Mari's Moments

Five free things to do with kids this summer

The Modern Art Museum has several family art programs during the summer.
The Modern Art Museum has several family art programs during the summer. Star-Telegram

As the mercury rises, a constant children’s refrain gets louder and louder: I’m bored.

Dallas-Fort Worth parents can beat the summer doldrums — and the heat — by offering up some cool activities that will keep the youngsters happy, but won’t budge your family budget.

Here are five free activities for families in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Modern family

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth offers two monthly art programs to keep your children’s creative juices flowing. On “Wonderful Wednesdays,” families with young children take a docent-led tour through the galleries. The program includes a gallery project designed by the education team. On “First Sundays,” artists lead young artists through informal drawing exercises that related to works found in the Modern’s galleries. Participants should bring a sketchbook and pencils. Children younger than 6 must be accompanied by an adult. The Sunday sessions are split into two age groups, ages 5 to 8 and ages 9 to 12. Sign up for either program at the information desk. Attendance is limited, so arrive early to sign up.

Good to know: Did you know that free sketchbooks for children are available at the information desk? “Ten Pages” will help your budding artists document ideas and inspirations while strolling through art exhibits.

Recommended ages: 12 and younger

When: First Sundays, 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., June 5, July 3, August 7; Wonderful Wednesdays, 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., June 8, July 13, August 10

Where: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell Street, Fort Worth

Info: 817-738-9215,

Cost: FREE!

Family movie night

For the first time, Levitt Pavilion is offering free family movie nights on the giant video screen. Pack a picnic and bring your blankets or lawn chairs to sit under the stars and watch favorite films. The series debuts with Pixar’s Inside Out.

Good to know: Snack and coolers are allowed, but no glass containers. Not a night owl? Try Levitt’s Children’s Concerts series at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, June 8 through June 29. Concerts are also free.

Recommended ages: All

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, June 8 through July 6

Where: 100 W. Abram St., Arlington

Info: 817-543-4308,

Cost: FREE!

A salute to military families

All three presidential libraries in Texas are offering free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families through Labor Day. The Blue Star Museums program, which began on Memorial Day, is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums in the United States.

Good to know: Free admission is available to all active duty military with ID as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. A family member may include a spouse, child, aunts, uncles, or grandparents.

Recommended ages: All

When: Through September 5

Where: The Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin; the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station; and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas

Info: The complete list of participating museums is available at

Cost: FREE!

Music fest in Addison

Spend Saturday nights soaking up live music with the family. Musical guests include Kelsey Lewis, Zach Balch, Joseph Vincelli and Carolyn Lee Jones. Don’t forget to pack some snacks and bring your blanket.

Good to know: In July, the venue is offering free family movies. Check for schedule.

Recommended for: All ages

When: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays in June and August

Where: Beckert Park, 5044 Addison Circle Drive, Addison


Cost: FREE!

Naturally fun

If you’re looking for a way to experience the great outdoors close to home, head to Eagle Mountain Lake where you will find 400 acres of unique Texas wildlife and landscape. Explore one of the six hiking trails that span more than five miles for a fun, active family afternoon.

Good to know: The park is for day use only. No dogs, bicycles or horses are allowed.

Recommended for: All ages

When: Open seven days a week from dawn until 30 minutes after sunset.

Where: 11601 Morris Dido Newark Road, Fort Worth


Cost: FREE!

Maricar Estrella: 817-390-7720, @maricare

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