A Collin County Mom’s Guide to the Month of May

Hello, hello. We’re back with a brand new month and a bunch of new developments in terms of “reopening” Texas. I know we’ll continue to be cautious and think of others, no matter what. As of the writing of this guide, all events are still very much virtual. It’s been great to see how many of our local favorite institutions have jumped right into offering new content and experiences for us while we all stay home.

As always, don’t forget to PIN IT for later OR subscribe to our Newsletter and have our Collin County event guides sent straight to your inbox. Enjoy!

collin county events in mayReminder: Because we are living virtually lately, most everything on last month’s Guide to the Month of April still applies. Don’t forget to check there if you haven’t recently.

May through September :: Fun mail alert! The Big Tex Little Lone Stars Club is a free subscription services for kids 12 and under. It includes fun, fair-related activities delivered every month. See the link for more details and to sign up.

All Month :: Keep Texas Beautiful has a “Don’t Mess With Texas” art contest this month for ages K-12. You can even upload submissions online. See link for details. All entries due by May 29.

All Month, Thursdays :: If you’ve ever taken the kids to Showtime Saturday at the Galleria, see if they recognize Slappy & Monday from their interactive online show. Each week they use comedy to teach basic math principles. 1-2pm.

All Month, Fridays :: The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum does a weekly story time for toddlers, Pre-K, and Kinder. Register at the link. Story time is over Zoom, so space is limited. 9:30am.

May 10 :: Happy Mother’s Day to all our readers! Motherhood can be a lonely business, but if anyone understands what we go through, it’s our fellow moms. Let’s raise a glass and toast to all our hard work lately. Superwomen, every one of you!

An annual tradition you can still do while safely social distancing: bluebonnet photos! Need a new spot? Try Texas Native Park, Bachmann Lake, Bluebonnet Trail in Plano, Toyota Headquarters, or Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.

Nasher Sculpture Center has lots of kid-friendly art activities and lessons, plus a YouTube channel with frequent uploads.

We mentioned NTPA last month, but they’ve expanded their virtual offerings even more, with over 40 new online courses covering a wide range of topics. Classes start at $9.99 per session. They also have free evening storytime with Ms. Sara on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30-8pm.

If you miss Texas Discovery Gardens, head to their Facebook page for videos on butterfly releases kid-friendly talks on camouflage critters, activities you can do outside at home, and more.

Tinybop makes educational STEM apps for ages 4 and up. Now through July you can subscribe to their school bundle for free (no credit card required).

Take a virtual visit to Reunion Tower with 360° high-def zoom cameras on their Reunion Tower VR app.

Outside the Odditorium is an offshoot site from Ripley’s Believe it or Not with a schedule of live events hosted by the museum, educational activities divided by age group, and more.

Podcasts for Kids :: A potential break from screen time! Here are some popular ones if you want to explore the medium:

  • But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids from Vermont Public Radio. Kids send in audio of questions about any and everything, and the podcast answers them. Some episodes/topics are better suited to older kids’ attention spans. You’ll be able to tell which ones.
  • Brain’s On is conceptually very similar to But Why, but with kids hosting the show. Here’s a link to listeners’ favorite episodes to get you started. Best for slightly older kids.
  • Noodle Loaf is an interactive music/science podcast with ~10-15 minute episodes. Perfect for a little brain break. I know this is a “no screen time” section but they do post video activities on YouTube if you want more. Good for preschoolers!
  • Story Pirates is a comedy podcast featuring celebrity special guests and original stories submitted by real kids. If you dig it, you can explore their book series and other content.
  • Circle Round is an NPR podcast made by parents of young children. Each episode adapts a carefully chosen folktale into a 10-20 minute radio play. Designed for children ages 4 to 10.
  • Peace Out has short stories to help children calm down and relax, with visualization and breathing exercises. A great way for kids to practice mindfulness and self-regulation.

Epic Waters has daily contests, games, and activities on their Facebook page. Check it out to see how you can win prizes like a Family 4-Pack for when the park is back in business.

The Escape Game at Home offers escape room and mystery-solving fun without leaving the house. I’m interested in The Monthly Mystery, for sure.

Amaze Your Brain at Home with the Perot Museum. They’ve posted five weeks of themed content so far, full of ways to explore science concepts from home using household objects. There’s also a virtual tour of the Origins exhibit!

The Dallas Children’s Theater has activities organized around their most recent performances: Schoolhouse Rock Live!, A Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas Show, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

I sometimes listen to the Levar Burton Reads podcast to fall asleep. Right now he’s doing weekly livestream readings on Twitter. Kids’ stories air Mondays at 11am. Reading Rainbow-style!

Cooking with Pixar is a YouTube series featuring recipes inspired by animated movies. Could be a good way to get kids to eat something different? My son only started eating carrots because of Sven from Frozen. You never know what will work.

Ok, not kid-friendly, but…I’ve heard a lot of good things about Paul Feig’s (Freaks & Geeks, Bridesmaids) Quarantine Cocktail Time. He gets dressed up, tells stories, and makes a quarantine cocktail every night at 7pm. More podcast recos here!

Supercook :: Enter your ingredients and Supercook generates recipes from popular cooking sites. Relatedly, I just read this article on “How to Get Out of a Cooking Rut” and it made a lot of sense to me! I definitely have a staple flavor palate.

Anything else you’ve enjoyed lately? Let us know!

Katie Lewis
Katie grew up in Dallas, went to SMU, and spent 10 post-college years in Austin, where she and her husband Mick welcomed Gemma in 2011 and Ryker in 2013. They all moved to central Fort Worth almost 4 years ago and have found it to be quite fun and a great place for kids. Katie is horrible at social media but will admit to a preference for her Twitter timeline these days. Favorite uses for her phone: reading library books and listening to comedy podcasts. Least favorite uses: making and receiving calls. She's forever down to watch any show that's British, supernatural, or on The CW. If you can quote Death Becomes Her, Big Business, or the 1987 Shelley Long flop Hello Again, please get in touch because you are most certainly kindred spirits.