Friday, February 7, 2014

Lots of Fun at The Galleria Play Area!

Galleria Dallas
Children's Play Area

*You can find family friendly events as well at the Galleria -- click here

We made it to yet another stop on our wish list, the Galleria Dallas play area.  The play area lives on the 3rd floor near the bathrooms, and as a plus, there are also little bathrooms with little potties for little fannies. These little potties were perfect for my little rug rat!  The bathrooms are very busy and I didn't want to be a weirdo taking pictures of a toilet so I didn't get one.  There is also a changing station right outside the little mini bathrooms.  Enough about that and on with the play area...

Think of a Cancun inspired theme, with plenty of tunnels and bridges and things to climb on.  The trees and snakes, frogs and parrots, it was very tropical looking, with the Mayan pyramids to make it seem like you are in Cancun.  To me at least. Jacob especially like climbing on the pyramid, and of course going through the "nunnels".  

Jacob's absolute favorite attraction was none other than the JEEP.  Like Collin Creek Mall, there was a soft play Jeep, although this one is not stuck in the mud.  My little dinosaur played all over the place here, but the Jeep was 'where it's at' as far as he was concerned.  

With everything there is to climb on, in, or through here, Jacob didn't lose interest and try to walk around the mall.  In fact, when I tried to take him for a stroll so that I could check it out, he ran back into the play area.  So that is where we stayed until it was time to go.  

We arrived before noon, and Jacob had eaten his lunch on the way there.  I did that on purpose.  I have noticed that, for the most part, play areas are not as busy at lunchtime, (go figure). I feed him before we go or on the way if we are taking transit, and arrive a little before noon.  The Galleria play area is by far the busiest play area I have been to, but when lunch time hit, it was a ghost town.  I am not saying that this is the only time to go, or that it will always be slow at that time, but it is your best bet.  That goes for pretty much any play area.

I will also say that it looks clean, like Collin Creek Mall.  The one at Ridgmar Mall looks like it has seen better days, but it  still remains one of my favorite to visit.  

I would like to see the play area at Valley View Center, I have heard that mall is slow like Ridgmar Mall so the play area doesn't get crazy.  We will see.  For now, I have several other places on our wish list that I would like to knock out first.  Perhaps we can finally hit up the WOW Bus, or the zoo, or even the Train display at Children's Medical Center.  We will see...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Fort Worth Botanic Gardens

Fort Worth Botanic Gardens          FREE
                                                                      ** General Admission
Yes I know, we went to the Botanic Gardens in the dead of winter.  It's free, (we did not visit the Japanese Gardens or Conservatory), and why not?  The weather decided that it wanted to cooperate with us on a beautiful Saturday, and I wanted to be outside with Jacob.  There were lots of other families there as well, having picnics, playing frisbee, taking pictures, and walking the trails.

It was like going to a giant park where Jacob could just walk and explore everything.  He got himself a stick to hold and we just walked around. We walked in big open fields, along paths, under trellises, (that Jacob thought were tunnels, so he kept walking under them saying, "nunnel, nunnel"), along the nature boardwalk, (sorry no pics of it) and stopped to take in the water features located near the rose garden.

I don't have a whole lot to write about for this outing, it was just a nice peaceful day for my son and I to enjoy each other's company.  We took transit of course.  It was packed since it was opening weekend of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, and I felt fortunate to have snagged myself a back corner seat.  I am not a big fan of random strangers' crotches in my face.  

We did not get to hit up the WOW Bus like I wanted to.  I mean, how did I think I was going to accomplish that?  The Botanic Gardens is an entire day in itself.  I will make it there, though. 
*I would like to note that I run into people some times that are just planning to ride the train and don't really know what to do once they get to downtown. (We are talking about FW right now).  Here are some things to do:

From ITC STation Take Molly the Trolley to Sundance Square Plaza -- the Trolley stop is actually on Jones St.  Get off the train and walk straight to the street, (pass the busses), and you will see the flag for the Trolley Stop.
*The driver will tell you when you are there, and will point out other major stops

Fort Worth Public Library just a few blocks from Sundance Square
*You may even catch a story time

*A separate trolley goes from ITC Station straight to the Stockyards on Saturday, Or take the 1 bus to N. Main and get off at Ellis and Exchange
*Cattle Drive every day at 11:30am and 4:00pm
*There is live music at Stockyards Station, and on Sundays, the Cowtown Opry Performs at 2:00pm
**Cattlepen Maze $5 per person
**Petting Zoo $2 per person 
**Pony rides (Both petting zoo and pony rides should not be expected on days with yucky weather)
**Rodeo Zone $6 per person
**Other Events -- Check site

Fort Worth Botanic Gardens 
Bus #7 or #57 from ITC Station
*Free for General Admission, Conservatory is $2 per person, Japanese Gardens are $5 per person

Fort Worth Botanical Research Institute
Bus #7 or #57 from ITC Station
*First Saturdays with Storytime and more, also check calendar for other events

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
Bus #2 or #57 from ITC Station
*NOT free, but worth every penny, check website for details, as prices differ depending on what you want to do there.

*The Trolley will take you right to it

Fort Worth Zoo
Shuttle from ITC on Saturdays
or take the #7 Bus from ITC Station at least 1/2 mile walking involved
*Half price on Wednesdays

Log Cabin Village
#7 Bus from ITC Station
* FREE for 3 & under
$4.50 4-17 and 60+
$5 for 18+
$4 per person for groups over 10

Near Sundance Square

Ridgmar Mall
#2 Bus from ITC Station.  Takes you directly to the mall.
*Play area, coin operated kiddie rides, fountains

The WOW Bus
#4 or #6 Bus from ITC Station
*Words on Wheels -- if you are a book lover