By this point in the summer, chances are that your kids have already uttered the dreaded words: “I’m bored.”
We polled Facebook fans to find out some of the most popular low-cost activities in the area. As expected simple places like community pools, local parks and libraries topped of the list. The Fort Worth Zoo and the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge were also popular. Here are a few more budget-friendly activities to round out your summer.
Open Bounce - weekdays
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Kids accompanied by an adult can enjoy open bounce time at Jump for Fun. The indoor inflatable park has bounce houses, slides and obstacle courses for all ages. Open bounce times are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Costumed characters visit every Wednesday. Dress like a superhero to meet Captain America on July 27 and wear a princess costume on August 3 to meet Cinderella. Admission: $8/child, accompanying adults free. Jump for Fun, 375 Commerce Street, Southlake, 817-231-0455, www.jumpforfunparty.com/southlake
Open Skate - daily
Open skate at Nytex indoor ice rink is a fun way to cool off for the whole family. Dress for the cold and bring winter mittens. Skates are provided or bring your own. Open skate hours daily, 12:15-1:30 p.m. and Friday Night Ice, 6:45-8:15 p.m. General admission: $10/adults; $9/children under 12. Nytex Sports Centre, 8851 Ice House Drive, North Richland Hills, 817-336-4423, www.nytexsports.com
Be the Dinosaur - daily through September 18
This summer, an educational exhibition that combines paleontology and technology makes a stop in Grapevine. Be the Dinosaur is an interactive, family-friendly exhibit that uses computer simulations to explore the everyday lives of dinosaurs. The exhibit includes traditional displays, full-sized bones, a safari Jeep, and interactive game. Tickets: $4/person; age 2 and younger free. The exhibit is open daily: Monday - Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday noon-5 p.m. Grand Gallery, 636 S Main Street, Grapevine, Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau, 817-410-3185, www.grapevinetexasusa.com/festivals-events/
Dive-in Movies at NRH2o - Fridays
The North Richland Hills waterpark has something for everyone with slides, pools, and splash pads. Stay late on Friday nights to watch a movie in the wave pool or on the beach beginning at dusk. This summer’s lineup includes “Goosebumps” (June 24), “Hotel Transylvania 2” (July 1), “Jaws” (July 8), “Cinderella” (July 15), “Inside Out” (July 22), “Guardians of the Galaxy” (July 29), and “Frozen” (August 5). General admission: $21-$26. See website for discounts. NRH2o, 9001 Boulevard 26, North Richland Hills, 817-427-6500, www.nrh2o.com
Flick and Float - July 8 & Aug 12
Bring the kids and floats to Bedford Splash Aquatic Center to enjoy a movie on the big 16- by-21-foot screen while floating in the pool. Lifejackets are provided free. The concession stand will remain open late on movie nights. Admission is included in the daily rate, $5/person. July films include: “R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps” on July 8 and “Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur” on August 12. Gates open at 8:30 p.m. and the film begins at 9 p.m. Bedford Splash Aquatic Center, 2000 Forest Ridge Drive, 817-952-2323, www.bedfordsplash.com/special_events
Dive-in Movies - July 10 and 31
Trophy Club residents can take advantage of resident-only admission to the community pool and enjoy Dive-in movies on two nights this summer. Residents are welcome to bring non-resident guests. Features include “Big Hero 6” on July 10 and “The LEGO Movie” on July 31. Bring your own floats. Films begin at dusk, approximately 8:30 p.m. Admission: $4/individual 35-inches and taller. Season passes are available. Trophy Club Community Pool, 500 Parkview Drive, 817-491-0500, www.tropyclub.org/departments/parks-and-recreation
Keller Moviehouse Kids Club - Tuesday through August 23
Kids can catch a free movie every Tuesday at Keller Moviehouse & Eatery during the Summer Kids Camp. The lineup includes family favorites like “The Peanuts Movies,” “Home,” and “Monsters vs. Aliens.” Tickets are on a first-come, first-serve basis at the box office beginning at 9 a.m. See website for full schedule. Moviehouse & Eatery, 250 Rufe Snow Drive, Keller, 817-741-2540, www.themoviehouse.com/keller
Movies at the Marq - June 30, July 14 and 28
Bring the family to watch a film at the Aria Amphitheater on Thursdays. Festivities include free inflatables, crafts and popcorn. Food trucks will also be on site for concessions. Bring a blanket or chairs. The lineup includes “Tomorrowland” (June 30), “Norm of the North” (July 14), and “Avengers” (July 28). Dress as your favorite superhero on Avengers night. The Marq, 285 Shady Oaks Drive, Southlake, 817-748-8900, www.themarqsouthlake.com/200/
Little Mermaid Jr. - June 25-August 8
Artisan Center Theater presents Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.”, adapted from the Broadway production, on the children’s stage. This popular incarnation of the classic fairytale features Ariel, who defies her father and gives up her fins for a chance to convince Prince Eric that she’s the girl whose voice he seeks. Showtimes are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. A special deaf interpretation performance is July 14 at 12 p.m. Reserved seating $10, $7/age 12 and younger. Artisan Center Theater, 418 E Pipeline Road, Hurst, 817-284-1200, http://artisanct.com/calendar
4th Friday Films - monthly
The city of Grapevine hosts the free 4th Friday Film series at a different park each month this summer. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs to catch a film under the stars. The schedule includes “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at Parr Park on June 24, “Inside Out” at Dove Waterpark on July 22, “The Sandlot” at The Park at The Rec on August 26, and “Jurassic World” at Trawick Pavilion on September 23. General admission fee applies at Dove Waterpark: $2 resident, $5 non-resident. Multiple locations, www.grapevinetexas.gov
Children’s Garden Classes - July 7, 19, 26 and 28
The Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park offers free children’s classes on nature subjects for age 3-6. July 7 (4-4:45 p.m.) and 26 (10-10:45 a.m.), “Plants We Eat” includes a veggie craft and story time. July 19 (4-4:45 p.m.) and 28 (10-10:45 a.m.), “Reptiles Everywhere” includes snake and turtle crafts and story time. Cost: $5/child. Pre-register online. Meet at Pewitt Pavilion.
Grapevine Botanical Gardens, 411 Ball Street, www.grapevinetexas.gov/calendar/calendar
Farmhouse on the Grape Vine Prairie - July 23
Visit Nash Farm to participate in this quarterly series inspired by the “Little House” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Staff will read from the chapter, ‘Mosquitoes,’ from “By the Shores of Silver Lake” and visitors can make natural insect repellent. This activity is geared towards students in grade 3-7, but all ages are welcome. 10 a.m.-noon. Cost: $3/person. Register online.
Nash Farm, 626 S Ball Street, Grapevine, www.tickets.grapevineticketline.com
National Day of the American Cowboy - July 23
Learn about Texas history and celebrate the west with living history presentations, kids’ activities and contests. The parade begins at 11:30 a.m. following the morning cattle drive. Festivities run 10 a.m.-4 p.m. All activities are free.
Fort Worth Stockyards, East Exchange Avenue, 817-625-9715, www.stockyardsstation.com/events
Bureau of Engraving and Printing Demos - July 26-29
The Summer Employee Craftsmanship Demonstrations at the BEP give visitors a peek inside one of two locations where U.S. currency is printed. Take a self-guided tour and walk over the production floor, watch engraving and create your own currency. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. with the last tour beginning at 4:30 p.m. Plan to spend some time in security; no bags, phones or cameras.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tour and Visitor Center, 9000 Blue Mound Road, Fort Worth, 817-231-4000, www.moneyfactory.gov/wcfspecialevents