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El Paso: A Fun Family-Friendly Destination

Being a mid-size city, El Paso is a great destination to bring your family. It offers plenty in the way of art, history, fun and entertainment, but also boasts being one of the country’s top 10 safest cities. So while you’re in town for SMART Airports, make the most of it and bring your family for a week of learning, entertainment, and adventure! For ideas on the best restaurants to try while in El Paso, read here. Once you have your reservations picked out, read ahead for some great family-friendly activities.

We had the pleasure of seeing the The Plaza Theatre when on our sight selection tour. It is a must see! Built in 1930 it is classified as a National Historic Building of Significance. It was built to be a cutting edge lavish work of art, and with a capacity of 2,410, it was once advertised as “the largest theatre of its kind between Dallas and Los Angeles.” Today, people visit it for its remarkable architecture and for being one of the last remaining atmospheric theaters in the country. The exterior is spanish colonial style, while the interior was designed in ornate rococo. With mosaic floors, antique furniture, a Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, and a dazzling night sky painted on the ceiling to give the illusion of being outside in a Spanish courtyard, this is not a sight to be missed. Book a tour to see the Plaza Theatre first hand, or buy tickets to catch one of the many concerts or Broadway plays hosted there.

One of the Smart Airports events will be at the the El Paso Museum of Art. You’ll enjoy refreshments with great company while viewing a large collection of European Baroque and Renaissance pieces of art and learn about the culture of the region.

Is history more your thing? Then wander over instead to the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center, or the the El Paso Museum of History. Admission is free for all of these museums, so take an afternoon to stop by and do some learning.

If you have a military history buff in your family, then you’ll definitely have to make a stop by the Fort Bliss and Old Ironside Museum to learn about the area’s military presence. Admission is free, but be sure to call the museum ahead of time for instructions on entrance. Visit to learn about the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, the largest air defense training center in the western world, from its inception in 1846 to the present day. The real attraction here is their extensive exhibit of tanks, artillery, and other Army machinery, a must-see for anyone interested in our Army.

After you’ve gotten in some education, go cool off at one of the city’s many spray parks. Spray parks are interactive water parks or playgrounds, but have no standing water which makes them great for big and small kids alike. Most are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Click here to view the list of spray park locations and go splash around at the one nearest to you!

Another place that’s sure to be fun for the whole family? The El Paso Zoo! Covering over 35 acres and including animals from Africa, Asia, and the Americas, their mission is to “celebrate the value of animals and natural resources and to create opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature.” We recommend stopping by “Giraffe Encounters” to hand-feed the giraffes, or the Foster Tree House Playground to run around their 5 tree houses and get a spectacular 360 view of the zoo. Check their website for information on daily happenings at the zoo, hours of operation, and admission.

For a comprehensive look at live shows playing in El Paso, including concerts, Broadway, Showtime, and Symphony Orchestra, check the calendar here. Check out our first SMART Airports for El Paso article here for a couple more awesome options for cultural and historical attractions to visit.

Make sure to post your conference experience using #itsallgoodep and #SMARTAirportsElPaso when you’re here. Next step? Make sure to register for SMART Airports.  

Do you have a young professional on staff that would benefit from professional development?  Check out our young professional program to register for complimentary access with your paid admission.

Stay tuned for our next installment in our El Paso for SMART Airports series and start planning!

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