Sunday, November 24, 2013

The DMA, The McKinney Avenue Trolley, and Klyde Warren Park Storytime :)

Well, I know my last post was a little CORNY but I love story time sooooo.....  Anyhow, as I am in the process of organizing and adding information to my blog, I have neglected posting about our Journey.  I will share our delights with the DMA, Story Time @ Klyde Warren Park, and the The M-Line Trolley... and I finally got the pictures (the ones that came out) together!!  Yay me.

My sister and niece were able to accompany Jacob and I to Klyde Warren Park and the DMA a few weeks ago.  I hope I remember enough to tell you about it, I have slept since then!  

We met at the train station, lunches packed and babies in tow.  I remember that it was overcast, which was great because Jacob had recently pulverized my sunglasses.  We board the train and got settled.  Jacob had a fit in my lap while I frantically searched for a banana.  I thought to myself, "Of course I can't find this giant banana among sandwiches and apple slices.  If I were searching for something else, the banana would be in the WAY!"  So eventually I found the elusive banana and he ate it and chilled out.  After a while the kids got restless and bounced around and yelled at the window and annoyed every single other passenger on the train and it was great.  Not really, maybe just a few.

Inside the Trolley
We wanted to take the McKinney Avenue Trolley, so once we got to downtown we took light rail to Cityplace.  I really didn't know what to expect, as my other Trolley experience is with Molly the Trolley in Fort Worth which is really more like a shuttle that is made to look like a trolley on the inside.  Still fun though.  I heard a little bell in the distance, and looked up to see a real old-fashioned trolley making its way toward us, on real trolley tracks coming into the turnaround.  Whaaaat?  Awesomes.

Inside is even better.  Everything from the benches to the driver's uniforms makes you feel like you stepped about 100 years back in time.  It is air conditioned and heated so it is a comfortable ride regardless of time of year.  During our trip the windows were open and it was all grey and overcast outside, smelling like it would rain soon.  I love that!  I highly recommend that you make this a part of any trip to the Arts District in Dallas, or anywhere along McKinney Avenue. The McKinney Avenue Trolley is free to ride, but a voluntary donation into the fare box is greatly appreciated.  

Our stop is across the street from the DMA and Klyde Warren, which is really hard to get wrong because the end of the line where the trolley turns around to come back is at the next signal light.  <This has apperantly changed.  Regardless, you can't miss the big park so get off at the next stop. After crossing over to Klyde Warren Park,  I was so glad we decided to make this our location for the outing today.  We skipped over the children's park, there was a private school visiting and there were a lot of bigger kids playing there, so no thanks.  I was on a mission to get to the Imagination Playground anyway.  

Big blue foam blocks and noodles for building, kids and their parents constructing little houses and mazes and obstacle courses, Jacob and Haley running around and having a blast on the lawn, surrounded by tall buildings and the visible highway, what a fantastic time!  

My day could have ended there, with all the fun we had, but we had only just begun.  Story time was next, the main draw for my decision to visit.  I love the idea of story time in a park, but maybe I am partial because I love story time anywhere.  Story time is held right next to Imagination Playground, so you can't miss it.  Soon enough it was 11:00, and we were ready!

Stories, parachutes, scarves, jingle bells, songs and bubbles,  I felt like a kid again.  The little munchkins were really engaged and having a ball.  Being close to Halloween, (has it been that long since we went?), the songs and stories were themed accordingly.  It lasted an hour but felt like 30 minutes, I swear.  The story time is wrapped up with bubbles, bubbles, bubbles.  A bubble machine supplied a never ending rain of bubbles upon the children, and then bubble dishes with wands for making big and little bubbles were set out and it was a bubble-acolypse!  

And then, it was over.  We were hungry like hippos so we grabbed a spot and stuffed our faces .  The day had been a success so far, and we still had one more stop.  Of course there were a number of places to chose from, but the DMA's children's area is on my wish list.  Everybody full? Yes. Diapers changed? Yes. Everything packed up (now a much lighter load!)?  Yes. Off to the DMA.

We did not get to spend as much time here as I would have liked.  We did however get to visit the children's area.  First we went into a little room called Arturo's Nest.  You can touch everything here in this room, and there is no shortage of toys to play with and activities to do.  Puppets and puzzles and lots of sensory objects and toys around the room.  It would be ideal for ages maybe between 2-5, but we had plenty of fun in there.  Then we decided to head around the corner to an area that I think was for older kids, but there wasn't anything that was a danger to Jacob and Haley so they played on.  Everything in here was designed to stimulate the senses as well.  Beads & curtains in doorways, magnet shapes, 'make your own story' boards, I could go on forever.  I realized after a while that it was time to start heading back, time flies when you are having so much fun!  

We hit the trolley just in time, and got to relax and sit.   Our rug rats were completely exhausted, and Jacob almost immediately passed out.  Haley followed shortly after.  They slept on our shoulders and in our laps through the trolley ride, (oh so nice and peaceful ha ha) and woke only briefly while we switched to the light rail.  Back at the train before we knew it, we were able to sit back and hold our still snoozing babes while we waited for departure.  I was really tired and glad I didn't have to drive back from Dallas.  

By the time we arrived at our stop, both babies were awake and in good spirits.  My sister and I were very pleased with how the day had turned out.  We were very tired, but it was well worth it.  Today was considered a 'splurge' day because I spent $10 total.  Definitely worth it.  Since Jacob is so young, there is so much we can do now before money has to get involved.  And even then, it has to be more than worth it.

I will wait until another day to get my Stockyards story out to you, as I want to go back and review the $1 petting zoo.  Expect it early December.  So many things to do, so little time!  Happy outings mamas!