Friday, August 10, 2012

Totally Texas -- Living small in Big D

Dallas CityScape at the Galleria
13350 Dallas Parkway (I-635 & Dallas North Tollway)
Surprised by rain -- how many weeks had it been? -- and searching for a dry spot for the boys to play, my daughter and I chose that traditional Dallas fallback, a mall. But with the trend away from enclosed malls, it’s getting harder to find those with sheltered play areas. Then we remembered the Galleria. And that it currently has an impressive display of LEGOS -- the boys’ favorite toys.

Housed in its own storefront is the Dallas CityScape created from more than a million of the tiny Danish-born building blocks. The display has visited Dallas annually since 2010 to raise funds for the nonprofit East Dallas Community Schools. Each visit adds more buildings. It’s here this year through Labor Day, September 3.

If there’s anything the boys like as much as LEGOs, it’s Star Wars in all its manifestations. Dallas CityScapes obliges with numerous Star Wars figures, including the scavenger hunt item “storm trooper having lunch” at a replica of nearby Grand Lux Café.

The boys also loved the miniature train chugging through its plastic-block landscape. Grownups marveled at a model of Old Red, Dallas County’s nineteenth-century courthouse. Or Victory Park, with tiny replicas of Jumbo-Tron screens. Or the cross-sectioned Galleria, complete with ice-skating rink. Look all the way down into the Galleria’s basement for a surprise we hope doesn’t exist in real life.

The biggest hit, though, were the LEGO construction tables with troughs packed with blocks in every color and size. They’re not just little boy magnets, either. Plenty of little girls and adults as well, couldn’t resist the urge to dabble with the tiny blocks.
Dallas CityScape is located on Level 1 of the Galleria, between Tiffany & Co. and BCBGenerations. A stand-alone display outside helps direct you, and the staff at Galleria’s customer service desk know the location by heart. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sundays noon - 6 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and children age two and up. The children’s tickets also include a prize -- toy race cars -- miniature, of course.

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