Into the Great Outdoors

By Megan Zapalac

Lubbock and the surrounding areas have plenty of fun outdoor activities for your family.  Sadly, due to COVID-19 restrictions, many of these such as Joyland Amusement park have been forced to close temporarily.  Despite this, there are still plenty of places that are still open to the public. 

Mackenzie Park is very popular in the community and has much to offer, such as an equestrian trail (who knew?), disk golf, Prairie Dog Town, and a small lake.  This park is also suitable for picnics, walking trails and just getting the family out of the house for some fun.

One outdoor jewel Lubbock should be proud of is the 93-acre sanctuary with gardens known as the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum.  Located at 41st and University Ave., the Arboretum has a 1.18-mile trail that anyone can use.  They also host a variety of events, tours, activities and classes for all ages and interests.  Your kids will enjoy seeing the wide variety of plants and animals that call the Arboretum home.  This facility is open seven days a week from 5am-midnight. 

If you are looking to take a day trip or go on a camping trip to get out of town, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a beautiful location.  Located 14 miles from Canyon, Palo Duro has a wide variety of activities such as hiking and biking trails, scenic views, picnic areas, historical sites, and public bathrooms and showers.  Actually, this is the second largest canyon in the United States and is worth the trip on every level.  The park has suitable camper and tent camping sites for those wanting a prolonged stay.  Due to COVID, everyone who enters, even annual pass owners, has to purchase a Day Pass of $8/day per adult.  Children 12 years and under are free and the park is open from 7:30am-6:30pm Sunday-Thursday and 7:30am-7pm Friday-Saturday.

Did you know that Lubbock is also home to 81 city parks throughout the city?   Overall, they offer trails, playgrounds, ponds and lakes, as well as athletic courts for tennis, basketball and volleyball.  There is such a wide variety of outdoor activities within easy driving distance from any neighborhood in Lubbock.  Get outside and enjoy some of this Lubbock goodness!