Disclosure: This post is part of a yearly series in partnership with Netflix. As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I’ll be sharing ideas throughout the year on some of the best Netflix titles to stream with your family. The content, as always, is whatever streams through my own mind! Hope you enjoy!
Texas is one of my favorite places to visit. Mostly because it’s the home of my sister, but it helps that she lives in a place with pie and Sonic happy hour. And bluebonnets. Traveling with the intent of visiting family is very different from traveling with a plan to soak up everything about a place, so this isn’t a post about every possible thing you should do with your kids when visiting Dallas, Texas. But we did see and do some cool things, so of course I have to share them with you!
What’s funny is, the ONE thing we knew was a must-see isn’t actually in Dallas. In fact, it’s about a 4 hour drive from Dallas. But who doesn’t love a road trip when this is what you see along the scenic route?
We drove down to Brenham, Texas with one purpose: to tour Blue Bell Creameries. We pretty much only buy Blue Bell ice cream these days, and we were excited to see how it’s made. The kids had never been on a factory tour, and this one didn’t disappoint. You get to see every step of production, and on the day we visited we got to see ice cream being made as well as snacks such as ice cream sandwiches, mini cones and popsicles. Our tour guide was excellent, and we all learned a lot and really enjoyed the tour (which lasted about 45 minutes). The best part? At the end of the tour you get to eat ice cream! They have around 12 flavors for you to sample (give or take a few), and you can try a bite of every one if you like. Once you do the impossible and whittle your choices down to your favorite, you get a free bowl of ice cream. If you can’t possibly choose, additional scoops are available for $1. We chose Mint Chocolate Chip, Rocky Mountain Road, Southern Blackberry Cobbler, and Krazy Kookie Dough. Would you believe Krazy Kookie Dough was the crowd favorite (it’s the bright yellow one)? Now we’re on the hunt for it in Indy.
On another day, we visited the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Isn’t the outside of the building the coolest?
We went specifically to see the International Exhibit of Sherlock Holmes. As you might remember from our trip to London, Elena is a big Sherlock fan. I initially thought I’d have Elena and my sister do that exhibit (it’s an additional cost to regular admission) while Eli and I visited the rest of the museum. My sister talked me into taking Eli in as well, and I’m so glad she did. He loved it. I thought it would just be an exhibit dedicated to the story of Sherlock, with props from the shows and movies. While it does include those things, it’s really about how Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary character changed the way police work is done and inspired the modern field of forensics. As part of the exhibit, you’re given a murder to solve. We spent two hours in the exhibit and enjoyed every minute of it. Unfortunately that meant we didn’t have time for the rest of the museum, which looks amazing. We’ll definitely visit again.
The rest of our trip revolved around spending time with family, shopping and eating. Lots and lots of good eating!
In past visits, we’d always find time to shop at The Container Store and IKEA. Thankfully, I can shop at both places here at home. So what’s my can’t-miss retail experience now? Sam Moon. It’s funny, I’m not big into purses or jewelry, but I love wandering around Sam Moon, as does Elena. Eli? Not so much. But he’s in luck, because right next door is another Sam Moon store dedicated to travel and gifts. Aunt Suzy let him pick out a bunch of practical joke stuff, including a fake lottery ticket which Mike COMPLETELY fell for. I’m so mad I didn’t take a video!
As for food, we ate very well. If you’re deprived like us, you can get your In-N-Out Burger fix at several Dallas locations. The kids approved of their very first In-N-Out burgers.
I’m thrilled at the latest development in my children’s taste buds: an appreciation for BBQ. My sister did some research and came up with a place we needed to try. That’s how we found ourselves waiting in a very long line at Pecan Lodge in the Deep Ellum neighborhood. They’re best known for their beef ribs, which they were already out of at 5 p.m! If this happens to you as well, don’t fret. They’re are plenty of delicious things on the menu. We tried the homemade sausage, pork ribs, brisket, burnt ends, hot mess (a baked sweet potato stuffed with barbacpa, chipotle cream, cheese, butter and green onions), mac and cheese, pinto beans, and banana pudding. It was all ridiculously good.
On the beer end of things, I got to try a few brews that were new to me. Two microbrews stood out: Golden Opportunity, a kolsch/golden ale from Peticolas Brewing Company, and the Bock from Revolver Brewing. You’re probably familiar with Shiner, an old and well-known Texas brewery. I was able to try their seasonal, Prickly Pear. It was really good, and I plan to drink a fair share this summer. (I’ve already seen six packs of it at Meijer, now I’m on the hunt for cans. Hello, pool beer!)
We may be back in our Hoosier home, but we still have Texas on the mind. It might be awhile before we can go back, but we can bring a bit of Texas to our living room. Here are a few fun shows and movies to stream on Netflix with a little Texas flair:
Friday Night Lights: The book is on my Reading Challenge list this year, too!
Holes: Have your kids read this book?
Lonesome Dove: A classic.
Happy, Texas: I adored this movie when it came out, and could watch it (and Wayne Wayne Wayne, Jr.) over and over again.
What are your favorite things to do, see and eat in Texas? We can’t stay away for too long, so I want to know!