McAllen Performing Arts Center - An auditorium complex with 1,800 seats for musical and theatrical performances, 801 Convention Center Boulevard, McAllen. McAllen Community Concert Series (www.mcallenconcerts.com) or contact Pat Hudsonpillar, 956-581-3990. Valley Symphony Orchestra (www.valleyorchestra.org) 956-661-1615.
Flea Markets – Don-Wes in Weslaco (956)464-3502, Pulga in Mission (956)888-8888, Mercadome Flea Market in Alamo (956)781-1911, Valverde Flea Market in Donna (956)377-5278. All are fun and offer a wide variety of products.
Museums – Museum of South Texas History, Edinburg (956)383-6911; International Museum of Art & Science, McAllen (956)681-2800; Mission Historical Museum, Mission(956)580-8646; Upper Valley Art League, Mission (956)583-2787; Alamo Museum, Alamo (956)961-4398; The Gelman Stained Glass Museum in San Juan, (956) 601-0838 .
Jackson Street Market Days, Harlingen (956)423-4041, 1st Saturday of the month, fresh produce, antiques, handmade crafts to flea market finds.
Shopping - La Plaza Mall, McAllen; Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlet Mall, Weslaco (956)565-3900; largest shopping mall in the area; Old Downtown McAllen, McAllen’s historic business district features smaller shops of all varieties.
Nature Parks – Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission, (956)584-9156; Estero Lano Grande State Park, Weslaco (956)565-3919; Valley Nature Center, Weslaco (956)969-2475; Edinburg Scenic Wetlands & World Birding Center, Edinburg (956)381-9922; Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Alamo (956)784-7500.
Churches - Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine, San Juan (956)787-0033; Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, Mission (956)585-2623; St. Paul Lutheran Church, McAllen (956)682-2345; Zion Lutheran Church, Alamo (956)787-1584; La Lomita Mission Church, Granjeno.
Gladys Porter Zoo - A zoological and botanical park on 31 acres, with about 400 animal species and over 250 tropical and neo-tropical species, 500 E. Ringgold Street, Brownsville.
McAllen Holiday Parade - held in December, and is the largest illuminated holiday and helium balloon parade in Texas. Has won prizes for being a very spectactular parade in the State of Texas.
Newspaper - The Monitor, 1400 Nolana Loop, McAllen, 956-683-4300 (www.themonitor.com).
Golf Lessons - Joan Gearhart, LPGA Member Teaching Professional, 934 Santa Anna Drive, Alamo, 956-702-7111.
Hidalgo Festival of Lights - Tour 3 miles of lights of over 500 illuminated displays for FREE in your car, or $5.00 on a narrated train ride with holiday music. Every evening in December in the City of Hidalgo on 704 E. Ramon Ayala Drive, City of Hidalgo.
South Padre Island ~ interesting architecture (both new and old), as well as shopping, several types of Nature Centers, a water park, sand sculptures, the beaches, fishing, boating and the beautiful water of the Gulf of Mexico; (956)761-4412.