As Summer fades into Fall, I am excited about spending more time outside. I am growing tired of the 110 degree weather and am thrilled that the past few days have topped out around 85! Although my little one is not in preschool just yet, I am working to create a more consisent schedule to get us out of the house and exploring. So I have been compiling a list of the things we love about Dallas.
THE DALLAS ARBORETUM (www.dallasarboretum.org)
Our family LOVES the Arboretum. We live ten minutes away so we are there several times a week, weather permitting. In just a few weeks, the 66-acre garden will be full of Autumn blooms and more than 50,000 pumpkins. Can you say photo op!? We love going to the Cool Thursday Concerts. It's a wonderful time to forget about the stresses of the day, open a bottle of wine and let the little one run and dance around until she collapses in her stroller. And it's the best spot to watch the sun set over White Rock Lake!
|Cool Thursday Concert at the Dallas Arboretum|
BOOKMARKS IN NORTHPARK CENTER (www.dallaslibrary2.org)
This is a Dallas Public Library branch inside NorthPark Center! What?! Yes! They offer several interactive music, rhyme and story times per week. All free! All wonderful! Their online calendar is updated weekly.
THE DUCKS AT NORTHPARK CENTER (www.northparkcenter.com)
After enjoying music and stories at Bookmarks we head over to the indoor pond at NorthPark to watch the ducks and turtles swim around. Another free and entertaining activity!
SPRAY PARKS (www.dallasparks.org)
When it's 100+ degrees outside, there's no better place to be!
GALLERIA DALLAS PLAYPLACE (www.galleriadallas.com)
Who would think going to the mall several times a week would be a great source of free entertainment for kids? Well, in Dallas it is! The playplace on the third level of the Galleria is a great place for young kids to climb around and explore. And because it's inside, there's little threat of sunburn, bugs, overheating or bad falls on concrete sidewalks.
CUB CLUB AT THE DALLAS ZOO (www.dallaszoo.com)
To be fair, this is the first time we have participated in Cub Club and we've only been to one class. But I already know we love it! We signed up for a once-a-week Mommy & Me class that runs from September to December. Each week we learn about a different animal, meet a real animal up close, then go on a behind-the-scenes visit inside the zoo. As an added bonus, after each class we are free to enjoy the zoo on our own for the rest of the day.
DALLAS WORLD AQUARIUM (www.dwazoo.com)
If you haven't been to the DWA in Downtown Dallas I highly recommend that you go! It is so much more than fish tanks and aquatic life -- it feels like you are in a jungle observing wildlife in its natural home. Because this one is a little pricey, we typically only go once or twice a year and often when the grandparents are in town and picking up the bill. My husband and I visited the DWA several times before even having children. We even attended a wedding reception there. It is really that cool!
The YMCA has been a great place for our family over the past two years. Not only is it focused on family values and community, but it really is such a good value. I also like that I can go to the gym without having to feel self conscience about how I look. The members of the Y closest to our house are primarily elderly people and other moms who are doing their best to stay healthy and maybe lose a few pounds. No hot chicks in sports bras or dudes pumping iron. The childcare is also great and there are weekly classes at no additional cost. This summer, my daughter and I took Mommy & Me swim lessons- it was a great intro to swimming and water safety for both of us!
CONSIGNMENT SHOPPING! (www.consignmentdallas.com)
Although this one is not exactly an activity for little ones, I have to include it on my list of things to love about Dallas. There is such a large variety of consignment shops in the area. Whether you want to buy or sell women's clothes, kids' clothes, toys, baby supplies, home decor or furniture there is a shop for you. I have saved so much money buying baby supplies and toys secondhand, and I have also made some extra cash by selling items and clothing our family no longer needs. I recently discovered the Consignment Association of Dallas, which provides a list of local consignment shops by category and location. Awesome!
My list is always growing, so if you live in the area and have a place or activity I should add, please do share!!