Fun fact! My husband and I are both from North Houston, but we lived in Grapevine and then Little Elm for quite a few years. Our first baby, Tripp, was born in Frisco, which is where he met his very first group of baby friends. As a group, our kids (just babies at the time) had so many fabulous opportunities for learning. Every week we took the kids to the Frisco Public Library, swim lessons at Emler’s, and various parks in the Little Elm/Frisco area. Sometimes, we ventured out a bit farther, which were usually my favorite playdates! I’m all for exposing my little ones to a variety of unique learning opportunities. This week, we are headed up to Dallas for spring break and I thought it would be fun to compile my Top 7 Best Places for Play Dates in North Dallas. These are my absolute favorite places to take my kids to play and I know that you guys will love them also!
Play Street Museum will always be my number one choice for indoor playdates! This one is for sure one of the best places for play dates in North Dallas. I have a picture of all three of my babies playing in their school bus as babies. Something about that is just so sweet to me! All three of my kids (ages 1-almost 5) have a great time at Play Street. That versatility is perfect for moms with multiple littles. Overall, Play Street is best for moms looking for something with plentiful educational opportunities.
The ladies who developed Play Street really know what every mom is looking for. It is educational, clean, and so perfect for children 5-6 and under. As a mom of 3, I love that they are small-ish, closed in places to play. My kids tend to go in opposite directions which makes larger places difficult (and quite scary!). Play Street also places a limit on the number of people admitted at a time which keeps the crowds down. The best part is that there are so many in the DFW metroplex. Each location has a different theme: Town Square in Frisco, The Farm in McKinney, Great Outdoors in Plano, Downtown in Dallas, College in Las Colinas, and MORE! I hear there is even one going in Prosper!
It’s no secret that I cheered the loudest when Play Street opened a new location near our house! I told all of my mama friends and neighbors to check it out!
*I promise I won’t make a habit out of giving you guys cell phone pictures circa 2016, but I just love this one!
Safari Run in Plano is a great “get your energy out” type of place for toddlers and preschoolers, too. They have both large and smaller play structures for your little ones. I love that the bigger and smaller areas are clearly separated, keeping your younger toddlers safe from bigger kiddos. Again, as a mom of 3, I love that there is something for everyone! We discovered Safari Run last year, so it was newer to us, but I was really impressed with how clean it is. I felt like my kids were really able to play with their friends, and just be energetic boys.
Prosper Play House is a new facility in Prosper. We were able to visit this one during our last visit to Dallas in January. There is a very small play area for babies and a much larger play structure for older kiddos. I loved that their play structure had unique sections for playing. There was an enclosed square full of bouncing balls that the kids really enjoyed! Imagine huge yoga balls flying everywhere! My older boys (2 & 4) loved the scooters, slides, and free play opportunities here. I also love that there is a little cafe with lunch and snacks for the family. They also had plenty of tables for parents and their snack-loving kiddos.
Little Elm Park
Little Elm Park is FULL of great things for the kids to do. I love the shade at this park on warm days. I’ve always felt like the space at this park is very large, which gives the kids less room for boredom. There are swings, zip-lines, a merry-go-round, slides, and climbing structures.
One of the best things about this park is the ability to go for a little walk around the lake shore! In the summer, this makes for a really fun place to escape the heat and play with friends!
Warning: Moms of running toddlers, beware. This park is not enclosed and is near water. I myself would not feel comfortable bringing all three of my kids without help!
Once a reading teacher, always a reading teacher! I started taking my first to story time at the library when he was pretty young! I want to say that he was younger than 4 months, but I’d have to check with my friends. It’s been so long! I was always really impressed with how developmentally appropriate story time lessons were. We sang age appropriate songs with a new sign each week, read books, and have play time. Honestly, this is where many of my mom group met each other! It truly turned into amazing friendships.
I know that the library seems like a very unlikely place for a playdate, but it really can be a great place to go! Outside of the story time for your child’s age, the Frisco children’s library is an oasis of fun for your kids!
I know that the Dallas Zoo isn’t a unique idea, but it’s still something that I love to do with friends! It seems like the kids have an entirely different experience when they get to visit the zoo with their friends or cousins. I almost feel like they talk to each other more about what they are seeing and learning. My absolute favorite things about the Dallas Zoo is feeding the giraffes. I love how they come right to you for a little snack!
One thing that I recommend trying is asking for memberships over gifts for things like birthdays and Christmas! We always love giving our kids the gift of experiences!
Finally, The Dallas Arboretum is also a must on the list for best places for play dates! It is also another location that I recommend a membership for. The Dallas Arboretum changes seasonally making it a great place to explore year round. The children’s garden is a great spot for kids of all ages. I remember my first exploring the arboretum as young as 7-8 months old! Check out their website for more details about their daily children’s activities and seasonal events!
P.S. This would also be a beautiful location for a family, baby, or maternity session! (Shameless plug for beautiful portraits in the flowers?! Yes, please!)
Two Places I’d like to explore soon–
My oldest, who is almost 5, can tell you more about dinosaurs than I’ve ever heard! It completely amazes me that can teach you each dinosaurs’ traits, habits, and diet. The Heard museum has an exhibit called “Dinosaurs Live” that I would love to explore with him when they reopen in September of 2020. I am always a big fan of children’s museums, too. The Explorium in Denton looks like a really fun place to try, too!
If you have kiddos ages 5 and under, I am confident that this list of best places for play dates in North Dallas will give you plenty of locations to test out this spring break! I’d love to hear about some of your favorite places, too, especially for toddlers!