Sunday, April 14, 2024 Apr 14, 2024
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Keeping the kids entertained can be a full-time job. Sometimes you need a little help. Here’s a list of the exciting, the educational, the sheer fun. For rain or for shine.

Benbrook Ranch and Stables. Saddle up and hit the trails. The ranch offers riding lessons, and for you more advanced cowboys, solo rides out there on the plains.

Rt.17, Box 226, Benbrook, near Fort Worth


Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Riding lessons; J20 per hour

Horse rentals: $10 per hour

All children under 18 must have a parent present or a notarized Benbrook Stable parental consent form to ride

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society. Any time of year is the right time of year to picnic (the lawns have been treated for insects), toss the frisbee, or simply stroll the grounds of the DeGolyer Estate, overlooking White Rock Lake Each March, the estate hosts “Dallas Blooms,” featuring as many as 150,000 tulips from around the world, and then, in the fall, set your sights on a breathless chrysanthemum display. Tours of the DeGolyer home are also available.

8625 Garland Rd. (327-8263)

Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (gates close at 5 p.m.)

Adults: J2 (Tuesday-free admission)

Children (6-12): $1

Under 6: Free

The Dallas Library. Don’t overlook your neighborhood branch library. A whole host of activities is scheduled year round for preschool (puppet shows, visits from circus clowns, arts and crafts) as well as school-age youngsters (term-paper workshops, summer reading clubs, bicycle safety presentations). Contact the library for specific activities, dates, and times or go by and pick up The Almanac, which publishes events scheduled each month. For hours and branch locations, call 749-4100. Most activities are free.

Dallas Museum of Art. You’ll find no behind-the-glass exhibits here. Enter into the Gateway Gallery, a unique, hands-on learning experience within the setting of the art museum. Create a masterpiece, work puzzles and games. 1717 North Harwood (922-0220)

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 pm.

Sunday, 12-5 p.m.


Dallas Museum of Natural History. Find out who hunts who, who burrows while others climb, see birds and bones, babies and brontosaurus.

State Fair Grounds, Fair Park (670-8457)

Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sunday 12-5 p.m.


Dallas Park and Recreation Department. Sometimes you don’t even have to leave your neighborhood to find fun and excitement. The Park and Recreation department answers a 24-hour activity line that outlines major city-wide activities at the various park grounds. Call 670-7070

The Dallas Zoo. Take a walk on the wild side. There are lions and tigers and bears; there are scheduled feeding times (3 p.m. daily) and a behind the-scenes tour of the Bird and Reptile building. Board the zoo train if your feet get tired.

621 East Clarendon (946-5155)

April-Sept, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Oct-March, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Adults: $2

Children (6-11): $1.25

Under 6: Free

Fort Worth Botanic and Japanese Garden. The Botanic Garden features orchids, southern magnolia, narcissus, tulip trees, and flowering dogwood (to name only a few). Visit the Japanese Garden and see Mandarin ducks and Imperial Carp. (It’s okay to feed them.) There’s also a fragrance garden.

3220 Botanic Garden Drive. Fort Worth (817) 870-7686

Botanic Gardens: 8 a.m.-dark, daily Free

Japanese Garden: November-March, Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. 5 p.m.

April-October, Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m,-7 p.m.

(Ticket sales stop 30 minutes before closing.)

Adults: $1

Children under 12: Free

Fort Worth Stockyards. When you find our sister city to the west, you re sure to discover her famed stockyards. North Main and Exchange Avenue form the stockyard borders. On these two streets, you’ll receive a hefty dose of true Texana. There’s Billy Bob’s Texas, the Livestock Exchange Building, and be sure to catch the rodeo in the newly renovated Cowtown Coliseum.

For a detailed map of the Stockyards District, call the North Fort Worth Historical Society at (817) 625-5082.

Fort Worth Water Gardens. A maze of dancing waterfalls and fountains makes this one of the most tranquil spots around on sunny days. Grab a picnic basket, pack up the kids, and head to heart of downtown Fort Worth. The water is activated daily.

1-30 at Main, south of the Tarrant County Convention Center

Open at all times, seven days a week Free

Fort Worth Zoological Park. The Fort Worth Zoo is home to one of the largest aquariums in the Southwest. But, if you’ve come to see the lions, tigers, and bears, you won’t be disappointed. Take a look at the new elephant breeding facility and at the extensive collection (more than 600) of reptiles and amphibians in the Herpetarium.

2727 Zoological Park Drive. Fort Worth (817) 870-7050

Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Saturday. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sunday, 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Adults: $2

Youth (12-17): $1.50

Children (3-11): .25

Tots (0-2): Free

Hundley Boat and Recreation Center. Rent a bike, paddle boat, or surrey (that’s a bicycle built for two) and tour White Rock on your own. 3240 W. brother near the Old Boat House (823-6933)

10 a.m.-one hour before sunset. Closed winter months.

Bicycles: $4 per hour

Paddle Boats: $8 per hour

Surreys: $8 per hour

International Wildlife Park. Feel like going on safari? As you drive through this natural preserve, you’ll see plenty of exotic animals stalking the grounds. A few of the beasts are bold enough to come right up to your car for closer inspection. And if you’re hearing the call of the wild, take a camel or elephant ride in the park’s Entertainment Village (open on weekends only).

I-30 at Belt Line. Grand Prairie (263-2203)

Monday-Friday: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

$6.95 per person during the week

$9.50 per person on weekends

L.B. Houston Park Nature Area. So, you’re really tired of having someone else point out the animals, tell you what kind of flower that is, remind you to stay behind the rope, and herd you onto the next exhibit. Have we got the place for you. This nature area Is exactly that -natural and undisturbed. You’ll find your own birds, beaver tracks, fossils, honey locusts, and, of course, a swamp rabbit or two. Be prepared to rough it.

For the park’s specific location (it branches out near the Trinity River), call Doug Vergara with the City of Dallas at 352-3967.

Log Cabin Village. Turn the clock back to the frontier days. Seven pioneer cabins, all built in the 1800s, make up this rustic neighborhood. University Drive and log Cabin Lane. Fort Worth (817) 926-5881

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m.

Sunday. 1 pm.-4:30 p.m.

Adults: $1

Children (under 12): .35

Malibu Grand Prix. Here’s a half-mile of pure racing pleasure. Race cars punch up to 45 m.p.h., so buckle up and pretend you’re on Central Expressway.

11150 Malibu Drive, Stemmons at Walnut Hill (247-5318)

Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight

Adults: $1.75 per lap

Children: $1.50 per lap

Old City Park. Leave the Eighties far behind and take a peek at what Dallas looked like back at the turn of the century. See farmhouses, a train station, a 1905 bank, even a dentist’s office.

1717 Gano (421-5141)

Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday. 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Adults: $4

Senior citizens & children (6-12): $2

Under 6: Free

Omni Theater. This addition to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History uses the most sophisticated film and sound systems available to create a three-dimensional experience Experience flight with a WWII fighter pilot, dive into the Grand Canyon, all without leaving your seal. While you’re at the museum, also visit the Noble Planetarium, which has a variety of star filled shows.

1501 Montgomery, Fort Worth (817) 732-1631 or (metro) 654-1356

Omni show times: Monday (through September 1) 11 a.m., 1, 2 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 1, 2, 7, 8 p.m.

Friday 1,2, 7,8,9 p.m.

Saturday 11 a.m., 12,2,3,4,7,8,9 pm.

Sunday 1,2,3,4,7,8 p.m.

Adults: $4.75

Children (12 and under): $3

Penny Whistle Park. Here’s an enclosed and air-conditioned amusement park full of carnival rides, a boat ride around amagic fountain, even a sea of red and yellow balls to “swim” in. 10717 East Northwest Hwy (348-8297)

Photon. Players suit up in space-age warrior gear and ward off the bad guy at this living fantasy.

12630 E. Northwest Hwy. (270-7616)

Monday-Thursday, noon-midnight

Friday & Saturday noon-1 a.m.

Sunday 12-11 p.m.

Must be 4’6″ to play

$4.50 for ID card (one-time charge)

$3 per game

The Science Place I. See master craftsmen demonstrating ancient Chinese technology and art during a special exhibit-“China: 7,000 Years of Discovery.

(Through December 15)

State Fair Grounds, Fair Park (428-8351)

Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

(Admission into exhibit is every half-hour. Last admission-4:30 p.m.)

The Science Place II and Planetarium. Stop your shadow dead in his track. Watch your organs explain how they function. Drill for oil. See the gerbil that lives underwater. Stale Fair Grounds, Fair Park (428-8351)

Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sunday 12-5 p.m.

Adults: $1 Children: 50¢

Planetarium: $1.50

Six Flags Over Texas. Celebrating its 25th season, Six Flags is full of new attractions. Don’t miss the latest ride, the Avalanche Bob-sled, sure to give you goosebumps. And the swanky new Festival Concert Pavilion is hosting some top name performers this summer (Billy Ocean, the Starship, and Mr. Mister are already confirmed). But, some things never change: don’t miss eating at least one Pink Thing. 1-30 at Hwy 360, Arlington (640-5050)

Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight.

Adults: $14.95.

Southfork Ranch. J.R. won’t be there, but you can take a tour of the house and grounds. Magic shows are performed several times throughout the day. On weekends, see authentic dog dancing, and (for a dollar extra) take a ride wild-west style in a stage coach or surrey.

Parker Road at FM 2551, Parker (231-2088)

Open 7 days, 9 a.m.-dark

Adults: $5.00

Children (4-12): $3.00; 3 and under: Free

Texas Hal] of State. Spend an afternoon brushing up on your Texas history. Exhibits change throughout the year. Includes a Fashion Gallery.

State Fair Grounds, Fair Park (421-5136)

Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. -5 p.m.

Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Free

Wax Museum of the Southwest. Come face to face with figures from the Old West, heroes from American history, heartthrobs from the silver screen, and ghouls in the new Theater of Horrors.

601 E. Safari Pkwy., Grand Prairie (263-2391) Jan-May, Sept-Dec, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m,-6 p.m.

June-Aug, Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Adults: $5.95

Children (4-12): $4.95

Under 4: Free

Wet ’n’ Wild. Forget the neighbor’s pool-the wave of the Eighties is water parks. Wet ’n’ Wild is speed slides, flume rides, wave pools, and an old-fashioned Tom Sawyer-like river raft ride. 1800 East Lamar, Arlington (265-3356) and 12715 LBJ Freeway at Northwest Hwy. in Dallas (271-5637)

Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-l0 p.m.

Adults: $11.95

Children (3-12): $9.95

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