Cultured Family Guide 2019
Photography Courtesy of University of Texas at Arlington/Maverick Theatre Company/Michelle Harvey, Nancy Loch Photography, Ed Steele Photography
Published September 2019
Updated October 2, 2019
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From exhibits and festivals to museums and gardens—there is no shortage of cultural escapes in North Texas. Read on to find a roundup of destinations offering enriching programs and activities that will broaden your family’s horizons, right where you live!


Explore Art with Children at the Amon Carter Museum
Laughter, curiosity and family memories come together through a variety of media

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth is known as one of the finest collections of American art, with a large number of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell’s finest works. However, family programming stands out to make the venue a favorite for even its youngest visitors, who can check out ARTivity totes, themed Art Carts with hands-on activities and Art Discovery Guides. Sculptures, paintings, photographs and illustrated works are the main media on display, with alternating local exhibitions as well as nationally-recognized favorites. Spark children’s creativity through art exploration for all ages. The museum is always free to visitors and provides opportunities for families to explore the collection on their own or in a facilitated program. Sessions range from infant/toddler offerings to member previews. Children’s eyes light up when they gaze up in awe at Gabriel Dawe’s “Plexus no. 34” or offer their interpretation of Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Black Patio Door.” Families bring curiosity and laughter to the galleries, and the museum welcomes them.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art



Creativity Within Walking Distance: The Arlington Cultural District
Dedicate a weekend to exploring where the arts come together

The Arlington Cultural District fosters arts and entertainment activities, from paintings and sculptures to theater and local festivals. Here’s some of what you can find during an art-themed stroll:

  • Arlington Museum of Art: A broad collection that features traveling exhibits makes for an unforgettable family visit.
  • Theatre Arlington: Take in a local theater performance at a venue known for more than four decades of professional productions and youth classes.
  • Levitt Pavilion Arlington: Catch a free outdoor concert on the Levitt’s family-friendly lawn. Bring lawn chairs and a picnic, and enjoy award-winning musical artists in a variety of genres.
  • UTA Theatre Arts: The University of Texas Arlington offers a diverse production schedule of dance, voice, acting and drama performances.

Arlington Cultural District



CAF Wings Over Dallas WWII Airshow
October 25–27 at Dallas Executive Airport

See how learning can be fun and visual, with a living history area set up as a 1940s military camp, as well as the Aviation Discovery Zone, with hands-on aviation activities for children. Free for kids on Friday, kids 5 and under free all weekend. This year’s show includes an aerial demonstration that combines aircraft formations, spectacular pyrotechnics, sound effects and narration into a dynamic history lesson.  More than 40 historic aircraft are set to participate in the airshow. A unique gathering of big bombers including a B-29 Superfortress and B-17 Flying Fortress and exciting fighters including a P-51 Mustang, P-40 Warhawk, F4U Corsair, and more. Visit wingsoverdallas.org for tickets and information.
CAF Wings Over Dallas WWII Airshow



Chickasaw Cultural Center
Experience living culture

Explore and learn about the unique and vibrant culture of the Chickasaw people at the Chickasaw Cultural Center. Visit the butterfly garden, feed the nani’ (fish) at the Oka’ Aabiniili’ Water Pavilion and immerse yourself in the Spirit Forest on this fascinating 184-acre campus. Join us for exhibits, films, demonstrations and special events at one of the largest cultural centers in the United States.
Chickasaw Cultural Center



Introduce Kids to a New Multimedia Art Form
Try a less formal experience at the Dallas Opera’s Family Series

The Dallas Opera’s legacy of cultural and artistic community enrichment spans more than six decades. Each season’s programming has brought opera’s most prominent voices to the stage since its inaugural season in 1957. Attending a performance with children is an approachable experience, especially at the Dallas Opera’s Family Series. Designated programs offer pre-show lobby activities for children, with English performances and supertitles displayed over the stage. Open seating assures an approach that feels less formal to better fit families’ needs, with the ability to come and go during performances. This year’s Brothers Grimm opera, “The Bremen Town Musicians,” is an ideal 30-minute introduction. The Dallas Opera welcomes families at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House within the AT&T Performing Arts Center, a 2200-seat venue for patrons of all ages. Share the experience by purchasing tickets for the whole family!
The Dallas Opera



Bring Denton County History to Life

The Denton County Office of History and Culture serves to preserve local life through its 1896 Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum and the Denton County Historical Park. Hands-on activities include a vintage grocery store where visitors can play, card cotton and design a quilt square. Photos, a Texas history timeline, and historical data help families imagine how past generations worked, lived and played.
Denton County Office of History and Culture



Where Science and History Come Alive

Dedicated to lifelong learning and anchored by rich collections, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History engages our diverse community through creative programs and vibrant exhibits. The museum houses a variety of exhibitions, including DinoLabs, Energy Blast and the Fort Worth Children’s Museum. The museum is also home to the Omni Theater, an IMAX dome, and the Noble Planetarium.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History



Kick Up Your Heels
Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District

There’s nothing like the pioneering spirit of the legendary Stockyards, where the past comes alive every day. Experience the authentic heritage of the West with twice-daily cattle drives, historic tours, the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze, live music, gunfight reenactments, championship rodeos and much more. There’s something for everyone! Explore more than 35 shops, 14 restaurants and 17 unique attractions perfect for the whole family. Plan an extended stay, and enjoy true Texas hospitality while visiting the Stockyards at the Hyatt Place Hotel for accommodations located right in the heart of Cowtown.
Fort Worth Stockyards



Flutter into Grapevine This Fall

Flutter into fall at family-friendly events throughout Grapevine. Celebrate the monarch butterfly as they migrate from Canada to Mexico. Wear your best butterfly costume, and release one of the more than 700 monarch butterflies into the sky. Head across the street to Nash Farm for the annual Fall Round-Up, a family agriculture festival with a pumpkin patch, pie making, pony rides and more!
Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau



Get Art Smart at IAC!
Year-round art and fun for the whole family

Irving Arts Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate Institution located in DFW, offers a rich environment for families to experience the arts. IAC is open seven days a week—stop by and peruse free-to-view exhibits in our five galleries and our Sculpture Garden. 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; and you can visit St. Nick on Santa Saturdays. Our annual open house event is Dec. 6 and includes free holiday festivities. Parking is free.
Irving Arts Center



Family Fun at the Kimbell Family Festival and Upcoming Family Programs

Join us for an art-filled family adventure at the Kimbell! Save the date for the free Family Festival: Look, Create, Connect on Sunday, Oct. 13. Pick up a family guide or a free audio tour to discover favorite artworks in the galleries, or come play and learn in Studio A, our sensory-friendly drop-in space for families with children ages 5 and younger. Register for Children’s Workshops with guest authors and artists, or come for free Kimbell Kids Drop-In Studios on Saturdays. Pictures and Pages, a free story-time program, is also offered throughout the year. Learn more about dates and details at kimbellart.org/participate/kid-and-families. For accessibility accommodations, email education@kimbellmuseum.org or call 817/332-8451. Admission to the permanent collection is always free.
Kimbell Art Museum



Preserving the Art of Classic Ballet

Experience the 14th year of Le Ballet de Dracula, an original ballet at the MCL Grand Theater, Oct. 11–12. Kids can come in their Halloween costumes to participate in an onstage costume contest, and Saturday matinee tickets provide children with free admission to the Bride Workshop. And mark your calendar for the 29th annual Nutcracker, Nov. 25–26; Spring show Mixed Program, April 3–4.
Lakecities Ballet Theatre



Engage with the Arts at Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater
The MCL Grand makes art accessible to the community

The Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater, better known as the MCL Grand, is the center of southern Denton County’s performing arts community. More than 300 public events take place at the center annually, including many kid-friendly performances and classes. In addition to a 296-seat performance hall, a 160-seat black box theater, and a large recital hall, the building houses a 2,200-square-foot art gallery. Visitors to the MCL Grand can also explore the center’s locally-created Chalk Art Walls. Memorable works of art are well-known within the building, but visitors are also encouraged to explore the Old Town Lewisville area, where several new permanent public art pieces are being installed this year.
Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater



An Arts and Entertainment Go-to for Families

Visit Mineral Wells, where fun and adventure run deep. Dig for fossils, test your rock-climbing skills, become a butterfly with one of our amazing murals. Whatever your family enjoys, Mineral Wells is the perfect weekend getaway. Enjoy a great festival? Come see us for Crazy Water Festival in October or Merry Wells Christmas Festival and Lighted Christmas Parade in November. Mineral Wells: Where Texas Runs Deep.
Mineral Wells Convention and Visitors Bureau



Join Us at The Modern!

Discover amazing modern and contemporary works displayed in a serene concrete and glass building surrounded by a magnificent reflecting pond. Make the trip to see our special exhibitions, and take a tour, 2 pm daily. Visitors can also enjoy a fine dining experience in Café Modern’s elliptical dining room set on the museum’s reflecting pond, or shop for unique gifts at The Modern Shop.
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth



Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

With year-round performances, Texas Center for Arts + Academics (TCAA) is the perfect place to introduce your children to the fine arts. Boasting Broadway-style musicals and plays, professional-level choir concerts, mind-blowing art exhibitions, and elegant dance concerts, TCAA schools and conservatories never fail to entertain.
But it doesn’t stop there! If your child dreams of going places, your first stop is TCAA. With two schools and three conservatories, TCAA offers training that will take your performer to the next level. Coupled with award-winning academics, TCAA is the area leader in arts-based education for artistically gifted students. Visit our Open House, and you’ll be one step closer to making your child’s dreams become reality.
Texas Center for Arts + Academics



Vetro Glassblowing Studio Fine Art Gallery

Vetro is a state-of-the-art Glassblowing Studio and Fine Art Gallery located in the heart of Grapevine. Vetro showcases cutting-edge artwork by acclaimed glass artists ranging from one-of-a-kind sculptures to small glass art gifts. Vetro offers opportunities for guests to create their own artwork or attend admission-free glassblowing. Visit our gallery to shop professionally handcrafted art glass, or schedule a glassblowing event today!
Vetro Glassblowing Studio Fine Art Gallery