Ever have one of those trips that come out to be pretty cool even though you weren't really looking forward to it? Well, this weekend was exactly that, and even though we had other plans in mind, we ended up going to some pretty cool places with the kids. We had the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited and were excited to go places! The drive from Houston to Dallas was just as nice and smooth as our previous trip in the Highlander Hybrid, and we may be going there more often. There's lots to explore there! After all, 4 hours of driving is not bad at all, and make our trips to San Antonio and Austin feel rather short and quick. I was on a mission to connect with nature and share the beautiful outdoors with the kids, and we found some great places to do just that!

Throughout my teenage years, my parents would take my siblings and me camping, fishing, and biking through trails. It's also good to mention now that I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was a kid and being outdoors, grew into a passion for learning about wildlife and the environments around us. The outdoors is where most of my most memorable moments were made and now as a dad, it's also where many memories have been made with the kids.

One of the first places we stopped at was Pioneer Plaza in Downtown Dallas. It's a small green space spanning 4.2 acres of open public space that was converted from an empty parking lot in 1992 to one of the most visited places in Dallas. The main attraction here is are the 32 cowboys and 70 longhorns being driven down a hill and across a creek. I also learned that in 1927 the longhorn was in danger of extinction but the federal government placed 2 herds in wildlife refuges to preserve them. For a small space, Pioneer Plaza sure packs a lot of history!

Pioneer Plaza
1428 Young St. Dallas, TX 75202

Downtown Dallas, is one of my favorite skylines and amidst all the modern architecture and busy life, you can find small green spaces and plazas around the city. We didn't spend too much time here as it was getting close to rush hour so we went off to eat and find a place where the kids could run and burn off some energy.

The Following day we planned to go out to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and see the dinosaurs. That's all the kids are living for at the moment! We saw Mila's favorites, T-Rex and Brachiosaurus! There's a lot more to see and do there and there are some fun interactive activities. We got on an earthquake simulation plate, saw a tornado form, opened an amethyst geode, and raced a T-Rex!! This is a great place to hang out and learn with the kids and family. Plan to spend 3-4 hours here. Lots to do and see. Sharing our love for life that is, and used to be, with the kids can spark curiosity and interest to learn more. I think we will have lots of dinosaur talk for a while!

Perot Museum of Nature and Science
2201 N. Field St. Dallas, TX 75201

Our last day led us into Fair Park Children's Aquarium. This place is pretty cool and kid-friendly of course! There are great aquarium displays, fun for the kids, and plus, they have sharks! The kids hadn't really seen real sharks before this so this was a cool experience for them. We came across an injured sea turtle and explained to the kids that some turtles get hurt and need to be cared for before being released back to the wild. They're not even 3 yet so this may take a while for them to really understand. Once we walked around the aquarium and getting ready to head out, we saw that there was more to the place and walked outside to find a large tank with black tip reef sharks, zebra sharks and other large fish! There was also a rays tank where you could touch and feed them! This was all during the week so there were no lines or people bumping into you. It was as if we had the whole place to ourselves!

Children's Aquarium at Fair Park
1462 1st Ave Dallas, TX 75210

Dallas has a lot to offer and we are sure to be back! Even if it's just to race with the T-Rex again! Thanks to the RAV4, we've been able to go places we only briefly thought about, and now we have been able to live up to the #letsgopplaces hashtag. The kids are still young but as we spend more time outdoors, we can teach them the importance of wildlife conservation and caring for our environment.

What are some kid-friendly places we need to see and do in Dallas next time!??

Dallas Murals