I am just about over winter! I'm done with the cold and the roller coaster temperatures, but mainly the cold is what I'm over and I'm looking forward to Spring so I can get out of the house with my family and do something fun with them. Here are five places I want to visit with them when spring returns to East Texas.

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    Cherokee Trace Drive Thru Safari

    Located southeast of Jacksonville, this drive thru safari is one of my family's favorite places to visit. The park offers a variety of animals to see and feed while driving thru the 300 acre wildlife preserve. There are buffalo, zebras, donkeys, ostriches along with many other species of animals. It's a beautiful place to visit and we usually take a picnic lunch along and we've found that going earlier in the day is better, because the animals are more active then.

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    Caldwell Zoo

    Located in Tyler, the Caldwell Zoo is one of the best zoos that I've been too. We like our local zoo because of how the zoo is layed out and presented. The animals aren't caged up and by themselves, they get to roam free in exhibits and are paired with other animals for interaction. Also, the path around the zoo is circular, as you're walking around checking out the animals you eventually end up at the beginning! When spring does return, one of my daughter's favorite things to do at the zoo is feed the parakeets from the popsicle sticks!

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    Tyler State Park

    Located north of Tyler, Tyler State Park offers families a ton of outdoor activities - there's fishing, paddle boating, hiking trails, biking trails, picnic sites, camping opportunities and more. This destination is definitely a family bonding experience because you get to do things together and it's rather affordable too.

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    Miss Lee's Daffodil Garden

    Just south of Gladewater off of Hwy. 271 on CR 3103 is Miss Lee's Daffodil Garden. This place has millions upon millions of daffodils when in bloom. To catch this amazing site on 28 acres of land, you'll need to time your visit just right though! The time to visit is in February and March. The land has a four mile driving trail that makes its way around a couple of lakes and through the woods and has some spectacular views too.

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    Canton First Monday Trade Days

    Located in Canton, this tradition has been going on for over a century now. It's a gigantic flea market where you can find just about anything you're looking for - from antiques to contemporary - it's all at Canton First Monday Trade Days. I like to go and walk around to see what I can find. There are artisans of all kinds along with those selling things from their homes and when you get hungry there's plenty of restaurants, food trucks and fair style food vendors that can help satisfy your appetite!