The Amon Carter Museum of American Art offers a free Family Fun Week during spring break, where kids and their families can explore, hear stories and create their own artist-inspired works of art. Paul Moseley Star-Telegram archives
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art offers a free Family Fun Week during spring break, where kids and their families can explore, hear stories and create their own artist-inspired works of art. Paul Moseley Star-Telegram archives

Mari's Moments

Making my way through motherhood, one moment at a time

Mari's Moments

Free family fun on spring break

By Maricar Estrella

maricar@star-telegram.com

March 01, 2017 12:16 PM

UPDATED March 10, 2017 05:42 PM

For parents, spring break is a love-hate proposition. Sure, it’s nice for kids to get a break from studies and homework, but the prospect of having to spend hard-earned cash for activities to entertain those children so soon after the holiday deluge can be daunting. For a family of four, a spring break jaunt could easily set you back a couple thousand dollars, and even a well-planned staycation can cost hundreds of dollars.

How can your family have fun during spring break without breaking the bank?

Here are some free options in Dallas-Fort Worth, broken down by a child’s interest, that will keep your students happy without making a dent on your family budget.

Read about unique Spring Break activities here.

Never miss a local story.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.

For the artist

▪ Get creative at Amon Carter Museum of American Art

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art offers a free Family Fun Week during spring break, where kids and their families can explore, hear stories and create their own artist-inspired works of art.
Paul Moseley Star-Telegram archives

This year’s Fun Week at the Amon Carter is geared toward tweens and teens. The museum will offer gallery games, creativity challenges, printmaking and an art project that have been designed to get older children to create, compete and consider American art in a new way. Parents and caregivers should plan on staying at the museum with kids younger than 16 during Fun Week hours.

Recommended for: 11 and older

When: 1-3 p.m. March 14 through March 17

Where: Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth

Info: 817-989-5030; www.cartermuseum.org

Good to know: Admission to the museum is always free.

▪ Spring Break Wonders at the Modern

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is usually closed on Mondays, but will open its doors and offer free admission Monday, March 13.
Richard W. Rodriguez Star-Telegram archives

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is usually closed Mondays, but will offer free admission March 13. In addition, spring break programming will also be available through March 16. Each session is led by a docent and includes a gallery project designed by the education department.

Don’t forget to check out a free sketchbook at the admission desk.

Recommended for: All ages

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 13; spring break sessions are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. through March 17.

Where: 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth

Info: 817-738-9215; www.themodern.org

Good to know: On March 13, Cafe Modern will open the Modern Grill and serve hot dogs, chips and cookies from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each child 12 and younger will get a free hot dog and bag of chips.

For the nature lover

▪ Explore BRIT

The Botanical Research Institute of Texas is open for for free public tours every Thursday and the first Saturday of every month.
Ian McVea Special to the Star-Telegram

The Botanical Research Institute of Texas is open for free public tours every Thursday and the first Saturday of every month. Learn about BRIT research programs and the herbarium, and take a tour of the new LEED platinum home. On First Saturdays, explore the pocket prairie, participate in plant IDs or attend storytime.

Recommended for: All ages

When: 1:30 p.m. Thursdays; 9 a.m.-noon, first Saturday of the month

Where: 1700 University Drive, Fort Worth

Info: 817-332-4441, http://www.brit.org

Good to know: BRIT offers a preschool program and summer camp.

▪ Take in the beauty at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden

The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens is the oldest botanic garden in Texas
Rodger Mallison Star-Telegram

Down the road from BRIT, head over to the oldest botanic garden in Texas. By March, you’ll see peach, cherry, and crab apple trees bloom and you might even spot tulips and daffodils.

Recommended for: All ages

When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Where: 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth

Info: 817-392-5510, http://www.fwbg.org/

Good to know: The main garden is free. There are fees for the Japanese Garden and conservatory.

For the music lover

▪ Listen to the classics through Bancroft Family Concerts

The Bancroft Family Concerts series, presented by the Fine Arts Chamber Players, is a casual introduction to classical music for youngsters.
Noah Winston Fine Arts Chamber Players

The Bancroft Family Concerts series, presented by the Fine Arts Chamber Players, is a casual introduction to classical music for youngsters. Upcoming concerts include the Brahms Trio, the Cliburn in Concert and the Cézanne Quartet.

Recommended for: All ages

When: Doors open at 2:30 p.m., performance at 3 p.m. March 25, April 15 and May 13

Where: Horchow Auditorium at Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas

Info: http://www.fineartschamberplayers.org/

Good to know: Seating is first come, first served.

▪ Cowtown Opry

The Cowtown Opry Club offers a free Western music concert at the Livestock Exchange Building in the Fort Worth Stockyards on Sundays.
Max Faulkner Star-Telegram

Most every Sunday, fans can enjoy a free Western music concert at the Livestock Exchange Building in the Fort Worth Stockyards. The Cowtown Opry Club specializes in all forms of music associated with the American cowboy, including Texas music, music from the singing-cowboy movies, old-time cowboy ballads and Western swing.

Recommended for: All ages

When: 2 p.m. Sundays

Where: 131 E. Exchange Ave. Fort Worth

Info: https://www.cowtownopry.org/

Good to know: For a schedule of performances, go to the website at https://www.cowtownopry.org/schedule

For the outdoor adventurer

▪ Reel in some fun at Flyfest

At Tarrant Regional Water District’s Flyfest, there will be lessons on casting and fishing, kids activities, cooking demos and a classes for Boy Scouts to earn a fly fishing merit badge.
Adam Fischer TRWD

Experienced and first-time anglers are invited to the banks of the Trinity River, where the Tarrant Regional Water District will release 2,200 pounds of trout during Flyfest. There will be lessons on casting and fishing, kids activities, cooking demos and classes for Boy Scouts to earn a fly-fishing merit badge. There will also be competitive challenges to win prizes.

Recommended for: All ages

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 11

Where: Intersection of Bryant Irvin Road and River Park Drive in Fort Worth. Park at River Park Trailhead, 3100 Bryant Irvin Road, Fort Worth,

Info: http://trwdflyfest.com/

Good to know: Bring your own rod and bait to fish along the Trinity. A fishing license is required for anglers age 17 and older. The event is free, however, some lectures have a small fee that can be paid on site. Check website for details: http://trwdflyfest.com/

▪ Take a hike at River Legacy Parks

Every second Saturday of every month, River Legacy offers a family friendly guided nature walk.
Paul Moseley Star-Telegram

Every second Saturday of every month, River Legacy offers a family-friendly guided nature walk. You’ll be able to explore the nature trails surrounding the Living Science Center. For little ones, there’s also a free storytime every third Saturday of each month. Space is limited for both activities so call in advance to RSVP at 817-860-6752.

Recommended for: All ages

When: 2-3 p.m. March 11

Where: River Legacy Living Science Center, 703 N.W. Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington

Info: 817-860-6752; www.riverlegacy.org

Good to know: During spring break week (March 13-17), River Legacy is also offering inexpensive science and nature activities that include tree and bug hikes, as well as up-close and personal animal investigations of reptiles and mammals. Each activity includes fun interactive components. Cost is $2 per person; children 2 and younger get in free and must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited and tickets are available on the day of each event, first come, first served.

For the learner

▪ Lego Americana Roadshow at Stonebriar mall

View large-scale replicas of some the country's beloved landmarks including the U.S. Capitol Building, the State of Liberty, White House and Lincoln Memorial at Stonebriar mall in Frisco through March 5.
Maricar Estrella Star-Telegram

If your child loves history and Legos, this is the exhibit for you. View large-scale replicas of some of the country’s beloved landmarks, including the U.S. Capitol Building, the Statue of Liberty, the White House and the Lincoln Memorial.

Recommended for: All ages

When: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. through March 4; noon-6 p.m. March 5

Where: Stonebriar Centre, 2601 Preston Road, Frisco

Info: https://www.lego.com/en-us/stores/events/americana-roadshow

Good to know: Toss a penny into the Lincoln Memorial for good luck.

These iconic American landmarks are made out of LEGO bricks

The LEGO Americana Roadshow exhibit features LEGO replicas of iconic U.S. landmarks. The free hands-on exhibit, which runs through March 5, provides an interactive experience on American history at the Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, Texas.

Maricar Estrella maricar@star-telegram.com

▪ Bureau of Engraving and Printing tour

More than half of the nation’s paper currency is produced at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in north Fort Worth.
RON T. ENNIS Star-Telegram archives

See how billions of dollars are printed from an enclosed walkway above the production floor of the U.S. Treasury’s printing plant. More than half of the nation’s paper currency is produced in Fort Worth. Reservations are not required.

Recommended for: All ages

When: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday

Where: 9000 Blue Mound Road, Fort Worth

Info: 817-231-4000; www.moneyfactory.gov

Good to know: The visitor center has a gift shop where you can purchase uncut currency sheets and other specialty products.

Maricar Estrella: 817-390-7720, @maricare