Saturday, October 26, 2013

Northpark Center and Collin Creek Mall-- all in ONE day!!

NorthPark Center 
and Collin Creek Mall 

Story Time, Ducks and Turtles, and a Soft-Play Area
FREE  (My only cost was the $10 train ticket, less than I would have spent in gas)

Of course I had to hit up 2 places when I took my excursion to Plano.  I do not live close to the area, so I take transit and knock out a couple of the places on my 'Jacob and Mommy Playtime Wishlist'.  I decided one lovely day that I was going to hit up a storytime somewhere new.  I love storytimes and we 'chase' them all over the metroplex.  You always have something to do if you have a library near you, and in the metroplex, you do.  At least one.  I love how each and every story time is so unique, and I use many of the techniques that I have learned going to these storytimes at home. 

Jacob and I rode the TRE out to Dallas and then took the light rail and a quick shuttle over to NorthPark Center.  The Storytime would be held in North Court and was at 10:30, we arrived at 10:15.  That gave me a chance to change Jacob, which I needed some time because there were not any close bathrooms, or at least what I consider close.  When I came back down the LOOOONNNGGGG hallway from the bathroom, I was greeted by children's music, little colorful mats spread out on the floor, and mommies and lil munchkins arriving.  There was a table to get your 'jingle bell' rattles, and scarves which were to be used in a song.  We grabbed ours and picked out a nice spot, I was so excited and Jacob was dancing his little heart out to the music that played.

Story time was magical.  It is right out in the middle of North Court.  Rhymes and stories, scarves as kites and songs to shake those bells to... it was fantastic.  Happy children squealing and singing and stomping, passers-by stopping to look at the adorable children and also the mommies singing and reading with their precious babies, 20 awesome minutes of this.  I loved the song selection, and if it was a new song, it was really easy to learn so that after the first verse, you are just singing right along.  

This Storytime is actually part of the Bookmarks storytime, and Bookmarks is a branch of the Dallas Public Library that is located inside NorthPark Mall.  If you happen to miss the morning storytime in the middle of North Court, you can attend the next one at 12:30 IN the library.  The library is small, but really interesting.  Jacob and I spent some time here after we had snacks in the courtyard.  We had yet another storytime, I read 3 books to him while he played with puzzles (you get them from the front desk).  

At this point I am ready to see some turtles and ducks.  I walk for what seems like forever, past fountains and art sculptures that I don't understand and shops I will never shop at, until finally I reach the "pond" area.  It is inside, with shallow water and some pyramid looking fountains, water cascading down the sides and shrubbery around, kinda nice, I liked it.  A little bridge to walk over and a little rock island for a heat lamp, food, and hanging out right there were 3 little ducks and a turtle.  Well Jacob was happy.  "Du-Duck, Du-Duck", he screamed.  We spent at least 20 minutes there. Du-duck, du-duck.  20 minutes.  Ha ha ha I can still hear him!!

It is past lunchtime and nearing Jacob's nap time, so we skedaddled and made our way to the shuttle.  Jacob and I chow down on some bananas  and he got his milkies on the shuttle as we make our way to the light rail.  Onward from the light rail we hit up a bus from Downtown Plano to Collin Creek Mall where Jacob began his 45 minute nap.  I gotta say that writing this, transit sounds like a lot with the trains and light rails and shuttles and buses, but it really isn't.  I find it much more calm and relaxing than driving anyhow.  And it's easy once you get the hang of it..  

We arrive at Downtown Plano Station, to find that there is a park right there next to the station!!  A park with a pond, no less!!  Well, Jacob was still sleeping in my arms, so maybe we can play on our way back.  Jacob slept on the bus ride also, and woke up right before we arrived at the mall.  Perfect timing!!!



We walked into the mall, and Jacob had to check out Lunar Golf.  The lady inside was really nice and let Jacob just walk around for a while.  I finally peel him away from the neon colors and we head towards the play area.  WOW.  That is what I have to say about his awesome play area.  A jeep stuck in the mud and a waterfall are the two places that the kids really hung out at.  Outside this wonderful play area are some coin operated kiddie rides and around the corner is one of those bounce attractions that Jacob is way too young for.  I highly recommend making a visit to this play area if you can.  One of the best so far.

After all this fun, I am ready to go, as is Jacob.  We make the bus right as we walk out the door, and head back to Downtown Plano for about 15 minutes of park fun before it is time to go. Transit arrives, it is time for us to finally sit.  Then, my dear son passed out immediately.  I just stared at my exhausted baby for most of the way back.  Just watched his little chest go up and down, his sweet breath each time making its way up to tickle my nose.  He slept in my arms on the train as well.  OUT.  Completely out.  
My little booger