“Wake up, Mommy! It’s a sunny day!”

On Saturday mornings, it’s with this cheerful greeting that I am awoken, coming from my 5-year-old daughter whose energy is bursting at the seams. Still sleepy, I walk to the coffeepot and start breakfast for the kids. Before the toast even pops up from the toaster, the next question is one I am faced with each Saturday morning.

“What are we going to do today, Mommy?”

I’m at a loss. What are we going to do today? I think of the options at hand, and I sorely realize that we don’t have too many.

Living in Kempner, we are five minutes away from Copperas Cove. I love raising my children in this small town of country living; however, the choice of kid-friendly entertainment is slim.

Basically, we can choose one of three options, all which are extremely budget friendly — a major plus for a single mom such as myself.

Weather permitting, one of our favorite places to visit is the park. Recently, Kempner opened the Sylvia Tucker Memorial Park, located near the center of town off U.S. Highway 190. It is outfitted with state-of-the-art playground equipment and my son’s favorite, a basketball court. I prefer this park over any of the Copperas Cove parks because it offers a quarter-mile walking trail.

Conveniently, I can keep a close eye on the kids while getting my exercise and they work out their wiggles. We even used this park to celebrate Mother’s Day last year, taking advantage of its barbecue grills, covered seating areas, and for those unexpected moments of urgency, private restroom facilities.

On days that we want to feed the ducks or try our hand at some fishing, we head over to the mother of all parks in Copperas Cove, City Park — an 88-acre complex that offers two play areas, a duck pond, a swimming pool and a number of athletic fields. This is another favorite spot to have a picnic, shoot some hoops or take a walk.

Another favorite spot is Cinergy Cinemas. My son’s 9th birthday party was there, and the kids love everything this place has to offer. Although movie theaters have gotten a little pricey in recent years, it is always money well spent for a good time. We can play laser tag, watch a movie or play in the arcade. As my kids prefer, we usually do a little bit of each. And Cinergy offers a full menu, featuring burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, snacks and even adult beverages.

My favorite destination is The Waffle Cone. Cove’s only ice cream parlor has a hip, art deco, 1950s theme. I try to make a trip there at least once a week. Serving an array of specialty items, such as “spaghetti ice” or Willie’s sizzling apple pie, the Waffle Cone serves Texas-made Blue Bell ice cream and is the only place that you can find KrazyKolors, which is my daughter’s favorite ice cream.

Kid-friendly entertainment options in Cove and Kempner are not plentiful. Sure we have our hometown annual events, such as Rabbit Fest, but for everyday entertainment, choices are limited. However, the kids do enjoy what we have.

Hopefully, as the towns continue to grow, more kid-friendly options will become available. Until then, you can find my kids and me fishing at the park, playing air hockey at the arcade or satisfying our sweet tooth at The Waffle Cone.

Heather Smith is a Herald correspondent who lives in Kempner. She can be reached at rymad82@gmail.com.

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