Category Archives: Explore DFW Cities

Perot Museum: A New Review

We recently visited the Perot Museum for the first time in about two years. When the museum first opened, we had a membership. I let the membership expire after two years. My children at that point were 8,4, and 2. It was more chaos than fun as soon as my youngest started having opinions!

Since then, my kids have repeatedly begged to go back. It’s rather expensive without a membership, especially if you think you’ll be back again within a year. I saw the museum post about needing families for a user study, so I quickly signed up! Being apart of the study would get us into the museum for free. My children were over the moon excited when we found out we could participate in the survey.

The only catch was that we were going to be follow around by an anthropologist! I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but for a free visit, I was game.

Perot Museum DFW Homeschool Resource
Musical stair case.

The Visit

We met the anthropologist, Rose, in the museum parking lot. She was charged with observing us from the moment we stepped onto the museum grounds until we left again. During the visit she timed how long we were at different exhibits and asked us questions about how we felt when we stopped for lunch.

I was pleasantly surprised by my children this visit. Previously I had dragged out at least one whining child who had clearly overstayed their welcome. Being now that my children had grown a few years, they ALL were able to really interact with the museum. We didn’t even have to go to the children’s museum as a compromise.

Perot Museum DFW Homeschool Resource
Getting ready to race a T-Rex.

We started at the bottom because despite racing a T-Rex 5,000 times in the past, we had to do it again. The options for racing hadn’t changed since the last time we were there, but that didn’t bother my children. We then decided to go up to the top level and work our way back down.

Perot Museum DFW Homeschool Resource
Flying like an eagle.

The bird floor, which had never really held their attention before, was a big hit. They also got more of a kick out of the robotics floor. Unfortunately, we landed there at the end of our visit. We had to be somewhere by 4pm that day so we didn’t get as much time as they wanted.

Perot Museum DFW Homeschool Resource
Favorite part for the 4 year old.

This time I had to drag three sad kids away from the museum. They really want to go back again soon, and I’m ready to oblige! It was fun to have someone follow us around. I got to voice my opinion (and opinions I’ve heard from other homeschoolers) on the museum. Things like…it’s SO crowded ALL day. It was so hard when we were members to navigate the museum when there were hundreds of school children around. I suggested one or two days a month where they could promise no field trips. They had that in the past, but it was a weekly thing. I think that was too much because it didn’t last too long.

Will we go back? Yes. Although I need to figure out when we can avoid school field trips. Maybe during STAAR testing (or whatever they’re calling it now). I was pleasantly surprised how two years of maturing made the museum fun. Personally, if you have children of varying ages, I would wait until they’re all old enough to actually pause and look at things. My four year old has really good concentrations and the museum was finally able to hold her interest. She even enjoyed the gem hall because the rocks were pretty.

(I was not asked to write this blog post. We did receive a gift card from the museum for participating in the survey. I didn’t know I was going to get that at the end. It was a nice surprise. The review here is my own and no one influenced what I wrote here!)

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Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum

Chisholm Trail Museum DFW Homeschool ResourceAbout 45 min south of the heart of Dallas is the Chisholm Trail Museum. We have driven by here before but never had the time to stop. Recently, we decided it was time to check out! The museum is located in Cleburne off of Hwy 67. The cost is free, however also on site is the Big Bear Native American Museum which is very inexpensive to visit.

Our Visit:

We enjoyed our time here. The setting is very peaceful. We went on a weekend so there were some volunteers sitting around that we could talk to. It is possible to have a free tour as well  on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with advanced notice. We didn’t know about the tours, but I imagine they’d be helpful in the future.

Chisholm Trail Museum DFW Homeschool Resource

The site of the museum used to be  in a city called Wardville which was the Johnson County seat. However, it was found to be not within 5 miles of the county center, so it was abandoned. Some years later, the city line changes made it near the center, but by then it was too late.

Chisholm Trail Museum DFW Homeschool ResourceThere is a replicated school house. This is probably one of the biggest one room school houses I have ever visited. It was easy to sit at a desk and imagine attending school on the shores of Lake Cleburne. The museum does offer homeschoolers (and class field trips) a chance to experience life in a one room school house in 1868. It costs only $10 per student for grades 4 and up. Contact the museum via the information on their website for more details.


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Museum Day Live Saturday, September 23

Museum Day Live Dallas Fort Worth TexasDid you know that Museum Day Live is coming up? Mark your calendars now to gain free entry into 16 museums in the DFW area alone! To get a ticket, visit the mapped list link at the bottom of this post. Then, visit the museum you want to go to. There will be a link to get a free ticket there.

You MUST have a ticket for your free entry. The ticket is good for one free entry, plus one free guest pass! It is not good on special exhibits, IMAX, parking or any other special event). You can only download one ticket per email address and you cannot change museums once you’ve secured your ticket.

Click HERE for a mapped list of participating museums.

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Pioneer Field Trips in DFW

DFW Homeschool Pioneer Field TripsThe fun thing about homeschooling for our family has been the ability to travel. We don’t travel often, but we try to make trips to places that correspond with what we have been learning. The nice thing about living the DFW Metroplex is that there are a lot of places to help you!

Here is a list of places we plan to explore this year to supplement our learning of pioneers:

Log Cabin Village: Pioneer studies! And it’s about local history, even better. I enjoy learning about the people that used to live on the same grounds as we do now. This is located in Fort Worth. The museum is not open on Mondays. If you want to check it out before heading over there, they have a virtual tour on their website as well!. Check it out.

Chisholm Trail Museum: Can you tell we are studying pioneers this year? This is on the edge of the metroplex, but pretty cool. There are a few buildings here including a replica of the school house that used to sit on the same grounds. The museum is free! (There is an Indian Museum on the grounds that charges a small admission fee). Events like a monthly market and garden talks are usually free for the public. Some workshops do charge a fee. Find out more and view their calendar here.

Dallas Heritage Village: This has got to be one of the best preservation sights of local metroplex history available. This museum has building from all over the area. There’s a school house from Richardson, a barn from Plano, and building that are original to the site. The village hosts a lot of events throughout the year including a homeschool day. You really need to check this one out!

Chestnut Square McKinney: This is museum hosts a collection of historic McKinney. Six historic homes, a replicated school house, and blacksmith shop among other buildings are there for exploring. The museum also hosts summer camps and a local farmers market. Be sure to check out their website for their calendar and museum hours. 

Nash Farm: We first visited her a few years ago. They host a First Friday event on, you guessed it, the first Friday of every month. The time we went there was a docent showing the children how they sewed quilts by hand. It’s a relatively small museum compared to the others listed above. There is a clothes washing station complete with scrubbing board and clothes lines. My daughter and her friend had a ball with that. There are also some animals to look at. There are different events held here throughout the year, so check out their calendar! 

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Before taking some time to think about next school year, let’s think about summer! I CANNOT wait for summer this year. We had some BIG changes at our house. And some of those changes weren’t the best thing for our family, so we are making alterations which is why I can’t wait for summer!

I would like to make a guide to summer for homeschoolers, but I need you help. What is going on this summer? What is your family doing? Are you running a camp that still has openings? Does your playgroup want visitors? Please comment and I’ll add you to my summer document!

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Dinosaur Valley State Park

We decided to visit Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose this weekend. It’s probably best not to ask our children too much about this adventure…

We played for about two hours in the water. This was the super fun part for them. A few years ago, the last time we were here, we weren’t prepared for playing in the water. This time we brought swimsuits and towels, lots of water, and snacks. 

Once we got bored with the water, we decided to go hiking. The trail markers kept listing a waterfall. Of course we had to go see this. We kept following what we thought was the way to the waterfall, but somehow got a bit “lost.” Turns out we weren’t the only ones who couldn’t figure it out because we ran into two other families also looking for the elusive waterfall. Eventually we found someone who said that they heard it had dried up. We decided to keep walking instead of turning around because from what we could see on the map, it was quicker to keep going forward than to retrace our steps. We were quite wrong!! 

About two hours later we emerged from the trails back to the river! The kids were troopers and considering how long we were hiking, they didn’t complain too much! Thankfully it was a rather mildly warm day, so they couldn’t add being hot to the complaint list.

We really enjoyed our time at Dinosaur Valley and plan on going back again soon. It’s a pretty quick trip for a state park in the DFW area! Admission is $7 per adult. Children are free! The park currently is open until 10pm unless you have reserved a camp site.

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Playground – Scottish Rite

We recently were in Uptown Dallas and had some time to kill so we decided to check out the adaptive playground at Scottish Rite. It’s a pretty cool playground with brightly colored play equipment, lots of shade, and bronze sculptures.

The play area at this park was pretty unique compared to other parks I’ve been at. The main structure is very wide allowing children in wheelchairs plenty of room to navigate all the way to the top. There’s a sound area with sound pads, chimes, and a xylophone. There’s a playhouse and some other play equipment I’ve never seen. 

Lots of benches surround the park under trees that provide ample shade. We didn’t visit the bathrooms but they’re convient and I’m guessing way better maintained than public park ones. I noticed 3 water fountain stations as well. 

To the one side there are playful bronze sculptures mostly of children, but there was one of a fairytale like frog. Among the sculptures was a walkway with benches if one wanted to sit and enjoy the outdoors without being directly next to the playground.

The girls enjoyed their time here and were sad when we had to leave. I’m not sure how often we will be back because of the distance, but we would definitely make a pit stop here again if we were in the area. 

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Visit to Texas Tulips in Pilot Point

rows of tulipsI haven’t had a chance to visit Texas Tulips in Pilot Point. Another DFW area homeschool mom wrote about her visit there and sent it to me. Here’s what Megan had to say about Texas Tulips:

Located 30-45 minutes from North Dallas, in Pilot Point, is a little slice of Holland. “Texas Tulips” boasts rows and rows of hundreds of thousands of gorgeous tulips! And over 90 varieties of spring fresh tulips, cover the field in a colorful blanket of spring fresh beauty. As they are my favorite flower I may be a bit biased, but how can you not see a vibrant tulip and not think all things “spring”?!

tulip kidsI took my kids last week, ages 4.5, and 7. There was a little hay maze for the kids. They enjoyed the flowers, hunted for ladybugs and bees, and I loved snagging some sweet pictures of them to cherish. I think my son’s favorite thing was trying to collect rocks in his pockets though, ha! Typical boy.

You can pick your own tulips, at a price per each flower. The staff wraps them in paper for you and place the stems in a gel that keeps them fresh for the day. Perfect to take them home and enjoy their beauty longer! I have seen people take some breathtakingly beautiful engagement/wedding pictures, Easter pictures, maternity, etc and for the season it’s so fitting.

purple tulipsEveryone who worked there we spoke with was very friendly, and I even got to meet and hear a bit from the owners lovely wife. She was kind and shared a bit about the planting process.

Parking is free, and only a $3 admission fee, so it’s an inexpensive fun little day trip. They also have clean little bathroom facilities, which anyone else with kids will know this is a big deal. I was overall pleased with our adventure out to Texas Tulips.

My kids were done at about an hour, but they are still young and wanted to go play. But my 7 yo loved taking pictures of the tulips. I’m really pleased we went, and would love to go back someday- I think it would make a fun date trip. If you would like more information, head to their website, HERE.

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Kids Bowl Free All Summer

Bowling for free Register now for summer long fun! For only $5 per child registration fee, your child can bowl up to two games a day! Select bowling alleys all around the country are participating in Kids Bowl Free this summer.
Children ages 15 and under can sign up for the Kids Bowl Free program. If you want to bowl yourself, or have older children, you can purchase a family pass that starts at $21.95 for one extra bowler for the summer. Up to 4 adult bowlers can be added to the family pass.

Just to give you an idea of value, if you bowled every day, this $5 fee is worth over $500! In case you’re looking for a kid free bowling session of your own, most places do require your child to be present. Sorry, no bowling date night on the pass!

Go HERE to find a participating bowling area near you. **Some facilities do charge a fee for shoe rental**

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