McAllen, Texas, took its name from John McAllen, a 19th century settler instrumental in the early development of the city. Kids can learn this at the McAllen Library, and as well as learning opportunities, the library can also provide fun experiences. Children have the choice of other amenities in McAllen that provide educational fun, as well as some that focus solely on entertainment.
The Kids Zone at the International Museum of Art & Science (imasonline.org) offers plenty of attractions and activities that children will enjoy. The Science Lab features different hands-on experiments each week, which kids can dive in and try, and the Art Studio allows them to get in touch with their creative side. The museum also hosts a Family Fun Night every Thursday evening, where kids and their parents can join in science and art demonstrations.
The McAllen Parks and Recreation Department (mcallen.net) manages more than 20 parks around the city, with these offering kids a variety of activities to enjoy. Municipal Park covers an area of 27 acres, with its amenities including a swimming pool and the StutzenBecker Baseball fields. Los Ecinos Community Park also extends to 27 acres and offers a walking trail, tennis courts, and football fields. Smaller facilities include the 5-acre Escandon Park, which has a play center and sand volleyball court.
The Zone Action Park (thezoneactionpark.com) amusement center providing a variety of activities for kids. Outdoor amenities include a go-kart track, bumper boats pool, baseball batting cages and two 18-hole miniature golf courses. The park also has an indoor games room.
The McAllen Public Library (mcallenlibrary.net) Children's Department provides fun reading and recreational activities for kids of all ages. Toddlers and their parents can enjoy weekly story time events, while older children can join book clubs and get involved in activities, such as Kid Trekker, a monthly event that lets kids learn about different world places. Events staged for teens can include scavenger hunts and chess challenges. The library also hosts once-a-month screenings of family movies for kids and parents.
The history of the Quinta Mazatlan Mansion (quintamazatlan.com) dates back to the 1930s, with the 20-acre property originally a private home. Purchased by McAllen in the 1990s, it now serves as an educational facility, offering exhibits and displays on the native birds and plants of southern Texas. The center caters to children, organizing guided tours of the grounds, nature discovery camps and other activities that give kids an appreciation of the natural environment of south Texas.
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