As our children grow physically, we do our best as parents and loved ones to ensure their malleable minds follow suit. Shared experiences help families bond, but those valuable hours already spent together can be simultaneously employed as a tactic to supercharge our little one’s developing brains. So why not do both: Create lasting family memories and provide your child with a stronger educational foundation and a wealth of experiences to reference and rely on later in life?
While there are many ways we combine these two areas of growth at home, sometimes we all go a bit stir crazy when cooped up indoors for too long. When that occurs, family days at home just aren’t realistic. Nevertheless, there’s no need to spend your savings account in gas heading to somewhere with the criteria of both exciting and educational.
There are plenty of exceptional, fun and often, hands-on learning activities the entire family will enjoy right here in Arlington. We’ve featured 5 of these exciting outings below.
Boasting one of the three largest planetariums in the State Of Texas, the University of Texas at Arlington Planetarium, with its advanced software and fully digital 60-foot dome projection surface, provides its visitors views of a realistic night sky, the Solar System, stars, and distance galaxies complemented with Dolby surround sound.
Knapp Heritage Park
A blast from the past, Knapp Heritage Park seems like a tiny town frozen in time. Built in 1914, the Fielder House is the main history attraction at Knapp Heritage Park. Galleries at the Fielder House are used primarily to exhibit themes and topics relating to the history of Arlington One of the most recent exhibits includes “Faces of Arlington” WWII,” a series of exhibits showcasing the community, its residents and the hometown heroes of WWII.
The Fielder home also hosts a butterfly garden, which is maintained by Arlington Organic Garden Club and Master Naturalist Other buildings at the park include its one-room schoolhouse, a one-room cabin, a dog trot cabin, and the Bardin blacksmith barn, where you can see actual blacksmith presentations once a month on Sundays. Knapp Heritage Park would be an ideal location to teach kids what life was like for earlier generations and get them thinking about what has changed since then.
Video games may seem like the last “toy” you’d give your child to help them mentally learn and grow, yet that’s exactly what the Arlington Public Libraries is offering students and families. The video games the libraries offer help develop student’s brains for STEM careers, a well-paying career cluster currently in high demand. Additionally, the Arlington Public Libraries hosts other classes such as both Spanish and English for non-native speakers, art and story time classes and KidNotes with Symphony Arlington. Whoever said a trip to the library can’t be fun?
Modern technology that promotes play, collaboration and an interest in STEM fields? Yes, we have video games at the Downtown Library! Stop by the children's or teen desk to check out a controller and get playing. pic.twitter.com/albptrIlf5
— Arlington Public Library (@ArlingtonTXLib) July 14, 2018
River Legacy Living Science Center
Housed directly next door to the River Legacy Nature Center, the River Legacy Science Center is the perfect way for your kids (and maybe you, too) to learn about how we preserve the Trinity River and the inner working or its unique ecosystem. There’ll be no idle bored kids here! Hands-on and interactive exhibits will keep them engaged and learning. As a family, you can even bring a picnic and enjoy the park after your trip to the science center. Make sure and visit the gift shop before heading home.
International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame
How often do your kids have the chance to understand the history and science behind the sports they play? Documenting a 5,000-year history of bowling, including the sports role in Ancient Egypt, the British monarchy, International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame collects, preserves and exhibits the bowling’s journey “from archeological digs… to American taverns… to today’s cutting-edge computer-assisted training centers.”
Which one is your favorite? What are some other great nearby places to learn and have fun?