Dallas with kids

Our family flew to Dallas for U.S. Thanksgiving to visit my sister Leslie and brother-in-law Kyle who live there. Blake had never experienced Thanksgiving, American-style, and I was eager to return to my birth state (truth) and see how Dallas had changed since I was last there (in, um, 1991).

Posing outside the Perot Museum in Dallas. As in Ross Perot. Remember him?

Posing outside the Perot Museum in Dallas. As in Ross Perot. Remember him?

We prepped Bennett with a social story called My Trip to Dallas, that included pictures of all the places we might go and the things we might do. Our agenda didn’t include much beyond turkey and a Black Friday sale or two, but here are a few of the highlights.

1. Planetarium show 

Kyle works at the Perot (as in Ross) Museum of Nature and Science where he does educational outreach and planetarium shows for school groups inside a portable Nomad Dome planetarium. We were treated to a private show and got lost in space as Kyle zipped us from our night sky and solar system, to the Milky Way, and then to the far reaches of the universe, where we felt pretty insignificant. Just today Avery recalled the experience when we looked up and saw a half moon on the walk to school. “I felt pretty small inside Kyle’s planetarium,” she said.

This portable planetarium can take you to the far reaches of the universe, with the bonus that you can transport it anywhere around the world. Photo courtesy Kyle Doane.

This portable planetarium can take you to the far reaches of the universe, with the bonus that you can transport it anywhere in the world. Photo courtesy Kyle Doane.

2. The rest of the museum

The Perot Museum is a beautiful facility that just opened two years ago. It’s basically a science centre-meets-natural history museum so there’s tons for kids to do and ogle. We hung out in the hand’s-on children’s museum, then Avery and Bennett raced a (virtual) cheetah inside the sports hall (the cheetah was like a blur whizzing past — blink and you missed it). We ascended the building’s gazillion escalators and then worked our way down the museum portion through the dinosaur exhibits and the gems and minerals hall (because my husband is a geologist). There was even a singing cartoon video about oil extraction that would make Jed Clampett, and visiting Albertans, proud.

Avery and Bennett get ready to race a cheetah inside the sports hall.

Avery and Bennett get ready to race a cheetah inside the sports hall.

3. Dallas decorates for Christmas

Walking around Dallas after dark was like attending ZooLights for free (minus the animal shapes). Many homes actually pay companies to come and wrap giant oak trees in lights, and encase entire hedges in a kind of light netting. It was all very fancy, and I can’t imagine what this would cost (if you have to ask, you clearly can’t afford it), but it was great light candy.

American pride extends to the holiday lights in Dallas. It's all very tasteful and this clearly wasn't Clark Griswold's neighbourhood.

American pride extends to the holiday lights in Dallas. It’s all very tasteful, even if some of the homes are a bit too faux Versailles villa for my liking.

4. Spending time with family

The kids loved hanging out at Auntie and Uncle’s house, swinging in the funky hammock-style swings in the backyard, whacking open a piñata for Kyle’s birthday, and chasing the animals around mercilessly (Bennett). It brought into focus the meaning of the holiday — giving thanks for food and family, spending quality time with loved ones, and then trampling strangers to get a good deal at Walmart the next day.

Bennett and Avery deliver a birthday cake to Uncle Kyle for Thanksgiving dessert.

Bennett and Avery deliver a birthday cake to Uncle Kyle.

The gals enjoy an evening stroll along Turtle Creek in Dallas.

The gals enjoy an evening stroll along Turtle Creek in Dallas.

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3 responses to “Dallas with kids

  1. I can’t think of a more perfect Thanksgiving! –not even “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

  2. Reblogged this on moxie supper and commented:
    So very good to eat; a recipe for family

  3. Pingback: Consider this our family Christmas card 3 | Drink - Play - Love

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