Living in the Lonestar state where August temperaturs can hover near triple digits by 10am inspires parents to become creative in how they entertain their children. The Dallas/Fort Worth area has many local attractions that are budget-friendly and kid-approved. Best of all, almost all of them offer air-conditioning along with a great time for both parent and child.
Story time at one's local library is a great way for both parent and child to enjoy book, crafts, and songs together. The Grapevine, Southlake, and Irving libraries all host a variety of programs designed for children as young as 18 months up to children in middle school. Many libraries also host summer reading programs with great incentives to foster an interest in reading among children.
The Dallas Farmers Market is one of the largest public markets of its nature in the country. It offers a wide variety of locally grown produce, specialty foods, and landscaping materials such as shrubs and flowers. Introducing children to an abundant selection of fresh produce (Farmers often pass out complimentary pieces of fruits and vegetables to sample.) is a great way to expand their palate. The market is open seven days a week, 362 days a year. Check out the market's website for a list of produce that is currently in season and to learn more about events and classes hosted there.
Coppell and Grapevine also host Farmers Markets on the weekends.
Free Children's Workshops
Both the home improvement stores of Lowes and Home Depot offer free children's workshops that allow caregiver and child the opportunity to complete a project together, such as building a birdhouse or constructing a pirate ship. These workshops are typically held on Saturday mornings and are for ages four years and older.
The Lakeshore Learning store in Dallas offers free crafts for children ages 3 and up every Saturday from 11am-3pm.
Complimentary First-Time Class Pass
Emler Swim School, with locations in Southlake, Arlington, Plano, and Dallas, hosts a free Waterbaby orientation class for parents and babies age 6 months to 2 years old. This one-time free class is offered the last Saturday of each month.
Gymboree Play and Music offers a free class pass for first-time guests. With a wide range of classes offered and locations in Southlake, Plano, and Lewisville this is a great place for kids to release energy and enjoy a group setting.
Mall Play Areas
Indoor playscapes at area shopping malls allow children to burn off energy in a safe, comfortable environment while letting parents tackle a few errands along the way. Some local favorite play areas include the jungle-themed playscape at the Galleria mall, the expansive play place at Stonebriar Center in Frisco, and the Old Town Lewisville play area at the Vista Ridge Mall.
Lynley Baker Phillips is a stay-at-home mommy to two, blogger, former special education teacher, and referee in all major toy disputes. Her writings have been featured in various publications and on her mother's refrigerator door. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org