What Winter Woes? Indoor Fun in DFW
The holiday season is over! We’re done with Santa visits, Christmas lights, and the plethora of holiday-themed events that take over your daily life from early November through all of December and into the first week of January. We can finally relax, stay home, and…
...oh no. It’s cold and wet outside, and it’s boring at home. The kids are already sick of their new gifts and have serious cabin fever. You’ve made so much slime already this month that you’ve run out of ingredients twice and everything is gross. IT’S TIME TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, Y’ALL.
In the interest of preserving your sanity, I submit to you the following ideas for beating the winter woes and keeping your kids entertained.
If you’re like me and you have multiple kids of different ages, you’ve probably taken a baby or a special needs child to the movies. In my case, I’ve done both! It’s so important to know which theaters welcome families like mine. Luckily, there are theaters in different parts of the DFW metroplex that offer showings for non-traditional viewers. The Angelika offers Crybaby Matinee, both in Dallas on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1:30pm and in Plano on Thursdays at 1:30pm, where they “keep the lights dimmed, the sound volume down, and the movies coming.” If you’re not familiar with The Angelika, it’s a lovely theater that shows movies that are more “artsy” than the average theater. They also were one of the first in the area to begin selling beer, wine, coffee, and food that isn’t what we think of as movie theater concessions. They do also sell popcorn and soda if that’s more your speed.
Speaking of movie theaters where you can enjoy delicious food and drink, check out Mommy Mondays at Moviehouse & Eatery (McKinney, Flower Mound, Keller) - all shows before 2:00pm include “a quieter cinema experience with lower volume movies, a brighter auditorium, and $6 tickets.” There’s also Alamo Drafthouse in Dallas, Richardson, Denton, and North Richland Hills, which offers Alamo for All on Tuesdays before 2:00PM and weekend mornings, as well as AMC’s Sensory Friendly Films on the second and fourth Saturdays and Wednesday evenings in Frisco, Garland, Mesquite, and Arlington, and LOOK Cinemas’ Sensory Sensitive Cinema in Dallas at 9:00am on Wednesdays and Sundays. Our family’s favorite is Camp Cinemark, only at Cinemark Allen 16, where you can see movies in a kid-friendly environment all day, every day! And our next theater to check out is B&B Wylie 12, offering screenPLAY, a theater with a playground inside! This theater has multiple showings each day and families are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes early to enjoy the playground before the movie starts. Make sure to check out the theater closest to you and enjoy some family time!
Museums and Aquariums
If your kids are getting enough screen time at home, get some culture by checking out the museum, and aquarium scene in DFW! In Dallas, you’ll find the Perot Museum, an amazing science hub with so much to see and do, you may need the whole day! If you’d like to keep it low-key, check out the Sci-Tech Discovery Center in Frisco or the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Fort Worth. For a truly out-of-this-world experience, check out UT Arlington's planetarium - they have shows open to the public on weekends and holidays.
For the animal-lovers, DFW has several aquariums to suit your needs - the multi-story Dallas World Aquarium, the smaller and more low-key Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, and the more hands-on SEA LIFE Aquarium at Grapevine Mills and SeaQuest in Fort Worth.
We may not hang out at the mall as much now that we can order everything we want from Amazon, but it’s still worth checking out what your local mall has to offer. The Galleria in Dallas is known for its three stories of shops and restaurants as well as a large indoor ice rink that is open all year round! Also in Dallas, you’ll find NorthPark Center, where you can enjoy beautiful artwork and sculptures, a small outdoor courtyard in the middle of an indoor food court, virtual reality experiences, and NorthPark’s famous ducks and turtles.
If you’re really looking for an adventure, look no further than Grapevine Mills, where you’ll find LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Round1 Bowling & Amusement, the SEA LIFE Aquarium, Peppa Pig World of Play, the Rainforest Cafe, and a dine-in AMC movie theater.
If you’d like to stay further east, you can always check out the Crayola Experience at Willow Bend in Plano and Kidzania at Stonebriar in Frisco! Just outside Stonebriar, you’ll also find iFly, the indoor skydiving experience! There’s something for every age group at the malls in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Indoor Water Parks
For those who are craving summer swim time, there are indoor water parks throughout the metroplex. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the day, try Epic Waters in Grand Prairie! Smaller options include the Indoor Aquatic Center in Frisco and the Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium in Allen.
Time for a staycation! Check out Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine or King Spa & Sauna in Dallas. Great Wolf Lodge is a hotel that includes admission to an onsite water park and is geared towards children and families. King Spa is not a hotel, but you can stay there for a full 24 hours if you’d like for one admission! Many visitors stay overnight and find a cozy place to sleep in between treatments, relaxation, and visits to the onsite water park.
There’s so much to do indoors in DFW! Start making plans and say goodbye to winter boredom.