Day Trip to George Ranch by Houston, TX
I try to find different things to do with the kids during the summer break so it doesn’t get too repetitive. I looked up information on the George Ranch earlier this year then Groupon had a discount for a one year membership for 4. Well, I love a good Groupon (and remember to go through Ebates to get money back on your purchase. Click here for more info on Ebates).
I wasn’t sure what to expect based on the website. I’ve been to plantations before and a place in Bakersfield, CA that was a whole small town recreated in an area. George Ranch was very cool, though. It is a gigantic piece of property owned by one family since the early 1800’s, passed down through the women of the family. It has 4 homes on the property that were used by the family throughout the last 200 years. It has a working ranch and blacksmith shop with demonstrations. It also has a sharecropper named Uncle Bob, who is worth the entry fee alone with his entertaining stories. The crazy thing about this place is that it is a living museum for real, no joke. Uncle Bob lives on the property as a sharecropper, also raising pigs and chickens. Mr. Jones lives in the first family home that was built in the early 1800’s. He has been there for 9 years. He explains to the visiting kids how he lives, makes food, purchases food and how certain items are special because they come at such a high expense (flour for bread). You go into the home and see all the tools he really uses, set up how people use them because they are working tools, not just museum items. Crazy but fascinating!
It is also a working ranch. The cowbys do a demonstration on horses showing how they heard cows. We get to see “Tex” the long horn. The absolute best part of this demonstration, though, was watching the cows getting dipped. They have a small pool (for lack of a better word) where the cows have to get in, swim a short distance, then get out. It has a slopping entry but the cows jump in the water! I am straight up a city girl and I have never seen a cow jump. It was so funny! I was so mesmerized by jumping cows I forgot to take pictures or video. Sorry.
Notice my daughter staring down the bull. Crazy child.
My daughters had several questions for Mr. Justin, the cowboy. Mr. Justin was very patient in answering all their questions and let the girls pet his horse.
Lastly, we went to see the pigs at Uncle Bob’s because one of my daughters loves pigs. I have absolutely no idea where this started. Anyway, Uncle Bob was very informative and entertaining. He told us why sharecropping became big after the Civil War. He also told us stories about some of the problems he has with critters taking his chickens. He was so funny!
There is a black smith shop and 3 more homes, 2 of which have 30 minute tours inside. We ended up leaving because it was about to start raining.
We had a great time here and felt it was worth the time and the money with the groupon. I probably would not pay $100 for the annual membership, but the day rate is about $10. However, the groupon was $50 plus I had a coupon code, and used Ebates for cash back. This membership gets you access to the market days they have and also the Cowboy Christmas, which Uncle Bob said was fantastic.
There is not a restaurant yet so you may want to bring a lunch. Bring sunscreen and bug spray. I hope if you visit, you enjoy it as much as we did!