I don’t venture out to the “big city” very often by myself. Frankly, I almost break out in hives whenever I’m faced with getting around downtown Dallas. I have zero sense of direction, so the thought of bringing my kids along for the adventure is not so appealing to me.
However, I read an article in Dallas Child about the Children’s Museum at the Museum of Nature and Science in Fair Park and I decided to suck it up, be a grownup, and just do it. I made it all the way into the Fair Park area before I had to call the place to get better directions to the actual museum – Mapquest kind of steered me in the wrong direction on that one. But we got there.
First word of advice, that place is Fuh-reee-zing. If you are wearing summer clothes you may want to bring a sweater along. Prices weren’t too bad, $8.75 for me, $5.50 for ages 3-11 (free for Presley, my 2 year old).
The first thing we encountered was this:A small Dinosaur hall where you could go on a Dino dig for fossils. Rylan looked at me with (I think) tears in his eyes and said, “Mommy, THANK YOU for bringing me here!!!”
After that we took the elevator down to the Children’s Museum and started off in the Explore Your Backyard exhibit. They have snakes, tarantulas, etc, plus an ant tunnel for the kids to crawl through. It’s also where they have a play area for little ones 0-2.
Next we hit the Explore Your Town area where they have firefighter costumes and a fire truck play structure, along with fire truck books and puzzles.
There were lots of other little exhibits around that – a sand table where you drive construction trucks, a builder’s area where you put on a hardhat and tool belt, a Fine Arts station where you can put on costumes and play on a stage…So many things to do and see.
My kids loved the water area…
and the Little Urban Farm exhibit was also a big hit. I wish I could have gotten a better picture, but the kids got to “milk” a fake life-sized cow. Way cool.
We spent about an hour and a half there but could have stretched that out quite a bit. But we were hungry and also had a nap schedule and long drive time to contend with. I brought our lunch and we went outside to the picnic tables next to this cute lagoon. (They have a cafe but I wanted to save $$).
The Children’s Museum was geared for the under 7 crowd. They also have the Science of Spying exhibit going on (for an additional fee) but it looked to be for older kids. The dinosaur IMAX show comes out in September and I’m wondering if it would appeal to my kids, ages 2 and 5, or if it’s more documentury-ish. Someone let me know if you see it.
Other than losing Presley once for about 2 panic filled minutes when she decided to go into a completely different area while I was helping Rylan get his fire costume off, the trip was a success! And I even found my way back home with no incident. Although driving through that bad side of town to get to the highway was a big disconcerting.
But we did it and I highly recommend it.
Read more about Stephanie's wild and crazy adventures at www.mommish.com.