Friday, March 8, 2013

Totally Texas -- Spring break staycations

It’s the first day of the first weekend of spring break for North Texas schools. Don’t panic! I’ve got suggestions for changing “OMG what’ll we do with kids” to bonding (instead of bondage) experiences. Events are free or low-cost and grouped by proximity to keep the “are we there yet” moments to a minimum.

Young & carefree:

These destinations are accessible to small children -- my daughter and I have tested them on her twin boys from toddlerhood through early elementary school years. But older kids, even teens can enjoy them, especially the multi-museum, block-long party Friday, March 15, till midnight.

Dallas Museum of Art -- General admission is free, but expect to pay $10 for parking in the attached garage and most neighboring lots if you don’t take DART or the McKinney Avenue trolley (see below). Special spring break activities Tuesday - Friday (March 12-15), culminating in Friday’s late night spring break party. At 1717 Harwood. For calendar of events, see

Crow Collection of Asian Art -- One block east of the DMA, at 2010 Flora. Not all exhibits interest the youngest kids, but the boys love the windowed gallery typically filled with origami hangings. Several closures for private events, but the week culminates in the After Dark Japanese culture fest (including karaoke) March 15, 6 p.m. to midnight. Free, but loves donations. For calendar, see

Nasher Sculpture Center -- Across the street from the Crow, at 2001 Flora. Outdoor sculpture gallery gives even little kids room to move without bumping into the larger than life art. Adults pay, but admission for children age 12 and under is always free. Open Tuesday - Sunday, culminating in a spring break party free to all. Music, movie and art, March 15 from 7 p.m. - midnight. For more information, see

Serious with a side of latte:

Younger kids not prohibited, but very intense exhibits may be more suitable for tweens and teens. All museums listed are participants in the Girl Scouts History Explorer program. If things get too intense, chill out with a latte at the Sixth Floor Museum’s café, or visit the nearby West End’s many restaurants.

The Sixth Floor Museum -- 411 Elm at Houston (next to Dealey Plaza). Exhibits related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Open daily till 6 p.m. This Sunday, March 10, the museum hosts a CSI Family Event, for those age 8 and older. For hours and ticket prices, see

Holocaust Museum -- 211 N. Record St. Suite 100, near the Sixth Floor Museum. Exhibits commemorating the Holocaust from 1933 - 1945, including private photographs of the family of young diarist Anne Frank, on view through March 31. Open daily. See

Big Red Museum -- This turreted former courthouse at 100 S. Houston, one block from the Sixth Street Museum, it now houses exhibits of the city’s culture and history. I’m ghoulishly partial to footage of outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s death car, definitely not recommended for the youngest children. Open daily. See


  1. I wish you could do the same for London, Melissa. The easter hols are looming and I've got nothing planned for the kiddies.

    1. Started to envy all your London museums, then realized a lot of them probably close around Easter.