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Daddy's Day Out

He puts on his best suit (and best behavior) and accompanies you to the ballet. And he peels himself away from the Rangers game just long enough to help you with the laundry. This month, make an extra effort to celebrate dad at your next family outing—whether it’s indulging his fascination for things that fly in the sky or letting him play hero for the day—not that he isn’t one already.
 

Put yourself in the pilot’s seat! When you visit the Frontiers of Flight Museum, you can climb on board a Boeing 737 (opening soon), and you can also peek inside a Korean-era Bell H-13 Sioux helicopter (like the one from M*A*S*H!) in the America’s Longest Conflict exhibit. Curious how aviation has changed in DFW over the last 50 years? Check out the Commercial Aviation exhibit.
Rates: $8 adults; $5 kids 3-17.
When to go: 10am-5pm Mon-Sat; 1-5pm Sun.
Check it out:
6911 Lemmon Ave., Dallas.
214/350-1651; flightmuseum.com

At the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, you can trace the steps of a century of flight. Peek beneath the skin of famous aircraft, such as the P-51 Mustang or the German Me-109, and chat with the mechanics who keep them airworthy—unlike many other aviation museums, many of these aircraft continue to fly on a regular basis. Want to really make his day? Treat dad to a 30-minute ride in an aircraft such as the AT-6 Texan.
Rates: $10 adults; $5 kids 4-12. Rates vary for warbird rides; book in advance.
When to go: 9am-5pm Mon-Sat; 11am-5pm Sun.
Check it out:
4572 Claire Chennault, Addison.
972/380-8800; cavanaughflightmuseum.com

Indulge hubby’s fantasy for things that go vrooom! at the North Texas Automotive Museum, which houses a year-round collection of classic, modern, antique, muscle, hot rod and sports cars. He can ogle brands such as Mercedes, Rolls-Royce and Alfa Romeo, with models such as Super Snake, SLR McLaren and many more.
Rates: $10 adults; $5 children (ages 5 and younger free).
When to go: Open for car viewing Friday and Saturday.
Check it out:
677 W. Campbell Rd., Richardson.
972/918-0084; ntxautomuseum.com

At the Museum of the American Railroad, you can get a firsthand look at the trains that influenced the growth of the city, and climb aboard Pullman sleeping cars, passenger trains and Big Boy, the largest steam locomotive ever built. This year, celebrate the 40th anniversary of Amtrak.
Rates: $7 adults; $3 kids 3-12; members free.
When to go: 10am-5pm Wed-Sun.
Check it out:
1105 Washington St., Dallas.
214/428-0101; museumoftheamericanrailroad.org

Indulge hubby’s fantasy for things that go vrooom! at the North Texas Automotive Museum, which houses a year-round collection of modern, antique, muscle and sports cars. Inventory changes daily, so you can always come back to see what’s new.
Rates: $10 adults; $5 kids (ages 5 and younger free).
When to go: Open for car viewing Friday and Saturday.
Check it out:
677 W. Campbell Rd., Richardson.
972/918-0084; ntxautomuseum.com

From 1908-1948, the Texas Electric Railway traveled from Denison to Dallas, making a stop in Plano. At the Interurban Railway Museum, you can view artifacts associated with the Interurban Line, as well as Plano history. In addition to viewing the displays and photos, you can take a tour of Car 360 (this year is the centennial of the car’s birth!).
Rates: Free admission.
When to go: 10am-2pm Mon-Fri; 1-5pm Sat.
Check it out:
901 E. 15th St., Plano.
972/941-2117; plano.gov

At McKinney’s Chestnut Square, Collin County history comes to life. Get a glimpse of what life was like before Top Chef and electric cars, with blacksmith and cooking demonstrations, along with historical reenactments scheduled throughout the year.
Rates: Free admission; activity costs vary.
When to go: Always open for free exploration; check website for specific activity schedule (for Living History Days, story times and ghost walks).
Check it out:
315 S. Chestnut St., McKinney.
972/562-8790; chestnutsquare.org

Did you know that Frisco was once a small farming town known as Lebanon? Come out to the Frisco Heritage Museum, where you can celebrate the city’s rapid growth from tiny railroad town to a booming economic center. You can try your hand at a cotton loom or test a turn-of-the-century printing press. You can also explore a living village, featuring a log cabin, school house and church.
Rates: $4 adults; $2 kids 5-11; 
family discount.
When to go: 10am-5pm Wed-Sat; 1-5pm Sun.
Check it out:
6455 Page St., Frisco.
972/292-5665; friscomuseum.com

Who says you have to journey to the savannahs of Africa to mingle with wild beasts? At In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center, you can get face-to-face with a variety of big cats, all of which have been rescued from neglect and abuse. Make dad feel like he's the king of the jungle when you meet Bengals, lions, leopards, cougars and more. 
Rates: $10 adults; $7 kids 4-12.
When to go: Self-guided tours 11am-5pm Thu-Fri; 11am-6pm Sat-Sun.
Check it out:
3430 Skyview Dr., Wylie.
972/442-6888; insyncexotics.com

These animals may not roar like wild cats, but at the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, you’ll learn that a number of “wild” animals local to North Texas are both fascinating and in need of sanctuary. Walk the nature trails, and explore the sanctuary that houses capybara, ducks, coyotes, snakes and more. Check in to the Living Lab, a fantasy science laboratory where you can manipulate and observe a variety of native specimens. And build trust between dad and the kiddos by signing up to participate in a tree top adventure ropes course (for groups of 10 or more).
Rates: $9 adults; $6 kids 3-12; members free.
When to go: 9am-5pm Tue-Sat; 1-5pm Sun.
Check it out:
1 Nature Pl., McKinney.
972/562-5566; heardmuseum.org

Check out the current exhibition, A Day in the Life of the Holocaust, at the Dallas Holocaust Museum, Center for Education and Tolerance, which highlights the behaviors of bystanders during this time. You’ll learn how the bravery of a few people can save lives, and that danger arises not from evil in the world, but from those who sit back and let it happen.
Rates: $8 adults; $6 seniors and students.
When to go: 9:30am-5pm Mon-Fri; 11am-5pm Sat-Sun.
Check it out:
211 N. Record St., Dallas.
214/741-7500; dallasholocaustmuseum.org

True heroes often go unnoticed. Pay your respects at the Dallas Firefighter’s Museum, Inc., located in one of the city’s oldest remaining fire stations. Here, you can explore more than 100 years of firefighting history through a collection of extinguishers, helmets, tools, uniforms and interactive activities. Indulge your fascination by pulling on your helmet and climbing aboard a 1951 fire engine, and while you’re there, listen to the sounds of present-day firefighters responding to alarms.
Rates: $4 adults; $2 children.
When to go: 9am-4pm Wed-Sat.
Check it out:
3801 Parry Ave., Dallas.
214/821-1500; dallasfiremuseum.com