Things To Do In and Around Midland Texas

Whether you're looking for someplace to get in out of the heat, or a little outdoor exploration, this page will help you find things to do in and around Midland. Before you go you might want to check on the weather forecast. If you know of websites that would fit on this page, please Email me with their addresses.

In Midland, Texas

Educational Fun

Sibley Nature Center
If you're interested in the fauna and flora of our area here between the edge of the Great Plains and the desert, this site will give you an introduction to what the Sibley Nature Center does to educate children and adults on the subject of our environment. I'm helping to build this site, and we have plans to have it reflect the displays in the building, as well as provide a calendar of what-to-look-for in the area. The Center is located on the edge of Hogan Park, on Wadley between La Mesa and Fairgrounds. It includes nature trails that cross through many different environments.
Marian Blakemore Planetarium
Sky shows along with occasional star parties in Haley Park, behind the Planetarium. (I prefer the sky shows that actually do constellations to the multimedia presentations, but my favorites are few and far between.) From Wall Street, turn south(-ish) on K Street to reach the museum complex on Missouri (Missouri is between Wall and Front Streets).

Parks

Dennis the Menace Park
On Garfield between Wall and Front Streets. Some shade, restroom facilities, and brightly-colored play equipment not of your standard plastic-and-bolts models.
Opportunity Park
A privately owned park that is open to the public, with lots of equipment accessible to the handicapped. It is located off of A Street just south of Wadley.

Museums

Confederate Air Force
Midland is the home of the Confederate Air Force and the American Heritage Airpower Museum, a place to find World War II air planes, many still flying, always in the process of being restored. There are many displays including pictoral histories, and once a year, in October, the Air Show brings pilots and fans from all over the world. This is a very thorough website representing the CAF, with lots of pictures, too.
Petroleum Museum
Does not appear to have its own website yet but you can call them at 683-4403.
Museum of the Southwest
Home of an art museum, the Children's Museum (see below), and the Planetarium.
Fredda Turner Durham Children's Museum
A favorite place to visit with kids; entrance is free though a donation is encouraged. A great place for the kids to play out of the hot summer sun. Computers and some fixed and some changing displays. It's a small but friendly museum.
A List of Area Museums
Can be found at this site, including hours and some details.

Entertainments

Midland Community Theater
A fine theater which presents a wide variety of plays. On Wadley between "A" Street and Garfield.
Summer Mummers/Yucca Theater
Presenting melodramas with a West Texas twist, in a beautiful old, restored theater.
Hollywood Theaters
With a new webmaster, this site is back to being updated each week in time for the Friday changes, which is great. The "Coming Attractions" page also has links to movie sites so you can get an idea of what's going to be hot and what you'll want to see. For reviews of current movies, you can visit the national Hollywood Theatres site.
KC's Nutty Roller
Roller skating rink, right in the same neighborhood with our store.
Astral Castle
If you like to play games (card games, board games, miniatures: any game that uses your mind and that you play across a table from another human), you're welcome to drop in any time we're open and sit down at the tables and play (free!). The website has directions to the store, including images.
Midland Rockhounds
Formerly the Midland Angels, our baseball team.
A Midland Calendar of Events
Sponsored by the Midland Reporter Telegram (our newspaper), but it does not seem to be working yet.

Clubs and Societies

Society For Creative Anachronism (SCA)
The Kingdom of Ansteorra encompasses our humble town of Midland. If the world of the middle of the last millennium fascinates you, you might want to check out these folks, who enjoy dressing in period costumes, and recreating the medieval world. I have had no luck at all contacting the locals through the website; if you're looking for these folks you'd be better off visiting Astral Castle and enquiring there.
Amtgard
Something like the SCA but for younger folks; here at least the weapons are padded and the battles are a little less dangerous; the fun is just as captivating, though. Again, you may want to enquire at Astral Castle for details, as many of the members come through the store (the park where they meet twice weekly is just down the road).

In the Neighborhood (Texas-style)

Odessa
Our nearest neighbor and sister city, 25 miles west of us. A little outside the city is a small but impressive meteor impact crater, but the city itself has a lot to offer, including museums, and the Ector County Coliseum, which hosts the Permian Basin Fair & Expo (in September) and many other events throughout the year. I've yet to visit the Globe Theater but plan to when my kids are old enough to appreciate Shakespeare. They now have a hockey team, the Jackalopes, which means Odessa also has an ice-skating rink (which is open to the public).
Big Spring
is 41 miles east-northeast of us, and is one of our closest neighbors. It has a very nice State Park.
Monahans
has the ultra cool Sandhills State Park, where you can sled down sand dunes and visit one of the world's largest oak forests right in the middle of these barren plains (okay so it's the diminutive"shin oak"). Monahans is 59 miles southwest of us.
Pecos
Home of the best cantaloupes ever, and the birthplace of rodeos.
Colorado City
is 80 miles mostly east of us (a little north). It has the Lake Colorado State Park where you can fish and cook.
Sheffield (Texas, that is)
Even before we moved out here, we had to visit Sheffield, Texas, since Dave and his family come from Sheffield, England. Now we've moved (just) close enough to call them neighbors, in what passes for our neighborhood by Texas standards. Ninety-nine miles southeast of us, Sheffield has the Fort Lancaster State Historical Park.

Further Afield (in order of Proximity)

San Angelo
Has the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts and its Children's Art Museum can be found here. San Angelo is 112 miles South East of Midland. There is a quiet, uncommercial River Walk here, along with many odd and interesting museums, including one devoted to a bordello, one on frontier medicine, and another on the history of telephones!. It also has the San Angelo State Park, which has rock paintings and dinosaur tracks.
Lubbock
Has lots to offer, and this website has a calendar and more information about the city. Lubbock is 117 miles due north of Midland.
Balmorhea
is 134 miles southwest of us, and has a lot to offer. It has the Balmorhea State Park, which has a very unusual "swimming hole" created by natural springs in the area. You can even scuba dive, or just swim while being nibbled by the fishies.
Carlsbad, New Mexico
Everyone's heard of Carlsbad Caverns, haven't they? Visit the Carlsbad National Park and go deep into the earth, walk through some spectacular caves, and stay for the bat flight. There are lots of other things to do in the surrounding area as well, including a summer-time amusement park. (149 miles.)
Abilene
One of our favorite places to visit because we love the zoo with its giraffe bridge where you get to feed animal crackers right to the giraffes and get a look at their blue (stinky) tongues right up close. The landscaping with native plants is also impressive, and we always have a good time. The whole town is quite pretty and I am especially fond of the big O'Keefe-ish steer skull placed on the green next to a railroad track. (150 miles east and a little north of us.)
Fort Davis
Fort Davis is located 170 miles southwest of Midland. The Davis Mountains are gorgeous, there's a lovely state park here, and the genuine feel of old Texas abounds. The Fort Davis website has lots of information and links for more information. A stay at Indian Lodge is well worth your time. Also in the area: McDonald Observatory. I've always wanted to visit the observatory but have never managed it, though I have observed the stars at the Texas Star Party on the Prude Ranch.
Alpine
On the way to Big Bed, 173 miles from here.
Lajitas: Big Bend
At 231 miles, through lots of back roads and scenic areas, this is my #1 most recommended destination for anyone even mildly interested in natural wonders. Big Bend National Park has to be the most overlooked park in the national system. The bare bones of the earth show through here, and there are so many environments contained in this area it is truly stunning. For more information about the area, try The Big Bend Quarterly. I guess if you can't make it you could take a Virtual Tour but nothing's as impressive as seeing it, acre upon hundreds of acres, live and in person.
Amarillo
We really enjoy camping in Palo Duro Canyon, which is a sort of miniature Grand Canyon. They have horseback riding there, as well as the musical play, Texas, which I hope to see when my kids are a little older. Amarillo also has a Discovery Center filled with wonderful things for kids to do with bubblestuff and music and other hands-on toys, an amusement park, and even a small zoo. (241 miles pretty much due north of us.)
Del Rio
The Amistad National Recreation Area includes Lake Amistad where you can find boat rentals, fishing, swimming, hiking, and a whole lot more.. (246 miles mostly south, but a little east of us.)
El Paso
Isn't exactly close to us (being 307 miles west of us), but it's the biggest city in West Texas. It has an Amusement Park, among many other attractions.
West Texas State Parks
(West and south of us) can be found here.
Panhandle Parks
(North of us) can be found here.
Hill Country Parks
(East and south of us) can be found here.
Other Events
Here's a page that offers links to other local places of interest. Some of these are really excellent to visit.
Scarborough Faire
In Waxahachie, south of Dallas, in April and May, folks dress up in 16th century European costumes and relive the fun of a medieval festival (with modern perks, like flush toilets and fajitas).

Texas (Some State-Wide Info)

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Copyright 1999 Linda Blanchard All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Date Added: November 21, 1998. Last Update: January 07, 2009.