Animal Farm

Carol Adams and her family started up Carol's Country Place 21 years ago with two acres and a modest menagerie of animals. At age 60, Adams now owns 25 acres of land with rides, picnic tables, and a slew of critters including hedgehogs, prairie dogs, llamas and a pet deer. Carol's Country Place is also educational, focusing on ecology. "There are lessons in everything we do," says Adams, "[Kids] don't realize they're learning because they're having hands-on fun." Alas, the days of fun are numbered. Adams will soon sell off her land and animals and retire. In November, the site will become the property of a church community center. Until then the fun continues and culminates this fall. "October's presentation-celebration of the harvest is always big, but this year will be the biggest since it's the last," says Adams. Open daily, Monday through Saturday, by reservation only. 1923 Trammel-Fresno Rd. (Fresno). For information, call 281-431-2664 or visit $6 - $9. -- Eric A.T. Dieckman

Weird Water
Sweaty kids driving you crazy? Let 'em cool off at the H-E-B Water Playground. Kids (and probably adults) can beat the heat with the Curvy Cool, Silly Shower, Huddle Spray, and Under Bella -- brightly colored playground equipment designed to spray, squirt, mist, and shoot water. The park is open every day, dawn until dusk. Hidalgo Park, 7000 Avenue Q. For information, visit Free. -- Noelle Heinze

SAT 8/16
Cheating Reading
Summer reading a flop? Maybe kids can learn through osmosis. Drop them off at the library. Houston Public Library branches will show films geared toward children and teens (rated G and PG-13). With school starting, it may be their last chance for leisure. Movies run through August 30. For movie times and branch locations, call 832-393-1313 or visit Free. -- Noelle Heinze

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