Whether you’re a mom who works inside the home, or outside of it as I do, chances are you have high hopes for the weekend. Maximizing precious “together time” is way up on my priority list for my family. I’m always searching for ideas and fresh activities that both my girls will enjoy. When Texas summer heat hits, there is the added complication of finding things to do indoors or somehow keeping cool outside under the white-hot sun.
I was approached by DFW Child Magazine to contribute to their “My Perfect Saturday” series, and I thought it would be a helpful series of posts to share with my readers. There’ll be four posts, each featuring two beat-the-heat activities–morning and afternoon, with a break in the middle for naps. Of course, I’ll focus on the trifecta: cheap, close to home, and cool.
Saturdays Dentoning with Kids – Weekend One
I love the kind of fun where children can learn through play and exploration.
On the first Saturday of the month, participating Home Depot stores have their free Kids Workshop, where children can use tools and follow instructions to create a project. The recommended age is 5 to 12, but last month I brought my two girls (aged 4 and 2), and they enjoyed the process of making bug houses (admittedly, Iris enjoyed the painting portion and the rest of the time she ran around like a bull in a china shop). I love that this learning opportunity provides something that the girls can take home and enjoy in another way – by playing outside and learning about nature.
There were other attractions at my store—an inflatable splash slide, snow cones, and hot dogs, which made for a great early lunch. The children get a free orange apron, and a pin once they completed their project. Stella was really inspired by the kids who came every month—with their aprons covered in pins. I loved collecting Disney Pins when we went to Walt Disney World, so I loved the idea.
We caught a show at the Sky Theater at the University of North Texas. Located in the Environmental Education, Science & Technology building, the Sky Theater is part of UNT’s Astronomy Department, and programming includes a variety of shows about space science. Shows are just $3 for each person and happen three times on Saturdays with the first show being the Children’s Matinee at noon. The dome-shaped theater is a unique and exciting place for kids.
The area outside the EESAT building is fun to investigate as well. There are ponds where my kids spotted turtles and frogs in the water, and it is also home to the Native Texas Wildlife Series—a collection of bronze sculptures featuring Texan animals such as snakes, armadillos, deer, coyotes, and rabbits. My girls loved running up and down the paths looking for the animals and learning about them together.
Saturday Treat: Gnome Cones
Quick! Before Summer is over, you MUST check out Gnome Cones. Yes, technically it’s in Argyle, not Denton… but it’s still Denton County, so I’ll let it slide.
This place is THE CUTEST little snow cone stand. The branding and design is top notch. Gnome Cones is the self proclaimed “World’s Only All-Natural Gnomade Snow Cones” (see? The gnome theme carries through). These snow cones are made with real fruit juice, teas, and coffee. There are no dyes, preservatives… or trolls.
It might be a couple more minutes drive away for Dentonites, but it’s worth the drive. There’s an outdoor seating area and a BBQ food truck vendor as well. The kids will love the novelty, as well as the sweet treat, and all the gnome decor. Parents will love the prices, which compare to Bahama Bucks, the ability to support local business, and get an “all-natural” product as well. It’s the perfect way to beat the heat and bring a smile to everyone’s face!
What are some of your favorite ways to beat the heat in the summer, or local Denton attractions for kids? Share in the comments, I’d love to hear your ideas!