Spring break planner

Top things to do for an action-packed spring break staycation in Dallas-Fort Worth

Top things to do for an action-packed spring break staycation in DFW

Fly fishing on Trinity, Fort Worth
Go fly fishing on the Trinity for one day only. Photo courtesy of TRWD
Cypress Valley Canopy Tour zipline ziplining Spicewood
Zippity-DO at a couple of fun places around town. Cypress Valley Zipline Canopy Tour/Facebook
Texas Tulips farm
At Texas-Tulips, you can pick 'em and take 'em home. Texas Tulips/Instagram
DSO concert truck, Lawrence Brownlee
The Concert Truck brings the music to you. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Stickwork, Patrick Dougherty
Explore this huge bird's nest at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Fly fishing on Trinity, Fort Worth
Cypress Valley Canopy Tour zipline ziplining Spicewood
Texas Tulips farm
DSO concert truck, Lawrence Brownlee
Stickwork, Patrick Dougherty

If your usual spring break trip to the beach or ski slopes has been put on hold this year, don't worry. There's so much to do around Dallas-Fort Worth this month, you'll have no trouble planning a fun, action-packed staycation in your own backyard. Here are some top picks for spring break happenings — outdoor adventures, in-person activities, and even a few virtual events — so you can choose your own comfort level. By the way, you'll find many more listings in our searchable events calendar, here

Outdoor adventures

TRWD Flyfest, Fort Worth
Called "a celebration of urban fishing on the Trinity River," Flyfest allows both beginning and expert anglers to wade in the river and fly fish for 1,800 pounds of Rainbow Trout and 3,000 Texas native fish. The festival also includes cooking demonstrations by Reata chef James Gaines, fishing demonstrations, beer and wine tastings, food trucks, live music, and more. The one-day-only event takes place 9 am-5 pm Saturday, March 13, along the Clear Fork waters of the Trinity River near the intersection of Bryant Irvin Road and River Park Drive, Fort Worth. Admission is free. https://trwdflyfest.com.

Stickwork at Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Throughout February, nationally acclaimed artist Patrick Dougherty and a team of volunteers twisted, weaved, and shaped sticks and twigs until they became a towering immersive garden sculpture called Stickwork. Guests can wander through the display (think: huge bird's nest) and snap Insta-worthy photos. Stickwork will stay on display for as long as Mother Nature allows. Check out the animal topiaries, and later this month, an explosion of 125,000 spring flowers — tulips daffodils, hyacinths, and more — expected to peak March 15-31 across from the cafe. Viewing is included with the price of general admission. The garden is open 8 am-5 pm daily. www.fwbg.org.

Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary presents Zip Line Days, McKinney
Zip Line Days at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney give guests a chance to climb a 23-foot tree to the zip platform then proceed to a 487-foot zip line. Tickets are $12 per ride; reservations required. 1-4 pm March 12 and 21, April 3. (Ropes course also available.) www.heardmuseum.org/zipline-days.

Trinity Forest Adventure Park, Dallas
South Dallas aerial adventure park consists of high ropes courses for climbers and thrill-seekers. In addition to zip lines, courses include military-style obstacles like wobble bridges, tight ropes, ladders, and cargo nets. $14.95-$54.95; reservations required. Save $10 per person for weekday morning bookings during spring break with promo code SPRING21. Check height and weight requirements, sign waivers, and book at https://trinitytreetops.com.

Flower fields

Dallas Arboretum presents Dallas Blooms: “America the Beautiful”
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden presents Dallas Blooms, the largest annual floral festival in the Southwest. With the theme “America the Beautiful,” the spring festival showcases 100 varieties of spring bulbs and more than 500,000 spring-blooming blossoms, thousands of azaleas, and hundreds of Japanese cherry trees. Each week, Dallas Blooms focuses on one of the six regions in the United States with food, music, flowers, and activities. The festival includes special events, live music on the weekends, and children’s activities. The Arboretum opens at 9 am daily; for admission and reservations, visit www.dallasarboretum.org.

Tulipalooza, Waxahachie
Tulipalooza is an annual charity fundraiser in Waxahachie specializing in tulips, and this year will take place in a field at the Waxahachie Civic Center from March 19-28. A quarter million tulip bulbs were imported from Holland. The event is a venture by Poston Gardens Foundation to raise money for scholarships at Daymark Living, a residential community for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as 12 other nonprofits. Open rain or shine, 10 am-7 pm March 19-28. Tickets are $5-$20; https://tulipalooza.org.

Texas-Tulips, Pilot Point
Thousands of tulips are blooming right now at Texas-Tulips in Pilot Point, about an hour north of Dallas. Practice photography, snack on concessions, learn about varieties, and order bulbs to plant at home later this year. Best of all: The "U Pick Em" flower field allows visitors to pick and take home their own bouquet. Admission is $5 plus $2.50 per U-pick stem. Open daily, 10 am-8 pm. https://texas-tulips.com.

Ennis Bluebonnet Trails
Save the date: April 1. That's when the famous Ennis Bluebonnet Trails open for 2021. Closed last year due to COVID-19, the 40 miles of mapped trails will be open throughout April for leisurely drives and photo opps in bluebonnet fields. And yes, the bluebonnets survived last month's Texas winter storm; they're on track to peak the third weekend of April for the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival, April 16-18. For more on spring bluebonnets and wildflowers in Ennis and throughout Texas, check out this story.

Arts & entertainment

Drive-in movie theaters

The hottest entertainment trend of summer 2020 is still going strong at local drive-ins that are open year-round. Load up the car and see a current release or a classic flick at these locations:

The Concert Truck
Presented by Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Concert Truck is a mobile concert venue that rolls around Dallas for outdoor concerts by pianists and other musicians. It proved so popular around the holidays, it came back this spring for an encore. Each show is free, family-friendly, socially distanced, and less than an hour long; follow the schedule at dallassymphony.org/the-concert-truck-residency. Upcoming shows:

  • March 13: Downtown Dallas, Inc., Main Street Garden (12 pm) and NorthPark Center (6 pm)
  • March 14: Turtle Creek Conservancy (2 pm)
  • March 17: University of Texas at Dallas (12 pm) and White Rock Ale House & Brewery (6 pm)
  • March 18: UT Southwestern Medical Center Frisco (12 pm) and NorthPark Center (7 pm)
  • March 19: Central Market Plano (12 pm)

Amphibian Stage presents Packrat play and workshops
Set deep in the Sagebrush Desert, this visually stunning play from Concrete Temple Theatre contemplates humanity's relationship with the natural world through puppetry, projections, and an original score. The virtual show (appropriate for kids 8 and up) streams March 12-13; tickets are $10. A series of Packrat-themed, in-person workshops March 15-19 will get creative juices flowing. They're small, socially distanced, and available for ages 8-12, 13-17, and adults; information and registration here.

Avant Chamber Ballet presents Still Growing + 19th Amendment
Avant Chamber Ballet presents Madison Hicks’ Still Growing and Katie Puder’s 19th Amendment as part of their current virtual season. Still Growing is a response to our experiences in 2020 and features music by Max Richter. 19th Amendment commemorates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of a woman’s right to vote. The production will be available to stream at any time through June 30. Viewers have two options to purchase: They may rent the show for $30 and get 48 hours of access, or subscribe for $99 and get unlimited access to this performance and three other productions, including Nutcracker Sweets, which was released in December.

Monster Energy AMA Supercross at AT&T Stadium
Monster Energy Supercross is the most competitive and highest-profile off-road motorcycle racing championship in the world today. FanFest will feature the race team rigs, Monster Energy exhibitions, photo opportunity set ups, food and beverages, plus authentic Supercross and racer merchandise sold via contactless shopping. It takes place March 13, 16, and 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Tickets and more information here.

Museums and exhibits

Kimbell Art Museum presents "Queen Nefertari's Egypt"
The special exhibition "Queen Nefertari's Egypt" celebrates the wives of pharaohs of the New Kingdom Period (1550-1070 BC), when Egyptian civilization was at its height. Nefertari, whose name means "the most beautiful of them all," was the beloved royal wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II. Nefertari and other women are brought to life through approximately 230 exceptional objects, including statues, jewelry, vases, papyrus, steles, mummies, wooden coffins, and stone sarcophagi, as well as various items of daily life. The exhibition's last day is March 14; www.kimbellart.org.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science presents "The Science of Guinness World Records"
All around the world, people are pushing themselves to achieve new and amazing things. From the world’s smallest stop motion film to the most drum beats in 60 seconds to the most consecutive pinky pull-ups, the world is full of fascinating people achieving strange and incredible feats. The special exhibit "The Science of Guinness World Records" looks into the science behind these mesmerizing accomplishments. The just-opened exhibit will be on display through September 6; www.perotmuseum.org.

Galleria Dallas presents "She's Got the Look" 
Flash back to the '80s at Galleria Dallas courtesy of the new fashion exhibition, "She’s Got the Look," a display of 1980s style with more than 50 looks and curated from some of Dallas’ most fashionable closets by Martini Consignment’s Ken Weber. The free exhibition, located in the space next to Sephora, focuses on designers from the ’80s like Thierry Mugler, Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Bob Mackie, and more. It will remain on display through April 3; more information here.

Galleria Dallas presents "We Are History Makers: A Century of Girl Scouts"
Galleria Dallas and the Girl Scouts of North East Texas offer some other food for thought with an exhibit that not only celebrates the accomplishments of Girl Scouts across the centuries, but also provides cookies. Each weekend, local Girl Scout troops will man a drive-through booth where shoppers can buy cookies. The historic retrospective spans from 1912 to the present, with a visual timeline highlighting the history of Girl Scouts, as well as landmarks in the organization's history. The free exhibit runs from March 5-31.

Dallas Museum of Art presents "Frida Kahlo: Five Works" and more
The Dallas Museum of Art is now showing "Frida Kahlo: Five Works," which gives visitors the rare opportunity to see five exquisite works by the acclaimed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Also opening is "Devoted: Art and Spirituality in Mexico and New Mexico," which features devotional works drawn from the DMA’s Latin American collection. During spring break, the DMA is hosting free virtual activities, which can be found here. They are pegged to the exhibition "Cubism in Color: The Still Lifes of Juan Gris," which opens March 16.

Camps and classes

Botanical Research Institute of Texas, March 17-18
The BRIT hosts Spring Break Family Camp, where visitors can take a botanical art class or use science to solve a mystery, or both. Morning session (10 am-12 pm), "Botanical Art," lets the whole family get in touch with their inner artist through a nature-inspired, hands-on program. In the afternoon (1-3 pm), solve the "Case of the Fallen Pollen" — Work together as a team of detectives throughout the garden to figure out what is causing the decline of pollinators. Classes are at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden; tickets are $12 each; ages 6 and up. For more information, visit www.brit.org/camp/spring-break.

Kimbell Art Museum
The Kimbell will host a free week-long celebration of creativity, storytelling, movement, and more — all virtually. From March 15-19, the virtual Spring Break Art Extravaganza offers imaginative fun for curious spring breakers to enjoy from home. The activities and performances are inspired by the museum’s permanent collection and feature art-making guides, live family programming, and engaging videos created by guest artists. From Monday through Friday, the topics will be: Artful Animals, All About Lines!, Faces, Finders-Makers, and Families. Visit kimbellart.org/springbreak for more details.

Fort Worth Spring Break Camp
Spring Break Camp will take place in person from 7:30 am to 6 pm, March 15-March 19, for children ages 5-13 in Fort Worth. Eighteen local community centers will provide recreational, educational, and cultural programs designed to give campers fun and memorable experiences. Children should bring a lunch each day. Supper will be provided. Price varies by location but starts at $10 per day plus a community center membership card. Registration is required. For a list of participating community centers, COVID-19 safety protocols, and more, visit the City of Fort Worth website.

Dallas Arboretum
The Dallas Arboretum’s educational programming now offers DIY Garden Explorers, a spring learning kit created to engage with the garden from home. Each kit includes everything needed to complete five hands-on, family-friendly earth and life science activities at home plus five additional resources to use with items found around the house. There are enough supplies for one participant and full instructions, a parent guide, and additional supply list. A kit (picked up) with Zoom/video content is $90 or $65 for just the kit; shipping is available. More details and pricing at www.dallasarboretum.org/education/other-programs.

Reunion Tower
The iconic Dallas landmark will host a variety of fun spring break activities during the weeks of March 8 and March 15. (The tower will also play special spring-themed light shows on March 15, 16, 18, and 19 with St. Patrick's Day nestled in on March 17, of course.) Sample events include:

  • Make Me Monday: March 8 and 15 from 2:30-3:30 pm. Create an edible Reunion Tower-themed craft. (Additional $10 per General Admission ticket.)
  • Superhero Bingo: March 9 and 16 at 2:30 pm. Play Super Hero Bingo with a chance to win the grand prize - a child’s birthday party at Reunion Tower. Superhero costumes encouraged. Bingo is included in the purchase of a general admission ticket.
  • Weather Wednesdays: March 10 and 17 during business hours. With this self guided kit, children will learn about the weather from high in the sky and also get the chance to give the weather report from the GeO-Deck via a fun keepsake microphone. Share your videos on Instagram for a chance to get reposted from the Reunion Tower account. Additional $5 per General Admission ticket.
  • RoyalTea Thursday on TOP: March 11 and 18 from 2:30-3:30 pm. Dress up as a prince or princess or your fancy tea attire to enjoy tea, lemonade, and fancy (kid-friendly) finger foods. Kids will also receive a craft kit to make their own crown. Additional $12 per General Admission ticket.
  • Fun Friday: March 12 and 19 during business hours. Channel your inner creativity with activity sheets and craft materials on the GeO-Deck. Included in the purchase of a general admission ticket.

For more information, visit reuniontower.com/hours-events.