FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – There are plenty of outdoor adventures awaiting North Texas families this summer.

It’s a summer of firsts at the Fort Worth Zoo. Their new African Savanna exhibit features giraffes and zebras in their natural habitat. It is putting visitors face-to-face with some of the zoo’s tallest residents. You will also find the hippos swimming in their newly renovated 70-foot underwater pool.

A short drive from the zoo will transport you to frontier life at the Fort Worth log cabin — a living history museum. The Log Cabin Village is complete with authentic artifacts from 19th Century life. Historical interpreters guide you on your journey through the log cabin and field questions.

There is even a real blacksmith at the Log Cabin Village, working with real molten metal. “You get to see the fire and the hot metal, the shaping of it right before their eyes,” said blacksmith Steven Suarez.

Visitors can also see how yarn is made out of raw alpaca fur, or try their hands at candle dipping. “Our motto is ‘Escape the Present, Experience the Past,'” said Rena Lawrence, assistant historic site supervisor.

Meanwhile, adventure calls in north Arlington. River Legacy, a 1,300-acre urban oasis, wraps around the Trinity River with trails that run for miles. The playground and picnic areas invite families to become one with nature. “We have a beautiful trail system,” said Becky Nussbaum. “Eight miles of paved path accessible by walking, jogging, wheelchairs.”

Then, to cool off, head to the newly renovated Discovery Room, where children can get an up close look at natural animal habitats. Tickets cost $5 for the Discovery Room, but entrance to the park is free.

The virtual technology wall is a show stopper. Kids of all ages can leap into the habitats and watch themselves on the big screen, helping squirrels gather food or finding ladybugs hiding under leaves.