Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fun Things to do with a Toddler in DFW (Indoors)

I love going places with my little girl, who just turned one year old. We both love going to parks and the zoo! Unfortunately, Dallas gets fiendishly hot in the summer, which makes it hard to enjoy outdoor activities the way we do in the spring. So where can we go that's fun and child-friendly, but not in the searing heat? I've found a few places we enjoy.

1. Perot Museum of Nature and Science

This is one of Dallas' newest museums. It's located right downtown, and the building is beautifully designed. It has tons of dinosaur skeletons, a gorgeous exhibit of minerals and gemstones, and a fun kid's area downstairs. The kid's area has a huge sandbox where kids can dig for dinosaur bones, a water table, and a place for babies to crawl around. It's free for children under two, and $15 for adults without a membership. My sweet girl might only be one, but I love exposing her to science, and she loves looking at all the exciting exhibits. This is definitely one of my favorite places to visit with her. 

2. Dallas World Aquarium

We went here this past week! The indoor "jungle" areas were fascinating, and we loved seeing animals like the giant anteaters, the golden lion tamarins, and the giant otters. The penguins were fun too. The exhibits are well designed, with live trees, verdant green plants, and two gorgeous waterfalls, so that it feels as though you are standing in the middle of a rainforest. However, the paths were narrow, and there were quite a few people there. I didn't even attempt to use my stroller, instead carrying my little girl in her baby bjorn. It's also a bit expensive--children under two are free, but adults are $20.95. Still, I had a great time, and my baby really enjoyed seeing the animals as well. Most of them anyway--she was afraid of the jaguar! 

3.  Dallas Museum of Art

The DMA has free general admission everyday, and lots of great family programing, including storytime on Tuesdays during the summer. They have beautiful collections of art, from the ancient art of Asia, Africa, and Rome, to European art of the 18th-20th centuries, to modern and American art. I love visiting the museum and showing the artwork to my baby. She might be too young to appreciate it just yet, but it's free, air-conditioned, and interesting. It's also right across from Klyde Warren Park, which has a fun playground, delicious food trucks, and plenty of activities like concerts. I often like to visit the museum as a family, then have lunch or dinner at the food trucks.

4. Malls with Play Areas

There are lots malls in DFW with children's play areas. I frequently visit Stonebriar Mall in Frisco, which has a fun play area with cartoon-like figures of trains, animals, and buildings for kids to climb around on or slide down. My little girl loves climbing (or trying to climb) on the slides, and there are always plenty of children around who are happy to play with her. She crawls through tunnels and cruise around to her heart's content, and even practicing walking in between the plastic animals. There are similar play areas at the Shops at Willow Bend and the Galleria. While North Park Mall doesn't have a play area, it does have an area with adorable live ducks and turtles, and my sweet baby loves watching those when we go there.

5. Libraries

I visited the Euless Library with my little girl when we lived there, but we've since moved, and I haven't had a chance to check out my nearest library. Still, libraries usually have storytime for little ones, and I'm looking forward to taking my sweet daughter when we get a chance. 

What kid-friendly places do you like to go to with your toddler? Let me know if there are other great places in Dallas for us to visit!

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