Have you noticed if you search for “children’s activities in DFW,” page after page is filled with all the magically fun places to take your little ones? As I scour through the listings, I find myself scratching my head because my youngest, Luke, has aged out of 99 percent of those places, but he isn’t yet to the teen stage where sports and school socials dominate the calendar. There’s seems to be a big gap of things to do with preteens and older, elementary-aged kids.
Oftentimes I find myself going back to the same places we always frequent because I’m stumped on what to do with bigger kids. Figuring it’s not just me, I’ve rounded up some of the best ideas of what you can do with your big kids!
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For the Competitive Spirit
A lot of parks have become boring for my big kid. Slides aren’t big enough, swings don’t quite do it anymore, and there just doesn’t seem to be a challenge like there used to be with the equipment. Anything he does is now a full-blown competition.
From escape rooms to “battlegrounds,” there are several great places in our area that will bring this competitive spirit out in all the best ways.
Climbing gyms have been popping up all over DFW. From Ninja Warrior type places to rock climbing walls, my big kid loves them! Most feature a great mix of entry-level obstacles and have enough more challenging courses that we can go back for years and never repeat the same challenges twice.
These places are also an excellent way to begin to develop some of that upper body strength he or she will need for middle school athletics.
Don’t want climb but not quite ready to be shot by paintballs? Try a foam dart battle course!
Some of our favorite spots include:
I’ve always believed that an appreciation of fine arts is incredibly important. It opens up a world of imagination and hope for many people. It also helps build appreciation for different perspectives and cultures. Involvement in the arts has also improved math, reading, and critical thinking skills.
Recently, we attended our high school’s production of Frozen Jr. We were wow’ed by how well done it was! High school plays are perfect for this age group because they are often shorter than the real Broadway production and are usually G-rated! Other great theater options would be Lifesong Studio or Casa Mañana.
We also love children’s museums. There are many great ones in our area, including:
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Level-Up the Nature Walks
When my boys were little, we would go on short nature walks down by a creek, or through the “forest” (a.k.a. tree area in the park). Now that they’re bigger, we can branch out and visit some other amazing nature trails that offer more to see and a little more of a physical challenge as well.
A little bit of fresh air is often what we need to divert ourselves away from that sibling back and forth bickering that we all know and love!
Our favorite scenic spots are: