Unlike our friends who are skiing in New Mexico, theme-parking in Florida, and hanging with ‘Hamilton’ in the Big Apple, we’re sticking close to home this spring break. This year, rather than hitting the road, we’re doing a staycation and cleaning out closets instead. I figured spring break is as good a time as any to deal with the maximum closet density problem we have going on at our house. “It’ll be totally fun!” I tell my daughter. So far she’s not buying it.
Even though my girl child would disagree, in my humble opinion sticking close to home can be a good option for spring break. Trust me, there’s plenty to do here in our own back yard without taking to the road or the air in search of greener spring break pastures. Here are a few picks you and your spring breakers should definitely try out during your time off.
You know how you’re always saying you should expose the kids to more arts and culture? Well, spring break is the perfect time to mosey on down to your local museum for a little look-see. There are all sorts of art-related programs and events for kids of all ages. Here are just a few to check out.
- Speaking of cleaning out the kid’s closets. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth has a unique family workshop this Friday for those wanting to do a little spring cleaning. Stop by the Museum’s new acquisition, “Clean Slate” by KAWS and recycle your old stuffed animals into art by adding them to the collaborative sculpture. After you’ve contributed to the KAWS Totem stick around and take a selfie with the resulting artwork built by participating families.
- Art lovers of all ages won’t want to miss the fun at Spring Break Week this Tuesday through Friday at the Dallas Museum of Art. The museum will be chocked full of art-making activities, family tours, story times, and gallery activities for families. Don’t miss the fun on Thursday night when the museum will feature ‘Star Trek’ themed activities.
- Stop by the Nasher Sculpture Center for free programming from March 12-17. You can create art with Shamsy Roomiani and Mylan Nguyen, take a tour of the garden, join the Dallas Public Library for Storytime. Stay late on Friday, March 15 for ‘Til Midnight at the Nasher. Enjoy a free concert featuring Black Lilies and a screening of “The Incredibles 2” in the garden.
- Want to make a big impression with the wee ninja in your life? Take them to the Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum for Samurai Spring Break. Kids can get an up-close look at suits of armor worn by Samurai warriors during the 17th and 18th century and even see the armor worn by the Samurai’s horses. Enjoy free admission, a chance to try on samurai armor, a samurai-themed scavenger hunt, and art activities from 11 a.m. -1 p.m.
It’s been a little touch and go weather-wise these past few weeks. First it’s cold, then it’s warm, then it’s cold again. Well, it looks like we’re finally getting spring-like weather appropriately just in time for spring break. Get out and enjoy the sunshine with one of these nature-related activities.
- River Legacy Living Science Center in Arlington has a week full of daily, family-fun activities for those you staying close to home for spring break. Highlights include a guided, kid-friendly nature hike on Monday, reptile investigations on Tuesday, aquatic adventures on Wednesday, up-close and personal with mammals on Thursday, and creepy crawlers on Friday. Presentations are at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and are just $2 a person.
- Stop by the Fort Worth Botanic Garden on Friday for a closer look at one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures–the bat. At Bats in the Garden kids can have a positive first experience with a live encounter with some of the bats they might find in their own backyard. During the 60-minute program, they’ll also learn bat conservation and how the little guys benefit plants and gardens.
- Bring the whole herd on a wild and wooly adventure at Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge. Take a scenic hayride tour of the refuge and learn more about the plants, animals, and history of the Nature Center. Along the way, you’ll stop by the bison pasture and throw a treat of range cubes over the fence to the herd. The bison feeding hayride happens Tuesday and Thursday, March 12 & 14 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pre-registration is required.
- Texas Discovery Gardens will be heralding spring next week with their Spring Break Safari Week. Each day of the week has a special nature theme accompanied by activities and crafts throughout the week. You and your itty bitties get buggy on Monday, meet a butterfly on Tuesday or learn about our feathered friends on Friday. Each day is something different so you can keep coming back for new fun all week long. Be sure to check out the butterfly house exhibit while you’re there. It’s a little extra, but well worth it.
Just because the kids are out of school doesn’t mean they have to stop learning. Fire up the synapses with one of these events that are not only educational but also fun.
- Besides being out of school, there’s another reason to kick up your heels this spring break. That’s because Pi Day happens on March 14! Celebrate the quirky little mathematical constant with the Pi Day Math Festival Thursday at Sammons Park in the at the AT&T Performing Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Highlights include math-related activities from a variety of exhibitors like the Dallas Symphony; Dallas Zoo; Dallas Arboretum; Dallas Public Library; Bold Idea and many others. New this year is a family-friendly panel discussion moderated by KERA’s own Sam Baker. You can catch it at the Winspear at 10:30 a.m. Both the panel discussion and the festival are free and teach kids to look for math around us and how it impacts our world.
- Another great place to get your STEM on this spring break is the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field. Kids and adults can enjoy daily activities like exploring cockpit simulators, the paper airplane challenge, and meeting the museum’s living history performers. At the end of the week on March 15 the museum will host Space STEM Live, an event exploring NASA’s three big questions (How did we get here? How does the universe work? and, Are we alone?) with engaging learning stations, shows, and presentations.
- Let off some STEAM (science, tech, engineering, art, and math) at the Valley Ranch branch of the Irving Public Library’s Spring Break STEAM Week. On Friday, kids ages 8-18 can test their computer skills and strategies and race Code-a-pillars.
Looking to try something new or completely out of the ordinary this spring break? Check out these picks that definitely fill the bill in the unique and different category.
- Tweens and teens who love to post pictures won’t want to miss the wildly colorful immersive art experience, “Rainbow Vomit.” The pop-up installation features over 6000 LEDs, 100 pounds of cotton, 25 pounds of glitter, 5 miles of ribbon and 1 secret unicorn. There are more than 20 unique photo opportunities throughout the exhibit that will inspire selfies galore.
- How about an introduction to opera? Join The Dallas Opera this Saturday at the Winspear Opera House for a performance of “The Bremen Town Musicians.” The operatic version of the Brothers Grimm classic story is set to music by Rossini, Donizetti, Offenbach, Arthur Sullivan, and Verdi and tells the tale of unlikely comrades who celebrate the idea that friendship, cooperation, and respect for others is far better than facing our problems alone. Tickets are only $5–a real bargain for the super-posh Winspear. And better still, there’s no need to worry about brushing up on your Italian because it’s sung in English!
- Take a trip in the Wayback machine and have some old fashioned fun at Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park this week. The Spring Fling event includes hands-on activities like cooking, rope-making, and animal tending so kids can really get a feel for what life was like back in the nineteenth century. Wagon rides and old-time outdoor field games like Hoops, Hopscotch, Tug-o-war, and Graces will also be going on all week.