Monday, May 25, 2015

Texas Road Trip: Sidelined

In an effort to travel more within the state of Texas (see posts about our trips to Amarillo, JellystoneVictoriaGalveston, Wichita Falls and San Antonio), we had planned to take another Texas road trip during this 3-day Memorial Day weekend. We had lined up a pet sitter and reserved a hotel in Glen Rose, Texas (about 2 hours from our house). We have been wanting to visit Glen Rose for the past few years. Our weekend plans included:

Dinosaur Valley State Park--with hiking trails and real dinosaur footprints:

Dinosaur World:

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (a drive-thru safari park):

And Big Rocks Park:

However, our plans were derailed because of the heavy rain and flooding throughout Texas. The trails at Dinosaur Valley State Park were closed, Dinosaur World would be too muddy, Big Rocks Park would be too dangerous with the flood waters and we wanted to see all of those things while we were in Glen Rose. So we canceled our hotel and pet sitter and decided to have some fun in the DFW area.

We started driving to Fort Worth (in the rain, of course).

Our first stop was an early lunch at Joe T. Garcia's. Yummy, yummy Mexican food (open since 1935!) This restaurant is near the Fort Work Historic Stockyards, and it gets very crowded. Warning: the restaurant does not accept credit cards (only cash or checks).

Next, we headed to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Since we are members of the Perot Museum in Dallas, we were able to get reciprocal free entry here (although the employee said we didn't have the right level of membership but let us in anyway...your miles may vary). Parking is in a garage to the side of the museum and runs $10 for 4 or more hours.

The last and only time we had been to this museum was back in September 2010 when my boys were 6 and 2 and I was 8 months pregnant.

September 2010

Walking from the parking garage, we ran across this large T-Rex:

As well as a whole line of Dr. Seuss statues:

We walked around to the front of the museum to enter.

Once inside, we ran into one of my husband's college friend and her family. Everyone was looking for some fun indoor activity during the rain.

The kids had a blast at many interactive exhibits:

There is an outdoor water section:

And an indoor kids museum section geared for kids 8 and under:

The kids enjoyed this horseback riding simulator where the goal was to see how many bulls you could round up in the pen:

Roller coaster design center:
This museum has a planetarium attached that is free with admission. There were different shows playing all day, but we just went to one show that talked about all of the planets. There is a Sesame Street planetarium show that plays earlier in the day (which we saw in 2010--it's a great one for younger kids).

Before we left, the kids went down the slide in the gift shop. Beware, it's super fast!

The rain had let up for a little bit, so they played in the fountain in front for a while:
We don't drive to Fort Worth often (it's farther from our home than most people think), but I'm glad we got to experience a different museum and awesome Mexican food.

So the rain and storms continued all weekend...and the next day, we made a trip to Nebraska Furniture Mart. It's a GIANT furniture/electronics store that opened not far from us last month.

The parking garage is high-tech with green lights for vacant spots and red lights for occupied spots. You can look down the aisle and see if there are any open spaces. (And on Saturday afternoon, the signs on the highway said that all parking was full for the store. Cars were waiting to enter the parking garage like it was Disneyland).

Walking through this store was very entertaining for all of us. Sounds weird, but there was so much to look at and touch and try.

And of course the kids found the video game area with games to play:

We also spent time at our local mall which had the Lego Americana Roadshow. This proved to be way more entertaining than I thought it would be. There were maps and trivia questions at various locations, and the Lego displays were dispersed throughout the mall. Upstairs there were several smaller displays that were not even listed on the map.

We saw many U.S. landmarks made out of Legos. Each model had a board explaining the landmark and how many bricks and hours it took to build it.

The U.S. Capitol Building was the most impressive model:

There was also a Lego interactive play area. The kids could have spent hours here!

Just like at the Legoland Discovery Center, there were race tracks to test your creations.
The Lego Americana Roadshow is at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco through June 7 (and it's free).

So while our weekend didn't end up being anything like we originally planned, we still had some fun family time and managed to entertain ourselves cheaply during the wet weather. Sometimes it's just nice to have a change of scenery.

Did your weekend plans get sidelined by the weather? What did you do?