In usual February fashion, we are anticipating a day of clear skies and sunshine, followed by a 40% chance of rain and 30-something degrees. Being a native Dallasite, I’m fully prepared for at least a few days of unreasonably cold weather. To combat cabin fever and children bouncing off the walls, we’ve rounded up a serious list of indoor activities for young children.
Fun for the Whole Family:
We first experienced the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park on a day when Dallas Zoo members got in free. It’s much smaller than the Dallas World Aquarium, but we prefer it for toddler and preschool age. It’s less crowded and far less expensive.
Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park
Address: 1462 1st Ave, Dallas, TX 75210
Adult pricing: Day ticket $8 / Youth (age 3-11) $6
Dallas Zoo members: Adult $6 / Youth (age 3-11) $4
Annual pass: Adult $20 / Youth $10
Their website says “A perfect place for creativity, fun and family.” Crayola Experience is a fun group playdate. We went over Thanksgiving break with kids ranging from 3-7 years old. There’s a great combination of physical activities (hello indoor playground!) and sit-down fun like watercolor. By far, the crowd favorite was making Crayons with each of their names on them!
Crayola Experience Plano
Address: The Shops at Willow Bend, 6121 W Park Blvd., Suite A100, Plano, TX 75093
General admission (ages 3+): $23.99 at the door or $20.99 pre-order online
Annual passes: $29.99 – $44.99
We haven’t experienced Frontiers of Flight Museum yet. But Dallas Moms contributor Lauren says it’s a “perfect outing for a little one who loves all things planes, helicopters, and space ships.”
One great thing about this museum is that it’s good for such a broad range of ages. A 1-year-old can go and just enjoy walking around, looking at the aircraft, and playing in the awesome play area. Similarly, a 5-year-old can go and actually enjoy learning about and exploring all the exhibits, climbing up and around the planes, and of course enjoying the play area.
Frontiers of Flight Museum
Address: 6911 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75209
Adult pricing: $10
Seniors (65+): $8
Youth (ages 3-17): $7
Children under 3: FREE
Paid Indoor Play Spaces:
Whoever started the first of these indoor play places is probably off drinking Mai Tais on an island. So brilliant! Toddler parents everywhere thank them. We tend to discover new-to-us locations via birthday party invites. Then, assuming we like it, we add it to our rotation. Most of them charge either for one hour or two and have limited availability on the weekends (see also, birthday parties!) so check with them before you head over.
There are now over 10 DFW locations of Play Street Museum! We frequent the Plano location.
Play Street Lake Highlands photos by Krystal Hurst
Play Street Museum
McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Allen, Las Colinas, Dallas, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Keller, and two coming soon (Prosper & Murphy)
Children: $12.00 for each child ages 1-8*
*children younger or older are free if accompanied by a paid sibling
Playstreet in Lake Highland photos by Lee Batson Armstrong
If you’re closer to the west side of DFW or find yourself needing a post-car nap destination, Peek N’ Play right near Grapevine Mills is a fun two-story place space that your littles will highly enjoy.
Dallas Moms contributor Megan has a full breakdown with all of the various areas in Peek n’ Play.
Overall, it is such a great indoor play option because it allows kids to explore lots of different kinds of play. It engages a variety of ages from crawlers to young elementary kids. It is a very intentional space designed for kids to be kids. Pack a lunch and stay awhile, you (and your kids) will love it!
Peek N’ Play
2805 E Grapevine Mills Cir, Suite #150, Grapevine, Texas 76051
Children: $12 per child
*Free for crawlers and under with an accompanied older child and adult.
“A place where kids can come have a CRAZY fun time!” Fair warning, CooCoos is sensory overload for adults. But if you need to let your kiddos literally bounce all of their energy out, CooCoos has you covered.
6505 W Park Blvd. Suite 250, Plano, TX 75093
Children: $8 per person 4 and older, $5 per person 3 and younger, to play all day, every day
Free Church Play Spaces:
There are several churches around DFW that have excellent play areas for public use. Their hours may be your main limitation.
Prestonwood Kidzone may be our most visited indoor spot. If there’s ever a rainy afternoon and we need to be spontaneous, we find ourselves at Kidzone. It’s fairly friendly for crawlers, but it’s really geared towards preschool and older who are comfortable climbing. Let’s just say, one time my newly toddling toddler climbed up an obstacle THAT I COULD NOT FIT IN, and I had to send a random 5-year-old in there to help him down. Other than that incident, we’ve loved our visits to Kidzone.
Abby calls it “the MECCA of free indoor playgrounds”.
801 W. Park Blvd. Plano, Texas 75093
KIDZPlay is free but you must check-in at our KIDZ Central desk
For some reason, my brain always wants to call this place “Watermark Treehouse.” It does look a bit like a treehouse. The Watermark Treefort, is a large open area where kids can climb stairs, balance on rope nets (not as scary as it sounds), and have some freedom without the distractions that you might find in the other uber-colorful play areas. I’ve seen moms with children of varying ages sitting on the bottom level with a blanket and a baby, while the bigs run up and down the stairs.
Free. “We do not take reservations for the treefort.”
So far we’ve only been to the Ark during birthday parties. But it’s been on my list to revisit. Their open play hours are Monday-Thursday from 2-4pm.
590 S. Denton Tap Rd in Coppell, Texas
Open playtime at The Ark is free, but registration is required. Click the link below to view our wavier form and register.
If you need even more ideas, did you know we have an entire directory with Indoor Play Areas? They’re all on a map so you can easily decide your next step.