Because the quads were born nine weeks early we took extreme precautions their first year of life to protect them from potentially fatal germs. It was difficult being homebound most of the time, but we do not regret that time since we did not have a single sick visit to the pediatrician until 13 months. It’s been a year since we lifted our “lock down” restrictions and have been on a mission to explore the greater Dallas Fort Worth Metro area ever since. It’s always a challenge getting out and about with four toddlers, but a worthwhile mission. With each new adventure the quads learn just a bit more about the world around them.
1. Sea Life Aquarium
Grapevine Mills Mall
3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway
- Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 7:30 pm
- Sunday 11:00 am – 5:30 pm
Children 3 and up $16
Children under two FREE
Seeing the fish that were featured in Finding Nemo (Dori, Nemo, and Marlin)
360 degree aquarium
Touching the sea stars
The toddler slide in the play area
Arrive early and go on a weekday if possible as the aquarium becomes crowded easily.
Look for coupons. We were able to get $4 off each adult ticket with a single coupon.
Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the food court of the mall, or grab lunch in the food court. After you buy aquarium tickets you are allowed reentry during the same day.
The aquarium is stroller friendly so bring one along if you have young toddlers who may tire easily.
2. Celebration Party & Event Center
5950 Park Vista Circle #140, Keller, TX 76244
Tuesday-Friday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
12 months and up $5
Adults accompanying children FREE
Under 12 months FREE
Children’s town made up of a fire house, police station, hair salon, restaurant, movie theater, day care, and hospital
Toddler sized bounce houses
Cozy coupe cars
If you may go frequently, consider buying a punch card ($40 for ten punches). It can be used with multiple children and will save you money over time.
All children must have a signed waiver to play. You can sign it online ahead of time to save you time in the center.
You can bring your own food and drinks so pack a picnic or snacks to enjoy.
Shoes aren’t allowed in the bounce house area so skid proof socks are a great way to keep your little one’s feet clean.
Arrive early to avoid crowds and go during the weekday free play times.
If you have a child who receives ECI services, ask your case manager about their monthly play dates. Admission is discounted for ECI families during the play date.
3. Perot Museum of Nature & Science
Monday-Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday noon-6:00 pm
Thursday Night Late Nights: 5:00 -9:00 pm
Prices vary depending on which exhibits you choose. General exhibit admission is as follows,
Children 2-11 $10
Seniors 65+ $12
Youth 12-17 $12
Children under 2 FREE
The children’s museum located on the first floor was most appreciated by the quads. They splashed in the water table and loved the side area.
Purchase your tickets online ahead of time. Your ticket is valid for the entire day after your reservation time, so choose an early time even if you are going later. (e.g. if you choose 12:00 pm, you will not be allowed entry until 12:00 pm or later. So don’t expect to enter even at 11:59 am).
The Perot has elevators, but they tend to become extremely crowded at there is a long wait time. Therefore it is not ideal for strollers. I do not plan to bring the quads back until they can manage walking distances and do not need strollers.
No outside food or drink is allowed in the museum area, but there is a lovely concrete park with splash pad that would be great for a picnic. With your ticket, re entry is permitted during the same day. Therefore, you could leave the museum for a picnic lunch and return later in the day.
Check to make sure the museum is not closed for a private event. It was closed the original date we planned to visit.
4. Chuck E. Cheese
There are multiple locations, check for your nearest location.
Varies by location
Technically, entry is free. In order to play games, you’ll need to purchase tokens, and you may choose to order food from the menu.
Dancing time with Chuck E. Cheese (the quads loved chasing him and playing follow the leader)
The toddler play area/ slide
Complimentary bibs are provided so no need to pack one (or more) in your diaper bag.
Remember, you don’t have to buy a meal to play at Chuck E. Cheese. I’d suggest going when it’s not a mealtime, and either order a small snack to enjoy or eat prior to arrival. Going when it’s not a mealtime means it’ll be less crowded and you will likely spend less money on food. You can buy tokens and enjoy the games and play area even if you don’t buy food.
If you sign up for the Chuck E. Club, you’ll receive discounts, and a calendar with 10 free tokens.
5. Island Carousel
Grapevine Mills Mall
3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway Grapevine, TX
(there are many other locations nationwide)
Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Children 2 and up $2 per ride
Adults riding with a child are free
Carousels are nostalgic!
It’s located close to the Sea Life Aquarium and Rainforest Cafe so you can stop by if you are already visiting Grapevine Mills.
If you have multiple children or plan to visit often, don’t forget to get a frequent rider punch card. Your 11th ride is free.
If your child has never ridden a carousel, you may want to choose a stationary horse or sleigh seat.
6. Paradise Pond
First Baptist Church Grapevine
301 E. Texas Street
Thursday & Friday mornings 9:00-11:00 am (arrive at 9:00 sharp because they close the doors when they are at capacity)
$1.00 per person (ALL ages, babies & adults)
Play areas are sectioned off by picket fences, which makes keeping an eye on babies and toddlers easy.
They have a limit to the number of guests per day so it doesn’t get too crowded.
Shoes are not allowed in the play area, and socks are required. They have loaner socks available, but you’ll want to pack your own. If you feel generous, and want to support the ministry, I suspect they’d appreciate new packages of white socks, especially in toddler sizes.
The area is designated for ages 2 to 6th grade. There are plenty of areas for smaller babies to play with close supervision. Older children, especially pre teens would not likely find this play area entertaining.
There is a required Liability Release Form that can be printed and completed at home.
Girls wearing dresses are not allowed in the jungle gym or bounce house, so dress your children accordingly.
7. Fort Worth Zoo
1989 Colonial Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76109
open 365 days per year
10:00 am – 5:00 pm (hours may vary on holidays)
Adults (13+) $12
Children (3-12) and Seniors (65+) $9
Children 2 & under FREE
Parking $5/ vehicle
MOLA (museum of living art), which houses the reptiles and fish
the food court is open to MOLA, which creates an entertaining back drop for family meals
There is a toddler and children’s petting zoo and play area that looked great, but we did not have time to visit this trip
If possible, visit on a Wednesday when admission is half price.
Check for coupons, local employers often have access to discounted tickets as well.
The zoo is stroller friendly so be sure to bring one if you have little ones who will tire from lots of walking.
8. Dallas World Aquarium
1801 N Griffin St, Dallas, TX 75202
9:00 am – 5:00 pm daily
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas
Adult (13+) $20.95
Child (2-12) $12.95
Under 2 FREE
Senior (65+) – $16.95
The majority of the facility is indoors and climate controlled so it’s a great place to visit if it’s rainy, too hot, or cold.
Despite being an “aquarium”, a significant portion of the facility is made of rainforest creatures. The quads most appreciated the monkeys.
Grapevine Mills Mall
3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Grapevine, TX 76051
Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday 10:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 4:00pm
Children 2 & under FREE
2 and up $18
The Lego miniature of Dallas-Fort Worth was by far our favorite attraction.
Look for coupons, especially if you are also interested in visiting the Sea Life Aquarium. There are often discounts if you buy tickets together.
If you don’t score a coupon, you can save money by booking tickets online the day before.
There is no reentry and outside food and drinks are not permitted so plan accordingly.
Allow about 2-3 hours for your visit.
While babies and toddlers are welcome to play, Legoland would likely be most appreciated by children over three.
10. Old Town Lewisville Playtown
Vista Ridge Mall
2401 S. Stemmons Freeway
Lewisville, Texas 75067
Open during mall hours, except for cleaning at 3:00 pm
The entire play area is soft sided, which is ideal for new walkers, and even crawling babies.
Everything is toddler sized and not too tall for younger babies.
The price is unbeatable!!!!
Visit early in the day, or after the 3:00 pm cleaning so the area is fresh.
There are so many more places on my list….The Dallas Arboretum….The Botanical Gardens….The Dallas Zoo….AND at some point we plan to travel outside of our metro area for a legit vacation. I’d like to wait until the quads are potty trained and sleeping in beds before we take that plunge.
What’s the best place to visit in your hometown?