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HOOVER’S VALLEY — Christmas Day brings with it all the joys and wonders of the season, but it also means the next day is, well, the day after Christmas.

What do you do with kids who are still full of energy but need some time outside the house and away from gadget screens?

If you can hold on until Dec. 27, the staff at Inks Lake State Park has an idea. Why not join them from 1-5 p.m. at the park’s bird blind for a Hooting Holiday Crafts and Open House? You can come at anytime during those four hours for arts and crafts and family time.

“We’ll be at the bird blind and have things set up for arts and crafts,” said park interpreter Sean Jones of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “Kids, or anyone, can make some owls out of pine cones.”

It’s also a chance for people to visit the park’s bird blind, which was completed earlier this year by volunteers. The blind lets people bird watch without spooking the feathered creatures.

Along with arts and crafts, park staff will share tips for birdwatching as well as bird counting and surveying.

The annual Christmas Bird Count is Jan. 2 for the Burnet County circle, but Jones said this introductory lesson isn’t really in preparation for that.

“In February is the Backyard Bird Count, and we’ll be showing people what they can do in preparation for that,” he said. “On (Dec. 27), there’s no real schedule, just show up, and we’ll be there. Bring the family, it’s a great activity for kids and parents to do together.”

The park is hosting several other activities the same day including Fishing with a Ranger from 10-11 a.m. and the Bat and Owl Prowl Under the Moon from 6-7 p.m.

During the prowl, a guide will lead participants to Stumpy Hollow to watch for bats. As night falls, the guide will give a hoot out to the local owls, and, if things go well, the owls will answer back.

All the programs are free, but park entrance fees do apply.

The park is located at 3630 Park Road 4 West near Burnet. Go to or call (512) 793-4689 for more.