Classrooms will soon close for spring break and while your kids rejoice in anticipation, you’re on the hunt for entertainment options. So we’ve hand-selected these Dallas-Fort Worth area venues – from art museums, historical centers, gardens and wildlife sanctuaries – with special events planned for the kids. Go just one day or every day that week for activities focused on nature, art and history. Need more options? Check out our list of weeklong spring break camps.
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Sign up for one, two or all three mini camps March 11–13 that delve into a different topic each day: dinosaurs that lived in present day Texas, animals that hatch from eggs and forces of nature from tornadoes to volcanoes. The two-and-a-half-hour morning sessions are designed for kids ages 5 and up to attend with their parents.
$20. Kids get $2 off regular admission March 10–14.
McKinney, 972/562-5566 heardmuseum.org
Texas Discovery Gardens
Celebrate the outdoors with games, guided garden walks, take-home crafts and a butterfly release inside the butterfly house during Spring Break Safari Week March 10–14. The activities vary each day with a new topic and are included with admission: $8 for adults and $4 for ages 3–11. Just want to tour the gardens? Get free garden admission on Tuesdays and don’t miss the butterfly-shaped bench for a sweet photo op.
Dallas, 214/428-7476 texasdiscoverygardens.org
Ray Roberts Lake State Park
Between the two, the Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch units are offering more than 25 educational and recreational programs for families March 7–15. Stop by the Interpretive Center, use a GPS for a beginners’ geocaching workshop, make a nature journal to record your thoughts on future hikes and take guided trail hikes, all for no more than the gate fee: $7 for ages 13 and up. Visit the parks’ event site for more details.
Pilot Point, 940/686-2148 tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/ray-roberts-lake
River Legacy Living Science Center
The naturalists at River Legacy will lead special family hikes, activities and crafts for five days. Hikes will leave from the center every half hour between 10am and 2:30pm to explore changing themes:
March 10: Tree Hike
March 11: Turtle Animal Exploration
March 12: Aquatic Adventures
March 13: Scavenger Hunt Hike
March 14: Opossum Animal Exploration
$2 per day for these activities but admission is otherwise free everyday.
Arlington, 817/860-6752 riverlegacy.org
The Dallas Blooms festival is in full swing. Take this week to explore the larger than life birdhouse-inspired playhouses and peacock topiaries. On March 10–11, and each Monday and Tuesday through the end of March, enjoy face painting, a petting zoo, crafts and music. The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is now open for the season as well. Check out its new 5.5-ton rolling stone sphere, made to look like the earth, in the Secret Garden. Keep your eyes peeled for costumed characters walking around the Texas Skywalk and eagle’s nest and head inside the Exploration Center’s Plant Lab for more new experiments.
Dallas, 214/515-6500 dallasarboretum.org
Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge
Call to register for hayrides through bison country on Tuesday and Thursday and canoeing Trinity River’s West Fork on Wednesday. Butterfly gardening on Monday and bird walk and scavenger hunt on Friday are free with paid admission: $5 adults; $2 ages 3–12. Several programs are first-come, first-served so show up early, and check out more of their regularly packed program schedule.
Fort Worth, 817/392-7410 fwnaturecenter.org
Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center
The center’s mission for its Spring Break BioBlitz: leave no stone unturned and no animal uncounted. Join local experts at Dogwood Canyon to spot and count different species from 1–3pm and enjoy crafts and activities all day from 9am–5pm. Free.
March 10: Animals
March 11: Plants
March 12: Insects
March 13: Fossils
March 14: Trees
Cedar Hill, 469/526-1980 dogwoodcanyon.audubon.org
Dallas Museum of Art
Every day from March 11–14, enjoy these Spring Break activities and more inspired by March Madness basketball championship: designing your own trophy inspired by the NCAA Championship trophy on display, designing trading cards and competing as a family in the Art Madness challenges. On Friday, March 14, the DMA will stay open until 9pm for the Dallas Arts District Spring Break Block Party, in conjunction with the Nasher Sculpture Center.
Dallas, 214/922-1200 dma.org
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
The Modern’s Spring Break Wonders programs start at 2pm each day March 10–13. Docents will lead gallery tours followed by an art project designed for kids and preschoolers. Sign up for the program at the front desk on the day of the program. Admission is free each day for the kids, but if you must pick on day, choose Monday. Everybody gets in free, kids get a free meal at Cafe Modern and the program focuses on the work by the current special exhibit artist David Bates.
Fort Worth, 817/738-9215 themodern.org
Kimbell Art Museum
From March 11–14, the Kimbell will offer a rotating schedule of free activities that all relate to works in the permanent collection and in the special Samurai exhibition. Check out the art projects, studio sessions just for teens, gallery tours, children's films and storybook readings each day from 10am–3pm, or sign up for the free Kimbell Kids Drop-In Studios from 1–1:45pm on March 8, 15 and 29.
Fort Worth, 817/332-8451 kimbellart.org
Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Explore The Natural World in Art – Amon Carter’s theme for their Family Fun Week programs inside the galleries March 11–14. From 10:30am–noon, educators will lead families in art activities that relate to new natural elements each day: rock and land formations (Tuesday), the movement of wind (Wednesday), water (Thursday) and heat and fire (Friday). Free.
Fort Worth, 817/989-5030 cartermuseum.org
Heritage Farmstead Museum
For a staycation that takes you way back when, join the farmstead’s week of activities including tractor rides, old-fashioned games and more farm activities from 10am–2pm March 11–14. Day admission is $5 and each day will feature a new demonstration from 10:30am–12:30pm:
March 11: Leatherworking
March 12: Blacksmithing
March 13: Fencing
March 14: Outdoor cooking
Plano, 972/881-0140 heritagefarmstead.org
Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park
During the village’s Spring Fling week, you’re welcome to bring your own old or new items from home – think yarn and ribbon, rugs, old clothes, broken tools, dishes and even old furniture – to reuse and recycle as part of a community art project March 11–14. From 11am–3pm local artists will help you turn this trash into 3D sculptures and other treasures. $9 adults; $5 for ages 4–12.
Dallas, 214/413-3674 dallasheritagevillage.org
Grapevine Vintage Railroad
Now that Puffy the 1896 steam engine is back up and running, the Grapevine Vintage Railroad has two Victorian-style locomotives to take families on excursions from the Cotton Belt Depot to the Fort Worth Stockyards and back. The depot will offer extra Spring Fling rides March 10–14. Board the train for the 1pm trip to the Fort Worth Stockyards or for the 2:45pm Trinity River Run for special activities and board games on board. Tickets start at $20 for adults and $10 for children.
Grapevine, 817/410-3579 gvrr.com
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Think those orange and blue $100 bills look strange? See where the newly designed bills and half of the nation’s paper money is printed at the Western Currency Facility when you take the kids for the Spring Break Employee Craft Demonstrations. Several of the government facility’s employees will be showcasing different techniques such as Intaglio printing, and kids ages 8 and older can make their own currency in the Kid$ Corral. Free.
Fort Worth, 866/865-1194 moneyfactory.gov