Make a Run for the Border: Fun With the Kids in El Paso
Texas, Old Mexico and New Mexico converge in the bustling city of El Paso, TX. As the world's largest international metroplex, there's multicultural family fun to be had around nearly every corner. The City With a Legend is the ideal place to enjoy legendary family fun ranging from animal encounters to adrenaline-filled adventures.
Rise to the Top
Get a 7,000-square-mile overview of the El Paso countryside from Franklin Mountain State Park (1331 McKelligon Canyon Rd., El Paso, TX). Ride in Swiss gondolas up to the top of Ranger Peak on the Wyler Aerial Tramway (1700 McKinley Ave., El Paso, TX ). The ride lasts for four minutes, but they'll talk about the experience for years to come. Get a close-up view of the machinery that makes the tram go and discover the wide range of plants and animals that live on the mountain.
Have a Tea Party
Dress up in your tea party finest and head to the Magoffin Homestead (1120 Magoffin Ave., El Paso, TX) tea-time event. Learn about tea party etiquette and what the ritual once meant to those in El Paso's fashionable society. Octavia Magoffin, a social leader in the community in the 1880s, served up similar events. Enjoy three courses of finger foods accompanied by tea service geared toward kids ages 8 through 11. Parents join in the fun, too. If you can't make the tea service, step back through the pages of time any time to see what it was like to live in an 1877 territorial home as a member of El Paso's fine society.
Wondering where you'll find the state's largest tortoise-shaped building? At the El Paso Zoo (4001 East Paisano Dr., El Paso, TX), of course. Enter through the tortoise's mouth and discover a world of cold-blooded reptiles. Experience Giraffe Encounters where the animal's 15-inch black tongue wraps around the food you're holding out. Take a break from the animals to cool off at the Hunt Family Desert Spring's interactive fountains, or let the kids burn off energy at the Foster Tree House Playground. Go ahead and join them. The tree houses roll out a 360-degree view.
Beat the desert heat with a trip to Wet-'N'-Wild Waterworld, the third-oldest water park in the U.S. Being out of the water doesn't mean scorching in the sun: The park has 200 shade trees to keep you comfy on dry land. And if you're looking for the biggest wave pool in Texas, it's right here. The park features thrill rides with names like The Screamer, Raging Rapids and Alien Vortex, sure to elicit shrieks of delight from even the bravest kids. Little ones get their own gig at small-fry rides like Katch a Kiddie Creek and King Kiri's Fountains of Fun.
When the kids are bouncing off the walls, head over to Rockin' Jump Trampoline Park (1691 N. Zaragoza Rd., El Paso, TX) and join them. The indoor park has trampolines galore, including trampoline walls, open jumping space and more. Dive into a pit filled with foam blocks, catch some air as you shoot baskets in the Slam Dunk Zone or try to knock your opponent off a beam with a foam lance. The park has Saturday night hours until midnight for a family-friendly evening out.
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- Visit El Paso: Overview
- Texas Parks and Wildlife) Wyler Aerial Tramway
- Texas Parks & Wildlife: Franklin Mountains State Park
- City Data: El Paso (Climate)
- Texas Historical Commission: Magoffin Home
- Wet-N-Wild Waterworld General Info
- El Paso Inc.: Eating Bugs at El Paso Zoo's New Reptile House
- El Paso Zoo: Attractions and Special Encounters
- Rockin' Jump
Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.