Last-Minute Activities in Downtown Dallas Before School Starts

The back-to-school shopping lists are out and your inbox is already filling with reminders about upcoming PTA fundraisers. Even if your kids have had their first-day outfits picked and laid out for weeks, now is the time to savor the (relative) laziness of these dog days. So put on your sunscreen, pack some snacks and check out these last-minute summer activities in Downtown Dallas.

At the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, families can catch a 3D movie in the Hogland Foundation Theater, which features 4K digital projection, immersive surround sound and RealD 3D capabilities – that’s AV-speak for truly captivating, put-you-smack-dab-in-the-middle-of-the-action technology. The short film “Walking With Dinosaurs 3D” should get budding paleontologists hyped for the museum’s dinosaur exhibit, not to mention the museum’s outdoor field days.

Speaking of field work, Perot’s Family Experiments at Klyde Warren Park are held from 11 AM – 2 PM the first Saturday of the month. Their September 2nd session focuses on biology and offers an exploration of how our bodies function, complete with an up-close look at various cells.

Fuel your weekend learning adventure by sampling the specials at the food trucks that have pulled up to the deck park. Afterward, let the younger kids burn off any excess energy at Klyde Warren’s Imagination Playground, where giant blocks allow young dreamers to create their own magical worlds.

Don’t forget that the McKinney Avenue Trolley (MATA) makes frequent stops near Klyde Warren at the corner of St. Paul St. and Woodall Rodgers Fwy. This is a fun opportunity to relive the past aboard a vintage — and air-conditioned! — street car. Take in Downtown Dallas from this unique vantage and share what you know about the city’s past, present and future.

If you prefer to stay on foot, cross the street and see what’s happening at the Dallas Museum of Art. The museum wraps up its free Summer Family Fun programming on August 11th. Featured activities include Art Spot, which challenges kids to reimagine everyday materials into new works of art, and the family gallery guides, guided tours that incorporate fun facts and matching games that transform the museum’s exhibits into kid-friendly scavenger hunts.

Meanwhile, at the Dallas World Aquarium in Downtown Dallas’ historic West End, kids can encounter real-life counterparts to Dory, Nemo and the rest of the gang. Learn about the flora and fauna that make their homes under the sea, then fire up the Netflix at home and see how many of these new friends your child can recognize.

For a different kind of movie-going experience altogether, check out Movies in the Park at Main Street Garden. View classic, family-friendly fare from the comfort of the park’s lawn, where both blankets and chairs are welcome.

From the 17th through the 20th of August, the Sheraton Dallas Hotel welcomes AnimeFest. More than just a celebration of Japanese pop culture, AnimeFest’s diverse programming includes drawing classes, opportunities to play board games with new friends, “plushy stations” where kids can make their own stuffed animals and plenty of other opportunities for them to simply be themselves. AnimeFest’s organizers also give back to the greater Dallas-Fort Worth community. Every year, their Charity Auction raises funds to support area literacy efforts and provide assistance to at-risk children.

On August 26th, the final Reunion Lawn Party of summer 2017 tips off courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks. Held in the shade (and under the lights) of Downtown Dallas’ most iconic building, this free event features live music, food trucks and lawn games from frisbee tossing to cornhole. Accessible via DART, this is a great opportunity to get fired up for all the excitement the coming autumn has to offer.

How will you be sending off summer this year? What’s your family’s favorite Downtown Dallas attraction? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.