By Stephanie Ball
The low-gas light flashes as a driver pulls into the nearest gas station. A commercial on the radio announces a spring break package to South Padre Island for college students. The driver fills the tank. The price nears $50 for what used to cost $30.
As spring break approaches, gas prices are expected to rise, leading many families and individuals to take local trips, according to www.save thephillipsfamily.com, a site for low-cost traveling. Gas prices are predicted to rise to almost $4.50 by the summer, according to www.dallasgas prices.org.
In order to save mileage and money, students can enjoy spring break while experiencing these top five day trips within the Metroplex.
1. Dallas: The Arboretum will host Dallas Blooms, a floral festival, Mar. 3-Apr. 8. There are more than 500,000 spring flowers on-site – including daffodils, poppies, cherry blossoms and more, according to www.dallasarboretum.org. Entry to The Arboretum costs $12 per person. The Arboretum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is located at 8525 Garland Road.
2. Fort Worth: The Fort Worth Zoo is the home to more than 16 permanent exhibits and the Museum of Living Art. According to www.fort worthzoo.org, the museum is an indoor-outdoor facility that houses more than 250 amphibian and reptile species. Entry to the zoo costs $12 per person. The zoo is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and is located at 1989 Colonial Parkway.
3. Farmers Branch: The Farmers Branch Historical Park stretches across 27 acres of land and displays more than 165 years of local history. The Park tour includes the railroad depot and caboose, old church, log cabin, schoolhouse, service station, rose garden and other historic buildings. The park does not charge for entry. The park is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and is located at 2540 Farmers Branch Lane.
Nearby, the Dr. Pepper Stars Center offers public ice skating for $10 per person, including a skate rental. The Center is open Monday-Friday from 10:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m. and is located at 12700 N. Stemmons Freeway.
4. Denton: Spring break is starting early in Denton with 35 Denton, a four-day music festival featuring more than 150 bands – including The Raincoats, Devin the Dude and Atlas Sound. Local artists will also be performing. The festival is $35 per person for a day pass and $65 per person for a four-day wristband from Mar. 8-11. For the schedule of performers including the stage locations, visit www.35denton.com.
5. Glen Rose: The Dinosaur Valley State Park features 113 million-year-old dinosaur tracks in the Paluxy River bed. Guests can walk and hike through a trail of dinosaur tracks, bring a picnic and swim and fish in the river for $5. Dinosaur Valley is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and is located west of Glen Rose on Highway 59.
Drive about 20 minutes south of Glen Rose to the Brazos Drive-In Theater for an old-fashioned movie experience. The drive-in features one outdoor movie screen, which shows a double feature and a concession stand.
Check the Brazos Drive-In Facebook page for current movie listings. The drive-in is $20 per carload of six people and is located at 1800 W. Pearl Street, Granbury.