Category Archives for Family Fun

Top Attractions to See at the State Fair of Texas With Kids

The State Fair of Texas is almost here. I just love this time of year! Bring on the corny dogs and Big Tex! It’s such a fun time to take the kids and make a fun day out of it. We decided as a family a few years ago that we would visit the fair every other year because it can be costly. This year is our year to go and I’m so excited! I’ve put together my top attractions to see at the State Fair of Texas With Kids.

Big Tex!

This is a landmark. You have to go see Big Tex. If you’ve been around here for awhile you might even remember where you were when the old Big Tex caught on fire. It was awful. Luckily, this Big Tex is good as new and he’s looking good. He gets very crowded but he’s also a good meeting area or a place if you get lost. Big Tex is always high on our list!

Animals

Yes, they stink and it gets crowded but the kids love feeding them. Visiting and feeding the animals is a huge highlight every year. Go to the inside area and fork over the cash to actually feed the baby animals. The kids will love you forever.

Dog Show

If you are a dog lover then go to the indoor dog show. This is a nice treat to be able to sit down in the a/c! This is a great show that is kid-friendly and short and sweet. It does draw a nice crowd so be prepared to wait!

The Big Wheel

We never really go on this because the lines are always sooooo long but it’s fun to look at. I cannot imagine actually waiting in line for that but to each his own. I love taking pictures of it! If you’ve ridden this wheel, how long did you wait in line?

Food

Food is actually a highlight of the fair. Did you know some people come to the fair just for the food? They do!  We can’t leave without getting a Fletcher’s corn dog. They never taste as good as they do anywhere else as they do at the state fair. We always comment on how many tickets each corn dog is, but they are worth every ticket!! Other food favorites include a funnel cake, turkey legs (I’ve never had one!) and there’s always the food court area to try the winning foods of the fair.

Midway Games

Okay, so this is not high on my list but it is for my kids. This costs a fortune and the prizes are the worst things ever but the kids keep trying. We try and put this one-off until the bitter end. Maybe you have a good excuse to bypass this one??

 

This is my one extra stop and my kids love to go visit this half of a man. He’s funny (and a little crude) but he’s very interesting! Have you ever seen him? I cannot figure out his trick!

 

Are you going to the fair this year with your kids? What are your favorite things to do? Opening day is Friday, September 29th! We’ll see you at the Fair! Here’s a look at the daily schedule and ticket price information.

The best things to see and do with Kids at the State Fair of Texas

Fall Festivals 2017

Fall Festivals in 2017

Get your calendars ready, there are some super fun fall festivals coming up, and some in the same weekend! There’s going to be so much to do nearly every weekend until the holidays. It’s such a fun time of the year. Here’s a look at some Fall Festivals in 2017.

September

  • 8th-10th Oktoberfest in Allen at Watters Creek 2nd Annual Craft Beer Festival Enjoy 20+ Oktoberfest beers from area craft breweries along with live music, DJ, art vendors, food, and festive activities! Free admission
  • 14th Art and Wine Walk (Downtown Plano) Sip your favorite wines and shop while listening to some live music in downtown Plano! I love the 80’s theme.
  • 14th-17th Grapevest in Grapevine  The largest wine festival in the SouthWest! Wine tasting, Grape stomping, Kids Area, Car Fest, Live Entertainment and much more. Grapevine’s biggest event of the year. Purchase tickets online or at the event.
  • 14th-17th Addison Oktoberfest  Parades, Food, Beer, Rides, and Games. It’s the 30th anniversary this year!
  • Autumn at the Arboretum begins. This year the theme is “The Wonderful World of Oz” This is a must see!
  • 22- 24th. Plano Balloon Festival  Races, Balloon Rides, Food, Music, and fun for kids. The fun lasts all weekend long! Tickets run about $5 per person, free for kids under 2.
  • 22-24th McKinney’s 10th Annual Oktoberfest Beer, Food, Music, Kids’ Activities in downtown McKinney
  • 22-24th Greek Food Festival of Dallas Food, Music, Dancing, Cooking Demos, and much more
  • 29th State Fair of Texas  This will run through October 22nd.  Rides, games, food, and so much fun. The Fair comes around 1 time a year in Fair Park of Dallas and is a great time.
  • 30th Murphy Maize Days  Food, Concerts, Vendor Markets, Kids’ Area, Pet Adoptions, Pumpkin’ Chunkin contests and more.

October

  • 1st Family Fall Fest at CUMC 12 pm – 2 pm Fall fun for all ages, pumpkin farm, animals, food truck, obstacle courses (free event)
  • 1st “Mass in the Grass” Come enjoy outdoor worship at 10:30 am and stay for the festival on the field and playground area behind Haun Elementary. Music by Cast Iron Soul (regular performers at Frisco Square)
    Bounce houses, food, and fun for everyone.
  • 7th Aubrey Peanut Festival  Starts at 10 am with a parade! A full days fun of events for the whole family.
  • 7th -8th Cottonwood Art Festival  (Richardson) Free Park and Free Admission  Artists from all over the world, top bands, food, music, and fun.
  • 13th-15th ArmeniaFest Arts, Crafts, Dancing, and Eating Contests
  • 14th Plano International Festival (Haggard Park, Plano) Fashion show, food court, and more. Come learn about all different types of cultures and have fun for the whole family.
  • SteinFest (downtown Plano) 20th and 21 Beer, food, polka dancing, and more all taking place in historic downtown Plano! Events start at 10 am. There’s even going to be a Weiner dog fashion show!!!
  • 21st McKinney Wine and Music Festival 12 pm – 4 pm 12 of the best North Texas wineries, a variety of delicious restaurants, family friendly activities, a grape stomp, 40+ boutiques, and a full lineup of talented local musicians (FREE!!)
  • 26th Boo Bash (Put on by the Plano Parks and Rec) 5 pm – 8 pm Come dressed in costume with your trick or treat bag for a fun night of carnival games and candy!  Please bring a canned food item to donate to a local food bank.
  • 27th Trick Or Treat at the Farm (Heritage Farmstead in Plano) 10 am -12 pm Dress up in your costume and trick or treating at the farm! Activities include trick or treating, chicken feeding, tractor rides, a craft, and so much more!  Open to ages 1-9. Check their site for ticket prices.
  • 28th Custer Road United Methodist Church Fall Festival 5 pm – 7 pm Free community event- trunk or treating, bounce houses, games, and food trucks!

Thinking of hosting a neighborhood block party? Make sure you rent the Pop-up Party Trailer from the City of Plano for the best party!

A look at the best Fall Festivals happening in North Dallas in 2017.

Do you know of a great Fall Festival to add to our list? Tell us in the comments or email us at info@planomoms.com.

Host a Fun Neighborhood Block Party in Plano

Are you thinking about having a neighborhood get together? Hosting fun a neighborhood block party in Plano just got easier thanks to the BEST Neighborhood’s Pop Up Trailer. This is a perfect opportunity to meet your neighbors and have a great time. Make organizing your block party even easier and rent the city’s pop up trailer.

If you are a registered neighborhood association, HOA, or crime watch group renting the trailer is completely FREE! Contact BEST Neighborhoods at 972-208-8150 or email blockparty@plano.gov for more info.

The trailer will show up the day of or day before (depending on your party) at your designated location and drop off with all the supplies. Included in the trailer are adult tables, kid tables, games, coolers,  28 chairs, trash cans, recycling cans, extension cords, chalk board easel, traffic cones to block off the street, barricades, umbrellas and bases or shade. That’s a lot of great stuff to get you started for a fun day!

If you have space you can set up more tables and either do potluck (bring food to share) or even rent food trucks.

 

 

Are you ready to reserve the trailer for your block party?

Is your Neighborhood Registered?   Check here.   If not, fill out this form.

Check the Trailer Calendar for availability.

Let’s Go to a Frisco Rough Riders Baseball Game

If you have ever been looking for something fun to do for the whole family, consider going to a Frisco Rough Riders Baseball Game. It’s true family fun that everyone will enjoy. Here are some reasons why you should check it out!

Family Friendly

I’ve never been to a more family friendly event! The Rough Riders put on a great game but the family-friendly atmosphere makes it so much fun for even the youngest in your bunch. Every inning they have songs or dance offs or games going on on the field. It’s so fun to watch!

Great Location

To get to a game is so easy! It’s located just north of 121 close to Stonebriar Mall. The ballpark is very easy to get in and out of and parking is easy too. If you’ve ever been to a Rangers game in Arlington they are so fun too but the parking and walking can be a total beating. This is not at all. You park, and within minutes you are at the front gates of the ball park. It’s so nice! The park itself is so easy to get around in and the people that work there are SO nice and helpful.

Food

Doesn’t everyone come to games to eat? From hot dogs to nachos, peanuts, and yummy ice cream- the Dr. Pepper ballpark has it all. You even have the option to do Uber Eats and skip the lines! You can order on your app, and when the food is ready you pick it up at the counter bypassing the lines! So nice!

photo credit www.milb.com

Lots to Do

If you’re worried about your kids not wanting to sit for the entire game, don’t worry! There is so much to do and see at the ballpark. They even have a lazy river! How fun would this be for a birthday party?! They also have a bounce house and 2 playground areas that are fun for kids too.

Cheap Seats

We discovered that the seats are pretty reasonably priced. A lot of people seem to buy a season package where they get several games a year to pick and choose to come to. That’s a great option. If you are just wanting to do one game or want an even cheaper way to go, try the lawn seats. This would be so fun for kids! You can bring blankets and watch the game in style. There really isn’t a bad seat in the whole place.

At the end of each game, kids are allowed on the fields to run around the bases and that was a huge highlight for my kids. They still talk about it! A few times a year and on Fridays, they have Friday Night Lights and set off a great show of fireworks. They also hold themed days and several other fun nights like bring your dog night! That sounds pretty interesting!

I would definitely recommend a Rough Riders game if you are looking for a fun night out with the family. This would also make a great place to take out of town visitors. Frisco is such a fun town to visit with so much to offer. The Rough Riders have a few games left this season so be sure and check out a game before the season ends!

Plano Balloon Festival Runs

It’s time to break out your running shoes and participate in Plano’s most memorable and talked about yearly races at this years Plano Balloon Festival Runs! This year there will be 4 races, something for everyone! This year will include a half marathon, relay, 5K or 1K. Come read more about the races and sign up today!

What: Plano Balloon Festival Runs for the Whole Family

When: Saturday, September 23, 2017 – 5K and 1K

  • 7:30 AM 5K Run/Walk Start
  • 9:30 AM 1K Fun Run/Walk Start
  • 9:30 AM 5K Awards Ceremony

 

Sunday, September 24, 2017 – Half Marathon and Relay

  • 7:00 AM Half Marathon & Relay Start. Relay Exchange Point Opens
  • 9:30 AM Half Marathon Awards Ceremony

If you are really adventurous there is a Sky-High Challenge where you can run in BOTH days! (The half marathon and the 5K).  There is even a 3rd metal involved!!

As you run and walk you will have the best views of the balloons taking off for their morning departures. The balloons will be launching at 7 am on both race days. You will not want to miss this!!

All participants will receive a commemorative finisher medal featuring 7 hot air balloons.  Participants will also receive two tickets to the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival plus parking on race day! That will be worth the race itself! There are so many activities lasting all day and into the night so you will definitely want to come back and bring the whole family for this special day.

Registration fees depend on your age and races you enter. Please see the Plano Festival Runs page for more info on this as well as packet pick up and FAQ’s for the Race. Sign ups are happening right now so dust off those running shoes and get ready to have so much fun!

****GIVEAWAY*****Are you interested in running in the race? Comment below with why you want to run in this race as we are giving away one FREE race registration to someone that comments!!

The Best Places to Take Visitors

When you have company in town you want to show them all that our city has to offer. We are so lucky that Plano has some great places around us including Dallas and Ft. Worth that are so close. Here are some of the best places to take visitors to show off our city!

Klyde Warren Park

A park that is right in the middle of downtown Dallas? Yes! It’s the coolest thing! It’s totally kid-friendly and dog-friendly too. There are food trucks for everyone and you can easily get there via DART or by driving and parking the Dallas Museum of Art.  You can bring a picnic and make a day of this or just stop there to eat at one of the fun food trucks as a pit stop. Klyde Warren is a must see, especially on a beautiful day!

6th Floor Museum

If you have a history buff on your hands then they would love to hear about JFK and the history of the shootings that took place in Dallas.  Located in Dallas, the museum offers tickets daily for visitors. It has a great location close to the West End area and the Dallas World Aquarium as well.

Frisco Star

Even if you’re not a Cowboys fan, visiting the Star in Frisco would be fun to take visitors. This is the new Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters located off the toll road in Frisco. You can take a tour of the facility of the place where the Cowboys train and work out the majority of the year. With the tour, you can see the indoor athletic facility, the NFL draft war room, the Nike Star Walk, the Super Bowl Memorabilia station, and the Grand Atrium. This would be a fun place to visit and take kids as well!

 

Perot Museum

If you have family that would like to stay indoors then visiting the Perot Museum would be a great option. The Perot Museum is a fabulous museum located in the heart of downtown Dallas that is fun for all ages. They have seasoned exhibits and 3D shows you can see as extras but just visiting the general museum is fun for most. From dinosaurs to birds to weather and engineering there is something for everyone. They even have a great children’s area that is located at the bottom that is for the younger crew.

Celebration Station Park

If you have a crew that would like to be outdoors, then spending the day at Celebration Station Park in Allen would be so much fun. They have several tables you can reserve for a party or picnic so plan ahead. If you go during the summer months they have a great splash pad that is fun for all ages. Year round they have a large playground area that is so much fun. The park is equipped with several restrooms and large fields to play sports on as well.

 

Downtown McKinney

Care to do some outside shopping and dining in a small town atmosphere? Downtown McKinney is the perfect place to do this! It’s a perfect ‘square’ that is filled with shops/antiques and several eateries around the area. McKinney has several festivals and yearly celebrations including a totally cute 4th of July parade and a Scare on the Square event held every October. It’s a great place to check out!

 

Here are some other ideas from Plano Moms:

  • Go see a Frisco Rough Riders Game
  • Visit Hurricane Harbor
  • Dallas World Aquarium
  • Ft. Worth Stockyards
  • Little Elm Sandy Beach
  • Dallas Museum of Art
  • Lake Park (Lake Lewisville)
  • Watter’s Creek in Allen (shopping/eating)

What other ideas do you have? Tell us in the comments and we’ll add them to the list of good places!

 

Take a Cheap Staycation to Winstar Casino

I don’t know about your summer break but I feel like ours has been flying by. We’ve been so busy with activities and before it was all over we wanted to take a little getaway with our kids.  We needed something close to Dallas area and something that wasn’t too pricey. We ended up going on a cheap getaway to Winstar Casino! Come check out how I managed to get a free room for my family for 2 nights 🙂

And before you ask or think badly, no, we did not take kids into the casino part, we only stayed in the resort/hotel part! This was a totally cheap getaway and fun for everyone. Would you believe me if I say that I got our 2-night hotel room totally FREE? Well, I did! A free hotel room! How did I do it? All I had to do was sign up for a player’s club card.

About 2 years ago I went up with my husband for a day trip (just us) to try our luck and Winstar. We had never been there so we signed up for player’s club cards. It took just a few minutes and then we each had $25 free gambling money on the card, an added bonus! Since then, every month I get vouchers/discounts in the mail for free rooms. The nights are very exclusive and are only during the week (Sundays-Thursdays) so summer time is the perfect time for this to work!!

Summer time is the best time to take kids because that is when their resort style pool is open! This was our free entertainment for the days and the kids had a great time. My 4 year old loved it. My 9-year-old did get a little bored because there were no rides or things she’s used to doing! But all things considered, it was a nice pool with a great pool bar and full service for adults.

I took snacks, breakfast foods, and drinks to save us even more money. The kids had a fabulous time just lounging in the hotel room in pj’s and people watching from the windows. We ordered room service one night and they thought that was the best.

This was a totally doable staycation getaway that was super close. We made it to Winstar in about 90 minutes or less with no traffic and it was fun to get away from Dallas for a few nights. We were definitely not the only ones with kids at Winstar. It was packed with families just like us.

Have you ever taken kids to Winstar? This would also make a great Mommy/Daddy getaway or a Mom’s Night Away too! What is your favorite staycation idea? Check out our top staycation ideas that are close to Dallas. 

10 Plano Date Spots for You and Your Kid

Feeling like you need some quality time with your little one? Take them on a date! There’s no need to go far when Plano offers so many spots for parent-child fun. Read on to find your next adventure!

1. Go to a play

Catch a show at Plano Children’s Theatre! Upcoming productions include Bugsy Malone, the story of two rival gangs living in a city only populated by children, and Skippyjon Jones featuring a little kitten with big ears from the beloved children’s book.

2. Practice your best manners at high tea

Put on your Sunday best and treat your little one to a Children’s Tea at Into My Garden in Plano.

3. Have a spa day

Head to Sweet and Sassy for a boy’s or girl’s haircut in a fun and kid-friendly environment!

4. Dive into play

Stop by the Playstreet Museum for a fun day of play and exploration.

5. Go on a walk at the nature preserve

Not just any walk- make it an exploratory walk at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve! Let your child set the pace- while their dawdling might normally make you want to tear your hair out, embrace it on this leisurely stroll.

6. Heritage Farmstead Museum

You’ll have tons of fun at the Heritage Farmstead Museum– visit a one room schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and kitchen garden, and learn about life on the farmstead!

7. Horseback riding

Try out a horseback riding lesson at Mill-Again Stables

8. Storytime at the Interurban Railway Museum

Did you know that there’s a storytime every Friday at the Interurban Railway Museum? Take a magical train ride through the tales of professional storyteller Genie Hammel and her sidekick Eugene the Motor Mouse!

9. Chat over a cup of coffee/cocoa

Head to your local coffee shop for a sweet treat, some quality time, and great conversation with your little one.

10. Make something together

Carefree Colors hosts family painting classes where you can spend an afternoon painting, laughing, and exploring your creative side!

 

Drop into the best kids’ classes around Dallas with Pearachute! Get more info here.

Top 10 Indoor Places in Plano for Kids to Play

Now that it’s officially summer it’s getting so HOT! Being outside for too long is not an option. Unless you are in water then you cannot be outside for longer than a few minutes. Here are 10 indoor places for Kids in Plano. You can take them, enjoy the time, and they will have a blast.

Safari Run: Plano’s newest kid’s center. It’s fun and very health conscious. Kids must wash hands before and after playing. Healthier snack options are for sale and they also have a fun game room. Cost is $10 for each child.

Kid Mania: A safe and fun place for kids of all ages to climb and explore. This is perfect for a rainy day or when it’s too hot. Prices depend on ages. It also has a great snack bar and a fun game room upstairs.

Willow Bend Mall- Yes it will be crowded but this is a great free option! (Perfect for toddlers that need to get some wiggles out.)

 

Library Story Time: Another free option and perfect for younger kids. If you have older kids then make sure they are checking out books for their summer reading list and participating in the Barnes and Noble summer reading program to earn free books!

Jump Zone: Indoor trampoline center. Prices vary depending on age but it’s great for ages 5+. Kids will get a great workout and have fun!

Playstreet Museum: This is such a cute place for younger kids to create and play. The cost is $11 for children 1-8. Children younger or older are free.

CooCoos: A place where kids can come have a crazy fun time! They are a bounce house facility designed for open play. Prices are around $8 for ages 4 and up. Less for younger kids.

Prestonwood Baptist Play Area (FREE!) I’ve never been but only heard good things about this place. It isn’t very big but it looks fun for the kids!

Monster Yogurt: A frozen yogurt place with a play area?? Yes! The play area is small but it will give the kids something to do when they are done eating. This isn’t exactly Plano, but really close in Richardson off Coit/Campbell area!

Jump Mania: Come and get your jump on at Jump Mania in Plano. The room is filled with dozens of bounce houses and obstacles to play in. Your kids can jump all day for one price and you can bring in own drinks and snacks.

 

What are your favorite indoor places for kids? Tell us in the comments below and we’ll add them to our list!

Top Staycation Places in DFW

Are you wanting to get away for a weekend but don’t have time to go too far away? Try a staycation! Here’s a list of the top staycation places in DFW.

Great Wolf Lodge (Grapevine) Why it’s a good choice: This is a great family getaway. It’s fun and entertainment for the whole family with an indoor and outdoor water park, game center, restaurants, and tons of inside entertainment. This is a great family getaway that will make great memories for kids. If you only stay one night you still get access to the water park for 2 days. Grapevine is close to the airport and has lots of fun things to do in town. Groupon has lots of deals throughout the year for savings on rooms!

Choctaw Casino and Resort (Durant, Ok) Located just 60 miles or less from Plano this casino makes a great staycation place for the whole family. The resort as an awesome Oasis Pool that features slides, adult areas, and cabanas for rent. The casino has several towers to stay in and also a less expensive option that is closer to the pool. They opened a fun game center including bowling, games, and a movie theater that kids would enjoy. Choctaw also puts on a great show with really neat concerts on site. This would make a great staycation for the family or an even better weekend away with just your hubby or some close friends.

Hilton Anatole: This is a very large hotel located near downtown Dallas with a spa and many activities for children. The pool area was recently renovated and just reopened a few months ago. Has anyone stayed here with kids yet? It looks so nice!

Gaylord Texan: The hotel overlooks beautiful Lake Grapevine and includes 4.5 acres of garden and water park! They have seasonal activities going on inside the hotel it makes it fun for the whole family. This would be a fabulous place for a family reunion or just a family get away! Look for deals on Groupon for discounts!