Situated in Lubbock County in the northern part of the state, just south of the Texas Panhandle, Lubbock is the 11th biggest city in the state in terms of population. It's home to around 315,000 people and stretches out across over 123 square miles of land. Founded back in the late 19th century, Lubbock earned the nickname 'Hub City' due to its status as a key transport hub for the local region and being situated in a key location between the Permian Basin and the Panhandle. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
2.Lubbock RV Park
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3 Best RV Parks in Lubbock, TX
- Overview, Photo: Gabriel/stock.adobe.com
- Lubbock RV Park, Photo: romain/stock.adobe.com
- Camelot Village, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Lubbock KOA Journey, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: PUNTO STUDIO FOTO AG/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Science Spectrum
Located in Lubbock, Texas, Science Spectrum is an interactive children’s science and technology museum showcasing more than 250 exhibit areas as well as an OMNI Theater and the region’s only public aquarium facility.
Science Spectrum was formed as a result of a citizen group founded in 1984 to explore the development of a community science museum offering hands-on exhibits for children and families. Following two years of research on other science museum facilities across North America, the Science Spectrum nonprofit organization was founded in 1986 to oversee development of a permanent museum facility. The museum’s first exhibits were presented in February of 1988 as traveling installations presented at community locations such as the South Plains Mall. In February of 1989, the museum opened a permanent facility in downtown Lubbock. Throughout the next several years, the museum’s exhibits continued to grow, and in 1993, the museum moved to a larger facility along the city’s downtown South Loop.
Today, Science Spectrum is operated as a nonprofit organization offering a variety of hands-on science-themed programming for children and families. As a member organization of the Association of Science and Technology Centers, the museum is dedicated to the pursuit of scientific exploration and education and presents a wide variety of public programming, including more than 250 museum exhibits, an OMNI Theater, and the West Texas region’s only public aquarium facility. Live programming is also presented regularly, including daily science demonstrations, educational programming, and traveling exhibits touring throughout the West Texas and South Plains regions.
Three floors of permanent museum exhibits are offered at the facility, with interactive features tailored toward engaging visitors of all ages with scientific exploration and continued learning. The museum’s ground floor was fully renovated in the spring of 2017 and offers a wide variety of physical science-themed exhibits designed by exhibit design company Flexhibits. Activities within the exhibit area offer play experiences with levers, pulleys, gears, and electrical circuits and focus on principles such as Newton’s laws of physics. Rocket launch activities also emphasize principles of movement and momentum. A bubble exhibit area allows free play with bubbles for children of all ages. Live daily science demonstrations are offered at the Science Stage, a theatrical-style venue that hosts programming connected to topics such as chemistry and astronomy. The Lubbock Children’s Museum, opened at the museum in 2012, also offers an interactive play area for visitors ages five and under, featuring a mock veterinary clinic, supermarket, and a sensory play area.
On the museum’s lower level, the Texas Alive: The Brazos River Journey exhibit showcases a variety of exhibit areas related to South Plains wildlife, including the region’s only public aquarium facility. Ecosystem diversity is emphasized within the exhibit, which focuses primarily on the wildlife of the Brazos River rivershed region. Live animal shows are presented at the Demo Dock, including demonstrations with native and non-native snakes and reptiles. Animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops dinosaurs are featured within a dinosaur-themed exhibit area, which also showcases a fossil collection, and a nanotechnology exhibit showcases the science of micro-technology and its role in future technological advancements. The lower level is also home to the Tinker Counter, which offers daily hands-on demonstrations at activity stations, and a cafe area for visitor lunches.
On the museum’s upper level, a Light, Sight, and Sound exhibit explores light reflection and optical illusion principles, while a Gallery of Flight introduces basic principles of aerodynamics and presents the history of modern military aviation through a retrospective and oral histories related to the city’s Reese Air Force Base. A Science of Sports exhibit explores health and physics principles related to modern athletics, including examinations of biology through principles such as reaction time. The Margret’s Boutique exhibit examines the history of fashion and the science of business, while a Money Center emphasizes economic principles and showcases the development of modern currency throughout world societies. A space-themed exhibit also lets visitors interact with real preserved astronaut suits, rocket engines, and meteorites.
Ongoing Programs and Education
A variety of presentations are offered at the museum’s OMNI Theater, which showcases a 58-foot domed screen and an 18,000-watt digital Dolby DTS sound system. Film tickets may be purchased separately from museum admission, and showings include films related to astronomy, science, and nature topics. A wide variety of educational programming is offered, including curriculum-incorporated field trip opportunities for elementary school student groups. Outreach and inreach programming is also offered for student groups, including in-classroom demonstration programs and traveling exhibits. Educational programming is offered at the Lubbock Children’s Museum, including Tot Come-and-Go weekly programs for children ages 1-5. Science Spectrum’s facilities may also be rented for private special events, including birthday parties and educational events.
2579 S Loop 289 #250, Lubbock, TX 79423, Phone: 806-745-2525
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Attraction Spotlight: Bayer Museum of Agriculture
The vision for the Bayer Museum of Agriculture dates back to the late 1960s, when Lubbock civic leader Alton Brazell was given the authority by the Lubbock County Commissioners’ Court to begin collecting an official repository of farming equipment and machinery technologies in order to preserve the region’s agricultural history. The items were stored as part of the Lubbock County Historical Collection and included historic tractors, combines, drills, plows, and other agricultural artifacts. In 2001, the American Museum of Agriculture was formed as a nonprofit organization to oversee the Lubbock County Historical Collection’s agricultural artifacts, and in 2003, the organization acquired a lease for a 24-acre tract of land near the city’s Mackenzie Park for the construction of a new permanent museum facility for the collections. More than $1 million in funds were raised for the construction of the museum facility, which was designed by MWM Architects and broke ground on its first phase in 2011. The museum’s Alton Brazell Exhibit Hall was officially opened to the public in 2012, and phase two of the museum was completed in 2014. As of 2018, a planned children’s wing is in development in partnership with the Redbox Workshop of Chicago.
Permanent Exhibits and Collections
Today, the Bayer Museum of Agriculture is operated as a nonprofit museum honoring the agricultural history and technologies of the American South Plains region. The museum is intended to serve as a living memorial to the region’s farmers and agricultural pioneers, including its legacy as the leading cotton production region in the country. A variety of museum exhibits and artifacts are showcased, including the items of the original Lubbock County Historical Collection.
The museum’s Central Hall features interactive exhibits with a focus on the technologies and industry of modern agriculture, such as the Science of Modern Agriculture exhibit, which examines the ways science has changed and improved the agricultural industry. The exhibit features interviews with a holographic farmer and a walkthrough virtual cotton field area. In the Crop Dusting Gallery, crop duster technologies such as a 1958 AG Cat prototype are showcased, while in the Cotton Harvest Experience exhibit, visitors can climb aboard a John Deere CS690 Cotton Stripper. Irrigation technologies are showcased in Irrigation and Water Pump exhibits, and a Women in Agriculture exhibit honors the contributions of female farmers. A Harvesting the Facts and Growing a Nation Timeline is also offered, outlining the histories of wheat, corn, rice, soybean, cotton, sorghum, and peanut farming in the United States.
In the Alton Brazell Exhibit Hall, items from the Lubbock County Historical Collection are showcased, including the largest public display of pedal tractors at any museum in the United States. 27 antique tractors are displayed in an exhibit, along with a variety of historic harvesting equipment dating back to the 1860s. Large collections of hand tools, pulleys, and small farming machines are displayed in the Farming Tools and Artifacts Warehouse, while farm-related toys are showcased as part of the museum’s Farm Toy Collection. Several replica historic structures are presented, including a 1920s Blacksmith Shop and a 1930s Hurst Tractor Repair Shop, which features a cutaway John Deere H tractor. Other exhibits include a Rural Life Gallery, a Threshing Diorama, and an AAM Heritage exhibit detailing the history of the American Agriculture Movement throughout the 1970s.
Outdoor exhibits showcased at the museum include a working pivot irrigation system and a historic 1930s-era farmstead house relocated from nearby Ropesville. Additional tractors and machinery are also presented in outdoor exhibits. The museum’s Grace’s General Store gift shop offers a wide variety of souvenirs, apparel, and home goods, including rustic and farm-themed items.
Ongoing Programs and Events
In addition to standard visitor admission, guided tours are offered Tuesdays through Saturdays for small groups and organizations, including curriculum-incorporated field trips for elementary and secondary school students. Reservations for groups must be made at least two weeks in advance to guarantee desired tour date. Lesson plans for teachers may be provided upon request to reinforce field trip concepts within the classroom. A wide variety of public special events are offered throughout the year, including ice cream socials, community festivals, and events held in conjunction with local community partner organizations. An annual Night for the Museum event in April serves as the museum’s main fundraising event. The museum may also be rented for private special events, including weddings, receptions, and business functions.
1121 Canyon Lake Dr, Lubbock, TX 79403, Phone: 806-744-3786
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Attraction Spotlight: Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark
Located in Lubbock, Texas, the Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark preserves important archaeological sites dating back to the Paleoindian Period and offers a variety of hiking trails, museum exhibits, and public nature programming.
The Lubbock Lake region is located within the Brazos River’s Yellowhouse Draw area and is part of the Blanco Formation bedrock area, which was formed approximately 20,000 years ago by the depositing of lake sediment. Though there is very little standing water left at the lake, the site has been a significant historic area dating back at least to the Paleoindian Period, with archaeological evidence uncovered at the site dating back as far as 11,500 years ago. Throughout the Archaic, Ceramic, and Protohistoric Periods, the site was populated by a number of indigenous groups, including the Apache and Comanche Nations. Following the arrival of Europeans in North America, the area was used for buffalo hunting and was the site of the Singer Store general store, which was operated from 1881 to 1886 and is credited as the beginning of the formation of the city of Lubbock.
For several millennia, Lubbock Lake was an important water resource for a number of cultural groups within the Southern High Plains regions, but by the early 1930s, the lake had gone primarily dry and was no longer able to be used for resources. In 1936, the City of Lubbock dredged the lake in the hopes of revitalizing its underground springs, and in the process, a large number of archaeological finds were uncovered. Official archaeological exploration of the site began in 1939 with an expedition conducted by the West Texas Museum, and by the late 1940s, major finds from the Folsom Period dating back 10,000 years ago had been unearthed, including several ancient bison kills which provided the first-ever radiocarbon dating for Paleoindian material. Subsequent excavations have uncovered evidence of a nearly-complete cultural sequence dating from the Clovis Period through the present day.
Today, Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark spans 336 acres within the northern part of the City of Lubbock and is protected as a National Historic and State Archeological Landmark. More than 12,000 years of human history on the Llano Estacado has been uncovered through excavations, which are overseen by the Museum of Texas Tech University, and evidence of ancient indigenous people and extinct animal species uncovered at the site has contributed important understanding of historic periods in North American history. The landmark serves as a field laboratory and natural history preserve and conducts ongoing excavations and radiocarbon dating studies, which may be observed by visitors of all ages year-round. Guided and self-guided tours of the landmark and current excavations are offered Tuesdays through Sundays in the morning and afternoon hours.
The landmark’s Robert A. Nash Interpretive Center offers a variety of permanent and temporary rotating exhibits focusing on archaeological and cultural topics related to the site and the Southern High Plains region. Permanent exhibits focus on the history of human occupation of the Yellowhouse Draw area and excavation methods used by archaeologists. Past rotating exhibits include A Most Misunderstood Landscape, which focused on conservation efforts attempting to restore the region’s prairie and grasslands ecosystems in the face of modernization and climate change. An online exhibit, Engaging Folsom Hunter-Gatherers with 3D Technology, explores the tools and technologies of Folsom Period hunter-gatherers. A Landmark Store is also offered at the facility, selling books, multimedia items, apparel, and children’s toys.
4.5 miles of hiking trails are offered at the landmark for visitors to explore at their leisure, with trail maps available at the Center. No vehicles are permitted on trails due to dangers presented by loose materials, with the exception of bicycles and power-driven mobility devices for visitors with disabilities. Trails include the 0.5-mile Archaeological Trail, the 0.5-mile Llano Estacado Wildflower Trail, and the 3.5-mile Landmark Nature Trail.
Ongoing Programs and Education
In addition to regular visitor exploration and tours, guided tours of the landmark for small groups and organizations may be scheduled by contacting the landmark’s Education Office via phone or email. Night Hike programs are offered by the landmark from March through September, lasting approximately 90 minutes and offering stargazing and animal-watching experiences. A speaker’s bureau offers outreach programming available for booking for local businesses, civic organizations, and community events, and periodic historic craft and technology demonstrations are offered at the landmark as part of public special event programming. A volunteer Field Research Program allows visitors to work with professional staff from around the world to conduct archaeological surveys and mapping and participate in excavation work at the site.
2401 Landmark Dr, Lubbock, TX 79415, Phone: 806-742-1116
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