If your brood is anything like mine, the first thing the kids do when they walk in the door after school is grab the iPad or the Kindle. Spring is here, kids!  East Texas has plenty of things to do outside, and we're leavin' the house.  Here are just a few ideas.

When does the Faulkner splash pad open, anyway?  That will likely be May, and the City of Tyler will keep us updated.  Faulkner Sprayground, Fun Forest pool and Sprayground, and Woldert Pool and Sprayground will all be open in another couple of months.  And then the kids will be in their bathing suits every day until August.

Picnics in the park are always a big hit with my three girls. Oh, and Movies in the Park! The new season kicks off April 22nd with The Jungle Book.  Because of renovations at the Bergfeld Park amphitheater, they're moving Movies in the Park to Pollard Park this year, and that's at 710 E. Amherst Dr.  If it rains, the movies will be inside the Glass Recreation Center.

If you're planning on spending time at the lakes this summer, a fishing refresher course is coming up Saturday, April 1st at 8 a.m..: The city of Tyler hosts the Angler Fishing Education Clinic at the Glass Recreation Center, 501 W. 32nd Street. It will last until about noon, taught by Texas Parks and Wildlife certified instructor Steve Russell.

Other screen-busters that will get the kids off the iPad and outside into the spring weather, include these from TripAdvisor.

The Tyler Rose Garden - and spring is the best time of year!

Caldwell Zoo

Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge

Tyler State Park

All of the fun county fairs will start popping up in mid to late summer, and the East Texas State Fair kicks off September 22nd and runs through October 1.

Oh, and have you been Scarborough Faire?  That Renaissance Festival opens for the season on April 8th in Waxahachie, south of Dallas, and it's worth the drive.  You can grab a Scottish Egg (a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage and deep fried, and covered in mustard), a fancy dipped candle, a sky chair to hang on the deck, clogs, and some fairy wings all in one spot.  You can even get married at the little chapel there.  You might save a couple bucks if you grab the tickets early instead of waiting to get them at the gate.

Hopefully this helps us all make the most of spring.  And if all of this fails, there's always Beauty and the Beast!