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Looking for some spooky family time this Halloween season? Check out these hauntingly-good Dallas Halloween events

It’s time to get the kids into their Halloween costumes and head out on the town because this month is full of Halloween events for kids all over Dallas. We found Halloween craft opportunities, pumpkin carving festivals and even train rides with a Halloween theme. Get ready for the sugar rush as you explore the best Halloween events for kids in and near Dallas.


Dallas Halloween events

Meadows Museum Trick-or-Treat
Bring the kids in costume to a trick-or-treat event that allows your kids to explore the museum! There is a treat waiting for everyone at the end. Oct. 23. Event details

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Performing "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"
Bring the family to a performance of the "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" movie score, by the amazing John Williams, while the movie plays on the big screen. Oct. 28-30. Event details

Scare on the Square
Don't miss this super fun trunk-or-treat event! Your kiddos will have a blast and have tons of Halloween fun. Oct. 39. Event details

Boo on Ballard
Join the community of downtown Wylie, TX in a safe trick-or-treating event your kid will love. Kids can trick-or-treat through the downtown and also enjoy the live music and carnival games. Oct. 27. Event details.

Related: 12 Awesome Dallas-Inspired Halloween Costumes

Howl-O-Ween at Great Wolf Lodge
Adults and children alike will howl, hop and hustle around Great Wolf Lodge as the Grand Lobby transforms into a spooktacular extravaganza complete with pumpkins and festive decorations. During Howl-O-Ween, guests can partake in complimentary programs including Twisted & Tangled, where children follow the spinner and try to stay on their feet to get a treat and be declared the winner. Daily through Oct. 31. Event details

Screamin Green Hauntoween
Monster-ific crafts and special spooky happenings all month long include a themed scavenger hunt that’s fun for the whole family! Plus you'll enjoy trick-or-treating every weekend, all while exploring 26 exciting hands-on attractions. Daily through Oct. 31. Event details

Autumn at the Arboretum
Autumn at the Arboretum features breathtaking colors of fall including 150,000 autumn flowers accented by pumpkins, gourds and squash. The festival features the return of Mommy and Me Mondays and Tiny Tot Tuesdays, a hay bale maze, a pumpkin patch with pumpkins for purchase, music and more. Daily through Oct. 31. Event details

Brick or Treat Monster Party
Bring your little monsters to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center and get into the Halloween spirit with Brick-Or-Treat. Don your favorite costume and get ready for some spooky fun with family-friendly activities and costume contests. Daily through Oct. 31. Event details

Related: The Great Pumpkin: 11 Dallas Pumpkin Patches We Love

Kids Boo Fest at Six Flags Over Texas
Ride some family-friendly rides, Follow the trick-or-treat trail, and enjoy fall festivities like a corn maze and pumpkin painting. This event wouldn't be complete without fall favorite activities like spooky photo opportunities and plenty of frighteningly delicious treats! Select days Sept. 24-Oct. 30. Event details

Spooky Science Night at the Exploratorium
Join the Explorium for a Spooky Science Night filled with Tricks and Treats. There will be candy, slime and pumpkin catapults. Be sure to dress up in your costume! Oct. 22. Event details

Boo at the Fort Worth Zoo
Enjoy the amazing animal exhibits while enjoying music, costumed characters, entertainment, and treats along the way! Oct. 29-31. Event details

Trick 'r Treat Trains
Join the Grapevine Vintage Railroad for the Trick 'r Treat Train! Practice your trick-or-treat skills while in costume and enjoy our treats. Oct. 29. Event details


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Need something new to watch with the family? Take a look at the new Netflix kids’ shows and movies for October

With Halloween just around the corner, October is a great time to plan another cozy family movie night before we say hello to fall. Whether you like Halloween movies or not, Netflix has plenty of new and entertaining options for you this month. You’ll find shows like Oddballs will be available, along with favorites like Charlotte’s Web and Hotel Transylvania 2. The only question left is who’s going to pop the corn?

New Netflix Kids’ Shows and Movies Coming in October

new netflix kids shows and movies
Oddballs Season 1

Oct. 1: Barbie: It Takes Two (Season 2)
Follow Malibu and Brooklyn as they face challenges as friends and learn that sometimes it takes more than two.

Oct. 1: Charlotte's Web
A pig named Wilbur makes friends with a Spider named Charlotte who helps save his life.

Oct. 3: Chip and Potato (Season 4)
Chip faces new adventures in kindergarten all with the help of her pal, Potato.

Oct. 7: Oddballs (Season 1)
James, a boy shaped as a bubble, runs into predicaments and adventures with his friends in this kids comedy show.

Oct. 9: Missing Link
Tired of living alone, Mr. Link, a huge, furry creature, recruits an explorer and an adventurer to accompany him to Shangri-La, but their journey does not turn out as expected.

Related: 21 Family Movies That Celebrate Diversity

new netflix kids show and movies
Wendell & Wild on Netflix

Oct. 10: Lego Ninjago (Season 4-Part 2)
Enjoy another part to season 4 of one of your kids' favorite shows.

Oct. 14: The Curse of Bridge Hollow
A Halloween-hating father and his daughter team up when their new town has been taken over by an evil spirit.

Oct. 15: Blippi's Spooky Spell Halloween
Enjoy this Halloween special set in Blippi's universe.

Oct. 17: Waffles + Mochi's Restaurant (season 2)
Follow your favorite characters as they explore their passion for food with help from Mrs. Obama and world-renowned chefs.

Oct. 19: The School for Good and Evil
Best friends Sophie and Agatha find their friendship tested after they're both allowed admission to an enchanted school that trains heroes and villains.

Oct. 22: LOL Surprise! Winter Fashion Show
Enjoy this winter fashion show special.

Oct. 25: Barbie Epic Road Trip
Check out this fun Barbie adventure!

Oct. 27: Daniel Spellbound (Season 1)
Daniel discovers a rare artifact while searching for magical items and suddenly the magical world becomes unstable.

Oct. 27: Hotel Transylvania 2
Dracula is worried that his half-human, half-vampire grandson isn't showing his vampire side and creates a "monster-in-training" boot camp for him.

Oct. 28: Wendell & Wild
Two scheming demons get help from a teen so that they can leave the Underworld and run amok in the Land of Living.

Kids’ Titles Leaving Netflix in October

Monster House

Stuart Little 2

Sofia the First



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One of these amazing Dallas pumpkin patches has just what you need for the fall season

The best part of fall is heading to the local pumpkin patch to pick a pumpkin with your kids. These Dallas pumpkin patches are just a short drive from the city center, but you’ll feel far away in farmland with corn mazes, hayrides and apple cider donuts. Get your fill of fall and Halloween at one of the best pumpkin patches for kids near Dallas.

Dallas pumpkin patches
Marius Ciocirlan on Unsplash

The Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch
This spot at the Double Oak Ranch offers hundreds of pumpkins, corn stalks, hay bales and tasty autumnal refreshments for visitors. You pay for parking here ($5 weekdays, $10 weekends) and then all of the on-site activities are free. The kids will especially love the merry-go-round and the hay bale maze.

5100 Cross Timbers Rd.
Flower Mound, TX

St. James Pumpkin Patch
This pumpkin patch tops our list for convenience. Opening Oct. 1, this no-frills spot offers hundreds of pumpkin for sale and the proceeds support the church's youth group.

9845 McCree Rd.
Dallas, TX

Pumpkins on the Prairie
Come enjoy a vibrant pumpkin patch busy with face painting, shaved ice, and more! On Oct. 15, look out for the Fall Craft Night and the Oct. 23 Fall Festival event. There is no entry fee to the pumpkin patch, but some items and activities do have costs.

3521 Main St.
Frisco, TX

Related: 27 Not-Too-Spooky Songs for Your Halloween Playlist

Olivia Bauso on Unsplash

Blase Family Farm
With a petting zoo, a hay maze, a hay ride, and more, there are lots of fun things to do at the Blase Family Farm Pumpkin Patch! ​​Monday-Friday admission includes the petting zoo, hayride, and a small pumpkin. Saturday and Sunday admission includes the petting zoo, hayride, and a hot dog. Reservations are required.

1232 E. Fork Rd.
Rockwall, TX

Team Family Farm Pumpkin Patch
Come make amazing fall memories at the Team Family Farms Pumpkin Patch Festival! You'll find activities like barrel train rides, hay mazes, games, music and animal feeding. Don't forget to find your perfect pumpkin in the pumpkin patch. You'll have the opportunity to come back during the holidays for Christmas on the farm!

1042 W. Sherman Dr.
Aubrey, TX

5G Farm Pumpkin Patch
This is the place to choose your favorite pumpkin! Here you'll find everything from snow cones, kettle corn, baked goods, handmade crafts, candles, soaps, canned goods and honey. The kids will love the corn maze, bounce house, animal feeding, tetherball and food stations. Admission and parking are free and dog are welcome. 

6601 County Rd.
McKinney, TX

Related: DFW’s Best U-Pick Farms for Apples, Berries, Flowers & More

Autumn in the Arboretum
For the 15th year, Autumn at the Arboretum highlights the nationally-acclaimed Pumpkin Village featuring pumpkin houses and creative displays utilizing more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. More of a pumpkin display than a traditional pumpkin patch, you can visit the Children's Adventure Garden and enjoy the live performances on the weekends. Wednesdays are BOGO day and Oct. 31-Nov. 1 is Family Fun Weekend.

8525 Garland Rd.
Dallas, TX

Mainstay Farm Park
You can head to Mainstay Farm Park in Cleburne to jump on the inflatable pillow, race your buddies in the pedal cars and pose for pics in front of the pumpkin house. You can even take a free ride down the Texas Tubin' Hill Slide. There are loads of pumpkins here and you can even come back at the end of the season to watch them smash those remaining at their annual Pumpkin Smash!

1004 W. Bethesda Rd.
Cleburne, TX

Dallas pumpkin patches
saira on Unsplash

YesterLand Farm Pumpkin Patch
If you want a full-day farm experience, this is the spot for you. In addition to a large pumpkin patch, YesterLand Farm has a kiddie roller coaster, pumpkin houses, a candy cannon and three-acre corn maze. Come on Friday or Saturday night in October and you'll have to stay for the fireworks!

15410 Interstate 20
Canton, TX

The Big Orange Pumpkin Farm at Preston Trail Farms
Through November 23, this farm will offer visitors a chance to experience blossoming small green pumpkins right on the vine in the pumpkin patch, hayrides, a six-foot hay maze and a petting farm for a taste of the country life. Set along the historic Shawnee Trail, this year-round destination farm offers access to local, seasonal produce and an escape to a simpler and more sustainable lifestyle.

15102 TX-289
Gunter, TX

Hall's Pumpkin Farm
Located in historic Grapevine, this farm is nestled between Dallas and Ft. Worth, just west of DFW airport. Come out to pick one of their hundreds of pumpkins and then get lost in the massive corn maze. When the little legs get tired, take a hay ride around the property, pulled by a farm tractor. Cash only. 

3420 Hall Johnson Rd.
Grapevine, TX





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From a DJ booth for the big kids to butterfly wings for the littles, you can use your old cardboard boxes to create these unique Halloween costumes

It’s that time of year! The weather has that autumn chill, everything is pumpkin-flavored (just look at TJ’s latest pumpkin offerings!), and the kids are buzzing with family costume ideas. Instead of breaking your budget on a store-bought costume, why not reuse those Amazon boxes you have stashed away? They’re called “boxtumes,” and with just a little crafty inspiration and your child’s imagination, you can create any number of cardboard box costumes that will make for a happy Halloween. Looking for some more DIY inspiration? Check out these Halloween crafts for kids, super-cool pumpkin carving stencils (your neighbors will flip!), and haunted Halloween decorations.

A girl has used a box to create a vending machine Halloween costume
Christy Palmer via Thrifty and Thriving

Vending Machine

This is an easy, and great idea for using up all those boxes from Amazon! Just be warned— this cool costume could have other trick-or-treaters trying to get the candy to dispense. A Slinky, paint, and a few other items are all you’ll need to make your version of this tasty get-up. Head over to Thrifty and Thriving to get the entire tutorial.


A boy dressed up like a DJ booth using an old box
Kate Loweth


Snag a shirt from your favorite band, some headphones, and some chains and you'll be on your way to building a fantastic DJ costume. Use your box to make the turntable and grab a record from Goodwill. Super easy! 

Related: 34 Incredible Homemade Halloween Costumes for Kids

Mixtape & Rock Star

We love this sibling costume idea that has you cutting a mixtape and guitar out of boxes. Bonus: your kids can wear comfy clothes for the rest of the costume which means you'll definitely be winning at Halloween. 

A boy is dressed up for Halloween in a box costume that makes his look like french fries
Jen Allyson via The Project Girl

An Order of Fries

Yum! A fab nod at fast food, this French fry costume is purely adorable. Seriously. It goes from plain ol’ cardboard to a cool costume with just a few artsy steps. Get the full how-to from The Project Girl.

A girl is dressed up in a box for Halloween to look like a pink macron
Studio DIY

A Macaron

Oui, oui, your child is a fabulously French macaron. This scrumptious costume looks good enough to eat. Sadly, you can't, but it’s fun to create and your child will get a kick out of being their favorite dessert. Check out the design from Studio DIY.



Your little ones will love painting these Minecraft heads for their Halloween costumes this year. 

A boy uses an Amazon box to create a Halloween costume
Kate Loweth

A Kid in a Box

This illusion costume is super fun and easy to build. Just use a mask from last year and a hoodie to create the creature who is carrying you. Then you get to be carried in the box. Super fun! 

Paper Dolls

We love this creative option that would be super easy to cut out and decorate this Halloween! 


A little girl is dressed up for Halloween like an Xray using a cardboard box
Rachael Burgess


How cute is this little x-ray costume? Not only is the skeleton totally on point for Halloween, but have a sibling or a parent dress up as a doctor, and boom—it's a family costume. Find out how to make one with your Amazon box by heading over to Rachael Burgess

Two girls are dressed in matching Halloween costumes made of cardboard that make them look like a pair of die
Mandy Beyeler via Sugar Bee Crafts

A Pair of Dice

Try your luck at making a set of dice this Halloween. Perfect for twins or BFFs, one of the best things about this costume is that it doesn't take a ton of supplies to make. Get the tutorial over at Sugar Bee Crafts

A boy is dressed as a dragon for Halloween using a cardboard box
Liska Meyers via Adventure in a Box

A Daring Dino

Go Jurassic this Halloween with an adorable dinosaur cardboard box Halloween costume. Your kiddo can fit inside the box, making it easy to wear (in other words, no tight suits or itchy head coverings that your tot will surely refuse to even touch). And bonus, your kiddos can paint their dino any way they want. Get the full instructions from Adventure In a Box.



Get yourself some foil and craft a UFO out of those cardboard boxes for an out-of-this-world costume! 

Related: 27 Family Halloween Costume Ideas to Copy This Year

A girl is dressed up like a letter using a cardboard box
Studio DIY

An Envelope

Someone has mail. No, not email—a real letter that’s made from paper. Okay, so the letter isn’t exactly all paper and pen marks. It’s cardboard! With a box and some creativity, you can build your child a cute airmail costume. Get the details from Studio DIY.


Thomas the Train

Your preschooler can’t stop going on and on about his favorite little blue engine. He's totally into Thomas the Train and is begging (like every 30 seconds) for a costume that features his fave. Well, here’s where this costume from Little Red Window comes in. It’s artsy, fun, and something you can DIY at home.



You’ve seen Disney’s Planes something like a trillion times. And now your child wants to play one of the roles. For Halloween, that is. Don’t worry about finding a ready-made L’il Dipper costume at the mall (or online). Check out this cardboard box version from Desert Chica.


Fairy wings made from a cardboard box are worn by a little girl for Halloween
The Sweetest Occasion

Cardboard Wings

Whether it’s princesses, fairies, or butterflies that interest your child, this cardboard costume is absolutely everything. It’s super simple, but still artsy enough to get your creative kid into the crafty creation process. Learn how to turn your old boxes into a crown and beautiful butterfly wings over at The Sweetest Occasion.


Related: 23 Last-Minute Costumes You Can Totally Pull Off

A cardboard box is painting red to look like a fire engine and is worn by a little boy for Halloween
Repeat Crafter Me

Fire Truck

You don’t have to keep the cardboard for the costume itself. This sweet firefighter outfit is easy to make—you can probably pick plenty of items from the dress-up bin to use. Here’s where the cardboard comes in. Use it to create the cutest fire truck wagon ever! Get the details from Repeat Crafter Me.





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There’s something about a cabin in the woods that restores your family’s energy

Ready to escape the world and spend some time in nature? We get it. Book yourself (and the kids) a few days at a cozy cabin in the woods to take some time away from the screens and just relax among the trees. This list has family-friendly cabins across the U.S. including Gatlinburg cabins, cabins in the Rocky Mountains, cabins near lakes, and even some dog-friendly cabins. Nature awaits—what are you waiting for?

Pacific Northwest Cabin Rentals

via Airbnb

Hood Canal Cabin—Hoopdsport, WA

This Airbnb rental on the Hood Canal has everything a PNW vacation home should. Kayaks and rowboats (with lifejackets too!) are available for use on the over 100 feet of private waterfront just outside the home. Spend your days digging for clams and oysters nearby; then bring them back to grill on the deck while you watch the sun set. Bring fixings for s’mores and head down to the fire pit to enjoy those with the kids once dinner’s over. The house is close to the Olympic National Park entrance (remember your park pass) and Lake Cushman activities, too. Weekend or week … you’ll find plenty to do.

Sleeps: 5 guests 
Cost: $252/night


Architectural Retreat—Seattle, WA

If you’ve got a little LEGO lover in the fam, he or she is going to think everything about this house is awesome! The bright and funky architectural home (Wendell Lovett) includes LEGO design elements in the kitchen and LEGO wall art (using real bricks!), as well as plenty of open space and light-filled rooms. Parents and kiddos alike will love the A-frame design and spots of bright colors and stylish furnishings around every corner.

Sleeps: 8 
Cost: $509/night

Related: Cozy Up: 10 Nearby Vacation Rentals to Make You Feel at Home


The Woodlands Cabin—Sandy, OR

The Woodlands House sits on five acres of wooded property. It is a beautiful 3 bedroom home (plus kids' room) with two outdoor decks surrounded by beautiful trees. It's perfect for getaways or a trip to the mountains, as it's a 25-minute drive from Mount Hood skiing, 15-minutes from hikes, and only 45 min from PDX.

The large deck off the main level that overlooks a trickling stream, is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee and watch deer come to the water for a drink. The deck also features a large 6-person hot tub, that is perfect to soak your bones after a day of skiing or hiking.

Sleeps: 7
Cost: $506/night


Waterfront Cabin—Washougal, WA

This secluded, riverfront cabin sits on a full wooded acre with private access to the Washougal River. Prepare dinner in the well-appointed kitchen and then lounge by the wood stove. This home is located just 40 miles northeast of Portland and only 12 miles from downtown Washougal. The surrounding forest is filled with native northwestern plants and old-growth trees, some of which are more than 300 years old. A wide variety of outdoor activities are possible here, yet the setting itself is secluded and free from the noise and distractions of everyday life.

Sleeps: 7
Cost: $268/night

Related: Portland’s Wonderfully Weird Family-Friendly Airbnbs

Cabin Rentals in Northern California


Tahoe Donner Basecamp—Truckee, CA

You will love the hygge vibe at this cozy cabin in the Tahoe Donner community. You'll find tons of spots for everyone to sleep in and a fire pit for nights under the stars. The kitchen has everything you'll need to cook for your crew and there are even extra winter clothes if you've forgotten something. The kids will especially love the game room in the basement. 

Sleeps: 10
Cost: $285/night


Gold Country Round House with Waterfall—Grass Valley, CA

This brand-new house is going to be your new favorite family destination. Its unique round shape provides views for miles of the five-acre property. You'll find a rushing creek, a pond, and a waterfall, plus a hot tub on the deck. Cook up a meal in the gourmet kitchen and enjoy all the Gold Country beauty.

Sleeps: 11
Cost: $252/night


Arnold House in the Trees—Arnold, CA

This spot would be a great option to bring your whole crew as it comfortably sleeps up to 14 people. The two-story deck will be everyone's favorite and the newly renovated kitchen has everything you need. Nearby attractions include the Stanislaus River, the quirky town of Murphys, Bear Valley ski area, and Big Trees State Park. There are tons of tubing spots nearby in the winter and the cabin has the gear you can borrow. 

Sleeps: 11
Cost: $199/night

Related: 15 Spots for Your Next Airbnb Stay Near the Bay Area

Cabin Rentals in Southern California


Mountain Retreat—Topanga, CA

Tucked away in the hills of Topanga, this clean and character-filled 3-bedroom home offers mountain views, multiple patios and a backyard wooded path to explore. The third bedroom has two built-in platform twin beds perfect for kiddos who will feel like they're sleeping in their own little treehouse. 

Cost: $814/night


Pineland Chalet—Wrightwood, CA

A short,  leisurely drive through the pine tree-lined mountain road welcomes you to Pineland Chalet. You arrive and are greeted with the smell of vanilla-scented pines. This adorably decorated mountain cabin sleeps 8, with 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. 

If the mountains are your kind of playground, you can fulfill your outdoor adventure needs with hiking, zip-lining, or playing 18 holes of disc golf in the summer season. In the winter months, let your downhill dreams take flight with skiing, snowboarding, or inner-tubing at Southern California’s closest and most popular winter resort, Mountain High.

Sleeps: 8
: $276/night

best winter cozy cabin

Vintage Cabin With Private Sledding Hill—Big Bear

This charming little log cabin is everything you'd want from a spot in Big Bear: Warm and cozy, with the sort of simple charm that makes you want to snuggle up by the fire after a day of snow play. Built by hand from 1949 through 1951, the cabin has original kitchen appliances and light fixtures, a large custom wood burning fireplace and vintage decor. Outside, kids can swing on the tree swing, sled in the private back yard or climb into the treehouse. It's also just a short drive to the ski slopes and local tubing destinations. 

Bonus: Got pets? There's no need to leave your pup at home as the cabin is pet-friendly (and stay for free!). 

Sleeps: 5
Cost: $545/night

Related: All the Reasons Why Big Bear Is a Family-Favorite Destination

best cozy cabin near LA

Luxurious Ski Condo—Mammoth

When you've got a whole brood of kids to bundle up and get out the door, anything that makes things simpler is worth it. Enter: This 2,000-square-foot condo located a few feet from the Canyon Lodge Ski Lifts and Gondolas is well worth the price tag. Aside from easy access to the slopes, this place has luxurious furnishings, stainless steel appliances, and an "expansive bunkroom" for the kids with two plush bunk beds (both bottom bunks have queen-size mattresses!). There's also a private patio with a hot tub, fire pit, barbecue and pizza oven. 

Sleeps: 10
: $772/night

Related: The Ultimate Family Guide to Skiing in Mammoth with Kids

cozy cabin near LA

Boulder Lodge—Idyllwild

Kids will get a kick out of the fact there are actual boulders INSIDE this gorgeous Idyllwild home. Just a 2-minute drive to the center of the town of Idyllwild, the "Boulder Lodge" features 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a loft with a daybed—plus two decks with amazing mountain views and plenty of space for outdoor dining and star gazing. Stroll the grounds outside to find a full teepee, a hammock, and a six-person hot tub. 

Bonus: The home is located just across from the Idyllwild Nature Center, which offers guided tours and educational opportunities for visitors of all ages. 

Sleeps: 6
Cost: $471/night

Related: 10 Cozy Cabins Near LA for Families in Search of Winter

Cabin Rentals in the Southwest


Lazy Bear Cabin—Crown King, AZ

This beautiful cozy cabin is nestled on a hillside just 1 mile from the town of Crown King. Settled in the Sunny South neighborhood this house has beautiful views from every location on the wrap-around deck. Cook up some dinner on the BBQ and enjoy the picturesque property. 

Sleeps: 8
Cost: $156/night


Windy Rock Lodge—Sedona, AZ

Windy Rock Lodge is found in the heart of Oak Creek Canyon, bordered by the babbling Oak Creek and lush Coconino National Forest. Huge windows reveal the majestic mountains and Ponderosa Pines. This rustic cabin is crafted from natural pine tree beams found on the property and local river rock. The experience here comes with the charms of forest life with views like you've never seen before. 

Sleeps: 8
Cost: $156/night


Pedernales Cabin at A-Frame Ranch—Fredericksburg, TX

The Pedernales Cabin at A-Frame Ranch is a brand new, modern A-frame cabin set on 17 beautiful acres right on the edge of charming Fredericksburg, TX. This is a place to truly unwind and feel like you’re out in the country while being less than a 10-minute drive to Main Street. The area has so much to offer, from dance halls and wineries to gourmet restaurants and hiking. Or stay in the entire weekend—sit back on the deck while gazing at the stars and then watch the deer go by in the morning!

Sleeps: 9
Cost: $265/night

Related: All the Best Things to Do with Kids in Fredericksburg, TX

Cabin Rentals in the Midwest


Historic Log Cabin by the Bay—Ellison Bay, WI

"Doc's Hideaway" sits at the tip of the Door County peninsula in beautiful Gills Rock, surrounded by lush woods on one side and the picturesque Bay and bluffs on the other. This mid-1800s cabin has been lovingly renovated (admire the character of the original hand-scraped wood walls and ceiling beams) with all the amenities and comforts of home. Cabin guests enjoy lake access and a private waterfront patio and seating area (with two kayaks provided).

Sleeps: 6
Cost: $180/night

Related: Outdoor Adventure Awaits in Door County, Wisconsin


Cozy Little Cabin on the Lake—Johnsburg, IL

This cabin is perfect for your next totally off-grid family adventure. You'll find some great walleye fishing right outside your door where Pistake Lake meets Fox River. There's no TV or internet so be ready to relax as a family. 

Sleeps: 5
Cost: $245/night

Large Rural Cabin | Bayard, IA

This secluded cabin sleeps 16 and is perfect for your next family gathering. Grill at the outdoor BBQ or cook up a meal in one of the cabin's two kitchens. There are six bedrooms and plenty of outdoor space for exploring.

Sleeps: 16
Cost: $349/night



Mountain View Cabin—Bailey, CO

Unbelievable views from the massive upper and lower decks + hot tub will make this spot a family favorite. Deer watch through picture windows & enjoy the seclusion. This family-friendly home feels FAR from everything but is only a few minutes off the main road. The cabin includes a high chair, two pack-n-plays, a baby gate, and numerous toys/accessories. If your kids happen to be of the furry variety, our home is dog-friendly and equipped with a large dog bed and pet bowls. 

Sleeps: 8
Cost: $321/night

Cabin Rentals in the Southeast


Kilo Cabin—Covington, GA

Fall asleep to the murmur of crickets and wake up to birdsong at Kilo Cabin. You’ll feel like you’re deep in the mountains, but you're only 40 minutes from downtown Atlanta, 50 minutes from the airport, and a straight shot 15 minutes south of I-20. You can expect to have solitude and lots of wildlife at this family cabin. 

Sleeps: 10
Cost: $176/night

airbnb cabins for families

Majestic Mountain Retreat—Sevierville, TN

This cabin offers a charming and private Smoky Mountain escape. The peacefulness and solitude provide all the privacy you need for a break from the stress of the real world with your family. The cabin setting is quiet with the only noise being the Dollywood train whistle and local wildlife going about their day. The cabin is surrounded by woods on all sides, except of course for the clearing of the view. 

Sleeps: 4
Cost: $255/night

Related: These Cozy Cabins Are Perfect for Your Next Smoky Mountains Visit


The Sanctuary—Vesuvius, VA

Perched up high on nearly 60 acres, you are sure to get fresh air and the rest you are searching for! The property is only 4 miles to Wintergreen, 6 miles to Sherando Lake and backs up to the Blue Ridge Parkway there are plenty of things to do or just relax and enjoy the crickets and stars.  

Sleeps: 8
Cost: $364/night

Cabin Rentals in the Northeast


The Dogtown Cabin at Applecart Farm—Rockport, MA

Applecart Farm is one of the most private residential properties in Rockport. The property is surrounded by close to 2500 acres of protected woodlands and miles of trails but is only a 5-minute walk to the train station and a 10-minute walk to downtown Rockport. Kids will love visiting with the friendly miniature horses that live on the property.

Sleeps: 5
: $306/night


The Little Lake Cabin—New Fairfield, CT

Settle in at this New Fairfield, CT cabin across from Candlewood Lake and a two-minute drive from Squantz Pond State Park. This little house has stylish touches all around, as well as a fire pit and patio, outdoor shower and even an inflatable hot tub! 

Sleeps: 5


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These crowd-pleasing Dallas pizza places are sure to satisfy everyone’s cravings

Say “Texas food” and your mind probably jumps to BBQ, Tex-Mex, or chicken fried steak. Although those are all solid choices, Texas is no slouch when it comes to great pies. Anyone who’s ever had a picky kid or struggled to find something that makes everyone in the family happy knows the solution is always (well, at least usually) pizza.

Many of the Dallas-based pizza parlors that are featured in this list offer unique and even upscale topping combos that might not appeal to all kids, but have no fear: You can get a basic cheese and pepperoni pizza just about anywhere. In fact, most of the best places to get pizza in Dallas also serve some pasta or other Italian options even if someone in your group is shockingly not wanting ‘za. What’s more, many have bars or serve beer and wine—a good “grownup drink” might be exactly what Mom and Dad are looking for.

Insider Tip: Kids’ menus are mentioned if the pizza place has a dedicated menu for children. Otherwise, order off the regular menu for all.

Cane Rosso
These 14-inch pizzas are prepared in the Neopolitan style and are cooked in less than 90 seconds in a 900-degree oven. There’s a robust selection of gourmet pizzas divided into “red” and “white” sections as well as build-your-own and gluten-free crust options. The pies have fun names (ahem, Jabroni) that might not be 100-percent appropriate for little ears.

Cane Rosso’s kid’s menu is geared toward younger palates, offering familiar cheese and pepperoni pizzas and pasta with butter, parmesan, or tomato sauce. There’s also a separate brunch menu with non-pizza delights such as breakfast tacos and chicken and waffles. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Various locations across the Dallas Fort Worth metro area, with menus that vary by location.

Serious Pizza
When a pizza place makes 30-inch pies you can hardly fit in your car, you know there’s no playing around. Serious Pizza prides itself on being outrageous and having outrageously good pizza. Kids (especially kids with serious appetites) will find the idea of having a giant slice of pizza to be super fun.

Specialty and build-your-own pizzas come in three sizes: large (18-inch), extra large (24-inch), and seriously large (30-inch). The list of specialty pizzas is pretty standard: buffalo chicken, Margherita, Philly cheesesteak, and other favorites. There are four vegetarian specialty pizzas, including one made with Beyond Sausage. Note: Serious Pizza does not accept cash.

2807 Elm St.
Dallas, TX

2728 W. 7th St.
Fort Worth, TX

2971 S. Hwy 161
Grand Prairie, TX

Old Hag’s
Old Hag’s Pizza is named for the owner’s mother, Becky, at her request. This spot has a huge variety of pizza crusts—including gluten-free—and toppings, and guests can choose from spicy or mild pizza sauce. They offer New York-style and pan-style pizzas.

There’s a lid for every pot here. From gourmet combinations like spinach, walnuts, and Gorgonzola to more traditional meat and cheese pizzas, if there’s not something that appeals to you on the menu, you can build your own. They also serve fully vegan pizza.

1315 W. Davis St.
Dallas, TX

359 Lake Park Rd.
Lewisville, TX

Campisi’s pizzas come in three sizes—small, medium, and large—with a robust list of toppings for building your own pizza. There’s also a small menu of specialty pizzas that includes a Greek pizza with olives and feta and a BBQ chicken pizza topped with red onions and ranch. The kid’s menu has a variety of simple pastas, individual pizzas, and chicken fingers.

Fun fact: Campisi’s claims to be not only Texas’ first pizzeria but that Texas’ first pizza was made in their original Mockingbird Lane location. True or not, Campisi’s and its “OG Texas pizza” deserves a spot on your list of Dallas places to get pizza.

Various locations across the Dallas Fort Worth metro area, with menus that vary by location.

Related: 20 Must-Do Fall Family Activities in Dallas

No matter what you like on your pizza, starting with Zalat’s housemade crust and marinara sauce gives you a great foundation. From there, choose old standbys like cheese and pepperoni or step it up with something more adventurous, like Nashville hot chicken and pickles or the Sweet Revenge, topped with bacon jam and hot honey.

Zalat’s pizzas come in two sizes: 14-inch large and 18-inch giant. They offer gluten-free crusts and vegan cheese options. All crusts are fully vegan.

Various locations across the Dallas Fort Worth metro area, with menus that vary by location.

Yonker’s Pizza
The motto of Yonker’s Pizza is: “Born in Yonkers. Perfected in Dallas.” These New York-style pizzas are made with hand-tossed dough. Although they mainly offer 18-inch pizzas, there are several options for 10-inch specialty pies if you want something a little more elevated. The Story City Pizza is topped with ricotta, truffle oil, pepperoni, and Italian sausage. The Great Bambino, topped with meatballs, Italian beef, hamburger, Italian sausage, and pepperoni, is a must for any true meat lover. Cauliflower crust is available on request at no extra charge.

8421 Westchester Dr.
Dallas, TX

Fireside Pies
If your crew is game for more adventurous pizzas, Fireside Pies just might be your place. In addition to build your own pizza with standard toppings, Fireside’s menu includes unique pies such as burrata pesto and lamb sausage. The current menu lists a Hatch taco pie, available for a limited time. (Hatch chili pepper season is usually short, from early August to mid-October.) Gluten-free and cauliflower crusts are available for an upcharge.

Fireside Pies also has a weekend brunch menu that includes brioche French toast and bacon and avocado frittata.

2820 N. Henderson Ave.
Dallas, TX

6750 Abrams Rd.
Dallas, TX

1285 S. Main St.
Grapevine, TX

Greenville Avenue Pizza Co.
Greenville Avenue Pizza Co. is all about “slaying” the pizza experience. One of the most unique things about Greenville Avenue Pizza Co. is the wide availability of pizza by the slice and the many options for calzones. Also, their menu includes a build-your-own section with several creative options for drizzles and sauces, cheeses, and seasonings as well as veggies and protein options. Their choices of toppings include hot honey, pesto, feta, gouda, and several other things you don’t typically see on a pizza menu. There’s also a robust selection of Pizza Slayer Classics, with a preset mix of toppings. Because most topping choices are atypical, read the menu carefully beforehand to make sure this is the right pizza place for your little eaters.

1923 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX

Eno’s Pizza Tavern
Eno’s signature pizzas feature a list of interesting combos such as the Pineapple Fresca (pineapple, arugula, parmesan, jalapeno, and country ham) and the Central Pie (bacon, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and rosemary). They offer gluten-free crusts for an upcharge of $6.50.

You can also order an iPie Your Way, which is a plain mozzarella and tomato pizza with a list of add-ons. The add-ons are priced in tiers with toppings like vegetables and herbs on the lower end and premium meats (Texas beef and boar meatballs) and premium cheeses (feta and fresh mozzarella) being pricier.

407 N. Bishop Ave.
Dallas, TX

215 S. Bois D’Arc St.
Forney, TX

3111 Olympus Blvd.
Coppell, TX

DL Mack’s
While DL Mack’s doesn’t tout itself as a pizza place, Chicago-style cracker crust pizza is one of their specialties, and it’s so good that it deserves a place on this list. Specialty pizzas include The Caprese (Campari tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic glaze) and the Harry Caray Special (pepperoni, fresh jalapenos, and spicy ranch), plus a handful of other choices.

6501 Hillcrest Ave.
Dallas, TX

10720 Preston Rd.
Dallas, TX

Wood-fired Neapolitan pizza is the specialty at BellaTrino. Their pizzas run from the classic (pepperoni with fresh mozzarella and Margherita) to the inventive (pancetta with candied figs.) Although the ‘za selection is relatively small, there are other Italian classics (pasta dishes, calzones, and salads) to make up for it.

920 S Harwood St.
Dallas, TX

Related: Dallas Pumpkin Patches You Are Going to Want to Visit Every Year

Pie Tap
The Pie Tap’s pizza dough is made from naturally fermented dough—no commercial yeast and no sugar added. A wide variety of kid-pleasing pies are available, including three meatless pizza options and delightfully unique toppings like house-made fennel sausage. The dedicated kids’ menu includes familiar fare such as cheese and pepperoni pizza, chicken strips, and macaroni and cheese. Gluten-friendly pizzas are available for $4 extra.

The Pie Tap also has a dedicated weekend brunch menu, serving dishes such as chicken and biscuits and goat cheese and, egg white omelet made with Texas goat cheese.

1212 Oak Lawn Ave.
Dallas, TX

2708 N. Henderson Ave.
Dallas, TX

1900 Preston Rd.
Plano, TX

5100 Belt Line Rd.
Dallas, TX

Big appetite? Come to Delucca’s, which serves their pizza gaucho style—meaning, various pizzas and other dishes are circulated throughout the dining room and guests take whatever looks good to them. If you’ve ever dined at a Brazilian steakhouse, it’s the same concept, only with pizza. You’ll pay a fixed price for as much pizza as you can hold.

The online menu lists the types of pizzas (and dessert pizzas, too!) you can expect to find. Although there is a classic pepperoni and a four cheese, most of the pizzas run toward the gourmet and elevated: Garlic picanha and chicken tikka masala are some of the varieties you’re likely to find. Most pizzas and other dishes can be made vegetarian, lactose-free, or gluten-free upon request.

1628 Oak Lawn Ave.
Dallas, TX

3010 S. Hulen St.
Fort Worth, TX

8240 Preston Rd.
Plano, TX

2001 W Southlake Blvd.
Southlake, TX

The Chicago-style thin crust pizza at Louie’s is a carefully guarded secret, as is the housemade sauce. Pizzas are available in small (12-inch) and large (13-inch) and are reasonably priced. There are no on-menu specialty pizzas at Louie’s. Instead, the available toppings and their respective prices are listed on the menu, so guests can order what they want. Although pizza is just a small part of Louie’s menu—there are a plethora of other food options—it’s what Louie’s is best known for.

1839 N. Henderson Ave.
Dallas, TX

i Fratelli
The motto of this robust Texas chain is “never trust a round pizza.” Not quite oval, not quite square, and definitely not round, these pizzas have been one of the most beloved Texas pizza joints for more than 30 years.

i Fratelli’s current menu includes six specialty pizzas and options to build your own. Popular pies include the Staff Special (grilled chicken, artichokes, and Roma tomatoes) and the Carne Classico, which has all the meats, including Canadian bacon, meatballs, and Italian sausage.

Various locations throughout Texas with most in the Dallas Fort Worth metro area. The published menu is the same across all i Fratelli’s locations.



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Want to make the most of your family’s experience at the State Fair of Texas? These are the insider tips you need to know before you go

We’ve all heard that iconic saying, “everything is bigger in Texas.” Well, nothing matches that description quite like the State Fair of Texas. It’s big, it’s loud, and it’s full of Texas state pride. Although these fairs can be found in every state across the country, Texans would argue there is no fair like the State Fair of Texas. And we have to agree! After all, where else will you find Big Tex, a 55-foot-tall cowboy that welcomed nearly 2.2 million fairgoers in 2021?!

Are you ready for that sweet aroma of funnel cakes and the crunch of a crispy corn dog? How does seeing the Dallas city skyline from the state’s largest ferris wheel sound? Perhaps you are interested in visiting the world’s largest collection of Art Deco structures featuring educational exhibits, agricultural activities, and cultural centers?

Because any experience is different with kids, we did our research and compiled all the family-friendly insider tips that will elevate your State Fair of Texas experience. Whether you want the scoop on discounted tickets or can’t-miss rides, we’ve got it covered.

When is the State Fair of Texas?

If you want a near month-long extravaganza of fair-going fun, the Lone Star State has you covered. Earning the title of the longest-running fair in the nation, you can enjoy the State Fair of Texas for 24 consecutive days from Sep. 30 through Oct. 23.

How much are tickets to the State Fair of Texas?

There are many different ticketing options, but a typical premium one-day admission ticket costs $24. However, there is no need to ever pay full price for a one-day admission ticket with the numerous discounted offers available, each with various savings amounts and stipulations. Discounts are compiled into two categories: day-specific or any-day discounts. You can also purchase tickets at a discounted group rate for parties of more than 25 people.

The best savings take planning. Read the fine print and pay close attention to all the details of each discount offer. For example, Dr. Pepper Value Days requires an exclusive promotional code only given to Big Tex Insiders, and the Opening Day Discount and Feed the Need Wednesdays are dependent on a food donation.

Insider Tip: For the best value, fair enthusiasts should purchase a season pass, which costs $50 online. Compared to general admission prices, it—hands down—will pay for itself in no time.

When should my family visit the State Fair of Texas?

This question can best be answered by outlining which days you should not go to the Fair.

The fairgrounds are referred to as Fair Park, and Fair Park is home to the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium where two huge rivalry football games bring an enormous amount of people to the Fair. Unless you are expressly there for football and don’t mind shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, we suggest avoiding game days.

The State Fair Classic takes place on Sat., Oct. 1, while the AT&T Red River Showdown is set for Sat., Oct. 8.

Insider Tip: If your schedule only allows you to visit the Fair on a Saturday, shoot for Oct. 15. If you have more flexibility, weekdays are always less attended, and the very first week of the Fair has the fewest crowds. The more time that passes, the busier the Fair gets.

How should my family get to the State Fair of Texas?

If you’re driving, always park your vehicle in an official Fair lot. Although off-property parking opportunities might catch your attention as you drive toward Fair Park, do not take the bait. Past fairgoers can tell you horror stories of their cars being towed, broken into, or even stolen when parked outside the fairgrounds. In fact, locals will warn you that Fair Park, unfortunately, is not situated in the safest area of Dallas. With that in mind, be aware of your surroundings while driving to and from Fair Park, make sure to lock your vehicle, avoid leaving any valuables in your car, and remain cautious while walking to and from the gate entrances.

Insider Tip: Skip the traffic, save some money on parking, and take the DART Rail Green Line to the State Fair of Texas. In fact, DART has an entire web page dedicated to explaining the different route options to get to Fair Park.

What food should my family try at the State Fair of Texas?

It’s not often the best advice when kids are involved, but be sure to arrive hungry and ready to eat. Your Fair experience will not be complete without indulging in some mouth-watering culinary creations.

When it comes to food at the Fair, you can count on several loyal food vendors that will serve up their delicious goodness year after year. Fletcher’s Corny Dogs are at the top of that list. They claim the title of the “Original State Fair Corny Dogs,” and sell more than 500,000 corn dogs at the Fair every year.

Other crowd pleasers? Look for a deep-fried honey bun injected with caramel and topped with a mountain of peanut butter treats. Then, keep your eyes out for a charcuterie-board-inspired bite of heaven made of salami, crisp green apple, and fresh mozzarella wrapped in a wonton wrapper fried to perfection. (Have you noticed a recurring theme? The Fair is all about fried.)

Insider Tip: Check out the winners and finalists of the Big Tex Choice Awards before you arrive. The 2022 results, categorized by both savory and sweet flavor profiles, will lead you to the best selections.

Should my family go into all those buildings at the State Fair of Texas?

Of course, that’s where the A/C is!

All joking aside, the Fair wouldn’t be the State Fair of Texas without these beautiful structures and the exhibits inside. They are the heart and soul of the Fair. Take the Hall of State, for example. Made of Texas limestone, when it debuted in 1936, it was classified as the most expensive building per square foot built anywhere in the state of Texas.

If you want to sit down and enjoy some high-energy, buckin’ bull-riding fun at the rodeo, head to the Fair Park Coliseum. If you want to shop til you drop, check out the vendors in Grand Place and the Embarcadero building. If you want to view top-of-the-line automobiles, visit the car shows in the Centennial building and Automobile building.

Insider Tip: Do not skip over the Creative Arts Building. With 14 different departments, there is no shortage of hand-crafted items to view. From afghans, quilts, needlework, and needlepoint to photography, scale models, fine art, and hand-painted china, you will be in awe of the incredible talent displayed as part of the Creative Arts Competitions. (And, believe it or not, this is where you’ll find a sculpture made entirely of butter. Each year, a local sculptor uses it as their medium to create a refrigerated display depicting the Fair’s current theme.)

What are the must-visit rides for families at the State Fair of Texas?

Although there’s so much more to the Fair than carnival rides, it’s certainly a crowd-pleaser for kids. The State Fair Midway, while ideal for any thrill-seeker in your party, tends to get more congested and much rowdier as the sun goes down, so we suggest that families interested in rides make the Midway their first stop of the day. If you are willing to brave the crowds, it’s worth having a game plan. The Midway is packed with more than 70 rides, but the most iconic include the:

  • 212-foot Texas Star® Ferris Wheel
  • 1914 Dentzel Carousel
  • 500-foot Top o’ Texas Tower
  • nearly half-mile long Texas Skyway for a bird’s eye view of the fairgrounds

If you have tiny ride-lovers, the Kidway is a scaled-down version of the State Fair Midway with rides specifically designed for toddlers.

It’s worth noting that the Fair does not operate like an amusement park where your admission ticket allows you onto rides. This often catches first-time fairgoers off guard. Just like you have to pay for food a la carte, be prepared to pay a hefty sum for rides.

Insider Tip: The Fair uses a “coupon” system here, in which you first much purchase coupons to then use to pay for the Midway rides. If you buy more coupons than you end up using, you will not get a refund. Leftover coupons can be saved, though. So store those away for your 2023 visit!

What are the must-visit shows and attractions for families at the State Fair of Texas?

Whoa, what a loaded question! It is important to remember that what one fairgoer might rant and rave about will not be the top choice of another, but it is safe to conclude that the Fair has something for everyone, no matter their age.

Unlike at the Midway, for thrills that don’t send you personally soaring into the sky, you can watch some daredevil entertainment in the Xtreme Sports Zone. The TX Stunt Jam features scooter, skateboard, and BMX talent from around the country in a high-energy show.

Don’t mess with Texas, though! The entertainment doesn’t stop there. You can captivate your crew with other family-favorite shows all throughout the fairgrounds, including:

  • World of Magic: showcasing award-winning illusionists and a floating robot
  • Allez-OOPS! With Rob and Miss Jane: featuring circus acts, comedy, and balancing tricks
  • Tanna Banana Storytime: presenting songs and children’s stories
  • Mighty Mike: highlighting strongman strength techniques with sledgehammers, bowling balls, and horseshoes

For a firsthand look at some Texas-sized animals, consider a stop at the:

  • All-Star Stunt Dog Show
  • World of Birds Show
  • Pig Races
  • Livestock Birthing Barn
  • Oncor Petting Zoo
  • Big Tex’s Farmyard
  • Children’s Aquarium
  • Cowboy of Colors Rodeo
  • Mexican Fiesta Rodeo

If high-end automobiles get you revved up, visit the Texas Auto Show in the Centennial Building, Automobile Building, and Truck Zone.

If live music and concerts are your jam, check out the performing artists lineup on the Chevrolet Main Stage, Bud Light Stage, or Yuengling Stage.

Last but certainly not least? Take time to watch the Kroger Starlight Parade, which takes place every night at 7:15 p.m. followed by the Mattress Firm Illumination Sensation—a water show production involving synchronized pyrotechnics, dancers, acrobats, special effects, and fireworks set to music.

Insider Tip: Unlike at the Midway, most everything else is free. Concerts are free, shows are free, rodeos are free, exhibits are free (with a few exceptions, such as the Children’s Aquarium). Wahoo!

Bonus Insider Tip: Wear comfortable shoes, as you have a lot of ground to cover.

If the State Fair of Texas has been on your family’s bucket list, make this the year you go. The event is an extravaganza unlike anything else in the Lone Star State. You can hang your hat on that!




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If your mini conductor goes off the rails for all things trains, there are plenty of thrilling Dallas train rides and engaging train museums that will have kids whistling like a steam engine with excitement

Your little locomotive lovers keep up with Thomas the Tank Engine on television, and make him the star of their train table, but you can really wow them by taking them to see and ride real, life-size trains (including Thomas himself!) in all their historic glory throughout Dallas and Fort Worth. As you’d expect, the wild west has plenty of train rides for kids, so we’re putting you on the right track with this list of the best places for kid-friendly train adventures—from being in awe of magnificent miniature train exhibits to climbing aboard life-size ones. All you have to do is choo-choose your favorite outing and have a blast.

Museum of the American Railroad

Be sure to get your tickets to join the Museum of the American Railroad at the Grapevine Vintage Railroad for their “Day Out With Thomas” event Oct. 7-9 and 14-16. During this terrific train experience, kids will get to enjoy an interactive train ride aboard Thomas, meet Sir Topham Hatt and dive into an array of activities including lawn games, Play Pod fun, photo-ops, and a pop-up gift shop.

Aside from this off-location special event, the Museum of the American Railroad houses the indoor model train exhibit, Traintopia, at its own location. Don’t miss the chance to let kids revel in this marvel that cost more than a million dollars and 20,000 hours to bring to life. The 2,500 square-foot permanent exhibit has 638 cars and locomotives that sprawl across an extraordinary miniature world. It’s a sight to behold.

Before you head to the museum, up the ante by printing out the scavenger hunts online so kids can try to locate everything from mini mine trains to Frisco box cars throughout Traintopia. You can also go on a guided tour of the museum’s wow-worthy, rolling stock collection of trains, which is representative of more than a century of America’s rail history.

Insider Tip: Be sure to wear close-toed shoes due to uneven terrain and gravel, and bring a hat and water. Opt for the combo Walking Tour and Traintopia option when booking tickets if you’d like to do both on your visit.

8004 N. Dallas Pkwy.
Frisco, TX

The Trains at NorthPark

This cherished holiday tradition has been going strong for 35 years, with its proceeds benefitting the Ronald McDonald House. Visitors young and old will be mesmerized by the miniature train exhibit, which spans 1,600 feet of track and depicts a journey from America’s east to west coasts with stops in Dallas, New York City, San Francisco, and more. The Trains at NorthPark exhibit runs from Nov. 12-Jan. 6, so be sure to stop by before its final departure!

8687 N. Central Expy.
Dallas, TX

Related: It’s Fall, Y’all! 20 Must-Do Activities for Dallas Families

Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Travel back in time with a ride on an authentic 1920s Victorian coach on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. If you’re traveling with older kids, take a fun day trip to the Cotton Belt Route, which leaves from the Grapevine Depot and travels to the historic Fort Worth Stockyards.

If your excursion includes very young train enthusiasts and infants, choose the Tahwahkarro Creek Train Excursion or the Trinity River Train Excursion, as both are short round trip rides that are ideal for these age groups. Also good to know: the Grapevine Train Depot is just an easy stroll away from the shopping and restaurants on Main Street in Historic Downtown Grapevine.

Insider Tip: Don’t miss the upcoming, seasonal North Pole Express train ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus, which is a holiday trip to remember!

​705 S. Main St.
Grapevine, TX

Forest Park Miniature Railroad

After all this looking at trains, most kids will really want to climb aboard and ride one. The Forest Park Miniature Railroad is considered a landmark in Fort Worth and dates back to the late 1950s. Board the train to embark on a five-mile ride that crosses six bridges and takes passengers around Fort Worth’s Trinity Park and the TCU/Zoo area. Tickets are cash only, and children under 1 year old ride for free.

1700 Colonial Pkwy.
Ft. Worth, TX

Interurban Railway Museum

Head to historic Plano for plenty of train-inspired fun. Kids can behold a model train that circles the museum’s 1920s O-Scale model of downtown Plano to see what the locale looked like more than 100 years ago. The interactive electricity room will engage and educate all ages by demonstrating magnetism, battery circuits, high voltage visualizations, and electrical generators, and the main exhibit hall explains the story behind the Texas Electric Railway system amongst many exhibits that will captivate kids.

901 E. 15th St.
Plano, TX

Trinity Railway Express/DART Rail

Switch up a day trip with the kids by ditching the car and commuting between Dallas and Fort Worth on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE). Purchase the Regional Day Pass for $12 and you get unlimited rides all day on DART, Trinity Metro, and the TRE. The DART light rail offers an abundance of stops along the way at places kids will love, like the Dallas Zoo and Farmers Branch Historical Park (which has a railroad depot and caboose that dates back to 1877).


Texas Eagle Train

Seeking a lengthier train excursion in Texas and beyond? Book a trip to climb aboard the Amtrak’s Texas Eagle Train! The train travels between Chicago and San Antonio, passing through cities including Dallas and Austin. If you want to see Texas via train, opt for the route that takes you through Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio, and take in sights like the University of Texas, the Alamo and the Riverwalk. This daily passenger train route covers 1,306 miles of track from start to finish and offers quite a fun way to travel for train lovers.


Related: Is Your Kid Obsessed With Waterfalls? Here’s Where to Spot Them!

M-Line Trolley

It’s not a train per se, but riding the M-Line Trolley is definitely an experience that train-loving kids won’t want to miss. The M-Line serves a route that’s 4.6 miles long within uptown and downtown Dallas, and features seven vintage trolley cars. When you hop on, you’ll be asked to “name your fare” on this “free” service and drop cash or coins in the Trolley’s fare box. Check the Trolley’s 39 stops to see which one works best for you. If you opt to ride the entire route, it will take about an hour.



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From witches brew to fairy potions, grab those wands and pick one of these pretend potions for kids you can make at home today

Part science experiment, part Harry Potter, the following concoctions are safe for kids and totally fun to mix up. From fizzing and foaming to bubbling and bewitching, we found a few magic potions for kids that can be whipped up in no time. These are great activities to try for Halloween to make your holiday a little more spooky!

potions for kids
Agnes Hsu via Hello, Wonderful

Love Potion Lava Lamp

Part love potion, part lava lamp, we're crushing on this concoction from Agnes at Hello, Wonderful. Using simple ingredients you probably have in your pantry, you can whip up your version in no time. 

Anna Ranson via The Imagination Tree

Fizzy Fairy Potion

Little fairies will love this fizzy potion that sparkles too! We love that you only need five basic ingredients and, of course, a wand for stirring. Get all the details from Anna over The Imagination Tree.

Related: 6 Glow-in-the-Dark Science Experiments to Try Tonight

potions for kids

Mad Scientist Potion

This simple outdoor session is just lots of good (not so) clean fun. Find out what mama Jen used to set it all up over at Mama.Papa.Bubba

Upstate Ramblings

Witches Brew

White clouds of witches brew make these colorful drinks other-worldly. Dry ice is the key to this cool effect (with parent supervision, of course); hot water and soap can thicken the spell. Bubble over to Upstate Ramblings for the tutorial.

Related: 20 Sidewalk Science Projects to Try Outside Today

potions for kids
Hands on as We Grow

DIY Lava Lamp

A little more effervescent than the lava lamp of the '60s, this potion made from oil, water, and Alka-Seltzer will get your kiddos all bubbly. These elixirs are easy-to-do and exciting to watch. Jamie from Hand On As We Grow has the instructions.

Little Bins for Little Hands

Rainbow Potion

Sweet and colorful, this sugary brew makes the gradient with sugar, water, food coloring, jars and a dropper. Your little wizard will be amazed at these layers. Pop-on over to Little Bins for Little Hands for the directions.

Related: Mason Jar Science: Slimy, Squishy, Super-Cool Experiments

potions for kids
Ana Dziengeli via Babble Dabble Do

Glow-in-the-Dark Potion

Just glow with it. Potion-masters-in-training will need a little help from parents on this one, but the effort is worth the glow-in-the-dark effect. Ana Dziengel at Babble Dabble Do mixed corn syrup, baby oil, and water with a few "magic" ingredients for a luminous potion that doubles as a science experiment. 

Trisha Hass via MomDot

Glittering Galaxies

Easy to make with minimal mess, little mix-masters can craft their own swirling nebulas with a mason jar, cotton, water, glitter and paint. You can thank Trisha over at MomDot for this mystical potion that just might get your little magician calm for her afternoon nap. 

Thomas Brogan via Des Moines Parent

Wiggly Worm Brew

This magic brew is a little on the messy side (be sure to find the right spot before getting started), but it's hands-on slimy slithering fun. Head on over to Des Moines Parent, to get the how-to for coloring the spaghetti, then mixing in cornstarch, baking soda, salt and water. The last step is to watch with your little wizards to see what happens next!

Related: 10 Science Experiments You Can Do at the Beach

Bar Rucci via Art Bar

Have a Potion Party

Potion-making is as easy as mix, whisk, color and create! Have your little wizards gather half-bottles of household items like shaving cream, and shampoo, then add spice and dabble-e-doo! You’ve got a magic potion party. This fanciful fest was the inspiration of Bar Rucci over at ArtBar

potions for kids
Jackie Currie via Happy Hooligans

Garden Soup

Is there anything more natural than kids whipping up a little garden-centric potion on a warm, sunny day? Probably not, which is why we love the setup from Jackie over at Happy Hooligans. With just a few ingredients, your kids can get their dose of outdoor play in a cool setting. 




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Find your favorite pumpkin recipes for the fall season

Pumpkin isn’t just for lattes—at this time of year, we love incorporating the humble fruit (yes, fruit!) into as many different recipes as we can, from savory pumpkin recipes like cheesy pasta dishes to indulgent desserts and even healthy pumpkin pie. As long as you’re in the holiday spirit, you may want to bookmark some Halloween-themed dinner ideas as well as easy Halloween treats. And on nights when you’re in the mood for some good eats but want to do minimal work, check out these killer CrockPot recipes or make a beeline for the pumpkin offerings at Trader Joe’s

Pumpkin, Feta, & Spinach Pasta

Looking for a dinner that'll be delicious, keep you full, and incorporate pumpkin? This pumpkin, feta, and spinach pasta is a tasty dinner that'll please the whole family!

Pumpkin Truffles

If you're looking for something sweet and pumpkin-y, look no further! These pumpkin truffles are a delicious treat.

pumpkin recipes
Boulder Locavore

Iced Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Make your own PSL at home this year! We love this simple recipe from Boulder Locavore. The trick to getting a good mix is to use cold brew.

pumpkin recipes
The View from Great Island

Pumpkin Pudding Cakes

If you and your crew like pumpkin pie then you'll love these warm pumpkin pudding cakes from The View from Great Island. Topped with pecans and whipped cream, these mini soufflés are a great way to branch out from your go-to pumpkin pie this holiday season.

pumpkin recipes
Koti Beth

Pumpkin Butter

For the true pumpkin-heads out there, pumpkin butter is a dream come true. This version from Koti Beth is made with pumpkin puree, a little sweetener and spices, and tastes great spread on toast, swirled into yogurt or oatmeal, or dolloped on top of pancakes or ice cream. It also makes for a delicious edible gift around the holidays.

Related: Pumpkin It Up with These Baby-Friendly Recipes

Erhardts Eat

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

Cheesecake meets pumpkin in this genius (and super easy) recipe from Erhardts Eat. Once the dip is whipped together, your whole crew can go to town dipping sliced apples, cookies, pretzels, and graham crackers.

Rhian’s Recipes

Vegan Pumpkin Brownies

For a little something different, try these delish vegan brownies from Rhian’s Recipes. They’re naturally sweetened with dates and are gluten-free for sensitive tummies.

Related: Simple Pumpkin Crafts You Can Do with the Kids

pumpkin recipes
Under the Willow Tree

No-Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

Pumpkin bliss is just a few hours away, thanks to this recipe from Under the Willow Tree. It’s even vegan, so all you’ll need is a can of coconut milk, pumpkin puree, and a few spices from your pantry.

Pinch of Yum

Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta Bake

Sunday dinner, here we come! This pasta bake from Pinch of Yum is filled with caramelized onions, plenty of pumpkin, and a healthy sprinkling of cheese. It’s sure to have everyone asking for seconds.

Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts

The Best Pumpkin Bars

Ring in the season by making these amazing pumpkin bars from Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts. The bars are topped with a sweetened cream cheese mixture—delish!

pumpkin recipes

An Autumnal Pasta

This awesome pasta dish from Cooktoria is sure to be an instant hit with your crew, thanks to its delicious sauce made with pumpkin, parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs. If your kids aren’t into mushrooms, you can sub in Italian sausage.

pumpkin bread
Kristine via Kristine's Kitchen

Pumpkin Bread

When you've had your fair share (and then some) of homemade banana bread, and you want to switch things up, check out Kristine's Kitchen for her awesome pumpkin bread recipe! The best part? It's sneakily healthy!

Life Made Sweeter

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

We’ve discovered the ultimate in comfort food, thanks to Life Made Sweeter. This pumpkin macaroni and cheese is perfect for chilly fall nights, and it comes together in less than 30 minutes. 

Related: 22 Things To Do with Pumpkins After Halloween

pumpkin recipes
Damn Delicious

Pumpkin-Spiced Oatmeal

You can’t beat a bowl of old-fashioned oats to fill hungry tummies on a crisp fall morning. This recipe from Damn Delicious will remind you how quick and easy oatmeal can be. Set toppings out the night before on the kitchen countertop and watch the breakfast magic begin as your little ones fill up on healthy fiber with a pumpkin kick.

Dishing Delish

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

If you’ve got any leftover canned pumpkin on your hands, this smoothie recipe from Dishing Delish is the perfect way to use it. It’s the next best thing to having a slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast.

pumpkin recipes
Jade Aucamp on Unsplash

Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Let the kids help make this tasty Caribbean-inspired soup from Stir It Up by Ramin Ganeshram. It’s easy to throw together using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

Knead to Cook

Swoon-Worthy Gluten-Free Donuts

Gluten-free eating can be a challenge this time of year when all the baked goodies look and smell so tempting. Pop these easy pumpkin mini donuts from Knead to Cook in the oven, and your clan will clamber to your side on Sunday mornings.

Related: Every Pumpkin Spice Treat You Need in Your Life Right Now

pumpkin recipes
Anshu A on Unsplash

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

After you carve your pumpkins, don’t throw out the seeds! It’s so easy to make roasted pumpkin seeds, and they’re sure to be a family favorite, whether they’re sprinkled on a salad or packed in lunches.

Celebrating Sweets

Pumpkin Muffins

They’ll love a sweet muffin surprise in their snack bag. You’ll love that these beauties from Celebrating Sweets are filled with apples, carrots, pumpkin, and flaxseed and topped with delicious cream cheese frosting if you please. Make a double batch and freeze half so kids can grab and go in a pinch as the busy holiday season arrives.

Crazy for Crust

Pumpkin Nutella Cookie Bars

Haven't tried the pumpkin and chocolate combo craze yet? Go! Get in the kitchen ... now! We promise you'll be stuck on these Pumpkin Nutella Cookie Bars from Crazy for Crust this fall. Serve 'em warm and ooey-gooey with a tall glass of milk. 

pumpkin recipes
Thriving Home Blog

Pumpkin-Spiced Latte

Hosting a holiday party this year? You’ll love how this easy, delicious Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Thriving Home Blog fills your house with that I’ve-been-baking-all-day smell. All you need is a Crock Pot and a few ingredients.

Tatertots & Jello

Pumpkin Chili

This award-winning chili from Tatertots & Jello has a hint of pumpkin sweetness that sings in your mouth. Just brown the meat and onions, dump ingredients in the slow cooker, and voila! Dinner is done! Try milder spices to please budding taste buds, or make this one when hosting. Football and chili anyone?

Friday Is Cake Night

Pumpkin Blondies

We can’t resist a blondie, and this pumpkin version from Friday Is Cake Night is sure to be an instant hit with your crew. The one-bowl recipe is a breeze to make, and you can round up the kids to do the mixing.

Taste and Tell

Pumpkin Alfredo Ravioli

Start with a package of frozen ravioli. Stir together a few simple ingredients to make a decadent sauce. The smooth, rich flavors of this ravioli with pumpkin alfredo from Taste and Tell come together so quickly that you'll wish you'd invited company over for dinner.

Related: 6 Pumpkin Carving Tools You Can Order on Amazon Now

pumpkin recipes
Anya’s Eats

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups

This fun twist on the classic from Anya’s Eats is surprisingly easy to make. And with a mix of almond butter, pumpkin, and spices, it’s perfect for fall.

No. 2 Pencil

Pumpkin Pancakes

Everyone deserves dessert for breakfast sometimes! The yummy combo of pumpkin, cinnamon, and icing will transform Saturday morning into a celebration. Serve Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes from Number 2 Pencil with warm maple syrup or drizzled cream cheese glaze. Yum!

My Life Cookbook

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

For an after-school snack that satisfies a sweet tooth without being unhealthy, you’ve got to try this pumpkin pie pudding from My Life Cookbook. It comes together in the blender in less than 10 minutes and tastes great topped with coconut cream or whipped cream.

pumpkin recipes
Cathleen via A Taste of Madness

Easy-Peasy Pumpkin Pie

Nothing says fall like pumpkin pie, right? Thanks to Cathleen at A Taste of Madness, you're only five simple ingredients away from enjoying a slice of this delicious and super easy pumpkin pie.

Related: Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice: New Data Reveals Nation’s Seasonal Preferences

Sara via Bitz N Giggles

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

These yummy muffins from Sara at Bitz N Giggles are pulling double-duty: you can enjoy them for breakfast or dessert! (Or both, we won't tell.)

Cody Chan on Unsplash

Cranberry Pumpkin Banana Bread

This quick bread from Stress Baking is a total must for your autumn baking lineup. Pumpkin and banana make the bread extra moist, while cranberries add a nice tartness to balance it all out.


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Get your autumn season off to a great start with these ideas for the  most photo-worthy spots that Dallas has to offer for fall

Hot summer temperatures have dipped and families are gearing up for their favorite autumn festivals. With November on the horizon and Halloween around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan all your fall family activities in Dallas. The city offers so many fun things to do, not the least including an eye-popping autumn display at the Dallas Arboretum. From corn mazes to stargazing, there are tons of ideas here to get your family out and exploring this fall. 

visiting the Peach Haus, one of the best things to do with kids in Fredericksburg TX
Gabby Cullen

1. Plan a fall family road trip to nearby Fredericksburg. From hiking to local history and even a kid-friendly winery or two, there's plenty of adventure to be had in Hill Country. 

2. Cozy up with your family at home and watch a football game or cheer on the Cowboys when they have home field advantage. Maybe your little one will want to be a Cowboys football player or cheerleader this Halloween. 

3. Get everyone out to explore some of the beautiful waterfalls that the Dallas area has to offer. The area has more than you'd expect and Prarie Creek tops the list. 

4. Head to the Texas State Fair, which should be brimming with fun fall activities in the barns, on the rides, and onstage. It's in town through October 23 so you have plenty of time to get in on the action. 

Related: Dallas’ Best Hikes for Families

5. Pick the perfect gourd at one of these local pumpkin patches. We know the kids will go wild for the one that offers face painting and shave ice along with Halloween activities. 

6. While you are there, run through a corn maze and see how fast you can make it out! YEsterland Farm in Canton, TX opens for the season on Sep. 17 and the whole family will love it. 

7. Then snag one of these pumpkin carving templates and go to town! Will your pumpkin be a cowboy or a minion this year? 

8. Enjoy the cooling fall weather (and a bit of people watching!) by sitting outdoors at these restaurants with patios. Rockwall's Standard Service has live music while is the perfect excuse to get out there. 

Related: The Great Pumpkin: 7 Pumpkin Patches We Love in Dallas


9. Build a bonfire and make s'mores. While you can do this anytime, there's something about those chilly nights that really make this a special fall activity. Amp up your s'mores game with these unique takes on the classic treat.

10. Plan out a day of fall science experiments

11. Tea parties are always fun. But, an apple cider tea party? That screams fall all over.

A mom and boy ride a train together

12. All aboard the Grapevine Vintage Railroad! This train offers special rides in the fall season

13. Build a fort outside. The weather is still nice enough for long outdoor afternoons. Take advantage and help your kids get set up with their own pad

14. Watch the birds fly south for the winter. Look up to see those V-shaped groups of feathered friends heading for warmer pastures.

15. When the days cool down a bit, it's the perfect time to head out on a family hike

16. Shop your local farmer’s market. Glossy red apples, stew-worthy root veggies, and a cornucopia of squashes are waiting for you at your local farmer’s market in autumn. Get yours before the markets go on hiatus for the winter.

17. Spend a day at the Dallas Zoo. This 106-acre spot is the oldest zoo in Texas and full of fall activities with its family programs, giraffe feeding, reptile house, and so much more. You might have to come back for another day!

Related: DFW’s Best U-Pick Farms for Apples, Berries, Flowers & More

18. It's a crime to miss the fall season at the Dallas Arboretum. Autumn is arguably the best season there with autumnal flowers, gourds, and pumpkins all over the place. 

19. Find constellations in the night sky. Fall’s shorter days and longer nights mean kids don’t have to stay up too late to find dazzling patterns overhead. Here's our step-by-step guide to stargazing with kids.

20. Enjoy autumn views from the top of the Reunion Tower.  This iconic building offers a 360-degree perspective of Dallas and its surrounding areas from a glassed-in open-air observation deck. 



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There are more waterfalls in Dallas and all over the metroplex than you might realize

We finally got (a little too much) rain in the metroplex, but the silver lining is that the creeks have filled up, and the waterfalls are flowing. Waterfalls, you say? Yes, amongst the freeways and concrete jungles, there are several hidden hiking trails and oases perfect for exploring with the kids. From a hidden gem in Frisco to the popular cascades in Prairie Creek Park, here’s where to find waterfalls in Dallas and beyond. 

Prairie Creek Park Waterfalls in Richardson

Probably the most well-known set of waterfalls in the Dallas area are the ones in this lush Richardson park. There are 37 acres to explore, and if you look for the bridges and rock walls, you’ll be on track to find the waterfalls.

2400 West Prairie Creek Dr.
Richardson, TX

Airfield Falls Conservation Park in Westworth Village

Discover Tarrant County’s largest waterfall in the Airfield Falls Conservation Park. Wander the trail along Farmers Branch Creek to discover this serene spot where water flows over limestone cliffs. Kids can wade around, look for fish and tadpoles, and you can sit back and enjoy your surroundings. 

200 Pumphrey Dr.
Westworth Village, TX


Lady Grotto Waterfall at the Dallas Arboretum

Yes, it’s in a botanical garden, but that doesn’t mean this waterfall in Dallas is any less impressive. Wander through the exhibit before checking out the famous pumpkin village or views of White Rock Lake.

8525 Garland Rd.
Dallas, TX

Related: 12 Nature Preserves to Explore in DFW (Before It Gets Too Hot)

Hidden Falls at Marion Samson Park in Fort Worth

This park has a lovely trail system for walkers, hikers, and bikers that meanders through forestland. You’ll find Hidden Falls by following the Lone Wolf Loop, the Dam Drop Trail Loop Trail, or the Thunder Road Loop

2501 Roberts Cut Off Rd.
Fort Worth, TX

Limestone Quarry Park Falls in Frisco

This hidden gem is small but mighty. Located in Quarry Park, look for the dirt footpath that takes you to West Rowlett Creek. The walk to the creek only takes a few minutes, so it’s perfect for little kids. 

1230 Maltby Dr.
Frisco, TX

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