Day Trips & Beyond: January Events Roundup

Kick off 2019 with some Texas travel

Watch eagles from your computer or chase whooping cranes on the Texas coast.

Video capture of wetland eagles (Photo used by permission of John Bunker Sands Wetland Center)

The wetland eagles have landed. The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center outside of Seagoville in Northeast Texas aims a video camera on the eagles' nest in anticipation of the hatching of the eggs that arrived in December. Beware, watching the video feed of the eagles can be addictive. Historically, the eggs come in late January, hatch the first week of March, and the birds fledge mid- to late May. This year’s brood is a little early.
January to May, Wetland Eagle Video Cam, 972/474-9100,

Texas White House (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

While he was president, Lyndon B. Johnson often retreated to his Hill Country ranch. The house on the Pedernales River was a home, an office away from Washington, and a spot for barbecue picnics. The National Park Service has temporarily closed the Texas White House and adjacent buildings due to structural issues. All other park facilities are open to the public. Visitors can still enjoy ranger-led tours of the grounds, the museum in the hangar visitor center, and the ranch driving tour. State park facilities at the ranch are unaffected.
Stonewall, 830/868-7128,

Travel Notes:

Registration has begun for the 23rd Annual Whooping Crane Festival, Feb. 21-24 in Port Aransas. The festival is open to anyone who loves the outdoors and nature-related activities. The best tours and workshops fill quickly, so don’t delay in registering at

Texas has more than its share of quirky travel destinations. The quest to find the hidden gems around the state got a little easier with Atlas Obscura’s online Guide of Cool, Hidden, and Unusual Things to Do in Texas. The Texas map has 218 hot spots while the Southwestern United States has more than 800. There are thousands of off-the-beaten-path attractions around the world included in the Atlas. Take the map for a test drive at

Start your planning now for a road trip to West Texas in April for the Marfa Myths Festival from April 25 to 28. Tickets have gone on sale for the multidiscipline cultural program and nearly interplanetary music fest. Only Marfa could host a festival with such a diverse range of artists showcasing their work in music, film, visual arts, and for the first time, comedy. Go bust some myths and create some new ones. For information, go to

Operation Full Steam Ahead has completed major repairs to the Battleship Texas allowing visitors to return to the third deck. The second round of major repairs, cleaning, and safety upgrades to the battleship that served in both World Wars opens most of the ship to the public. The remaining repairs to the hull will have to be done with the ship in dry dock. Decommissioned in 1948, the first U.S. battleship to become a floating museum is operated by Texas Parks & Wildlife beside the San Jacinto Battleground Monument in LaPorte.

Do you remember that episode of the Cheers television show where Norm gets his dream job as the taster for a local brewery? Now you can have your dream job at Karbach Brewery in Houston as quality assurance manager, according to Brewbound Newsletter. The job requires a Bachelor of Science degree; sorry, Norm. Or you can just tour the new brewery and taste the beer during the week at 3pm, 5pm, or 7pm or on the hour in the afternoons on weekends.

Other January Events:

Hair of the Dog Day
Jan. 1, Gruene,

Polar Bear Dip
Jan. 1, South Padre Island,

Polar Bear Plunge
Jan. 1, Wimberley,

First Day Hike
Jan. 1, Various State Parks,

First Friday Art Walk
Jan. 4, Fredericksburg,

Mason County Livestock Show and Expo
Jan. 4-5, Mason,

Sam Rayburn’s Birthday Open House
Jan. 5, Bonham,

Mardi Gras Season Kickoff (Twelfth Night)
Jan. 6, New Orleans,

Second Saturday Gallery Trail
Jan. 8-9, Wimberley,

Planetarium Show
Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29, Clute,

Tours of the Gault Archaeological Site
Jan. 12, Florence,

Second Saturday Art Center Market
Jan. 12, Rockport,

Boerne Market Days
Jan. 12-13, Boerne,

Bloodless Bullfights
Jan. 12, 26, La Gloria,

Buffalo Soldier Day
Jan. 13, San Antonio,

Bastrop County MLK Walk and Program
Jan. 14, Elgin,

Cocktail Conference
Jan. 14-20, San Antonio,

Houston Money Show
Jan. 18-19, Conroe,

Turkish Music Festival
Jan. 18-19, Houston,

Trade Days
Jan. 18-20, Fredericksburg,

Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo
Jan. 18-Feb. 9, Fort Worth,

Neo Camerata – A Journey of Mind and Emotion Concert
Jan. 19, Boerne,

Rains County Eagle Fest
Jan. 19, Emory,

Open House Nebgen School
Jan. 19, Gillespie County,

MLK Youth Parade – Midtown Houston
Jan. 19, Houston,

Bird Banding
Jan. 19, Lake Jackson,

Luckenbach Blues Festival
Jan. 19, Luckenbach,

Krewe of Sobek Parade
Jan. 19, Shreveport, La.,

Hill Country Gem and Mineral Show
Jan. 19-20, Fredericksburg,

Windsync Woodwind Quartet Concert
Jan. 20, Fredericksburg,

MLK Grande Parade
Jan. 21, Houston,

The Original MLK Day Parade
Jan. 21, Houston,

Krewe of Harambee MLK Jr. Day Mardi Gras Parade
Jan. 21, Shreveport, La.,

Free Entrance Day in National Parks
Jan. 21, Various,

Denton Black Film Festival
Jan. 23-27, Denton,

Bar-b-que Cook-off and Festival
Jan. 25-26, San Antonio,

Renaissance Festival
Jan. 25-27, Feb. 1-3, Kerrville,

Lunar New Year
Jan. 25-27, Feb. 1-3, Grand Prairie,

El Soldado de Mexico
Jan. 26-27, Goliad,

Mid-Tex Farm, Ranch, and Garden Show
Jan. 31, Waco,

SPI Kitefest
Jan. 31-Feb. 3, South Padre Island,

Gerald E. McLeod has been traveling around Texas and beyond for his "Day Trips" column for more than 25 years. Keep up to date with his journeys on his archive page.

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Day Trips, travel, wetland eagles, LBJ, Texas White House, Whooping Crane Festival, Atlas Obscura, Marfa Myths Festival, Battleship Texas, Karbach Brewery

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