Sunday, December 25, 2011

#41 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Storytime at Northpark Mall with "The Real Santa." Seriously, this Santa is amazing. Storytime is everyday at 10:30 am and is wonderful. "The Real Santa" has a degree in child psychology and is incredibly engaging.
Here is our annual picture with Santa, previous pictures can be found in last year's blog post found here,

Madeleine at 7 1/2, Everett at 4. December 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

#40 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Lowe's Build and Grow Kid's Clinic. I wrote about the Home Depot clinic as my #19 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids, but they are on different Saturdays so it is worth mentioning both! My kids love these events! You have to preregister and arrive right on time (10 am). This is a wonderful free kid activity!

#39 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Attend Tuba Christmas. This event is held throughout the world, you can find one close to you here. I found out about Tuba Christmas last year after Christmas and since it was on Christmas Eve here in Dallas last year I thought it would be on Christmas Eve again. Unfortunately, since Christmas Eve was on Saturday, it was on Friday! So, I missed it. But I will be ready for it next Christmas at Thanksgiving Square downtown! You can watch the 2007 Tuba Christmas in Dallas on youtube here.

#38 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Visit Santa's Village in Richardson. This free event is awesome, though I have not yet figured out the time to go when it is not busy...

This year the kids (mine and my sister's) loved the sleigh rides! These wonderful volunteers ran them up and down the sidewalk in this sleigh. The kids did this 3 times!

Cousin picture with a Christmas... duck???

And the girls wrote letters to Santa. The photo above is the letter from my niece, it says, "Dear Santa, I want my two front teeth for Christmas. P.S. Are you really real?"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

#37 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Ride the Polar Express train. We had such a good time! My mom bought tickets for my family and my sister's family and after a 2 hour drive to Palestine, Texas, we boarded the polar express train for the north pole. The kids were all dressed in their pajamas like in the story and we were all treated to hot chocolate and a sugar cookie on the 30 minute ride. While we journeyed to the north pole we heard the polar express story through the speaker system of the train while the train staff walked up and down the aisle showing us the pictures from the book. Then we were at the north pole! As we drove by we saw Santa and the elves. As the train turned around to head back home we learned that Santa was on the train! Santa walked by and delivered our bell from the reindeer's sleigh and we loudly sang Christmas songs and danced on our 30 minute ride back. It was such fun!

We are ready!

The kids were more ready!

There were a lot of us on that train!

Madeleine and Lee

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

#36 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Visit the Neiman Marcus window display at Christmastime. Here is a video of them installing them this year. The kids can crawl in them and have a blast. Make sure that you go when they are open, times can be found here.

The kids loved exploring.

Some happy kids.

They were above us!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

#35 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Go ice skating at the Galleria. Or watch the ice skaters and now you can enjoy the beautiful Christmas tree. Right now my kids love to watch the ice skaters and are not ready to go ice skating themselves. This is a favorite activity, especially in December when we can also be mesmerized by the huge Christmas tree.

#34 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Visit the Trinity River Audubon Center. This is an amazing place to visit. It is free the 3rd Thursdays of the month from 9 am - 9 pm. We have been for birthday parties and on the free days, this place is just awesome. It is easy to forget here that you are surrounded by a metropolitan city. And the kids love running around and exploring outside.

#33 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Try out an indoor climbing wall. Over the Thankgiving holiday we visited my dad's Lifetime Fitness gym where they have an indoor climbing wall. You have to be 5 to try it, but my 7 year old loved it! There is a rock climbing place 5 minutes from our house, and now I can't wait to go! Unfortunately this is not a free activity, but it was fun.

Madeleine is the one high in the air...

this is what you can do while you are waiting for your older siblings to finish on the climbing wall. The floor was recycled tire pieces...

#32 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Attend Fair Park Holiday. We were unable to attend this year (it is the Saturday after Thanksgiving) due to family obligations but we have attended in the past and had a great time. There is tons of free stuff and other than having to pay $10 to park, it is free. A wonderful opportunity to enjoy Fair Park in Dallas for an event other than the State Fair.

#31 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Attend the Dallas Children's Medical Center Holiday Parade. You can buy bleacher seats for $25 each (it is a fundraiser for Children's Medical Center) or camp out a spot along the parade route for free. It is so much fun to attend a parade in person that we so often only see on TV. The kids love this family Christmas tradition!

Everett and Madeleine with the Lorax.

A cowboy! There are so many clowns and other folks entertaining the kids.

These reindeer antlers are passed out by the clowns.

Jay Jay the jet plane!

Bob the builder!

#30 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Visit the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine. At Christmas time it is beautiful! However, it is not cheap. Even if you want to only explore the train, lights, and lifesize gingerbread house inside the hotel, you will still pay $12 to park! However, if you have tickets to ICE your parking will be validated. ICE is amazing, it is such fun to put on the blue parkas and freeze as you marvel at the creations. It is expensive though and this year we paid even more to do the snow tubing. It was so much fun, but my back hurt for 2 days! Everyone had a great time!

We went the day before Thanksgiving with my sister's family.

This year it was all Shrek ice sculptures.

it was cold!

The nativity scene

snow tubing! The kids loved riding by themselves! We got to ride 10 times with our combo ticket.

A movie of Madeleine snow tubing.

#29 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Visit the tubes at Irving Bible Church. On a rainy or a cold day, visit the tubes! There is free wifi, couches for the parents, and the kids get to climb and play and have a great time! Click on this link to see photos and to get directions and times. Every time we have visited the tubes the kids have had a great time and I have enjoyed reading a book!