I had a friend ask me the other day if my daughter and I were going out of town for spring break. I felt a little guilty at first because I hadn’t planned any out-of-town excursions. Then I remembered how spring break went down in my house when I was a kid. The planning and preparation as to what I was going to do during my time off went something like this: The first day of spring break my mother would walk to the front door and announce, “It’s a beautiful day. Go outside and play.” And that was it in a nutshell. Mind you, I grew up in Nebraska, so there was a very real possibility of snow on the ground in March and April. But that fact was immaterial to my mother, and really all mothers of that era. The main goal was to get us out from underfoot and as far away from sleeping babies as possible. Cold weather be damned. Having fed us Wonder Bread religiously (the bread that “builds strong bodies 12 ways”) they were confident we were hardy and the fresh air would “do us good.”
If your spring break is shaping up to be a little more homespun than you’d like, check out one of these awesome “staycation” ideas. They’re better than a trip to Disney World! Well, not really. But they’re still more fun than just playing outside in the cold.
Besides spring break, there’s another reason to kick up your heels next Tuesday. That’s right, Pi Day happens on March 14! Celebrate the quirky little mathematical constant with walkSTEM, a guided math walk through the Dallas Arts District, and a Pi Day Math Festival at Sammons Park at the AT&T Performing Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both the walk and the festival are free and teach kids to look for math around us and how it impacts our world. The math walk will be lead by Glen Whitney, founder of the National Museum of Mathematics in New York. And the festival will feature math-related activities from a variety of exhibitors like the Dallas Zoo; Dallas Arboretum; Dallas Public Library; John Bunker Sands Wetland Center; Bold Idea and many others.
Spring break is the perfect time to hightail it down to your local museum for a little culture and creativity. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is offering spring break family programming for school age kids. Each docent-led session focuses on a different discipline from selected works in the Modern’s collection. You can learn about collage on Monday, drawing on Tuesday, sculpture on Wednesday, and photography on Thursday. There are two sessions per day, at 11:45 a.m. and 2 p.m., and best of all, it’s absolutely free. If you’re in Dallas, stop by the Nasher Sculpture Center. They’re celebrating the Nasher Prize all month with tours, games, stories and hands-on projects. At the Dallas Museum of Art you can enjoy a fun-filled week of art-making, creativity and gallery activities inspired by the DMA’s current exhibitions “Art and Nature in the Middle Ages” and “México 1900–1950.”
Texas Discovery Gardens will be heralding spring next week with their Spring Break Safari. Each day of the week has a special nature theme accompanied by 20 different activities and 15 different crafts throughout the week. You and your itty bitties can dress up like a Monarch on Monday, make a Terrarium on Tuesday, and meet a snake on Thursday. Each day is something different so you can keep coming back for new fun all week long. Be sure to check out the butterfly house exhibit while you’re there. It’s a little extra, but well worth it.
Another great staycation option is Spring Break Exploration at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Kids and adults can enjoy daily activities like exploring cockpit simulators, the paper airplane challenge, and meeting the museum’s living history performers.
Have really big fun, literally, at Dallas Heritage Villages’ Spring Fling: Jumbo Fun. Kids can play with large-scale versions of classic games like lawn bowling, dominos, and lincoln logs. After the games, make a day of exploring the village. It’s set on 20 acres with over 25 historic structures depicting life in Dallas from 1840-1910. You and the tinies can take a walk down the Victorian-era Main Street, go inside a log cabin, a schoolhouse, and say hello to the animals at their 1860s farmstead.
If you want to take another trip in the wayback machine, head to Waxahachie this Saturday and catch a vintage baseball game between the Farmers Branch Mustangs and their rivals in Waxahachie. Besides seeing an exciting match, you’ll learn all about how the game was first invented in the 1860s and see real teams play according to historic rules from the Civil War Era. That means no gloves! Spectators and ballists in period dress will be on hand to answer questions and take photos. The game is free and starts at 10 a.m.