Dallas Zoo; Courtesy: @rachello26
1. DALLAS ZOO
Hip, hippo hooray! The Dallas Zoo has hippos again! Meet the newest residents, Adhama and Boipelo, in their 2.1-acre African habitat where visitors can get an eye-to-nostril view from the watering hole viewing window. Parent tip: Go early in the morning or late in the day when the hippos are most active.
We told the kids we were taking them to ‘Venice’ in a thirty-minute trip to Irving. They were delighted to find an authentic Venetian gondola waiting with a singing gondolier to steer us through the calm waters of Lake Carolyn.
Ditch the screens and head to Plano’s Heritage Farmstead Museum. The living museum gives visitors a glimpse of pioneer life with its livestock of sheep, chickens and pigs set among a Victorian homestead, one-room schoolhouse and barns. We love it because it reminds us of life from the Little House on the Prairie books.
Here you’ll find an indoor LEGO® playground perfect for preschool and elementary ages where everything is kid-sized. My boys like to practice their ninja skills on the obstacle course at Ninjago City Adventure, experience a 4D movie with Emmett and go on a driving adventure at Forest Ranger Pursuit ride. Parent tip: Most of the rides are for kids under 10 years old.
When my children think of Historic Downtown McKinney, the only place they want to go is Main Street Magic & Fun Shop. The unique store full of magic tricks has them spellbound. Magicians behind the counter entertain as they sell you their secrets. Local tip: Weekends are best to see the magicians do their tricks.
I’m not sure if parents or kids are more excited to visit the National Videogame Museum. The museum is a gamer’s dream and dedicated to preserving the history of video gaming with over 100,000 artifacts. Bond with your kids over classics like Donkey Kong and Space Invaders or get nostalgic at the Timeline of Consoles featuring over 50 types of consoles from past to present.
The Perot Museum inspires minds through nature and science. This is the place where kids can touch everything and learn something new. Soar like a bird in the flight simulator, race with a dinosaur in real-time or experience an earthquake of different magnitudes. Parent tip: Bring a change of clothes as water play can get messy at the Children’s Museum section.
Known to locals as the Denton Planetarium, the Sky Theatre is located in the Environmental Building in the University of North Texas. Shows held every Saturday allow budding astronomers to learn about the universe. On the first Saturday of every month, the Rafes Urban Astronomy Center holds “Star Parties” where visitors can gaze at the night sky at the observatory.
You don’t need to go to Orlando for theme park thrills. Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington has that covered from mad roller coasters to tamer kids’ rides. Two new rides to try for 2017 include The Joker, a free-flying coaster not for the faint of heart and The Galactic Attack, an interactive virtual reality coaster ride.
A visit to the Fort Worth Stockyards is the quintessential Cowtown activity. Meet the longhorns and drovers of the Fort Worth Herd before or after the twice-daily cattle drive and learn about Fort Worth’s rich Western heritage. Parent tip: We like to begin our journey into history by taking an old-fashioned train ride aboard The Grapevine Vintage Railroad which makes a roundtrip from Grapevine to the Stockyards and back.
Featured Image of Six Flags, Courtesy: Six Flags Over Texas