Kid-Friendly Activities in Dallas
When considering a destination for a family vacation, search no further than Dallas, Texas. There are no shortage of exciting options, some obvious and some not so obvious. With a wide range of activities, Dallas offers a cultural, educational, and affordable experience that is sure to be a memorable vacation for folks of all ages! Yes, even you Mom & Dad. Whether your family loves animal and marine life, or is more of the adventurous type, we are positive you will enjoy the following recommendations for these family friendly Dallas attractions. This Texas vacation is sure to be a memorable one.
If your children love animals as much as we do then be sure to check out the Dallas Zoo. Located just three miles south of downtown, the 106 acre zoo is the largest and oldest in the entire state of Texas. Founded in 1888 with just two deer and two mountain lions, the wildlife establishment has seriously expanded and is now home to over 2,000 animals representing over 400 species!
With numerous immersive experiences to explore such as the Koala Walkabout and Flamingo Pond, the Dallas Zoo is sure to leave a lasting impression. With no shortage of epic photo opportunities, your family can look forward to memories that will last a lifetime.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Located right in the heart of downtown Dallas, The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a stellar choice that is sure to awaken curiosity and wonder. The sheer amount of experiences you and your family can enjoy at this top rated attraction make it a must visit. From gems and minerals, human body, and beyond, the Perot Museum is a place that seriously has it all! And with its own dedicated children’s museum, a stop here during your next family vacation is a no brainer.
McKinney Avenue Trolley
Even before Mr. Rogers made trains beloved by children everywhere, many major North American cities’ first form of public transport was the trolley. Dallas is no different. Trolley cars were common on the streets of Dallas from the late 19th century until the 1930’s. The Mckinney Avenue Transit Authority (MATA) is a non-profit organization that seeks to keep the memory of the humble trolley alive. Children and adults alike just love riding in the ornately restored streetcars of the M-Line. The MATA carries a “name your fare” philosophy making this not only a special but affordable way to explore the city.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
When we tell you that the Arboretum and Botanical Garden has something for every member of your family, we mean it. The Arboretum opened to the public in 1984 and since then has been listed among the top arboretums in the world. Breathtaking visuals await as you and your family wander the 66 acres of painstakingly manicured gardens. Hungry? Try ordering some yummy food from one of the dining outlets and feel free to picnic anywhere you’d like. Oh, and don’t forget to swing by the Children’s Adventure Garden and take part in one of the many programs geared just for kids.
Admission to the Gardens only costs $3, making it a great activity that won’t break the bank!
Dallas Museum of Art
Perfect for a family traveling with older children, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is a wonderful and educational way to spend an afternoon in Dallas. The DMA was established in 1903 and is known to be one of the largest art museums in the country. At the heart of the Museum’s offerings is its global collection. Your family will marvel at over 24,000 artifacts spanning over 5,000 years of human history. In addition to the global collection, a phenomenal set of rotating exhibits and a full calendar of events make the DMA a definite place of interest.
Klyde Warren Park
One of the most unique parks in the entire country has to be Klyde Warren Park. This 5 acre deck park built atop an 8 lane freeway is nothing short of an engineering marvel. And if that is all that it was, that would be sufficient. However, this park that is located smack in the center of the city has tons of offerings. Opening recently, in 2012, Klyde Warren Park’s highlights include the Children’s Park, an impressive Dog Park, as well as areas dedicated to fitness and relaxation. With activities scheduled throughout the year, this is a “day in the park” that you and your family will not want to miss.
Just a short drive from downtown lies an oasis full of thrills and some lazy river chills. Bahama Beach Dallas’s Family Waterpark is a seasonal favorite that is sure to be a stop that you and your family will talk about for years to come. Spanning over 10 areas, containing multiple slides will have you stumped on what to experience next. Grab a tube and float down the lazy river or head over to Coconut Cove and watch the kiddos spend hours running around the insane “water rain fortress”. If you get hungry, don’t worry, the park has you covered with one of their many dining options. You may have to bring a waterproof camera for this one as these moments are not to be missed.
Are you and your family history buffs like we are?
If so, there is no better place to get up to speed on the history of Dallas than Pioneer Plaza. This place was dedicated to the city by the Texas Trees Foundation, and actively seeks to commemorate the history of Dallas. Celebrating the trails that brought settlers there, the Plaza is full of rich historic information. Immerse yourself in a thrilling artist’s re-creation of a longhorn cattle drive. The larger than life sculptures are simply incredible! Situated on just over 4 acres of donated green space, this time machine of man-made cliffs, a waterfall, native plant life, and small historic details on the sculptures is wondrous. This location will be sure to leave you yearning to hit the open range. Don’t forget the camera, you and the family will want to remember this.
Dallas World Aquarium
Located right smack in the middle of downtown, Dallas World Aquarium (DWA) will have you considering whether to start a new life under the sea or up in the clouds on the branch of a tree. The DWA is not only a world class aquatic aquarium but also, for bird lovers, ornithologically inclined. The establishment has many birds from all over the world currently residing in its diverse habitats. In addition to exhibits that take you from the clouds, South Africa, and Borneo, visitors can also explore the food offerings at three different dining outlets. The kids are going to love feeding select animals as an extra special treat. In addition, the Aquarium offers a schedule of talks from some leaders in the world of conservation. Children two and under are free.
Texas Horse Park
If Pioneer Plaza builds up your appetite for a taste of the old west, there is no better place to visit than Texas Horse Park at The Trinity. Located just minutes away from the city, this is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle. In the heart of The Great Trinity Forest, this 302 acre park features classic architectural elements of the old west in a breathtakingly pastoral setting. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider there is something for everyone at this Texas horse park. Just be sure to leave your city slicker worries and cares at the barn door.
Where to stay?
The greater Dallas metropolitan is a very busy area. With a population of 1.3 million, the major city has no shortage of accommodation options for all types of visitors. Finding a family friendly hotel should be no issue, but we love to recommend those traveling with kids check out the many fitting vacation rentals this city has to offer. Opting for a vacation home instead of a hotel can give your family the space it needs with additional bedrooms and a kitchen to cook in. Dallas has a great food scene but making breakfast at home by hitting a grocery store is a great way to save money. This style of accommodations also helps if you are planning to travel with your pets as the place you rent may have a backyard. Now that we have some insights on the best accommodation types, let’s find something to do!