There are tons of things to do in DFW. There are the obvious zoos in both Dallas and Fort Worth which are great. We also love the Museum of Science’s Children Museum at Fair Park in Dallas. The Dallas World Aquarium really can’t be beat.
BUT we love going off the beaten track a bit.
In Fort Worth one of our favorite days is to start at Log Cabin Village. It is shady, small enough that the kids can run free, and not too expensive. A path winds through the “village” over a little stream that in itself can keep a child occupied for an hour and through the large trees to different houses, cabins, stores, a school and a blacksmith. Many of the houses have people dressed in period costumes going about the business of pioneer life. We usually spend about an hour and ½ and take our time to explore whatever the kids are interested in at the time.
Then we would go across the street to the Forest Park Miniature Railroad. For less than $3 a person you can board this little train and take a 45 minute tour of Forest Park. The engine stops mid-way through the ride at a Forest park station where you can get fresh popcorn for $1.
If we still have energy we go next door to the Fort Worth Botanical Garden’s Children’s Path. The path is a raised boardwalk through the woods with multiple learning stations. The kids love it. It is entirely in the shade. If it is still too warm there are several fountains the kids like to play in not too far from the path.
All these attractions are within ¼ mile (and the Fort Worth Zoo is there too) and next to the Ol’ South Pancake House which for some reason we adore. It is a truck-stop-like place that serves wonderful breakfasts all day. We always stop there for pancakes whenever in the area. It is a very noisy, busy place so it is a good place for kids.
We also love the Gainesville, TX Zoo – Frank Buck Zoo. It is a small home town zoo with a huge park out front and a little train that runs through the park. It doesn’t have the amazing animals or large attractions that the Dallas and Fort Worth zoos have, but it is charming. It has a one mile loop through the animal attractions that is easily negotiated with a stroller. You can see almost the whole loop so you feel fine with the kids running ahead. It is never crowded. Even though it is a little further drive for us, this is the zoo where I bought season passes.
Holly Homer, mother of 3 boys ages 3, 5 and 8, lives in suburban DFW, Texas. She is one of the founders/editors of www.burbmom.net, a fantastic website for moms in North Texas, and also blogs at June Cleaver Nirvana.