DFWChild / Articles / Things to Do / Places to Go / Baby, It's Hot Outside

Baby, It's Hot Outside

It’s hot. The kids don’t really mind the heat – but you do. So bring them indoors and let them run loose. Whether they want to climb, jump, ride, putt or bowl, the North Texas area has a venue for everything under the sun – and thankfully out of the sun, too.

Your workout trampoline isn’t doing much for the kids. Take them to Cosmic Jump instead for a jumping experience that’s out of this world, featuring trampolines up to 125 feet in length. Your kids will love adding a little bounce to their game with trampoline-style basketball and dodge ball. For jumpers under 8, Cosmic Jump has a special Shooting Stars area providing big fun in a smaller arena.

Cosmic Jump
Allen, 214/383-1400
cosmicjump.com

OK, “exercise” and “fun” may or may not go together in your vocabulary, but your kids will work up a sweat and have a blast on jumpstreet’s slides and trampolines. Kids can swing, jump or slide into a giant foam pit or play dodge ball with an extra spring in their step. The main trampoline courts have ample space for a fun, free-styling workout. In the Earthquake Area and Tremors section, your youngest children can enjoy the same attractions on a smaller scale (plus inflatable slides).

jumpstreet
Plano, 972/378-5867
gotjump.com

A fun-filled – not stress-filled – trip to the mall with your kids? Yes, it is possible. Head to Grapevine Mills Mall, home of LEGOLAND Discovery Center, and let your kids watch, explore, ride and build to their hearts’ content – no boredom in sight. Warriors of all ages can chase away the bad guys in Kingdom Quest while tinkering types build the car of the future in the LEGO Racers: Build & Test area. Your kids can even get behind the wheel on Forest Pursuit, a new driving adventure. For even more educational fun, buy combo tickets for LEGOLAND and SEA LIFE Aquarium.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Grapevine, 972/539-9386
legolanddiscoverycenter.com

SEA LIFE Aquarium
Grapevine, 469/444-3050
visitsealife.com

Let’s face it: You can’t always answer your child’s endless questions – especially when it comes to physics. Sci-Tech Discovery Center has you covered: It’s the right answer every time for scientific family fun. Exhibits offer hands-on exploration into the science of amusement parks and sports of all kinds, and the Coordination Station is full of simple machines. With rotating shows Tuesday–Sunday, there’s always something new to learn. Don’t miss the liquid nitrogen ice cream show every Sunday at 2pm; it’s a very cool way to satisfy your child’s curiosity … and his sweet tooth.

Sci-Tech Discovery Center
Frisco, 972/546-3050
mindstretchingfun.org

Though you might know Pump It Up as a birthday party go-to, the indoor inflatables are for more than adventure parties and black-light birthdays. Every Pump It Up location is open for Pop-In Playtime two to four days a week during the summer. Children are separated by age group for maximum safety and fun on the slides, bounce houses and obstacle courses.

Pump It Up
Dallas, 972/792-9663
North Dallas, 972/820-0777
South Dallas, 972/337-0100
Frisco, 214/387-9663
Fort Worth – North, 817/831-0011
Fort Worth, 817/570-7055
Arlington, 817/845-9869
pumpitupparty.com

Are you the sultan of strikes or the gutter-ball guru? Either way, you can muster your bowling mojo for a classic family field trip to Strikz. The entertainment center features regular and cosmic bowling and offers bumpers, light balls and ramps for tiny tots. When your bowling arm gets tired, check out the huge arcade or challenge your kids in the laser tag arena. Strikz makes it easy to save on summer fun – just sign up for the Kids Bowl Free program at kidsbowlfree.com and enjoy two free games of bowling per day.

Strikz Entertainment Center
Frisco, 972/668-5263
strikz.com

Too bad Mother’s Day doesn’t happen more often: It’s nice to get some recognition for being the awesome mom that you are. So treat yourself at GattiTown – on Mondays, moms eat free with purchase of a kid’s buffet. After your kids wear themselves out on the Frog Hopper ride, bumper cars and arcade games, you can all relax for a movie in one of GattiTown’s spacious dining rooms.

GattiTown
Dallas, 972/677-7598
Frisco, 214/618-9800
mrgattis.com

If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can venture outside at Celebration Station for mini golf, bumper boats, go-karts and more. But to evade the heat, you don’t have to sacrifice fun. Celebration Station has an indoor two-level arcade with video games, redemption games and laser tag – your kids will go wild. And you’ll be wild about the daily specials on food and attractions.

Celebration Station
Mesquite, 972/279-7888
celebrationstation.com

Yes, mini golf, batting cages and go-karts are super fun at Adventure Landing, and yes, they are outdoors. But being the savvy mom that you are, you know that’s not all Adventure Landing has to offer, and you can direct your kids inside for some climate-controlled entertainment. One look at the arcade, and your kids will be begging for tokens and setting high scores. And you know they’ll have a blast playing laser tag too.

Adventure Landing
Dallas, 972/248-4653
adventurelanding.com

Kidville really is the one-stop shop of your dreams – while you splurge on cute clothes at the boutique, your kids can have a ball in the Play Village or Big Muscle Gym. Packed with activities for imaginative minds, the Play Village is a miniature world of make-believe, whereas the Big Muscle Gym is engineered for energetic fun with obstacle courses, tunnels, climbing walls and blocks. Sign up for one of Kidville’s camps and classes for a free membership; the facilities are also open to non-members, and hours and prices are only a few clicks away.

Kidville
Dallas, 214/378-7777
kidville.com

You and your kids – well, mainly your kids – love go-karts, mini golf and bumper cars, but you and your kids – well, mainly you – don’t love melting like a Popsicle as you try to putt. So check out Amazing Jake’s, where your family can enjoy your favorite outdoor activities in the comfort of air conditioning: bumper cars, mini golf, a carousel, rock climbing and, yes, indoor go-karts. Don’t forget the arcade and laser tag arena, and the all-you-can-eat buffet with fresh food made entirely in-house.

Amazing Jake’s
Plano, 972/509-5253
amazingjakesplano.com

Your budding fireman/astronaut/teacher/doctor/artist (and that’s just this week) is always imagining and asking questions. Take your little learner to the Museum of Nature & Science in Fair Park and discover exhibits, films and hands-on activities to satisfy even his curiosity. Go in August to see this summer’s traveling exhibits, The Magic School Bus Kicks Up A Storm – a meteorological mission – and Planet Shark, an exhibit dedicated to everyone’s favorite ocean predator. If your family can’t get enough of the deep blue sea, buy a Twin Fin ticket for Planet Shark and Whales, one of two IMAX films playing this summer. Daily Planetarium showings are sure to captivate everyone in your family. And don’t forget the Children’s Museum, where children under 8 can explore the world through sensory experiences created just for little eyes and hands.

Museum of Nature & Science
Dallas, 214/428-5555
natureandscience.org

Swimming and summertime just go together – maybe it’s the “I’m in heaven” feeling you get when you slip into a cool pool on a hot day, or maybe it’s the fabulous tan that comes with. But swimming under the sky is still a scorcher, so take your family indoors at the Frisco Athletic Center for the same refreshing recreation minus the UV. With lap lanes, an open swim area, a warm water pool and a shallow area for tots, the Aquatic Center caters to swimmers of all ages. Wade in the current channel and vortex, explore the interactive features of the play structure and brave the water slide for more excitement.

Indoor Aquatic Center – Frisco Athletic Center
Frisco, 972/292-6600
friscofun.org

Oops – more marker on the wall. And why is the cat’s tail pink? Harness that mischievous energy and let it fly at Shenaniganz, a family-oriented entertainment center where your kids can get out the giggles without decorating your walls. With bowling, laser tag, mini golf, arcade games, go-karts and the jump zone, your kids will have plenty of ways to play.

Shenaniganz
Rockwall, 972/722-1133
shenaniganz.com

You need some space for your kids to run around … but why limit them to running? Give them wheels and let them rock ’n ’roll around the rink at White Rock Skate. The roller rink is open for public skating in the afternoons Thursday–Sunday; check the website for details. For the best deal on wheels, take your kids skating on Sunday afternoon and pay just $2 to skate alongside.

White Rock Skate Center
Dallas, 214/341-6660
whiterockskate.com

You value safety, cleanliness and, of course, fun when it comes to your kids’ playtime. Try Paradise Pond at First Baptist Grapevine for a trusted, family-oriented play space that offers an oversized bounce house, a two-story playground feature and eight play stations – everything from dress-up to dinosaurs. Entrance fee is only $1 per person. Paradise Pond is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 9–11am. Arrive promptly at 9am to ensure admittance – and don’t forget your socks.

Paradise Pond – First Baptist Grapevine
Grapevine, 817/203-2376
fbcgrapevine.com
 
Step into historic Cowtown – with the modern convenience of air conditioning – at Stockyards Station, a collection of shops, boutiques, eateries and attractions that all celebrate Texas heritage. Ride a mechanical bull, rope a steer, visit a baby camel or board a miniature train and learn about cattle and culture. Don’t forget to stop by the Longhorn General Store for ice cream, and if you’re brave, let your kids wander The Candy Barrel. For extra excitement, hang around the Stockyards after the cattle drive every Sat. and Sun. at 11:45am and 4:15pm for an old-fashioned gunfight.

Stockyards Station
Fort Worth, 817/625-9715
stockyardsstation.com
 
Whether you’re feeling nostalgic for the days of drive-in movies or energized for a laser tag adventure, iT’Z Family Food & Fun has something cool for every member of your family. Bring the heat (and beat it too) with indoor go-karts, rock climbing, bowling, laser tag and bumper cars. Rack up prizes and bragging rights in the arcade. Or relax with food and a Disney movie in the retro drive-in dining room. Check their website for deals on the all-you-can-eat buffet and attractions, and visit on a weekday for lower prices.

iT’Z Family Food & Fun
Euless, 817/283-3700
itzusa.com
 
Swimming and summertime just go together – maybe it’s the “I’m in heaven” feeling you get when you slip into a cool pool on a hot day, or maybe it’s the fabulous tan that comes with. But swimming under the sky is still a scorcher, despite the bronzing benefits. So take your family indoors at The Keller Pointe for the same refreshing recreation minus the UV. With lap lanes, an open swim area, a hot tub and a shallow area for tots, the Aquatics Center caters to swimmers of all ages. Wade in the current channel, explore the play structure and brave the water slide for more excitement. Coolers welcome and concessions available.

The Keller Pointe Aquatics Center
Keller, 817/743-4386
cityofkeller.com
 
We love our little explorers … even when they decide to explore the kitchen cabinets or the craft supplies we just organized. Your young adventurers will find more than a cabinet-full of discoveries at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. At DinoLabs and DinoDig, your budding paleontologists can examine dinosaur fossils and even do some digging – imagine the excitement when they dig up a dinosaur bone instead of an old casserole dish. Hands-on learning is also in style at the Children’s Museum, where explorers under 9 are encouraged to play and learn through special exhibits designed for their inquisitive minds and hands. And if your whole family is feeling particularly nervy, you can all conquer squeamishness at the summer exhibit Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body, an imaginative look at the less desirable sights, sounds and smells of the body.

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
Fort Worth, 817/255-9300
fwmuseum.org 

You’re a Texas parent; you expect people and places to go big or go home, because that’s what living in Texas is all about. Jump For Fun! in Southlake is right there with you. Boasting 12 inflatables and large party rooms, Jump For Fun! knows how to roll when it comes to indoor recreation. Their biggest offer is a quality party experience at a bargain price. Reserve a private party on the weekend for uninterrupted jumping and celebrating. No birthday? No problem. Hop on over for open jump on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10am–4pm (10am–1pm is reserved for jumpers ages 6 and under; 1–4pm is for all ages).

Jump For Fun!
Southlake, 817/231-0455
jumpforfunparty.com
 
Though Alley Cats Entertainment Center is adjacent to putt-putt and batting cages, you’ll be tempted to stay inside for bowling, laser tag and rock climbing. Your kids will love the arcade, and you’ll love the daily specials that offer combo deals on food and attractions. You might want to go in the morning to avoid crowds and to take advantage of their Morning Madness special (check their website for details). Plus, Alley Cats is participating in the Kids Bowl Free program. Sign up online atkidsbowlfree.com – registration is free too – and get two free games per kid per day.

Alley Cats Entertainment Center
Arlington, 817/784-2695
alleycatsbowl.com

Have you toted your kids to a fast-food joint just for the play area, but you could really do without the grease? Next time, take them to The Tubes instead. As a service to the community, Irving Bible Church offers your children a place to crawl and climb in the comfort of air conditioning – think fast-food play structure, but bigger, better, cleaner and with fewer calories all around. The Tubes is available for indoor play whenever the church is open, which is generally 8:30am–9pm. No reservations, no admission fee and no sunburn on this colorful playground.

The Tubes – Irving Bible Church
Irving, 972/560-4600
irvingbible.org

What was once a worship center is now a safe, comfortable place for your child to go wild. The Ark at First Baptist Coppell has three play areas – for toddlers, preschoolers and “big kids” – and a café-style seating area for Mom and Dad too. Your kids can climb and slide (the Ark boasts a 42-foot dual-wave slide they’ll love) while you take advantage of the Ark’s free Wi-Fi. Who knows? You might actually get some work done for a change. Check the church website for open play hours, or reserve the Ark for your child’s next birthday. Admission is free. Early afternoon is less busy.

The Ark – First Baptist Coppell
Coppell, 972/462-1643
fbccoppell.org

Your workout trampoline isn’t doing much for the kids. Take them to Cosmic Jump instead for a jumping experience that’s out of this world, featuring trampolines up to 125 feet in length. Your kids will love adding a little bounce to their game with trampoline-style basketball and dodge ball. When they’re tired of trampolines (for now, at least), they can take a spin on the inflatable slide or match muscles with the obstacle course. For jumpers under 8, Cosmic Jump has a special Shooting Stars area providing big fun in a smaller arena.

Cosmic Jump
Lewisville, 972/315-0234
cosmicjumptexas.com

Planning family fun time is difficult when your kids want to do everything – yet somehow never the same thing at the same time. Say yes to all of their bright ideas at Main Event, where your favorite family activities are all covered by one roof and one price. With the Summer FUNpass, you and your kids can enjoy bowling, arcade games, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf, laser tag and more without breaking the bank.

Main Event
Plano, 972/881-8181
Frisco, 469/362-7227
Grapevine, 817/416-1111
Lewisville, 972/459-7770
mainevent.com