1. The George W. Bush Presidential Center
Perusing the exhibits highlighting the Bush presidency is much more interesting for the kids than reading a history book. And in the lazy summer months, it’s a good idea to get the kids out of the house and using their brains. Don’t forget to stop by Café 43 for lunch (make a reservation) and download the Bush Center phone app for a fully immersive experience. Hours, pricing and more information here.
2. Splash grounds and water activities
Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine seems like fun for the whole family and is a great “staycation” option. Indoor slides and swimming during the hottest days of summer? I’m in. (The only catch is you have to be a hotel guest.) For a much cheaper water activity, head out to Allen’s spraygrounds (it's totally free!). Let the kids run around on the playground and bring a picnic.
And don’t forget about the newly opened Summer Adventures in Fair Park, which includes a Log Flume attraction and FlowRider (a boogie boarding water ride). With admission, you can enjoy unlimited rides plus admission to all the Fair Park museums. Until July 7, tickets are half price, at $15.
3. Sixth Floor Museum
Did you know 2013 is the 50-year anniversary of the JFK assassination? Given that you reside in a suburb of the city where Kennedy was shot, it would be silly not to take your kids to the Sixth Floor Museum and to see the Grassy Knoll in person. This probably wouldn’t be a good activity for kids under 12 or so, since there are some graphic images in the museum and some pretty complex conspiracy theories to wrap your brain around. Still, it’s worth a summer afternoon. Informative and fun!
4. Dallas Museum of Art
Did you know that general admission at the DMA is totally free? Since January, the museum has been offering free access to all exhibits. Right now, DMA is featuring “The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece” and “Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy.” In the neighborhood are the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Perot Museum and Klyde Warren Park. Mosey on down to the park for lunch at a food truck—cheap eats and free museum admission will make for a great summer outing!
5. Dallas Children’s Theater
We’ve heard nothing but good things about DCT’s production of “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs,” running until July 14. The kids are sure to laugh the whole way through. Other options for the summer include one and two-week camps teaching musical theater and acting skills, improvisation and movie-making. You’ll want to check these out sooner than later, since many classes are already sold out!
6. FC Dallas Stadium
Support your home team this summer at a pro soccer match in Frisco. Sure, Rangers games are fun, but soccer is faster-paced. You can sometimes get a ticket for less than $20.
7. The Lab at Lakewood
A birthday party destination and safe place for your kids to learn, The Lab’s founder, Melissa Wright, has developed kid-friendly science experiments and demonstrations in her unique summer camps. Everything from “Chemistry Kids” to “Cooking is Science” will be offered throughout the summer, and this could be your child’s chance to discover his or her inner mad scientist! Pricing and dates available here.
8. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
As if the beautiful greenery at the arboretum weren’t enough of a reason to visit this summer, they’re offering summer camps for toddlers through eighth grade. Day camps explore topics like entomology, art and science. Again, we’re fans of summer activities that encourage learning and fun simultaneously!