Spring Break Ideas for All Ages

March is officially here, which can only mean one thing for Dallas parents: Spring Break! Your kids have probably been counting down the days, but we won’t fault you if you’re not quite as excited. Most parents feel a little anxious when faced with the challenge of planning a week-long staycation, but that’s only natural. Besides, Downtown Dallas will be home to numerous activities the week of March 12, all of them sure to keep your kids fully occupied, entertained and often educated. That means March can also be your month to sit back, relax and enjoy your own version of a much-needed break.

Kick off your Spring Break vacation on Saturday, March 10 with Klyde Warren Park’s ’80s and ’90s-themed Spring Fling. This special event features all-day entertainment for kids of all ages, including a breakdance competition, skateboard halfpipe demonstration and live DJ. Pack a cooler and make a full day of it — and, if you have older kids, make sure to stick around for the nighttime concert featuring Dallas’ own Hip Hop Hooray.

In conjunction with its annual Nasher Prize celebrations, the Nasher Sculpture Center will offer free admission during the week of Spring Break. Make sure to stop by the First Sculpture exhibit, which showcases prehistoric tools and artifacts that are over 2 million years old. The Center will also feature special programming with local author, maker and museum expert, A. Kendra Greene, whose free workshop for kids will run Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Should you finish up early at the Nasher, walk the short distance to the Dallas Museum of Art, where Spring Break is in full swing from March 13-16. Take advantage of countless free activities including story time, pop-up art workshops and special guided tours. This year’s programming focuses on the themes of time and space, giving active kids a chance to construct their own time machines and create monuments to be admired by their future selves.

Next door to the Downtown Dallas Arts District, The Perot Museum of Nature and Science will be holding extended hours during Spring Break, with doors open until 7 p.m. March 10-17. In conjunction with its current “Journey to Space” exhibit, expect a full interstellar adventure, complete with daily astronomy-themed demonstrations and experiments involving sundials, space mission patches, bottle rockets and more.

Meanwhile, just south of Downtown, the Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park will host Spring Break Safari Week. This special event is included with admission and will feature daily activities and crafts. Get ready to explore the natural world, and check back here for the full schedule.

Speaking of exploration: With the weather turning warmer over Spring Break, the family has multiple opportunities to participate in outdoor activities in Downtown Dallas. Saturday, March 10, the Dallas Center for Architecture will lead you on a walking tour of the Main Street District. Get to know the significant buildings in the area and hear fascinating stories about the individuals, institutions and artistic trends that influenced the city’s development. Admission is just $10 per adult, with free attendance for children under 12. The tour begins at Main Street Garden, a great location to circle back around to for a picnic lunch.

Finally, for something a little more low impact, visit the Youth Discovery Center at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library for their Spring Break Movie Matinees on March 12 and March 15. The focus will be on animation with screenings of the recent releases Deep and Coco. And, that’s just one of several programs on offer at the library. Bring your maker to their “Legomania!” event the afternoon of March 13, or drop in for some friendly board game competition (and cooperation) March 16. You can view the library’s complete events calendar here.

What else are you planning for this year’s Spring Break? Share your favorite affordable activities with us on Facebook and Twitter.