East Texas Activities for July — Plus 8 Things to Do With Kids

July is one of the best times to visit East Texas. The summer days are long and laid back, and when you stay at Rosevine Inn Bed and Breakfast, you’re just a short drive from top area activities. From shopping to dining to outdoor adventure, Tyler has something for singles, couples and families.

East Texas Activities for Every Age Group

If you’re in town for the 4th of July, enjoy fireworks displays and freedom festivals around the area from the end of June through Independence Day. News agency KLTV has an extensive list so you can find one taking place while you’re in town. Here are some of the other East Texas events you don’t want to miss.

The Texas Shakespeare Festival

Kilgore Shakespeare Festival

Shakespeare Festival Actress


The small town of Kilgore might not be where you’d expect to find high quality live theater, but year after year that’s where you’ll find the best Shakespeare Festival in Texas. Since 1986 this professional summer theater has presented four weeks of five productions. The 2018 Summer Season includes the following:

  • Love’s Labour’s Lost — When the king and three friends swear off romantic relationships, they meet four beautiful women. This musical directed by Matthew Simpson is enjoyable for all ages.
  • Tartuffe — In Moliere’s work, a Frenchman invites the thieving hypocrite Tartuffe into his home, thinking he’s a religious leader. The family scrambles to uncover his schemes in this five-act comedy.
  • The Belle of Amherst — If you love Emily Dickinson, don’t miss this work by William Luce. For an additional cost, stay after to attend “Tea with Miss Emily.”
  • King John — Most people know the story of Robinhood, but how familiar are you with the monarch who opposed him? This work by Shakespeare tells his story.
  • 110 In the Shade — This play is an adaptation of Richard Nash’s The Rainmaker. It tells a lighthearted love story with music by Harvey Schmidt.
  • The Lovely Stepsister — Company member Grace Abele wrote and directs this children’s show about one of Cinderella’s stepsisters who isn’t so ugly after all.

The Shakespeare Festival takes place in the Anne Dean Turk Fine Arts Center on the Kilgore College campus. For more on tickets and showtimes, see the Texas Shakespeare Festival website.

Canton Trade Days

In July, Canton First Monday Trade Days are from June 28 through July 1. Canton First Monday is the largest outdoor flea market in the United States, and it’s a top shopping destination for East Texas visitors.

Find everything from clothing to home decor to antiques. If you’re going, allow yourself a full day to sample delectable fair food and uncover both hidden gems and upscale finds.

Hit the Bricks July 14

Every second Saturday in Tyler, downtown businesses and attractions offer special activities. We covered the Rose City Farmer’s Market extensively in our June blog post, and it will be open for business Saturday morning when you Hit the Bricks. Then enjoy art exhibits, food trucks, antique shopping and live music.

One of the most exciting aspects of the July 14 Hit the Bricks is the Auto and Cycle Show. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the show runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hit the bricks car show

Classic Ford Mustang

Other Dates to Know

July 10 — Summer Fun Cookie Decorating Workshop at The Potpourri House

July 14 — Hunter/Jumper Summer Horse Show at Texas Rose Horse Park

July 20 — Sail on: The Beach Boys Tribute Band at Liberty Hall

July 29 — East Texas Wedding Extravaganza Bridal Expo at Harvey Convention Center

Kid-Friendly Attractions and Activities

When families visit Rosevine Inn Bed and Breakfast, they often find plenty to do on site. Our game room includes a pool table, board games and plenty of space to relax. Outside, guests enjoy badminton, volleyball, ping pong and more. Our area also provides opportunities for family enjoyment that are almost endless.

Faulkner Park Sprayground

You don’t have to spend a bundle to stay cool when you take the kids to the Faulkner Park Sprayground. The play area at this South Tyler playground has a large bowl-shaped area with interactive water features so your little ones can shoot water cannons, dodge dumping buckets or dance under gentle showers.

Kids play in the spray but are never immersed, so even non-swimmers are safe. Take your book and plenty of hydration, then find a comfortable spot in between the sprayground and the regular playground so kids can run back and forth between the two.

Faulkner Park also provides nature trails, tennis courts, baseball fields, a scenic pond and restrooms. There is no cost to enjoy the sprayground, and it’s open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. all summer long.

Return of the Dinosaurs

Dinosaur Discovery Science Place

Dinosaur in museum

From now through August 19, Discovery Science Place presents “Return of the Dinosaurs,” an exhibit separate from regular facilities in the Annex building. The 2,500 square foot exhibit has eight animatronic dinosaurs, hands-on activities and genuine fossils. Discovery Science Place recommends the exhibit for kids ages four to ten years old.

Family Summer Movies at Times Square

Beat the heat with $1 movies and $3 combos for kids at Times Square Cinema. Here’s the schedule:

  • July 6-7 and 9-12 — Horton Hears a Who
  • July 13-14 and 16-19 — Everyone’s Hero
  • July 20-21 and 23-26 — How to Train Your Dragon and Space Chimps
  • July 27-28 and 30-August 1 — Balto

All movies are rated G or PG. See the cinema website for showtimes.

Dustin and Company and Kids Night at Stanley’s

Every Tuesday kids eat free at Stanley’s Famous BBQ. The whole family can enjoy the free live music, award-winning BBQ and drink specials for mom and dad. The fun starts at 6:30 and lasts until 9:30 p.m.

Other Summer Activities to Do With Kids

View the “Extreme Weather” Dome show all month at Tyler Junior College’s Center for Earth and Space Science Education.

Fridays July 6-27 visit the Tyler Library for live performances from The Creature Teacher and Tyler State Park’s Ranger Boyd or a matinee performance of Despicable Me 3.

July 14-15 at Harvey Convention Center, attend the ninth annual Great American Arts Fair with over 100 vendor booth, live entertainment, concessions and a Kid’s Zone.

Any day you need to wear them out, visit the Tyler iJump, an indoor trampoline park that has its own ninja course. There’s a separate play area for toddlers, so everyone can safely run, climb and jump to their heart’s content.

Plan Your Stay

Experience carefree days, luxurious accommodations and a legendary breakfast at the Rosevine Inn Bed and Breakfast and Extended Suites. Check out what’s available or book your stay online today.

Until next time your Innkeeper Becca                                                              signing off  (Thanks to Missy)



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