Things to Do
The sites provide daily access to hiking trails, picnic grounds, the Kreische family home, ruins of the brewery, and the visitor center with history exhibits. Arrangements can be made with the staff to have weddings, family reunions, or other group functions in the picnic area and/or the facilities. Group tours by staff and volunteer docents are available with advanced scheduling.
Special living history programs, guided tours, or nature walks occur on various weekends most months. Special Events include:
- Reminiscent of a once popular social occasion on the Bluff is the traditional Easter egg hunt and bon fire the Saturday before Easter Sunday.
- Bluff SchuetzenFest in May features live German and Texas music, historical games, a shooting gallery with a modern twist, living history activities, community booths, special tours and programs, food and drink, and more. During the event, Texas History on Tap provides guests with samples of Texas craft beers and opportunities to meet the teams behind some of Texas's most celebrated breweries.
- In September, Monument Hill Remembrance is a memorial ceremony for the men buried in the tomb on Monument Hill. Costumed interpreters lay wreaths and fire gun salutes.
- The sites participate in the statewide Texas Archeology Month with Archeology Day usually held on the second Saturday of October. Activities include mock excavations, mapping exercises, hands-on artifacts, tours, and other activities.
- At the end of October, guests can enjoy an evening of Spooky Stories next to a bonfire. Local legends, tall tales, and scary stories of Texas and Fayette County are featured on the last Saturday of the month.
- Trail of Lights is held during December on selected evenings, where visitors can experience beautifully-decorated trails, live music and refreshments, photos with Santa, and holiday crafts. The highlight along the trail is the historic Kreische House with 19th century decorations, costumed interpreters sharing German Victorian traditions, and the smokehouse yard where guests can smell sausages smoking and sample German holiday treats.
Activities Guide to the Natural Experience of Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites
Group History Tours: Guided walking tours of the historic and scenic sites are available to groups of 10 or more, by reservation.
The town of La Grange has many fine old buildings (including some that Mr. Kreische built) you can tour. The courthouse square features an 1890s architecturally significant courthouse building. A large monument to the heroes of the Dawson and Mier expeditions is located on the courthouse lawn. In one corner of the square is the Muster Oak, where Captain Nicholas Dawson and the men of his expedition gathered to ride to their fates at the battle at Salado Creek in San Antonio in 1842. Since that time, through eight wars and conflicts, Fayette County men have joined military service under this tree.
The old Fayette County Jail is a beautiful and historical old stone building at 171 South Main St., one block south of the square. It currently houses the Texas Heroes Museum. This museum displays artifacts of the sheriffs who served in this county jail from 1883 to 1985. Future displays will honor Texans who have served to secure and defend freedom and liberty from the time of the Texas Revolution to the present.
The beautifully restored Casino Hall houses the Main Street’s Visitors Center, where you can obtain information on amenities, overnight lodging, shopping, and sightseeing ((979) 968-3017). Ask about the old historical cemetery or historic district tours that are being developed through the Visitor's Bureau office. Do not miss La Grange's bakeries and restaurants, serving traditional and ethnic foods and pastries, as well as plain, good food.
Fayette County has many attractions that will more than fill a weekend vacation. The Fayette County Tourism Association has a useful website with links to events and brochures. The Fayette County Record publishes a magazine called “Visit Fayette.” Do you have a smart phone? Get the GoFayCo app.
The communities of Round Top and Winedale are nearby. They feature German and English 19th century museums and buildings. Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is within driving distance, with a common theme of Texas Independence.
A unique Painted Churches Tour is available to the south of the historic sites in the countryside toward Schulenberg and Flatonia, featuring authentic 19th-century European style churches from German, Czech, and other similar cultures.
The bluff at Monument Hill is the northern limit of the Oakville Escarpment of Miocene era bearing sandstone. This escarpment or "cuesta" marks the boundary between the Upland Post Oak Woodlands and the Fayette Prairie environments. Here, along the bluff, eastern plant and animal communities of the woodlands and prairie coexist with an isolated colony of western species.
Numerous plants and animals common to the limestone-based soils of the Hill Country, 70 miles northwest, have been transported and deposited in this locale by the Colorado River, located at the base of the 200-foot bluff. These species flourish in pockets of alkaline soils produced through erosion of the calcareous sandstone cap of the escarpment. The occurrence of such biological diversity at one location is not singularly unique, but is uncommon, and lends itself to a beautiful place in Central Texas. Oak and cedar forests and predominately little bluestem prairie environments are intermixed throughout the grounds, with Mr. Kreische's old roads, trails, retaining walls, and buildings adding beauty and places of shelter to the environment.
More information on the wildlife mentioned here: