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Photo courtesy Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark

The best things to do with kids in Dallas right now

Awesome theme parks, marvelous museums, musicals and gardens are among the best things to do with kids in Dallas, Texas

James Wong
Written by
James Wong
Contributor
Justine Harrington
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Though Dallas is best known for cosmopolitan vibes and its contributions to popular culture, it definitely doesn’t miss the kids out when it comes to fun things to do. In fact, with so many attractions, there’s plenty here to keep the whole family busy. Take, for example, the museums. These aren’t limited exhibits with stuff you’ve never heard of. Dallas has mahoosive collections featuring the great and glorious, presented in world-class institutions that give The Big Apple a run for its money. And as for the best restaurantsparks, stadiums, and shows, they are pretty much guaranteed to knock your socks off. Any time of year.

After all, the city encompasses around 400 square miles, and that’s a lotta space to let the good times roll. Whether your youngsters are into sparkles on a stage, science and history displays, scary rollercoasters, or simply chasing butterflies in a park, here are our picks for the best family experiences in Dallas to put a big smile on their cheeky faces.

 

Best things to do with kids in Dallas

What is it? The crème de la crème of Texas theme parks is located in Arlington, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Why go? Adults and kiddos alike will have a blast at Six Flags Over Texas, a 212-acre wonderland with towering roller coasters and plenty of family-friendly rides and attractions. Just a couple of pro-tips to keep in mind: If you want to take advantage of potential discounts, be sure to call Six Flags before visiting; also, to avoid long lines, plan to visit the park in April or September, when attendance is lightest.

What is it? A world-class museum with 11 permanent exhibitions that explore the earth, dinosaurs, sports, and energy from a scientific perspective in the heart of Dallas.

Why go? Regardless of whether you’re a science buff or not, families with children of all ages are bound to adore the Perot. This unique, architecturally stunning museum has five floors, a 297-seat theater and a café, plus an outdoor play space and courtyard. For an extra-special treat, kiddos can even celebrate their birthday parties at the museum.

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What is it? A family outing within an 11th-century castle, whereby y’all are transported to a world of ancient games, sword-fighting, and jousting. 

Why go? It’s a chance to sit down and have the kids be entertained and fed at the same time. Guests are treated to a feast of roast chicken and sweet buttered corn (you eat with your hands here – medieval times, remember), and there’s bar service for the grown-ups. The acts are extremely talented, and even adults are impressed with those horseman skills.

What is it? The 1,015-acre White Rock Lake is stocked with fish, including crappie, catfish, and bass, and thanks to the pretty natural scenery here, this park is one of the most popular spots in Dallas.

Why go? From kayaking and canoeing to bird watching and hiking, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy at White Rock Lake Park. In addition to water activities, there’s a 9.33-mile hike and bike trail that winds around the lake. Come here to decompress from city life and enjoy some outdoor family fun.

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What is it? A sprawling, 66-acre public garden with lush floral displays and several amenities, including a dining terrace, a family gift shop, and various facilities for rent.

Why go? The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is an outdoor oasis. Though it’s just minutes from downtown, on the banks of White Rock Lake, it feels like a world away. Plan your visit around the holidays; Autumn at the Arboretum and the 12 Days of Christmas displays are always excellent.

What is it? An 80,000-square foot, indoor-outdoor water wonderland located in Grand Prairie, just a short drive away from Dallas.

Why go? This community-driven waterpark boasts 11 waterslides, an outdoor wave pool, a Texas-sized lazy river, and a surf simulator. Oh, yeah, the nation’s tallest indoor Aqualoop too. A visit to Epic Waters will delight the whole family, especially considering there’s a 4,000-square-foot arcade and a full-service bar at your disposal.

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What is it? A bustling, 5-acre downtown green space built over the recessed Woodall Rodgers Freeway, between St. Paul and Pearl Streets.

Why go? Opened in 2012, Klyde Warren Park acts as a walkable, central gathering space for Dallas residents and offers daily free programming that ranges from outdoor concerts and movies to yoga and fitness classes. There are plenty of special spots for kids, including the Imagination Playground, treehouse, splash river, and more. Check the calendar to see the full list of programs and events.

What is it? The premier nonprofit presenter of Broadway theatre in North Texas.

Why go? For a taste of Broadway in Texas, check out the Dallas Summer Musicals, which produce year-round plays and live performances for local families in addition to offering community outreach programs and classes for little to no cost. There are dozens of kid-friendly shows occurring throughout the year, from Frozen to Mean Girls. Check the calendar for a list of upcoming shows.

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What is it? An adrenaline-pumping theme park with dozens of exciting attractions and rides.

Why go? Thrill-seeking kiddos will love Adventure Landing, which has everything you could ever want in a theme park: adventure golf, batting cages, bumper boats, laser tag, speedway go-karts, and a massive video arcade. There are plenty of snack bars and on-site food services, so parents can keep up their energy while the children run around.

What is it? Combining regional customs, local tradition, and interactive fun, this living history village allows visitors to experience what life was like in North Texas during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Why go? Nestled on 13 lush acres in historic Old City Park, the Dallas Heritage Village uses its collections of centuries-old furnishings and buildings to present educational programs and special events for families. There’s a schoolhouse, a log cabin, a quaint old farmstead, and much more on the premises; kids will especially love the old-fashioned general store, where they can pretend to be real store workers and patrons.

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