Students get a week off at Thanksgiving this year – go camping!

Pam LeBlanc camps in the Texas Hill Country. Photo by Marcy Stellfox

News flash, parents.

For the first time this year, students in the Austin Independent School District get five entire days off surrounding Thanksgiving. That means they’ll join students from the Rock Rock, Lake Travis, Pflugerville, Leander-Cedar Park and Hays County districts in getting a week-long fall break.

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Happily, November coincides with some of the best camping weather of the year here in Central Texas. Instead of sweat-soaked nights and sun-scorched afternoons, we finally get to enjoy the bliss of a toasty campfire, a snuggly sweatshirt and a brisk afternoon hike.

Marcy Stellfox bundles up in camp at Devils River State Natural Area near Del Rio. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, Nov. 23. This year’s official fall break is Nov. 20-24.

That means if you want to take the crew camping the week of Thanksgiving (turkey over a campfire, anyone?), you need to reserve a spot at a campground now.

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We’ve got some great, nearby options for camping here in Central Texas. Among our favorites? Colorado Bend State Park, South Llano River State Park, Lost Maples State Park and Garner State Park.

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Fees vary by park, but at Bastrop State Park, for example, the daily rate for a tent site is $12; sites with electric hookups and water are $20, and sites with electric, water and sewer are $25.

To make online reservations in campgrounds (or cabins) at Texas State Parks, go here. A credit card is needed to reserve a site online.

The Lower Colorado River Authority also maintains campgrounds in Central Texas. For more information about camping at those parks, go here.

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