Look for the teal text for special needs news.
There’s a new series of children’s books available from a local mom TeAndra Taylor and her 3-year-old son Carson. Taylor and Carson travel frequently and decided to use their adventures as a basis for their books. She said they noticed a lack of diversity in children’s books about travel, so they decided to create the series with illustrations from Samayyah Smith. You can find the books on Amazon. Learn more about Taylor, her son and their books on their website.
The Behavior Exchange—a leading provider of ABA therapy in North Texas—recently earned a 2-year BHCOE reaccreditation for its dedication to continued improvement in ABA therapy. The BHCOE accreditation is the only ABA-specific accreditation globally and provides feedback on best practices and consumer protection among other aspects. Only a handful of ABA providers in North Texas have received this honor.
Dallas Children’s Theater recently announced the virtual premiere of A Kids’ Play About Racism. The play is a result of a collaboration with 37 other Theatres for Young Audiences (TYA) members across the country. The show aims to provide young kids and families a way to engage in a meaningful conversation about race through theater. It will be streamed on Broadway on Demand for free and runs for 30 minutes.
The City of Bedford will receive a new type of playground this fall. Courtesy of beverage brand Sparkling Ice, the city will receive a musical pocket playground, which will be ADA accessible. The playground will be near the historic 1915 Old Bedford School and will include a variety of instruments for kids of all ages to enjoy. To learn more about the playground, click here.
Galleria Dallas will host a special Make-A-Wish art exhibit, The Art of a Wish, August 6–30. The exhibit will feature more than 15 works by children who are battling illnesses. The art will be available for purchase through an online auction; you can bid on your favorite piece here. All proceeds will go toward future wishes through the program.
A new fitness studio is opening soon in Plano—AKT (Anna Kaiser Technique)—a dance-based cardio workout from New York City, lauded by Kelly Ripa and Shakira—will offer four different classes to burn those calories. The Plano location is the first in Texas and is. Right now, those who sign up for a membership will receive 20% off for life; discount availability is limited. To sign up, click here, and to get an overview of the four types of classes, click here.
The former Food Hall at Crockett Row in Fort Worth—now named Crockett Hall—recently reopened with 11 new eateries for the whole family. The hall is currently open seven days a week from 11am–8pm with occupancy restrictions.
Now through Oct. 1, InBloom Autism Services will offer comprehensive diagnostic evaluations for kids 18-months to 5-years-old at no cost to qualified families in Texas. To learn more or to set up an evaluation, call 888/754-0398 or go visit the website.
Two local girls recently started a mask-making business. The masks are fitted just for kids, fun and soft. To order or to read more about what these kiddos are doing, click here.
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) is hosting an immunization event for local kids this summer. From July 27–Sept. 11, kids and adults can receive free and low-cost vaccinations in Fort Worth. To learn more about where the event will take place and how to sign up, click here.
Registration for the annual Katy 5K is now open. The 2020 event, which supports the Katy Trail in Dallas, will be held virtually. Click here to learn more and to register.
Dallas Children’s Theater recently held its first virtual performance. The show, Miss Nelson Has a Field Day, is available to rent for $10 through August 1. Other show packages are available as well. To access the stream and get more information on the available packages, click here. The show is recommended for ages 5 and up.
Taylor Counseling Group recently announced a partnership with Okay to Say—a public awareness campaign that encourages people to talk about their mental health. Through the partnership, Taylor Counseling Group will be donating $1 from every counseling session to Okay to Say, an initiative of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. The founder of Taylor Counseling Group hopes this partnership will make a bigger impact in the mental health area.
Addison’s Ida Claire is now hosting movie nights on the patio every Thursday night. Guests can enjoy a free movie while snacking on some tasty bites and sipping on sodas or cocktails. Reservations are preferred. To make a reservation, call 214/377-8227 or visit the website.
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History will delay its reopening due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in the area. While the doors are still closed, make sure to check out the museum’s online discovery lab as well as the online field trips.
The Dallas Holocaust and Human Right’s Museum recently added a Tool Kit for Disrupting Racism along with its summer camps and speaker series content. The content will offer various tools and resources to combat bias and racism.
The Character Tree is now providing parents free access to video lessons for kids about racism and tolerance. The teacher-hosted episodes all feature a character trait paired with an influential person. The lessons are best for kids in grades K–2 and include topics such as “Perseverance & Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” “Bravery & Ruby Bridges” and “Hope & Misty Copeland,” among others. Sign up and view for free here.
Join Wynnewood Village in Oak Cliff for a contactless treasure hunt for back-to-school shopping July 27–August 23. There will be 100 total prize winners who will receive either Wynnewood Village store gift cards from $10–50 or the $250 grand prize. The hunt is free to participate and even coincides with tax-free shopping weekend. For more information and activity rules, click here.
Dallas-based Foster Kids Charity is in need of supplies for the upcoming school year. Requested items include laptops for remote learning, Lysol, disposable gloves and disinfectant wipes. FKC has created Amazon lists you can shop from, or you can make a contribution directly through organization’s website.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science has decided to pause its plans for reopening in early July. The museum is working closely with other Dallas museums—including the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, among others—to evaluate when they will reopen to the public.
Rainbow Vomit recently reopened with another immersive art exhibit. This exhibit includes over 9,000 LED lights, 5,000 balloons, 250 pounds of cotton and a life-size unicorn. Private and public bookings, as well as details on the new operating procedures, are available on the website. Open through Sept. 7, Thursday–Sunday.
The City of Lewisville recently launched a new campaign to encourage residents to wear masks amid the COVID crisis. “Mask Up Lewisville” is the city’s way of bringing awareness to wearing a facial covering to slow the spread of the virus.
Madison Reed Color Bar recently opened at Watters Creek in Allen. The salon is following all CDC guidelines and social distancing practices to ensure a safe visit for clients. The salon is currently open Tuesday–Saturday from 10am–6pm.
The Tarrant Area Food Bank recently brought the Fort Worth community its largest food distribution to date. The event was held at the new Dickies Arena where donations were made safely from individual’s cars.
The Dallas Opera is hosting a Kids Opera Boot Camp online. The program includes five free episodes that can be viewed on the Dallas Opera’s education portal.
Watters Creek in Allen is providing to-go summer kids activities. Parents can pick up a free chalk kit Monday–Friday between 8:30am and 5pm at the management office. Watters Creek Lucky Duck Kid’s Club activities will also be offered to-go. The boxes can be picked up at the Concierge+Lounge next to the J. Jill store on Garden Park Drive during the third week of each month. These kits are great for kids ages 2–6. For more info, click here.
The Garland movie-theater-slash-bowling alley, Strike + Reel, has reopened. The theater is limited at 50% capacity and offering $4 movies all day, every day for a limited time. Check out the available showtimes here.
Sweet Tooth Hotel in downtown Dallas has opened its latest exhibit, “Intangible.” The exhibit was delayed due to the pandemic, but new safety protocols have been put in place to ensure guest safety. You can find more information here. Purchase tickets on the website; $20 for adults; $15 for kids ages 2–12; and $17 for students, seniors and military. Added bonus: Sweet Tooth is giving DFWChild readers at 15% discount! Just use code dfwchild at checkout.
Addison will hold a weekend drive-in concert series August 14–15. Attendees will enjoy the shows from their cars or lawn chairs next to their car. Featured DFW bands will play various genres, including Motown, funk, pop, classic rock, top 40 and more. For more information, click here.
Life Time kids camps will be offered in Dallas and Fort Worth locations. Safety plans and new protocols will be put in place to help ensure safety and wellness. Visit the website for more info and to register.
The Gaylord Texan Resort has reopened its doors for the summer with unique offerings, enhanced safety protocols and social distancing kept in mind. Visit the website to make your reservation.
Summertime in Grapevine runs now through Labor Day. Some of the activities and events include an inflatable on-water obstacle course, vintage railroad excursions and a summer film series. For more information, click here.
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art reopened June 19. The museum has new health and safety procedures as well as 50% capacity limitations. Social distancing will be enforced and all visitors and staff will be required to wear face masks.
Two rising Plano East Senior High School seniors have created a nonprofit, Creativity for Cancer, to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Currently, they are hosting an art competition focused on “What Positivity Means to Me” and will choose four winners in four age categories. To learn more about their organization or to participate, click here.
Treat your family to a drive-in movie at Coppell Arts Center. The venue announced it’s turning a new parking lot into a drive-in theater to create a safe entertainment experience this summer. Enjoy classics such as Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and modern hits like Coco every Saturday from June 20–August 22. Tickets are available online for $10 per vehicle, with up to 50 tickets for sale for each screening.
Galleria Dallas is offering free summer fun through its PALS (Play Art Learn Seek) Kids Club. Children ages 3–12 can get a “passport” with a fun mission that will lead them to explore Galleria Dallas and the world around them. Participants will complete activities such as watching virtual Showtime Saturdays performances on Facebook and counting how many steps it takes to walk around the ice rink. Sign up here.
Hawaiian Falls Waterparks in The Colony and Garland reopened on June 4 and 5, respectively. To follow CDC guidelines, the parks have taken measures to increase sanitation, provide social distancing options and protect visitors and team members. The park encourages visitors to view the full safety measures in detail on the website. While you’re there, check out the parks’ plans for the summer, including movies, Family Fun Fridays and more.
The Dallas Arboretum reopened June 1, with advance ticket reservations required. The tickets will be timed in order to provide for the health and safety of guests and staff. Tickets can be reserved for up to seven days in advance. No tickets will be sold at the gate. To reserve tickets, visit the website or call 214/515-6615. Be sure to read the FAQ with new operating rules, including four-hour time blocks for visits, assigned parking locations and group sizes (no more than five people).
Neurodevelopment Associates of North Texas has expanded its equine program, located at Legacy Equestrian Center in Celina. Equine therapy can benefit kids and parents through improved communication and relationships, self-awareness, lowered cortisol levels (stress hormones) and more. To learn more about the program, watch this video.
The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy recently launched Mrs. Bush’s Story Time Podcast. The podcast is a radio program that originally aired from 1990 to 1994, while Mrs. Bush was First Lady of the U.S. The archival recordings feature Mrs. Bush reading children’s stories aloud with special guests, including Daffy Duck, Elmo, Winnie the Pooh and more.
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth recently introduced MODERN TV—an online spot to watch the museum’s film and video collection. Every other Saturday at 7pm, free videos by contemporary artists will be live-streamed here.
Sci-Tech Discovery Center just added new virtual experiences with “Summer Your Way.” The programs include birthday parties, stage shows and camp classes. You can check out all Sci-Tech’s offerings here, or you can book programming and birthday parties by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boss Club Foundation will host an online summer program for kids. North Texas students ages 7–18 may register for a free, three-week entrepreneurship program from July 11–August 1. The program will mail students a business kit that will contain all the materials needed to start a business and create, market and distribute their product. Some of the courses include homemade dog treats, luxury bath bombs, gourmet cake pops and more. To register your child, click here.
The Crayola Experience in Plano is now offering pre-bundled creativity kits that can be picked up curbside. The kits include everything kids need to be creative at home, including chalk, watercolor paints or Scribble Scrubbies. To order your kit, call 469/642-2910 Monday–Friday from 11am–2pm. Pickup hours are from 2–4pm. Click here for more details.
MusiCity Kids recently launched half-hour educational content on its Facebook page. Episodes premiere each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11am. The episodes will feature various topics including science, music, physical education, financial literacy and more. The content is best for kids ages 6–12.
SingleCare recently created a collection of medically reviewed coronavirus information healthcare experts that provides answers to major questions from. Some of the topics include how vulnerable people can protect themselves, symptom comparisons between the virus, the flu and allergies, how to prepare for the coronavirus and what to avoid, and more.
Random House Children’s Books just launched a virtual “Magic Tree House Home Adventures” program based on the best-selling series by Mary Pope Osborne. Online, kids can join in with weekly thematic programs starting with animals, then on to warriors, nature, sports and more that pairs with their favorite books in the series. New content will be added every Monday.
The Key School has made digital learning more attainable for its students. Using Google Classroom and Google Meet, students have been able to attend classes Monday–Thursday from 8am–noon with different options available. The school is offering a digital arts class that will also provide weekly announcements showing what’s happening at the school. To learn more about what the school is doing, visit its website.
Life Time Fitness is now offering four family workout classes on-demand. The free classes are available for both members and non-members to give parents and kids an active outlet at home. Classes are best suited for toddlers all the way through early teens and last between 4–30 minutes. Classes include family shred, family HIIT, family yoga and family meditation. Stream the classes anytime here or on the Life Time YouTube channel.
Great Wolf Lodge has started a new blog. Each week, the hotel will add new activities including backyard fun, kitchen science experiments, crafts and recipes. Visit the website to check them out.
Do your kids need a musical outlet right now? Laurie Berkner is hosting “Berkner Breaks” (aka live concerts) most weekdays on Facebook at 9am. Hailed as the “Adele of the preschool crowd” by The New York Times, Berkner provides an outlet for kiddos to get up, move and play. You can also check out her educational music videos on YouTube.
Punkinfutz—a company that makes sensory play products for kids with special needs—is now providing resources for parents navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 situation. Every Wednesday at 11am, Punkinfutz’s Facebook page will offer discussion on timely topics, recommendations and best practices. Each session lasts 45 minutes.
Guidepost Montessori in McKinney and Frisco recently launched an Emergency Care for Essential Workers program. The program is designed to provide childcare to those who are considered essential workers during COVID-19 closures. Contact the locations for tuition information. More locations are tentatively slated to offer the program as well.
Guidepost Montessori // tohigherground.com
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is now providing virtual STEAM programming. While the museum and schools are closed, check out the Discovery Lab Online on the museum’s YouTube channel. Content includes art, science investigations, and even live animal demonstrations. The programs are targeted toward a variety of ages, from preschool to middle school. You can see the upcoming schedule and lesson descriptions on the website as well as social media pages.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History // 1600 Gendy St., Fort Worth; 817/255-9300
Bass Performance Hall is now certified as a sensory inclusive venue. It is the first performing arts center in Texas to receive the certification. Bass Hall was certified by leading non-profit KultureCity, which is known for effecting change for those with sensory needs.
Bass Performance Hall // 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth; 817/212-4280
New technology now enables children who are blind to learn coding alongside their peers. Code Jumper allows students to connect strands of code through pods, which take block coding off the screen and put it on the table in front of the students. The pod’s functions are indicated by colors and differently shaped knobs, so students can identify each pod by sight or touch. Kids can learn about sequencing, iteration, selection and variables while also learning computational skills.
Code Jumper // codejumper.com
The Dallas Zoo has officially become a certified sensory-inclusive facility for children and adults with autism and sensory sensitivities. The zoo is partnering with an organization called KultureCity to make sure its programs, events and campus all are sensory inclusive. In order for the zoo to be certified, members were trained by medical professionals on how to recognize guests with sensory needs as well as how to handle a sensory overload situation. In addition to having access to dedicated sensory rooms, sensory bags will also be available and includes noise-cancelling headphones, weighted lap pads and more for those that feel overwhelmed.
Dallas Zoo // 650 S. RL Thornton Freeway, Dallas; 469/554-7500