A couple of weeks ago I shared my positive intentions for a summer with my girls. One of my intentions was to be outside more and to just slow down. We’ve been doing our best so far and it’s been truly enjoyable. In fact, last week I took the girls to the arboretum and put my phone away for the afternoon. I let the girls guide me through the grounds and let me tell you, they had a blast! We explored for hours – literally – and it was so neat to see them soak up the outdoors without technology or any time constraint. I can tell we need more of this in our life!
All so often I feel like us moms have this immense pressure to give our children then unforgettable experiences. The pressure starts creeping in early and it’s hard to shake. “Unforgettable” seems to translate to “expensive” so quickly, and then you’ll find ourself out of money, out of time, and out of ideas. Instead of allowing myself to get wrapped up in this mindset, I’ve really tried to find inexpensive activities that allow for creativity and intimacy for and with my girls.
Below is a list of activities we have on our summer to-do list, but remember mommies, you don’t have to “do” anything or go anywhere for your kids to have fun! Most days we simply play in our backyard, do chalk in the driveway, go on a nature walk, or build a tent in the living room. Kids don’t need a lot of pomp to have fun!
affordable summer activities in Dallas for kids:
- dallas arboretum – this is one of my favorite activities to do with the girls year-round. A family membership is right around $100 and let me tell you, you’ll get your money’s worth if you just go a handful of times. You can spend endless hours letting your kids roam free. From picnic lunches to rolling down the giant hill to the children’s garden, there is so much to do!
- perot museum – another membership that is well worth it, especially in the summer. Besides getting to explore the museum floors and enjoy the incredible children’s area, it opens early for members, which means less crowds and less mom stress. It’s a great indoor activity for kids!
- uptown trolley – this option is totally free and so fun for kids! Just hop on the uptown trolley at any stop and ride it around. We think it’s fun to ride it from Klyde Warren Park to uptown to eat and then back down.
- smoothies – we try to eat at home most of the time, but it can be so fun for kids to splurge a little bit. Ice cream is alway a fun day date, but we’ve had so much fun going for smoothies, too! Our favorite smoothie place is Nektar and we love that they have kid-size smoothie cups. The girls feel so special and love getting out of the house for a cool treat.
- klyde warren park – no matter your age, Klyde Warren Park is a must do! We love it for kids because the playground area is so fun and the food trucks make for an easy lunch or sweet treat. The girls think it’s so fun!
- DMA – okay mamas, this is another free option. The Dallas Museum of Art has a great children’s area, but our favorite thing is the scavenger hunts you can do. Just grab a themed pamphlet in the front when you walk in and find the paintings it lays out for you.
- splash pads – a great summer activity – again, free – are splash pads. Look up the one nearest to you and get ready to get wet and wear your kids out. A great pre-nap activity!
- lake highlands north rec center pool – The Lake Highlands rec just opened a new pool and it’s a great kid activity! Super cheap and super fun with multiple slides and the yummiest snacks!
- cedar ridge preserve – if your kids like to get out and get dirty, drive just slightly south of Dallas and hike at Cedar Ridge Preserve. It’s a gorgeous area, the trails are easy to navigate, and it’s great to escape the hustle and bustle for a bit.
photography: maribel morales