Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Fun (in Dallas)

It's official - summer is here!

When Ryan had his last day of Mothers Day Out (MDO) back in May I was a little worried about what we would do all summer long. We had four weeks before his summer MDO session began and I needed to find some fun summer activities! That was my mission - so here is what I have come up with!

I signed us up for so many darn activities that I am sure some people probably think I am crazy, but I love it and Ryan seems to as well. I go a little crazy being stuck at home (always have) so I love having activities for us to do together. (I realize this is all going to change come September, but we will make adjustments and I am sure be back on track soon enough!) We are continuing Ryan's swim classes at Dolfin Swim School, as well as Little Gym and Kindermusic. In addition to these activities we added camp at Kidville (during the MDO breaks) and also Little Explorers program. With this summer schedule we still have our M/TH afternoons and all day Friday wide open for play dates, pool dates and whatever else comes our way!

Kidville opened in Dallas over a year ago and I have been wanting to try it but every time we think about it our schedule changes and it just never happens. When Ryan's MDO ended in May I slightly freaked out about what I was going to do to entertain him and scoured the internet for activities in Dallas. I checked their schedule for summer classes and ended up finding a camp that sounded perfect! I know most camps don't start until your child is three but at Kidville they had one for two-year olds - which was awesome!

Campers and their counselors visit different classrooms where specialists lead them through all kinds of activities - gym, arts and crafts, music, and hands on explorations. We tried a two weeks session (T/Th classes) and Ryan seemed to really enjoy it. The counselors are all so sweet and loved him and he was so happy every time I went to pick him up so we signed up for another session in August (when he has another break between summer school and the fall semester.
Another great thing about kidville is that when you sign up for a class or camp you also get a year membership which gives you access to their open gym...totally worth it! If you are a mom and you are at home racking your brain trying to find a cool space for your kids to play this summer it's so nice to have this option! The open play hours vary by season but they generally have enough options that at least one day should work for your schedule. The Friday 10:15 - 12:15 time slot is probably where we will be most Friday mornings this summer!

This is a program at the Children's Museum (in the Nature and Science Museum at Fair Park.) Once again, I have tried to sign up for this before but have missed the deadline or our schedules didn't work out. Anyhow, it is a "program that mixes sensory artistic activities, music and stories to help your child build aesthetic awareness" (says the website) but if you ask me it's lots of messy (and I mean messy) fun and Ryan LOVES it! Each week the kids create an art project usually with a bunch of paint, glue and glitter - and once they are done painting they can play with all the bubble toys, water tables, and sand boxes. Really there is no order so the kids can do whatever whenever. At the end of class they sing, dance and play with musical instruments. Once the class is over you can head over to the Children's Museum to let them burn some more energy - good indoor fun!

In my research I also found a lot of other activities for us to try. It's almost too hot for most of the outdoor activities - most of them are better for spring and fall, but I thought I'd list them anyways.


  • Splash Park
    • This might be the only one we try during the actual summer
  • Visit a neighborhood park 
  • Arboretum
  • Belo Garden - new park in downtown Dallas with water feature
  • Arts District Food trucks for lunch and water feature outside the opera house
  • Lakeside Park to feed the ducks
  • The Gentle Zoo - petting zoo in Forney
  • Dallas Aquarium
  • Children's Museum
  • Frontiers of Flight Museum
  • North Park Mall - Ryan loves to walk around and check out the turtles and ducks. 
  • Bookmarks Library (in North Park) Music time
  • Whole Foods (Park Lane) - Whole Kids Crafts & Story Time every Tuesday from 10am - 11am, Free. Fun hour of crafts, stories and healthy snacks. 
  • Jump Street - indoor trampoline park (new Dallas location)
  • Barnes & Noble in Addison - Thomas the Train table to play with
  • Barnes & Noble Prestonwood Center - Saturday story time @ 10:30
  • Plano Indoor Safari Park
  • Dallas Museum of Art - First Tuesdays are free every month and geared for children 5 and under! Each month is a different theme. 
  • Nasher Sculpture Center - First Saturdays are free and full of kid acticities - including art, scavenger hunts, family tours, yoga, reading time, and Live performances. Events run from 10am - 2pm. 
I am sure there are tons more activities available but these are what I have found. It seems that every time I talk with a new mom I get more ideas. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them!

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