Day Trips & Beyond: January Events Roundup

Day trips for 2017

Start the year out with an adventure and you’ll have something to talk about for 11 months.

Photo by Gerald E. McLeod

Entries are now being accepted for the 2017 Houston Art Car Parade. The parade weekend happens April 6-9. The entry fee is a very reasonable $35, but must accompany the application by Feb. 15. Don’t be late; you don’t want to miss the opportunity to be a part of the 30th anniversary celebration of one of the most colorful free events in the state.

The forecast calls for snow on Jan. 14 in Johnson City – 20 tons of it. (Photo Courtesy of Hill Country Science Mill)

The chances of Central Texas getting an appreciable amount of natural snow is pretty slim, so the Hill Country Science Mill will bring in 20 tons of the white stuff. The hands-on museum’s art park will be turned into a winter wonderland as children and adults participate in snowball catapult launches, snowman building, and more. Buy your tickets early to avoid the lines.

Jan. 14, 11am-2pm, Hill Country Science Mill, Johnson City, 844/263-6405,

The Dallas Cowboys' new headquarters and training facility is opening to fans for behind-the-scenes tours. (Photo Courtesy of The Star in Frisco)

Imagine being within arm’s-length of the five Super Bowl Trophies brought back to Texas by the Dallas Cowboys. The new headquarters and training facility offers tours in small groups of the training facility, the War Room, and the Super Bowl Memorabilia Room. Visitors will get to see the evolution of the team’s uniform, a rare collection of Super Bowl items, and reminders of the big moments of the team’s history.

Dallas Cowboys World Corporate Headquarters and Training Facility, Frisco, 972/497-4720,

Travel Notes:

It’s bullfighting season in South Texas. The Santa Maria Bullring in La Gloria, about 25 miles north of Rio Grande City, has announced their 2017 bloodless bullfighting season. This year six world-class matadors will snatch a flower from the back of the purebred Spanish bulls. The bullfights happen Jan. 8, Jan. 22, Feb. 12, and Feb. 26. For more information, go to

Northwest Louisiana kicks off the Mardi Gras season with parades on Jan. 14 & 16. The festivities continue through Fat Tuesday on Feb. 28. For a full list of parties and parades, go to

The Eagle Capital of Texas has big plans for the 2017 Eagle Fest in Emory. The festival has added more bus and boat tours to Lake Tawakoni to see the bald eagles at their nests. There will also be more activities and entertainment than ever. For more information, go to

Other January Events:

Gospel Music Festival
Jan. 5-7, Rockport,

Sam Rayburn Birthday
Jan. 7, Bonham,

Galveston Restaurant Week
Jan. 7-22, Galveston,

San Antonio Cocktail Conference
Jan. 11-15, San Antonio,

Southwestern Exposition Livestock Show and Rodeo
Jan. 13-Feb. 4, Fort Worth,

Texas Antique Tractor Show & Pull
Jan. 13-14, Hallettsville,

Fossil Discovery Exhibit Grand Opening
Jan. 14, Big Bend National Park,

MLK Youth Parade
Jan. 14, Houston,

Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live! – Family Funday
Jan. 15, Lufkin,

Free Entrance Day
Jan. 16, National Parks,

MLK Grande Parade
Jan. 16, Houston

Washington’s Birthday Celebration
Jan. 20-Feb. 20, Laredo,

Lunar New Year Festival
Jan. 20-22, 27-29, Grand Prairie,

Lunar Lantern Festival
Jan. 21-22, Houston,

Brackenridge Winter Carnival & Snow Day
Jan. 21, Edna,

Luckenbach Blues Festival
Jan. 21, Luckenbach,

Texas Guitar Quartet
Jan. 21, Round Top,

Hill Country Gem and Mineral Show
Jan. 21-22, Fredericksburg,

Dallas Area Train Show
Jan. 21-22, Plano,

Texas State Championship Domino Tournament
Jan. 22, Hallettsville,

The Original Stars of American Bandstand
Jan. 27, Richardson,

Denton Black Film Festival
Jan. 27-29, Denton,

Children’s Powwow
Jan. 28, Livingston,

Year of the Rooster
Jan. 28, Lunar New Year

Gerald McLeod has been traveling around Texas and beyond for his "Day Trips" column for the past 24 years. Keep up to date with his journeys on his archive page. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 40312, South Austin, TX 78704.

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Houston Art Car Parade, Hill Country Science Mill, The Star in Frisco, Dallas Cowboys training facility, Santa Maria Bullring, Mardi Gras, Eagle Fest

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