DFW-area summer events and activities for families

The Dallas Arboretum will have special Father’s Day weekend events.
The Dallas Arboretum will have special Father’s Day weekend events. Dallas Arboretum

School’s out for summer!

We scoured the area to find some of the most fun and interesting things to do with the kids over the next 12 weeks.

Our calendar includes outdoor activities, movies, educational fun and entertainment for all ages. Some are one-day-only activities, and others are ongoing. Events are divided into two categories: those that are free and those that require paid admission, tickets or reservations.

All are sure to keep kiddos from saying, “I’m bored.”

Free activities

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 relate to works found in the Modern’s galleries. 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 5-8 and ages 9-12. Sign up for either program at the information desk. Attendance is limited, so arrive early.

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, 2-2:30 p.m. June 5, July 3 and Aug. 7; Wonderful Wednesdays, 4-4:45 p.m. June 8, July 13 and Aug. 10

Where: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth

Info: 817-738-9215;

Cost: Free

Family movie night in Arlington

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

Recommended ages: All

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

Where: 100 W. Abram St., Arlington

Info: 817-543-4308;

Cost: Free

Family movie night in downtown Fort Worth

Sundance Square presents its outdoor movie series in Sundance Square Plaza on Wednesday nights during June. Upcoming films include Aladdin, Little Giants, Sleepless in Seattle and Paddington.

Recommended: All ages (parents decide what’s appropriate)

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday nights, through June 29

Where: Sundance Square, downtown Fort Worth


Cost: Free

Family movie night in Southlake

Movies at the Marq presents a screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the new Aria Outdoor Amphitheater in Southlake. Bring blankets and chairs. Complimentary inflatables, crafts and popcorn will be provided. Food trucks will be on site, too.

Recommended: Parents can decide.

When: 7 p.m. June 16

Where: Aria Outdoor Amphitheater, 285 Shady Oaks Drive, Southlake

Info: 817-748-8900,

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: Admission is free 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 Sept. 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: Find the complete list of museums 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 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: 8-10 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 Park 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

Paid admission, tickets or reservations

Be the Dinosaur

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.

When: The exhibit is open daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Grand Gallery, 636 S Main St., Grapevine,

Cost: $4 per person; free for 2 and younger

Dino medallion

Every Saturday in June and July, visit Vetro Studio to create a dinosaur fossil medallion using a combination of colors and glassblowing techniques. Participants assist the glassblower in age-appropriate ways. Reservations are required.

When: 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays. (Vetro also offers a dino dig for young visitors to search for buried treasures. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.)

Where: Vetro Glassblowing Studio and Gallery, 701 S. Main St., Grapevine, 817-251-1668,

Cost: $15 per person

Hidden Treasures

This May, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History celebrated its 75th anniversary with the opening of “Hidden Treasures,” an exhibit that features iconic artifacts and displays from the archives. The exhibition includes skeletons, preserved animals and insects, vintage cars, cultural artifacts from around the world and more than 60 years’ worth of photographs.

When: Open daily: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1600 Gendy St., 817-255-9300,

Cost: $18-$21

Fort Worth Zoo

Visit the Fort Worth Zoo to meet a few new faces — a baby giraffe, elephant and gorilla and lion cubs. The zoo has also reopened its splash pad, Safari Splash, which features a zero-depth pool, water cannons and towers for all ages. Visitors can also watch Animal Outreach presentations at the Outdoor Learning Theater daily at noon and 2 p.m., with an extra 3 p.m. performance Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. See the zoo website for a schedule of Wild Encounters keeper chats to learn about over a dozen animals.

When: Summer hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, with extended hours to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Where: Fort Worth Zoo, 1989 Colonial Parkway, 817-759-7555,

Cost: $10-$14 ($4-$5 surcharge for Safari Splash)

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Two new films are showing at the Perot’s Hoglund Foundation Theater. National Parks Adventure 3D, narrated by Robert Redford, takes viewers on a tour of Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Yosemite, the Everglades and Arches to celebrate the National Park Service centennial. Flying Monsters 3D re-creates what life might have been like for prehistoric flying pterosaurs. The museum’s temporary exhibit, “Eye of the Collector,” features unique collections ranging from Star Wars memorabilia to prehistoric fossils.

When: Summer hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Perot Museum of Nature and Science, 2201 N. Field St., Dallas, 214-428-5555,

Cost: $12-$19 ($3-$5 surcharge for temporary exhibit; $6-$8 surcharge for films).

The Wizard of Oz

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Wizard of Oz hits the stage Tuesday as part of the Broadway at the Bass series at Bass Hall. Dorothy and friends, including adorable Toto, journey to the Land of Oz in this adaptation from the film screenplay.

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Bass Hall, Fourth and Calhoun streets, Fort Worth, 817-212-4280,

Cost: Tickets start at $44.

Kayak and canoe at the Nature Center

Learn the basics and take advantage of several opportunities to paddle the Trinity River with a group. From 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 12, Intro to Kayaking provides in-depth lessons on paddling, safety and more; $70, members $65. On June 18 (8:30-11 a.m.), take a kayak tour of the river to observe wildlife; $20, members $15. During Canoefest on June 19 (noon-4 p.m.), paddle the river and gain canoe experience. On June 20 (8-10:30 p.m.), take a full moon paddle to see nocturnal wildlife.

Kayak participants must be 14 or older and canoe participants must be 5 or older; all minors require an adult companion. Registration required, except for Canoefest.

When: Nature Center summer hours are 7 a.m.-5 p.m.weekdays, with extended hours to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Where: Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, 9601 Fossil Ridge Road, 817-392-7410,

Cost: Special event fees are in addition to park admission, $2-$5.

Log Cabin classes

Log Cabin Village hosts two kids’ classes this summer. Beginning Weaving (9:30-11:30 a.m. June 14) is for students going into grades 4-12. $20 fee includes loom and supplies. Wagons West (9 a.m.-noon June 17) is for students going into grades 1-6. $15 fee covers supplies for learning period chores like carding wool and washing clothes on a washboard. Register at least one week in advance.

Where: Log Cabin Village, 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane, Fort Worth, 817-392-5881,

A Night at the Museum

The Doss Museum in Weatherford hosts its first late-night event. Children ages 6-12 can explore the museum and learn about local history and culture through games and activities. The movie Night at the Museum will be shown. Dinner and dessert are included.

When: June 16

Where: James and Dorothy Doss Heritage and Culture Center, 1400 Texas Drive, Weatherford, 817-599-6168,

Cost: $15 per child. Register online or call the museum.

Friday-night Dive-in Movies

The North Richland Hills NRH20 waterpark has something for everyone with slides, pools and splash pads. Stay late Friday nights to watch a movie in the wave pool or on the beach beginning at dusk. This summer’s lineup includes Minions (June 17), 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 (Aug. 5).

Where: NRH20, 9001 Boulevard 26, North Richland Hills, 817-427-6500,

Cost: General admission, $21-$26. See website for discounts.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Artisan Center Theater in Hurst presents a production of Ian Fleming’s classic tale Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. (Also now playing through Saturday: Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. Coming up June 25-Aug. 6: Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.)

When: June 17-July 30

Where: Artisan Center Theater, 418 E. Pipeline Road, Hurst, 817-284-1200,

Cost: $9-$22

Father’s Day at the Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum has partnered with local organizations for a special Father’s Day weekend event. On June 18 (10 a.m.-noon), the Perot Museum’s TECH Truck staff will be in the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. Families can participate in hands-on engineering activities.

June 19 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), the North Dallas RC Club will launch remote-controlled airplane demonstrations over the concert lawn and share an exhibit of planes on the Camp House lawn.

Both days, make superhero crafts together in the Children’s Adventure Garden.

When: The Arboretum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Where: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 8525 Garland Road, 214-515-6500,

Cost: $10-$15 ($3 surcharge for Children’s Garden)

Outdoor Film at the Modern

Bring a blanket to enjoy a screening of The Princess Bride on the lawn of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. This is the classic fairytale story of a princess and her hero, with funny twists. Picnic baskets for two are available for order before June 24 from Café Modern for $45 ($40, members). Event tickets include gallery admission.

When: 7:30 p.m. July 1

Where: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., 817-738-9215,

Cost: $5-$10, $5-$15 at the door

Slide the City

Slide the City returns to Fort Worth with its record-breaking 1,000-foot-long water slide. Sliders must be at least 5 years old and 46 inches tall. Tubes and mouth guards are provided. Register online for a two-hour wave time.

When: July 23

Where: Clearfork Main Street and Hulen Street, Fort Worth,

Cost: Slide rates start at $20, with discounts for early registration.

Maricar Estrella: 817-390-7720, @maricare