By John Clark
Pretty much something for everybody is what you’ll find if you take a little road trip this weekend down to Wimberley, a picturesque town of about 2,600 people in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.
Located between Austin and San Antonio near San Marcos, Wimberley is known for its natural beauty and wide variety of attractions, including such things as olive orchards, vineyards and wineries, natural spring-fed swimming holes, artists and craftsmen and zip-lining over canyons and creeks.
What started in 1848 as a trading post settlement has become one of the state’s popular tourist attractions.
Cooking aficionados might be interested in such places as First Texas Olive Oil Company, where “fresh off the press” tastings are available, along with wine samples and gourmet food items.
Winery tours are available in Wimberley, along with art galleries and art shows, as well as classes for painting, jewelry making, photography, weaving, glass work and more.
For the more adventurous and outdoor-minded folks, Jacob’s Well is an 81.5-acre preserve surrounding an artesian spring that forms the headwaters of Cypress Creek, a few miles north of Wimberly. The preserve is open year-round, but swimming is limited to certain times.
Blue Hole Regional Park includes four miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, a pavilion, playscape, basketball court, sand volleyball, amphitheater and swimming area. The entire park is open during regular hours, but swimming is only allowed during designated times.
Both Blue Hole Regional Park and Jacob’s Well are free to access, but reservations are required for swimming at both parks, according to the Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce.
For more information on attractions and things to do in and around Wimberley, including the Devil’s Backbone scenic drive and Bella Vista Ranch, go to wimberley.org.
Closer to home, Central Texas College’s Mayborn Science Theater has announced its February lineup of shows at the planetarium. Beginning this weekend, the theater offers Saturday matinee and evening events, along with a weekday matinee each Wednesday.
On Saturday, the fun begins with a cartoon adventure taking viewers into the world of atoms and molecules beginning at 11 a.m. At noon is a show about Rusty Rocket, who takes the audience on a tour of the solar system. At 1 p.m., “ExoPlanets: Worlds of Wonder” offers a journey with mankind’s first space probe as it travels outside the solar system to explore new astronomical discoveries.
Follow two children as they embark on a geology field trip back in time and learn the mysterious process that created our present-day continents in “Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea” at 2 p.m., followed one hour later by “Astronaut,” a National Space Center program that goes inside the making of an astronaut and the incredible journey of space travel. The last matinee show is “Space School,” which details the way astronauts train under water to live and work in space.
Beginning at 7 o’clock, “Pandas: The Journey Home” presents a National Geographic show to meet pandas at the Wolong Panda Center in China. At 8 p.m. is “Earthquake: Evidence of a Restless Planet,” a look inside the famed San Andreas Fault and earth’s interior, along with an up-and-close look at the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and breakup of the Pangaean supercontinent 200 million years ago.
The newest laser light show, “Laser Genesis,” is at 9 p.m., featuring some of the greatest hits of the pop music super group, Genesis, as well as solo hits from band members Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel.
On Friday, Feb. 15, the theater will host Classic Movie Night. Laser Friday is Feb. 22, and Warren’s Star Tour is scheduled for Feb. 23.
For more show details, directions to Mayborn Science Theater, membership information, ticket prices and more, go online to starsatnight.org.
Anyone in the mood for a little arts and crafts fun can head on over to Fort Hood’s Apache Arts and Crafts Center, open Tuesday through Saturday for a variety of do-it-yourself projects, including picture frames, ceramics and ceramics birthday parties for kids. Contact MWR for more information.
For the more athletically-inclined, Killeen’s Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park offers a variety of high-flying attractions.
With almost too many activities to mention all in one place, the complex at 2102 Jennifer Drive, between West Jasper Drive and Highway 190, includes not only trampoline-jumping, but such things as a Sky Rider indoor coaster, ropes course, climbing walls, obstacle course, tubes playground, trapeze, dodgeball, and slam dunk zone. For more information on the park, go to www.urbanairtrampolinepark.com/locations/texas/killeen.