworks show, dusk.
Fireworks at the Corn Maize.  Free show & dessert presented by Indiana Ave.Baptist Church, 7:30pm.

Monday, July 4th:
* Lubbock’s 4th on Broadway Fireworks show at Mackenzie Park, dusk.
* Snyder’s 4th of July Celebration Fireworks show, dusk
Lamesa’s Independence Day Celebration, Fireworks show, dusk.

Tuesday, July 5th:
* Wolfforth’s 4th on the 5th Fireworks show, dusk.


Saturday, July 2nd:
Plainview’s Parade, starts at 10am downtown.

Monday, July 4th:
* Lubbock’s 4th on Broadway Parade, starts at 9am.  Remember this year there is a new route:  Starts DOWNTOWN on Avenue M. and Broadway Ave. The parade will travel east to Canyon Lake Drive, through Mackenzie Park, and end at Joyland.
Snyder’s Parade, starts at 10am.
* Lamesa’s Parade, starts at 10am.

Festivals, Concerts & Carnivals!

Friday July 1st:
* An American Festival concert at First United Methodist Church Lubbock.  6:30-7:30pm.  Featuring the Westwinds Brass Band & church choirs.

Saturday July 2nd:
Plainview’s 4th of July Celebration, 10am-7pm.  Red, White, & Moo Freedom Festival. Downtown.

Sunday July 3rd:
Westwinds Brass Band Sunday Concert in the Park – Patriotic Salute, 8pm-9pm.  Wagner Park Gazebo at 26th and Flint Ave.

Sunday July 3rd & Monday July 4th:
* Snyder 4th of July Celebration.  Booths open Sunday 4-9pm & Monday 9am-9pm.

Monday, July 4th:
* Lubbock’s 4th on Broadway at Mackenzie Park.  The state’s largest FREE 4th of July Festival and this year continues a new era at Mackenzie Park with grass and trees and water and the park’s beautiful venue!  You can even pitch a tent for the kids to take a nap during the day!

  • $5 parking at the Fairgrounds and Canyon Lakes: Free parking at 19th & Canyon Lakes. Shuttles to all parking start at 7:30am till after the fireworks.
  • 7:30am – 5K & 1-mile Yankee Doodle Dash starts at Cesar Chavez Dr. & Canyon Lake Road.  
  • 8:30am – Sparkler Sprint for kids 6-12 (free and no pre-registration needed) at Cesar Chavez Dr. & Canyon Lake Road.  
  • 9am – Parade!  NOTE: Parade Route Change – Parade will now begin at Avenue M. and Broadway Ave. The parade will travel east to Canyon Lake Drive, through Mackenzie Park, and end at Joyland.
  • 8am-5pm – Picnic in the Park!  7 music stages (starting at 10:30am) and over 50 vendors selling yummy festive foods.
  • 11am-8pm – Kids Area!  Located right next to the Kids Performance Stage and will include activities for the whole family!  Arts & Crafts, Carnival Games, Inflatables, Rock Wall, Spider Wall, Water Slides, Dunk Tank, Face Painting, Music, Pony Rides, Petting Zoo, Bouncers and Much More! No more playing on hot asphalt for the kids area like in years past!
  • 7:30pm – Evening Concert with the Youth Orchestra of Lubbock.
  • Dusk – Fireworks!

* Lamesa’s Independence Day Celebration, 9am-10pm.
* Slaton’s 4th of July Festival, 10am-3pm.  Slaton Park.

Tuesday, July 5th:
* Wolfforth’s 4th on the 5th Celebration, 6pm-10:30pm.

Fun Runs!shutterstock_78496849_flag

Saturday, July 2nd:
Firecracker Run in Brownfield.  1 mile, 3 mile and 10 mile races.  7:40-10:30am.  Includes an Elementary Fun Run for Ages 4-12.

Monday, July 4th:
* Yankee Doodle Dash (5K and 1 Mile) and Sparkler Sprint (100 Yard Dash – free for kids 6-12). Lubbock.  Mackenzie Park.  7:30 & 8:30am.

* 5K Splash Dash in Lamesa.  South 9th.  9am signup.  10:30-11:30am race.


Above all, enjoy this wonderful time of year with the kids and STAY SAFE!


Updated June 29, 2016.

Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Day 2016 with Kids in Lubbock

Earth Day 2016 – Friday April 22nd
shutterstock_175991945_Earth day flower

Earth Day is always a great chance to get our kids in the spirit of being green and saving green!… helping them make the connection that their world really does affect our world …. and that every day is truly Earth Day!  Lubbock offers many events and activities that can be a fun way to celebrate and educate!

1.  Shop the Annual Plant Sale at the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum.
Saturday 4/16 from 9am-3pm the Arboretum at 41st & University will be buzzing with fun, plants & rain barrel kits to select, and a Kids Zone for young gardeners with races, snacks and garden activities!  The Native Plant Society will be there selling water-wise plants and the Lubbock Master Gardeners will also be there to help and answer questions.  Great earth-friendly items for our homes at great prices with proceeds going to organizations that help make our earth better!

2. Pack a snack and take a FREE Citibus ride.
On Earth day, Friday April 22nd, Citibus celebrates by offering FREE rides!  So grab the kids, and a picnic and ride the bus to a favorite location.  See their website for routes.

3. Plant flowers at Hodges Community Center.
On Earth day, Friday April 22nd from 3-5pm, take the kids by Hodges for some good, clean, dirty fun helping plant beautiful flowers!  The perfect Earth Day event!

4. Plan to attend the next Second Saturday event at the Arboretum .
A great, free monthly event at the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum that features speakers and info centered on earth-friendly practices.

5.  Checkout the South Plains Water Expo.
From 11am – 3:00pm on Saturday 4/23, the entire family will enjoy learning about our most valuable resource at the 2016 Water Conservation Exposition at Frenship High School.  Fun activities for kids and free educational clinics are highlighted.  This year features a performance by Kevin Barnes, the “Green Magican.”  The annual event is sponsored by The City of Wolfforth & The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service with assistance from High Plains Water District and

6.  Visit the Texas Children in Nature website.
This wonderful resource provided by the Texas Partnership for Children in Nature features sources and links for family nature activities around Lubbock and the State.  Also see their link to the Nature Rocks! Caprock site sponsored by the Lubbock Lake Landmark - which is also a great place to visit around Earth Day!

7. Visit the South Plains Wildlife Rehab Center.
Baby bird season is in full swing so a trip to the Wildlife Rehab center at 95th & Indiana is especially fun and always informative!  Open Hours are during daylight hours 365 days a year so you can drop by anytime.  They have a wonderful Junior Volunteer program for kids age 12 – 17 too.

8.  Take a tour of the South Plains Food Bank Farm & learn about G.R.U.B.
To see a real working example of ecology in action, call to schedule a tour of the 5-acre Carolyn Lanier Youth Farm at 76th & Ave. B.  It’s a facility that includes an urban sustainable farm & learning center under the GRUB program (Growing Recruits for Urban Business) of the South Plains Food Bank.

9.  Visit the Wind Museum and the Bayer Museum of Agriculture.
The Wind Museum & American Wind Power Center (17th & Canyon Lakes Dr.) and the nearby Bayer Museum of Agriculture are both great trips for our kids to remind them of our history and dependence on water sources and agriculture – especially impactful during our times of drought!

Do you have local Earth Day traditions or events that you share with your kids?  Share them with us  here or on our Facebook Page!

Updated 4/15/2016


Top 10 Spring Outings & Events for Kids & Families in Lubbock

Spring in West Texas is here and other than the occasional dusting, we truly have the very best weather in the country!  Crisp mornings, warm afternoons and amazing sunsets grace the Lubbock area:  The perfect setting to grab the family and soak in the sunshine at some of the local spring events.  Here are our Top 10 Spring Events… plus a few more…  just to start!  There are way-more than 10, so please see our bustin-at-the-seams calendar for more!  Did we miss a favorite for your family?  Share it with us here!

Kite Flyin


Butterflies Alive! at The Science Spectrum:  through June 12th.
There’s no better way to welcome springtime than introducing our kids to hundreds of beautiful butterflies!  The Science Spectrum’s exhibit Butterflies Alive! gives us all a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these exquisite creatures.  Exhibit only:  $5/child & $6/adult.  To make the experience complete, catch the accompanying movie in the OMNI Theatre: “Flight of the Butterflies.”  Movie only: $6.50/child & $8/adult.  Group & Member discounts available. 

The Lubbock Arts Festival at the Civic Center:  Fri through Sun. April 15th – 17th.
It wouldn’t be springtime in Lubbock without the Lubbock Arts Festival… enriching our community and inspiring our kids for 37 years!  In addition to artists from all areas of the country, the festival features the “Run For the Arts” fun run Saturday morning, children’s area with writing and art competitions specifically to light the creative fires for our youngest Lubbockites!  Also find a presentation by Hank the Cowdog author John R. Erickson this year on Sunday… free with Arts Festival admission!  Event Admission: $2 for Children under 12, $4 for adults.

Kidsfish @ Maxey Park:  Sat. April 15th.
Bring a fishing pole, a chair, and the kids… ready to have fun!  All free!

Quailapalooza! Junior Rough Riders Spring Corral @ the National Ranching Heritage Center. Sat. April 23rd from 1-3pm.  Limited Space Available. Children ages 5-12 are invited to spend an afternoon seeing and studying Northern Bobwhite Quail with scientists from TTU’s Department of Natural Resources, Quail Tech Alliance and Quail Forever.  Only $5 or free for Ranching Heritage Association members.


Quailapalooza at the National Ranching Heritage Center. Photo by John Weast.

South Plains Water Conservation Expo.  Sat. April 23rd.
Frenship High School from 11am-3pm.  FREE.  The 3rd Annual Water Expo will be a fun-filled day for everyone in the family.  Kevin Barnes, the nationally reknowned “Green Magician” is this year’s featured guest in addition to a fun kids “Water Conservation Cruise” passport activity that will take them on a journey to various fun crafts, stories and activities for extra prizes.  Adults will enjoy the exhibits & helpful sessions with information on how we can all make a difference to impact our water resources.  Food Trucks, selfies with Walter Drop, Water Wisdom High Jinks with Literacy Lubbock, an appearance by Biscuit the Dog from Barnes & Noble and more…

Duck Derby & Family Fun Fest:  Sat. April 30th.
Destined to be an annual not-to-miss fundraising event (proceeds benefit Lubbock Legal Aid)!  Kids love to see the ducks launch and “race” with lots of activities for the family to enjoy!  Buddy Holly Park from 11am-4pm.

Safety City Birthday Party & Spring Festival:  Sat. April 30th.
Safety City is turning 23 this year with a spring festival to celebrate their birthday.  For all ages. FREE.

Lemonade Day:  Sat. May 14th.
Lubbock Lemonade Day gives our kids the chance to be a part of a community program that they see supported and promoted all over town.  Invaluable experience for them and a fun event… even if they just decide to buy some lemonade from another child’s stand on May 14th!

Sun ‘n Fun Grand Opening Celebration:  Sat. May 28th.
Plan to celebrate the opening of the new YWCA Sun n’ Fun complex over Memorial Day weekend. You know your kids will love the new splashpad… and tons more!  Click here for more info on all the great programs available at the J.T. & Margaret Talkington YWCA at Sun ‘N Fun… most are registering now.

Night Hikes at the Lubbock Lake Landmark:  monthly starting in March.
Enjoy the beauty of our famous West Texas sunsets at twilight!  Take advantage of the free monthly Night Hikes at the LLL.  Take a picnic, your walking shoes (trails are paved so it’s perfect for strollers!), and your water bottle.  2016 dates include:
Sat. 3/19. 7:30pm.
Sat. 4/16: 7:45pm.
Sat. 5/21: 8:15pm.
Sat. 6/18: 8:30pm.
Sat. 7/16: 8:30pm.
Sat. 8/20: 8:00pm.
Sat. 9/17: 7:15pm.


Updated 4/14/2016

Easter Week Hunt Guide 2016

Searching for Easter hunts

Looking for all the fun events in the Lubbock area for kids and families to enjoy over the Easter holiday weekend?  So have we! … and we’ve gathered them all in our Ultimate Easter section found on  Here are our tops picks…  Have we left off your favorite?  Share it with us here, add it to our Calendar, or share it with us on Facebook.  Be sure to check our calendar frequently… we’re receiving more info on more hunts every day!

Community Easter Egg Hunts 

EGGstravaganzas at area churches  

These aren’t your everyday, old fashioned church Easter Egg Hunts!  These are EXTRAVAGANZAs!… all free, and many include a fair-like atmosphere with bounce houses, door prizes, trains, or music.

Be sure to check with your neighborhood church too… even if they are not organizing a big event, many are offering church-wide Easter hunts and programs open to all guests!

Selfies with the Easter Bunny  

Better catch him Saturday… he’s got a really busy schedule Sunday!

Do you know of other area Easter events?  Share them with us here!


2015 Lubbock Area Holiday Performing Arts Guide for Kids & Families

FaLaLa Slide

Fa La La La Lubbock!  Take a holiday season time-out to enjoy the Fine Arts boom we enjoy in the Lubbock area… where holiday-themed performances in theatre, dance, music, and arts abound!

Holiday concerts are frequently a child’s first experience in a concert hall… a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the entire family’s appreciation and interest in the arts. And almost all are family-friendly and affordable!  Whether it’s the majesty of the full symphony orchestra or the acoustic sounds of the season in a neighborhood church, take a breath and enjoy the richness that the season brings!  So many opportunities to share old favorites or create new holiday arts traditions that our kids will introduce to their own families!

Note:  Events are in order by opening date and include links for ticket information.  And check our super-sized, searchable Sights and Sounds of the Season section for dozens more ideas for winter fun – search by child’s age, interests and dates!

“Coney Island Christmas” presented by Lubbock Community Theatre.
Dec. 3-6 and 10-13 @ The Lubbock Community Theatre (42nd & Boston).
Thurs, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Rated G. $10 Child / $15 Adult.
A holiday show for people of all ages and all faiths, CONEY ISLAND CHRISTMAS introduces us to Shirley Abramowitz, a young Jewish girl who (much to her immigrant parents’ exasperation) is cast as Jesus in the school’s Christmas pageant. As Shirley, now much older, recounts the memorable story to her great-granddaughter.  Tickets available online.

“A Christmas Story” presented by Children and Adults Theatrical Studios (CATS Playhouse).
Fri.12/4, Sat.12/5 & Sun. 12/6 and Fri. 12/11 & Sun.12/13 @ CATS Playhouse
2257 34th St.
Friday & Saturday performances are at 7:30pm. Sunday performances are at 2:30pm. Adults $10, Students/Seniors $7. Purchase tickets online.
Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Directed by Lisa Hernandez.

The Nutcracker Ballet – performed by Ballet Lubbock.
Thurs. 12/10 – Sun. 12/13.
All performances are @ the Civic Center Theatre.
It’s not Christmas until you’ve seen The Nutcracker!  Lubbock’s favorite holiday tradition. Tickets available through Select-a-seat and through the Ballet Lubbock website.

The Nutcracker presented by Ballet Lubbock

Ballet Lubbock’s ‘The Nutcracker’ (Facebook)

“Cactus Family Christmas” Concert.
Sat. 12/5 & 12/12; Thurs. 12/17; Tues. 12/22 & Wed. 12/23 @ 7:30pm.
All performances are at The Cactus Theater.
$15 / child (9 & under), $25 / ages 10 & up.
Continuing the Cactus tradition…  Join the Cactus stars, along with our newest faces from 2015, as they “don” the stage for a spectacular Christmas celebration presenting traditional holiday classics as well as contemporary favorites.  These concerts always sell out, so get your tickets early!  Call 806-762-3233 or go online for tickets.

Annual Caprock Celtic Christmas Concert.
Sat. 12/12 from 7-9pm: Annual Caprock Celtic Christmas concert @ the Maedgen Theater at Texas Tech. Students (with ID) free. Adults $10.50. Seniors $4.50.
Singers, players, dancers, storytellers, and more gather to perform traditional repertoires of the session, instrumental dance tunes and slow airs, and much more. For tickets call: 770-2000 or purchase online.

Flying J Wranglers’ Western Christmas Concert.
Sun. 12/13 @ the Cactus Theater.  $25.
The Flying J Wranglers from Ruidoso, NM and the Cactus Theater proudly bring you the annual Flying J Wranglers’ Western Christmas.  A holiday show that features rich melodious western yodeling, vocals, fiddle and guitars in a program of tradition favorites and new and classic western/cowboy Christmas songs, instrumentals and homespun comedy.  For a really special holiday treat, catch the lighthearted antics of the Wranglers this holiday season. Call 806-762-3233 or go online for tickets.

The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Chamber Concert.
Tues. 12/15, 7:30pm @ St. John’s United Methodist Church (University & 15th Street).
Student $10, Adult $20.
Lubbock’s favorite annual holiday concert is sure to become your new tradition. Five of the finest brass musicians in North America invite you to join them in celebrating the season at this entertaining and informative evening. Featured twice on Performance Today, an NPR syndicated broadcast, the LSO Brass Quintet will definitely put you in the holiday spirit. This narrated performance features holiday selections from a variety of periods and styles.  Bring your family members and friends to this very special night of seasonal music. Tickets available through Select-A-Seat and online.

Annual Dean Killion Memorial Scholarship Concert.
Tues. 12/15 @ 7:30pm (West doors open at 7pm).
Admission is FREE; however, donations will be accepted for the Killion Scholarship Fund.
The Westwinds Brass Band Presents its Annual Dean Killion Memorial Scholarship Concert @ the Texas Tech Museum in the Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium! . Enjoy traditional brass band favorites, marches, overtures, music from Broadway musicals, and a wide variety of sacred and secular Christmas music.

“Cactus Kids Christmas Celebration” Concert.
Sun. & Mon. 12/20 & 12/21, 7:30pm @ The Cactus Theater.
$15 / child (9 & under), $25 / ages 10 & up.
If you have never seen a Cactus Kids Christmas Concert, you are in for a real treat!  This is not just your average kid show – these are the best of the best from Terri Caldwell’s Music program.  Kids from this program have appeared on national television programs such as “America’s Got Talent” and the “X Factor.”  You will be blown away by the talent as they are backed by “The Lubbock Texas Rhythm Machine” in this full blown professional show!  Bring your entire family for a wonderful night at the “Cactus Kids Christmas Celebration.”   Call 806-762-3233 or go online for tickets.


Originally appeared in 2013.  Updated for 2015



The Top Santa Sightings in & around Lubbock 2015

“Wish I knew all the places I can take the kids to see Santa this year”

Looking for Santa?  Spread the word... Santa and all the great events & activities for kids during the holidays can be found on!

Looking for Santa? Spread the word… Santa and all the great events & activities for kids during the holidays can be found on!

Done!   One thing you can already mark off your Holiday to-do list:  Find Santa!

It’s a present for all of us – the gift of saving time!  In today’s blog we wanted to share some of the opportunities that our kids have in the Lubbock area to see Santa… so great to be a kid in the Hub!

Santa has many more visits on his schedule, so check our Santa Sightings section for up-to-the minute listings.  You know… we are the official keeper of Santa’s schedule in the Lubbock area… it’s true!

What a wonderful place we live in … our community provides so many opportunities to create family memories and enjoy the fun of the season!

Where oh where can we find Santa on the South Plains?

At Breakfast with Santa events… (reservations required for most)

Fri 11/20 and Sat. 11/21: Holiday Happening @ the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.  Space is limited.

Sat. 12/5: The Village Shopping Center @ Zio’s (82nd & Quaker).  (Sold out).

Sat. 12/5:  Breakfast with Santa at Maxey Community Center.  $10/person.  Space is limited.

Sat. 12/5 starting at 9am @ South Plains Mall Grand Court: Polar Express Weekend Extravaganza Private Breakfast (free!) with Santa & “Mall Express Train’ ($3) to Premiere Cinema to see “The Polar Express” movie. Movie starts at 10:30am.  $3 mall train ride. $6 movie (purchase tickets online – sure to sellout!).  Activities FREE. Candy cane & cookie decorating at Premiere. Part of the Polar Express Weekend Extravaganza benefiting Literacy Lubbock.

At Tree-Lighting Events…

Tues 12/1:  The Carol of Lights ceremony @ Texas Tech.  Join Santa & Raider Red for cookies starting at 5pm at the Frazier Pavilion

Tues 12/1:  SPC Christmas Tree Lighting & Carriage Rides with Santa @ South Plains College in Levelland.

Fri. 12/11 & Sat. 12/12 from 6 to 9pm: Candlelight at the Ranch @ the National Ranching Heritage Center.  Special appearance by Santa till 9pm each night in the NRHC main gallery!

Santa at the National Ranching Heritage Center's Candlelight at the Ranch

Children will have an opportunity to visit with Santa at the National Ranching Heritage Center from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11-12 during the 37th Annual Candlelight at the Ranch.

At Parades…

Thurs. 12/3:

Levelland Christmas on the Square & Lighted Christmas Parade @ 5:30pm.

Plainview Christmas Parade on Broadway @ 6pm.

Sat. 12/5:

Post City Trade Days & Christmas Parade @ 6pm.

Sat. 12/12:

Miracles Christmas Parade on 34th Street in Lubbock @ 6pm.

With Pets…

Mondays from 6-8pm till Christmas:  Pet Photos with Santa @ South Plains Mall.  A special time for your furry friends to visit Santa!  (Cats and Dogs only, in carriers or on leashes please).

Sat. 11/28 & 12/5 from 11am-4pm and Sun. 11/29 & 12/6 from 1-4pm:
Santa Paws Photos @ KK’s Corner Mall.  $10.  Professionally photographed by Robert Cason.
Proceeds benefit the Humane Society of West Texas

Sat. 12/12: Santa Paws @ Hodges Community Center (40th & University) from 9am-1pm.
Photos available for purchase or bring your camera!

On Trains…(reservations suggested)

On the Polar Express!   Departures begin Nov. 21 and end Dec. 26.  Wolfforth depot.

At Carnivals…

Sat. 12/5:  Christmas Carnival @ Mae Simmons Community Center.  2-4pm.

Sat. 12/12:  Holiday Wonderland @ The Science Spectrum.  10am-3pm.

Sun. 12/20:  Pancho Clos @ Maggie Trejo Supercenter (32nd & Amherst).  2-5pm.

Holiday Wonderland at The Science Spectrum

Holiday Wonderland at The Science Spectrum

Through the Season…

South Plains Mall:  11/14 – 12/24.  Photos available for purchase.

Holland Gardens:  Saturdays & Sundays from 1-4pm (free!) now through Christmas.
(50th & Memphis)

Santa’s Land Drive Thru Park in Tahoka (free!):  Open November 26 (Thanksgiving!), 27,28,29 and December 4,5,6,11,12,13,18,19,20,21,22,23,24 and light will be on 25, 26 & 27.

Kingsgate Shopping Center:  Saturdays Thanksgiving – 12/20 (82nd & Quaker).
Also don’t miss their complimentary carriage rides Friday – Sunday evenings through Christmas Eve!
Bring a coat to donate to their Coat Drive!

Santa Land @ Mackenzie Park:  Nightly 12/10 – 12/23 from 6-10pm.
Opening Ceremony:  Tues. 12/10 @ 6pm.  Help welcome Santa & Mrs. Claus from the North Pole & turn on the lights to the tree and winter village!

And you can help Santa…. If you have him scheduled to be at an event open to the public – or if you know of any great event or activity for our kids – just add the listing to or comment here on our blog to help spread the word!

This article was originally published in 2013 and updated for 2015.


Top Not-So-Scary but Oh-So-Fun Halloween Happenings around the Hub

shutterstock_26302213_little trickortreaters

We all have different definitions of “fun” when it comes to Halloween.  Some of our kids are more fearless than their parents (or at least this parent!) but many of our kids feel more comfortable if they don’t run into a cast member of The Walking Dead as they search for candy and fall fun!

No worries… lucky us, we live in Lubbock… and have the benefit of so many wonderful organizations and businesses that offer fun events for our kids.  Hair-raisin’ or cake-walkin’… it’s all here!  So we’ve gathered a list of our favorite entertaining yet not-so-scary ideas to celebrate the season.

For a walk on the more haunted side for older kids and brave parents, checkout the Halloween list at Lubbock in the Loop where they include a list of real area “Haunted Houses”…  (shiver, chill!)

OK – it’s time to grab your broom, your wand, or your magic carpet and head out to enjoy our beautiful West Texas autumn weather, meet the neighbors, and make some memories (sans the nightmares) with our goblins!

Updated: 10/29/2015

Community Events.

  • South Plains College Halloween Carnival.  Levelland. Thurs. 10/29 from 6-9pm.  Fun for the entire family and will be held in the Sundown Room on the Levelland Campus. Carnival booths, Trick or Treating, concessions available.  Tickets 5 for a $1.
  • Trunk or Treat on Main Street.  Levelland.  Sat. 10/31 from 6-7:30pm.   Includes annual costume parade followed by a fun filled, family oriented evening full of games, activities and of course TREATS!
  • Halloween Costume Photos by Mark McCall for Meals on Wheels.  Sat. 10/31 from 4-7pm. Mark McCall Studio. Corner of Broadway and Ave. E.  For the 5th year, Master Photographer Mark McCall will be conducting a Halloween Costume Photoshoot benefiting Meals on Wheels.  Fee is only a $10 donation or 10 cans of food for Meals on Wheels.

    Halloween Costume Photoshoot by Mark McCall

    Halloween Costume Photoshoot by Mark McCall

Texas Tech Halloween Events for the Community.

During this time of year, Texas Tech reaches out to our community and offers many events for our kids that have become traditional favorites.  From candy, to concerts, to soccer, to parades… those Tech students sure know how to make our kids feel like special, true, little Red Raiders!  Some of our favorites include:

Events for Active Goblins!

  • West Texas Endurance Howl-o-Ween Run

    West Texas Endurance Howl-o-Ween Dog Run

    Howl-O-Ween Dog Run/Walk by West Texas Endurance.  Sat. 10/24 starting at 8:30am.  Bring your 4-legged friends and 2-legged goblins and join this fun family-friendly event!  With 2 distance options (2K9 – 1.2 miles with your furry friends or 4 miles without a leash), there is an event for everyone. The “family-friendly” course of 2K9 (1.2 miles) will take you along the beautiful Canyon Lake 6. The more challenging 4 mile course runs through the City of Lubbock Cemetery.

  • Burgess-Rushing Tennis Center – Halloween Scramble.  Sat. 10/31 from 1-5pm.   For Juniors & Adults. $5.  Spooky pairings and lots of rotations & play!  Always a fun, festive time for our tennis-lovin’ kids.

Halloween Festivities at The Science Spectrum.

  • Silly Science Mini-Carnival.  Thurs. 10/29 from 10am-noon.  Especially for Preschoolers, age 5 and under!  This mini-carnival will take place in the museum and is perfect for younger ones who might not want to get out and compete with the older kids at other Halloween events. Fun activities include:  Carnival Games & Prizes, Fall Themed Maze, Mini Bounce House, Halloween & Fall Themed Crafts, Silly Science Demos, Costume Parade, Snacks & Treats.  All Silly Science Carnival activities will be located in the museum and are included with standard museum admission.  Children under 3 are free.
  • Spooky Science Carnival.  Fri. 10/30 from 5-9pm.  This event is great for families and kids up to age 14 looking for a safe Halloween alternative and a fun, educational party all in one.  Enjoy carnival games & prizes, trick-or-treating, the Haunted Science Lab, a live Mystery Scientist Show, children & family costume contest, and many more traditional Halloween “spooky not scary” fun activities for safe family fun!  Free Trick-or-Treating will take place in the lobby.  All Spooky Science Carnival activities will be located in the museum and are included with standard museum admission.  Children under 3 are free.

spooky science carnival

Trick/Trunk-or-Treating, & Festivals at
Churches, Malls, and Businesses.

We’ve compiled the most complete list in the Hub of all the carnivals, festivals, trunk-or-treats, and trick-or-treats that have been scheduled for our kids!  Some happening the weekend before Halloween but the majority scheduled on the 31st taking advantage of the Saturday holiday.  As a parent, it’s humbling to see that over 200 churches, schools, and businesses are providing a safe, fun, Halloween experience just for our children… most at no charge!  Thank you wonderful community of Lubbock!  Check our Halloween Calendar to schedule your quest!  (Tip:  you can view activities in list format or calendar format and print it out for a Halloween hit list.  And Members can even print their favorites for a custom calendar to take along!).

Halloween 4

Silly Science Carnival at The Science Spectrum

Concerts and Productions with Soul.

Fall concerts, shows, and performances are simmering with a family flair this time of year.  We’ve gathered them in our Sounds of the Season section including:

  • Lubbock Symphony Orchestra’s Free Family Concert. Sun. Oct. 25 from 2:30-5:30pm.  Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church. The LSO has a spooky good time planned for families, fans, and friends.  Children’s activities start at 5 p.m. in Parrish Hall where they can play real orchestra instruments, make their own musical instrument, learn to conduct, enjoy face painting and a costume contest and much more!  Concert starts at 6:30pm with an interactive concert with Maestro Cho.
  • Octubafest.  Sun. 10/26 from 6-9pm.  Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble Concert.  Free.  A Halloween week tradition!   Presented by the Texas Tech School of Music.  Hemmle Recital Hall.
  • University Symphony Orchestra Halloween “Hauntcert.”  Fri. 10/30 from 6-9pm.  Free Halloween Concert.  Hemmle Recital Hall.  “Instrument Petting Zoo” for children to visit with musicians and play the instruments.  Creative Halloween Costume Contest – win a chance to conduct or play with the orchestra!

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie…  and Apples and Corn too!

A-Maizing how they grow!

A-Maizing how they grow!

Searching for that perfect pumpkin with the kids, taking photos to mark their height, and walking in the crisp air are some of the best, most memorable times of the fall.  Add farm animals, storytimes, corn and hay mazes, and other family-friendly attractions, and you’ve got autumn adventures even your teen will enjoy!  We’ve gathered a list of area farms that offer pumpkin patches, apples, corn mazes, pumpkin trains and more…. our favorites include:

Do you have a favorite?  Share it with us here!

And for additional creative and safe ideas for kids from tots to teens, check out the LubbockForKids calendar…. and Happy Haunting!

Halloween in the Hub


Photo credits:
West Texas Endurance – Captivated Images.
Mark McCall Photography.
The Science Spectrum.

Autumn with Kids ... Livin' in the Moment!

What is it about autumn that makes it such a magical time of transition… a time we all remember from when we were kids ourselves?  Is it the cooler days, nights, colors of the trees, smells… like caramel apples, fall festivals, cake walks, the fair, burning jack-o-lanterns?  Maybe because it’s the perfect time for families – before the holiday craziness.  Maybe it’s because now that we’re parents, we see the changing seasons as a reminder that our little ones are not as little as they were at the beginning of the summer… we see how they change in all those pictures we take every year at the pumpkin patch and at The Corn Maize  standing next to the height marker. We see how unique each season is especially seeing it through the eyes of our kids. We realize how we as parents are fortunate to absorb at least a smidge of the innocence and clarity and enthusiasm with which our kids embrace each fall event and activity. Pure joy!

A-Maizing how they grow!

A-Maizing how they grow!

Maybe that’s it… autumn is a time that offers so many opportunities for us to be kids with our kidsLivin’ in the moment.  Maybe it’s a time when even those of us who are missing the “creativity gene” can still decorate with our kids and have fun and make someone smile!  Come on, let’s all give it a try!

Lubbock rocks - and rolls! -  with creativity!

Lubbock rocks – and rolls! – with creativity!

Maybe that’s why we’re so excited to participate in several area fall events! … including the Pumpkin Carving Workshop @ the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum and the Pumpkin Trail!

Pumpkin Trail 2013

Pumpkin Trail

So go ahead… dive in and enjoy this gorgeous Lubbock fall weather by taking in some of the local events… pick one you’ve never been to before!  We’ll try to help by making it easy to find all the fall festivals, pumpkin patches, and activities in the area – many of which are free or almost free (another reason we love autumn!).   Always check for the latest events & activities and our Facebook page too for fun picks.  Thanks for submitting your fall festivals and events to our calendar – keep ‘em coming! –  and we’ll keep adding everything we can dig up too (sorry, just had to do it!).

Thanks for reading! … and for joining us as we embrace and celebrate everything kidful in Lubbock and beyond!  Let us know: is there a local fall tradition or event that was your favorite as a child that you are now sharing with your own children?

Cotton n kids

Family Bucket List - 2015 Summer Fun in the Hub!

Summer Bucket 2014

It’s our 2015 Summer Fun Family Bucket List!

All fun, all local, many free, and ALL what summer is all about!
Click each activity for details

  * Cool it a Summer Movie Matinee         * Go to an Amusement Park

 * Explore some Kids Eat Free deals         * Take in a Summer Concert 

 * Sign up for a Summer Camp         * Visit a Farmers’ Market 

 * Enjoy a Vacation Bible School event         * Take a Day Trip 

 * Visit a New Playground        * Explore a Museum

 * Play in the Water        * See Fireworks

For tons more Lubbock-area boredom-buster ideas throughout the summer, visit

updated 4/17/2015

shutterstock_185327138_kids in trunk