From its skyscrapers and stadiums to its gardens and world-class restaurants, Dallas has become a popular tourist destination with something for visitors of all ages. If you’re visiting the big Texas city with kids, why not get your thrill fix at an amusement park, see penguins at a sprawling aquarium, or walk past dinosaur skeletons at a science museum? Whatever your kids love to do, Dallas has it all. Once you’ve found the perfect Dallas vacation rental for your home base, check these 12 kid-friendly activities off your list for an unforgettable Dallas adventure.
1. Ride the Roller Coasters at Six Flags Over Texas
Situated just outside of Dallas, this Six Flags amusement park offers all the drops and thrills you’d expect. Older kids have a blast riding the Shock Wave and other unique roller coasters, and little ones enjoy riding the Bugs Bunny Cloud Bouncer, the carousel, and plenty of other kiddie rides. On a hot summer day in Texas, be sure to hop on the Aquaman Splashdown to cool off before heading over to the carnival games.
2. Check Out the Dallas Zoo
Drive from your vacation rental to this expansive zoo just 3 miles south of town, featuring lions, elephants, giraffes, and much more over its 106 acres. Kids can even meet hippos, koalas, and the clever gorillas. Be sure to ask about all the kid-friendly daily programs, such as the Safari Nights concert series.
3. Visit the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
Featuring 11 unique gardens over more than 60 acres, this arboretum is the perfect place to relax after a busy day exploring Dallas. People of all ages love strolling through the blooming flowers and watching the fountains, but little ones are especially fond of the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, featuring a pint-sized pioneer village and more than 150 interactive exhibits. Check with the arboretum for educational programs in one of the indoor or outdoor classrooms.
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4. Explore the Dallas World Aquarium
Stroll through exhibits featuring fish, sea life, and other animals from all over the world, from South Africa to Fiji. Kids of all ages can view Madagascar giant day geckos, black-footed penguins, and much more through themed exhibits. Be sure to check out the Ancient Mayan area and the Flooded Forest.
5. Burn Off Some Energy at Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park
Designed for the young and young at heart, this trampoline park features wall-to-wall trampolines with obstacle courses, ball courts, and more for a day of active fun. The kids-only Earthquake area is perfect for tiny tots, and older kids and parents can try their luck on the mechanical bull.
6. See a Performance at the Dallas Children’s Theater
As one of the top children’s theater in the nation, the Dallas Children’s Theater is a great place to kick back and watch a performance of a classic, such as “Peter Pan” or “The Wizard of Oz.” The theater even offers sensory-friendly performances and American Sign Language interpretations for kids with special needs. Check the theater’s website for current showings, and get your tickets for the family early to ensure your seats.
7. Step Into the Perot Museum of Nature and Science
This museum offers 11 exhibits halls with something for all ages, from the big-bang recreation in a reflective dome in the Expanding Universe Hall to the play structures of the children’s museum. You can also watch a 3D National Geographic film at the Hoglund Foundation theater, view dinosaur skeletons and fossils, and step into an earthquake simulator. Be sure to enjoy the views of downtown Dallas from the glass elevator as you explore the museum.
8. Play Hard at Speedzone
Rev your engines for a day of go-kart fun at Speedzone. Once you’ve finished zipping around the track, enjoy a game of mini golf, ride the six-story Fire Ball roller coaster, or enjoy more than 100 simulator and arcade games before grabbing a bite to eat at the restaurant.
9. Head Over to Sandy Lake Park
An old-fashioned amusement park situated a short drive away from your Dallas vacation rental, Sandy Lake is a carnival-style park with rides for little ones and older kids. Teens are sure to enjoy the thrill rides, and little ones can embark on a train ride, hop on the carousel, and touch the farm animals in the petting zoo.
10. Visit The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
While adults are sure to enjoy the informative exhibits throughout this presidential museum, including a 9-11 memorial, kids can enjoy getting their picture taken sitting in the oval office or the interactive Life in the White House exhibit.
11. Walk Through Texas Discovery Gardens
Take a guided tour through this 7.5-acre family favorite where kids can gaze at native wildlife such as birds and frogs amidst beautiful native plants. For an extra special experience, step into the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House & Insectarium to see various species of fluttering butterflies. Kids also love the Snakes of Texas exhibit, featuring venomous and non-venomous snakes from across the state.
12. Spot Wildlife at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Sanctuary
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon hiking or bird-watching in this sanctuary spanning more than 280 acres. After embarking on a nature trail, check out the museum, which features the Animals of the World and the Mosasaur exhibits. Kids can also learn about the history of Texas settlements at Pioneer Village.
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