Taylor County residents enjoy a wealth of artistic endeavors, from stage plays to musicals to opera and more.
Abilene Community Theatre
Abilene, TX 79605
To get involved, contact the theater. To take in a show, visit the Abilene Community Theatre’s website for detailed information.
Center for Contemporary Arts
220 Cypress St.
Abilene, TX 79601 325-677-8389
The center boasts four galleries with rotating exhibits and 10 studios that provide artists the unique opportunity to share their work and vision. The Center for Contemporary Arts also coordinates programs, such as ArtWalk, to celebrate visual and performing arts within the community. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Cedar Break Gallery of Fine Art
957 N. Second St.
Abilene, TX 79601 325-677-9999
Barry Authur’s work ranges from paintings of landscapes, western and wildlife to intricately carved sculptures. He can usually be found in his studio, located within the gallery, working on a painting or deep in research on the next one.
Cockerell Galleries and Studios
1133 N. Second St.
Abilene, TX 79601 325-829-7975
This downtown gallery is home to 12 working artist studios and a small gallery. Exhibits rotate monthly and are varied mixtures of multi-mediums.
Historic Paramount Theatre
352 Cypress St.
Abilene, TX 79601 325-676-9620
An Abilene landmark, the theater originally opened in 1930 and is now a fully restored art deco movie theater showing classic films on the weekends. The theater also host art films, plays and concerts throughout the year.
Candies of Abilene
If you feel the urge for something sweet while spending time in Abilene, satisfy your craving at one of the city’s many candy stores. Brittles, fudge and everything chocolate are just a few of the delicious confections the city has to offer.
Candies by Vletas
You won’t find any machinery here — all candy is hand-made using no preservatives using the same marble tables and copper pots that were used in 1912. For more information, visit www.candiesbyvletas.com.
Sweet Retreat Chocolate
Chocolate lovers can’t miss here. Feeling adventurous? Try their chocolate-dipped jalapeno. This candy shop supports Disability Resources Inc. so feel good about indulging. Visit the shop at 3602 North Clack.
The Chocolate Box
Treat the kids to an eyeful of candy bins featuring everything gummy, sweet and sour. Or score hard-to-find old fashioned candies here. And, for the brave, the shop offers crickets in a variety of flavors as well as other bug creations. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TheChocolateBox.
Held the second Saturday of each month, Downtown Dayz features a wide range of events including locally owned shops, restaurants, street vendors, live entertainment and attractions in downtown Abilene.
2070 Zoo Lane
Abilene, TX 79601 325-676-6085
Abilene’s most visited attraction boasts 800 animals that represent 200 species such as jaguars, black rhinos, maned wolves, giraffes, black bears, lions, a white tiger, monkeys and more. The Adventure Center offers educational children’s programs, camps and the Zoo store.
Buffalo Gap Historic Village
133 N. William St.
Buffalo Gap, TX 79508 325-572-3365
Explore the West Texas frontier, from 1875 to 1925, through a rich collection of Indian artifacts and frontier firearms, more than 20 historic frontier buildings, a gallery with historic maps and art by area artists and an interactive audio tour.
Fort Phantom Hill
Visit the ghostly ruins of this 1851 Army post and walk among the dozen chimneys and three buildings. To explore the ruins, from Interstate 20, go north on FM 600 for 11 miles.
Nelson Splash Pad
Abilene, TX 79602 325-676-6217
This 2,920-square-foot splash pad has 26 water features, including a center dump bucket and water cannons. It is located next to Fort Imagination and offers shaded picnic areas and restrooms. The Splash is Abilene’s first aquatic playground for kids.
Play Faire Park
2300 N. Second St.
Abilene, TX 79602 325-672-2977
Open for its 66th season of fun, Play Faire Park offers a family fun center and a miniature golf course.
PrimeTime Family Entertainment Center
4541 Loop 322
Abilene, TX 79602 325-690-5555
The center features NASCAR simulators, laser tag, bumper cars, batting cages, arcade games, electric go-karts and 16 lanes in a state-of-the-art bowling facility.
12th Armored Division Memorial Museum
1289 N. Second St.
Abilene, TX 79601 325-677-6515
Learn about World War II through the museum’s exhibition and education programs. This collection is chiefly the 12th Armored Division World War II archives, memorabilia, oral histories and equipment. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The Grace Museum
102 Cypress St.
Abilene, TX 79601 325-673-4587
The Grace Museum builds connections through new experiences in art, sciences and history within the evolving Texas story through exhibitions, programs and collections. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The National Center for
Children’s Illustrated Literature
102 Cedar St.
Abilene, TX 79601 325-673-4586
The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in historic downtown Abilene is a museum dedicated to housing the illustrations of children’s books’ authors and illustrators. The NCCIL (pronounced nickel) continually collaborates with award-winning artists to produce quality exhibitions appealing to visitors of all ages. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
625 N. First St.
Abilene, TX 79601 325-437-2800
Step back in time to meet the men and women who lived and died on the Texas frontier. Find adventure as you walk through tepees, live through a buffalo stampede and explore history from 1780 to 1880. Unlike a traditional museum, Frontier Texas! uses first-person narratives rather than collections of artifacts to tell the story of the western Texas frontier, along with lights, cameras, action and big-screen special effects. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Abilene Skate Park
South Seventh and Mockingbird
Ramp up your skills while skating at your own risk at this city-owned skate park. Admission is free.
Abilene State Park
150 Park Road 32
Buffalo Gap, TX 325-572-3204
This scenic park covers 1,612 acres along Elm Creek and offers bird watching, nature trails, camping, a swimming pool, picnic sites and a fishing pond as well as camping sites.
Camp Barkeley Dog Park
E.S. 11th and Loop 322
This off-leash park is open from dawn to dusk and offers areas for both big dogs and little dogs.
Diamondback Golf Club
1510 E. Industrial Blvd.
Abilene, TX 79602 325-690-9190
This public course offers 18 holes on 6,977 yards of rolling terrain. The club is designed and operated by 1971 Masters Champion Charles Coody. The PGA named Diamondback No. 2 in Texas for public golf courses.
The Honey Hole at Lake Fort Phantom Hill
493 Crows Nest Road
Abilene, TX 79601 325-518-2607
Primitive camp sites, RV sites, a bait shop, a lighted crappie dock with underwater lights around the dock, restrooms and showers are among the amenities offered. Deep-water fishing is open to the public along the waterline with a staircase to the water’s edge.
Mesquite Hills MX Park
8150 W. Highway 80
Abilene, TX 79603 325-672-3944
Catch motocross racing on Monday nights and Saturdays.
Rose Park Tennis Center
810 Portland Ave.
Abilene, TX 79605 325-676-6292
The center offers 15 lighted courses, a tennis pro, pro shop and lessons. United States Tennis Association-sanctioned competitions are held throughout the year.
Big Country Balloon Fest
For nearly 20 years this festival has been held on the last weekend of September. It is a fun-filled weekend featuring local bands and artists as well as food tents, a bull ride, big inflatables and more for kids.
Children’s Art and Literacy Festival (CALF)
The Abilene Cultural Affairs Council works with local artists, businesses, community leaders and local art organization for this summertime festival.
Outlaws & Legends Music Festival
This festival is held at The Back Porch of Texas, located off of Interstate 20 and Highway 277, and brings country music superstars such as Merle Haggard to Abilene. The festival also hosts singer/songwriter competitions and acoustic sessions. It is the “Biggest 1 Day, 1 Stage Event in Texas.”