Just because it’s summertime, it doesn’t mean your kids can’t keep their minds engaged and learning while not in school. Below are 21 places to take kids this summer where they can learn about science, flight, books and much more.
1. Try something different with your kids this summer at House of Shine. This interactive museum (great for ages 5 and up) is part experiential lab and part workspace. The goal of the museum is to help individuals discover their shine (Shine stands for Strengths, Hobbies, Interests and Irritants, Needs and Experiences) and what they can contribute to the world. Kids will discover their shine through scheduled story times, introductions to journaling or through one of the Shineworks events where crafts meet acts of kindness. Grapevine; 817/601-8850
2. Part retail shop, part activity center. CAMP Dallas hosts activities such as craft making, book readings and other events that will make a shopping trip anything but ordinary. Dallas; 214/612-0451
3. Spark your child’s creativity, confidence and self-esteem at Spark! With programs best for kids in second grade and up, this spot includes immersive, hands-on activities that will expand their imagination. For example, at the Creator Studio, older kids (age 10 and up) can build, invent and innovate with the various tools and computer lab technology available. Workshops are led by artists, engineers and more. Dallas; 214/421-7727
4. At Ripley’s Believe It or Not you can explore some of the weird and odd (think authentic vampire kit and shrunken heads), a Palace of Wax where you can get pictures taken with Lady Gaga or John Cena, mirror maze, “laserace” and more. Grand Prairie; 972/623-2391
Is your kiddo into anything and everything scientific? Visit these five spots this summer where they can be a scientist for the day—from getting their STEM on at Sci-Tech to learning about plants and seasons through a puppet show at the Children’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.
5. At the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, kids can try their hand at robotics, see a real dinosaur skeleton and so much more. There’s also the Moody Family Children’s Museum that’s great for kids up to age 5. And while you’re there, make sure to stop in to see The Science of Guinness World Records exhibit, which showcases some of the scientific principles behind some of the most astonishing world record holders. Dallas; 214/428-5555
6. Fort Worth Museum of Nature and Science is reopening this month! And new and reimagined experiences will be on display. Check out the new 2,500 square-foot Current Science Studio, which will display a new space exhibit called Science on a Sphere—a global display system developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Also, The Children’s Museum, Noble Planetarium, DinoLabs, DinoDig and Cattle Raisers Museum will also reopen. Fort Worth; 817/255-9300
7. Get your STEM on with hands-on activities at Sci-Tech Discovery Center. Kids can try their hand at robotics by flying a drone, stop by the bubble tables to make massive bubbles and learn about surface tension, or check out the rotating projects where construction and creativity meet at the MakerStudio. Frisco; 972/546-3050
8. Learn about plants and seasons with puppet shows and more at the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden at Dallas Arboretum. Dallas; 214/515-6615
9. The Explorium Denton Children’s Museum has activities for kids of all ages that allow them to explore math, science, technology and more. The museum also offers sensory friendly hours every second Saturday of the month from 9–10am. If you plan to take your kiddos to the sensory friendly mornings, make sure to RSVP on the website. Denton; 940/320-5444
Is your kiddo a bookworm? There are some fun places to buy books and enjoy story time around Dallas-Fort Worth other than your local libraries. Check these out!
10.Monkey & Dog Books, Fort Worth; 817/489-5747
11. Interabang Books, Dallas; 214/484-4289
12. Barnes & Noble, Multiple locations
13. Half Price Books, Multiple locations
14.Leaves Book and Tea Shop, Fort Worth; 682/233-4832
Calling All Future Firefighters
If your little one loves it when a firetruck whirs by, consider taking them to one of these firefighter museums.
15. Go on a journey from the past to the present at the Denton Firefighters Museum. You’ll see artifacts from the 1800s, a 1935 ladder truck, uniforms and other gear through the decades and so much more. Scheduled to reopen in June. Denton; 940/349-8840
16. Learn about firefighter gear, fire safety and firefighter history at the Dallas Firefighters Museum. You’ll see a steam engine from 1884, engines from the 1920s and more materials and equipment from over the years. Dallas; 214/821-1500
Enjoy the wonder of flight at these museums where kids can learn about different planes, spacecraft, missiles, notable pilots and more.
17. The Frontiers of Flight Museum has so much on display including Southwest Airlines’ planes, warbirds, missiles, spacecraft and other artifacts such as Leonardo da Vinci’s parachute model. Dallas; 214/350-3600
18. At the Cavanaugh Flight Museum show the kiddos World War I and II aircraft, military trucks and armor. Addison; 972/380-8800
19. Learn how an airline operates and the history behind the company at the American Airlines CR Smith Museum. Kids will enjoy the flight simulators, stepping behind a real cockpit and even play on an evac slide. Fort Worth; 682/278-9085
20. Check out the outdoor aircraft “petting zoo” at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum. Here, you’ll see all types of warbirds from jets to helicopters. Fort Worth; 855/733-8627
21. Take a tour where you can see various aircraft in the process of restoration at the Vintage Flying Museum. The collection includes artifacts from World War I, World War II, as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars. Fort Worth; 817/624-1935
Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.