Saturday, October 8, 2016

Road Trip: Long Weekend in Dallas / Fort Worth

Happy Fair y'all!
Last weekend we packed up the family in the truck and drove north to the Dallas / Fort Worth area.

We began our long weekend with our second annual trip to the Texas State Fair. Last year we went to the fair for the first time and were a little overwhelmed with it. We felt a little more prepared for things this time. By next year hopefully we will be experts!

We checked out Big Tex, piglet races, rode Sadie's first ride, and made ourselves sick once again with fried food.

We got to touch and learn about lots of animals, including stingrays. We lucked out and not only got free parking but free tickets for entry. It was opening day so there were several different promotions going on including test driving a new truck for free tickets and free tickets for veterans.
Gotta love Texans and our love for trucks!
We spent all day at the fair and from their drove to Fort Worth were we made our home base for the weekend. After a goodnight's sleep we headed out to the Fort Worth Zoo. It is ranked as one of the top 5 Zoos in the country so we were excited to check it out.   


The zoo is laid out like a narrow rectangle. It's nice because the exhibits are long and shallow and vertical so the animals have room but you also have a good vantage point of them most of the time. The downside is you have to get back to the entrance to leave. They have a train that will take you to the entrance so we hopped and made it back quickly. We enjoyed the zoo. They had a good primate exhibit, white tigers, hippos, kangaroos, and a really cool bird section including a Parrot Paradise and Raptor Canyon. The Parrot Paradise is an aviary that is netted in and is open to guests to get a closer look at the birds. There are hundreds of cockatiels and parakeets flying around. Evan and Sadie were unfortunately checking it out when a hawk started circling the area looking for a way into the enclosure and it turned into a scene from the movie The Birds. I was outside watching it and started to have a bit of a panic attack. Once they escaped left the aviary we walked down to Raptor Canyon and see some more birds of prey. We saw many interesting birds of prey that we've never seen or have heard of before. 

Sadie in the Texas Wild! section of the Zoo.
We also enjoyed the Texas Wild! section of the zoo. It's easy to forget how many interesting animals live in our midst. 

After the Zoo we headed to the Fort Work Stockyards for lunch. I have heard of the Fort Worth Stockyards for awhile but never had any interest in going until I saw this list from Frommers. It's a list of 100 places to take your kids in the United States. Last year we went to Dinosaur Valley State Park as suggested on the list and loved it so I wanted to check out another of their suggestions. 

At the stockyards they have 2 cattle drives every day that walk through the brick streets.

The Texas Longhorns are beautiful up close!

We skipped the famous Billy Bob's and had a quick lunch at Trailboss Burgers while we waiting for the Grapevine Vintage Railroad Train to arrive. It pulls right next to the restaurants and the shops. You can stroll the shops, watch a gunfight, check out the train, or visit the cattle in between cattle drives.  While we ate at Trailboss Burgers since it was family friendly, had we been without the girls or maybe more likely without the need for the stroller we would have headed down to the other end of Stockyards, the less family friendly section and checked out the Love Shack. It's in a basement hence the stroller issue, but I've heard from several people that their burgers are great! 

The uncooperative fam with the train in the background.

Frankie Rose was a trooper all day!

A real live record store! Crazier than that, it opened in 2014!

Saltwater Taffy in every flavor.

Still a trooper while knocked out!

On our final day of fun we headed to Dallas. I think Dallas gets a bit of a bad name, but that's because I'm from the Houston area. There's lots of different, interesting, and fun things to do in town. When we were driving to Fair Park for the fair we went through the neighborhood of Deep Ellum which looked like a cool place to grab lunch or see some live music. 


Dallas also has lots of amazing museums and parks. Of all of the amazing choices we picked the Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science

If it's not the newest museum it is one of the newest in town and it's beautiful!

There is a sports section that includes a Motion Lab where you can throw, bump, kick, or swing and have it recorded and then compare it to a professional athlete. Above you can see my brother-in-lawn getting ready to compare his quarterback pass to Dallas Cowboys' legend Roger Staubach.

You can also race a pro athlete, cheetah, or a T Rex in the 40 yard dash.


They have a beautiful Space and Universe Hall a Dinosaur, Gem and Energy, and Weather Hall as well. Most areas were interactive so it kept the antsy kids interested. 

The history buff got the best of me so we stopped off at Dealey Plaza and walked around the Old Red Museum in downtown. 

It was Sunday so it was quiet and gave us a chance to reflect on history.

Our weekend was a full and interesting take on the Dallas / Fort Worth area. There are so many things that we missed that we could definitely go back. Any favorite spots that we missed?

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