DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
BURNET — How often can a parent or grandparent take a child for a day full of fun all for free? Well, mark Sept. 14 down on your calendar as the annual Kids’ Day Out returns to Burnet for the ninth time.
“It’s not just for kids from Burnet,” organizer Dale Hill said. “It’s for anybody.”
Kids’ Day Out turns Galloway-Hammond Recreation Center, 1601 S. Water St. (U.S. 281), into a child’s paradise. Youth can give kayaking a try in the 30,000-gallon, 40-feet-by-40-feet tank that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is setting up.
WHAT: Kids’ Day Out
WHEN: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 14
WHERE: Galloway-Hammond Recreation Center, 1601 S. Water St. (U.S. 281) in Burnet
ADMISSION: Free, but canned good donations accepted
“We usually run four or five kayaks at a time,” said Sean Jones of Inks Lake State Park. “For a lot of kids, it’s the first time they have ever tried kayaking.”
Along with kayaking, organizers have lined up lots of activities and displays. Hill said the Texas Department of Public Safety often brings out a helicopter and other gear.
“There will be a military display with a Humvee and other things,” he said. “The kids really love it.”
The event started nine years ago when Hill, a member of the Burnet County Fair and Rodeo Association, approached the other board members about doing something for the community. He pointed out the association held fundraisers to support its operations, so maybe it was time to give something back.
The answer was Kids Day Out.
“It has grown every year,” Hill said. “We average 1,500 to 2,500 people. That includes kids, parents and grandparents. And it’s all free.”
Hill Country Fellowship Church will cook up some hot dogs for attendees. The first 500 kids through the gate will get a free T-shirt.
Along with hot dogs, drinks and T-shirts, the kids can explore numerous exhibits and activities. Hill said TPWD is bringing in a fish tank in which kids can cast for a fish or two.
Youth can try out some archery gear. Other activities include face painting, water and boating safety programs, fire safety, a mobile dairy and writing cards for service members.
“We try to add a few new things each year,” Hill said. “But we also have a lot of things that come back every year. And that’s great because it’s things the kids enjoy.”
Jones said the idea behind the program is just to get kids outside and introduce them to different activities and programs.
“The kids love it,” he said. “It’s a great community event.”
While all the activities are free, Hill said organizers are asking people to bring a canned good to donate that will go to area food pantries.
“It’s about the community helping the community,” he said.
For more information about the event or to inquire about donating or setting up an exhibit, call Hill at (512) 755-2963.