Nothing shakes the winter blues like that first warm, sunny day in early spring, especially if that day is spent in El Paso. El Paso, known as ‘Sun City’, straddles the Rio Grande at the foothills of the Franklin Mountains. It is steeped in West Texas history and has a unique personality of its own. Hike to abandoned caves, relax and wade down lazy rivers, or drive ATVs along winding, rocky desert trails. See if you can spot a roadrunner and keep an eye out for ancient fossils. With so many adventures for every age, El Paso is the perfect place to start your Spring.
It’s All Happening at the El Paso Zoo Right smack in the middle of the city, you will find the El Paso Zoo. Wolves, alligators, zebras, and elephants are only a small portion of the wildlife you might encounter at this family-friendly place. Take a self-guided tour or get behind the scenes by attending a special event at the state-of-the-art amphitheater where you can catch a closer glimpse and learn interesting facts about Chihuahuan Desert wildlife.
The El Paso Zoo is open all year and kids can’t wait to run free and climb the walls, or trees, on the Foster Tree House Playground, where five treehouses are combined into one large climbing structure in a natural setting. The Hunt Family Desert Spring sprouts cool water year-round to keep you amazingly comfortable when it heats up outside. Tickets can be purchased online or on-site. Check the website often, as Daily Experiences continually change. Plan your visit here.
Say Hello to the Outdoors, Spring Has Arrived For the outdoor enthusiast, El Paso has everything. Lace-up your hiking boots and hit the trails. Choose from 80 trails that are woven through the mountainous and desert terrain. Why not start your day with a nice, leisurely hike in the mountains as you watch the sun rise? ‘Sun City’ is a recreational playground of unique outdoor adventures that attract nature enthusiasts and active travelers from near and far. The mountainous terrain, the Rio Grande River, and the bright sunshine give way naturally to plenty of challenging hikes that range in length and difficulty level.
Get your exercise done the scenic way. Explore caves at the end of a steep hike up the Aztec Caves Trail. Do not forget your flashlight! Up for a moderate challenge with breathtaking views of the desert? Hike the El Paso Tin Mines Trail, a one-of-a-kind experience that culminates in an exploration of an abandoned tin mine, the only of its kind ever to have existed in America. With so many variations and thousands of trails to explore, consider signing up for a trail run so you can cover more territory.
A little dirt never hurts, so connect with your adventurous side and embrace the rugged outdoors with an ATV ride. No worries, a tour guide will go along as your ATVs climb through miles of rocky hills, dirt roads, and sand dunes. Keep a keen eye out for ancient fossils and desert wildlife. You are liable to see jackrabbits, quail, roadrunners, and more.
Pack a picnic basket and spend the day in America’s largest state park in an urban setting, Franklin Mountains State Park. Hike, bike, or rock climb, then pitch a tent to camp out overnight for the complete experience. Grab a souvenir at the gift shop before you leave and head to Hueco Tanks, an extremely popular outdoor paradise for world-class rock climbing and archaeological research. Bring along your bike and leave some tread marks on the trails. El Paso has some of the best mountain biking trails you will find anywhere around. Trails are varying distances so you can find one that is exactly right for you.
Pitch your tent for an adventurous night away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy nature’s serenity. Franklin Mountains State Park Camp is a favorite, and the mountains envelop your camp on all sides but one. Relax with a brightly lit picturesque sunset view of the city of El Paso and you will never want to leave.
Make a Splash at Four Themed Water Parks Splash through Mayan ruins, join in a fiesta celebration, or hang ten on a surfboard when you visit the newest of four water parks in El Paso. Water parks are plentiful in Sun City, so do not hesitate to get wet and cool down. Camp Cohen, Chapoteo, Lost Kingdom, and Oasis each offer season passes, one-day tickets, cabana rentals, water park rentals, and party packages that are perfect for large families and group gatherings.
Nestled in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains, Camp Cohen has activities for every age group. Thrill-seekers can race down the high-octane Thunder Run, while adults enjoy a dip in the flowing Rain Roamer Lazy River. Little ones can be entertained on the Poppy Island water playground.
It is always Fiesta time at Chapoteo Water Park where guests are instantly engrossed with bright colored, festive décor in an atmosphere of music and celebration. Relax as you float down the Rio Sereno, a lazy river experience. This Fiesta-themed Park also has a climbing wall for those who want a challenge, and plenty of space for the younger kids at the Sirenita Reef play area.
Travel back in time to the ancient ruins of the lost Mayan Kingdom at Lost Kingdom Water Park. Dash and slide down waterslides like the Temple Drop or interact with water features in the Jaguar Jungle. Order some lunch from Tres Milpas Terrace and finish a fun day wading around in the Forgotten Cenote leisure pool.
Hang ten on El Paso’s only surfing machine, the Flashflood Rush, at Oasis Water Park, the newest water park at Eastside Regional Park. Spiral down the Tumbleweed slides, ‘get your tan on’ at Sunset Lagoon leisure pool or take the little ones to Adventure Pointe. No need to leave for lunch! You can feed the entire family at Wanderlust Café. Browse Through World-Class Museums When you wander down to the Downtown Arts District near the Plaza Theater, you will find the El Paso Museum of Art that holds over 7,000 works of art. Browse art from American, Mexican, and European artists and see 13th-century works of art from the Byzantine, Renaissance and European Baroque eras as you hear the interesting stories behind them. Be sure to check out which temporary guest exhibit is showing, as these change regularly.
History buffs flock to El Paso Museum of History, becoming immersed in a world of long ago learning about artifacts that are more than 1.000 years old. Remember the terrible mass shooting at a Walmart that shook El Paso? Visit the Resilience exhibit that explores the resilience and strength of El Paso citizens in the face of the lives lost on August 3rd, 2019. This is a tribute to the victims.
You may visit one museum each day of your stay and there are many to choose from. You will want to visit them all: the Museum of Archaeology, the National Border Patrol Museum, the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center, Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museums, the International Museum of Art, and the El Paso Children’s Museum & Science Center (Coming soon!) on your stay.
Catch a Locomotives FC or Chihuahuas MiLB Game Batter up! Calling all sports fans! Catch some live baseball excitement with the family and grab some player autographs attending an El Paso Chihuahuas Minor League baseball game. Bring your glove along to snag those foul balls that come your way. Southwest University Park, in the middle of Downtown El Paso, hosts the home games. Kids enjoy cooling down on the splash pad and bouncing around in the inflatables.
Maybe you prefer a soccer game? This fast-paced, action-packed sport came to Sun City, USL Championship-style in 2019, as the El Paso Locomotives FC. Family-focused fun fills the atmosphere during games and captures the culture of the friendly locals. The home opener is in March and games take place at Southwest University Park. Grab your tickets and come cheer us on!
Plan for the family to renew and revive this spring season in one of the sunniest towns in the country. You’ll be glad you came to this fascinating Texas border town. It is the perfect spot for a getaway. From a history steeped in Wild West adventure to unlimited ways to entertain the family, ‘Sun City’ El Paso is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered.