Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

My child has

Because childhood should be simple ...

Child Life Zone

Yay for a place inside Cook Children’s where little kids, big kids and teens can go to just be kids. The CLZ is a state-of-the-art environment that offers a different kind of “medicine.” At the CLZ, we think games, art, music, creativity and imagination are great therapy and deliver a big dose of fun to help kids feel better.

Child Life ZoneA treatment-free zone

Welcome to the Child Life Zone (CLZ), the one place at Cook Children's where patients can go to just be kids, even if only for a little while. The CLZ is a safe area within the medical center where children are free from the anxiety of needles and procedures as neither of these things are allowed within its walls. As part of Child Life services, all the staff here are part of the Cook Children’s care team. And, because the CLZ is in the hospital, the medical team is always nearby.

So what's in the CLZ?

Why the CLZ?

Sometimes laughter is the best medicine. So is hanging out with your peers, expressing yourself creatively through art, music and writing, and there’s a lot to be said for recreation therapy. The CLZ makes all of this possible and more—all in a medical-free zone for Cook Children’s patients. The only thing that happens here is fun, expression, creativity and belonging. It’s a place where a little bit of normalcy takes hold, and hopes and dreams unfold.

Funded by the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation and the Troy Aikman Foundation, along with gifts from our very generous donors, the CLZ is a state-of-the-art space designed to meet the special needs of the kids here at Cook Children’s who are dealing with serious, and often long-term, illnesses. The CLZ is open daily and special activities, programs, performances and guest appearances are always happening here.

Who gets to go to the CLZ?

The CLZ was created specifically for patients at Cook Children’s. The center is open to patients who are medically cleared by their doctor to participate in CLZ activities and outpatients who are on-campus to see specialists and may be between doctors or tests. Moms, dads, brothers and sisters of patients are also welcome and there are many activities that families can enjoy together.

What if a kid is too sick to come to the CLZ?

Our prescription? Tune in daily to CLZ TV programming. Just because a patient is confined to their room, doesn’t mean they’ll be left out. CLZ TV delivers game shows, quiz shows, creative arts and crafts, yoga and more, right to the room. There are even some interactive shows where patients can call in from their room phone. And, iPads® make it possible for patients to be show participants without ever leaving their hospital bed.


Welcome to CLZ-TV where we broadcast live and prerecorded programming. Most of the shows are created right here in our own fully equipped, professionally designed broadcast studio. Our kids and staff all have the opportunity to participate in the development, production, performance and airing of programs, from concept to script to screen.


Current programming includes:

In addition to our growing list of in-house produced programs, CLZ-TV also runs feature films.

CLZ recording studio

Child Life ZoneThe recording studio allows patients to play music and be expressive about anything they may be experiencing. Our studio is staffed by people who have extensive experience in the recording industry and the patience to help Cook Children’s patients explore their own interests in recording. They may want to play an instrument, write a melody or lyrics, or learn how the recording equipment works. The music our patients create can be nonverbal, with instruments only, or it can be expressed through singing or songwriting. Patients have the control over what they do and how they do it, learning new skills to enhance their self-esteem, something especially challenging for chronically ill children. And, for some, music is a very powerful healing tool. The ability to play the music in their own way makes it twice as powerful.

Child Life Zone Performance stage Child Life Zone Performance stage
Child Life Zone Interactive broadcast studio Child Life Zone Interactive broadcast studio

In addition to creating great music, plans are already in place to launch CLZ radio. Like CLZ TV, programming will be created specifically for and by our patients and aired in-house.

The Flip Side

Thanks to our very own YAC-PAC teen advisory council, the Flip Side is a unique zone designed by teens for teens, age 12 and up. It’s filled with interactive games, electronics and an awesome pool table creating a cool space where kids can relate to and understand each other. With the most comfortable gaming chairs around, the Flip Side is also a cool place to chill out and have fun.

Child Life Zone High-tech electronics/games Child Life Zone High-tech electronics/games

Performance center

There's always something happening here. The performance center has theater area that runs feature movies for kids and teens and popcorn is on the menu. Of course, you never know what performing artist might drop by Cook Children's, so there’s a live performance area for featured guests. Audiences are often delighted by original programming from national and local talent, including some of our own in-house “stars.”

What's cookin' in the CLZ

Creativity is great therapy and what's more creative than the culinary arts? Here, kids get to learn how to whip up great food while developing confidence, both in the kitchen and in life. For an extra measure of fun, celebrity chefs often stop by to share their expertise. The CLZ kitchen is also home to our CLZ TV cooking shows, with a great menu of programs hosted by our kids and local chefs.

Bomar Library

The Bomar has great reads for kids of all ages. Every other Tuesday is story time for the little ones. Kids and parents alike enjoy a special treat when Ella the reading dog comes along to help tell the stories. In the summer, we participate in area reading programs and kids are rewarded for reading a certain number of books. Rewards in the past have included tickets to Ranger games, Six Flags and more.

Child Life Zone Library and family resource center Child Life Zone Library and family resource center

Learn more about the CLZ.
If you are a patient or the parent of a patient click here to request a calendar of events and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Rocket Fuel