Look for the teal text for special needs news.
Hawaiian Falls Waterparks in The Colony and Garland will reopen 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.
Fort Worth Botanic Garden reopens June 1, with hours from 8am–6pm on weekdays only. Starting June 13, the garden will also be open on weekends. Tickets must be purchased in advance online to allow for contactless payment. Tickets are also designated for a specific time to protect guests and staff. Before entry, guests, staff and volunteers will be screened to ensure they do not have a high temperature or other COVID-19 symptoms. The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) will also be open with limited capacity.
Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark reopened on May 29 with 25% capacity. The reopening includes new social distancing guidelines, heightened sanitation procedures and a reduction in contact points with guests. Hours of operation are 10am–9pm every day. Click here for more information on operating procedures.
Dallas International School continued its ongoing COVID-19 webinar series with Managing Mental Well-being Through COVID-19. The webinar brought together experts in psychology, counseling and more to take a look at mental health during the ongoing pandemic. For more information, visit the school’s website.
Dallas Galleria is celebrating 2020 graduates in a big way. The shopping center will honor grads on the digital screen above the ice rink by displaying all submitted high school and college graduate’s names. To submit a graduate for recognition, click here.
Walmart is currently helping new moms in DFW get the nursing supplies they need. If your health insurance covers the cost of a breast pump, Walmart’s free Breast Pump Program services allows moms to see which pumps are covered. The team of mom and baby specialists take care of filing the paperwork as well. For more information, click here.
Recently, Fort Worth Country Day’s seniors celebrated their graduation with a “drive-out” parade around campus in place of their typical graduation ceremony. The families decorated their cars, and yearbooks, caps and gowns were delivered to the seniors in their vehicles as they drove around campus.
Operation Kindness is extending its Pet Food Pantry hours for those who need food for their pets. Food is available on Thursdays from noon–3pm and on Saturdays from 10am–2pm. The pickups are by appointment only and follow CDC guidelines. If you’re interested in the program, fill out an application online. Secure a 10-minute time slot for pickup by calling 972/418-7297.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is challenging young designers to show off their creativity by designing their dream Rolls-Royce. Kids under 16 can share their designs here; the contest deadline is June 1 at 6pm. The winner will receive a fully rendered illustration of their design. Runners-up will receive a certificate signed by the CEO of Rolls-Royce. The local winner for North Texas will be treated to a ride to school with a friend in a Rolls-Royce Phantom this fall, as well as a tour of the Dallas dealership. If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).
Adventure Kids Playcare DFW locations are reopening with flexible summer camps starting June 1. Reservations for drop-in care can be made here; make sure to check your location for temporary hours. Right now, all locations will continue curbside drop off and pickup in addition to health screenings for all.
Park Place is holding its Mayfest—an event that features two-year complimentary maintenance and a seven-day vehicle exchange for qualified certified pre-owned purchases. To learn more about the event, click here.
Dallas-based children’s clothing brand Sticks is adding some fun to children’s masks. The brand has used its spring fabrics to make matching masks for moms and kids (and dog bandanas too). All of the proceeds from the mask sales are going to feeding families in Guatemala and Peru.
Orangetheory Fitness reopened 33 of its North Texas studios on May 23. All staff has been trained on new policies and procedures to protect members and other staff. All coaches and staff are wearing PPE (masks, gloves and protective eyewear) and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from members, while studios are limiting capacity and setting aside extra time for cleaning and disinfecting, among other changes. For more information, visit the website
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.
Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurants have opened their dining rooms at limited capacity. Dining will be available Monday–Saturday from 11am–9pm and Sunday from 10:30am–9pm. Brunch will not be available at this time. The restaurant requests that guests make a reservation online or over the phone.
Texas Ballet Theater recently announced its updated 2020–2021 season. The ballet company will present four productions, starting in November with the holiday favorite The Nutcracker, followed by George Balanchine’s Serenade, Ben Stevenson’s Star Crossed and Bartok/Image/Imbue (after it was cancelled this season). The production of Beauty and the Beast, originally slated to open the season, will now close the season in May 2021. For more information, visit the company’s website.
Norma’s Café is teaming up with Special Olympics Texas to help feed local law enforcement through its Favor a Neighbor campaign. The campaign offers individuals a chance to share a meal from Norma’s with a neighbor or organization in need. All you have to do is place your order, and Norma’s handles the rest. To learn more about the campaign, visit the website.
Kid-favorite Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends turned 75 years old on May 12. To celebrate, Thomas & Friends has released an album for kids, a story time podcast, a video series, and bedtime stories. A birthday bonanza app is coming soon.
Parish Episcopal School is offering Parish S.O.S. (Save Our Summer) with more than 70 distance learning options in fine arts, STEM, world language and fitness. Parents have the option to choose from various lengths in both the morning and afternoons. Parish is also offering Cabin Fever Crates that are packed with art projects, scavenger hunts and more. To learn more, visit the website.
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 email@example.com.
North Texas Performing Arts will be holding online summer camps in addition to its in-person camps. The camps are available for ages 7–18, with half-day and full-day options. Online and in-person classes start at $9.99. Click here for more information about the camps.
The Dallas International School recently launched a new COVID-19 webinar series, in which experts across various industries will discuss community-related pandemic issues. The series will be held monthly and kicked off at the end of April. For more information about the webinars, visit the website.
The Bush Institute’s podcast, The Strategerist, has a new podcast featuring Sherrie Westin, the president of social impact and philanthropy for Sesame Workshop (the nonprofit behind Sesame Street). Westin gives listeners a behind-the-scenes look into the world of Sesame Street. To listen to the podcast, click here.
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.
Dallas Children’s Theater is now offering virtual classes for students in pre-K through 12th grade. The sessions will take place over the summer, starting May 26. The classes will be held via Zoom; registration is available here.
Big Thought and Dallas City of Learning have launched an online learning portal called Digital Explorations. The hub consists of free educational content, from partners including Boeing, the Perot Museum, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, Dallas ISD and the State Fair of Texas.
An Australian-based organization called Tiger Tribe of Melbourne just launched a free, downloadable activity pack for kids. The packs include a drawing activity, chalk activity and more. Sign up here, and Tiger Tribe will deliver a free pack of 12 activities via email each week for four weeks.
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.
The Bush Institute has some new educational resources available. Check out the Institute’s book list for kindergartners through fifth graders, a Marvel movies lesson plan, video footage of live animals and much more. Visit the website to learn more.
KidPass—an online marketplace for kids’ activities—just launched online classes that include music, dance, cooking, yoga, languages and more across the U.S. Click here to learn more about the classes and how to sign up.
Grand Prairie ISD and the Grand Prairie Public Library System have teamed up to increase access to more reading material for students by combining the schools’ and library’s digital reading resources in one app. The app is also available to teachers and offers education-specific tools such as achievements, exportable notes and reading progress information.
Snack subscription service SnackNation is offering a Movie Night Snack Box for families to enjoy while streaming their favorite movie or TV show at home. The box is $9.95 and includes six full-size sweets and treats.
Lockheed Martin recently launched an online Kids Zone that includes new activities every week, such as weekend word searches, art topics and more.
Princi Italia is now offering take-home pizza kits for $25. The kit includes ingredients to make two pizzas: three pizza dough balls, pepperoni, mozzarella, parmesan, pizza sauce, basil, crushed red pepper and instructions. Visit the website for more info or call 214/739-5959 to place an order.
Michelle Obama is hosting a virtual reading program for kids every Monday at 11am. Each week, “Mondays with Michelle” will feature the former first lady reading a different children’s book on the PBS KIDS and Penguin Random House social media pages. Check it out!
The Dallas Museum of Art is collaborating with sound designer Yuri Suzuki to create a new work of art—crowd-sourced sounds captured around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. The audio and video used will be included in the exhibit Sound of the Earth: The Pandemic Chapter. Want to be part of the sound? You can submit sounds of your experiences (such as cooking dinner at home, sirens passing by, online video chats with friends or family) by clicking here. The work will go live May 4 at virtual.dma.org.
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.
Virtually visit the Meadows Museum and take part in the multiple activities for kids. Click here to download and print coloring book pages, to view the museum’s weekly craft video, for a tour of the museum and more.
Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott is starting a weekly virtual book reading program to spread some joy. The “Stars of Texas Storytime” program will take place twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 am on Facebook Live from Governor Greg Abbott’s Facebook page. Tune in to see some special guests and notable authors from across the state read children’s books on the livestream. Watch here to see Texan Kendra Scott join the storytime program.
Bold Idea has launched an online version of its computer science education program for students in 4th–12thgrades. The program will be held for seven weeks, starting June 8, with two online sessions per week. The program costs $200, with scholarships available for qualifying students. Click here for more information.
Capezio Dallas is still filling online orders. All online orders ship for free, and you can receive 20% off your order with promo code DALST20 at checkout.
Primrose Schools will be rolling out a new online curriculum you can do at home with your kiddo. To learn about the new curriculum and see more of what Primrose offers, click here.
RVs 4 MDs—a group that volunteers RVs for healthcare workers fighting COVID to sleep and rest in—is looking for donations. To donate an RV, or if you’re a frontline healthcare or medical worker in need of an RV, click here. If you’re looking for more information about RVs 4 MDs, visit the group’s Facebook page.
The Texas offices of Gensler Architects recently released a coloring book series for kids called “Amazing Cities.” The coloring book is free with nearly 200 pages of Gensler-designed projects and sketches that will give kids a peek into the architectural process. The book can be colored digitally on a phone, laptop or tablet, or the book can be printed and colored with markers or crayons.
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.
Mosaic Makers Collective in Bishop Arts just launched snail mail fun for kids. In the class, kids can create and send letters and drawings with the option to have a pen pal as well
UNICEF recently launched UNICEF Kid Power. The program includes videos that will get the kids dancing, practicing yoga, learning emotional skills and more. Parents can register here.
Dallas International School has launched its Community Spirit campaign to bring a sense of togetherness and unity among students, parents and teachers during the pandemic. The campaign includes projects such as storytelling, live puppet shows and more. You can learn more on the school’s 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.
All IDEA public schools in Tarrant County will now have breakfast, lunch and dinner available for curbside pick-up from 7–10am Monday–Friday. Children who are eligible for meal service can pick up their meals at any location.
IDEA Achieve // 1900 Thomas Road, Haltom City
IDEA Rise // 3000 S. Cherry Lane, Fort Worth
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.
The Oakridge School is doing virtual learning and posting a lot of educational info on its Facebook page. You can also take a virtual tour of the school if you’re interested in enrolling your child for the next school year.
The American Kennel Club has online activities for the kiddos. Check out the at-home activities for dogs and kids, dog themed books, a daily schedule for staying at home with your dog, and a free “Meet the Breeds” course through the organization’s Canine College.
Club SciKidz is posting weekly science content on its blog. The activities are geared for all ages and include using common or household items, items from nature and more.
The Knight School will hold a Summer WebCamp June 1–5 for ages 5–14. The camp will run from 1–3pm each day and will give kids who enjoy chess a chance to hang out (virtually) with other kids who enjoy the game as well. The cost of the camp is $120 per child and will be held via Zoom. Visit the school’s website to learn more and enroll your child.
KidStrong recently launched KidStrong University—an online resource that helps parents build stronger, smarter kiddos. Right now, KidStrong University is offering a free 14-day trial; the programs costs $8.99 per month after the trial ends. To try it at home, click here.
Kidventure is offering an online program called Basecamp that includes various camp activities. Every week, it will post videos of yoga and stretching, storytime read-alouds, projects and more. The Little Gym in Keller is offering online classes. Visit the gym’s Facebook page for pre-recorded sing-a-longs, physical challenges and storytime.
Every Monday and Thursday, join Cliburn Kids with Buddy Bray to explore rhythm, storytelling, dance and listening games. Videos are posted at 11am and take 7–10 minutes to complete. You can find them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and on the Cliburn’s website.
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.
North Texas Performing Arts in Plano and the Crayola Experience Plano are offering virtual classes. For NTPA, click here; for Crayola, click here. Also, Paint My Pottery in Plano is offering Pottery To Go
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
CAMP Dallas is now offering virtual birthday parties. For those kiddos who are stuck at home, CAMP will host a 30–40 minute virtual party for kids across the country each day at 4pm. The parties include magic shows, games, storytime, music and much more. Sign up for the parties here. CAMP is also offering free coloring and activity books you can download here.
The Gray School of Music is offering lessons online. Pick from drums, voice, violin, guitar, ukulele, rock ensemble and piano. Online classes are available through Facebook, Skype, Google Duo, Google Hangout and Zoom. For more information, email Vicki, the owner and director of the Dallas school, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snapology of Grapevine-Keller now has online classes available. Every morning on social media, check out a new LEGO Build Challenge that gives kids something to do that is creative and uses their STEM skills. Also, Snapology just started Virtual Meet Ups where a teacher works with a group of kids through a LEGO build. This allows the kiddos to have some virtual playtime with their buddies while they work on something together. Check out the class schedule and an example of an online class, or if you want a private class, click here.
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
Nickelodeon recently launched #KidsTogether—a global initiative that aims to help kids and families stay informed and engaged with activities during the time of isolation. Some popular shows include SpongeBob SquarePants, Blue’s Clues & You!, Henry Danger, Bubble Guppies and The Casagrandes, The new platform intends to be an additional resource for parents while providing kid-appropriate and kid-directed information through videos, interstitials, downloadable activities and social content. You can find it all online at NickHelps.com.
Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency recently launched a virtual map that will show where meals are provided across the state in light of the many school closings. The Texas Students MealFinder Map will continuously be updated and provide facility addresses and the days and times the meals will be served. The map is available through TEA website.
Children’s Health is using its Virtual Visit app to help the community have access to safe and convenient care from their comfort of their home due to increasing concerns around COVID-19 in North Texas. You can use the Children’s Health Virtual Visit app to talk to physicians, clinicians and nurse practitioners, 24/7, from your smartphone, tablet or computer. Children’s Health is also offering free COVID-19 screenings through the Children’s Health Virtual Visit app with the code: COVID19.
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
MUTTS Canine Cantina is coming to Watters Creek in Allen. The dog-lover’s restaurant and bar is set to open fall 2020. Like the other DFW locations, the Watters Creek location will include two enclosed lawn spaces for pups, a separate patio with concession-style food and a “Doggie Menu” for the four-legged patrons. For updates, visit the website.
Watters Creek // 970 Garden Park Drive, Allen; 972/747-8000
North Texas is getting its first assistive technology evaluation center in Fort Worth. Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth recently received an award to be a provider for Assistive Technology Evaluations. This will be the fourth in the state and the first in DFW. The center will now be able to give Texans who are blind or visually impaired the ability to learn what types of technology will best benefit them to go back to college or obtain, retain or advance employment. Lighthouse expects the center to open early summer 2020.
Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth // 912 W. Broadway Ave., Fort Worth; 817/332-3341
The 2020–2021 season of Broadway At the Bass has been announced. The season features seven shows including The Lion King, Dear Evan Hansen, Cats, Oklahoma and more. Visit the website for more information on tickets.
Bass Performance Hall // 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth; 817/212-4280
Dallas Summer Musicals has announced its upcoming 2020-2021 season. Shows include Jersey Boys, Oklahoma!, Tootsie, Mean Girls, Wicked and more. Season packages start at $265. Visit the website or call 1-866/276-4884 to reserve your seats.
Dallas Summer Musicals // 909 First Ave., Dallas; 214/565-1116
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
InBloom Autism Services opened a new learning center in Farmers Branch. The center focuses on ABA therapy for kids and offers additional programs and features. Call to schedule a tour of the new space.
InBloom Autism Services // 1801 Royal Lane, Suite 300, Farmers Branch; 888/754-0398
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
Allen Police Department and Dodd Law Offices are partnering to enroll individuals with special needs in Project H.O.M.E.—a program that helps first responders identify children or adults who are unable to communicate their names or addresses. To enroll, the individual or parent would complete information sheets and get pictures taken. From there, the individual’s information is in the specialized database. With the information, if an adult or child with special needs is found wandering, the police will be able to return them to their caregivers or parents quickly and safely. Enrollment is also available anytime at the APD Headquarters during normal business hours. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Allen Police Department Training Facility // 900 S. Greenville Avenue, Allen; 214/509-4350