Area Attractions Family Fun Lifestyle

Daytrip to New Braunfels

If you’re looking for a day trip that promises plenty to do and is no more than half an hour’s drive, set your sights on New Braunfels. Jump on the I-35 and head south to discover natural wonders, mammoth water slides, and world-class cuisine. 


Float the River – If your idea of a perfect summer day involves letting your cares drift away as you float down a river, then be sure to check out Rockin R River Rides. The outfitter offers tube and kayak trips on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers. Tubs and kayaks are provided, as well as drop off and pick up after your float is done. There’s even a bar and food truck on-site for post-float refreshments. 


Cool Off on a Wild Slide – If floating down the river is a little too tame or you simply prefer a man-made lazy river float, be sure to check out Schlitterbahn Waterpark. It’s the largest waterpark in Texas and boasts 51 attractions, from relaxing wave pools to heart-pumping near-gravity-defying slides. Day passes start at just $49, and should you need repeat rides on Dragon’s Revenge, season passes are available.


Hit Up Downtown – With its many unique shops, quaint cafes, and inventive restaurants, Downtown New Braunfels is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Stop by stores such as Dancing Pony Boutique, Got Toys?, or Arlan’s Market for unique gifts and locally made crafts. After a bit of shopping, pull up a chair at Myron’s Steakhouse, Union Street Station, or one Downtown New Braunfels, among many other restaurants. 


Rock Out – A visit to Austin or San Antonio isn’t necessary to catch a great concert. Since 2007, the Whitewater Amphitheater has been welcoming music’s biggest legends and rising new stars. With a capacity of 5,600, the amphitheater has seen everyone from ZZ Top to Eric Church and Midland take the stage. 


Mellow Out – Sometimes, a day trip calls not for excitement but sheer bliss and relaxation. If that’s what you’re seeking with a visit to New Braunfels, be sure to book an appointment at Retreat Day Spa. For over 30 years, the spa has been offering facial, body, hair, and nail treatments, all in a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. 


Grab a Drink – There are plenty of breweries and wineries to check out in the Texas Hill Country, and New Braunfels is home to two standouts. Five Stones Brewery offers a range of brews in addition to coffee and food options, as well as special events on select weekends. Be sure to stop by Dry Comal Creek Vineyards as well to sample wines in the tasting room or pick up a bottle to bring home with you. 


Explore a Natural Wonder Natural Bridge Caverns is a New Braunfels highlight that is not to be missed! A tour of the caverns is the ideal way to escape the Texas heat, as the temperature inside the cave is 70 degrees year-round. In addition to cave tours, kids can mine for gems and fossils or scale the Twisted Trails ropes course. There are also special events, such as yoga and concerts, that take place inside the caverns. 

With close proximity to New Braunfels, Austin, and San Antonio, Kyle is central to much of the Texas Hill Country. If you’d like to find a home here, contact the Crosswinds team to learn more about our available inventory of homes.

Area Attractions Blog Education Family Fun Kyle

National Museum Day: Museums to visit near Kyle

Texas is fortunate to have over 1,000 museums open to the public. National Museum Day is May 18, and there are some fantastic museums right here in Central Texas. From the presidential to the downright weird, here are seven museums near Kyle that you should check out. 


Blanton Museum of Art: Since 1963, this art museum housed on the UT campus has attracted art lovers from around the state and the world. The museum boasts more than 21,000 works in its collection, spanning a range of artistic mediums and eras. If you love spending an afternoon simply wandering around and getting lost in a museum, the Blanton Museum of Art should be at the top of your list. 


Calaboose African American History Museum: Located about 15 minutes from Kyle in San Marcos, this small museum is housed in Hays County’s first jail – a building that dates back all the way to 1873. The museum’s collection includes over 500 items centered around the African American experience. Entry to the museum is free of charge, but it is only open on Saturdays from 10 AM to 3 PM or by appointment, so plan accordingly.


Memorial Mini Golf and Museum: Part mini golf course, part military museum (you read that right), this Buda golf course/museum aims to provide some fun for visitors and honor the U.S. men and women who served in World War II. With both indoor and outdoor mini golf courses to play, it promises some competitive fun paired with a little bit of military history along the way. 


LBJ Museum: The Lyndon Baines Johnson Museum of San Marcos commemorates our nation’s 36th president and the role Texas played in molding him to become one of the 20th century’s most regarded leaders. Exhibits include presidential memorabilia, early photographs, local news clippings, and materials from LBJ’s years as a student at Southwest Texas State Teachers College and his time as a teacher in the state before moving into the White House. 


McKenna Children’s Museum: Located in New Braunfels, this local children’s museum is all about providing a fun and educational atmosphere that encourages kids to see, touch, and smell the exhibits. With an environment that allows a child’s imagination to run wild, this is one museum where parents will never have to worry about their kiddos uttering that dreaded phrase, “I’m bored.”


Museum of Ice Cream: The honor of the “most delicious museum” on our list goes to this Austin museum that promises to help visitors “rediscover” their inner child through the “universal power of ice cream.” It’s not so much a museum dedicated to the history of the frozen treat as it is a space designed for Instagram-worthy photoshoots (think giant tubs of plastic sprinkles). But yes – you do get to eat actual ice cream! 


Museum of the Weird: Inspired by the capital city’s “keep Austin weird” slogan, this kooky museum houses all sorts of unusual attractions and curiosities. Once visitors pay the $13 admission, they’ll be welcomed inside to view shrunken heads, the Fiji mermaid, and other “freaks of nature.”


 Whether you’re looking to entertain the kids, learn about Texas state history, or simply want to broaden your appreciation for art, there’s a museum in the Kyle area for just about everyone. 

To learn more about Kyle and find your home here, reach out to the Crosswinds team.

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Getting Into Gardening

If you’re looking to spend more time outdoors this spring and aren’t afraid of getting a little dirty, gardening is a wonderful hobby to take up. Gardening not only allows you to connect with nature but provides a sense of satisfaction from watching your plants grow (and potentially even produce food)!


Here are a few tips to consider if you’re a newbie to gardening and are hoping to grow a green thumb in the Texas Hill Country.


Timing is Everything


May is an ideal month for gardening. There’s usually a healthy amount of rain, the possibility of a cold snap is in the rearview mirror, and it’s still not too hot out yet. While it’s a little late in the season to be planting spring flowers (those should have been planted in March), this is the ideal time for many vegetables.


Know Your Zone


Each part of the country is made up of various hardiness zones. These help gardeners know which types of plants will thrive best in their particular region, and Kyle happens to be in Zone 8. If you’ve been here for any amount of time, you know that hot summers and mild winters are the standard. It’s these conditions that make this area great for heat-loving vegetables. 


Prep Your Garden Area


Unless you aim to grow cattails, well-draining soil is going to be a must. You’ll also want to aim for a space that offers a good amount of sun.


Once you have your gardening spot picked out, there are a few things you’ll need to do to ensure your plants flourish.


  • Apply a compost layer of mulch to flower beds to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
  • Plant any bedding plants, such as shrubs, and give them ample water before the weather really heats up.
  • Water your plants deeply and infrequently to foster strong roots.
  • Loosen up the soil before planting any vegetable seeds.
  • Pull any weeds that may have popped up before they start seeding.


Grow What You Like


Some plants are going to be easier than others to grow, but regardless of difficulty, you should grow what you like. There’s no sense in growing tomatoes if nobody in your household can stand them. If you grow what you like, you’ll enjoy gardening that much more!


Vegetables that do well in Zone 8 and are perfect for planting in May:


  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Okra
  • Spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Herbs
  • Summer squash


Because some vegetables grow faster than others, you’ll also want to stagger your plantings out rather than putting all your seeds in the ground at once.


Another key thing to consider is making sure those seeds get the right amount of water. A wooden chopstick or skewer is handy for gauging if the soil is too dry. If when you poke the chopstick in the ground, the top two inches are dry, you need to water it.


May is a wonderful month for gardening, and with so much natural beauty around Kyle, it’s a perfect outdoor hobby. If you’re looking for a home here, reach out to us to learn more about the master-planned Crosswinds community. 

Family Fun

Caylor Forge Blacksmithing in Nearby Gruene

Working with metal to form a tool, otherwise known as blacksmithing, is one of the oldest trades that’s still utilized today. While there have been advances in the craft, today’s process of hammering hot iron to create a tool is not all that different from how it was done back in ancient Egypt


If you’re curious about the art of blacksmithing or simply want to learn something new, then you owe it to yourself to check out Caylor Forge & Leatherworks in nearby San Antonio and Gruene. 


A Family Business


Caylor Forge is run by the Caylor family and was founded in 2018. As told by Sabrina Caylor, the family didn’t have a lineage in the craft but discovered a passion for it as a hobby that later morphed into a family business. 


“We fell in love with it and trained with some of the most amazing blacksmiths I’ve ever met from all over the United States,” Sabrina said


The shop’s first location was set up in Gruene and is only “steps away” from the town’s original blacksmith shop that was in operation back in the 1800s. Surrounded by the history of Gruene, Caylor Forge is a chance for visitors to step back in time and get a glimpse of old-world craftsmanship, and even create something for themselves. 


Handmade Souvenirs (By You!)


One of the coolest things about a visit to Caylor Forge & Leatherworks is that visitors have the opportunity to try their hand at the craft and hammer out their own souvenir. A variety of pieces are available to make including copper bracelets, railroad spike bottle openers, and several types of knives. 


The blacksmithing process typically takes between 20 minutes and two hours depending on the piece being made, and prices start at $25. While walk-ins are accepted, making a reservation is advised.


Now if you’re ready to step up to something a little bit more intensive, the shop also offers one and two-day classes where participants will learn to make an heirloom-quality knife or a pipe tomahawk.


Shop and Sharpen


Even if sticking a piece of iron in hot coals and pounding it out on an anvil doesn’t sound like your typical fun afternoon activity, Caylor Forge is worth a visit. The shop offers some stunning handmade leather pieces such as briefcases, wallets, and journals, as well as beautiful housewares and jewelry. 


Of course, the highlight of the Caylor Forge shop is the handmade knives. With knives ranging from cleavers to medieval daggers, the shop offers blades both for function and eye-catching display. 


And if your knives are getting a bit dull, you can even take your old knives to the shop and they’ll sharpen them up for you. Just drop them off and they’ll let you know when they’re ready. Most knives can be sharpened and picked up the very same day. 


Being just a half-hour drive from Kyle, Caylor Forge is one of those small businesses that are perfect to check out on a weekend trip. 


To learn more about what makes Kyle such a wonderful location to live, play, and work in, and find your perfect home, contact the Crosswinds team