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Spring Break Staycation Ideas

It’s hard for many of us to take a fun road trip or vacation with the kids over Spring Break. If you don’t have travel plans and need to keep the kids busy during spring break, consider a “stay-cation”!

Note: If you do plan to take a mini-vacation, make sure and check out Ways to Save on Travel!

Here are some great affordable ideas for a spring break stay-cation with the kids.  And remember, many memories are built with your children doing the “little” things.  I bet you could build some great memories with some of these ideas…its all about “time” with your children in my opinion!

If you are thinking of doing multiple activities, consider buying the Dallas CityPass- read all about it here.

GeorgeBushBe a local tourist

Tackle the local tourist attractions. Sure you know they’re there, but, often times, things are just simply too busy for you to go and check them out. Some key fun attractions in the area include:

Geo-Deck at Reunion Tower– Atop that big ball at the west end of downtown, you’ll get a bird’s-eye view, 470 feet above the ground, of downtown and farther afield. It’s one of the best places to see the layout of Dealey Plaza, and you’ll also get a great view of the Trinity River.

George W. Bush Presidential Center– A look at the eight years when the 43rd president was in office, including an especially poignant section on 9/11. 2943 SMU Blvd. (near the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and North Central Expressway), University Park.

AT&T Stadium–  3 million square feet! You might be surprised by the beauty of the place and by the collection of world-class art inside. Take a tour to see the field, the Cowboys’ and Cowboys Cheerleaders’ locker rooms, postgame interview room and more.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 3.50.38 PMGain some culture

We have a wide variety of museums, many of which include free admission and some beautiful exhibits.

Free Admission MuseumsThe Dallas Museum of Art is completely free and features more than 22,000 works of art spanning all mediums and time-periods, from ancient civilization to modern art. Other must-see museums include The Samurai Collection at The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller MuseumCrow Collection of Asian ArtAfrican American Museum and the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art. The Meadows Museum of Art, with one of the largest Spanish art collections outside of Spain, at Southern Methodist University is free on Thursdays after 5 p.m.

Here are other local museums and attractions. The best advice I can give you is to go to the website or call ahead and ask for specials or discounts.

Amon Carter Museum – The Amon Carter Museum of American Art announces the return of Family Fun Week. This free public program for children and their families is held during the week of Tuesday, March 15–Friday, March 18, from 10:30 a.m.–noon, and brings the museum’s collection to life through art exploration and art-making activities. Parents are encouraged to call 817.989.5030 or for helpful information and parking tips.
Dallas Arboretum
Fort Worth’s Botanic Gardens
Fossil Rim
Klyde Warren Park
Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park
Dallas World Aquarium
Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum/Ripley’s Believe it or Not
The Old Red Museum
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Sci-Tech Discovery Center
Sixth Floor Museum
Dallas Zoo
Dallas Museum of Art
Reunion Tower Observation 
Grapevine SEA-Life Aquarium
Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Other Deals:

-Experience the all-new LEGO Star Wars MINILAND Model Display featuring Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones at LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

-Find out what happens after the blockbuster movie when Emmet, Wyldstyle and friends reunite in an all-new, totally original “The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure” appearing exclusively at LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

-Save big on admission for the whole family at SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium with the Sink Your Claws Into Recycling, a project to raise awareness about the importance of recycling. Through April 1, with the purchase of one adult ticket and donation of five empty soda cans receive one free kids admission to SEA LIFE Grapevine.  Bring in five cans for each additional child ages 3-12 and their ticket is just $5. Donated cans will be used to build a larger-than-life handcrafted 6-foot crab sculpture that will be unveiled in conjunction with the opening of their new Claws exhibit on Earth Day, April 22.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not? ~ 50% Off Combo Ticket

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 2.57.08 PMLibrary or Park:

Just because the kids are away from school doesn’t mean you the can unplug the brain. Many area libraries are holding activities through the break.

Better yet, get out of your local “hood” and show the kids the Dallas Public Library!

If you’re a suburbanite, get the kids downtown and check out Klyde Warren Park or take them to another one out of your area so they can see new things.  KLYDE WARREN PARK is the Dallas version of Central Park, built atop a busy downtown freeway. The $110 million park offers games (pingpong tables and equipment on-site, for instance), a reading area with magazines and books, a dog park, a special kids’ area and oodles of activities and performances by local musical, theater and dance troupes. 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway (between Pearl and St. Paul streets on the northern edge of downtown), Dallas.

movieTake in a movie “on the cheap”

Whether it’s cuddling up with some popcorn for a good movie at home or capitalizing on inexpensive matinee pricing at the theater, catching a good flick is always fun.

Many cities have discount theaters in the area where you can pay as little as $1 a movie. If the weather isn’t nice, now might be a good time to have a movie marathon with you children!  At $1-$1.25 per movie, you can’t go wrong!  In my area,Cinemark offers movies during the day for $1!

Make sure and check out our Ways to Save at the Movies section so you aren’t spending a bundle!


Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 3.05.23 PMVisit Local Retail Shops for Free Events

Every Friday, we do a list of Fun & Free Weekend Events in our “Around Town” section. Included in this are retailers that offer free events for the kids.  Bass Pro, Lowes, Home Depot, Michaels, Lakeshore Learning, American Girl, Barnes & Noble & more have weekend events regularly. Check your favorite retailers websites for more information.

Here are some examples:

*American Girl
Every month at various locations, girls ages 8 and up can participate in events. Head over here to see the full list of dates and participating locations as well as a phone number to make reservations. Keep in mind that ticket prices will vary by event.

*Bass Pro

Kids Fishing at Bass Pro Saturdays, 11 AM Free!  Join Bass Pro each week when kids are welcome to fish on their pond. Go here for details.

Burn Some Calories

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Get ACTIVE and keep the kids off electronics. Your kids will thank you too for getting them off the couch.  Trampoline parks, paintball, rock climbing… you name it our area has it.

Daily Deal Sites for activities and overnight deals:

This is where the daily deals sites come in VERY handy for my family.  I use GrouponLiving Social and AdPages to find great events and activities going on in my area from concerts to climbing, go-karts to getaways. These deals will allow you to save at least 50% or more.  It’s a great way to save a few extra bucks!  Many cities have several daily deal sites to choose from.

Here are just some of the deals offered in my area to give you an idea of what you can find!

Mountasia – Free Unlimited Rides Pass

Mini Golf, Go-Karting, and Arcade Tokens for Two, Four, or Six at Mountasia Family Fun Park (51% Off) – $17

Go-Karting and Mini Golf for 2, 4, or 6 or Birthday Bash for Up to 12 at Zone Action Park (Up to 51% Off)- $25

Two or Four Three-Attraction Family-Fun-Park Passes and Sodas at Adventure Landing (57% Off)- $17

Two Thrill Rides for One or Two at Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park (Up to 43% Off)

Note: If you want to do a “Texas” trip, remember, Sea World offers free tickets to pre-school kiddos!

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 3.21.24 PMDo Something New & Unique

Dallas is known for bring hip, new and fun events to the area.  Make a point to check it out. At least you can say… “I tried it!”

Here is one example.

Escape Room for Two or Four, or a Private Escape Room for Two–Six at Escaping the Square (Up to 51% Off)- $39

Take in a Spring Break Camp

Let’s face it, sometimes you just can’t keep your kids entertained all day, right?  That’s when I check out local spring break camps.  They are a great break for the kids and for mom! Most are VERY reasonable.  My daughters gym offers a Best Gymnastics Spring Break Camp for just $25 for 5 hours of jumping & fun!  That’s $5 an hour!!!  We can pick and choose which days she wants to go. I would suggest calling your neighborhood gym, art studio or whatever it is your child likes do to see if they offer spring break camps.

Fort Worth Dallas Farmers MarketMake it “learning time”

Visit a pond, go to the Farmer’s Market, stage your own neighborhood production.  Do things with the children that you never seem to find the time to do. Ask the kids what they would like to learn more about and “just do it!”

Forth Worth & Dallas Area Farmers Markets
Heritage Farmstead
Dallas Heritage Village
Dallas Farmer’s Market

+ Go HERE to view a comprehensive list of Forth Worth & Dallas Area Farmers Markets

Eat out: Explore new and local restaurants  

With busy schedules, many families are stuck in a routine and don’t have time to explore new places to eat. Use your Spring Break as a way to discover new restaurants in your area.  Take advantage of restaurants where Kids Eat Free. I think this would be a great time to introduce new and exciting foods for the kids.  Who knows, you might just find your next new favorite restaurant.

Also, don’t forget to check out GrouponLiving Social and AdPages for restaurant deals to your local favorites.

Things to do in….

Lastly, be sure to browse our must see places and activities that happen in our metroplex suburbs- you are sure to find something you and your family will have fun doing!

Things to Do in Arlington, TX ~ City Spotlight

For example, Art on the Greene Art FestivalEach March, you will be able to see the Caelum Moor sculptures, a lake on the north side, Rangers Ballpark on the east and Cowboys Stadium on the west plus 80 incredible artists from across the country showcasing their work inside the park….it makes for one great art festival that you don’t want to miss!
Things to Do in Carrollton, TX ~ City Spotlight

For example, Sandy Lake Amusement Park– Walk back in time and have fun at this old fashioned amusement park that offers rides, swimming, games, mini golf, large group picnics, company event hosting and more!
Things to Do in Frisco, TX ~ City Spotlight

For example, Central Park~ Cattle sculptures, waterfalls and native Texas landscaping offer a perfect setting for walking, picnics and biking in this beautiful native landscape.

Texas Sculpture Garden & International Art~ You’ll find the largest private collection of Texas sculptures on public display without a charge. Forty large-scale pieces, all owned by Craig Hall, are featured in the sculpture park with an additional 100 pieces of artwork presented in and around the Office Park.

Things to Do in Garland ~ City Spotlight

For example, Landmark Museum–  This cute little train museum is housed in the former Santa Fe depot. It displays some early settlers artifacts, old newspapers, farm tools and quilts.
Things to Do in Grand Prairie, TX ~ City Spotlight

For example, Lynn Creek ParkOn the northwest shore of Joe Pool Lake, Lynn Creek Park amenities include a new white sand swimming beach, playground, restrooms, showers, two boat ramps with eight lanes, a concession stand, almost 100 picnic sites, group picnic pavilions, and a sand volleyball court!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!~ The Odditorium boasts 11 galleries of interactive exhibits, featuring rare and bizarre artifacts inspired by the oddball collection of worldwide explorer Robert Ripley. Glimpse inside the Taj Mahal of the bizarre with astonishing and outlandish displays including odd inventions, ancient gewgaws, a conjoined calf, metallic prehistoric monsters, and a chance to spot a mermaid.
Things to Do in Grapevine, TX

For example, Grapevine Botanical Garden~ The Grapevine Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park is a beautiful park with trails, streams, ponds, sitting areas and hundreds of varieties of plants for viewing. This garden really is a hidden gem in Grapevine that does not get the appreciation it deserves.

Grapevine Museums & Galleries~ Every month, the Grand and Tower Galleries host a variety of art, cultural, historical and educational exhibitions. The exhibitions offer a chance learn something new, to see something innovative or interesting and to be exposed to a wide variety of mediums and artists. Offering a mix of exhibits, one month we might display a traveling Smithsonian exhibition, the next month, a contemporary art show.
Things to Do in McKinney, TX ~ City Spotlight

For example, Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife SanctuaryFounded in 1967, the Heard consists of a 289 acre wildlife sanctuary and a natural science museum for the primary purpose of educating children about nature. The Heard exists to bring nature and people together to discover, enjoy, experience, restore, and preserve our priceless environment.

Erwin Park Hike & Bike Trail~ Locals call this the best kept secret in TX. This is a great place to go mountain biking, hiking, and camping!
Things to Do in Plano, TX ~ City Spotlight

For example, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve~ Features many acres of open space in its 200-acre boundaries. People can use the pavilions, jog on the track, hike, play on the playground, bike, and climb the observation tower.

Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve~ Over 800 acres are waiting to be explored and the park features 8.5 miles of hiking trails, bike trails, an amphitheater, and a pavilion.

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