It is official, y'all, Summertime is here and that means a couple of things: one hundred degree temps are the new normal, Murder Kroger is less crowded, and a lot more kids are gonna be loitering around the Courthouse Square. Don't worry - there's plenty of great, cheap stuff going on in Denton this summer to keep both you and your wee-ones busy. Here is our updated 2018 guide to all the Denton Summer Fun to be found, and feel free to share your favorites in the comments!
Mission Priority Numero Uno: Cool off with the city’s local man-made bodies of water. The Natatorium and Denton Waterpark are in north Denton right off of 288, and the lazy river is delightful. If you’re smart and think you’ll head out there a lot, go with the family pack discount. The new Splashpad over at Carl Gene Young Sr. Park is FREE and could become your go-to summertime hangout. Oh, and don’t forget about the newly renovated Civic Center Pool which now has lots of fun obstacles to make your way through.
Whether your kid is into Legos, art, crafting, or just hanging out and listening to stories there is something going on at the Denton Public Library that they will love. Checkout this page to see a list of them all. The best part is that they’re all free. Some do require pre-registration, so make sure you call ahead to reserve your kiddo a spot beforehand. You should also check out City of Denton’s Summer Fun Guide to activities, and the Golden Triangle Mall Kids Club.
While we're on the subject of the library, make sure you sign up both yourself and your children for the Denton Public Library's Summer Reading Program. The annual program encourages reading, community involvement, and other educational activities. Complete the program and you'll get a free book, free entrance to Waterworks Park on a date in August, and entrance into a drawing for prizes. If your child is a bookworm and wants to build your home library, go ahead and also sign them up for Recycled Books' Summer Reading Club, too. If your child reads enough, they will be able to receive store credit to Recycled every time they complete a reading log. More information can be found at each library (or by clicking here) or grab a reading log at the checkout counter of Recycled Books.
Movie Tavern has Breakfast and a Flick on the weekends. The Cinemark at Unicorn Lake normally has a summer movie club for kids, and the $2 Silver Cinemas in the Mall is a cheap date. We've reached out to them to find out for sure and we will update this post with more information when we find anything new to report.
Denton has tons of great summer camps happening in 2018. UNT, TWU, SCRAP, Summit and many more businesses and organizations are offering interesting summer camps that focus on different topics. Enroll your son or daughter in one of the many awesome summer camps we highlighted last year.
Denton also has a NERF Battlefield if you wanna make war, or there is Penny’s Playtown if you’d rather play nice. The Denton Children’s Museum EXPLORIUM will have plenty of programs and events to keep your family busy! Altitude Trampoline Park is also an absolute hoot, and the Summit Climbing Gym just off the Square provides a fun challenge. Game Changers Arcade Grill has a ton of indoor fun, and the Source Gaming Lounge has everything from VR to eSports! If you prefer your games to be F2F IRL, More Fun Comics also has a Game Center that hosts D&D and board games or Magic, and there are quite a few other fun hobby spots you should check out in our WDDI Guide to Denton Gaming.
Denton's Main Street Association holds Thursday Twilight Tunes on the courthouse lawn, which It just so happens to be one of our favorite events in Denton. The event sees lots of folks gathering to listen to some wonderful live music while hanging out and chatting with neighbors. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, best enjoyed with a bottle from Wine2 or a craft beer growler from The Bearded Monk!
There's always plenty for your children to do at the Denton Community Market every Saturday from 10am-2pm. Don't believe us? Just check out all of the awesomeness on their Instagram or Facebook pages.
Up at the North Lakes Recreation Center, you can find free fun at their Frisbee Golf Course or Batting Cages. Further north, there's the free Skate Park off of Loop 288 and next door to Denton's Waterworks Park. Other Denton park areas include league sports, tennis courts, basketball courts, bicycle paths, and more.
If you’re the outdoorsy type, Lake Ray Roberts also has a slew of hikes or events going on, and the Diamond T Arena has weekend rodeo hootenannys that are dang entertaining. Jumping the A-train is also a fun road-trip to hit free events in Dallas, like free admission days at museums, art walks, or their own parks! Speaking of the parks, have you checked
out Eureka 2 Playground yet? That place is awesome! Meanwhile, a short trip on the A-train to Sneaky Pete’s down at Lake Lewisville can sure fill a day with boats, jet ski, sand volleyball, or music with cold margaritas. There is also the Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch up in Pilot Point with all kinds of cute critters!
Longtime Dentonites hopefully already know that the Denton County Museums have some consistently cool exhibits. All you have to do is peek inside during business hours and poke around! The Denton County Courthouse On The Square Museum ain’t only the best looking spot to just wander around inside, but it also has rotating and guest exhibits up all its 3 floors as well as free lectures and special events you can find on their Facebook page. Their Historic Park, which includes the restored Victorian-era Bayless-Selby House and the Quakertown House of African-American History, offers free guided tours on Saturdays. The Denton Firefighters Museum is open 8am - 5pm on weekdays, and it has nifty exhibits spanning from the 1800s, while the Hangar 10 Airport Museum has some cool vintage planes.
Denton also has a solid selection of free Art Galleries to meander, as well as the several special collections you can tour the breathtakingly beautiful Blagg-Huey Library at TWU (seriously do this). The Star Parties at the UNT Astronomy Center are far out, and their cheap Sky Theater is a fun way to cool off and think about sciencey stuff.
There's lots more to do just outside the city limits and we plan to highlight a few with a Day Trip Series of posts this summer, but for now we'll just say the Video Game Museum in Frisco is a must-see and you gotta ride the Grapevine Vintage Railroad train to Ft. Worth! And remember, if you're looking to get out of dodge, we always have our list of nearby restaurants just outside of Denton that are always worth the drive. What are YOUR favorite Summertime activities around Denton? Let us know in the comments!!