Summer break has started and unless your kids are spending the summer away in camp, you’re probably scrambling for ways to keep them from getting bored. Fortunately, there are quite a few fun and educational kid-friendly activities to be found around the metroplex this summer, including these exceptional options below. And don’t forget to also add a summer reading program to your bucket list— you’ll find a great list of DFW reading events here.
9350 Pasadena Drive, Suite 300
Frisco, TX 75034
Math, reading and food preparation are just a few of the educational benefits kids can receive from taking cooking classes. At the Young Chefs Academy, kids can start exploring their culinary talents as young as three years old in the Kinder Cooks class held one Saturday morning a month for $25. One Friday night a month, kids ages four to 13 can enjoy a special themed night of cooking and games for $35. Other cooking programs include weekend fun shops for ages four to 16 for $40, and week-long cooking summer camps for $235.
1515 S. Harwood St.
Dallas, TX 75215
Dallas Heritage Village is one of the few places in the city where kids can truly take a trip back in time to experience a slice of Dallas during the 19th century. The village provides an interactive insight into Dallas’ history through costumed storytellers, artifacts and an array of historical buildings. Additionally, visitors will find a wonderful line-up of recurring events and educational programs, ranging from mock gunfights and musical jams to story telling and historical reenactments. Admission for kids is free on the first Sunday of the month, or $5 for ages four to 12 and $9 for adults.
703 N.W. Green Oaks Blvd.
Arlington, TX 76006
This 12,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art nature center resting along the Trinity River provides visitors with interactive exhibits, activities and outdoor educational programs. Kids can connect to the natural world through a variety of activities offered year round, including story times, animal presentations, guided nature walks and gardening workshops. During the summer, the center holds workshops focusing on ecology, wildlife and the environment for preschool children through the 8th grade. Although there is a fee for some workshops and programs, most activities, including admission to the center, are free.
3812 Fenton Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76133
The Fort Worth Astronomical Society offers various ways for kids to explore the universe, including free star watching parties held every first Saturday of the month outside of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. In addition to the monthly star watching parties, kids can learn even more about the universe by attending the monthly meetings of the young astronomers club — held every third Saturday of the month at the Parkwood Hill HOA Club House at 5573 Eastwedge Drive in Fort Worth. The meetings are free to attend, but with a $20 yearly membership to the society, kids can receive all sorts of interesting goodies, including an astronomer’s handbook, observing supplies to use with the telescopes, achievement badges and an official YA t-shirt.
760 N. Jim Wright Freeway
Fort Worth, TX 76108
If you can’t make it to Gettysburg, then a visit to the Texas Civil War Museum is the next best place to learn all about Civil War history and Texas’ involvement in it. Whether you’re a history buff or not, the museum’s treasure trove of Civil War memorabilia is enough to spark anyone’s interest. Kids will enjoy seeing everything from artillery and medical equipment to uniforms and military musical instruments. There’s even an entire room featuring over 200 Victorian dresses. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for kids ages seven to 12 and free for kids ages six and under.
One of the best lessons a child can learn is about paying it forward in their own community. The Wee Volunteer non-profit organization offers a variety of monthly group and private volunteer opportunities with local Dallas charitable organizations for children ages two and up. The various service projects include everything from delivering meals with Meals on Wheels and caring for animals at the SPCA to cleaning up graffiti for the City of Dallas and entertaining children at the Family Gateway homeless shelter.