If your brood is anything like mine, the first thing the kids do when they walk in the door after school is grab the iPad or the Kindle. Spring is here, kids!  East Texas has plenty of things to do outside, and we're leavin' the house.  Here are just a few ideas.

When does Jones Pool open, anyway?  That will likely be May, and the City of Lufkin will keep us updated.  And then the kids will be in their bathing suits every day until August.

Picnics in the park are always a big hit with my three girls. Lufkin has 16 parks in all, and maybe several that we haven't discovered yet.  The Azalea Trail is always a big hit too.

Other screen-busters that will get the kids off the iPad and outside into the spring weather, include these from TripAdvisor.

Ratcliff Lake

Ellen Trout Zoo

Lost Arrow Loop

Tyler State Park - if you don't mind a drive

All of the fun county fairs will start popping up in mid to late summer, and the East Texas State Fair kicks off September 22nd and runs through October 1.

Oh, and have you been Scarborough Faire?  That Renaissance Festival opens for the season on April 8th in Waxahachie, south of Dallas, and it's worth the drive.  You can grab a Scottish Egg (a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage and deep fried, and covered in mustard), a fancy dipped candle, a sky chair to hang on the deck, clogs, and some fairy wings all in one spot.  You can even get married at the little chapel there.  You might save a couple bucks if you grab the tickets early instead of waiting to get them at the gate.

Hopefully this helps us all make the most of spring.  And if all of this fails, there's always Beauty and the Beast!