We had an amazing couple of days and I couldn’t seem to sum it up in a single ‘snapshot,’ so I’m posting two: the first covers our stay at the Gaylord Texan, where we spent the Fourth of July holiday, and the second covers some highlights from our downtown Dallas adventures. Hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend too!
Fourth of July
With Independence Day just a few days away, we decided to plan a little staycation to keep our family entertained across the four-day stretch. Once I started researching things to do, I realized just how how many amazing places we’ve never been in the metroplex we call home.
Here’s a list of activities on our wish list, and while we certainly won’t visit them all over the upcoming holiday weekend, we’re going to try our best!
Last weekend we attended a birthday party at the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park in Dallas. We’ve been to some of the museums at Fair Park, but the aquarium was new to us. Though not as modern as other DFW-area aquariums, the center wins major points for being child-friendly and very interactive. In one afternoon I think my children touched more sea creatures than I have touched in a lifetime – though I am pretty squeamish in this department.
Here are some of our favorites:
This weekend we attended the grand opening of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in downtown Dallas. The building is amazing. It’s located right off the highway, so I’ve been watching the building develop over the past year or so. I only recently found out what it was, and once I did, I immediately wanted to join. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is one of Jason and Jenna’s favorite places to visit in the DFW area, so I had no doubt that this would hold a similar appeal.
The museum includes several exhibit halls, including sections dedicated to dinosaurs and space discovery. I hope we’ll explore these areas more as J+J get older, but for now, our main destination will likely be the Moody Family Children’s Museum. Jason and Jenna would have stayed all day if they could.
Here are a few scenes from our new favorite spot in Dallas:
View of downtown Dallas from the escalator
View from the top of the escalator
The dinosaur exhibit
The children’s museum
Jenna with model of the children’s museum
Jason in the Dallas skyline play area
Jenna’s favorite section of the children’s museum
The museum at dusk
We visit the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History quite a bit, but rarely head outside to the giant sandbox – either because we don’t want to get messy, the weather is bad or it’s simply closed. Yesterday, Jenna asked specifically to go to the museum to “play in the sand.” The weather was gorgeous, so off we went … with Jenna wearing white pants. Oh well, we didn’t let that stop us. The great thing about this sandbox is that it’s set up as a pseudo archeological site where kids can recover dinosaur bones and other fossils. Jenna was pretty excited with she realized that she had “discovered” the giant dinosaur (shown in station 1 below). Pretty cool stuff.
Here are a few scenes from our visit to Dino Dig:
This weekend we had a very rare opportunity to visit a museum sans kids, so we headed downtown to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. I think I enjoyed the building just as much as the art. Here are a few scenes from our visit:
This weekend we visited the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas. Since my husband was once in the Air Force and we both currently work in the airline/travel industry, we’re a bit partial to activities involving airplanes, and this was the perfect spot for getting J+J interested in them as well. Jason loved sitting in the cockpit of a 737 and exploring all of the controls, but I think his favorite part (and Jenna’s) was jumping in the airplane-themed bounce house. Some things never change.
Over the weekend, we trekked down to Arlington to visit the River Legacy Living Science Center, a center dedicated to preserving the natural resources along the Trinity River. For anyone with young children in the DFW area, this is an amazing place to visit. We visited the playground and discovery center, which are nested in 1,300 acres of park area, with lots of trees and trails. We definitely plan to go back to explore the trails when the weather cools down.
The Science Center
It’s been an action-packed couple of days, so I guess it’s fitting that most of the pictures I selected of J+J show them running away. We were on-the-go much of the weekend, and managed to cover most of the metroplex by visiting downtown Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas. Among our adventures were a new-to-us playground and science center (more on that this week) and a trip to the DMA with some good friends. Definitely one of our best weekends of the summer!
Jenna and I stopped by the Dallas Arboretum last weekend to see the Small Houses of Great Artists installations, but I think we ended up spending more time exploring the glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly – some pretty spectacular sights in an already beautiful environment. Jenna was especially fond of the “giant yellow feathers.”
The Chihuly installations are on display until November 5th, so I have a feeling we’ll be visiting again soon – hopefully when it’s a bit cooler. For anyone in the DFW area, I highly recommend a visit.
Small Houses of Great Artists