Most of the kiddos are down to the last few days of summer break. This weekend is definitely the swan song for summer vacation in our neck of the woods and just like you would expect, back-to-school means boatloads of emotion. Kids are anxiously waiting to find about who their teacher will be, if they’ll share a class with their best friend, and if it’s true 3rd-grade math is waaaay harder than 2nd-grade math. Meanwhile, their parents are studying the school supply list and thinking, “What the heck is a folder with brads?”
Take a break from the stress and enjoy these final lazy-hazy days with one last summer excursion. Continuing on our things-do-before-summer-is-over theme, here are a few ways to finish off the summer with a bang without breaking the bank.
Share two of your favorite childhood movies with your kids the way they were meant to be seen–on the big screen. The historic Majestic theater will be screening “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” on Thur. Aug. 15 and “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi ” on Sun. Aug. 18. Enjoy the plush interior of the grand old movie house and really immerse yourself into the film. You’ll remember why seeing movies like these are so much better in a theater. Get there early do some coloring on Star Wars coloring sheets.
Bet you didn’t know that Saturday, August 17 is International Geocashing Day. Celebrate the outdoor treasuring hunting game at Farmers Branch Historical Park. See if you can find all the new caches in the Park. The event is free and is come and go from 1 to 4 p.m.
Kids really love video games–that stash of PlayStation games in the TV console is proof positive of that–the trouble is, they can turn your kid into a couch potato pretty quickly. Get the kids off the couch with a field trip to Nickel Mania in Carrollton. The store features over 125 of the latest and classic video games and you can play them all for just a nickel apiece!
Go see the 32nd Annual Highland Village Balloon Festival and Fair in Unity Park in Highland Village this weekend. If you’re not an early riser no worries. The balloons will do their thing at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. all through the weekend. The festival starts Friday night at 5 p.m. with a variety of activities including tethered balloon rides, music and a balloon glow Friday and Saturday at dusk. Don’t forget your lawn chairs, sunscreen and bug spray. The Lion’s Club will also offer free vision screening at the event.
Celebrate the last gasp of summer with a good old-fashion fireworks display. Load up the kids and head to Lake Grapevine for their Friday Night Fireworks Show. The free weekly 12-minute show runs until Sept. 20 and can be viewed from the parks around Lake Grapevine.
If you can’t afford a trip to the beach, the next best thing can be a visit to a local water park. For a change of pace check out Dallas’ newest Aquatic Center, The Cove at Samuell Grand. The center features a lazy river, slides, a diving board, a baby pool, and a concession stand. If you’re really looking to beat the heat take a dip in an indoor pool. The City of Denton has a great indoor pool that’s part of its Water Works complex. In addition to plenty of room to swim and places to sit, the pool also has two diving boards (a rarity these days) and a pretty cool slide.
Take a self-guided tour of the money factory, a.k.a. the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Western Currency Facility. See the process of money being printed from an enclosed walkway above the production floor. In addition to the tour, there are two floors of interactive exhibits and displays showcasing currency history and the art of currency manufacturing. The tour is approximately 45 minutes along an elevated walkway. One last thing, before the tour you should allow 30 minutes to clear WCF security.
Last but not least, summer is the perfect time for a little cultural enrichment. Celebrate the Dog Days of Summer with PDNB’s newest exhibition “Hot Dog.” The group show features photographs of man’s best friend by notable photographers and spans 100 years, starting with the early 1900s.
For even more kid-friendly events, explore the Kids & Family section of the Art&Seek calendar.