Category Archives: In Your Community

Celebrating Green Initiatives in Texas for Earth Day

Celebrating Green Initiatives in Texas for Earth DayHappy Earth Day from First Choice Power! Earth Day was established to foster environmental awareness and promote preservation of the earth and it’s natural resources. And with today being Earth Day, we thought it would be fitting to showcase how major towns in Texas are supporting green efforts.

Dallas

The City of Dallas developed GreenDallas.net to offer assistance and green knowledge to its citizens through city-wide programs, events, and partnerships. While many of the City’s programs are geared towards water conservation, they have an overall goal to save citizens energy and money too. Here are just a few:

  • Celebrating Green Initiatives in Texas for Earth DayCease the Grease – To prevent citizens from pouring grease down the drains and clogging drains and sewer lines, Dallas created drop off centers for people to drop off their grease filled containers. The City then uses that grease to convert into biodiesel.
  • Minor Plumbing Repair Program  – This program offers assistance to those who need help with minor plumbing problems and fixtures that may cause water waste and higher water bills.
  • Throne for Your Home Toilet Voucher – Citizens can receive up to $90 per toilet from the Dallas Water Utilities to replace older high-flow toilets with high-efficiency low-flow toilets. They also offer rebates if already purchased.

Fort Worth

Across the Metroplex, Fort Worth is doing its part to create green programs for its citizens. Such efforts include:

  • Crud Cruiser – The City of Fort Worth has a mobile collection trailer that travels to neighborhoods to collect household hazardous waste (from March – November).
  • Fort Worth is working on Stormwater Quality and opened up the Environmental Collection Center. It is where you can drop off household hazardous waste such as chemicals, detergents, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. The goal is to dispose of them properly rather than illegally dumping them down the storm drains, which flows directly to the nearest body of water without being treated.
  • Air Quality - The City enforces the federal Clean Air Act, which comes from the EPA. It deals with outdoor air monitoring, permitting, compliance inspection, complaint investigation and enforcement.

Corpus Christi

Down in the Valley, Corpus Christi has developed several initiatives to green its neighborhoods and public spaces.

  • Bike & Hike Plan – the City, County and Regional Transportation Authority have joined forces to create an extensive plan to provide access to cycling, walking and hiking trails around Corpus to get people outdoors and moving and to promote a greener environment.
  • Rewards for Recycling – Ziplock and RecycleBank have teamed up with the City of Corpus Christi to offer a program that uses Smart Carts to track household recycling participation. Each time a household recycles; the amount is recorded and converted into Recyclebank Points, which can be redeemed at www.Recyclebank.com for rewards from thousands of local businesses.
  • Community Go Green initiatives – The City provides residents with two trash receptacles—one for generalized garbage such as food waste and one reserved for recyclable items.

Houston

Space City has made great strides to reduce the levels of pollution in its skies through a collection of excellent programs.

  • Energy Efficiency Incentive Program (EEIP) – The EEIP will provide a financial incentive to help motivate office building owners, property managers, and tenants located in the City of Houston to reduce energy consumption and increase the economic performance of their building.
  • Electric Vehicles – Starting with just two Toyota Prius vehicles in 2002, today the City’s light duty passenger fleet has become over 50% hybrid.
  • Houston Bikeways Program – The City of Houston offers over 300 miles interconnected bikeway network spanning across 500 square miles. The network includes bike lanes, bike routes, signed-shared lanes and shared-use paths.

    Celebrating Green Initiatives in Texas for Earth Day

    Houston Bikeways

San Antonio

San Antonio rounds out our list with a series of protocols created to increase the energy efficiency of city programs and facilities, as well as improving air quality.

  • The City received an Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant (EECBG). The grant is being used to implement energy efficiency and conservation strategies in four program areas: Community Green Projects; Municipal Retrofits; Transportation Enhancements; and Mission Verde Center. Some examples of those are:
  1. The City installed the Airport Solar Installation on the roof of a parking garage at the San Antonio International Airport.
  2. Heat-repelling solar window film was installed on 57,000 square feet of window area at 36 facilities.
  • The City created the Air Quality Health Alert Plan (AQHAP) , which establishes guidelines and procedures for reducing emissions of ozone-forming compounds into the atmosphere, both on “Alert” days as well as throughout the ozone season.

Austin

Austin is one of the leading cities in Texas making green efforts, not only to better their city, but to set an example for other cities as well. In fact, in 2013 the City of Austin was awarded a national 2013 Climate Leadership Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the work they have done. While they have several eco-friendly programs and initiatives, here are a few to point out:

  • The City of Austin created The Office of Sustainability’s Climate Program to make Austin the leading city in the nation in the fight against climate change. “In 2007, Austin City Council passed a resolution which established a Climate Protection Plan to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  In 2011, Council approved the Austin Energy Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan, which updated goals to more aggressively mitigate emissions through 2020.”
  • Dillo Dirt – Since 1989, the compost made by the City of Austin has been created from collected curbside yard trimmings and treated sewage sludge. According to their city website, the heat generated in composting the “Dillo Dirt” is sufficient to virtually eliminate human and plant pathogens. Dillo Dirt meets all Texas and EPA requirements for “unrestricted” use and is available to purchase.
  • Zero Waste Master Plan – This is a very ambitious plan set for residents, businesses and organizations in Austin. The plan to is to “divert more than 90 percent of waste from disposal to productive reuse and recycling by 2040.”

What sorts of green initiatives has your Texas town created in order to make life more eco-friendly? Share your city’s efforts in the comments!

Earth Day Celebrations in Texas for 2014

Earth Day Celebrations in Texas for 2014

Earth Day Texas in Dallas, TX

Earth Day is on Tuesday, April 22, and cities throughout Texas are celebrating during the month of April. In short, Earth Day is a worldwide event designed to demonstrate united support for environmental protection. So join in the festivities and support Mother Earth by expanding your environmental awareness and having fun while doing it. Here are some of the larger Earth Day Celebrations happening in Texas.

Austin Earth Day Festival 2014
It’s a day for Austin to “rally for the Earth while celebrating our diversity of Austin culture.” Celebrate Earth Day in Austin with live music, exhibits, a kids zone, and more.

  • When: Saturday, April 26th from noon – 6:00 pm
  • Where: 4550 Mueller Austin 78723
  • Cost: FREE

Earth Day East Texas
Come celebrate Earth Day – East Texas style. Brings friends or the family and enjoy activities like canoe rides and zip line rides and learning exhibits by a number of vendors.

  • When: Saturday, April 26th from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Where: Camp Tyler Outdoor School 15143 Camp Tyler Road, Whitehouse 75791
  • Cost: FREE (*rides cost extra)

Earth Day Texas
Formerly known as Earth Day Dallas, this annual Earth Day Texas is a 2-day festival that runs all day on April 26 and 27th. This annual, outdoor festival seeks to elevate environmental awareness and influence the way Texans think, live and work. With 600 exhibitors and 60,000 guests anticipated to attend this year’s event, it’s sure to be a great event for the whole family.

  • When: April 26-27th from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Where: Fair Park
  • Cost: FREE

Earth Day Wonderweek
Since the big Earth Day Houston celebration has passed (it took place on April 12), kids can still participate in Earth Day by heading to the Children’s Museum of Houston for Earth Day Wonderweek. During the week of the 17th, children can make different crafts and participate in on-going activities like planting your own lemon tree, watching how beans grow, and more.

  • When: April 17 – 23 (see website for museum hours)
  • Where: Children’s Museum of Houston 1500 Binz Houston 77004
  • Cost: $9 per person (see website for specials)

El Paso Earth Day Festival
El Paso is embracing the Earth Day spirit with its Earth Day Festival at the Downtown Artist and Farmers Market. This event was organized to foster environmental education and to promote preservation of the environment and natural resources.  There will be arts and crafts vendors, eco-friendly kids activities, bike rides, food trucks , live music and more!

  • When: Saturday, April 19th from 9 am – 1 pm
  • Where: Downtown Artist and Farmers Market 117 Anthony St. El Paso 79901
  • Cost: FREE

How are you commemorating Earth Day in Texas? Share your locations and celebrations in the comments!

6 Popular Easter Egg Hunts Across Texas

FC - Easter Egg HuntsWhen I think of Easter, the first thing that comes to mind is the classic “Easter Egg Hunt.” Whether it’s the thrill of “the hunt” or the mystery of what’s inside the eggs, Easter Egg Hunts seem to bring so much joy and excitement to kids and adults alike. With Easter this weekend, there will be many Easter Egg Hunts happening in communities and churches. Here are 6 popular Easter egg hunts across our great state of Texas.

Coppell
Don’t miss the City of Coppell’s Annual EGGstravaganza at Wagon Wheel Park. In addition to the big Easter Egg Hunt, there will be face painting, bounce houses, pictures with the Easter Bunny, and more! While the events begin at 10:00 am, the Easter Egg Hunt starts at noon sharp, so don’t be late!

  • When: April 19th from 10:00 am – 12:00 p.m. (Hunt begins at 12:00 pm)
  • Where: Wagon Wheel Park, 345 Freeport Parkway Coppell, 75019
  • Cost: FREE

El Paso
We recommend that El Paso residents head out to the annual Giant Easter Egg Hunt and Pageant on April 19th. Your kids won’t want to miss out on 10,000 eggs and candies, plus there will be hot dogs, chips, and punch for everyone!

  • When: April 19th at 1:00 pm
  • Where: Sunrise Park, 3800 Sunrise Dr., El Paso, TX, 79904
  • Cost: FREE

Fort Worth
Everything is bigger in Texas, and that saying holds true for the Fort Worth Stockyards’ Texas Sized Easter Celebration. The day kicks off at 8:30 am with the 8th Annual Easter Run in the Stockyards: Run for the Riders where everyone is invited to hop on down for the 1k, 5k & 10k fun run/walk. Then stick around for the Easter Egg Hunt that begins promptly at noon. Following the hunt there will be an Easter bunny, face painting, a balloon animal maker, and other activities.

  • When: April 19th from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Where: Fort Worth Stockyards – 130 East Exchange Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76164
  • Cost: FREE

Galveston
Be on the lookout for one of the mysterious Golden Eggs at the annual Easter in the Gardens at Moody Gardens. In addition to their famous Easter Egg Hunt, there will be face painting and games for prizes, as well as a petting zoo.

Note: Easter Egg Hunts are scheduled throughout the day so check the website for times. Also if you’re hungry, check out the special Easter Day Buffet at the Garden Restaurant from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

  • When: Sunday, April 20th from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Moody Gardens – One Hope Blvd. Galveston, TX 77554
  • Cost: FREE

Plano
The Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano is offering several fun Easter activities for adults and kids. Starting on April 16th at sundown, there will be an Adult Easter Egg Hunt. Feel like a kid again hunting around for hundreds of eggs in the dark. Don’t forget your flashlight! After the hunt, you can enjoy wine and refreshments provided with the price of your ticket.

For the kids, there is a Spring Festival at the museum with an Easter Egg Hunt for children 8 and younger and other activities like feeding chickens, milking cows,  wagon rides and more.

  • When: Adult Hunt – April 16th, doors open at 7:15 pm and the hunt begins at 8:00 pm. Kids Hunt – April 19th at 10:00 am
  • Where: Heritage Farmstead Museum – 1900 West 15th Street, Plano, Texas 75075
  • Cost: Adult Hunt – $15 – space is limited, so you must register ahead of time! Kids Hunt – $5

Round Rock
Hunting Easter Eggs is exciting, but hunting them at night brings a whole new level of excitement! At the Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt & Movie in the Park, kids can hunt for eggs in the dark in the designated hunt ring at Old Settlers Park. When it’s over, be sure to stay to watch “Rise of the Guardians” in the park.

Note: Check the website for ages and times and be sure to meet at the Lakeview Pavilion 30 minutes before your hunt check-in.

  • When: April 17th and starts at 7:15 p.m.
  • Where: Old Settlers Park – 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd. Round Rock, TX 78665
  • Cost: $5 – Must register ahead of time!

Hopefully, one of these wonderful Easter Egg Hunts is in your area, because each of them sounds wonderful!

If you feel we missed an event, please share your suggestions in the comments!

3 Gifts to Buy Your Favorite Texan with Your Tax Return

3 Gifts to Buy Your Favorite Texan with Your Tax ReturnTax Day is here! With any luck, you actually received a little rebate from the government for the taxes you paid in 2013. Many of us use this money to purchase a gift or trip that we wouldn’t usually buy. This year, why don’t you use some of your tax return money to spoil a Texan in your life? Here are a few ideas with a distinctly Texan flair.

1) “Let me root, root, root for the home team!”

There is a small span of time in Texas when the weather is not scorching hot, and luckily it coincides nicely with the beginning of baseball season. The warm sunshine and a fairly good breeze just screams for you to be outside, and what better way to celebrate then in the stands cheering on your local sports team.

3 Gifts to Buy Your Favorite Texan with Your Tax ReturnWhile peanuts and cracker jacks might be normal options for most baseball fans, Texas baseball fans aren’t quite that easy. Texas Rangers fans can find barbecue, tacos, turkey legs, and even a 2 foot hot dog that weighs in at just over a pound as standard baseball fare. Houston Astros fans can snack on Tex-Mex steak fajita nachos, homemade salsa, and chipotle chicken burritos. If Tex-Mex and traditional baseball fare is not up your alley, check out healthier options like salads and even vegetarian entrees.

Avid baseball fans can become a new season ticket holder, or you can just pick up tickets for a game or two. Check the local game schedule for even more fun like firework nights, or games when free bobbleheads are handed out.

2) Cowboy Boots

3 Gifts to Buy Your Favorite Texan with Your Tax Return

The versatility you find with a good pair of cowboy boots is almost endless. Brides hide them beneath big billowing gowns, teen girls complete their ensembles with them, and nearly every little kid in Texas goes through a phase of wanting to be a cowboy or cowgirl. It doesn’t matter what age you are, a good pair of cowboy boots is sure to be a popular gift.

Just as the wearer’s age doesn’t matter, the season isn’t important either. If the weather is warmer, and jeans and boots just sound unbearably hot, skirts and dresses go nicely with a taller pair of boots.

Unsure of what dress would look good with a pair of cowboy boots? Head to Pinterest and find endless options. Pearl-snap shirts, jeans, and cowboy boots do make great outfit choices for the men, but nothing quite compares to a nice suit paired with dress boots. You can find boots for the whole family at various western stores or you can support local artisans throughout the state and purchase boots with more custom tailored options.

3) “Remember the Alamo!”

3 Gifts to Buy Your Favorite Texan with Your Tax Return

The Alamo in San Antonio, TX

Offer your favorite Texan a mini-vacation to San Antonio. One of the most pivotal moments in the Texas War for Independence was the Battle of the Alamo, so there’s plenty of history to absorb. Take a stroll around the Alamo Plaza and see where Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William B. Travis became legends. The Alamo receives no financial aid from the state to maintain and preserve the site, but is actually operated by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and relies heavily on donations from patrons.

The River Walk, located near the Alamo Plaza, wraps itself around the San Antonio River and features shops, restaurants, hotels, museums, and even a place to get married. You can plan your River Walk visit with the whole family, or make it a romantic vacation for two.

Do you have any ideas of how to spoil your favorite Texas by purchasing a creative gift with your 2014 tax return? Please share them in the comments!

5 Tips for Enjoying Baseball in Texas

5 Tips for Enjoying Baseball in TexasWhile football might dominate our current sports landscape (especially here in Texas), there are plenty of us in the Lone Star State who love baseball. After all, the game remains “America’s Pastime” – no matter what television ratings and merchandise sales tell you. Since today marks Opening Day 2014, we wanted to share our 5 favorite tips for enjoying baseball in Texas. And don’t worry: we won’t recommend that you purchase season tickets for the Houston Astros (no matter how inexpensive the packages might be).

  1. It’s a Big State. As the 2nd biggest state in America, our wide open spaces give several baseball teams besides the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros the chance to call Texas home. Check out this list of the professional teams in Texas – including minor league and independent league offerings – and tell me there isn’t someone to watch within an hour or so drive. Heck, if you’re a big baseball fan, you could set a goal of seeing one game from each team during the summer. And if you include all of the high school and college teams available, there’s a nigh endless stream of options for any baseball fan.
  2. Make it a Family Affair. The setup of a baseball game makes it an ideal way to spend time with the family in terms of overall costs, experience, and bonding time. This is especially true if you take the two Major League Baseball teams of out the equation. At the smaller stadiums, you can eat cheaply, get up close to the action, and really enjoy the time together. At some locations, you can even sit on the grass beyond the outfield wall and bring a picnic!
  3. Enjoy the Weather. Even with the heat that arrives at the peak of summer, Texas tends to have rather great weather for baseball for long stretches of time. We never experience the cold weather that plagues northern teams in April, September, and October, and there’s always plenty of sunshine to go around. So, when you attend a baseball game in Texas, you’ll always get to enjoy the weather (unless the Astros close the retractable dome at Minute Maid Park).
  4. Treat Your Friends. Admittedly, if you’re sitting at field level or the suite level at an MLB game, you’re paying good money for your seats. But unlike most other professional sports, it can be rather easy to enjoy a game on the cheap with your friends. Upper-level outfield seats tend to be rather inexpensive (even when popular teams come to town), which means you can afford to take a few friends out for the occasional game as a treat to them! And if you live near a minor league team, the tickets are always quite affordable – it’s your chance to see the new crop of talent before they get to the Big Show!
  5. Root, Root, Root for the Home Team. This tip primarily applies to those of us who are baseball junkies without a local team to call our own (whether you live away from a big city or your favorite team isn’t in Texas). By paying a visit to the minor league teams in your area, you’ll probably have MORE fun if you root for the local team while in attendance. You don’t want to be the person who wears their out-of-state team jersey to see a game where both teams aren’t affiliated. Just go and have a good time rooting for the home team as you watch the game you love.

Hopefully, these 5 tips will help you take advantage of all the great baseball you can see in Texas, whether it’s this year or for years to come. And if you’re lucky, you might want to attend Astros games in person in 2015!

Learn about Texas Wildflowers in Spring

Learn about Texas Wildflowers in Spring

Texas Bluebonnets

“Native plants give us a sense of where we are in this great land of ours.” –Lady Bird Johnson

When my family and I first moved to Texas, it was in the dull, brown winter. You can imagine our surprise when spring rolled around and various flowers started sprouting up in the oddest places. We were even more surprised of the carloads of people rushing to park on sides of highways. Surely they weren’t stopping on a side of a highway to take a family photo?

Having spent more than a decade in Texas now, families stopping on the side of a highway to take Bluebonnet pictures warms my heart. This is a Texan tradition, just like those prom Mums that no one else besides Texans knows about. Now that I have a little Texan of my own, the first native Texan in both families, I can’t wait to share the Bluebonnet tradition with him.

Buffalo clover, wolf flower, el conejo are just a few of the names that this flower has gone by, but the most commonly known name is “Bluebonnet.” Lady Bird Johnson couldn’t have spoken truer words when saying that the flowers indicated where we were. Bluebonnets definitely scream Texas, and they have reigned as our state flower since 1901. The love of luebonnets can reach fanatic levels of people trying to get that perfect family photo even sometimes putting personal safety aside.

People’s love of Bluebonnets have inspired an official Bluebonnet tartan, song, a city, festival, and trail. The “Official Bluebonnet City of Texas” is held by Ennis,TX. Ennis not only holds that title but they also have the “Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail”, and rightfully so since many of their trails are some of the oldest Bluebonnet trails in the state. Ennis sees thousands of visitors for each Bluebonnet season and hosts a weekend festival for even more activities for the family to enjoy. While many Texans think it is actually illegal to pick a Bluebonnet, there is no such law. However, TxDOT does recommend that Bluebonnets are not picked or trampled so that they will continue to be a spring tradition in Texas.

Learn about Texas Wildflowers in Spring

Texas Wildflowers

Although it is our love of Bluebonnets that have been featured in the New York Times, Texas has more colors to share then just blue. More than 5,000 different species of wildflowers reside in Texas. Indian Paintbrush, Buffalograss, Texas Star, Goldenrod, and “ice cream grass” are just a few of our many natural beauties waiting to be seen.

No matter which sort of floral beauty interests you this spring, these Texas wildflowers can be viewed throughout the state including the Brenham area, Big Bend, Ennis, Hill Country area, and South Texas area. Thanks to this handy guide from TxDOT, you can find the location for your spring picture by searching for flower type, region, or even highway.

Looking for a way to extend the family fun once the sightseeing is over with? Challenge the family to a wildflower quiz to discover who the flower enthusiasts are.

5 Inexpensive Day Trips in East Texas for Spring Break

Texas FlagWhile children and teachers count down the days until Spring Break, many parents don’t share their same eagerness about this fun-filled time off. Children typically have their breaks mapped out, but since most of their plans can be completed in one short day, this leaves them uttering the long drawn-out whine of “I’m so bored!” Instead of zoning out with electronics, try one of these 5 inexpensive day trips in East Texas to help breakup the boredom before it has a chance to ruin everyone’s Spring Break.

Nacogdoches, TX 

Known as the oldest town in Texas, Nacogdoches founded in 1779, has something for every member of the family to enjoy.

1) Railroad Depot - The train enthusiasts in your family will delight in the railroad depot that was originally built in 1911. The depot features several exhibits, including one that goes over the history of the Houston East and West Texas rail line.

  • Tuesday – Thursday 11:00 am – 3:00pm.
  • Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Tours are free, but donations are welcome. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays.

2) Azaleas Trail - The 16th annual Azaleas Trail will leave your flower enthusiasts marveling at the array of vibrant colors of over 7,000 azaleas. Twenty-five miles of self-guided driving trails are broken up into three separate routes. Each route begins downtown at the Charles Bright Visitors Center, while the heart of the Azaleas Trail is the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, which was created as a group effort between Stephen F. Austin State University and members of the community.

Guided tours are offered for free every Saturday during the month of March. The annual Azaleas Trail runs from March 1 through March 31.

While touring some of the many other historical landmarks, including ghost trails for the brave at heart, pop into one of the family-owned restaurants and grab a bite to eat. Just don’t be surprised if a shopper in your group disappears – it’s not the ghosts at play, but rather one too many tempting antique shops!

Beaumont, TX 

3) Fire Museum of Texas - Have a future firefighter on your hands? Have them explore what it would be like to be a firefighter as they dress up in fire gear and slide behind the wheel of a fire truck simulator. If that isn’t exciting enough, see the world’s largest working fire hydrant courtesy of Disney Land. Families will also have an opportunity to practice different fire safety procedures in a miniature two-story house.

Have a family member that is part of a fire department? Bring their badges or patches to add to the museum’s extensive collection.

Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm

Admission is free.

Tyler, TX 

4) Tyler State Park - Spread out over 64 acres of lush pine-filled land, spend your day fishing, biking, and bird watching.

The whole family can hunt for treasure using a smartphone or GPS and participate in geocaching. Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt that people, or geocachers, hide different “caches” all over for geocachers to find. You will need to go to geocaching.com and sign up. You can check out a quick guide here, or find a local class at one of the many state parks. Pick a cache that suits everyone in your party. Don’t pick a cache that has challenging terrain if not everyone in your party is up to it; you want everyone to be able to participate! The neat part of geocaching is being able to keep track of your logs. This will be an easy way to reflect back on many family memories.

For the younger family members pick up a Junior Ranger Explorer Pack for free. Each pack is full of essentials that will help hone the junior ranger’s exploring skills. Make sure to check with the park for availability so there are no disappointed junior rangers.

Open daily.

Adults: $5 daily. Children 12 years and under : free.

5) Discovery Science Place - Let children explore and create in three different exhibits. Children of all ages are encouraged to explore and discover new things. While the exhibits do change, currently the three that are featured are Discovery Landing, Hometown, USA, and Discovery Zone.

  • Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm
  • Sunday 1pm – 5pm

Entrance fees range from $5-$8

Before buying tickets check out http://www.astc.org/members/passlist.htm to see which museums take part in the Reciprocal Free Admissions Program. Since Discovery is an affiliate, your other museum passes might get you in for free.

Hopefully, you can enjoy one of these inexpensive day trips throughout East Texas during your Spring Break.

3 Texas Beach Trips for Spring Break

3 Texas Beach Trips for Spring BreakSpring Break season is upon us, and for many families, this means trips – more specifically, beach trips. Beautiful beach destinations like Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean are popular locations for Spring Break trips for a reason; however, Texas beaches have much to offer as well and are a whole lot cheaper. So this Spring Break, save money and take your family on one of these Texas beach trips and enjoy the sun, sand, and ocean.

Galveston Island

While it’s not the prettiest of beaches, Galveston Island has the most to offer in terms of activities and attractions on and off the beach. There are several different beaches on the island from which to choose, or you can visit shops on The Strand, take a historic tour, and enjoy destinations like Moody Gardens or Pleasure Pier.

One of the most popular family-friendly beaches on Galveston Island is Stewart Beach. It has a children’s play area, beach rentals, outdoor showers, and more. If you are looking for a Spring Break beach party, head to East Beach. It’s the biggest beach and known for parties, outdoor concerts, and an overall lively atmosphere.

South Padre Island

Home to the most pristine beaches in Texas, South Padre Island is a family-friendly place most of the year. Admittedly, it’s a different story during Spring Break. If you are in the mood for a crazy beach party atmosphere, then South Padre Island is the beach for you this Spring Break.

Coca Cola Beach, located behind the Isla Grand Beach Resort is home to one of the largest beach parties in the country, while the Isla Grand Beach Resort is hosting South Padre’s largest pool party. Spend the day dancing to beats from top DJ’s and label recording artists while sipping cocktails and soaking up some sun. At night, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to keep you entertained.

3 Texas Beach Trips for Spring BreakSurfside Beach

For those looking for a more relaxing Spring Break, Surfside Beach (and its village) is just the ticket for your family. This is a popular destination for those looking to get away from the more populated areas to enjoy a quieter time in the sun. It’s a family-friendly area with a great beach that’s free of high-rise condos and massive beach hotels. Here you can enjoy activities like fishing, bird watching, and scuba diving, or just hanging out at the beach. At night, there are plenty of restaurants where you can find great seafood and burgers.

Where are your favorite destinations for a Texas beach trip during Spring Break? Any tips on how to save money while having fun? Share with us in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter!

Resources:
www.vacationrentals.com
www.destination360.com

Happy Texas Independence Day from First Choice Power!

Happy Texas Independence Day from First Choice Power!Tomorrow is a very important day for all of Texas. March 2nd marks the day that the Republic of Texas formally declared its independence “…from Mexico in the Texas Revolution. It was adopted at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, and formally signed the following day.” (Wikipedia)

In addition to celebrating Texas Independence Day, March 2nd also marks two other special days – Texas Flag Day and Sam Houston Day, though these are special observances not legal holidays. (timeanddate.com)

Texas Independence Day is celebrated in cities across the Lone Star State through festivals, re-enactments, activities and more. Here are some activities around the state you can enjoy as you celebrate Texas Independence Day:

Texas Independence Day Celebration at Washington-on-the-Brazos: Saturday, March 1 – Sunday, March 2 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

This is a FREE two-day festival held at the historic Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. It’s a celebration that brings the Republic of Texas era to life filled with plenty of family-oriented activities. Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park commemorates the spot where the delegates to the Convention of 1836 met to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Tour the Alamo: Monday – Sunday 9:00 am – 5:30 pm

The battle at The Alamo is an integral part of how Texas won its independence from Mexico. So, it would be fitting to visit the Alamo on Texas Independence Day.

Texas Independence Day of North Texas at Granbury: Saturday, March 1 – Sunday, March 2

Come and see historic vendors, a chuck wagon cook-off, a historic parade, re-enactments, historic exhibits, music, dancing, and kids activities – all for FREE.

Also, please remember our ongoing Texas Independence Day promotion – for every new customer that signs up with First Choice Power between February 28th and March 2nd, 2014, we’ll donate $25 to the US military men and women serving in Texas.

Happy Texas Independence Day!

Support the Troops from Texas on Texas Independence Day!

Support the Troops from Texas on Texas Independence Day!This Sunday, Texas will celebrate the 178th anniversary of its independence over Mexico. On Texas Independence Day, we remember the efforts and sacrifices of the men who fought so valiantly against the arms of General Santa Ana. While we should certainly commemorate the victory that General Sam Houston wrought in the Battle of San Jacinto, it’s also a day to remember The Alamo, Goliad, and other key battles in the Texas War for Independence in 1836.

In this same spirit, First Choice Power wants to honor the people serving in the US Armed Forces. For every new customer that signs up for service with us from February 28th through March 3rd, 2014, we will donate $25 to the US military men and women in the State of Texas.

All of our plans are eligible for this promotion, as we want to maximize how much we can donate to the folks who protect our country and world so faithfully. If you like knowing the electricity rate you’ll pay each month of your contract term, we have fixed-rate plans for 3, 6, 12, and 24 months in length. If you’re the sort who prefers freedom from contracts, we have a great variable-rate plan that gives you the plan flexibility you prefer.

As a born-and-bred Texas electricity company, we want to honor our state’s historical legacy and take care of our customers in the present. This Texas Independence Day, choose First Choice Power and show your appreciation for the US military stationed in the Lone Star State.