12 activities and events to keep the family busy during spring break

Staying in town for spring break this March? We round up a dozen ideas for some family fun. Hurry -- some require early registration.

1. Fort Worth Zoo day camp

Explore the world from your own back yard. Children in grades 1-6 can learn about a different part of the world each day through singing and dancing, painting, crafts, games, and an up-close animal experience. This year's locales are Rio de Janeiro; Madagascar; Cape Town, South Africa; and Calcutta, India. Each day will also include a tour of the zoo. Bring a lunch, but a snack will be provided.

9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 12, 13, 15 and 16. $75 for one day, $120 for two days, $200 for all four. Registration limited to first 100 children. 1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth. 817-759-7555l;

2. Kimbell Art Extravaganza

Adults and children can enjoy daily activities at the Kimbell Art Museum related to the exhibit "The Age of Impressionism." Activities include children's films, family tours and hands-on art projects. Stop by for an hour, a day or all week. A daily activity schedule will be available online starting March 1.

10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 13-15, noon-4 p.m. March 16. Free; no registration required. 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. 817-332-8451;

3. Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge

Enjoy the great outdoors through naturalist-led hikes, canoeing (for ages 5 and up), bison-feeding and animal ambassadors. Or explore the 3,621-acre natural reserve on your own. Be sure to swing by the prairie dog village.

March 12-16. Refuge open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; specific activity times vary. Activity costs range from free to $13 per person, plus park admission ($5 for adults, $3 seniors, $2 children 3-12). Registration required for bison-feeding. 9601 Fossil Ridge Road, Fort Worth. 817-392-7410;

4. Amon Carter Family Fun Week

Make a new friend or four at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Each day during spring break, the museum will focus on the works of a different artist -- Georgia O'Keeffe, John Singer Sargent, Stuart Davis and Ben Shahn -- with children's hands-on art activities. Refreshments will also be provided.

10:30 a.m.-noon March 13-16. Free; no registration required. 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. 817-989-5030;

5. Spring Break Wonders at the Modern

As an expansion of its Wonderful Wednesdays tours for families with small children, the Modern will be offering special daily tours during spring break. Children accompanied by an adult can enjoy a docent-guided tour that focuses on key pieces in the museum, participate in a discussion and create their own works of art.

4 p.m. March 13-16. Free. No registration required, but arrive early and sign in at the front desk to ensure a spot. 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth; 817-738-9215;

6. Central Market cooking classes

Two classes will be offered at the Central Market Fort Worth Cooking School this break: Breads of the World and Lasagna Dinner for Four. The first will teach kids how to make bread. The second will provide parents with a break as kids prepare supper (to bring home) for four, including lasagna, salad and dessert.

The Southlake Central Market will offer the class Grill Gourmet. Kids can learn to make several grilled goodies, including chicken brochettes, beans, corn and chocolate-banana s'mores.

Classes are organized by age group and are expected to fill quickly. Register online at

In Fort Worth: 10 a.m.-noon March 12-15, 2-4 p.m. March 12-14. $45-$50 per class. Age 5-17. 4651 West Freeway. 817-377-9005.

In Southlake: 10 a.m.-noon March 12-15. $45 per class. Ages 5-17. 1425 E. Southlake Blvd. 817-310-5665.

7. Butterflies in the Garden

Every spring, 12,000 butterflies (2,000 weekly) from the Americas, Southeast Asia and Africa are released in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Conservatory. Entries are timed at every half-hour. Tickets may be purchased online or at the gate. Strollers are not permitted.

Opens at 10 a.m., last ticket sold at 4 p.m. March 3-April 8. $10 adults, $8 seniors, $6 kids ages 3-12. 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. 817-871-7686;

8. Bureau of Engraving and Printing

All of America's paper money is printed in one of two places: Washington. D.C.. and right here in Fort Worth. Facility tours are available year-round, but visit during spring break and experience five living exhibits showcased by employees. Learn fascinating facts, see billions of dollars being printed as you cross the enclosed walkway over the printing room, and explore two floors of interactive exhibits.

Note that no cameras or cellphones are allowed in the building. Arrive early for a 30-minute security screening.

8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, with tours every half-hour 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free; no reservations required. 9000 Blue Mound Road, Fort Worth. 817-231-4000;

9. Botanical Research Institute of Texas

Hummingbirds, bees and bats. Oh, my! The "Partners in Pollination" exhibit opens this Saturday and runs through April 4 at BRIT, with many plant and animal specimens on display. Learn about the important relationship between plants and pollinators. Kids can also enjoy the dress-up pretend center. Take a public tour of the LEED-certified facility, including the herbarium, libraries and plant preservation studio.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Public tours 1:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Free; no reservations required. 1700 University Drive, Fort Worth. 817-332-4441; brit


10. C.R. Smith Museum

The American Airlines aviation museum, located near DFW Airport, hosts "From Here to There" through May 12. Enjoy hands-on exhibits on air, land and sea travel. Launch a hot-air balloon, sail a boat, and learn about physics with levers and pulleys. The museum's permanent collection includes pieces from aviation history, behind-the-scenes views of an airport and interactive exhibits, including a flight simulator.

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. $5 for adults, $3 seniors and kids ages 2-18. 4601 Texas 360, Fort Worth. 817-967-1560;

11. It's All Fun and Games at Log Cabin Village

Finish your vacation with an afternoon in the 1800s. At Log Cabin Village, kids can play with pioneer-era games, plant sunflowers and beans, and listen to the music of local Anglo-Celtic group Buttermilk Junction Old Time String Band. Visitors can also make a toy to take home for a $2 fee.

1-4 p.m. March 17. $4.50 for adults, $4 for seniors and ages 4-17. 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane, Fort Worth. 817-392-5881;

12. Cowtown Goes Green

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in family-friendly Stockyards Station. Activities include pony rides, face-painting, a petting zoo, games, music, gunfight shows and, of course, the daily cattle drive. Keep an eye out for leprechauns, and be sure to wear green so you don't get pinched. A parade will follow the 4 p.m. cattle drive.

Begins at 1 p.m. March 17. Free. North Main Street and Exchange Avenue, Fort Worth. 817-625-9715;