Don’t sweat it: where to get discounted admission this August


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July has been an unusually wet month, but if history is any indicator, August will still be a scorcher. As such, two of our favorite outdoor destinations in Dallas are offering admission deals to get visitors through the gates — and you just might want to take advantage.

Have a big family? Seize this affordable opportunity to take out all of your kids for a fraction of the cost. You may be sweating, but your wallet won’t be.

Dallas Arboretum and Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden

On-site parking is always $10, but for the entire month of August, the arboretum is offering $1 general admission and only $1 more for admission to the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden for a total savings of $17 for adults and $12 for kids.

Take a picnic for brunch on the lawn or pick up a snack from the café; smoothies and hot dogs are $1 each. When the weather does heat up, cool off in the kid-favorite Toad Corners fountain and under the 8,000 square feet of misters at the children’s garden. The gardens are open 9am–5pm daily.

(Saving your trip for Labor Day Monday? Garden admission is $5 and the children’s adventure garden is the usual $3.)

Trinity River Audubon Center

Also starting today: $1 admission through August 31 at Texas’ flagship Audubon center. Borrow a free pair of birding binoculars and start your hike to see the butterflies in the Children’s Discovery Garden. When you’re ready to cool off, hoof it to the indoor exhibit hall and see slimy forest creatures like bullfrogs, fish, lizards and snakes.

To avoid the brunt of the heat, go in the mornings when it’s likely to be cooler and the forest is more alive with activity. The center is open as early as 9am most days (Tuesday–Saturday) and open at 10am on Sunday.

Dallas Zoo
To make up for the largely rained out Dollar Day in July, the Dallas Zoo is again offering all-day admission for only $1 on Tuesday, August 19.

Break out your one-dollar bills at the snack bar for $1 canned drinks, hot dogs and ice cream, and save a dollar to feed the lorikeets inside the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo.

Avoid the stampede to the zoo’s limited parking lot by taking the DART Rail.

The zoo is open from 9am–5pm daily. If August 19 doesn’t work for you, save the date for the next Dollar Day on Wednesday, November 26.

Baby Belle Turns 1 Year Old




Who doesn’t love big birthday parties? Okay, maybe throwing them can be a lot of work but your family has been invited to a no-hassle birthday bash this weekend.

Belle, one of the Fort Worth Zoo’s two beloved Asian elephant calves, has just turned one and she’s the center of a weekend-long celebration. Join the zoo this Friday, Saturday or Sunday for crafts, cute photo ops and front seats to watch Belle dig her trunk into her cake. Arrive early — the first 1,000 guests each day will get their own birthday treats.

All the entertaining and educational birthday events are free with zoo admission and you don’t have to shell out for a gift, but if you must dote upon Belle, consider a symbolic adoption and contribute to her care. With the “adoption” fee, you get a number of little gifts including a baby elephant plush animal.

Belle’s nephew Bowie will surely be around for the festivities but he’ll celebrate his first birthday soon too. Belle’s much older sister gave birth to Bowie about a month after Belle was born. The big boy is having his own party the weekend of August 1, so mark your calendars and don’t forget.

DCT’s summer contest puts imagination on center stage

A collage box created by an entrant. (Photo courtesy of Dallas Children's Theater/Craig Lynch)

A collage box created by an entrant. (Photo courtesy of Dallas Children’s Theater/Craig Lynch)

What does your kiddo believe in? Is it magic, family or awesome adventures? Dallas Children’s Theater is giving them the chance to show off their creative talents and show others what inspires them.

Last year DCT’s summer contest focused on hats but this year kids can create anything their hearts desire whether it’s a costume, a poem or a poster, to name a few ideas. The Believe Design contest is open to all artsy Dallas-Fort Worth children from kindergarten through 12th grades.

DCT suggests kids use their favorite supplies, even if they haven’t quite mastered them yet like a camera, clay, crayons, etc.

We’re sure the wheels in your child’s head are turning and churning out tons of ideas already but to help narrow it down, DCT has suggested focusing on “threes.” Your innovative tyke can shoot a three-minute video, write a 300-word essay or sculpt a three-inch statue — but don’t feel limited to just those suggestions.

The winners will have their entries posted on and will receive prizes like snazzy Chooze gear and four tickets to opening night of a show at DCT.

All entries must be mailed or hand-delivered to Dallas Children’s Theater by 5pm on Monday, July 14. Winners will be announced on August 4.

Free back-to-school haircuts for junior and you too

posted by on 2014.06.26, under Around Town: Dallas, Fashion and Style, Mom


Cuts for Kids (3)

It didn’t seem so bad at first but now your little ones are definitely peering at you through overflowing locks that reach down to the tip of their noses. The new school year is looming and you’re dreading having to coax your kiddo to sit still long enough for a trim. Not to worry, Remington College wants to make it easier on you — or at least on your wallet.

The cosmetology program at Remington College is offering free — yes, free — back-to-school haircuts from August 1–29. Cuts for Kids are available for children 17 years and younger and are provided by students and instructors at The Salon at Remington at the Dallas campus located at 1800 Eastgate Drive in Garland.

You need to have your beauty needs met too and might as well get it done at the same time, right? Get your choice of a free haircut, manicure or pedicure during your kid’s appointment; just bring in a donation of school supplies like pencils, notebooks or glue that Remington College will pass on to local schools.

Start crossing off your school prep list and schedule an appointment by calling 972/698-3890.

Kid-Friendly Tools in the Perot’s new Build It Garage


This morning we checked out the crafty new exhibit now open at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and met with the Perot’s new CEO and our previous Mom Next Door Colleen Walker for a look at the drop-in projects, all geared toward kids 8 and older. Get admission to Build It Garage for regular admission, plus a $4 supplies fee, during the exhibit’s run through August 17.

Handheld 3-D printing pens, which work a lot like hot glue guns, run about $100 a pop, so don’t pass up the opportunity to use one of the Perot’s printing pens to trace out fun shapes like “hipster” glasses” and and then wear them, like so:

Want to race your own derby car down a track? First, pick up an actual hot glue gun on the long craft tables and follow the diagram to craft a car out of materials like wooden blocks, popsicle sticks and cut-up straws.


On the other side, design your own aerodynamic rockets and paper planes, and then aim for the 10-, 20-, 30- or 40-foot bulls-eyes by launching them both, which Colleen demonstrations with a stomp on the launch pad.


For a basic demonstration in circuitry, check out the LED pixel mural, a peg wall that you can alter by adding more cubes and rearranging them into letters or shapes. In other words, C-O-O-L.

Freebies and fuzzy friends at the “Longest Day Adopt-a-thon”

(Courtesy of Operation Kindness)

(Courtesy of Operation Kindness)

The dog days of summer seem to drag on but Operation Kindness’ “Longest Day Adopt-a-thon” definitely won’t be a drag. We’re looking forward to seeing the adorable and adoptable furry faces during a day of food, music and freebies. The no-kill animal shelter in Carrollton is celebrating the summer solstice from 10am–10pm on June 21 by offering all adopters $25 off adoption fees, one free night stay at the Toothacres Boarding Facility and 25% off at Pet Supplies Plus.

The deals don’t stop there. Get there early for free coffee from Dunn Bros and free doughnuts from Hypnotic Donuts. Can’t make it until later in the day? Raising Cane’s will be doling out free chicken fingers — the ultimate kid-friendly fare — from 12–1pm. From 6–9pm food trucks such as Ketzler’s Shnitzel Shack, Jack’s Chowhound and Snow Ball Express will be on the scene.

Enjoy family-friendly live music and hang around for raffle prizes such as pet supply gift cards and restaurant gift certificates — there’s a winner every hour on the hour. Have some summer fun and hopefully you’ll find the Fido your kids will love for years to come!


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