SAN ANGELO, Texas — Parents are working from home, children are taking classes online, and public places are closing because of social distancing.
However, families in West Texas can avoid going stir crazy by visiting Fort Concho, the historic landmark and former United States Army installation, located in San Angelo.
“We still have self-guided tours going on. People are isolated when they’re on their tours. They’re walking alone or in very small groups. We’re only allowing 10 people in the right now but you can still go out and look around and get out in this sun and fresh air," Sarah Ross, the educational director at Fort Concho, said.
Fort Concho, 630 S. Oakes St., sits on hundreds of acres owned by the City of San Angelo, giving visitors more than enough room to stay 6-8 feet away from each other.
“We understand right now that having your children at home can be a little stressful, so if you need to get out of the house, this is an open area where you are in a safe place, people are sanitizing it all day long," Ross added.
In addition to keeping their doors open, the fort is offering a free activity playbook that parents can pick up and take home for their children.
“The goal behind this book is for children between the ages of 5-12 to get a chance to understand some of the history that may go over their head to the adult side. For instance, we have an activity where you can connect the dots and fill in the letters you find. My personal favorite is the word search. In every part of it there’s information to build on what was going on at the Fort and explain what you’re seeing from the eyes of a child," Ross said.
The effort doesn't stop there. Ross is also working on developing online games for children to play at home that will keep them entertained while also learning history. There are only two activities now, but Ross is hoping to have 15 on the website by Tuesday.
“We have one where you get to create your own officer quarters. You get to design it how you want: it can be a princess barbie house or it can be an actual officer quarters. You can also decorate barracks," Ross said.
Fort Concho is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.