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Downtown Tyler

DSP Science-on-the-Spot Fun Projects by DSP

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SIDE NOTE: Tune in for this special storytime focusing on the coronavirus and how children can handle their feelings at this time. This is geared for children in Pre-K to Grade 3 and presented by the Tyler Public Libary. Follow the link to view “Stay Healthy Story Time:”

Bored? Looking for some fun science-based activities at home? The Discovery Science place has come up with a few ideas.

Here’s a collection of DSP Science-on-the-Spot videos – engaging science demonstrations, experiments, mini-lessons, and more to do in your classroom or home presented by Discovery Science Place.

Discovery Science Place is located at 308 N. Broadway Ave., Tyler TX 75702, (903) 533-8011,,

Upcoming events:

Breweries & Vineyards

Sign Up & Start Sippin’


By Holli Fourniquet

When you journey around East Texas, it’s easy to understand why Texas gets its reputation for being hospitable.

With welcoming locals, lovely scenery, and tall pine trees, your drive around the area is filled with friendly faces and beautiful backdrops. Explore the entire region for yourself with the recently launched Thirsty Pines Tour.

The free Thirsty Pines Tour is a mobile drinking passport experience connecting you to the region’s top craft beverage purveyors. The pass features the best in coffee shops, wine bars, breweries, and even a distillery in the piney woods. Those who visit a designated number of locations will receive an exclusive “Go East Texas” stone coaster set.

How it Works

It’s really easy to get started on your sippin’ tour of East Texas. Download the pass at to begin your journey then follow these easy steps.

  1. The Thirsty Pines Tour is a curated collection of great deals and discounts for the best of East Texas’ craft beverages. The first step is to visit and download the pass to your mobile phone.
  2. Once you hit download, the virtual pass will be instantly delivered to your phone via text and email and is ready to use immediately. There is no app to download. Your pass can be saved to your phone’s home screen for easy one-tap access. (The pass expires one year after its activation date.)
  3. When visiting a venue, simply present your phone to the attendant to obtain the code and check-in or redeem available discounts. Once you have redeemed at two locations from each of the three cities (Tyler, Lindale, and Longview), a prize button will automate at the bottom of your passport.

Once you have completed the pass, you will be able to pick up an exclusive “Go East Texas” stone coaster set as a prize from any of the visitor centers located in Longview, Lindale, or Tyler. These coaster sets are only available to participants who complete the Thirsty Pines Tour.

Gulp Your Way to a Getaway

But wait, there’s more! Those who complete the tour are also entered into an East Texas getaway package that includes accommodations, gift cards to restaurants and attractions, foodie-focused souvenirs, and more. The Grand Prize Getaway winner will be drawn twice a year.

What’s Included

Each Thirsty Pines Tour location is unique, so participants need to pay attention to each individual “check-in” instruction to redeem the offer upon arrival. Check-in locations can be found in Tyler, Lindale, and Longview as well as a few others in between. Dig deeper into Tyler’s beverage culture with these local favorites:

  • Café 1948 – The newly opened Café 1948 located in Plaza Tower right on the square in Downtown Tyler features Downtown’s first Urban Market. At Café 1948 the focus is people, health, and wellness. Here you can enjoy fresh artisan juices and smoothies as well as healthy eats and craft coffee. Organic and gluten free options are available too.
  • ETX Brewing Company – ETX Brewing Company is family owned and operated and is the first and only brewpub in Tyler. A wide variety of beers are brewed onsite by brothers, Brian and Matt. The brewpub offers a full menu of tasty options that pair with every ale, and their famous Porch Burgers are ground fresh daily! Try their signature “Brickstreet Blonde” just a stone’s throw from Tyler’s famous brick streets. They also serve wine, cider, and non-alcoholic beverages for non-beer drinkers.
  • Kiepersol Vineyards, Winery, and Distillery – This beautiful 63-acre vineyard continues to grow in acclaim. Visitors enjoy wine tastings, tours of the winemaking process, and relaxing on the veranda overlooking the expansive vista of the vineyard. Kiepersol also offers spirited, artisan-crafted drinks by the glass, featuring rum, bourbon, or vodka, which are all specialties of the Distillery.
  • The Foundry Coffee House – The Foundry Coffee House offers local East Texas craft coffee, an authentic community, artisan pastries, live music, and local art. Add scratch-made rose syrup to any craft coffee or tea for a little flavor of Tyler in your cup. The Matcha Rose drink is a local favorite. Seeing roses in Tyler is a must, but tasting them is also one of the hottest things to do while in the area.
  • True Vine Brewing Company – True Vine Brewing Company, now in two locations, is Tyler’s first craft brewery. They offer artistically inspired beers for every palate. True Vine is community focused with a family and pet-friendly environment, outdoor games, live local music, and art. Try the Rose City IPA, a double dry-hopped IPA that embodies Tyler’s down-to-earth spirit. As tempting as it is, the Rose City IPA is just one of many brews you can enjoy in True Vine’s taproom or on the sunbaked outdoor patio, including the refreshing Mermaids & Unicorns blonde ale and the easy-drinking Round Table amber ale.

Social Sippin’

Share the fun of the pass online! Follow “Go East Texas” on Facebook to see tour photos and updates on limited beverage releases, more information about the businesses, special events, and other notable announcements. Also, use #GoEastTexas to share your fun with everyone else.

More About Go East Texas

Go East Texas is a regional collaboration between the visitor centers in Tyler, Lindale, and Longview. The mission of the group is to encourage residents to be a “tourist in their own backyard.” The Thirsty Pines Tour is just the first of many digitally-driven tours that Go East Texas will be launching within the next couple of years to inspire everyone to explore local businesses in the piney woods.

With these passes, you’ll be able to stop and smell Tyler’s famous roses, let Lindale entertain you, and savor the Texas flavor in Longview while learning about the history and enjoying the culture along the way. There is no shortage of sights and sounds in these three cities, but once you have a taste, you’ll want to try them all! Let’s Go East Texas!

For more information and to download the pass, visit

We encourage participants to either call or check the website/social media of each location before visiting as businesses might have different hours and/or protocols during this time.


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Downtown Tyler

Still Happening! Oct. 20th, 2020 Red Dirt BBQ & Music Fest

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The 2020 Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival Returns to Downtown Tyler

The new date has been set for Sunday, October 11th. It will be the same setup as normal, just on a Sunday:

May 2nd October 11th, the 7th annual Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival presented by Hyundai of Longview will be held in Downtown Tyler, and with it comes the best of barbecue in Texas and top of the line music all day. 

The Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival has proven to be one of the most premier and unique music and food experiences in Texas. The festival takes place on the brick streets of the Downtown Square in Tyler every May, with the 2020 edition featuring at least 30 of the most celebrated barbecue restaurants in Texas. Music happens for nearly 12 hours on two stages, with the main stage highlighting the biggest names in Texas and Red Dirt Music. 

This year’s festival will also feature the state’s most celebrated barbecue restaurants providing samples of their smoked meats to attendees. Barbecue joints from as close as Tyler and as far as Amarillo converge on the Rose City to showcase their smoked meats to thousands of barbecue enthusiasts, while thousands more pour onto the brick streets for the concert. 

Performances this year feature Parker McCollum (10pm), Josh Abbott Band (8:15pm), Jason Boland & The Stragglers (6:45pm), Charley Crockett (5:15pm), and Chris Colston (3:45pm).

“Top to bottom, I don’t think there’s ever been a Red Dirt lineup we’ve been more excited about. Having these names join our incredible barbecue joints was a huge honor for our sixth festival,” Red Dirt promoter Chase Colston said. “We’re expecting an even faster sellout this year and can’t wait to get back on the brick streets for another great Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival.” 

The festival is sold out. Watch in case any more tickets are released.

The Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival is presented by 101.5 KNUE, East Texas’ No. 1 country music station, “Radio Texas, LIVE! With Buddy Logan,” and Hyundai of Longview.

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Daytrip to Tyler

Have a Bloomin’ Good Time in Tyler


By Holli Fourniquet

Vacations are great, but “staycations” can be just as rewarding. This year, many people are making the decision to stay a little closer to home instead of traveling abroad. Staycations are often less stressful, more affordable, and can help you experience the culture of your region that is sometimes missed in everyday life. Not to mention, staycations allow you the opportunity to support local businesses during this tough season when many businesses are facing hardships.

Tyler’s charming brick streets and outdoor spaces offer a bouquet of possibilities for your family’s staycation: fun attractions, a wide variety of shopping, restaurants, history, and more.

With the largest municipal rose garden in America (featuring more than 500 varieties of roses), the splendor of the Downtown historic districts, and the scenic views of Tyler State Park, it’s not hard to see why Tyler is known as a natural beauty.

Eat & Drink

Even when you’re on a staycation, you still have to eat. Sink your teeth into the Tyler culture by trying one of many delicious restaurants in the area. There’s a unique variety of dining options available for every taste bud because here in Tyler you can have your cake and eat it too!

Tyler offers unique, locally owned, and operated establishments as well as some of your big name favorites. From elegant lakeside dining and great brunch spots to fun-infused Downtown locations and food trucks, Tyler has enough options to make a foodie’s tummy start to growl.

Branch out, and try a restaurant that you have never tried before. Support a small local establishment for the first time and get a real feel for Tyler’s food culture. Stay up to date on the latest protocols at local restaurants here:

If you’d rather stay home and cook, make an excursion to a farmer’s market instead of the grocery store to grab a little local flavor to add to your homemade dishes. The farmer’s markets in Tyler are experiences in and of themselves, and they offer a wide variety of products you never knew were grown locally.

Explore the region’s beverages with the Thirsty Pines Tour. This free self-guided tour is a mobile drinking passport experience connecting you to the region’s top craft beverage purveyors. The pass features the best in coffee shops, wine bars, breweries, and even a distillery in the piney woods.

The featured businesses are located in Tyler, Lindale, Longview, and a few places in between. Those who visit a designated number of locations, will receive an exclusive “Go East Texas” stone coaster set and have their name submitted into the Grand Prize Getaway drawing. Download the pass and start sippin’ at


Because being outside has been proven to boost your focus and recharge your mind’s batteries, nature tourism is on the rise. If there’s one thing Tyler is known for, it’s for the area’s beauty. Nestled serenely in the piney woods of East Texas, Tyler offers some pretty great landscapes to get outdoors.

The City of Tyler offers more than 1,000 acres of public parkland comprised of 27 parks housing playgrounds, athletic fields, walking and biking trails, tennis courts, multi-purpose courts, splash pads, and more.

And that doesn’t even count the Tyler State Park, one of the most popular State Parks in Texas. The beauty of East Texas awaits you at this 985-acre State Park located right outside of Tyler. It’s the perfect place for bird watching with more than 200 species of birds identified at the Park. It is also home to a number of East Texas animals including white-tailed deer, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, reptiles, armadillos, opossums, and more. Accommodations at the park include cabins, RV hookups, and tent camping. Get your day passes here, they must be purchased in advance.

You can’t talk about outdoor attractions in Tyler, and not mention the world-famous Tyler Municipal Rose Garden and Tyler Botanical Garden. No other town in Texas lays claim to a budding heritage quite like Tyler’s. The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden features 14 acres of 32,000 rose bushes of more than 500 varieties.

Roses are in full peak in fall and early summer, but with the addition of the Tyler Botanical Garden, the garden is in bloom year-round. The Tyler Botanical Garden is made up of four demonstration gardens that are cared for by the local Master Gardeners. It includes an expansive Japanese Maple collection and the camellia and day lily collections, among many other beautiful blooms.

Other fun outdoor attractions include Caldwell Zoo, Tiger Creek Refuge, Lake Tyler Recreational areas, and more.

Tyler’s History & Museums

With a goal toward education and preservation, Tyler area museums offer scientific, artistic, cultural, and historical significance. Not to mention – just good, clean family fun!

Tyler boasts a full spectrum of options including a nationally recognized “premier” art museum attracting world-class exhibitions as well as local artists to museums that offer a glimpse into Tyler’s history.

There are also several historic homes in the area that are on display during special events throughout the year or visit the Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum, which has regular business hours.


Shop ‘til you drop because Tyler is filled with great, locally-owned shops, as well as the big-name stores you know and love. Situated about halfway between Dallas and Shreveport, Tyler ranks as the largest retail hub in East Texas.

Tyler is home to two large shopping malls that have a great reputation across the state as well as several charming boutique shops where you can find locally crafted items, high end products, and more.

Tyler’s huge regional retail market pulls people from all over the area. Find Tyler gifts and souvenirs right in Downtown Tyler at the Visit Tyler Visitor Center located in the Plaza Tower on the square. Tyler is the perfect place for your next shopping spree.


Just because a staycation means you’re staying in the area, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy overnight accommodations. Getting out of the house can be good for the soul. Tyler has a variety of unique places to stay including quaint bed and breakfasts, hotels, resorts, and cabins.

Tyler has accommodations to fit every budget and need. During this time, each location has its own safety protocols, but some of the safety procedures you can expect include contactless payments, minimizing guest contact in elevators and lobbies, enhanced cleaning practices, and more.

Several properties are also offering special staycation rates for residents. These first-class accommodations and their friendly staff will help you feel welcome in your home away from home.

Living in a city that offers some of the best attractions in Texas, there is so much for you to experience right in your own backyard! If you just need to get away from it all, but don’t want to take a big family vacation right now, take a vacation at home. We encourage you to break away from the ordinary, and explore Tyler. For a full list of attractions, restaurants, and other staycation ideas go to

During this time, you are encouraged to either call or check the website/social media of each location when planning your staycation before visiting as businesses might have different operating hours and/or protocols.

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More To Do!