Courtnee Lowe – Guest Contributor
Jan 20 2012

As residents of North Texas, we're lucky that we often get plenty of sun-filled warm days... the kind of days that give us and our kids a chance to get out and stretch those legs and discover the plethora of outdoor venues and activities the area has to offer. But, what about those rainy days...or in the case of last summer, the days when the temperature is scorching, making outdoor play unsafe for our little ones?

When the temperatures take over and the clouds have zoomed in, check out some of these exciting indoor venues in Dallas:

American Girl Dallas

Galleria Dallas
13464 Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75240

Located at the world-class shopping mall Galleria Dallas, the American Girl store welcomes girls with the most popular characters, outfits, and accessories. The Bistro features casual dining, a delicious Dessert Counter, and extra-special celebrations, too.


BounceU provides a safe and fun venue for any occasion! Whether you’re planning a birthday party or just looking for a fun indoor facility to bounce around, BounceU is the inflatable party expert!

3050 North Josey Lane, Suite 110
Carrollton, TX 75007
2532 Summit Avenue
Plano, TX 75074

Children’s Museum at MNS

3535 Grand Avenue
Dallas, TX 75210

The Children’s Museum at the Museum of Nature and Science presents scientific ideas to children in a hands-on way. They will host your next birthday party and offer a range of themes to choose from.

 Dallas Museum of Art

1717 North Harwood
Dallas, TX 75201

Tues – Wed: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thur: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sun: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m

The DMA offers many family activities, classes and camps for kids, a kids club, as well as many games and interactives.

Exposure Rock Climbing

2389 Midway Road, Suite B
Carrollton, TX 75006

In 2006, The Dallas Observer named Exposure Rock Climbing the best indoor climbing gym in the city. Offering memberships, classes for kids between 7 and 14, and birthday party packages.

Frontiers of Flight Museum

6911 Lemmon Avenue
Dallas, TX 75209

Mon – Sat: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The Frontiers of Flight Museum has many fascinating displays that will intrigue children, as well as activities and events catered towards kids. They also offer birthday parties.

Galleria Showtime Saturdays

Galleria Dallas
13350 Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75240


Showtime Saturdays is a weekly family-fun entertainment event happening adjacent to Galleria’s award-winning Play Place. Each week’s performance will be different. All Showtimes happen on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

GattiTown North Dallas

11722 Marsh Lane @ Forest Ln.
Dallas, TX 75229

Mon – Fri: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

In addition to a great pizza, salad bar, pasta and dessert buffet, GattiTown offers a spacious kids’ cartoon theater, sports dining room, birthday party and meeting rooms, as well as fun games! Check out the bumper cars, bowling, & amusement rides too.

Grapevine Mills Mall Indoor Carousel

3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway
Grapevine, TX 76051

The mall features a large indoor carousel! The cost is $2.00 to ride.

Grapevine Sea Life Aquarium

Grapevine Mills Mall
3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway
Grapevine 76051
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 9:30pm | Sunday 11am – 7pm
NEW! SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium transports you into the amazing underwater world. Prepare for astonishingly close views of everything from humble starfish and seahorses to graceful rays and a giant sea turtle, to get any closer you would have to get wet!

-Amazing 360° Underwater Ocean Tunnel
-30 Incredible Displays
-More than 5,000 Sea Creatures
-Take the Shark Walk if you’re brave enough!

Jump Town

3045 W 15th Street
Plano, Texas 75075


Jump Town features inflatable fun for everyday indoor activity or your next party! Call Jump Town to plan your next party or to receive more information on  Jump Times.

Kidville Dallas

Preston Royal Village
6025 Royal Lane (Northeast corner of Preston & Royal)
Dallas 75230

Kidville Dallas offers classes, birthday parties, a boutique, and a salon! Also featured is Kidville Dallas Play Village and Big Muscles Gym!

Lakeshore Learning

13846 Dallas Pkwy
Dallas, TX 75240

Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Free Crafts for Kids, every week

Leapin Lizards Family Fun Center

7601 Boulevard 26, Suite 121
North Richland Hills, TX 76180

This is a great place to bring the whole family for some indoor activity and fun! Plan your next birthday party with Leapin Lizards and choose from one of their awesome themes!

Legoland Discovery Center

Grapevine Mills Mall

3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway

TX 76051

Call us: (972) 539-9386

Monday – Saturday: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
The LEGOLAND Discovery Center closes each day at 7pm, but the last admission is at 5:00pm.

Step inside LEGOLAND® Discovery Center and it’s like you have just jumped into the biggest box of LEGO® bricks ever!

NOW OPEN at Grapevine Mills, it’s the ultimate place for all LEGO® fans young and old! Join the battle on Kingdom Quest – an interactive LEGO® laser ride, feel a part of the story in the 4D cinema, learn top LEGO® building secrets from the Master Model Builder, see iconic landmarks from Dallas Fort Worth and beyond in MINILAND, make a celebration even more memorable in one of our special party rooms; and much more!

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is your passport to a LEGO® world of color, creativity and fun. With over 2 million LEGO® bricks under one roof, what will you discover?

McKinney Avenue Transit Authority, M-Line Trolley




WELCOME ABOARD…for a Ride of Adventure! The M-Line is also available for birthday parties for ages 4 and up. Children’s parties are their most popular charters! All trolleys are air-conditioned and heated.

Pepsi Kid Zone @ The Shops at Willow Bend

6121 West Park Boulevard
Plano, TX

This indoor playground is equipped with cushioned floors, plenty of things to keep them busy and best of all– the playground is made of oversized food! Kids can climb on top of a giant steak or pretend they’re running through an overturned bottle of hot sauce. This is a great place to escape the Dallas heat or rain!

Pump It Up

Pump It Up is a great venue for your child’s next birthday or as a place to jump around and have a blast on a rainy day.  They have multiple locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area:

 1405 South Beltline Drive, Suite 400

Coppell, TX 75019

7164 Technology Drive, Suite 200
Frisco, TX 75034

4101 East Park Boulevard, Suite 135
Plano, TX 75074

South Dallas
9110 Autobahn Drive, Suite 120
Dallas, TX 75237

9201 Forest Lane, Suite 100
Dallas, TX 75243

North Dallas
3632 Frankford Road, Suite 180
Dallas, TX 75287

1120 Eden Road, Suite 102
Arlington, TX 76001

850 Mustang Drive
Grapevine, TX 76051

Fort Worth
1624 Green Oaks Road
Fort Worth, TX 76116

North Fort Worth
3721 North Beach Street
Fort Worth, TX 76237

Rainforest Cafe

3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Suite 235
Grapevine, TX 76051


Mon – Fri: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sat: 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sun: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

KIDS EAT FREE: Wednesdays: After 5 p.m.


Take-out Available!

Rodeo Zone – Experience It!

Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. 
Friday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sunday, 12:30 p.m.–6 p.m.
Rough Stock Arena  $6.00 (per ride)
Roping Arena $6.00 (unlimited)
Little Wrangler Arena $6.00 (unlimited)
Fort Worth, TX 76164-8254 US 

Located in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, Rodeo Zone is a fun, hands-on way to learn and experience the sport of rodeo. Whether you are a thrill seeker or a cowboy/cowgirl in training, there is something here for you to enjoy! Come check out our life-like robotic bull, bronc, and Texas longhorn rides, try your hand at roping in our roping arena, learn barrel racing techniques on our horse cycles, experience real competitive rodeo on four of our large viewing screens, compete in a game of horseshoes, and much more! Our mechanical bull is great for kids and those young at heart and are fun for birthday parties and other celebrations. We also offer private lessons and rodeo schools to perfect your rodeo skills.

Sci-Tech Discovery Center

8000 North Dallas Parkway
Frisco, TX


Tues – Fri: 10 am – 5 pm
Sat: 10 am – 6 pm
Sun: Noon – 6 pm

Members of Sci-Tech Discovery Center and the Founding 500 receive free admission.
General Admission: $6.50
Seniors (ages 60+): $5.00
Under Two: Free

Sci-Tech Discovery Center provides hands-on discovery experiences in the essential areas of science, math and technology to kids of all ages and backgrounds. Sci-Tech Discovery Center seeks to spark a life-long interest and help equip children with these advanced skills.

Slappy’s Puppet Playhouse

Slappy’s at The Palaestra
4335 Beltwood Parkway North
Dallas, TX 75244

Slappy’s Puppet Playhouse is a great indoor venue that offers birthday parties, fantastic shows and workshops for kids!

Stonebriar Centre Indoor Carousel

2601 Preston Road
Frisco, TX 75034

This carousel features 32 beautiful horses and 24,000 lights! They offer a birthday party package for $150.00 which reserves 30 minutes on the carousel for your party and use of their party tables.

The Dallas World Aquarium

1801 North Griffin Street
Dallas, TX 75202

Sun – Sat: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The LEGO Store

The LEGO Store provides an extensive selection of LEGO toy sets, fun events and birthday parties for kids.

8687 North Central Expressway
Dallas, TX 75225

2601 Preston Road
Frisco, TX 75034

The LEGO Store

2601 Preston Road
Frisco, TX 75034


Mon – Sat: 10 am – 9 pm
Sun: 12 pm – 6 pm

The LEGO Store raises the bar in kid-chic design, innovative displays, in-store family events and consumer-friendly play areas to deliver an engaging, entertaining and fun experience for families.

The Perfect Educational Activity for Summer Vacations! Dallas Zoo’s Nature Exchange Rewards Explorers and Collectors…

Kids can collect and bring samples of sand from different beaches, rocks, shells, leaves and MORE from different parts of the country!

Summer is a time for adventure. Vacations to the beach, visits to relatives, camping trips, excursions to the park, or just time spent in the back yard are all opportunities to learn important lessons. Creating collections from outdoor discoveries, such as rocks, leaves, or shells can lead to lessons about important scientific principles. Just keep that fact to yourself! Tell kids that they can trade these interesting objects for fascinating items found by other children and you have just found a way to make science fun.

The Dallas Zoo’s Nature Exchange, sponsored in part by a grant from the Hillcrest Foundation, is an interactive exhibit that encourages learning about the natural world by means of collecting and trading objects found in nature. Eager young traders can bring collected objects with them to the Zoo, and then trade objects for points. Kids can then use their points to “purchase” new objects from the Nature Exchange Swap Shop.

Making Trades
Points are based in part on how much kids know about their objects; the more they know, the more points they can earn. If kids don’t know anything about an object, the Nature Exchange experts can help them find the answers.
Trading natural objects at the Dallas Zoo Nature Exchange is fun and easy. Just bring a natural item. The trained staff will ask some questions about the object:
•    What is the object?
•    Where did it come from?
•    Why is it special?
•    What role does it play in the nature world?

All collectors are encouraged to further their knowledge of nature by doing some research in an adjacent resource library. 

Points are awarded by a staff member based on a set of criteria that includes how much the trader knows about the item, the ethics of the collection, uniqueness or regional availability of the item, the condition and cleanliness of the object, and also the trader’s enthusiasm, initiative, and determination.
It is important to understand that traders can have a direct impact on the value of their exchange. Even the simplest object can be awarded a high point value if the collector shows initiative. In searching for things to collect and trade, individuals learn to observe, to ask questions, and to think independently. Visitors who have nothing to trade at the Nature Exchange can still earn points by completing a nature quiz. Trading points, awarded at the trading desk, are based on how much the visitor learned. Traded items can be taken home and added to permanent collections, or brought back in to trade for other items at a later date.

Note that the Nature Exchange will not trade any items found within the Zoo or regulated by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, CITES, the State of Texas, or other local, national, or international agreements.

Starting a Collection
Anybody can start a collection, especially a collection of things from nature! It’s easy and it’s fun. Just find something natural, learn about it, and save it! The important thing to remember with a collection is variety. If you had 500 of the exact same thing, that wouldn’t be a very interesting collection.

Collecting objects from nature is a bit different from other kinds of collecting. You’ll want to be careful not to disturb any living things, destroy any natural habitats, or leave any sign that you were ever there.
Before you collect any object you find in nature, ask yourself these questions:
•    Are there plenty of these items around, or am I taking the only one?
•    Am I destroying something just to take it home with me, or is it already dead?
•    Am I taking away an animal’s source of food or shelter?
•    Am I damaging a standing plant or tree?
•    Can the object I’m collecting be preserved, or will it rot or dry up?

Just because you can’t or shouldn’t take an object from nature doesn’t mean you can’t add it to your collection. You can draw pictures of objects you see in nature, just remember to note the time, date, and location on the picture. If you  bring nature drawings or journals into the Nature Exchange, you can get information points for your efforts. Another way to collect a nature object, such as an animal track, is to create a plaster cast of it.

The Nature Exchange is located in the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo, a two-acre facility with educational, interactive, and entertaining exhibits for toddlers to pre-teenage children. Admission to the Nature Exchange is free with the price of Zoo admission. For more information about the Nature Exchange or other programs at the Dallas Zoo, visit or call (214) 670-6826. The Dallas Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.

Toddler Gym Time at the Walnut Hill Recreation Center

At Walnut Hill and Midway
Every Wednesday at 10:30, $5 for one hour

Tours of the Collection with Yogiños: Yoga for Youth®

2010 Flora Street 
(Between Harwood & Olive)
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 979-6430
*50 people per tour maximum. $25 administrative fee and $25 per 25 students.

Explore the Crow Collection of Asian Art galleries while aligning Mind, Body, Heart, through Art with a certified Yogiños: Yoga For Youth® instructor. Students will explore the galleries, learning about the cultures of Asia through authentic stories, discussion, and movement.
Perfect for a group of moms!

Contact Kristina Hilliard, Manger of Learning Partnerships (3 weeks in advance for guided tours), or 214-979-6435

Valley View Center Indoor Activities

2040 Valley View Mall
Dallas, TX 75240

The Valley View Center not only provides great shopping but also hours of indoor entertainment for kids! The mall features a 36 foot carousel, train rides and the Camp Valley View soft play area where kids can run and climb while parents sit back and relax.

Wiggly Play Center

Wiggly Play Center is a combination of The Wiggles and an exciting play center! This indoor facility is perfect for birthday parties or everyday fun.

4944 Preston Road, Suite 100

Frisco, TX 75034