Last week, Lubbock, my mom, and I went to Red Oak Nature Center. I absolutely recommend this to anyone around here looking for a free (yes, free) place to take your kids.
They have so much to do. There's a room with mirrors that make you look short (or fat) ... fun for kids, not so much for moms. There's a room with live bugs, snakes, and turtles. Puzzles, puppets, and more education opportunities than you can cover in one day. Lubbock's favorite was the bees-in-a-box. They're dead, but he liked carrying them around and handing them to people. One room is decorated to look like the inside of a leaf and the next room is the inside of a tree. We spent almost three hours there and he never got tired. He was so sad to leave, in fact.
Another nice thing about it (did I mention it's free) is that hardly anyone knows about this place! So, when our play group was there, we were the only people there and that's super nice because you don't feel like you have to keep your kids out of the other kid's way as much if they're 'stranger' kids.
I can't wait for the weather to get a bit nicer because they have trails and a picnic area, so we could probably spend an entire day there and not get bored. I hear that it does get a little busy on the weekends, though, because they offer opportunities for boy scouts to earn badges. So, I recommend the weekdays; although, I haven't been there on a weekend, so I can't say for sure they're busy.
We liked this place so much, we're going there again this week. Oh, and it's free!