If you are planning your trip to Dallas, Texas and are looking for the best things to do with kids, you’ve come to the right place.
Dallas, the shimmering crown of North Texas, isn’t just a haven for adults seeking culture, cuisine, or sports. It’s a sprawling playground brimming with adventures for the younger crowd, too!
Whether you’re a local looking to rediscover your city through the eyes of your children or a traveler eager to make the most of your family trip, Dallas promises a treasure trove of memories.
Dive into my curated list of 37 kid-approved activities that will turn your Dallas days into delightful discoveries! If you have teenagers be sure to see our list of Fun Things to Do With Teenagers in Dallas, Texas.
Table of Contents
Discovering the Museums
Dallas is home to a variety of museums perfect for children of all ages. Here are some of the most popular museums that families can explore together.
1. Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is located in the heart of Dallas; this museum is a top pick for families visiting the city.
It captivates young minds with its hands-on exhibits spanning topics from earth and space to energy and engineering.
Kids can immerse in a 3D film and feel the thrill of a simulated earthquake. Or they can ascend a 54-foot indoor treehouse, ensuring an adventurous outing for all ages.
With so many exhibits and activities, you can guess the museum is a must-visit destination destination when you are in Dallas with kids.
2. Urban Air Adventure Park
Kids always have a good time at a trampoline park. This one has lots of trampolines, a tumble track, a ropes course, a climbing wall, a playground, a warrior course, dodgeball, and more.
3. Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
In the heart of Dallas lies The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, a touching tribute to the life and tragic end of President John F. Kennedy. As families wander through its corridors, they’re transported back in time, encountering genuine artifacts and diving deep into the events surrounding that heart-wrenching day.
The museum also delves into the numerous conspiracy theories that have sprouted over the decades. One interesting fact is the museum’s location. It’s housed on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository building. That is the very place intertwined with the assassination’s history. I recommend this for kids 10 and older.
4. Frontiers of Flight Museum
For kids with a passion for the skies, The Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas is an unmissable destination. Home to an impressive array of over 30 aircraft and spacecraft, the museum offers a captivating journey through aviation history.
Families wandering its halls can marvel at a meticulous replica of the Wright Brothers’ pioneering plane, experience the thrill of sitting in a fighter jet’s cockpit, and even embark on a virtual flight with the museum’s simulator. It’s a soaring adventure for visitors of all ages!
5. National Videogame Museum
For gaming aficionados and curious minds alike, The National Videogame Museum in Dallas is a delightful dive into the pixelated past. This vibrant and interactive space invites families to relive the joy of classic arcade games, discover rare gaming consoles and quirky accessories, and delve into the stories of the visionaries and iconic companies that have sculpted the gaming landscape.
Beyond just play, the museum also nurtures budding game designers with workshops and events, giving kids a chance to dream up and design their own digital adventures. It’s a nostalgic and educational journey through the joystick era and beyond!
Adventures in Downtown Dallas
Downtown Dallas is a bustling hub of activity that offers plenty of fun and exciting activities for kids of all ages. Here are a few must-see attractions that are sure to keep your little ones entertained:
6. Main Street Garden Park
Head to Main Street Garden Park in the heart of downtown Dallas for a vibrant urban green space that offers a refreshing break from the city’s hustle and bustle.
One of the standout features for families is the modern playground. It’s designed to engage children of various ages, ensuring they have a fun and safe place to play.
During those warm Dallas days, the splash pad becomes a favorite among kids, perfect for cooling off and having some water fun.
There are plenty of open grassy areas, perfect for a game of catch, frisbee, or just letting the little ones run around.
7. Reunion Tower
For a bird’s eye view of the city, head to Reunion Tower. This iconic landmark offers stunning views of the Dallas skyline from its Geo-Deck observation deck, which is located 470 feet above ground level. Kids will love looking out at the city from the tower’s floor-to-ceiling windows, and parents will appreciate the informative displays that provide information about the city’s history and landmarks.
8. West End Historic District
You should definitely check out the West End Historic District. It’s easy to walk around with lots of shops and places to eat. Plus, there are some cool museums like the Dallas Holocaust Museum and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
Your kids can learn a lot about Dallas’s past while having fun. Downtown Dallas is packed with stuff to do, both outside and in. So, get ready and dive into the city’s fun side!
Dallas is home to several aquariums that are perfect for a fun family outing. Here are two great options to consider:
9. Dallas World Aquarium
For families with kids, the Dallas World Aquarium is an unmissable stop. This expansive aquarium houses an array of marine creatures, from colorful tropical fish to majestic sharks and rays. As you wander through its corridors, you’ll encounter diverse exhibits, including playful penguins.
A standout attraction is the Mundo Maya exhibit, diving deep into the rich heritage and wildlife of the ancient Maya civilization. Here, you can marvel at creatures that held significance for the Maya, such as vibrant macaws, roaring jaguars, and vocal howler monkeys.
Don’t miss the Orinoco – Secrets of the River display, which transports you to a South American rainforest setting. This immersive exhibit introduces visitors to the unique inhabitants of these dense forests, like the playful giant otters, sharp-toothed piranhas, and the elusive anacondas.
10. Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park
Inside Fair Park, the Children’s Aquarium is a gem for families, especially those with little ones. It’s a more intimate setting, packed with hands-on exhibits that make learning about marine life both fun and memorable.
A favorite spot for many is the touch tank. Here, kids get the chance to feel the unique textures of marine creatures like starfish and crabs. And for those intrigued by the mysteries of the deep, the shark exhibit offers a close-up view of various shark species.
Beyond just viewing, the Children’s Aquarium is big on education. Throughout the year, they roll out programs and events aimed at sparking curiosity about the underwater world and the importance of conservation, all while ensuring kids have a blast.
Outdoor Activities in Summer
Dallas is known for its beautiful weather, and outdoor activities are a great way to enjoy it. There are plenty of options for families to explore, from gardens to adventure parks. Here are some of the best outdoor activities for kids in Dallas:
11. The Dallas Zoo
The Dallas Zoo is a great place to visit with kids. With thousands of animals and over 100 acres to explore, it’s one of the top attractions in Dallas.
For parents, there are plenty of amenities available at the zoo, including stroller and wheelchair rentals, nursing stations, and family restrooms.
There are also several dining options available. YOu can grab a quick snack to full meals at any of their restaurants. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on your way out to pick up a souvenir to remember your visit.
12. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is perfect if you are looking for a peaceful and educational outdoor activity.
The garden has over 20 different gardens within it. Each offers its own unique theme and design. Kids will love the Children’s Adventure Garden, where they can explore and learn about nature through interactive exhibits and activities.
13. White Rock Lake
White Rock Lake stands out as a serene getaway right in the heart of Dallas. Ideal for family picnics, biking, or just a relaxed walk, it’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 1,000 acres of surrounding parkland, it’s a fantastic spot for kids to play and enjoy the summer vibes freely.
14. Trinity Forest Adventure Park
Trinity Forest Adventure Park is a thrilling outdoor playground packed with activities for both kids and grown-ups. From zip lines to rope courses, it promises adrenaline-filled fun. Especially for the little ones, there’s the Children’s Adventure Course tailored just for them, ensuring they have a blast while staying safe.
15. Adventure Landing
Adventure Landing is a fun-packed amusement park perfect for families. With attractions ranging from go-karts and mini-golf to laser tag, there’s something for every kid. On warm days, the Splash Pad is a hit, letting kids splash around and cool down in the water play zone.
16. Klyde Warren Park
A unique urban green space built over the recessed Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas, Texas.
One of the standout features for families is the dedicated Children’s Park. This area has interactive fountains, playgrounds, and climbing structures suitable for kids of various ages.
Kids can cool off at the park’s splash pad. It’s a fun way for them to beat the heat while playing in the water.
Also, Klyde Warren Park is known for its rotating lineup of food trucks, offering a range of culinary delights. This provides a convenient and diverse dining option for families.
The park offers a games area where visitors can play table tennis, foosball, and petanque. There are also board games available for checkout.
Family-friendly Indoor things to do in Dallas.
When Dallas weather keeps you indoors, don’t fret; the city still brims with indoor fun for the family. Of course, cozying up with a blanket and reading a story to your little one is always a heartwarming option. But if you’re itching for a bit more adventure, dive into these indoor activities that Dallas has to offer.
17. Dallas Children’s Theater
For families with kids who love the stage, the Dallas Children’s Theater is a top spot. They host a range of shows all year round, specially crafted for the younger crowd. Not only are these performances a treat to watch, but they also weave in educational elements, addressing topics that truly speak to kids.
18. Bowl and Barrel
If you’re looking to take your kids bowling, head to Bowl and Barrel. This place is more than just your average bowling alley. Y’all can bowl and eat at the same time. For parents they have tasty cocktails.
Located on the South Side of the Lamar building, SPARK! is a creative environment where kids can explore and engage in hands-on activities. The space is designed to foster creativity through play and includes a massive climbing structure, art stations, and various interactive installations.
20. Storytime Adventures at the Dallas Library
One of the delightful, often-overlooked gems in Dallas for families is the “Toddler Story Time” at the Dallas Library. This program is a wonderful blend of storytelling, interactive activities, and early literacy promotion, all tailored for the littlest of listeners.
It’s a heartwarming experience that both kids and parents will cherish.
Exploring Dallas Arts
Dallas is a vibrant city and a hub for art, music, and culture. There are many opportunities for families to explore the arts scene in Dallas. Here are a few places to check out:
21. Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art is a great place for families to explore art from around the world. The museum boasts over 24,000 pieces, making it a marvel with such a diverse array of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.
You can participate in interactive tours, create art in the studio, or attend a family-friendly event.
22. Nasher Sculpture Center
For art-loving families, the Nasher Sculpture Center is a top pick in Dallas. It boasts an impressive array of modern and contemporary sculptures. The outdoor garden is not only a visual treat but also a serene spot to wander and unwind. Plus, with a range of kid-friendly programs like guided tours and hands-on art sessions, it’s both an educational and enjoyable outing.
23. Deep Ellum
Deep Ellum stands out as one of Dallas’ most lively districts, celebrated for its vivid street art, buzzing music scene, and unique boutiques. Families can wander around, admiring the kaleidoscope of murals and graffiti. And if you’re in the mood for some tunes, many venues in Deep Ellum host shows that are perfect for the whole family.
24. The Arts District
The Arts District in Dallas is a beacon for culture enthusiasts, brimming with art museums and galleries. A standout is the Dallas Museum of Art, a treasure trove for families keen on art. With a vast global art collection, the museum also rolls out numerous kid-friendly activities and programs to engage and educate.
Fun at the Theme Parks
Dallas is home to several theme parks that offer a variety of rides, attractions, and entertainment options for kids of all ages.
25. Six Flags Over Texas
If you’re into thrills, Six Flags Over Texas is the place to be. It boasts more than 45 rides ranging from adrenaline-pumping roller coasters to family-friendly attractions. Among the crowd favorites are the Titan, a colossal roller coaster zooming up to 85 mph, and the Texas SkyScreamer, which swings adventurers a dizzying 400 feet off the ground. Beyond the rides, the park entertains with an array of shows, games, and a diverse selection of eateries.
26. Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge is the ultimate family getaway, complete with an indoor water park, arcade, and mini-golf. Kids and adults alike can zoom down slides, float on the lazy river, or catch waves in the pool. There’s even a special section just for the little ones. Hungry after all the fun? The resort has you covered with dining choices, from a hearty buffet to a quick pizza stop.
27. Hawaiian Falls
Hawaiian Falls is the go-to spot for water fun, boasting everything from thrilling slides and a meandering lazy river to a lively wave pool. But the excitement doesn’t stop at the water’s edge; there’s also mini-golf, go-karts, and even a zip line to try out.
28. Hurricane Harbor
Hurricane Harbor is a splash-packed destination, offering everything from exhilarating slides and a relaxing lazy river to a bustling wave pool. When hunger strikes, visitors can grab a bite from options like a pizza joint or a handy snack bar. With branches spread across the U.S., it’s a top pick for families nationwide, especially when seeking a refreshing escape from the sizzling summer heat.
Historical Sites and Landmarks
Dallas and Fort Worth are both cities rich in history and culture, with plenty of historical sites and landmarks that are perfect for families with kids to explore. Here are a few must-visit spots:
29. Old City Park
Visiting Old City Park is like travelling back in time to Dallas in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some of the buildings that stand out are the grand Victorian mansion, a quaint schoolhouse, a serene church, and an old-timey general store.
You can join guided tours, witness craftsmen at work in age-old trades, and even get hands-on with activities like butter churning or candle making. It’s a vivid peek into the past!
30. Pioneer Plaza
In the heart of downtown Dallas, Pioneer Plaza stands out with its striking bronze display of a cattle drive, boasting 49 impressively large longhorn cattle and three mounted cowboys. This grand sculpture pays homage to Texas’s deep-rooted cattle industry legacy. It’s not just a sight to behold; kids have a blast exploring around it. The plaza also offers a serene stream with a waterfall and ample seating and picnic spots, making it a perfect place for families to unwind and soak in the ambiance.
31. Fort Worth Stockyards
The Fort Worth Stockyards transports visitors back to the late 19th century, a time when they were the heartbeat of Texas’s cattle industry. Now a top tourist spot, it’s a window into the Old West’s charm. Families can witness a real cattle drive, embark on informative tours, or even get a taste of excitement at a rodeo.
And for those looking to shop or dine, there’s no shortage of places offering everything from authentic cowboy gear to mouth-watering barbecue. Indeed, for history buffs, culture enthusiasts, or those just seeking a good time, both Dallas and Fort Worth brim with historical gems that captivate visitors, young and old.
Shopping and Dining
Dallas is a great destination for families who enjoy shopping and dining. The city is home to a variety of shopping malls, restaurants, and markets that cater to all tastes and budgets.
32. Dallas Farmers Market
For families keen on fresh finds and handcrafted treasures, the Dallas Farmers Market is a delightful spot. Open every day, it’s a bustling hub where you can pick up everything from fresh fruits and veggies to delectable meats and cheeses, not to mention unique crafts and jewelry.
Hungry from all the shopping? The market isn’t just about stalls; it’s dotted with eateries to satiate your cravings. Highlights include Mudhen Meat and Greens, known for its fresh farm-to-table dishes, and Taqueria La Ventana, where the flavours of Mexican street food come alive.
But there’s more to the market than just shopping and eating. Families can dive into a range of events, from cooking classes and workshops to vibrant festivals. And if you swing by on a weekend, expect to be serenaded with live tunes and entertaining performances.
Visiting Nearby Cities
Dallas is surrounded by several cities that offer great family-friendly activities. Here are two popular attractions in Fort Worth that are worth visiting:
33. Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
For families with a thirst for knowledge, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is a treasure trove. It’s packed with interactive displays that make learning about science and history a delightful experience for kids.
A crowd favorite is DinoLabs, where towering dinosaur skeletons come to life and interactive stations let kids dive deep into the prehistoric era. Other notable sections include Energy Blast, shedding light on the fascinating world of energy, and the Cattle Raisers Museum, which delves into Texas’s rich cattle-raising legacy.
Stargazers, young and old, will be captivated by the museum’s planetarium. Shows like “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure” are specially crafted for the little ones. And the fun doesn’t stop at the exhibits; the museum hosts a slew of events, from summer camps and family nights to hands-on workshops, ensuring there’s always something new to explore.
34. Fort Worth Zoo
A trip to Fort Worth isn’t complete without a visit to its renowned zoo. Welcoming families with over 7,000 animals from every corner of the globe, it’s a vibrant showcase of wildlife, from majestic lions and towering giraffes to gentle elephants.
Dive into the African Savanna exhibit to experience the heart of Africa or journey to the Australian Outback to meet the unique creatures of Down Under. For those keen on a closer encounter, the World of Primates brings you face-to-face with gorillas and chimps, while the Museum of Living Art is a haven for reptiles, amphibians, and fish enthusiasts.
Beyond the exhibits, the Fort Worth Zoo ensures a full experience with a range of events and programs. Whether it’s summer camps, sleepovers at the zoo, or enlightening educational sessions, there’s always something engaging on the agenda.
35. Granite Park Boardwalk in Plano, Texas,
Granite Park Boardwalk in Plano is a delightful blend of nature, dining, and leisure, perfect for families. Centered around a serene water feature, the wooden boardwalk offers a coastal vibe, making every stroll feel like a mini-vacation.
Foodies will appreciate the array of restaurants dotting the Boardwalk. Whether you’re craving a quick snack or a leisurely meal, there’s a spot for you. And if you fancy dining with a view, several places provide outdoor seating overlooking the tranquil waters.
Kids have ample space to let loose and play, and the Boardwalk’s pedestrian-only design ensures they can roam safely, free from the hustle and bustle of cars.
36. Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark
Located in Grand Prairie, between Dallas and Fort Worth, Epic Waters is a massive indoor water park that’s open year-round. It boasts a retractable roof, making it perfect for both sunny and rainy days. Features include A large pool that simulates ocean waves, providing a beach-like experience. Additionally, a relaxing, slow-moving river where guests can float on tubes.
The park offers a variety of slides, from thrilling drops to twisty turns, suitable for both kids and adults. A multi-level play structure with interactive water features, slides, and a massive tipping bucket that drenches everyone below at regular intervals.
Want to try surfing? This attraction offers a continuous wave for bodyboarding and flowboarding. If you’re looking for a private space, the park offers cabana rentals that come with lounge chairs, a table, and other amenities.
Including Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark in your itinerary would certainly add a splash of fun to your Dallas visit with kids!
37. Crayola Experience Plano
Just a short drive from Dallas, in Plano, the Crayola Experience is a colorful and interactive attraction. Kids can participate in over 20 hands-on activities, including creating their own crayon labels, molding crayon wax into shapes, and even starring in their own coloring pages.
Where to Stay in Dallas
Dallas for Kids Summary
Dallas may not always be the first choice for family vacations in Texas, but it’s high time it was. Beyond its cowboy legacy and oil magnates, Dallas has morphed into a lively hub brimming with activities for the little ones.
Dive into history at the Dallas Heritage Village. Marvel at the underwater wonders in the Dallas World Aquarium. Feel the thrill at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park. And satisfy those young appetites with a range of family-friendly restaurants offering Texan-sized flavors.
Blending its rich historical roots with contemporary zest, Dallas showcases the essence of modern-day Texas. It boasts a mix of educational museums, sprawling green spaces, delectable cuisine, and thrilling attractions.
Next time you’re thinking of a family getaway, think beyond the usual and venture to Dallas. Follow this guide to explore the best of this Texan gem, letting the vibrant soul of Dallas captivate your family’s heart.
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