Researching fun things to do in Dallas for your next vacation with kids? You won’t be disappointed! Dallas, Texas, is one of the most underrated cities for a family vacation, especially with the Dallas city pass. Get discounts on 4 of the 5 most popular attractions for families visiting the city! With dozens of fun things to do in Dallas with kids, it won’t be hard to plan your trip. Try unique indoor options like the Perot Museum, perfect for a hot or rainy day. Or, wander around The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden to enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna. No matter your interests, these Fun Things To Do In Dallas With Kids have your itinerary covered.
Visit a Family-Friendly Museum
Dallas has so many museums, so it’s no surprise that they’re some of the best things to do in Dallas with kids. Between science, American history, and more, here are our picks for the best family-friendly museums in Dallas.
Looking for indoor things to do in Dallas with kids that will keep them engaged and increase their knowledge? The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Victory Park (just north of downtown Dallas) is a great option! With a mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the Perot Museum is designed with hands-on experiences to help kids learn in a fun and interactive way. From towering dinosaurs to engineering and sports to exquisite gems, the 180,000-square-foot museum has 11 exhibit halls, an outdoor science park, a musical forest, and cascading stream, plus a 54-foot glass-encased escalator with a stunning view of the Dallas skyline.
Here, kids will delight in safely experiencing an earthquake, touching a tornado, seeing a real human brain, challenging family members to a robot competition, and checking out the world’s first and only installation of an 85-foot Alamosaurus. Then, in the Children’s Museum, kids ages 5 and under can explore the farmer’s market and the Great Trinity Forest, climb the Dallas skyline, and get creative in the Art Lab. With so much to do, it’s no wonder this is one of the best things to do in Dallas for kids!
Book your tickets for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science before you leave!
The Sixth Floor Museum At Dealey Plaza
One of the most fun things to do in Dallas with teenagers is to visit the Sixth Floor Museum At Dealey Plaza. Otherwise known as the JFK Museum, it’s located on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administration Building at Dealey Plaza. Since the museum is dedicated to honoring President John F. Kennedy and explaining his assassination in Dealey Plaza, we recommend it for children over the age of twelve.
Numerous videos, books, artifacts, and photographs detail the horrific event for history buffs to take in. Outside, adjacent to the plaza, you’ll find Grassy Knoll, a patch of grass marking the exact spot where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK. Dedicate at least two hours to see everything, because you can even go up to the 7th floor to look out towards where the sniper stood. Then, check out the bookstore before heading out!
Frontiers of Flight Museum
Interested in aviation history? Don’t miss a chance to see The Frontiers of Flight Museum, conveniently located near the airport. With kid-friendly exhibits that allow the children to walk inside airplanes and see the aerodynamics, it’ll be a unique learning experience for kids and adults alike! Frontiers Of Flight Museum features numerous old airplanes on display spanning the decades, from the 1920s through WWII and up until present-day rockets and jets.
Here, learn about the Golden Age Of Airplanes, The Cold War, or WWI. Several informative exhibits explain how airplanes have changed over the years, how they fly, the dynamic of aerospace, and more. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience, not to mention, one of the best things to do in Dallas with kids!
Stroll Through a Beautiful Garden
Dallas is renowned for its green spaces, especially its parks, gardens, and other areas to see flora and fauna. If you’re looking for a calm way to spend your afternoon with kids, we recommend one of the following options as some of the best things to do in Dallas with kids!
The Dallas Arboretum And Botanical Garden
For plant lovers and photography enthusiasts, the Dallas Arboretum And Botanical Garden is a great place to spend a few hours during the day. Located next to White Rock Lake, this outdoor facility is lined with acres upon acres of flowers, plants, and trees. Each plant has a little stand next to it with information that tells you a little bit about it. Filled with stunning colors, smells, and natural wildlife like bees and butterflies, it’s a great place to take kids in strollers or kids who are old enough to walk next to their parents.
There is even a section of the Dallas Arboretum designed specifically for kids too! At The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, little ones can listen to a live science show, see a puppet performance, and more. Keep in mind, you need a reservation and extra tickets to gain entry into this beautiful location.
Texas Discovery Gardens
A one-of-a-kind experience for children and adults, the Texas Discovery Gardens is a 7.5-acre outdoor oasis of plants, flowers, and native outdoor insects. Located at Fair Park, it’s ideal for walking during the morning/early afternoon hours. Plus, it’ll be a fun-filled learning experience, teaching kids about how to care for plants, and animals. No wonder it is one of the best things to do in Dallas with kids!
Visit the two-story Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House, which features dozens of butterfly species flying free in a tropical rainforest exhibit. Kids and adults love watching the butterflies flying all around them, sometimes even landing on your arms, hands, even your nose! Be careful as the butterflies do hang out on the ground sometimes so it’s best to keep little kids in your arms to avoid any harm to the butterflies! If you’re looking for free things to do in Dallas with kids, keep an eye out for free admission days and family workshop activities!
RELATED ARTICLE: 17 Fantastic Things to Do in Austin with Kids
Say Hi to the Local Animals
Animal enthusiasts will feel right at home in Dallas. From the zoo to the aquarium, here are our favorite animal-related things to do in Dallas with kids!
Ideal for kids of any age, the Dallas Zoo spans 106-acres and is an all-day event! Most visitors cover it in about 6 hours (stopping to eat, drink, etc.), but it can be done quicker if desired. However, if you move too quickly through the zoo, you’ll likely miss out on some of the 2,000 animals. Granted, the layout of the zoo is so well thought out, that it is difficult to miss anything!
Kids love to see the wide variety of animals in habitats that mimic their own in the wild, like the penguin, cheetah, or gorilla habitats. Of course, don’t forget about the lions! Afterward, kids can visit the climbing gym areas when they need some free time. Weekdays are ideal if you are looking for a less crowded time to visit the Dallas Zoo. It’s also recommended to bring or rent strollers for little ones.
Dallas World Aquarium
The Dallas World Aquarium is a fantastic indoor activity to do when it gets hot walking the city. However, this is not your normal aquarium! It contains 5 exhibits featuring 248 species of water and land animals and the horticulture that would be found in their natural habitats. During your visit, you’ll walk along pathways and follow the signs from beginning to end, noticing the animals along the way!
Trek between habitats like South Africa, Borneo, and Mundo Maya for an authentic look at how these species live. It’s a unique, fun-filled experience for kids of all ages to not only see some unique land and water animals but see them in natural-designed exhibits versus simply swimming in a tank. You can purchase tickets at the door or pre-buy them online. But we recommend getting them online in advance, you don’t want to miss seeing one of the best things to do in Dallas with kids!
Get A 360-Degree View from the Ge-O Deck at Reunion Tower
With a carpeted floor and 360 degrees of glass walls, The Ge-O Deck at Reunion Tower is a once-in-a-vacation view that you won’t want to miss out on! Located on Reunion Boulevard, the tower is nearly 600 feet tall, located on the top floor with a stunning view of the city.
With dozens of information platforms located along the glass walls, there is much for parents and children to learn about while admiring the day or nighttime view. Going at night will give you a breathtaking view of the city lights, while the daytime view is fun for kids to try and guess where their hotel is, where the zoo is, etc.! No wonder this is one of the best things to do in Dallas with kids.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Just north of Dallas, families can catch a Frisco RoughRiders game. This Minor League Baseball team offers families a relatively inexpensive outing in an exciting sports environment. Athletic families, in particular, will love cheering on the home team! A straight shot north, Riders Field is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Dallas, depending on the traffic.
While you enjoy the game, you can also munch on ballpark classics like hot dogs, nachos, and bratwurst. Families will also love the unique features of this ballpark, including a lazy river (open to individual ticket holders during Thursday and Sunday games). Additionally, families with toddlers and elementary-school-age children will appreciate the on-site playground. Then, the lawn seating option offers inexpensive tickets and a bit of space to spread out with kids. Finally, purchase tickets and learn more about Riders Field here.
Take A Day Trip From Dallas with Kids
Staying in Dallas also puts your family near other great cities in Texas. That’s why we suggest taking a day trip with kids from Dallas during your vacation! Here are some recommendations.
For anyone who enjoys a little history on their vacation, Fort Worth, Texas makes a great day trip! Located roughly 30 min from Dallas, Fort Worth is a modern city founded in early 19th-century cowboy culture. Although walking around and visiting the old shops is a great way to spend your time at Fort Worth, you can also take in history in other locations.
For one, visit the Fort Worth Stockyards to get a glimpse at how the old cowboys live. Kids will love people-watching and exploring Klyde Warren Park or Sundance Square to see the local culture. This downtown neighborhood is also ideal for shopping and dining. Located an hour south of Fort Worth, you can also visit Dinosaur Valley State Park. Kids can see real-life designed dinosaurs and learn about each one while roaming big open fields!
Visit Grapevine for your next day trip from Dallas. Located 30 minutes west of the city, Grapevine features dozens of small shops, beautiful views, and unique craft and artisanal stores. Downtown Grapevine is especially home to dozens of family-friendly restaurants with incredible views of the area. There are rooftop restaurants for anyone looking for a particularly beautiful evening dinner. The Grapevine Vintage Railroad is also home to a unique history and little craft shops run by the locals. You’ll see glass blowing shops, clay art, and even stained-glass facilities!
On your way in or out of the Grapevine area, consider stopping at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Dallas or visiting the SEA LIFE Grapevine. They’re both kid-pleasers with interactive exhibits that will enhance their imagination and tucker them out!
Arlington is another fantastic day trip near Dallas for families. Also located 30 minutes west of Dallas, this large city is ideal for roaming around on a sunny day. For example, the downtown area has dozens of shops and restaurants to browse with kids. Meanwhile, the outskirts of the city feature several family-friendly hiking trails. Visit Cedar Hills State Park for chances to hike, bike, and more! Arlington is also home to the Dallas Cowboys Stadium (AT&T Stadium), where families can purchase tickets for a history-packed tour of the inside.
Of course, if it’s football season, you could also attend a game! If you’re looking for a fun-filled, all-day activity, Six Flags Over Texas is also in the area and is great for kids of all ages. Or, you could cool off from the Texas heat at NRH20 Family Water Park or Epic Waters Indoor Water Park!
Before you leave, be sure to book your tickets for Six Flags Over Texas.
Where to Stay near Dallas with Kids
If you need somewhere to stay near Dallas with kids, we suggest the Fairmont Dallas, the Omni Dallas Hotel, or the Magnolia Downtown Dallas. All are located within convenient locations and near feature family-friendly activities!
We hope you found this list of Fun Things To Do In Dallas With Kids helpful in planning your own Dallas itinerary. Between museums, hiking, and more family fun, you won’t ever go bored in this Texas city. Enjoy Dallas with your kids!
A special thank you to FLT community member Chrissy Trotter, who helped compile this amazing list of things to do in Dallas with kids.
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.
*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.
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