Not only does Coppell, Texas, offer a variety of exciting things to see and do, but it also has numerous educational destinations in the area. Whether you and your kids are interested in exploring nature or learning about history, you know everyone in the family will have a good time when you check out these cool educational places for learning around Coppell.
Coppell Nature Park
Image via Flickr by daveynin Licensed CC BY 2.0
Coppell has plenty of places where you can get outside and stretch your legs on a hike, including Coppell Nature Park. The nature park is a 66-acre park located within Wagon Wheel Park. As you’re hiking the 5 miles of trails in the park, keep an eye out for the wildlife that calls the area home, including coyotes, bobcats, hawks, and more than 130 different species of birds that migrate through every year.
You can also stop by the Biodiversity Education Center to check out their hands-on education programs. Additionally, the Biodiversity Education Center hosts a variety of classes and programs throughout the year, such as art camps, nature hikes, wildlife classes, full moon hikes, gardening classes, and more. The Coppell Nature Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset, and admission is free.
SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium
The SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium is located just a few miles west of Coppell in Grapevine, and it’s the perfect place to learn more about the creatures that call the ocean home. The most popular exhibit at the aquarium is the 360-degree Ocean Tunnel. The ocean spectacle along this tunnel holds 160,000 gallons of water and is 15 feet at its deepest point. This is also where you can spot Haggard, the male nurse shark, that weighs around 150 pounds.
At the Sea Turtle Rescue Center, you can learn about the threats sea turtles face, see how to help protect them, and discover the process of rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing sea turtles back into the wild. The interactive rock pools are a fun place to have a hands-on experience with sea stars and anemones. You can also explore the mysterious world of the rainforest in the Rainforest Adventure exhibit. Other popular exhibits at the aquarium include Stingray Bay, Clownfish Caves, Seahorse Temple, and the Mangrove Forest.
The SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium is open daily and single admission tickets start at $23.99. You can also catch educational talks and feeding demonstrations throughout the day, as well as add a behind-the-scenes tour to make your trip even more memorable.
Grapevine Vintage Railroad
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad is more than just a train ride. It’s also a unique and exciting way to learn about history. Located in the heart of historic downtown Grapevine, the railroad offers several types of rides on authentic 1920s Victorian coaches. On the Cotton Belt Route, you have to keep an eye out for sneaky bandits on board the train as you leave Grapevine and travel to the Historic Stockyards Station in Fort Worth.
Once you arrive in Fort Worth, be sure to take some time exploring the Stockyards Station. You can get a bite to eat, do some shopping, learn more about the history of Western heritage, and watch the famous longhorn cattle drive. After you’ve had an opportunity to explore the Stockyards, you’ll re-board the train and return to Grapevine. Prices for the Cotton Belt Route range from $18 to $26.
If you have younger riders who just want the experience of riding on a train, the Grapevine Bear Creek Short Line runs along the historic Cotton Belt Route for 30 minutes before returning to the Grapevine Depot. Prices for this excursion range from $10 to $12.
Heritage Farmstead Museum
The Heritage Farmstead Museum is a living history site located about 25 minutes east of Coppell in Plano. On this 4.5-acre piece of history, you can see what life was like on the Blackland Prairie during the late 1800s. The farm has both enclosed and open-air exhibits with topics related to North Texas history.
Take a step inside the one-room schoolhouse that’s a replica of an 1895 vintage schoolhouse still standing in Ponder, Texas, to see what getting an education was like for kids. In the farmhouse, you’ll see Victorian-era relics that either belonged to the original farm owners or other prominent Plano families, such as an early telephone from the American Bell Telephone Company, numerous antique irons, and a Sanger Bros. Victrola phonograph.
The outbuildings showcase tools that were part of daily life on the farm, and the Heritage Farmstead Museum also has a working blacksmith’s shed where you can see demonstrations on the trade. The grounds are open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $5 per person and children 2 and younger are free. House tours are only available on Fridays and Saturdays.
Frontiers of Flight Museum
You can explore the fascinating history of aviation and space exploration when you visit the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Located about 20 minutes south of Coppell on the Dallas Love Field, this Smithsonian-affiliated museum has an extensive collection of aviation history artifacts with an emphasis on the role of the region during different milestone events.
The aircraft gallery contains exhibits on flights all the way from the Wright Brothers to the modern supersonic jet. Many of the aircraft on display are rare one-of-a-kind pieces or unique replicas. You can even walk inside the nose section of a Boeing 737 to see what the flight controls look like. The spacecraft exhibit has a replica of Sputnik 1, a scaled composite replica of SpaceShipOne, a model of Beal Aerospace BA-2C, and the actual command module from the Apollo 7 mission.
The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission ranges from $7 to $10 and tickets may be purchased upon arrival.
At Crème de la Crème of Coppell, we love to visit these educational destinations around the area. Did we miss one of your favorite places to visit? If so, please contact us and let us know so we can include it on this list.