The stars are bright at state historic sites

Published 11:54 am Thursday, July 21, 2016

Special to The Leader

AUSTIN, Texas—This month, you can beat the daytime heat and visit the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) state historic sites for fun summer nights. Several of the THC’s 20 historic sites will stay open late and offer special events the whole family will enjoy.

On July 2, Fort Griffin State Historic Site near Abilene hosts the Stars and Skies of Texas: Star Party starting at 9:30 p.m. The site has gained a reputation for having some of the darkest night skies in all of Texas. Local astronomers will be on hand to share their knowledge of the night skies, telescopes, and additional astronomy equipment. Visitors will have the opportunity to see our own galaxy plus planets, nebulas, distant galaxies, and much more. On July 16 from 9–10 p.m., Fort Griffin will host Campfire Tales: Tales from the Trail. Visitors are invited to gather around the campfire and enjoy wild cow tales and frontier lore from the time of the trail drives and the State Longhorn Herd. For more information, visit or call 325-762-3592.

Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site in Mexia invites everyone to enjoy a summer movie series July 22 from 8:30–10:30 p.m. Classic movies will be screened at the outdoor pavilion. Admission is free, and popcorn and refreshments will be available. For more information, or call 254-472-0959.

Sam Bell Maxey State Historic Site in Paris will feature Late Night at the Site: Trivia Night on July 26 from 6–8 p.m. Visitors can form teams with friends and family and test their knowledge during the outdoor event on the Maxey House lawn. On July 29, the site has a special event planned for children with Livingston’s Night at the Museum. Livingston the Lion, a stuffed animal from the late 1800s, will host a sleepover for stuffed animals, dolls, and action figures. Children will bring their favorite toy and stay for an early bedtime story before saying goodbye to their toys for the evening. Toys may be picked up the following afternoon and will be accompanied by pictures of all the fun from their exciting night. Activities and yard games will be set up around the site for everyone to enjoy. An RSVP is required for the free event. For more information, visit or call 903-785-5716.

The THC’s state historic sites offer year-round programming and special events for all ages. For more information and to plan your next visit, visit