Fun Attractions Right Here In Our Own Backyard

Memorial Day weekend is here, and if you've already got plans, you might want to think about changing them. With gas prices as high as they are, driving far away can really put a dent in your wallet especially when you figure in a hotel, too. So we found fun attractions on a budget, right here in our own backyard.

Nothing spells kickoff to summer quite like s-p-l-a-s-h.  We're talking about Splash Kingdom, which is only a hop, skip, and a jump away in Canton.  It's an all day affair that will cost a family of four about 80 dollars.

"If you go past this, you have to go another hour and half, two hour drive, you're talking a couple hundred miles round trip to go to another facility so just the convenience and the drive time," explains Splash Kingdom owner Johnny Blevins.

For another all day activity, a little closer to nature, there's the Tyler State park. At three dollars a person, a family can enjoy picnicking, swimming and kayaking. An entire day of fun for four at only $12.

"Tyler State Park is the backyard for a lot of people in Lindale, Mineola, Tyler area. They can come right out here and enjoy a short vacation for the weekend," said Park Superintendent Bill Smart.

Also nestled in nature try New York, Texas Zipline Adventures.  Winding and zipping through the piney woods, a family of four will pay $240.

And then there's the zoo.  Kids of all ages can't help but love looking at amazing animals like the white tigers.

"It's a real family atmosphere. There's about 80 acres developed, and we have over 2000 animals," said employee Mike Tucker.

One of the most popular exhibits at the Caldwell Zoo is called the Wild Bird Walkabout.  Kids can actually get a stick of food, hold it out, and let the birds just come and feed right off the stick.

It's an affordable day at just $30 for a family of four.

If animals are your thing, then also head over to Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge.  At about $10 a person, it will fascinate your entire family.

And we can't forget your amusement park. Fire Mountain in Tyler has miniature golf, go-karts, and bumper boats.  And since admission is free, it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser.  Rides and attractions will run you between $4 to $6 per person, so just be sure to bring some singles for tickets.

Tracy Watler, Reporting