It's the second round of Spring Break for East Texas, and that means plenty of bored parents and students looking for something cool and fun. Since not everyone can (or wants to) make it down to South Padre or Miami or wherever else for the week, have no fear! Being trapped in East Texas isn't a death sentence for fun. Try a few of these ideas for a local staycation.


Photo courtesy Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge

Zoos are great, zoos are fun. But sometimes you want something different from your encounter with animals and that's just what Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge provides. This Tyler-based organization's primary mission is to rescue and rehabilitate large cats that have been abused, neglected or displaced. As such, the facility provides luscious, spacious enclosures for the tigers to which they tend. Additionally, and this is where you come in, they also provide guided walking tours throughout the facility led by staff members who dutifully provide a wealth of knowledge and information about the felines being housed on the grounds.

Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the final guided tour of the day departing at 4 p.m. Admission is $25 per person for guided tours, $20 per person for non-guided tours, and $18 per person for senior citizens, active duty military personnel with ID and children ages 4-12. Children under the age of 4 get in free. For more information, contact Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge at 903-858-1008 or visit


If you're tired of being cooped up in a room all day with strangers at school, then clearly there's no better way to spend spring break than locked up in a room with your friends! We're only (mostly) joking here, but if solving riddles, deciphering clues and cracking codes is your jam, then Tyler has not one but two venues to scratch that particular itch. One Way Out and Tyler Escape Room are new to the area, providing groups the chance to party up and see if they have the collective brainpower to think their way out of a locked room.

Each room is timed and centered around a theme. One Way Out's three rooms include a photography dark room, an attic and a therapy room. Tyler Escape Room's offering has participants attempting to solve the murder of a Hollywood starlet.

One Way Out charges $27 per person for all rooms. Grandma's Attic accommodates up to 12 people per session, Escape the Black Out up to six per session and The Therapy Room accommodates one to three people. Tyler Escape Room charges $24 per person, or the entire room can be booked for $150 per session with up to eight people accommodated.

For additional information, call One Way Out at 866-320-3390 or visit Tyler Escape Room can be reached at 903-780-1523 or visit


Photo courtesy Tyler Junior College

Lasers in and of themselves are pretty awesome. Be it in the form of pointers or in guns used in sci-fi movies, who doesn't love lasers? But it's when they're used in conjunction with classic rock music that lasers truly become something that can (depending on your state of mind) blow you away.

This week, Tyler is getting its own series of laser shows courtesy of Tyler Junior College's Center for Earth and Space Science Education (CESSE) and its planetarium. Beginning Thursday, CESSE will offer a variety of presentations featuring laser shows arranged and synchronized to popular music. Shows include iPOP (with songs by artists including Michael Jackson, Selena Gomez and Daft Punk), Laser Beatles, Laser Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd's The Wall, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, Laser Metallica and Laser Vinyl (including songs from Van Halen, KISS, AC/DC and Queen).

Tickets for each show are only $5 per person. For more information, visit and then click on the Tickets tab, or call 903-510-2312.


If you're looking for a bit more of a visceral thrill this Spring Break, then Adrenaline Rush Zip Line Tours near Jacksonville may have just the thing for you. Just strap in, hang on and you're off on one of eight "courses" (many of which criss-cross each other) which offer a variety of scenic views, lengths and even speeds. Some stretch across lakes, through wooded areas and even a sky bridge. The longest course stretches for 1,700 feet and (depending on wind conditions) can have riders reach speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

Prices range from $50 to $75 per person depending on group size. Additionally, no children under 5 years old and under 50 pounds may ride. The maximum allowed weight is 275 pounds. For more information or to make reservations visit or call 903-683-6855.