From exhibits and festivals to museums and gardens—there is no shortage of cultural escapes in Dallas-Fort Worth. Read on to find a roundup of destinations offering enriching programs and activities that will broaden your family’s horizons, right where you live!
Art and culture come alive in historic Lewisville
Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater
Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater, located in Historic Old Town Lewisville, is the premier public arts facility in Southern Denton County. The MCL Grand houses multiple spaces giving art groups from the Greater Lewisville area and beyond a facility to perform, display works of art, host events, classes and meetings. Families can enjoy a variety of events in center’s 296-seat performance hall, art gallery, dance recital hall, black box theater and several classrooms. October will introduce the Teen Art workshops, which will be held every second Monday of the month from 6 to 9 p.m. and will provide students the opportunity to work with a professional artist who will share different processes and techniques, for a hands-on experience. This year’s performance lineup will include Haunted by Our Productions Theatre Co., Peter Pan by Christian Youth Theater in October, Encore presented by The Lewisville Lake Symphony Orchestra in November and more.
Adventure seeking junkies’ paradise
Mineral Wells Convention and Visitors Bureau
Mineral Wells is the perfect weekend escape for families seeking adventure, recreation and history. Spend an afternoon amidst fall blooms at the Clark Gardens Botanical Park, or hike along Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway. Plan a trip to the Crazy Fossil Dig at the Mineral Wells Fossil Park—the Dallas Paleontological Society will be on-site to help kids identify fossils, and what dig up treasures they can take home. Other October events include the Crazy Water Festival on October 12 and 13 and the Crazy Kicker 100 Bike Ride on October 20.
Create, sip and savor the offerings
Kimbell Art Museum
From family fun events, such as free creative workshops and storytelling sessions, to the world-class permanent art collections and translations in Spanish, The Kimbell Art Museum has a little something for everyone to enjoy. For last-minute plans, make your way to the Drop-In Studio for a gallery-themed activity and studio art project. For date night, listen to some of the best live music in town while having a light dinner and wine at on-site restaurant, The Buffet. Family events hosted throughout the year include the annual Family Festival during the first weekend of November. This free event will host games, hands-on art activities and performances by guest artists.
Get creative, be inspired
Texas Center for Arts and Academics
There’s a show for every art lover at Texas Center for Arts and Academics, where the talent from Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, Texas Boys Choir, Texas Dance Conservatory and Texas School of the Arts come together to produce the finest performances in musical theater, dance, drama, choir and visual arts.
With 70 years of experience in inspiring young people through an arts-based, academic worldview and over 40 performances per year, TCCA is focused on helping students reach their artistic potential. TCCA has a program for every age group, ranging from elementary to middle school and high school. This year’s Subscriber Series will kick the season off with the student-led and organized Choreography Concert. Get into the holiday spirit with the Charles Dickens Classic, A Christmas Carol in December. Wrap up the school year with Spring Cabaret, a show with something for everyone. Open enrollment dates will be Janurary 9 through February 11.
Inspiring leadership through the arts
Kids Who Care
Audiences of all ages will find inspiration and entertainment during the highly energetic and thought-provoking performances by the nonprofit, Kids Who Care. The locally based international theatre company and will stage its original musical, Choices, on October 19 at Scott Theatre at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. Expect sophisticated (and surprisingly edgy!) performances from the talented cast of 6-to-8-year-olds, and catch a glimpse of the many opportunities offered for your own creative kiddos. With the bar set high, your future superstars can take part in leadership-infused summer camps, year-round classes and workshops.
Jumpstart your journey at Irving Arts Center
Irving Arts Center
Irving Arts Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate Institution located right here in DFW, offers a rich environment for families to experience and engage in the arts. The Center is open seven days a week— stop by and peruse free-to-view exhibitions in Irving Arts Center’s five galleries. Make a whole day of it and enjoy a packed lunch in the Sculpture Garden. You can also plan a monthly outing the first Thursday of each month for JumpstART Stories & Art, a free story and craft time for kids. Or come for a Second Sunday Funday, another free program where parents and kids work together to craft masterpieces. In December, Irving Arts Center transforms into a winter wonderland of decorated trees. Visit Santa on “Santa Saturdays,” or take in a free concert from Riders in the Sky at the annual holiday open house event, December 7. Visit IrvingArtsCenter.com to learn more and plan your visit today.
Keeping it real
Fort Worth Stockyards Station
Cowboy culture is alive and well at the Fort Worth Stockyards, where families get to experience the Old West with twice-daily cattle drives, gunfight reenactments and championship rodeos in the historic Cowtown Coliseum. Don your cowboy boots for a jaunt through Stockyards Station, where you’ll find a plethora of options for shopping and dining. And, keep the kiddos entertained by wandering the CattlePen Maze and hands-on time with the animals at the Stockyards Petting Zoo.
Pumpkins, Butterflies and Pie – Oh My!
Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau
From butterfly releases to pumpkin decorating to evenings at the barn, Grapevine is bursting with free family-friendly activities this fall. Gather up your crew and head to Butterfly Flutterby for a costume parade and scavenger hunt, or welcome the season at Fall Round Up, where you’ll find live music, wagon rides, apple pie and more. And if you’re in for a spook, enjoy warm cider and spooky stories at Nash Farm during Bewitched by the Barn.
Out of this world experience in Fort Worth
Fort Worth Museum of Art and Science
Travel to space, dig for dinosaurs and explore the downright ugly side of human and animal science in Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body and Animal Grossology, open through Jan. 6. Stomp with the dinos from the Mesozoic Era at DinoLabs, experiment with the world’s first 3-D mapping dinosaur canvas at DinoGlow and explore new worlds in the Noble Planetarium. Visit fwmuseum.org to learn more about fun family programs, exhibitions and the Omni Theater (an IMAX Dome).
The next Beethoven takes the stage
Fort Worth Youth Orchestra
Listen to the next generation of classical musicians as they perform in world-class concert halls and gain the self-confidence necessary for a successful future. On April 27, the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra’s talented musicians will perform at Sundance Square for the first time. And save the date for May 19, as FWYO will perform at Bass Performance Hall for their Annual Grand Finale concert.
The magic of money—see how it’s made
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Watch blank sheets turn into brand-new crisp bills at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth. With free, self-guided tours, visitors have a front-row view to billions of dollars being printed and engraved. After viewing the production floor from the elevated walkway, stroll through two floors full of interactive exhibits highlighting the history of paper currency, and visit the gift shop to take home collectors’ editions.
Travel back in time to historic Denton County
Denton County Office of History and Culture
Take a step back in time at Denton’s historic Courthouse-On-The-Square (dating back to 1896) or at the Denton County Historical Park, managed by the Denton County Office of History and Culture. Peruse artifacts that belonged to the first residents of Denton County or celebrate alongside the community at yearly festivals, such as the Hispanic Heritage Festival, held on October 6 at the Denton Historical Park this year.