Spring break is upon us again. And although we can’t promise what the weather will do, we can promise there’s plenty for the whole family to do, indoors and out, around Tarrant County.
We rounded up more than a dozen special events and activities for families to check out before school starts again.
‘Disney’s Peter Pan Jr.’ at Artisan Center Theater
Artisan Center Theater presents the Artie’s Playhouse retelling of the classic story of Peter Pan in its new children’s theater location. This modernized version is based on both the Disney film and J.M. Barrie play. Join Wendy, Michael and John on an adventure with Peter Pan into Neverland that includes mermaids, pirates and magic. Fans of the film will recognize many of the classic Disney songs.
Fort Worth Children’s Opera Theatre
The Fort Worth Opera stages two 40-minute performances of kid-friendly operas.
Children can donate one nonperishable food item for the Tarrant Area Food Bank, and in return they will receive one free ticket to a performance.
Each opera will be followed by a Q&A with the cast.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing demonstrations
The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where half of the nation’s currency is printed, invites families to visit the Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth. Take a tour and watch money being made. Kids age 8 and older may participate in hands-on activities, such as engraving their own currency design.
No reservations are necessary, but everyone will have to pass through security before entering the facility. No cellphones, cameras or large bags are allowed inside.
Go wild at the Fort Worth Zoo
There are still spots left for first- through sixth-graders in the Fort Worth Zoo’s spring break camp. The weeklong camp will include crafts, games, snacks, animal presentations and tours through the zoo.
Spring break at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has a flurry of nonstop activities planned from morning to evening Monday through Friday. Among the programs and demonstrations in the museum’s various studios and galleries are “Lions, Tigers and Bears … Oh My!,” “Paint a Rainbow,” “Happy Birthday, Barbie!,” “Shocking Science” and “Vortex Science: Swirl and Whirl.”
In addition, the museum’s exhibits “Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology” and “The Wizard of Oz” will be on display.
And, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, the museum with celebrate Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday.
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art
The theme for this year’s Family Fun Week at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art is “The Natural World in Art.” Explore the elements of earth, wind, water and fire through hands-on art activities for all ages. Refreshments will also be provided. No registration is necessary.
The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge
The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge is one of the largest city-owned nature centers in the United States and home to a significant bison herd. During spring break, a full schedule of activities is planned. Monday, learn how to create an inviting natural space for butterflies and birds. Tuesday and Thursday mornings, take a hayride out to the bison pastures to feed and learn about these wooly beasts (preregistration required). Wednesday’s Canoefest lets parents and children age 5 and older take a canoe out for a paddle. Friday, take a morning hike (preregistration required) and then spend the day on a scavenger hunt. Pick up a card at the Hardwicke Interpretive Center. All participants win a prize and are eligible for the grand prize.
Cowtown goes green
Don your favorite green apparel and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a couple days early in Fort Worth’s Stockyards National Historic District. This family-friendly event will include several free kids’ activities. There will be pony rides, a petting zoo, games, balloons and face-painting. Enjoy live Irish music and gunfight shows. The event wraps up with a Western Irish parade following the daily cattle drive at 4 p.m.
Spring break wonders at the Modern Art Museum
The Modern Art Museum will host special programming that features a different artist each day. The lineup includes David Bates (Monday), Carl Andre and Jackie Winsor (Tuesday), Anselm Kiefer and Robert Rauschenberg (Wednesday) and Jenny Holzer and Sol LeWitt (Thursday). Each session includes a docent-led tour and art project. Registration is not required, but space is limited. Sign up at the front desk on the day of your visit.
Monday only, admission to the museum will be free. Café Modern also will open the Modern Grille on the cafe’s terrace with hot dogs and burgers for sale, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Children age 12 and younger eat free.
It’s all fun and games at
Log Cabin Village
At Log Cabin Village, take a step back in time to explore authentic log cabins while experiencing life in the 1800s. Special activities will include playing with old-fashioned toys and games, plowing and planting crops. Children may make a buzz saw toy to take home for a $2 fee. Local musical group Buttermilk Junction will perform. No reservations needed; come and go.
Spring break workshops at Van Grow studio
Prepare to get a bit messy and have a lot of fun. Van Grow Art Studio is offering a week of themed art classes.
Monday, create 2-D and 3-D circus collages inspired by the works of artist Alexander Calder. Tuesday, re-create the works of Vincent van Gogh with paint on canvas. Wednesday, make shadow boxes inspired by Joseph Cornell. Thursday’s theme is Asian art and students will make suminagashi prints, paint with ink and model clay. Friday’s theme is Egyptian art, and students will draw King Tut, make a clay sphinx and learn to write hieroglyphs.
Take one class or spend the whole week. Full-day students bring a nut-free sack lunch. Register on the Van Grow website.
The Kimbell’s Spring Break Art Extravaganza
Adults and children alike can enjoy daily activities at the Kimbell Art Museum during spring break. Activities include children’s films, family tours and several hands-on art projects inspired by the museum’s exhibits. Stop by for an hour, a day or all week. No reservations necessary. A daily activity schedule is online.
The special exhibition “Samurai: Armor From the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection” has a separate admission fee. It’s $5-$14; half-price all day Tuesdays and 5-8 p.m. Fridays.
Bob Jones Nature Center programs
The Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake has activities for all ages. Children accompanied by a parent can enjoy Saturday craft workshops that focus on natural and recycled materials. Saturday, build a bug hotel to attract beneficial insects. March 15, craft newspaper pots to start your garden. Space is limited and registration can be completed online.
Spring Break Carnival at Fort Worth libraries
Visit one of the Fort Worth Library branches for carnival-themed spring-break activities that emphasize literacy for all ages. Activities vary by branch but include math games, fitness activities and crafts. There also will be live entertainment from monkey, juggling and magic acts. Each session lasts approximately an hour.
Saturday: 2 p.m., Wedgwood Branch
Monday: 2 p.m., Central Library and 4:30 p.m., Diamond Hill/Jarvis Branch
Tuesday: 2 p.m., East Regional Library
Wednesday: 1 p.m., Ella Mae Shamblee Branch and 4:30 p.m., Northside Branch
Thursday: 2 p.m., Southwest Regional Library
March 15: 1 p.m., Summerglen Branch
March 24: 4:30 p.m., Riverside Branch
March 27: 4:30 p.m., Seminary South Branch
Spring break at the science center
Visit the River Legacy Living Science Center in Arlington for a hands-on learning experience with nature. Monday, take a hike with a naturalist and do leaf and bark rubbings. Tuesday, learn about Texas turtles with a close encounter and a craft project. Wednesday, rent a dip net during center hours for $2 and study the live creatures found in the river. Thursday, take a naturalist-led hike and scavenger hunt. Friday, learn about opossums with a close encounter and a craft.
Hikes begin every half-hour. Animal presentations are every hour.
Spring fling on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad operates two Victorian-style locomotives that pull authentic vintage passenger cars. During spring break, the trains will run daily on a round trip from Grapevine to the Stockyards and on the Trinity River Run, which departs from Stockyards Station and circles downtown. In addition to enjoying the view, passengers can play old-fashioned board games on the ride.
Tales at Twilight
Nash Farm in Grapevine is a 5.2-acre historical landmark where families can learn about life on the Texas prairie in the 1800s. The farm hosts a fun family storytelling event where members of the Tarrant Area Guild of Storytellers will entertain visitors with stories from around the world. Bring your own chairs and blankets to get comfortable on the lawn. Picnic baskets are welcome. Popcorn and cider will be provided.
Butterflies in the Garden
Butterflies in the Garden is a biannual exhibit at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Conservatory, open daily through April. Approximately 12,000 exotic butterflies from around the world will fly around a walk-through natural environment. The theme for 2014 is “Butterflies of Asia,” and visitors may catch a glimpse of several eye-catching species from Malaysia, including the paper kite and great Mormon. Entrances are timed and limited; tickets must be purchased in advance.