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Guide to Dallas for Families

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For a busy metropolis — filled with its own brand of sophisticated culture and nightlife — Dallas is also incredibly family-friendly. I've pulled together a list of some of the most fun child-friendly activities and venues to visit while you're in town, from year-round ice skating to youth theater productions. Use this guide as a supplement to any other sightseeing you plan to do while you're in the city, but most of all, enjoy your stay in the Big D!

Good for
  • Family
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

11 Places

5 City Tips

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Map

11 Places

Frontiers of Flight Museum

Speciality Museums

Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park

Game & Entertainment Centres

Dallas Zoo

Zoos

Dallas World Aquarium

Aquariums

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Speciality Museums

Galleria Dallas

Shopping Malls

Six Flags Over Texas

Theme Parks

Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park

History Museums, Parks, Speciality Museums, Historic Sites

Trailercakes

Restaurants

Dallas Children's Theatre

Theatres

Texas Discovery Gardens

Gardens, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Natural History Museums

Jessica L's City Tips

  • Dallas is a driver's town, even though the DART public transport system is fairly decent. Rent a car for the family for the most flexibility and least stress!
  • It can get quite hot in Dallas (during the summer months especially), so be sure to keep your family hydrated and covered in sunscreen to avoid heatstroke and sunburn.
  • Don't forget to tip! Dallas, like the rest of the United States, has a robust tipping culture, so expect to pay no less than 10% — 15-20% is usually a safe range.
  • Reservations and advance tickets are always a good idea no matter what the venue, as restaurants and shows tend to be very popular in this sociable city.
  • Consider getting the Dallas CityPASS if you're looking to hit up a lot of the bigger tourist sites, such as the Dallas Zoo and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
  • Save
    Frontiers of Flight Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Jessica L Says:

    As earthbound as we humans naturally are, no child can resist the urge to smile when they discover the art of flight and how we managed to achieve it. The Frontiers of Flight Museum specializes in exactly that, following aviation history from the early 1900s and the Wright brothers, through the World Wars, and extending all the way to the modern-day age of Southwest Airlines and space rockets to the moon. There's a play area for younger children, complete with videos and aviation-themed equipment, as well as numerous historical models of real planes for kids to wander around and learn about, thanks to the veteran docents who volunteer to share all of their knowledge.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • There is free parking onsite.
    • The entrance fee is very reasonable, and is free for children under three.
    • Snacks and beverages are available from vending machines and at the museum store, but there are otherwise no dining options onsite.
    • Check the website and online calendar in advance for when the museum is closed for private events and holidays.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 262 things to do in Dallas
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Flight Museum 15/07/2018
    • Great Place to see Aircraft 23/06/2018
    • Frontiers of Flight Museum
    Address:
    6911 Lemmon Ave
    Dallas, TX 75209-3603
    Phone:
    +1 214-350-1651
    Hours:
    Sun
    1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park
    Game & Entertainment Centres
    See more photos
    Jessica L Says:

    Located right next to SpeedZone, Zero Gravity is a great stop for the thrill-seeking family. You get to choose from five different rides, with names that can sound mild but appear perfectly horrifying in person: Bungee Jumping, The Texas Blastoff, Nothin' But Net, The Skycoaster, and The Skyscraper all feel like bucket list items if members of your family are brave enough to give them a go!

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Check online for the longterm status of the rides as sometimes they can be temporarily unavailable.
    • You'll have to sign to let your 16-or-younger get on any of the rides, and some have weight or height restrictions, so pay attention to the safety guidelines.
    • Zero Gravity has a perfect safety record but you will still be asked to sign a one-page release form.
    • Buy multi-ride tickets online at a discounted price rather than paying full price per ride onsite. Be aware that these activities can get pretty pricey!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 42 Fun & Games in Dallas
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Just what I expected 24/06/2018
    • Great Way to Face One's Fears 22/06/2018
    • Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park
    Address:
    11131 Malibu Dr
    Dallas, TX 75229-4404
    Phone:
    +1 972-484-8359
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    Mon - Thu
    2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    Fri
    2:00 PM - 12:00 AM
    Sat
    12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
    Other:
  • Save
    Dallas Zoo
    Zoos
    See more photos
    Jessica L Says:

    The Dallas Zoo is a worthy visit for those with tiny tots. Take your kids around the Savannah, give them a ride on the ponies, let them pet the pygmy goats, and watch the delighted looks in their eyes as they feed giraffes for the very first time! When they're ready to get their own noms on, the Serengeti Grill is a great place to scare the bejeezus out of them, where only a thick sheet of glass separates hungry lions from your own hungry little cubs!

    Good for
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Check out the website for some great children's activities, such as group overnights at the zoo, and up-close-and-personal meet-and-greets with various animals.
    • Pack your own picnic lunch to bring with you, as food can get quite expensive onsite.
    • The cooler the weather, the more active the animals — and the more crowded the zoo. Try early weekday mornings to find a good balance.
    • The 20-minute-long DinoSOAR show gives kids an interactive look at the birds and mammals of the prehistoric world in a fun and exciting way. Check online for show times.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #27 of 262 things to do in Dallas
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Very interactive 16/07/2018
    • Fun for all ages 09/07/2018
    • Dallas Zoo
    Address:
    650 S R L Thornton Fwy
    Dallas, TX 75203-3013
    Phone:
    +1 469-554-7500
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Dallas World Aquarium
    Aquariums
    See more photos
    Jessica L Says:

    The Dallas World Aquarium seems more like an indoor zoo and aviary than an aquarium alone, so makes a great alternative to the Dallas Zoo. Covering you on both land and sea animals alike, you'll descend from the top of the rainforest with colorful birds and free-roaming monkeys, down to the jungle floor with jaguars and sloths. Come for the feeding of the endangered Orinoco crocodiles, and watch Mayan dance performances after learning about the importance of reptiles and amphibians to their culture - a unique zoological and anthropological display, which is sure to captivate your little ones!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The aquarium is stroller and wheelchair-friendly, and includes an elevator.
    • Admission is a bit steep compared to other similar attractions, but it's well worth the price.
    • Toilets are located on most levels for convenience.
    • Park in the museum lot across the street for a cheaper alternative than nearby public lots.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #29 of 262 things to do in Dallas
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Spiraling Tropical Aquarium 18/07/2018
    • such a unique venue 17/07/2018
    • Dallas World Aquarium
    Address:
    1801 North Griffin Street
    Dallas, TX 75202-1503
    Phone:
    +1 214-720-2224
    Price range:
    US$21 - US$21
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Perot Museum of Nature and Science
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Jessica L Says:

    Combining the powers of the Dallas Museum of Natural History, Dallas Children's Museum, and The Science Place, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a must-see for visitors of all ages. In addition to the impressive dinosaur exhibit and planetarium, each floor of the museum provides interactive exhibits, where kids and adults alike can learn more about how our world works, from the human body to complex physics.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Watch an educational IMAX film with your kids if you need to take a rest from chasing after them all day!
    • Klyde Warren Park is right across the street from the museum and is perfect for a picnic and/or another way to get your kids to burn off some steam.
    • Purchase your tickets online for the most hassle-free entry.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 262 things to do in Dallas
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Some really nice exhibits 18/07/2018
    • Overrun by school groups 18/07/2018
    • Perot Museum of Nature and Science
    Address:
    2201 N Field St
    Dallas, TX 75201-1704
    Phone:
    +1 214-428-5555
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Galleria Dallas
    Shopping Malls
    See more photos
    Jessica L Says:

    While you're getting some shopping done, be sure to stop by the Galleria's ice rink for a quick spin on the ice. Open year-round, whether you just need a reprieve from the heat, want to take classes, or are throwing a birthday party for your kids, the Ice at the Galleria is a great way to spend an afternoon with the whole family.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • There's an indoor play center underneath the main atrium of the Galleria.
    • Check the website for special adjustments to the schedule, as well as more details on skating and hockey classes.
    • The ice skating center is especially lovely around the holidays, when the largest indoor Christmas tree in the country is erected in the middle of the ice for you and your little elves to skate around leisurely.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #36 of 262 things to do in Dallas
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lots of stores,too many too pricy 17/06/2018
    • 4 level shopping mall 10/06/2018
    • Galleria Dallas
    Address:
    13350 Dallas Pkwy
    Dallas, TX 75240-6670
    Phone:
    +1 972-702-7100
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Six Flags Over Texas
    Theme Parks
    See more photos
    Jessica L Says:

    Just outside of Dallas lies the city of Arlington, where you'll find the Texan branch of Six Flags Over Texas to keep your family entertained for a whole day or longer! Although the brand is well known for its thrill-inducing roller coaster rides, Six Flags also has a variety of family-friendly rides, meaning there's sure to be something for every family member, big and small.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • The park is open daily during the summer, but only on weekends during the other months — check online before your visit.
    • Come during Halloween for the park-wide haunted house experience, or around Christmas to do some sledding!
    • For the thrill-averse, Six Flags offers plenty of shows and other entertainment options and activities. Plan your trip ahead of time to make the most of your visit.
    • Try to visit on a weekday during the off season and you'll get the best bang for your buck and the least amount of waiting time for rides.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 47 things to do in Arlington
    • Gold club membership/Great value 17/07/2018
    • App doesn’t work for rides open or closed either. Fail all the way around 17/07/2018
    • Six Flags Over Texas
    Address:
    2201 Six Flags Road
    Arlington, TX 76011
    Phone:
    +1 817-640-8900
    Other:
  • Save
    Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park
    History Museums, Parks, Speciality Museums, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Jessica L Says:

    Take your family on a blast to the past at the Dallas Heritage Village, where visitors are encouraged to tour a long red-bricked street lined with immaculately restored buildings dating from as early as the mid 1800s. Sip root beer floats in the saloon with the under-21s; explore what schoolhouses and doctor's offices used to look like to encourage your young ones to appreciate the lives they lead now (with laptops and smart phones!); and remember to drop by the general store for that authentically fascinating jangle of antique cash registers and rustic gift wrapping. Just remember not to freak out when a 'gun fight' breaks out in the streets!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The "tour" is mostly self-guided, but there are period-dressed staff members who are happy to tell you all about how things used to be back then.
    • Check the forecast beforehand, as the main street is not covered, and the area is more easily explored during clear weather.
    • Make it a point to interact with the actors there to fully enjoy your experience.
    • A reliable GPS is a must to find this place, as it is quite easy to get lost. Search for 1515 South Harwood, Dallas, TX 75215.
    • Free parking can be found in the lot nearby, as well as along the street.
    • Old City Park is closed on Mondays; it's open until late afternoon on the remaining days of the week.
    • There is a small entry fee to this area.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #35 of 262 things to do in Dallas
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Unique Place 30/06/2018
    • Recommended if you only have one day to explore Dallas as we did 24/06/2018
    • Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park
    Address:
    1515 S Harwood St
    Dallas, TX 75215-1204
    Phone:
    +1 214-413-3679
    Price range:
    US$9 - US$9
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Trailercakes
    Restaurants (American)
    See more photos
    Jessica L Says:

    Trailercakes is the perfect cupcake shop to appeal to the whole family. While youngsters will simply love the cupcakes for being cupcakes, more mature family members will find themselves in a bit of a nostalgic titter at names like 'Slap Your Mama' and 'Pebbles & Bam Bam.' Choose from Mini and Biggie-sized cupcakes from a menu of 25 or so different flavors, and if you think the frosting is too sweet, what are you doing in a cupcake shop anyway?!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • A range of 25 flavors go on rotation per day, so ask the attendant if your favorite will be available soon.
    • There isn't much in the way of seating onsite, so you'll either have to stuff your faces while standing or get them to-go and head to a nearby park for a picnic.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #671 of 2,644 restaurants in Dallas
    • Outstanding Cupcakes 08/05/2018
    • Don't go if you are GF 04/08/2017
    • Trailercakes
    Address:
    1201 Eldorado Ave
    Suite B
    Dallas, TX 75208-4126
    Phone:
    +1 214-789-1642
    Other:
  • Save
    Dallas Children's Theatre
    Theatres
    Jessica L Says:

    Named one of the top five youth theaters in the nation, the Dallas Children's Theatre is a perfect family experience when your young ones are too little to handle a fully-fledged opera or symphony. The performances of children's stories like Pinocchio, The BFG, Charlotte's Web, and Frog And Toad are beautifully enacted on stage; with interactive scripts and professionally-produced sets and costumes that are sure to lull your babies into a state of utter delight (while you chuckle under your breath at the errant pun or two). Great for an afternoon or evening of fanciful entertainment!

    Good for
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • DCT offers up acting classes for children kindergarten and up. Check the website for more details.
    • Free parking onsite.
    • Call or visit the website to purchase tickets online.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #100 of 262 things to do in Dallas
    • Best children’s live theater in Dallas 10/11/2017
    • Great live theater and puppetry for kids 11/04/2017
    • Dallas Children's Theatre
    Address:
    5938 Skillman St
    Rosewood Center for Family Arts
    Dallas, TX 75231-7608
    Phone:
    +1 214-978-0110
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Texas Discovery Gardens
    Gardens, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Natural History Museums
    See more photos
    Jessica L Says:

    Whether you visit the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens or the Texas Discovery Gardens, your family will enjoy the respite from concrete, asphalt, and glass as you wander through the soothingly breathtaking greenery found in the middle of the city. The Discovery Gardens offers up ten themed gardens, but the highlight for children of all ages is sure to be the indoor butterfly garden. Around noon, staff release the butterflies in a demonstration that is sure to wow the sweetest of little hearts.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Three-and-unders are provided with free admission.
    • Free parking is available onsite.
    • Pack a picnic to enjoy on any of their lawns — just don't bring food inside the butterfly house.
    • Check online for various seasonal and annual events and classes held by the gardens.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #57 of 262 things to do in Dallas
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Loved the butterfly room! 18/06/2018
    • Church Group Ladies Spring Outing 17/05/2018
    • Texas Discovery Gardens
    Address:
    3601 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
    Dallas, TX 75210-2405
    Phone:
    +1 214-428-7476
    Price range:
    US$4 - US$4
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
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