5 Things to Do in Dallas when the Kids are Out of School

5 Things to Do in Dallas when Kids are Out of School

School’s out for summer! Of course, that means there are about 100 days of summer vacation to fill.

Now, I have no problem letting my kids get bored. Most of their summer days are spent making up things to do on their own. They might build a pirate ship out of sand in the backyard, make a puppet show with scraps of paper, or crate a band out of everything they can get their hands on in my kitchen.

But sometimes the Texas sun has us stuck indoors for days on end and we get a bit of cabin fever. It’s times like these I love living in Dallas because there is no shortage of fabulous things to do. Here are our Top 5 Cabin Fever Remedies.

Top 5 Things to Do in Dallas when the Kids are Out of School

Rosemeade Rainforest Aquatic Complex

There are tons of ways to get wet, but our top pick gives you a lot of bang for your buck! Just north of Dallas proper, you will the Rosemeade Rainforest Aquatic Complex. For less than $10, your kids can spend an entire day at the pool.

5 Things to Do in Dallas when Kids are Out of SchoolI love that there is something for everyone – from the littlest kiddos who can play in the one-foot-deep splash area to the most daring pre-teen who can dive off the diving boards and ride a few waterslides. Moms will love that there’s plenty of shade and a convenient parking lot that isn’t a mile away.

Dallas Zoo

This year for Easter, we chose to forego the plastic baskets full of chocolate and instead get our family season passes to the Dallas Zoo. We couldn’t be happier with our decision. We’ve already been several times this year and on our last visit we got to see a baby tiger, a baby elephant, and the brand new hippo exhibit.

5 Things to Do in Dallas when Kids are Out of SchoolIn addition to the exhibits and programs, they have a great little kids area with a petting zoo and a stream they can splash in.

5 Things to Do in Dallas when Kids are Out of SchoolThe best part? The incredible naps my kids took when we got home!

Mayor’s Summer Reading Program

Learning doesn’t have to stop while the kids are out of school. The Dallas Public Library has a fantastic summer reading program that will draw kids in with prizes and keep them reading all summer long. This summer, kids can earn free books and prizes like tickets to a Mavs game, the Dallas Zoo, or Dallas Children’s Theater.

Coppell Farmer’s Market

Of course, there are dozens of Farmer’s Markets throughout DFW. Some of the best are the Dallas Farmer’s Market and White Rock Lake Market. But we have found a gem in the Coppell Farmer’s Market.

Coppell Farmer's Market - 5 Things to Do in Dallas when Kids are Out of SchoolWe love it because I can visit the Farmer’s Market then the kids can play on the playground and on the splash pad – it’s a win for everyone!

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

I don’t think I will ever stop singing the Perot Museum’s praises. Filled with hands-on activities and educational experiences, kids of all ages will burn energy and use their brains.

5 Things to Do in Dallas when Kids are Out of SchoolSome of our favorite parts of the museum are the Engineering and Innovation Hall and the Children’s Museum in the basement. If you have littles don’t miss the sand pit outside the Children’s Museum where mini paleontologists can dig for dinosaur bones.

5 Things to Do in Dallas when Kids are Out of School

Those are our family’s Top 5 Things to Do in Dallas when the kids are out of school! Did I miss your favorite? Share it in the comments below!

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20 Places to Watch Live Sports in Dallas-Fort Worth

20+ Places to Watch Live Sports in Dallas | The Dallas Mom

Our family loves watching live sports! It’s the perfect way to get out of the house and do something the whole family can enjoy together. Thankfully in Dallas, there’s no shortage of family-friendly venues to watch live sports. All throughout DFW you’ll find dozens of ways to enjoy sports with the family – here are 20 Great Ways to Watch Live Sports in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

  1. Frisco RoughRiders – Semi-Professional Baseball20+ Places to Watch Live Sports in Dallas | The Dallas Mom
  2. Dallas Sidekicks – Semi-Professional Soccer
  3. Texas Rangers – Professional Baseball
  4. NASCAR Sprint Cup
  5. Fort Worth Stockyards Rodeo
  6. Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie – Horse Racing
  7. Dallas Cowboys – Professional Football
  8. FC Dallas – Professional Soccer
  9. Allen Americans – Semi-Professional Hockey
  10. Dallas Mavericks – Professional Basketball
  11. Dallas Stars – Professional Hockey
  12. SMU Mustangs20+ Places to Watch Live Sports in Dallas | The Dallas Mom
  13. TCU Horned Frogs
  14. UTA Mavericks
  15. Baylor Bears
  16. Texas A&M Aggies
  17. University of Texas Longhorns
  18. The Cotton Bowl – College Football
  19. Dallas Wings – WNBA Basketball
  20. WOGA Gymnastics Classic – Jr. and Sr. Level Gymnastics Competition

20+ Places to Watch Live Sports in Dallas | The Dallas Mom

Sporting Events are a great way to spend a family night in DFW! Did I miss your favorite sporting venue or event? Share your favorite spot to watch live sports in the comments below.

Want to know more about the best things to do in Dallas for families? Join our mailing list to have the best DFW events, family-friendly activities, and giveaways delivered right to your inbox every month. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Exploring the Bishop Arts District: 5 Must-See Shops & Restaurants

Experience the best of the Bishop Arts District in Dallas, TX with these 5 Must-See Spots.

5 Must-See Spots in the Bishop Arts District - The Dallas Mom

If you live in Dallas and you haven’t experienced the Bishop Arts District, you are definitely missing out! It’s full of fabulous restaurants, unique shopping experiences, and pie! What else could you want!? These two blocks tucked in the middle of Oak Cliff are packed with fun finds you won’t find anywhere else.

5 Must-See Spots in the Bishop Arts District

1. Lockhart Smokehouse

5 Must-See Spots in the Bishop Arts District - The Dallas Mom - Lockhart SmokehouseWe actually found Lockhart Smokehouse after watching BBQ Pitmasters on Netflix. Lockhart Smokehouse was the first thing that brought us to the Bishop Arts District and it keeps us coming back because it is all about great Texas BBQ. Unlike BBQ in other parts of the world, Lockhart Smokehouse prides itself on making meat so good that you don’t need any sauce. They feature staples that never change (like brisket, ribs, and pork loin), but the rotate meats like burnt ends (meat candy!), salmon, and beef ribs.

5 Must-See Spots in the Bishop Arts District - The Dallas Mom - Lockhart Smokehouse

It might sound odd when talking about a BBQ joint, but when we take out-of-towners to Lockhart Smokehouse, we always make sure they try the bread pudding. Whether it’s s’mores bread pudding, cinnamon roll bread pudding, or whisky bread pudding, you’ll be in for a treat! Check out their Facebook page for their daily offerings.

2. DIRT

DIRT is a flower shop with an edge! Their unique arrangements and eclectic furnishings will inspire you to rethink your garden. You might leave searching for vintage library catalogs and busted pianos to renovate your garden. Their arrangements are unique and some are one-of-a-kind. They say, “It is our mission to use what’s found, what can be saved, re-purposed, and re-imagined before anything else.” Which is exactly what makes DIRT so special.

3. We are 1976

5 Must-See Spots in the Bishop Arts District - The Dallas Mom - We are 1976

We are 1976 is one of my favorite stores in Dallas. They feature lovely cards, prints, and gifts made by local artists and designers.

5 Must-See Spots in the Bishop Arts District - The Dallas Mom - We are 1976

My favorite part of this hole-in-the-wall shop is their workshops. Every month, you can learn skills like modern calligraphy, letterpress, and printing business cards. It’s a creative person’s paradise!

4. Dallas Grilled Cheese Co.

5 Must-See Spots in the Bishop Arts District - The Dallas Mom - Dallas Grilled Cheese Co.

If your kiddos love grilled cheese, but you’d like something a little more sophisticated, the Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. is the perfect compromise.

5 Must-See Spots in the Bishop Arts District - The Dallas Mom - Dallas Grilled Cheese Co.

You must check out their specialities like The Favorite (Parmesan-crusted grilled sourdough with American, aged Cheddar and Gruyére cheeses, crumbled bacon, Dijon mustard) and their Spicy Two-Pork & Cheese (Grilled sourdough, honey compound butter, ham, bacon, Swiss, aged Cheddar, spicy jam). Their modern, industrial decor makes this restaurant a must-see spot.

5. Emporium Pies

5 Must-See Spots in the Bishop Arts District - Emporium Pies

If you need some help convincing your kids (or husband) to visit the Bishop Arts District with you, just tell them about Emporium Pies. This little bakery in what looks like an old house at the end of the Bishop Arts District is the perfect way to end an afternoon exploring. The only bad part about visiting Emporium Pies is deciding which pieces of their freshly-made pies to try. (But don’t fret over it too much, because you’ll definitely be back!)

5 Must-See Spots in the Bishop Arts District - Emporium Pies

I always love the Lord of the Pies – an indulgent deep dish apple pie with a cinnamon streusel topping, while my hubby prefers the Snowball – a creamy coconut cream pie in a decadent flaky crust. My daughter is much less picky – she will eat any piece of pie you put in front of her!

5 Must-See Spots in the Bishop Arts District - The Dallas Mom

Whether you visit the Bishop Arts District for date night, a mother-daughter day, or an afternoon with the family, you won’t be disappointed. There are so many places to explore – I didn’t even have room to mention Pier 247, Oak Cliff Bicycle Company, Tillman’s Roadhouse, Hunky’s, and Eno’s Pizza! Did I miss your favorite Bishop Arts District spot? Share it in the comments below!

Want to know more about the best things to do in Dallas for families? Join our mailing list to have the best DFW events, family-friendly activities, and giveaways delivered right to your inbox every month. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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Winter at Medieval Times – Special Offer

medieval-times-the-dallas-mom

“Lords and Ladies, we welcome you to Medieval Times!” Huzzah!

Medieval Times - The Dallas Mom 2

From the moment we stepped over the drawbridge into the castle at Medieval Times Dallas, we were transported to another era.

Medieval Times - The Dallas MomFull of Kings and Queens, Knights and Princesses, this magical castle is the perfect setting for some fabulous family-friendly entertainment.

Medieval Times - The Dallas Mom 9

When you walk into the castle, your family will receive your seating assignment and get the opportunity to take a picture with a knight. Then you walk into the lobby, where you can purchase a souvenir, belly up to the bar, or take pictures with some of the Knights from the show (or even a falcon!).

Medieval Times - The Dallas Mom

About 20 minutes before showtime, you will be escorted into the arena by color. Once inside the area, you find your seat and your server arrives to give you some instructions for the evening.

Before long, the show begins and servers start bringing out course after course. The horses and falcon show off their tricks during dinner and are truly magnificent. After dinner, the real magic begins. A knight arrives to fight for the Princesses’ hand in marriage spurring on a contest of riding, jousting, and sword fighting.

The whole evening is very fast paced and exciting. It is so high energy and by the time a winner is crowned, you feel like you have been truly transported back to Medieval Times.

Medieval Times - The Dallas Mom 7

Our family loved this evening of entertainment and fun and we can’t wait to visit Medieval Times Dallas again!

Winter Medieval Times Special Offer

Is your house filled with little Lords and Ladies of the royal court? Do they like to eat with their hands at the dinner table? Medieval Times is the perfect place to take your family back to the Middle Ages for an incredible night of epic battles and delicious food.

The Dallas Mom readers can enjoy a tournament at a special rate this winter season! Now through February 28, 2017, adults are just $36.95 and children (12 and under) are $29.95 with the code MT3629.

Visit this page for more information and to get tickets to the tournament!

Medieval Times - The Dallas Mom

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A Mom’s Guide to The Dallas Zoo

A Mom's Guide to The Dallas Zoo | The Dallas Mom

Lions and giraffes and koalas, oh my! The Dallas Zoo is known as one of the best activities for kids in the metroplex. Though our sweet girl slept through most of our trip, we had an amazing day walking around enjoying the animals. One of the best aspects of living in Dallas is the amazing weather in Spring and Fall, so February and March are actually some of the best times to visit the zoo. The crowds were low, but the weather was gorgeous and the animals were very active. Here are a few of my favorite tips for visiting the Dallas Zoo:

Before You Arrive

Save money by packing a cooler. Bring your own snacks and drinks (glass and alcoholic beverages are not permitted) – you can even pack a lunch to save a bit of money. There are some beautiful shaded areas to rest and have a snack. My favorites are ‘Base Camp’ in the Giants of the Savannah, where there is a shaded porch overlooking the elephant enclosure, and an area with picnic tables between the Texas Cats and Wings of Wonder exhibits. If you’d like to eat at one of the zoo’s most unique dining experiences, the Serengeti Grill in the Giants of the Savanna has floor to ceiling windows that allow you to watch the lions while you eat.

Ride the DART to add an adventure. The DART arrives at the gate of the Dallas Zoo and you save money on parking. If you show your ticket stubs on Monday or Tuesday, you save $2 on your zoo admission! It’s a fun addition to any day at the zoo.

Bring a swimsuit. Maybe not for the whole family, but at least for the littlest members! The children’s zoo is very well developed and it sure to captivate children of all ages. This area includes barn animals, underground creatures (featured in a room you have to crawl through!), and a koi pond. Your child’s favorite part will undoubtedly be the water feature. Kids can splash around and let off steam from a long day walking around the zoo, but if you want to stop meltdowns on the way home, it’s best to bring a swimsuit or at least a change of clothes.

When You Arrive

Plan to feed the giraffes. We have been to half a dozen zoos around the country. One of the most unique things about the Photo Jan 31, 12 24 39 PMDallas Zoo (and the exhibit that makes this zoo my favorite) is the giraffes. It only costs $5 to have a unique experience that will not soon be forgotten. For $5, you receive a giant head of lettuce (plenty for the family to share) and you are able to feed and pet the giraffes. They are not shy – they will come right up to the railings and stick their giant tongues out waiting for some food. The keeper will tell you how to feed them and show you how they like to be touched, then get your camera ready! Without traveling to Africa, you will likely never be this close to these beautiful, interesting creatures again.


Don’t miss the reptile house.
Tucked back in the corner of zoo is a building that could easily be looked over. If you pass by this building, you will be missing giant snakes, kimono dragons, and tiny poison dart frogs. The real treat, though, is behind closed doors. As you enter the reptile house, turn right immediately and walk through the door to see the most intriguing animal at the zoo – the albino alligator!

Check trainer encounter times. I love watching the trainers interact with their animals. They are so knowledgeable and able to share really interesting facts. You always get a better view of the animals and you can learn about each of the animals individually. We have seen the lion trainer and the elephant trainer and both were excellent – the last time we went to the zoo, we even heard an elephant trumpet!

What did I miss? Comment below with your favorite part of the Dallas Zoo?

A Mom's Guide to The Dallas Zoo | The Dallas Mom

Popular Kid-Friendly Neighborhoods in Dallas

Looking for your next home? Check out these Popular Kid-Friendly Neighborhoods in Dallas. This is a guest post by Zillow author, Miriam Bornstein. Thanks for sharing your expertise with The Dallas Mom readers!Popular Kid-Friendly Neighborhoods in Dallas | The Dallas Mom

By Miriam Bornstein

Purchasing a home is no easy feat. Finding the right neighborhood for your kids adds even more pressure into the mix. School districts, recreational amenities and home values are all important factors to consider when determining whether a neighborhood is great for children.

Here are three popular kid-friendly neighborhoods in Dallas.

1. Lake Highlands

Lake Highlands is equipped for families looking for spacious lots and access to recreational amenities. With a median home value of $93,400, Lake Highlands offers families the perfect balance between suburban and city living. One of the biggest draws to this neighborhood is its close proximity to downtown and surrounding northern cities, such as Plano, McKinney and Frisco. This tight-knit community is known to have top -rated school districts, making Lake Highlands quite attractive for families with young children. Last year, home values rose by 33.6 percent, and are expected to rise by another 8.2 percent.

2. M Streets

The M Streets is a popular neighborhood due to its historic charm and central location to surrounding attractions. Hop on the McKinney Avenue Trolley for an enjoyable tour of downtown Dallas neighborhoods or drive to Southern Methodist University for an afternoon at the Meadows Museum of Art or the Barr Outdoor Pool. Other popular amenities located within a 15-minute drive of the M Streets include The Dallas Zoo, the states’ largest zoological park and the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, just 15 minutes south. Residents looking to purchase a home in the M Streets can expect a median home value of $333,900, with home values predicted to rise another 7.3 percent in 2016.

3. Lakewood (North East Dallas)

Located in Northeast Dallas, Lakewood is known for its lakeside living nestled between wooded hills and an abundance of outdoor amenities. White Rock Lake is a favorite park among residents, popular for family picnics, hiking, fishing, music festivals and seasonal events. The arboretum is another draw, offering interactive exhibits at the Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden and an annual autumn festival, featuring life-sized fairytale houses made from pumpkins. Beyond Lakewood’s scenic surroundings, this neighborhood offers spectacular architecture, known to flaunt English Tudor and Colonial Revival style homes. With a median home value of $243,500, residents looking to buy a home in Lakewood can expect prices to rise by 6.7 percent within the year.

While Lakewood, Lake Highlands and the M Streets are three popular kid-friendly neighborhoods to consider, Dallas-bound families should review the available homes or rentals in the community that best fits their needs.

A FanMom’s Guide to Dallas Comic Con

A FanMom's Guide to Dallas Comic Con - The Dallas Mom

When a Fangirl has kids, she becomes part of a spectacular new species – the FanMom. My daughter knew about Chewie long before she had ever heard about Paddington or Clifford. She loves to tell anyone who will listen that she is ‘Batlady’. Her nursery theme was even Wookie the Chew.

In our house where some people would have sweet family photos and sentimental tchotchkes, we have movie posters and Star Wars LEGO displays. From Lord of the Rings to Doctor Who, Captain America to Han Solo, we love it all. I am a certifiable FanMom.

So, you can imagine how pumped I was when shortly after we moved to Dallas, I discovered the glorious world known as Dallas Comic Con. A Mecca of cosplay, artists, actors, and vendors, Dallas Comic Con is where all the fandoms collide in a giant explosion of sub-culture fun.

A FanMom's Guide to Dallas Comic Con - The Dallas Mom

This year we are covering the event, so I’m giving you everything a FanMom needs to know about Dallas Comic Con.

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1. Know what’s included. Most events and activities are included in the cost of admission, but getting autographs and photos with the dozens of celebrity guests is not. In other words, don’t get your little one pumped up to meet their hero unless you are prepared to fork over some cash. You CAN however attend panels featuring the actors, actresses, and celebrities from your favorite fandom for free. You and your kids will love listening to the people you’ve seen on TV playfully ribbing their cast mates, giving glimpses of life behind the scenes, and interacting with the audience.

A FanMom's Guide to Dallas Comic Con - The Dallas Mom

2. Get into character. There’s some misconception that only the best cosplayers should dress up for Comic Con. While you will see incredible work by professional cosplayers, the 501st Legion, and dedicated fans, you will also see Stormtroopers on a tropical vacation, homemade Doctor Who costumes, and more Marvel shirts than you can imagine. No matter what your skill level, get creative and join the fun of dressing up. If you are feeling adventurous and a little competitive, sign yourself (or your kids) up for the cosplay contest.

A FanMom's Guide to Dallas Comic Con - The Dallas Mom

3. Prep questions for the panel. Most celebrity panels will accept questions from the audience, so make sure your kids are prepared before they arrive. They will need to head to the microphones as soon as they are allowed and have a question ready to go. Also, everyone came to hear the celebs, so keeps questions succinct.

A FanMom's Guide to Dallas Comic Con - The Dallas Mom

4. Visit artists alley. Does your family love Star Wars, the Avengers, or Doctor Who? No matter what you love, you can meet and talk to the artists that make their favorite characters come to life in artists alley. You can pick up a unique piece of art or ask them questions about their craft. Their creativity and talent will blow you away.

A FanMom's Guide to Dallas Comic Con - The Dallas Mom

5. Don’t let the lines scare you. Actually, the community and comrade found in the lines at Dallas Comic Con is unlike anything you’ll find in the world. Meet new people, discover common interests, and enjoy your time spent in line. If you have little ones, come prepared with activities like the Heads Up app, Magformers, or Busy Books.

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Dallas Comic Con is full of talent, creativity and community. It’s a place where fantasy becomes reality. You will be among thousands of passionate fans who will become like family. Being a FanMom has been one of my favorite parts of being a mom. Becoming a parent doesn’t mean you have to lose yourself, just bring your kids along on your adventures!

A FanMom's Guide to Dallas Comic Con - The Dallas Mom

Do you have any tips for enjoying Dallas Comic Con as a FanMom? Share them in the comments below!

Connect with Dallas Comic Con on Facebook, Twitter and their website.

A FanMom's Guide to Dallas Comic Con - The Dallas Mom

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