A while back, I saw a news story about the growing number of stay-at-home dads. Camera crews followed them around and made a lengthy report about their lifestyles. Most of the men transitioned from full time jobs. What struck me most about the stay-at-home dads was that they did not stay at home. They spent the bulk of their day entertaining kids outside of the home.
Entertaining outings for kids do not have to be expensive. Dallas offers fun, family-friendly events year round, but these attractions can be real sanity savers when the dog days of summer drag on and bored kids need fun ways to beat the heat.
Both Home Depot and Lowe’s offer free workshops for kids on certain Saturdays. Kids can complete basic projects, such as building a small birdhouse or boat, while learning safety tips. The stores also add freebies such as an apron and achievement pin or certificate.
You can check out the projects in advance on the Home Depot and Lowe’s websites. Although the workshops are completely free, you may want to buy paint or other embellishments so the kids can add panache to their creations at home.
Entertainment at Dallas Public Libraries
The neighborhood library is a wonderful resource for families. Dallas libraries offer free programs, including puppet shows, interactive book readings and craft projects. Plus, you can borrow some fresh reading material.
Kids can also earn prizes by participating in the Mayor’s Summer Reading Program and logging their hours spent reading.
With little or no standing water, the bubbling fountains and sprayers are perfect for little ones. Dallas maintains free spraygrounds throughout the metroplex. Pack some frosty drinks and a few water toys for the kids. Spraygrounds usually open at the end of May and operate through Labor Day.
The mall may not seem like a budget-friendly destination, but local malls offer free entertainment for kids. Northpark Center, located at 8687 North Central Expressway, regularly hosts programs such as magic shows, musical performances, puppet shows and storybook readings for pre-school and grade-school children. Check with your nearest mall to find out about upcoming events.
Younger kids will also enjoy playing on the soft playgrounds located inside many malls. Parents can supervise them while relishing the cool climate.
First Tuesdays at Dallas Museum of Art
General admission is free from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month. The Dallas Museum of Art, located at 1717 North Harwood, offers programs especially for children 5 and under.